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Protesters assail cuts to disabled

Under the Pa. House budget, handicapped aid would drop 17%, said one at the rally.

HARRISBURG - About 30 people, some in wheelchairs, have been protesting outside the Pennsylvania Capitol over proposed budget cuts affecting services for the disabled.

The protesters chanted loudly Wednesday outside the office of Gov. Corbett while several Capitol police officers looked on.

A Corbett spokeswoman said the governor was working at his official residence in another part of the city.

Protester Pam Auer of Harrisburg said the group was angry about what she said was a 17 percent cut in funding for home and community-based services in the state budget plan that the Republican-controlled House approved Tuesday.

Auer, who works for the Center for Independent Living in Camp Hill, said disabled people who lack those services often must leave their families to live in nursing homes.

Tuesday's House vote to approve the $27.3 billion spending plan moved the process closer to negotiations among legislative leaders and Corbett. The House Republicans' budget is similar to Corbett's but dedicates less money to the Department of Public Welfare to restore some education funding.