A bill that’s passed both the New York Senate and Assembly would restore $90 million in funding for the state’s Office of People with Developmental Disabilities, North Country Now is reporting.
Earlier this year, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed $120 million in cuts to the budget of the state’s Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). Why? because the federal government discovered service providers for people with developmental disabilities had been overpaid by $1.1 billion dollars, and they wanted (at least some of) that money back.
New York state negotiated with the feds, and ultimately were able to reduce that amount to $500 million — but this still meant that the state budgeted cuts of $90 million from the OPWDD budget. In a press release this week, New York State Sen. Pattie Ritchie said she’s been working to restore that money to OPWDD since then:
After the budget announcement, I made it a priority to visit with the families of developmentally disabled individuals, and the agencies providing these vital services. In doing so, I was able to get their insights on how these cuts would impact the vital care individuals with physical and developmental disabilities receive. Although Albany assured us there would be no impact on local agencies, I still favored full restoration of the funds.
Ritchie co-sponsored legislation to reverse the cuts (along with many others). State Assembly members Ken Blankenbush, Marc W. Butler and Addie J. Russell all voted in support of the measure. As of Wednesday afternoon, the bill is wending its way from the Assembly to the governor’s office, where New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo can sign it into law.