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Lawmakers weigh the cost of helping state’s poor, aged, sick and disabled


HELENA — From her wheelchair on Friday, Shyla Patera told the panel of lawmakers something they don't often hear.

"I want to live and work and pay my taxes," Patera told members of the Senate Finance and Claims Committee.

Patera represents four Montana independent living centers that help disabled people with the daily tasks of life so they can stay in their own homes and be a part of their communities.

In 2003, enrollees in the program were reduced to three showers per week. If budget cuts proposed by Republicans become reality, meal preparation time will be cut to four hours a week,...

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