The Arc New York Praise Governor and Legislature for Historic Budget
The Arc New York President John Kowalcyzk and Chief Executive Officer Erik Geizer sent a letter of praise to Governor Hochul, Senate President Pro Tempore and Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, and Assembly Speaker Heastie for their support of the I/DD sector in the FY23 budget.
Kowalczyk and Geizer said that the governor and the legislative leaders “…demonstrated a commitment to the voluntary provider sector, our direct care workforce, and the individuals and families we support.” They went on to state that “…these investments are the start of a much larger conversation about how to adequately fund equitable wages for our dedicated workforce, and ensure sustained investment for New York’s system supports and services.”
Send Your Own Message of Thanks for Investments in the I/DD Sector
We created a one-click campaign for you to send your own message to your representatives, thanking them for keeping their promise to support people with I/DD. Despite outside pressures, the ardent advocacy of The Arc New York Network helped them stay the course throughout the budget process. Sending a letter of thanks is a way to let leaders know that their actions matter and remind them of the important work ahead. The letter can be personalized, so please feel free to tell your story from the heart.
Please take a moment to extend your thanks and remind your representatives how critical it is to support this and ongoing investments in the direct care workforce and for people with I/DD. Your words and actions drive change, as demonstrated with the great advocacy success realized this week!
Next Phase for The Arc New York Advocacy
We are shifting our focus to a couple of key items, including a personal income tax credit for direct care staff on the state level and efforts on the federal level to invest $150 billion in-home and community-based services (HCBS) through budget reconciliation. As you might recall, this initial effort was presented as the Build Back Better Act/Better Care Better Jobs Act.
Our proposal for a personal income tax credit for DSPs (S7643-A/A9200-A) was not included in the Executive or One-House budgets, but the legislation remains active in the NYS Senate and Assembly. A personal income tax credit is a critical solution that our sector needs to stabilize and reinvigorate our sorely depleted workforce. This tax credit would provide recruitment and retention incentives to these vital employees, recognize their essential work, and address the significant workforce challenges of our Mental Health and I/DD service systems. You can send a letter to your state representative here supporting this important legislation.
The investment of $150 billion in HCBS through budget reconciliation includes substantial funding for states to expand access to Medicaid HCBS and addresses the decades-long workforce crisis and our current emergency. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to secure the future of HCBS supports for our loved ones and create a sustainable workforce model to aid in the recruitment and retention of a skilled direct care workforce. States would be eligible for a permanent 10-percentage-point increase in the federal Medicaid match for delivering HCBS, as well as enhanced funding for administrative activities associated with improvement efforts. It is imperative that we impress upon our federal representatives the need for this funding. You can send a letter to your federal representatives in support of HCBS investment here.
Registration for The Arc US Webinar: Talking About Dementia With People With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
On Thursday, April 28 at 2:00 PM, The Arc US will offer a webinar focused on aiding the challenging discussions with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) experiencing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The session will discuss the imperative that an increased health risk or a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) be discussed with people with IDD using language and concepts that are understandable and respectful, as well as other related topics.
Register for the webinar here.
Nomination of Commissioner and President, New York State Civil Service Commission
Governor Hochul nominated Timothy Hogues to serve as the Commissioner and President of the New York State Civil Service Commission. Mr. Hogues previously served as Personnel Commissioner for Erie County.
More information on Timothy Hogues can be found in the Governor’s press release here.