Dane County is known around the state for the high level of services it provides to the elderly and disabled. But officials here are worried what will happen when Wisconsin's new program, Family Care, takes over.
The state program to streamline programs funded with state and federal dollars requires each county to give what it has been contributing for these services to the state. That will be a good deal for counties that don't spend much on these programs, but a bad deal for Dane County, which spends $19.6 million a year on human service programs that will eventually be run by Family Care.
Lynn Green, director of the county's Department of Human Services, says that is by far the highest amount any county spends on such programs. Milwaukee County, she says, is second, at $8 million.
Dane County Supv. Barb Vedder, a member of the county's Health and Human Needs Committee, is among those who would like to put the brakes on Dane County's entrance into the program, which is scheduled for January 2011. She and others have drafted a resolution asking the state to remove it from the budget and to reduce the amount of money the county is being asked to chip in.
"We're being expected by the state to fork in all this money that we've been providing and have it spread around the state," she says. "People living in Dane County will have lesser services because the money will be spread across the state."