Attorneys representing adults with developmental disabilities waiting for services learned today that their lawsuit against the State of Colorado had been dismissed. Judge Richard P. Matsch concluded that the state government could not be compelled to spend funds in violation of constitutional budgetary limitations.
Bill Baesman, Executive Director for The Arc of Colorado, called the decision "a dark day for the state of Colorado." When the lawsuit was filed in 2000, more than 2,800 individuals had been identified by the state's division of developmental disabilities as "waiting" for comprehensive services, such as group home, host home or day program placement. As of the end of 2004, that total figure had risen to more than 3,800. Attorneys will meet over the next few weeks to discuss their options.