NY Connects Letter to the Governor

Ruben Diaz

November 19, 2010

November 19, 2010

Honorable David A Paterson, Governor

State Capitol

Albany, New York 12224

Dear Governor Paterson:

I have recently been informed that funding in the amount of $5.1 million for NY Connects: Choices for Long Term Care that was approved by the Legislature and signed into law by you as part of the 2010-2011 State Fiscal Year Budget has been withheld by the Division of the Budget.  This has resulted in contracts not being made available to the New York State Office for the Aging and the local Area Agencies on Aging who operate this worthwhile and important program.  Most importantly it has deprived the elderly and disabled of much needed services.

The Legislature approved this funding as part of the SFY 2010-2011 budget.  You did not veto   this funding.  Under what authority did DOB withhold funding that was legally adopted?

This action by DOB is quite shortsighted for the following reasons:

Ÿ  NY Connects has been shown to prevent or delay more costly institutional care; and

Ÿ  Maintaining the NY Connects program is imperative because the Federal Government has recognized the importance of Aging & Disability Resource Centers, which is the NY Connects Program; and

Ÿ  According to the ADRC calculator tool developed by the Lewin Group, NY Connects saved New York State $28.5 million in Medicaid costs in 2008; and

 Ÿ  Current and future funding through the U.S. Administration on Aging and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, as well as the Affordable Health Care Act, is predicated on having an existing ADRC; and

 Ÿ  Most importantly, dismantling the NY Connects program would jeopardize New York State’s ability to access competitive grants and funding. 

 As New York State continues to face a multi-billion dollar deficit, it can ill-afford to be out of the running on future funding opportunities.

 I urge you to release funding for NY Connects: Choices for Long Term Care immediately, and to complete the contract approval process so that the current program year (October 1, 2010 to September 30, 2011) may begin as quickly as possible.



State Senator Rubén Díaz, Chairman

New York State Senate Committee on Aging

Cc:       Robert Megna, Director

            NYS Division of the Budget

            NYS Senate Committee on Aging

            Assemblymember Jeffrey Dinowitz, Chairman

            NYS Assembly Committee on Aging                      

 NYS Assembly Committee on Aging

           Greg Olsen, Acting Director

           NYS Office for the Aging

           Laura Cameron, Executive Director

           NYS Association of Area Agencies on Aging

           NYS Senate Aging Advisory Council

 RD: cbs