January 9, 2024

FY25 Executive Budget Highlights

This week, Governor Kathy Hochul unveiled her $233 billion FY25 Executive Budget. In her budget address, she pointedly acknowledged years of “neglect and disinvestment” in New York’s system of supports and services for New Yorkers with I/DD. She committed to reversing that neglect. Unfortunately, the budget she’s proposed is not a real solution if the intent is better support New Yorkers with I/DD, as noted by Erik Geizer, CEO, The Arc New York in response to the proposal.

Some items of note pertaining to our field include:

  • 1.5% Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) effective 4/1/24
  • Expanded authority of DSPs in non-facility based certified programs to perform certain nursing tasks under the instruction of a registered nurse
  • Sunset the state’s COVID-19 paid sick leave by July 31, 2024
  • Clarification for when substantiated reports of abuse or neglect submitted to the Justice Center should be reported to the OMIG

If you would like a deeper dive, we have assembled a more thorough list of Executive Budget actions for review, along with the links to the memos and bill language. Additionally, all budget briefs and documents can be found on the NYS Division of Budget’s website.

For your information and scheduling, the Health and Mental Hygiene budget hearing will take place on Tuesday, February 13 starting at 9:30 AM. As in years past, The Arc New York will submit written testimony and request to give oral testimony at the hearing. You can view the entire hearing schedule here.

Advocate and Rally with Us!

Attention now shifts towards the Senate and Assembly as they proceed through budget hearings and creation of their one-house budget bills. We have updated our one-click letter campaign to reflect our request for the legislature to fund the balance of the requested COLA (1.7% increase) and the Direct Support Wage Enhancement (DSWE). You can find the updated campaign here.

Please share broadly across social media after you complete your letter. The Arc New York’s budget advocacy toolkit provides additional materials and information for your use as you engage with your legislators. We are staying the course!

On Monday, February 12 at 11:00 AM we will once again assemble in the War Room on the second floor of the NYS Capitol to rally with our NYDA partners. While registration is not required to attend, it allows us to plan accordingly and to contact participants prior to the rally, so please register here. If you are bringing a group of people, simply let us know approximately how many. It takes some time to get through security, so plan on arriving at the Capitol by 10:30 AM. You can find additional information about parking, entry and other logistical considerations here

Register for the 2024 Joint Legislative & Advocacy Forum

Registration is now open for our 2024 Joint Legislative & Advocacy forum! The forum is hosted by The Arc New York, NY Alliance, and DDAWNY, and will take place in-person on February 12 & 13, 2024 at The Hart Lounge of The Egg in the Empire State Plaza in Albany immediately following the rally.

The annual Joint Legislative & Advocacy Forum provides access to information on the Executive Budget proposal, upcoming legislation, advocacy strategies, and opportunities to engage leadership from OPWDD, 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.

Find more information, registration, and hotel blocks here. There is no need to create an account. You may register as a guest.

Notable News Stories on the Workforce Crisis

This past week, a Crain’s Health Pulse published an article on the push by disability service providers and advocates for at 3.2% COLA and Direct Support Wage Enhancement. The story featured Michael Seereiter, President and CEO of the New York Alliance for Inclusion and Innovation and Marco Damiani, CEO, AHRC NYC.


Additionally WXXI Rochester interviewed Anne McCaffrey, President and CEO of People Inc, and posed the question: Was disability direct support included in Gov. Hochul's State of the State? 

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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