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Council on Aging plans to rally for budget proposal

ALBANY -- A group from the SOWEGA Council on Aging is traveling to Atlanta today to support Gov. Nathan Deal's recommended reversal of proposed budget cuts for the elderly, according to Council Director Izzie Sadler.

Sadler said a group of about 10 council staff members and concerned citizens are "proud and happy" to be a part of the planned show of support on the steps of the Georgia Capitol.

According to Sadler, the total budget for the state, including funds for seniors, has been cut each year for two or three years, and the cuts are taking their toll on the elderly.

Sadler said that Deal has suggested those proposed cuts, refered to as Elder Community Living Services in fiscal years 2012 and 2013, should not be implemented. The Albany group and a number of other state advocacy agencies and private citizens will offer their support of Deal's suggestion, Sadler said.

According to Maureen Kelly of the Atlanta Regional Commission-Area Council on Aging, participants in such gatherings typically join together carrying signs with messages and often chant or sing.

"Most likely, some of the legislators will come out and talk to the supporters and may even take the podium to speak to the groups," Kelly said.

The proposed nullification of the cuts will be subject to the legislative process, Kelly said, and the outcome will be known one way or another by about mid-March.

"When you think about it, the elderly don't really get out that much, and when they do you can figure they see this as an important moment for them," she said.