I On Politics

‘Help Foster Kids w/ Developmental Disabilities'

With the New York State legislature having finished its 2023 session, legislators Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi and Senator John Mannion are renewing calls for Governor Hochul to sign A.2798/S.3119 into law. If enacted, the bill would require New York State to identify the total number of children who are in foster care and have I/DD, with the ultimate goal of referring children to available supports and services.

Prior to passing the Senate and Assembly in this session, the bill passed the legislature in 2022, with Governor Hochul vetoing the measure in December.

Hevesi and Mannion – representing their committees on Children & Families, and Disabilities, respectively – immediately took to working with partners at the start of 2023 to put the legislation back on the Governor’s desk. The legislators succeeded in doing so, with unanimous support in both houses of the legislature.

“If we don’t know the extent of this problem, we can’t solve the problem. Thousands of kids with I/DD could become homeless after leaving foster care, solely because our state doesn’t have a mechanism to identify and help them,” said Assemblyman Hevesi, Chair of the Committee on Children & Families. “Our partners at OCFS are fantastic in implementing supports, but they need the go ahead from Governor Hochul in order to do this. Anything short of a full commitment here from the Executive will leave us unable to address many preventable and likely life-long problems for foster youth.”

Senator John W. Mannion, Chairman of the Disabilities Committee said, “I sponsored this legislation to help ensure that children with I/DD in foster care receive the support and services they need. The data collection requirements in this bill will give us a better understanding of this population, and the evaluation and analysis provisions will help us improve the way we serve them. I thank Assemblyman Hevesi for his continued partnership and the many advocacy groups who have worked diligently alongside us to get this legislation passed by both houses.”


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