March 24, 2010
For Immediate Release
Senator Díaz Announces Restoration of Funds to Senior Centers Albany, NY
State Senator Rubén Díaz, Sr. Chairman of the Senate Committee on Aging today announced that the recently-adopted Senate Budget Resolution contains a provision, which he fought for, that effectively restores $25 million for senior centers in New York City.
“I am pleased that the Senate leadership has rejected the Governor’s proposal to move all Title XX funding from mandatory to discretionary programs,” stated Senator Díaz. “This recommendation in the Governor’s Executive Budget would have been devastating, resulting in the possible closure of up to 110 senior centers in New York City. As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Aging, I could not sit idly by and let this happen,” he continued.
The Governor’s proposal would have resulted in the total elimination of Title XX funding for discretionary programs. There are “mandated” services under Title XX which are required to be funded - Adult Protective Services and Domestic Violence programs. There are also “discretionary” services, which are up to the state whether or not to fund – senior centers and day care, for example, are discretionary services, not mandatory. Of the $103 million allocated to the Office of Children and Family Services, $66 million is slated for Adult Protective Services/ Domestic Violence Services, leaving $37 million to be distributed to counties to fund programs at their discretion.
“While senior centers in New York City would have suffered the greatest financial impact, senior programs and other very worthy services throughout the state would have faced similar devastating consequences,” said Senator Díaz.
Potential losses in Title XX discretionary funding would have resulted in: a funding cut of $1.7 million that Westchester County uses for day care for low-income families; a $416,354 cut to the Department of Senior Citizen Affairs in Nassau County; and in Erie County, a decrease of $707,926 including a $171,427 cut in case management services for seniors 60 years of age and older who are eligible for Title XX services, as well as a $66,650 loss for meals on wheels.
“I now call on my colleagues in the Assembly to follow the Senate’s lead to ensure Title XX discretionary funding is restored and that the Governor’s proposal is rejected,” concluded Senator Díaz.