September 29, 2023

WE NEED YOUR VOICE! Our Budget Campaign Has Begun!

Thanks to your ardent advocacy, we have achieved a great deal over past several years, but we must continue the fight to ensure that the foundation of supports and services that enable people with I/DD to live a person-centered life is preserved and advanced.

Our advocacy efforts for the 2024-25 budget are well underway, and we're calling on you to help us leverage the full power of The Arc New York for the fight!

One-Click Campaign Launch

We've launched a one-click campaign in advance of the rally to inform the governor and other representatives of our budget requests. We urge you to add your voice here. By participating, you will quickly send a letter to your elected representatives to tell them support for New Yorkers with I/DD must be a priority in this year's budget. This will be the first of many advocacy opportunities to come!

Capitol Rally November 15

We are pleased to announce that The Arc New York and our NYDA partners will be holding a rally at the NYS Capitol on Wednesday, November 15 at 11:00 AM in the War Room on the 2nd floor of the NYS Capitol building. Our goal is to get 400-500 people there as a show of force and solidarity from across the state.

We've created a save-the-date flyer with a link to register for the event. Please distribute this widely to your family, friends, and on social media, and register for the rally here. Information on logistics, messaging for signs, and parking will be released in a future update. Registration is very important, as we are gauging interest for coordinated group transportation.

If you have any questions, please email Philip Aydinian, The Arc New York Director of Governmental Affairs at [email protected].


FY25 Budget Advocacy Resources

We have created resources to help equip advocates in advance of the Capitol Rally and meetings with representatives. These resources include:

These resources can be found in our online Budget Advocacy Toolkit. Additional advocacy tools will be added as our efforts continue!

2024-25 Budget Asks

The Arc New York works in conjunction with other provider agencies as New York Disability Advocates (NYDA) to define fieldwide budget asks, and advocate with a unified voice. The Arc New York and our NYDA partners are calling for:

  • Inclusion of the statutory 3.2% Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA)   
  • Establishment of a Direct Support Wage Enhancement (DSWE)

The DSWE is a targeted workforce investment. Through the DSWE, provider agencies will receive $4,000 per eligible employee to enhance the hourly rate of pay for all staff that have direct care/support responsibilities for individuals with I/DD. This wage enhancement will enable provider agencies to raise wages by approximately $2.00 per hour.

The annual COLA is intended to increase budgets appropriately to adjust for inflation and rising costs. Over the past decade, inflation rose nearly 30%, yet providers of supports and services received only 10.5% COLA over that same period. Our system only received 1/3 of what was needed to appropriately sustain supports and services for New Yorkers with I/DD. Direct care workers and people with I/DD are not 1/3 of a person and should not be treated as such. 

Our 2024-25 ask is derived from NYS statute, which states the annual COLA will be calculated based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) from July of the previous year. Upholding the COLA will support the increased cost of delivering quality services and sustain supports for the future.

Additional advocacy resources and strategies will be forthcoming, including a broader calendar of events and advocacy opportunities in the coming year.

Letter to the Editor Responds to TU Editorial on Care Crisis

This week the Times Union published a letter to the editor response to their Editorial Board’s piece on, “New York’s Care Crisis,” which we highlighted in the September 15 update. Karen Nagy, Margaret Raustiala, and members of Save our Services spoke specifically to the needs of direct care staff who support people with I/DD saying, “Gov. Kathy Hochul and the Legislature must include a substantial investment in direct service professional wages in the upcoming state budget and, equally important, a plan to bring their wages to a level commensurate with what is required of them.”

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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