By MELINDA DESLATTE
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Gov. Bobby Jindal is defending his decision to strip $4 million from next year's budget that would have expanded a program that provides at-home services to the developmentally disabled.
The Republican governor has faced criticism for line-item vetoes that struck out that funding for a program called the New Opportunity Waiver, or NOW.
Jindal's office released a letter to newspapers Tuesday saying he wasn't cutting any services that people already receive through the waiver program. He also says funding for the NOW program has grown by more than $91 million since he took office.
He says the state couldn't afford the NOW expansion.
Family members of developmentally disabled children who need around-the-clock care pleaded with lawmakers for new funding, saying 10,000 people are on a waiting list for services.
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