Earlier this year, I stood with my Senate colleagues to block $120 million in cuts to programs that serve developmentally disabled New Yorkers. While our efforts during the 2013-1014 budget negotiations restored some of the funding, programs throughout our state were still in danger due to a $90 million budget shortfall --- threatening to diminish access to important services for thousands of developmentally disabled citizens across the state.
Few issues this year have generated more input from concerned constituents. That's why I am pleased to announce that support for these vital programs will now be protected under legislation that Governor Andrew Cuomo just signed into law.
A working group established earlier this year has come up with new recommendations that achieve savings without impacting important disability-related programs. Under the new law, if these savings fall short of $90 million, state funds will now be used to make up the difference -- ensuring that funding to providers for services will not suffer any further reductions this fiscal year.
I fought to restore these cuts in the State Budget earlier this year and am truly pleased that this new law will guarantee that developmentally disabled New Yorkers and their families will continue to receive the quality care and support that they deserve.