April 1, 2022
Budget Negotiations Reach ImpasseTime to Call!
On Thursday, Governor Hochul announced that budget negotiations are ongoing with Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Heastie, signaling that this year’s budget agreement would not be completed by the April 1 deadline. The governor stated that, "New Yorkers should know that progress is being made and that we will put in the time it takes to reach an agreement that delivers for them and moves our state forward."   

Although we are not hearing that our top-line requests are the major points of contention, we must stay diligent with our advocacy by continuing to reach out to lawmakers during this critical time. We are focused on forwarding the adoption of the 11% COLA found in the Assembly one-house budget bill. This investment would make meaningful progress toward stabilizing our workforce and sustaining essential supports and services.

The most important action we can take in the next week is to call our legislators and tell them what we want in the Enacted Budget. More information about The Arc New York's Budget Priorities can be found here. If you have a close relationship with your legislators, please use this opportunity to engage them one-on-one to build even more momentum. You can find your legislator’s contact information here and additional resources for your conversation can be found in our Budget Advocacy Toolkit

Our updated one-click campaign will send our budget requests for the 11% COLA and a DSP income tax credit directly to your legislators. If you have yet to send your message, please do it now, and if you have already participated, send it again! Using this link will automatically send two different versions the letter, one to the Governor and the other to your Assembly and Senate representatives. Please share the campaign widely with your members, friends, other organizations, post on your social media accounts, and reiterate we need one last push to achieve this new advocacy goal. 
In addition to your own representatives, there are some key members to approach in the coming days. The Assembly and Senate convene a General Conference Committee, and sub-committees based on topic. Here is the full list of Assembly and Senate General Conference Committee Appointments. Thank you for your advocacy and taking action, our united voices are making a big impact!

Disability Advocates Rally in Washington DC
On Wednesday, disability rights advocates from across the nation rallied in front of the U.S. Capitol to show the strength of the disability community. Speakers urged Congress to support and fund community living and home and community-based services (HCBS) so people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) can lead integrated lives with the supports they need.

The Arc New York Past President Laura Kennedy shared her personal story about the importance of HCBS, along with other speakers, including people with disabilities, family members, direct care staff, Senator Sherrod Brown, Representative Ayanna Pressley, and other leaders in the disability community. Watch a recording of the rally here!
Webinar on Protecting Coverage After Public Health Emergency
The Administration for Community Living (ACL) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) invites you to join a conversation with the disability and aging communities about steps they are taking to protect coverage and access to healthcare and expand services and supports, including investments in home and community-based services, and planning for the end of the public health emergency (PHE). It is likely that the PHE will end in July and the Medicaid redetermination processes may begin soon after, although negotiations continue. We hope you can join the discussion with CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, ACL Acting Administrator Alison Barkoff, and others from CMS and ACL leadership. 

The webinar will take place this Monday, April 4, from 2:30-3:30 PM. You must register for this session in order to receive the link. Communication Access Real-Time Translation (CART) and American Sign Language (ASL) will be provided. If you need additional accommodations, please contact Marcia Gordon at Marcia.Gordon@acl.hhs.gov.
The Arc New York Joins Hundreds in Letter to President Biden on HCBS
The Arc New York joined Caring Across GenerationsThe Arc of the United States, and hundreds of other organizations in a letter to President Biden voicing support for inclusion of the $150 billion Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) investments from Build Back Better (BBB) in the upcoming federal budget reconciliation package. We are seeing some movement forward on this important funding and need to keep HCBS front of mind for all Members of Congress and the Administration!
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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