The leader of the largest state employees union says the state budget cuts republicans propose hurt Iowa most vulnerable citizens and compromise public safety. AFSCME president Jan Corderman objects to proposed state worker layoffs, and the unpaid days off for the workers who remain. She says those layoffs and furloughs will stretch critical state institutions, like the mental hospitals and prisons, to the limit. Corderman says dangerous criminals won’t be furloughed and there’ll be fewer guards to watch them.Frances Wilke of Ames has a 12-year-old son who’s a resident of the Woodward State Hospital school because his autism requires 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week care. She says if Woodward has to cut services, her son will suffer.Wilke is among those pressing republicans to divert money from the state’s road construction fund for other, critical state services. She’s worried the budget cuts will change her son’s care.Wilke says if the hospital lays off workers, there may be days when her son, Andy, has no familiar caregiver, and that kind of break in routine is really stressful for someone with autism.
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