Advocates from AIM and other independent living centers across the state will rally in Albany on Monday, Feb. 12, pushing for more funding for programs that help people with disabilities.
The New York Association on Independent Living (NYAIL), of which AIM and many other ILCs are members, is organizing the event at the Legislative Office Buildings. There will be a rally followed by meetings with lawmakers.
The top priority is a $5 million increase in base funding for ILCs. Gov. Andrew Cuomo kept funding flat at $13 million in his executive budget proposal, but that could change before the final budget is passed by the state Legislature.
ILCs have been underfunded for more than a decade, despite an increased demand for their services and rising costs of providing them. And because ILCs help transition and divert people from costly long-term care facilities, every dollar invested in funding ILCs saves the state $9 in institutionalization costs, according to the New York State Department of Education.
Other budget priorities include:
Reactivating the Office for the Advocate for Persons with Disabilities to provide a voice for the disability community in state government.
Establishing a high-needs community rate cell to provide managed long-term care plans with enough funding so those with the most significant disabilities can get the care they need to live in the community.
Addressing a crisis-level shortage of home care workers by paying them a living wage.
Increasing funding for the Ombudsman Program, which advocates for people in long-term care facilities; and NY Connects/No Wrong Door, which connects people with long-term care supports and services. AIM offers both programs.
Increasing funding for Access to Home and creating a Visitability Tax Credit. These programs help pay for crucial accessibility modifications in homes and address the shortage of affordable, accessible housing.
The event will be held in conjunction with the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Association of New York State.
To read more about advoacy priorities, click
. Contact your state senator and assemblyman to voice your support.