NYS Senators, NYS Assembly: Restore the Cut to Western New York Disabled Services [OPWDD]
Action Needed Before March 31st !
From Learning Disabilities of Western New York: http://www.ldaofwny.org/
There is an effort being coordinated by groups representing voluntary agencies serving the developmentally disabled regarding the 4.5% cut. This effort amounts to calling Majority party members in both houses to urge them to vote against the 4.5% OPWDD voluntary cut in the budget proposed by their leaders. To do this, we want them to speak on behalf and vote for a "hostile amendment" which the Minority Parties in both houses will propose.
Again, we need as many Majority Party members as possible to make a big issue of this on the floor of both houses for the leaders, the Governor and the press to see. Minority Party members are expected to vote for the amendment. The aim of this amendment is to generate pressure through the many rank and file members who were genuinely supportive of full restoration.
The issue: Albany, N.Y. (WKBW) - Senators spend most of the night on Tuesday into Wednesday making tough decisions on the state budget. The big issue was the $90 million cuts to the disabled.
Taking away funds would cut services for thousand of people across Western New York. One program that will be affected is at the Starlight Studio. It is an art program for the disabled that allows them to use their talent to communicate. For many people, art is the only way of expressing their feelings. Experts said cutting these programs could lead to major frustration and anxiety for the disabled.
"We all care about the developmentally disabled and we want to improve the quality of life for them and their families. We did our best to minimize their pain. We minimized the cuts from six to four in a half," Senator Kathleen Marchione said.
Another concern for those against the cuts is that there are millions of dollars going toward entertainment, yet taking away from the disabled. In the budget, about $52 million will go toward the renovations of Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park. There will also be about $5 million going to move "The Tonight Show" from its home in Los Angeles to New York City. Many people feel the state is putting entertainment before the disabled and other important programs.
The budget will head to the State Assembly where it will be debated. It is expected to pass before the March 31st deadline.
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