PRESS RELEASE FROM SENATOR DAVID CARLUCCI
With residents and agencies now fearing the potential fallout over possible budget cuts to our most vulnerable populations, Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester) today announced a grassroots call to action to convince Governor Cuomo to join with state legislators in fully restoring the proposed 6% cuts to the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, or OPWDD. In doing so, the Senator has launched an online petition encouraging residents to demand that $120 million dollars in state-aid be reinstated to OPWDD, which in total would actually amount to $240 million dollars with a federal match included.
The petition has been created to provide New Yorkers the opportunity to voice their growing concerns over the impact this will have on not-for-profit providers – those who provide critical services to the developmentally disabled. Agencies now fret that without this crucial funding staff personnel, salaries, and benefits will all fall on the chopping block, leaving developmentally disabled individuals scrambling to find services at their disposal.
“With budget negotiations now into the next phase, we don’t have much time to convince the Governor and our legislative leaders that restoring these cuts is vital to the well-being of our most vulnerable,” said Senator Carlucci. “We need action, and we need it now. My hope is that by creating this grassroots effort to restore these cuts, we will ultimately prevail by putting the pressure on Albany until this milestone is reached.”
Yesterday, the New York State Senate and Assembly both adopted budget resolutions that restored the $120 million dollars to OPWDD. Budget negotiations are now underway at the Joint Budget Conference Committees between the Senate and Assembly.
As of this morning, the petition has been signed by an overwhelming 725 supporters, just shy of the pinnacle mark of 1,000. Each supporter, who hails from every corner of the state, is also provided a forum to express their own personal testaments for signing the petition and why it is important to them.
Each signature on the petition will be hand delivered to the Governor’s office next week, including comments accumulated from those who have signed and written a letter of support.
To sign up for Senator Carlucci’s petition in his call to action, please visit chn.ge/YdsGnP.