February 3, 2023
Budget Update: Call to Action!
On Wednesday Governor Kathy Hochul released her FY 2024 Executive Budget. In her budget address she reaffirmed her commitment to providing opportunity for every New Yorker, and asked if her administration "met the moment" of making the New York dream a reality for all. 

Unfortunately, the answer is a resounding no for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), their families, and the hardworking staff who support people with I/DD every day.

The Governor’s proposed budget includes only a 2.5% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for OPWDD services, which is a full 6% less than the actual increase in inflation. There is no additional funding to support direct care worker wage increases or special education schools.

You can send a short and pointed immediate response to the governor and legislature right now with our one-click advocacy tool!

Last year, the Governor promised to “Rebuild and Regrow the Healthcare Workforce by 20% Over the Next Five Years,” and made an initial investment of a 5.4% COLA in addition to bonuses for healthcare workers. Yet, there is no such investment this year to make good on that promise.

Over the coming weeks we will need EVERYONE to engage their legislators, communicating the need to fully fund the COLA in their one-house budget bills. Here are some upcoming activities and opportunities to help strengthen our message:
  • February 13 Rally in the War Room of the Capitol, 2nd floor at 11:30 AM. Join us and hundreds of advocates as we rally support for resources desperately needed for people with I/DD and for wage increases for those who support them REGISTER HERE!
  • February 13 &14 Joint Legislative & Advocacy Forum: presented by The Arc New York and New York Alliance for Inclusion and Innovation. Hear from OPWDD Commissioner Neifeld, an expert panel of budget and education experts, and members of the Senate and Assembly Disabilities Committees. Following the morning session on the 14th we will visit legislators to send our message to fully fund the COLA and wage increases for front line workers. REGISTER HERE!
  • February 16 Budget Hearing: Erik Geizer, Chief Executive Officer for The Arc New York will deliver statements to the Assembly and Senate HEARING SCHEDULE
  • February through April 1: Schedule appointments with local legislators now. If you unsure who your legislator is now, find out here and give them a call or schedule a visit. Every connection helps!

Additional information about the budget will be shared over the coming days and weeks. Thank you for your advocacy and diligence!

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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