"I am proud we were able to reach an agreement that will undoubtedly stave off devastating cuts that would negatively impact our most vulnerable populations. As Chairman of the Senate Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee, I have met with countless individuals throughout the state who understand the crushing blow these service cuts would have on our nonprofit service providers who care for the developmentally disabled.
"While initially we were able to restore a portion of these cuts towards OPWDD providers, I have remained steadfast and consistent from the beginning in my commitment towards restoring the full $120 million dollars slashed from our budget. As I have said before, we cannot balance the budget on the backs of the developmentally disabled. It is also why I originally signed onto bipartisan legislation (S.4777) in the Senate – and sponsored by Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg (D-Long Beach) – that would seek to restore the full initial amount.
"This legislation is a clear victory for all New Yorkers who care deeply for those who cannot care for themselves. A working group has been convened to find $90 million dollars in savings without negatively impacting crucial services. Their intention is clear -- implement a real savings plan that will streamline administrative costs, undertake audits to find greater efficiencies, and work to transition to more integrated programs. In the event this total amount is not reached, the state will appropriate funding that is needed to be restored.
"I would like to thank Governor Cuomo on this vital issue and his support for protecting our most vulnerable populations. This is a proud victory for all New Yorkers."
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