Assembly members Nicole Malliotakis and Harvey Weisenberg attend a press conference in support of legislation restoring funding to programs and services for the developmentally disabled.
As part of the New York State Assembly Legislative Disabilities Awareness Day, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I-Brooklyn, Staten Island) recently joined Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg and a bipartisan group of Assembly colleagues to advocate for Assembly Bill 6692-A, which would restore the $90 million cut to programs and services for the developmentally disabled made in this year's state budget. Malliotakis, who is a co-sponsor of the legislation, also supported a budget amendment to prevent the funding reduction from occurring in the first place, and expressed her gratitude to all of the bill's supporters for coming together on such a critical issue.
"The budget cuts to the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) threatened the ability of our local organizations to provide the critical programs and services that our community relies on," said Malliotakis. "This legislation will right the wrong made in this year's budget, and I am so pleased to see Assembly members from both sides of the aisle putting politics aside to deliver such sorely-needed funding for New York's most vulnerable citizens and their families."
"Not-for-profit agencies provide most of the services in New York State to more than 126,000 New Yorkers with developmental disabilities," said Paul Cassone, Executive Director & CEO of The Guild for Exceptional Children and chair of the Brooklyn Developmental Disabilities Council. "These agencies provide care more effectively and efficiently than the state can do itself, yet they were targeted this year for devastating budget cuts that threaten their fiscal stability and the well-being of vulnerable New Yorkers. The partnership between government and the not-for-profit sector has proven beneficial for individuals with developmental disabilities and the taxpayers of New York for more than 60 years. These cuts could cause many agencies to close their doors and put thousands of vulnerable individuals at risk. We strongly support Assembly Bill 6692-A, which would restore the $90 million cut to not-for-profits and ensure the safety, well-being and quality of life for so many vulnerable New Yorkers."
"As I said the day we voted on the 2013-2014 New York State budget, that vote was not the end of the conversation related to the budget of the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities," said Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn), sponsor of Senate Bill 4777-C, which would also restore the $90 million cut. "The people of our state most in need, and their families, deserve the chance for us to provide the very best programs to meet their needs, and provide a respectable quality of life. This legislation will guarantee that the services available will not be affected by the budget cuts."
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis attends a press conference with Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg and his wife Ellen, who are the parents of a developmentally disabled son, in support of legislation restoring funding to programs and services for the developmentally disabled.