July 1, 2022
The Arc New York Thanks Governor for Special Education Investment, Encourages Further Action
The Arc New York joined a coalition of special education advocacy organizations in sending a letter to Governor Hochul expressing appreciation for her decision to authorize interim plus non-public and special act special education programming rates for the 2022-23 school year. This victory follows months of advocacy by the coalition on behalf of 843 and 4410 special education schools, including a joint advocacy letter sent to the Governor on May 25, 2022.

The coalition also encouraged the Governor’s consideration of A.10191 Benedetto/S.9132 Mannion, which would further address short-term funding needs by amending the FY23 enacted budget to ensure that the calculation of the amount authorized to be retained by a school or program is conducted prior to certain applications of the methodology. The letter also requests consideration of A.10192 Benedetto/S.9134 Mannion, which would authorize interim “plus” rates beyond the 2022-23 school year.

The Times Union published an article last week, providing an overview of special education policy issues, and how they affect our schools and students. The story clearly captures the reasons for our ongoing advocacy. We will continue to keep you updated as conversations between New York State Education Department and the Division of Budget on rate methodology continue.

The Arc New York Encourages Governor to Sign Legislation
The Arc New York CEO Erik Geizer sent letters of support to Governor Hochul encouraging her to sign three pieces of legislation directly concerning the I/DD community into law.

  • S.8442 (Mannion)/A.9920 (Abinanti) requires the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) to process eligibility determinations within 120 days of receipt. It also requires OPWDD to report publicly quarterly data on the application process, including the number and type of applications received, the number of applications approved, the average timeframe for approval, the number of pending applications, the applications that were disapproved or rejected, and the reasons for such disapproval or rejection. The letter of support can be found here.
  • S.7578-C (Mannion)/A.8549-C (Burdick) updates New York’s Preferred Source program (PSP), which enhances employment opportunities for people with disabilities. The letter of support can be found here.
  • S.7746-B (Mannion)/A.8915-B (Burdick) directs OPWDD to establish a voluntary training and certification program for employers that have taken the OPWDD EmployAbility Pledge. Letter of support can be found here.

Data transparency pertaining to eligibility and approval of supports and services is of great importance for people with I/DD, their families, and providers. Discovering new ways to sustain and expand opportunities for integrated employment in the community for people with I/DD is one of our core advocacy priorities. We will continue to advocate for improvements to these policies. 

NYS Primary Election Results: Hochul Declares Victory
Voting closed Tuesday in Primary Elections for statewide offices and NYS Assembly. Governor Kathy Hochul and Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado have declared victory in the Democratic Primary Elections for Governor and Lieutenant Governor, garnering 66% and 57% of votes respectively. They will run together as a consolidated Democratic ticket in the General Election this November.

U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin and his running mate Alison Esposito have declared victory in the Republican Primary Election for Governor and Lieutenant Governor, garnering 44% of votes. They will run together as a consolidated Republican ticket in the General Election this November.

The unofficial results for Governor, Lt. Governor, and NYS Assembly can be found on the NYS Board of Elections website.

Congressional and State Senate Primary Elections will be held Tuesday, August 23, with early voting running from August 13 - August 21. Check with your local county board of elections for primaries in your area.

Reminder: White House Stakeholder Call for Disabled Americans
The White House offers weekly calls, which serve as an opportunity to hear directly from Administration officials on initiatives and announcements that impact Americans with disabilities. You can register for the calls here. Feel free to share widely with your networks! ASL and CART will be provided. 

The next calls will be held
Thursday, July 7th at 2pm ET
Thursday, July 14th at 2pm ET
Thursday, July 21st at 2pm ET
Thursday, July 28th at 2pm ET

The White House will also offer a special session Friday, July 15 at 4 PM regarding the status of two reports called for in the Presidential Memorandum on Addressing the Long-Term Effects of COVID-19. You can register for the session and find additional information 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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