Senator Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island) and Assemblyman Michael Cusick (D-Mid Island) today announce the FY 2014-2015 state budget includes $750,000 in funding to maintain 24 employees at the Institute for Basic Research (IBR) .
In February Lanza and Cusick called upon their respective leaders in the Assembly and Senate to include the funding in the budget for the majority of employees at IBR who are solely employed through the use of grants. These grants are provided from the Research Foundation of Mental Hygiene (RFMH), a not-for-profit membership corporation which assists the research and training objectives of the New York State Department of Mental Hygiene (DMH) and its component agencies, including the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD).
Senator Lanza said: “The research and services that the Institute for Basic Research provides to the developmentally disabled and autism community on Staten Island is critically important. This is why Assemblyman Cusick and I made continued funding for IBR a top priority, and we are pleased to have been able to secure this funding in this year’s State Budget allowing IBR to continue their important work. Again I would like to thank Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, Speaker Sheldon Silver and Assemblyman Mike Cusick for their work in securing this important funding.”
Assemblyman Cusick said: “I want to thank Speaker Silver and the leadership in the Senate in for their leadership in negotiating the state budget and for including the money to save these important jobs. IBR is a one of a kind research institute specifically designed to study and evaluate the cause of developmental disabilities including Autism and Down syndrome. Early diagnosis along with prevention and treatment methods are critical to saving lives and improving the quality of life of our children and adults living with developmental disabilities. The Senator and I made this a budget priority and I am happy that we were able to save these vital jobs of these dedicated individuals who work at IBR.”
Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said: “It was critically important to provide funding for the IBR, not only to protect the jobs of employees, but so they can continue their vital scientific research on developmental disabilities such as Autism and Down’s syndrome. I applaud Senator Lanza and Assemblyman Cusick for their efforts to ensure that IBR funding was included in the final state budget. This was vital for Staten Island, the entire state, and for the families of individuals with developmental disabilities.”
Speaker Sheldon Silver said: “The researchers and scientists at the Institute for Basic Research (IBR) provide a unique service that benefits not only New Yorkers, but people across the country. The Assembly Majority continues to support IBR’s ongoing analysis of disabilities, including autism and down syndrome, which lead to better outcomes and improved quality of life for individuals with disabilities and their families.”
The lawmakers reiterated their commitment to the Institute for Basic Research acknowledging the Institute has been a salvation for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families since it was founded in 1967.