O'Mara criticizes cut to state Office of People with Developmental Disabilities

Thomas F. O'Mara

March 27, 2013

Albany, N.Y., March 27—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) today criticized Governor Andrew Cuomo for failing to more fully roll back his cut to the state Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) in the final 2013-14 state budget.

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, however, would only agree to a $30-million restoration, or just one-quarter of his original cut.  Cuomo administration officials have continued to argue that the reduced funding will only impact administrative costs at OPWDD.

“It’s one of the major disappointments of this year’s budget.  The final restoration is not enough and it jeopardizes care for one of our most vulnerable populations,” said O’Mara.  “I will keep working with many of my colleagues in the Senate and Assembly to do anything and everything we possibly can to offset the impact of Governor Cuomo’s unreasonable cut.  I share the concerns of local service providers across the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions  that this cut goes beyond addressing administrative waste and inefficiencies.  It’s a direct threat to the programs and services that are the lifelines for people with disabilities and their families, and that’s not right.”