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Families and officials from area’s largest human services agencies urge Senate and Assembly to restore funding

BUFFALO, NY – People with developmental disabilities were joined today by their family members, caregivers and leaders of some of the region’s largest human services agencies as well as employers to protest Governor Cuomo’s budget proposal that would cut $240 million in funding for programs and services for the developmentally disabled.

The proposed cuts come on top of $350 million in cuts to similar programming and services over the last four years. The latest cuts are the result of a dispute between Washington and Albany over reimbursement rates.

“It is unconscionable that New York State year after year cuts the budget on the backs of people with developmental disabilities,” said Rhonda Frederick, Chair, Developmental Disabilities Alliance of Western New York (DDAWNY) and Chief Operating Officer of People, Inc. “The Governor is fighting to increase the minimum wage, equality for women and championing the causes of others who are at a disadvantage, but has turned his back on the developmentally disabled - our most vulnerable population.”

DDAWNY and other advocates and organizations that serve people with developmental disabilities and their families are rallying across New York State to urge the leaders and members of the New York State Senate and Assembly to restore the funding in their respective budget proposals, which are anticipated tobe unveiled on or around March 11th.

“There are too many families who simply cannot provide the around

the clock care that is required for so many thousands of people with developmental disabilities not only throughout Western New York, but New York State,” said NAME. “There are too many families desperately trying to provide their children with some type of independence through residential programming but waiting lists get longer and longer because there are not enough available facilities to place them. We are already in a crisis and cuts of this magnitude put all of us in an untenable situation.”

Leaders of various human services agencies that are members of the DDAWNY (see attached list) unequivocally said that the proposed cuts will lead to:

  • Significant reduction in programs and services;
  • Health and safety risks;
  • Diminished capacity to comply with key health and safety regulations;
  • Hardships to families; and
  • Critical staff shortages and ultimately layoffs.

“We need to hold our elected representatives accountable on this vital issue and implore the Senate and Assembly to restore this desperately needed funding,” Frederick continued. “Albany’s fight with Washington over Medicaid reimbursements is only hurting people with developmental disabilities and the fact that no one cares says a great deal about where our priorities are as a nation and a state.”

Click here for a sample letter to send to your Assemblymember.

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Click here for a sample letter for families.

Click here for a sample letter to send to your Senator.

Click here to find your local representative.

Western New York 1219 North Forest Road | P.O. Box 9033 | Williamsville, New York 14231 | Phone: 716.817.7400 | Toll Free NY 1.888.7PEOPLE | Fax: 716.634.3889

Rochester 1860 Buffalo Road | Rochester, NY 14624 | Phone 585.441.9300 | Fax 585.441.9398

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