Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
Email: | Twitter: @taniadall

NEW ORLEANS -- Midnight is the deadline for state lawmakers to call for a veto session to override Gov. Bobby Jindal's decision to stop an expansion for programs for the disabled.

One Metairie family says those services have changed their lives for the better.

Tackling the dishwasher is one of the many chores Jenny Dwyer can now do. In high school, cheerleading was her thing. Personal goals were made possible thanks to Louisiana's New Opportunity Waiver or NOW program.

'I have been a single parent for 31 of Jenny's 36 years, and those supports were needed. I was able to work full time,' said Kathy Dwyer.

However, Gov. Bobby Jindal has cut roughly $4 million earmarked to reduce the sometimes years-long wait for families seeking home-based services for developmentally disabled relatives.

'Help with medication. Help in the home with getting people dressed, bathed, and therapies in the home,' said Advocacy Center Executive Director Lois Simpson of some of the state services that would be cut.

Simpson said currently thousands across the state are on a waiting list to get in-home services with lawmakers approving 200 more people to join the list this past session. The new legislation was cut by the Jindal administration.

'Two hundred isn't much when you're talking about almost 11,000 people who are waiting. It's something. It's a tiny baby step in getting this waiting list reduced,' said Simpson.

Supporters of state funded programs like NOW hope lawmakers can turn the tide by midnight. That is the deadline to convene a session to try to override the governor's vetoes.

Ballots were sent Friday to every lawmaker. If they're not sent back that means they support a veto session.

For Dwyer and hundreds of families like hers, Thursday night's deadline will make a world of difference in their day-to-day lives.

'Disability does not discriminate. You can wake up the next morning and have a disability. You can wake up the next morning and find out your child is diagnosed with a disability or your grandchild. These services are for everyone,' said Dwyer.

Several high-ranking state lawmakers have gone on the record against over riding the Governor's vetoes. A majority vote in both the House and Senate is required to move forward with a special session.

Read or Share this story: