I’m very pleased to let you know that we have come together in Albany to restore the $90 million in cuts to the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). I applaud Governor Andrew Cuomo for working with the Legislature to find a solution to restore this funding.
The agreement will restore the $90 million in cuts that had been included in the 2013-2014 Budget through administrative savings. Any additional shortfall that is not met purely through administrative cost savings would be met through additional appropriations.
I have been a leading voice in the Senate against the cuts to OPWDD from the start and have focused on restoring these funds since the passage of this year's budget. However, none of this would have been possible without so many of you who came to Albany to make a stand and those whose facilities I was invited to tour. These moments, and the incredible people I met, were my greatest inspiration — and a life-changing experience.
In Dutchess and Putnam Counties, we are extremely fortunate to have amazing non-profit organizations that deliver services for the OPWDD and the 853 Coalition Schools that serve children with developmental disabilities. These additional funds will raise the quality of direct care that these children and adults are receiving. This is a great victory for some of the most vulnerable members of our community and their families whose voices were heard and hopes restored.
NYS Senator, 41st District