O'Mara applauds new law restoring funding for the state Office of People with Developmental Disabilities: 'We never gave up'

Thomas F. O'Mara

September 30, 2013

Albany, N.Y., September 30—Legislation co-sponsored by Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) to restore a $90-million cut in funding to the state Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) that was included in this year’s state budget earlier this year, has been signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The governor announced the signing over the weekend.

“It’s one of this year’s most important actions. We never gave up on removing this threat to the programs and services that are the lifelines for people with disabilities and their families,”  said O’Mara, who joined an overwhelming number of his Senate and Assembly colleagues following the adoption of the state budget in late March to continue urging Cuomo to restore the OPWDD cut.  

Under the new law O’Mara co-sponsored (S.4777/A.6692-C), if a previously established working group is unable to achieve recommended savings and cost efficiencies without impacting essential programs and services, state funds will be utilized to make up the difference and fully restore funding for OPWDD.

During budget negotiations earlier this year, O’Mara said that both the Senate and Assembly had called for rejecting and fully restoring the governor’s proposed $120 million, or six-percent, across-the-board reduction to OPWDD – the lead state agency overseeing state assistance to programs and services for people with developmental disabilities.

The governor at the time, however, would only agree to a $30-million restoration, or just one-quarter of his original cut – leaving the $90-million gap.

[Read more in the Corning LeaderWETM-TV]