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CASA faces sharp budget cuts

December 26, 2012

ALBANY, NY — Sullivan County’s Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program faces the possibility of losing $18,000 in funding beginning in April. This is because New York State’s Unified Court System, in its proposed budget for the next fiscal year budget, has dropped funding for CASA programs statewide, a cut of about $800,000.

“Sullivan County CASA has so little to start with,” the organization’s board president Shelly Field said last Friday. “It’s just staggering,” and then she added, “Without these funds, we might have to close our doors.”

“This has nothing to do with the importance of CASA,” she added, “but only to do with their need to make a balanced budget.”

“It’s a horrible thing to lose funding,” Field said, “but we need to find a way to work with it.”

Field said that people who want to take action to try to stave off the CASA budget cuts may contact Chief Judge Lippman at the Office of Court of Appeals, at 212/661-6787 and urge him not to allow the elimination of CASA funding statewide. Another option is to contact individual state assembly representatives and senators to ask for their support.