In the last month hundreds of advocates rallied, and state legislators appealed to the governor to spare Mass. clubhouses from the budget ax. "Our demonstrators were heard," said a spokesperson for the Massachusetts Clubhouse Coalition. About 15,000 people with a mental illness are served by the 32 clubhouses throughout the state. The Daily News Tribune reports Reva Stein, the executive director, was relieved. "[I]t almost was worse," she said. The state is grappling with how to close a $600 million budget gap.
In cost-saving measures elsewhere, Gov. Deval Patrick announced $3.5 million would come from programs enabling a community discharge from hospitals as part of the $10.3 million overall from mental health. Cuts to education, transportation, and for state workers were also announced. Plans for 2011 will start soon and community service spending will likely be revisited.