AHRC New York City

Current Issues

Statewide Advocacy Groups Call on NYS to Fund New Supports/Services for People with I/DD Living at Home

Yesterday, Senate staff told us their one house budget includes a 1% increase for DSPs making under $50,000 effective 1-1-15.

However, the Assembly’s one house position is not clear yet.  Weigh in with your Assemblyperson and urge him/her to support a 3% DSP increase.  While there are no guarantees, a higher Assembly DSP increase in its one house budget enhances the prospects for a better DSP increase in the final budget.  

 

Statewide Advocacy Groups Call on NYS to Fund New Supports/Services for People with I/DD Living at Home

By NYSARC, Inc. and CP of NYS 
For more information contact: Jayson White, 518-439-8311, whitej@nysarc.org or Al Shibley, 518-436-0178, ashibley@cpofnys.org
DELMAR, NY (03/07/2014)(readMedia) — The leaders of the two largest statewide family founded groups supporting people with disabilities are calling on Governor Cuomo to make good on commitments by previous administrations to support people with disabilities and their families.  NYSARC and CP of  NYS urge the Governor to demonstrate his commitment and support of the thousands of people with developmental disabilities in New York who will be left unable to live fully integrated lives as part of their communities unless the State invests in supports and services so critical to the well-being of its most vulnerable citizens.

“The supports and services for people with developmental disabilities have been cut by almost $400 million over the past four years,” stated Susan Constantino, President & CEO of CP of NYS. “These cuts have come at a time when we are seeking to find new ways to truly integrate people in communities statewide – taking money away from needed supports and services goes against the longer term goals of person-centered planning and community integration.  This is why we have asked the legislature to add an additional $11.25 million (state share) in this year’s budget for the development of new supports and services for more than 300 individuals with high priority needs who reside at home with their families.”

The need for this funding has been exacerbated by the Governor’s 2014-15 budget proposal, which cuts out-year projected investments.  These proposed reductions come on the heels of the cuts over the past four years, and lowers the State’s investment in supports and services for people with developmental disabilities for years to come.  These cuts have taken their toll on individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.  Any more cuts and/or slashing of the State’s future investments will imperil New York’s ability to keep its promise to provide opportunities for people with developmental disabilities to live full, active lives in their communities.

“Our request for additional funding is both reasonable and responsible striking a balance between the State’s priority to be fiscally prudent and our mutual obligation to serve families who are becoming more desperate,” said NYSARC Executive Director Marc Brandt.  “Without essential supports, both in and out of home, families and their loved ones are finding the promise of being included in society to the fullest extent possible beyond their grasp.  That promise was enunciated in the Olmstead Supreme Court Decision and embraced by this Administration.”

While some reports contend that New York State ranks first in Medicaid spending for people with disabilities, the fact is the State’s not-for-profit providers of supports and services have been doing more with much less for years.  Prior to these cuts, and when compared nationally, New York State spending on not-for- profit supports and services for individuals with developmental disabilities ranks 36th among all states (2010 University of Minnesota study).

“Not-for-profits have been working hard to make ours a highly efficient system of care and the numbers show it,” said Mr. Brandt. “But too many families are at or beyond the breaking point.”

The need for services, such as meaningful day activities, at home support, out of home residential and other services, far surpasses any funding amounts that have been suggested, particularly for those who can no longer live safely with their families.  According to The Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), as of April 2013, over 12,000 people statewide were waiting for residential services and approximately 4,200 of those people stated that the need was immediate.  Additionally, more than 14,000 people were waiting for a day service.  “Our request for funds would go a small way toward helping provide these acutely needed services, and the demand for services will continue to grow as nearly 3,000 individuals with severe cognitive disabilities will be aging out of New York’s educational system as of June 2014,” said Ms. Constantino.

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NYSARC, Inc. is the largest not-for-profit organization in New York State and the United States supporting people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities and their families.

 

CP of NYS is a statewide organization with Affiliates across the state employing 18,000 individuals supporting people with developmental disabilities and their families.

Governor’s Budget Presentation today at 2 PM

The Governor’s budget address will stream live on the Governor’s website at 2:00 PM – www.governor.ny.gov

Budget bills and memos will be available on the Division of the Budget website at www.budget.ny.gov later on Today.

 

Guest Viewpoint: Cuomo Breaks Promise with Cuts for Disabled

Originally posted by the Ithaca Journal, 1.16.14

I am writing on behalf of my son, Andrew, to call attention to ongoing budget cuts affecting supports and services for individuals with disabilities. Daily, our family is aware of the damaging effects of these cuts and how they threaten a solemn promise that New York made long ago — one that our governor recently reaffirmed but apparently has now forgotten.

Our Andrew is a bright-smiled, social and mischievous preschooler. He would tell you himself about these budget cuts, but he cannot talk.

He would have accompanied me to visit our state’s budget office and the offices of our senator and assemblywoman, but he cannot walk. Andrew has cerebral palsy.

Read Full Article

 

Politics As It Happens: Last Year’s Budget Fight Continues to Resonate

From our colleagues at NYSARC Inc. (of which AHRC New York City is a Chapter.)

The article below reflects the enormous visibility we were able to generate for our field in the fight over last year’s proposed $120 million cut.  The story refers to the NYS Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s opening session remarks which highlighted our “Restoration bill.”  While the dollar impact of the “Restoration bill” is not clear, we believe that it sent a strong  message reminding everyone that we are not to be ignored.  The value of that message, while intangible, will  come in handy in the new legislative session and in legislative sessions yet to come.

Click here to read the article.

 

Politics As It Happens: Another Editorial Against Budget Cuts/On-line Petition Against Budget Cuts

The article below comes to us by way of The Buffalo News:

State needs to address needs of people who have developmental disabilities

buffalonewslogo“Parents of children with developmental disabilities live with the ever-present fear of growing old and dying. It’s not that they are different than anyone else in concern over the unknown, but their worries increase exponentially because they do not know who will take care of their grown children. These individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are unable to live fully independent lives. Some require just a little assistance. Others require full-time, 24-hour care. The problem in New York is that it is increasingly difficult to find such care.”

Click here to read the entire article

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Sign the Petition to Maintain funding for OPWDD programs

Click here to sign the petition

Read Full Article

Politics As It Happens: Governor Suggests Surplus, No Spending Cuts in Upcoming State Budget

Below you will find a link to an article from NYSARC, Inc. (of which AHRC New York City is a Chapter.)

The article features news about yesterday’s press conference by Governor Cuomo, during which he gave a broad outline of his budget plans for FY 14-15 which will be presented to the Legislature in January.  The Governor “emphasized that increases in funding for state programs would be based on genuine need.” This appears to be a positive sign for all groups concerned about budget cuts, including cuts to OPWDD funded services.

Read the Full Article HERE.