The Arc of Luzerne County sponsored a rally on Public Square in Wilkes-Barre Friday to urge State lawmakers to increase funding to the agency. The ARC serves hundreds of clients in six counties and has seen State subsidies slashed in recent years. Arc Executive Director Pamela Zotynia told Eyewitness News, "I want lawmakers to know that the decisions they are making are critical to people's lives. We recognize that there are probably overwhelmed right now but there are many needs across the Commonwealth with limited funding." The ARC provides services such as job training, daily life skills and residential counseling to people with disabilities. Frank Bartoli's son is a client of Arc and told this reporter, "Everything you can find in the research shows you that if you give people with disabilities meaningful jobs in the community there will be less of a burden on taxpayers in the future." Mike Zimmerman, the Executive Director of Family Service Association of Northeastern Pennsylvania attended the rally and said, "The State lawmakers have to understand they can't balance a budget on the backs of those in need. There have to be other revenue sources that can be found to maintain certain services."
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