Lawmakers work to restore funding for autism institute in Cape Girardeau, MO

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Several lawmakers are working together to restore funding for the Tailor Institute in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

The institute was funded by the Missouri Department of Economic Development Workforce Development budget; however, a budget oversight in 2017 resulted in a loss of all state funding for the Tailor Institute, according to State Sen. Wayne Wallingford.

According to the Tailor Institute's website, the group "empowers high-functioning individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder in discovering special skills and gifts while learning tools needed to work and live more independently."

Without the funding, President of the board Meredith Ogburn said as of right now they have enough money to stay open until the end of March.

"We need our budget to be reinstated on July 1 it is kind of our hope, it is our only hope," said Ogburn.

To keep the doors open until then she said the institute needs $20,000.

Wallingford has been working with Rep. Donna Lichtenneger of the 146th district and Rep. Kathy Swan of the 147th district to restore funding for the center.

Senator Wallingford said the Tailor Institute serves more than 150 families each year.

Bill Foster, the Chief of Staff for Se. Wallingford said the institute should be funded by July 1 of this year.

Wallingford, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said that he intends to do everything in his power to ensure the Tailor Institute is fully funded, and the line item moves back to the Department of Economic Development's Workforce Development budget.

If you want to donate to The Tailor Institute you can here, and to sign the petition click here. 

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