I am thrilled report a huge breakthrough that has just come out of Albany.
Today, our legislative leaders and Governor Cuomo have struck a legislative agreement that will prevent devastating cuts being impacted on the developmentally disabled. After a hard fought battle in fighting to restore funding to the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD).
Many of you joined me from the very beginning when this issue took on a life of its own. From the onset of budget negotiations, we stood up against these cuts that would affect critical services performed by countless nonprofit service providers. We formed a powerful grassroots movement that shook the halls of our state Capital, generating thousands of signatures from residents who stood adamantly opposed in a unified voice. What has become clear is that ordinary individuals can produce extraordinary results.
This legislation is a clear victory for all New Yorkers who care deeply for those who cannot care for themselves. A working group has been convened to find $90 million dollars in savings without negatively impacting crucial services. Their intention is clear -- implement a real savings plan that will streamline administrative costs, undertake audits to find greater efficiencies, and work to transition to more integrated programs. In the event this total amount is not reached, the state will appropriate funding that is needed to be restored.
At the end of the day, this would not be possible without the strong support of Governor Cuomo, a person who cares deeply about those living with developmental disabilities.
New York State Senator
38th Senate District