December 23, 2021
Update on Build Back Better Act
You might have seen the news that Senator Manchin drew a hard line against voting for the current version of the Build Back Better Act (BBBA). Unfortunately, the President and Senator Manchin were unable to come to an agreement before the end of the year. Senator Manchin's opposition increases pressure on the White House to shift closer to his position. 

However, from what we are hearing, negotiations continue. Our understanding is that Senator Manchin presented an alternative BBBA proposal to the White House, spending the same amount of money, but in different ways. We believe home and community-based services (HCBS) was one of the items he expressed support for, and expect the White House and Senator Manchin to continue negotiations during and after the holiday.

Other items such as an enhanced Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit, improvements to child care, Universal Pre-K, and investments in public housing might not be included in the legislation. We will provide updates to this as we are presented with additional information.
Save-the-Date: NYDA Statewide Rally
New York Disabilities Advocates (NYDA) will hold a rally on January 11 in partnership with The Arc New York, to bring attention to New York’s Direct Support Professional workforce crisis, and a call to action to fund solutions in the Executive Budget. The rally with be held at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center on January 11, 2022 from 11:30 AM - 1 PM. In-person attendance will be limited to ensure health and safety. Virtual attendance will also be an option, and we encourage all to add their presence to the call.

This will be a “Day of Action” to communicate with your legislators the importance of supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). We previously shared NYDA’s updated information sheets, which will be included for distribution for this event and legislative meetings.

Register for Virtual Joint Legislative & Advocacy Forum
Our Joint Legislative & Advocacy Forum with the New York Alliance for Inclusion & Innovation will be held virtually February 14 and 15. The annual forum provides access to information on the 2022-23 Executive Budget proposal, upcoming legislation, advocacy strategies, and opportunities to engage leadership in the Senate and Assembly. Parents and family members, self-advocates, direct support professionals, not-for-profit agencies and other stakeholders will hear from presenters across a wide range of timely topics, reflecting the importance for us to be a strong voice in Albany this year and beyond.

The forum is free to attend, and participants will be able to enjoy the benefits of our program without driving to the NYS Capitol! Join us, and ensure you're informed and engaged as we begin the next stage of our advocacy from March to June.

Governor Hochul Signs Legislation to Help People with Disabilities
This week, Governor Kathy Hochul signed a package of legislation to help individuals with disabilities in New York. Many of these bills were sponsored by Senator John Mannion, Chair of the NYS Senate Standing Committee on Disabilities.

  • Legislation (S.1035-A/A.4685) Allows Individuals with Disabilities to Have an Essential Support Person with them for the Duration of Their Hospitalization 
  • Legislation (S.6293/A.7358) Changes to who Appoints Members to the Developmental Disabilities Advisory Council 
  • Legislation (S.6294-A/A.7381) Requires Developmental Disabilities Advisory Council to Evaluate the State's Response to the COVID-19 State Disaster Emergency for Individuals with Disabilities 
  • Legislation (S.6276-A/A.7223) Requires the President of the Civil Service Commission to Conduct a Study on the Employment of Persons and Veterans with Disabilities 
  • The full press release can be found here.

Have a happy and healthy holiday season. We look forward to collaborating with you as we continue advocating for services, supports and opportunity for New Yorkers with I/DD.
This and all advocacy updates are archived on The Arc New York website for future reference. Please contact us if you have questions regarding any of this information.
Contact: Philip Aydinian, Director of Governmental Affairs 
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