Issues: Developmental Disabilities

Tkaczyk measure would save critical programs for infants with disabilities

State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk and Assemblymember Pat Fahy joined colleagues, families and advocates to announce legislation to help ensure that thousands of infants and toddlers with disabilities receive the early intervention services they need to live normal, fulfilling lives.

As a result of legislative changes and bureaucratic snafus, many early intervention specialists -- who provide speech, physical and educational therapies to more than 70,000 young children -- have not been paid since April 1. Many are either closing their doors or are declining to take new children into the program. 

October 8, 2013
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Eagle Scout helps Camp Rainbow

Eagle Scout Matt Prawel of Medina recently completed a renovation project at Camp Rainbow, which is operated by the Arc of Orleans County.  In addition to refurbishing picnic tables and other amenities, Matt helped create this new roadside sign.  Great job Matt!

October 8, 2013
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SENATE MEASURE TO RESTORE FUNDING CUTS TO OPWDD BECOMES OFFICIAL

Earlier this year. Senator Jack M. Martins stood with his Senate colleagues to block $120 million in cuts to programs that serve developmentally disabled New Yorkers. While our efforts during the 2013-1014 budget negotiations restored some of the funding, programs throughout our state were still in danger due to a $90 million budget shortfall --- threatening to diminish access to important services for thousands of developmentally disabled citizens across the state.

Few issues this year have generated more input from concerned constituents. That's why Senator Martins is pleased to announce that support for these vital programs will now be protected under legislation that Governor Andrew Cuomo just signed into law.

September 30, 2013
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Tkaczyk Measure to Restore Funding for OPWDD Signed by Governor

A measure co-sponsored by State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk to restore funding to the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD)  has been signed by Governor Cuomo.

Senator Tkaczyk, Ranking Member on the Senate Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities, was a vocal opponent of the cuts first proposed in the Executive Budget, saying:

 “The budget cuts would have devastated the services that our most vulnerable residents and their families rely on.  I am proud to have fought for full restoration throughout the budget process, and am thrilled these cuts have finally been restored,” she said.

September 30, 2013
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New law restores funding cuts to the disabled community

Earlier this year, I stood with my Senate colleagues to block $120 million in cuts to programs that serve developmentally disabled New Yorkers.  While our efforts during the 2013-1014 budget negotiations restored some of the funding, programs throughout our state were still in danger due to a $90 million budget shortfall --- threatening to diminish access to important services for thousands of developmentally disabled citizens across the state.

Few issues this year have generated more input from concerned constituents. That's why I am pleased to announce that support for these vital programs will now be protected under legislation that Governor Andrew Cuomo just signed into law.

September 30, 2013
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Swift Fix To EI Program Billing Needed

ONEONTA, 09/24/13 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today announced his strong support for a swift solution to a billing situation that has placed Early Intervention Program services for hundreds of special needs children at risk.

“Worried parents and dedicated providers alike have contacted me in regard to the newly created complexities in the Early Intervention (EI) Program payment system,” said Senator Seward.  “Providers are not being paid, and, more significantly, children in need of vital services are going without the care they desperately need.   Swift action must be taken to correct this detrimental situation.”

September 23, 2013
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NEW HOTLINE ANNOUNCED FOR NEW YORK'S HEALTHCARE EXCHANGE

The New York State Department of Health has opened a hotline to help customers sign up for New York's healthcare exchange.  The enrollment period runs from October 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014.  You can reach the "NY State of Health" program at 1-855-355-5777.  The line will be open Monday through Friday 8 a.m to 5 p.m.  For additional information, please visit www.nystateofhealth.ny.gov.

September 19, 2013
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Arc of Monroe Enrichment Campus Ribbon Cutting

The Arc of Monroe County celebrated the grand opening of the James V.C. and Anita Lambert Enrichment Campus this morning. The new 24,000+ square foot facility is located at 2657 West Henrietta Road and was designed around the needs of the program's current and future participants. This project wouldn't have been possible without the gracious lead donation from Anita Lambert and all of the other generous donors.

The Arc of Monroe has provided services for with developmental disabilities for more than 50 years. We are so fortunate to have an organization like the Arc in our community.

September 17, 2013
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Public Hearing: Regional Centers of Excellence

Senate Standing Committee on Mental Health and Developmental DisabilitiesChair: Senator David CarlucciPublic Hearing: Regional Centers of ExcellencePlace: Middletown City Hall, Common Council Chambers, 16 James Street, Middletown, New YorkTime: 2:00 P.M.Contact: Sarah Bangs (518) 455-2991Media Contact: Jason Elan (845) 623-3627

September 19, 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
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Public Hearing: Regional Centers of Excellence

Senate Standing Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Chair: Senator David CarlucciPublic Hearing: Regional Centers of ExcellencePlace: Farmingdale State College, Little Theatre, Roosevelt Hall,2350 Broadhollow Road, Farmingdale, New York 11735-1006Time: 10:00 A.M.Contact: Sarah Bangs (518) 455-2991Media Contact: Jason Elan (845) 623-3627

September 9, 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
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Public Hearing: Regional Centers of Excellence

Senate Standing Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Chair: Senator David CarlucciPublic Hearing: Regional Centers of ExcellencePlace: Ogdensburg City Hall, City Council Chambers, 330 Ford Street,Ogdensburg, New York 13669-1626Time: 10:00 A.M.Contact: Sarah Bangs (518) 455-2991Media Contact: Jason Elan (845) 623-3627

September 17, 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
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Tkaczyk visits Liberty Enterprise, touts mental health bill

By ALISSA SCOTT

Recorder News Staff

State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk (D-46th) visited Liberty Enterprise's day support building, the Montgomery County chapter of New York State ARC, Thursday afternoon to tour the building and meet staff members. Liberty is the largest facility in the county that serves people who have developmental disabilities.

Community mental health needs are at a historic high, though funding has been funneled into the General Fund for ten of the last 20 years. Having recognized a need to address the lack of funds, Tkaczyk, who is on the Mental Health Committee, jointly introduced legislation with chair of the Mental Health Committee Assemblyman Aileen Gunther to do just that.

August 26, 2013
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Senator O'Brien fights to restore OPWDD funding, continues to work with advocates to address future needs

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – At the end of this year's legislative session, Senator Ted O’Brien worked to restore $90 million in funding to the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). Today, Senator O'Brien joined local experts and advocates to discuss the importance of supporting quality services for New Yorkers with developmental disabilities and their families.

July 2, 2013
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Opening Of The Justice Center For The Protection Of People With Special Needs

New State Agency Will Implement the Toughest Standards and Practices in the Nation to Protect Over 1 Million New Yorkers with Special Needs and DisabilitiesGovernor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the opening of the Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs, a new state agency that will implement the toughest standards and practices in the nation to protect the special needs community from abuse and neglect. The Justice Center was created through legislation the Governor spearheaded last year to reform how the state cares for people with special needs. The agency will begin operations tomorrow, Sunday, June 30th.

July 1, 2013
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Senate Gives Final Passage to Bill to Protect OPWDD from Funding Cuts

ALBANY - The New York State Senate recently gave final passage to legislation (S4777D), co-sponsored by Senator Catharine Young (R,C,I- Olean), that would protect providers of services for people with disabilities from devastating state funding cuts.

The legislation would appropriate up to $90 million, or as much as is needed, to the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) to protect providers from funding reductions if recommended savings measures fall short of projections.

“This victory was hard fought, but well worth the battle. We must stand up for the state’s most vulnerable citizens. The Senate was able to restore some of the cuts in the state budget, and remained persistent until these vital organizations could remain fully-funded. Agencies will not be forced to cut or reduce programs that are crucial to people with disabilities,” said Senator Young.

June 20, 2013
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SENATE GIVES FINAL PASSAGE TO BILL TO PROTECT OPWDD FROM FUNDING CUTS

The New York State Senate today gave final passage to legislation (S4777D), sponsored by Senator Martin Golden (R-C, Brooklyn), that would protect providers of services for the developmentally disabled from state funding cuts.The legislation would appropriate up to $90 million, or as much as is needed, to the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) to protect providers from funding reductions if recommended savings measures

June 19, 2013
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GALLIVAN ANNOUNCES FUNDING RESTORATIONS TO DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED SUPPORT PROGRAMS

ALBANY – Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, 59th District) announced that the New York State Senate reached an agreement today with the State Assembly and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to restore $90 million in cuts to not-for-profit support services and programs for the state’s developmentally disabled.

During this year’s budget process, Senator Gallivan and the State Senate were successfully able to restore a substantial portion of the initially proposed cuts, but significant reductions remained that threatened the welfare and stability of many individuals and families.

June 18, 2013
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Committee Meeting: Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Meeting

Senate Standing Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Senator David Carlucci, Chair 10:00 AM, Wednesday, June 19, 2013 Room 124 CAP

June 19, 10:00 AM - 10:25 AM
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Senator Flanagan Supports Legislation To Protect Individuals With Developmental Disabilities

Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) today voted to pass legislation (S4777D), which he sponsored in the Senate, that would protect providers of services for the developmentally disabled from state funding cuts.  The legislation would appropriate up to $90 million to the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) to protect providers from funding reductions if recommended savings measures fall short of projections.

June 18, 2013
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Statement by Senator Carlucci on Senate Passage of Bill to Restore $90 Million Dollars Towards OPWDD Providers

"Today, the New York State Senate scored a decisive win for all New Yorkers and offered further proof that we can never put a price tag on our most vulnerable populations.  As a co-sponsor to this legislation (S4777-D), I believe we have struck the right balance of achieving greater cost savings with the creation of a firm safety net. 

"New York State has made tremendous strides in promoting quality care and essential services to those who need it most.  As we begin to implement this plan, we will be able to guarantee that crucial funding will be allocated to our nonprofit service providers instead of falling on the chopping block. 

June 18, 2013
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