January 11, 2023
Governor's State of the State Address
In her State of the State (SOTS) address yesterday, Governor Hochul promised to lift up all New Yorkers and give them the best possible life. Despite proposals surrounding housing, mental health, healthcare, childcare, and education, none of them were specifically inclusive of the Intellectual Developmental/Disabilities (I/DD) community. We are deeply concerned to see that the disability community and the workforce that provides vital support and services to them were left of the State of the State entirely.

While we are thankful for the investments the governor made last year to help counter the decades-long workforce crisis that the I/DD community has faced, direct-support positions still remain at a nearly 20% vacancy statewide. This vacancy rate has increased 56% since pre-pandemic levels and high staff turnover rates are costing provider agencies over $100M annually, leaving thousands of New Yorkers with I/DD without vital services and places to call home. Stabilizing New York’s care services sector requires continued and meaningful investment and support from the governor and State Legislature.

To uphold governor Hochul’s commitment to all New Yorkers today, we strongly urge the Governor to include the Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) and Direct Support Wage Enhancement (DSWE) proposals in her 2024 Executive Budget. You can learn more about our budget priorities here, and let the Governor know these investments are critical to you by participating in our one-click advocacy campaign.

With the promise of long-term investments for the I/DD community proposed by the Governor last year, we remain hopeful she will remain steadfast in her commitment and re-shape her proposals to include people with I/DD.

You can review the complete 2023 SOTS policy briefing book here. Full remarks and video of the address can be viewed here.
Senate and Assembly Disabilities Committee Assignments
Last week committee assignments were announced for the Senate Standing Committee on Disabilities and the Assembly Standing Committee on People with Disabilities. The Chairs of these committees are Senator John W. Mannion and Assemblymember Rebecca A. Seawright respectively. Additional committee members are listed below:

The Senate Standing Committee on Disabilities

Assembly Standing Committee on People with Disabilities

The Arc New York congratulates these representatives on their appointments and thank them for their desire to support people with I/DD in this important capacity. We look forward to developing relationships with new members and continuing to work closely with those who have served in the past. Please take a moment to explore their bios and reach out for an introduction!
Disability Law Series: Civil Rights and Individuals with Developmental Disabilities
The Government Law Center and the Institute for Aging and Disability Law are partnering to host the 2023 Disability Law Series: Civil Rights and Individuals with Developmental Disabilities. Each forum is free, open to the public, and will take place via Zoom.

Each of the five two-hour forums begin at 1 PM and will expore a different topic. The full schedule can be found below:
  • January 12: Overview of Civil Rights and People with Developmental Disabilities
  • February 9: Consent in Health Care Decisions
  • March 9: Consent of Adults in Adoption and Marriage Decisions
  • March 30: Challenges in Guardianship for People with Developmental Disabilities and Strategies to Address Them
  • April 13: Protecting the Civil Rights of People with Developmental Disabilities: Potential Statutory Reforms

CLE credits will be available for practicing attorneys. Pre-registration is required. Additional session information and registration can be found here.

Want to do More?
Visit The Arc New York Advocacy Center for more ways to take action, including campaigns to support federal funding, employment opportunities, and our dedicated workforce. You can also find tools and resources to help you be a stronger advocate for New Yorkers with disabilities.

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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