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      Political candidates speak on disability issues

      Candidate Forum focused on disability issues

      Wednesday night, several people gathered to hear political candidates' thoughts and plans related to disability issues.

      From 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. political candidates were asked questions from a moderator and the public.

      St. Rep. Candidate Rebecca McClanahan, (D) - District 3, St. Rep. Candidate Nate Walker, (R) - District 3 and St. Rep. Craig Redmon, (R) - District 4, were asked among several questions how would they bring more mental health services to northeast Missouri and promote competitive employment for people with disabilities.

      McClanahan said she thinks Missouri has a lot of work to do, but the community has some great things going on.

      ??We have some great things going on in this community especially the SB 40 board,?? McClanahan said. ??The Chariton Valley Association does great services, but there is just inadequate funding for all of these services. And, they have experienced cut, after cut.??

      McClanahan said the state needs to have a more balanced approach to the budget.

      ??We have some opportunities of identifying additional funding that would help us with this,?? McClanahan said. ??There??s a proposition on the ballot that would perhaps help with that. (There??s the) opportunity to collect sales tax on internet sales. Restructuring the tax code in Missouri was one of the things we discussed here this evening?| that might even provide a tax cut for most people in Missouri, but yet generate more revenue. So, there are a variety of things we can do to provide the services that we believe our necessary and certainly the people in this room believe are necessary for people with disabilities.??

      Walker said to help people with disabilities the economy has to grow. And, the state needs to better police programs for the disabled, or those using Medicaid.

      ??I??ve been delighted to be here tonight for a candidate??s forum here in Kirksville at the Regional (Office) for the developmentally disabled issues,?? Walker said. ??It was a good learning experience for me. I??ve been involved with disabled issues all my life, but certainly this is an area that needs strong support and we need to work really hard to make sure those people who have developmental issues are taken care of. And, I??m going to do what I can if elected to be a strong voice for the developmentally disabled here in north Missouri.??

      Walker also said if elected he would make sure Kirksville does not loose the Regional Office.

      The event was sponsored by:

      -Adair County SB40 Developmental Disabilities Board

      -Region II Council on Developmental Disabilities

      -Rural Advocates for Independent Living (RAIL)