Senate Republicans today announced they would restore millions of dollars for important women’s health programs - - including initiatives to help women overcome the trauma of rape, eating disorders and breast cancer- - that were targeted for reduction as part of the Governor’s Executive Budget.
Approximately $8 million in cuts in these areas were rejected as part of the Senate’s one-house budget plan, which was expected to be acted on later today.
Under the Executive Budget proposal, the Governor recommended shifting funding for 16 women’s health and wellness programs into six discretionary “pools,” and then subjected those “pools” to a 10 percent, across-the-board cut.
“This funding is important to the health and well-being of millions of women across this state, and my Republican colleagues and I are pleased and proud to include it as part of the Senate’s budget resolution,” Senate Republican Conference Leader Dean Skelos said. “We urge the Governor to consider the impact of these harmful cuts, and ask him to join us in standing up for women.”
“The proposed cuts to important women’s health initiatives would do irreparable harm to many of these programs,” said Senator Kemp Hannon (R-Nassau). “Many of these services have been cut to the bone over the years, and funding important women’s health and wellness programs is one of my top priorities. All the restorations are important, including those to the Adelphi University Breast Cancer Program, which is staffed with one hundred trained volunteers, and is the only New York Statewide Toll-free Breast Cancer Hotline.”
“Working families and single moms have had to make many hard choices during these tough financial times. We don’t want their health care decisions to be among them,” said Senator Betty Little. “Putting off care often costs more in the long run. We’d like to see funding continued for these worthwhile programs to keep women well and productive.”
Among the programs and initiatives slated to be cut were the Evidence Based Cancer Services Program (EBCSP), the Adelphi University Breast Cancer Program, SNAP/WIC, the Safe Motherhood Initiative, the Prenatal and Postnatal Home Visitation Program, as well as rape crisis center funding, among others.
The state’s new fiscal year begins April 1; however, the Legislature and Governor are on an accelerated timetable and hope to complete the budget by March 21, which would mark the earliest enacted budget in more than 30 years.