New York Sen. David Carlucci said Thursday he remains committed to restoring $120 million in budget cuts to nonprofit providers who provide vital services for New Yorkers with developmental disabilities as state legislators continue negotiations with Gov. Andrew Cuomo on his proposed cutback to the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) despite reaching a tentative budget agreement last night.
“While various components of this budget agreement continue to be ironed out, I continue to remain focused on fully restoring funding to nonprofit providers who service those with developmental disabilities,” Sen. Carlucci said in a statement. “A $120 million dollar cut to the OPWDD budget is too steep a price to pay, and as Chairman of the Senate Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee I will do everything possible to avoid these devastating cuts.”
Both the Senate and Assembly recently passed budgets restoring the $120 million cut proposed by Gov. Cuomo, which when factoring in matching federal funds, actually constitute a $240 million reduction in services that the developmentally disabled depend upon for their safety, health and well-being. The nonprofit agencies facing a potential six percent cut in their budgets offer medical and clinical services, help developmentally disabled individuals find employment and live independently, and also provide support to families caring for disabled loved ones.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature reached a $135 billion tentative budget deal Wednesday night but still left many issues unresolved including whether to implement Gov. Cuomo’s proposed $120 million cut to services for the developmentally disabled.
The office of Sen. David Carlucci, chairman of the Senate Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee, confirmed that no decision had been reached on whether to reverse or reduce the proposed cuts, which could jeopardize the safety, health and well-being of one of New York’s most vulnerable populations.
The NY State Senate and Assembly both passed budgets that restored the proposed $120 million in cuts to the budget of the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities. With matching federal funds at stake, the proposed $120 million reduction actually amounts to a $240 million cutback.
Nearly 15,000 people signed an online petition launched by Sen. Carlucci calling for the full restoration of cuts to OPWDD. A final decision on how much funding will be cut from OPWDD’s budget is now expected by Sunday. Gov. Cuomo reportedly indicated on Wednesday that the cut to OPWDD is likely to be less than the $120 million he proposed.
There is still time to tell Gov. Cuomo and your New York State Senators and Assembly Members to immediately STOP THE CUTS to services for the developmentally disabled!!!