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Old 10-09-2013, 04:49 AM
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Soapbox Goldfeder Bill To Restore Funding Cuts For Developmental Disability Programs Signed B

Goldfeder Bill To Restore Funding Cuts For Developmental Disability Programs Signed By Governor

Over $90M restored for New York’s most vulnerable citizens to receive the necessary funding for supportive care and services

Howard Beach, Queens—Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway) announced that legislation he not only sponsored, but strongly advocated for on the Assembly floor, was signed into law by Governor Cuomo to restore more than 90 million dollars in funding for community based services through the state Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). This funding will be used for community based services that provide essential supportive services for families with disabilities.
“The services offered by OPWDD are not luxuries but integral services that families depend on every day of their lives,” said Assemblyman Goldfeder. “These programs dramatically improve the lives of people with special needs and while they never should have been cut from the budget, I am happy to see the funds restored.”

Not-for-profit, community based services, provide support to more than 80 percent of people with developmental disabilities, and have already sustained more than $350 million in cuts over the past few years.
“HeartShare is most grateful that the New York State Legislature, especially Assembly Members Phil Goldfeder, Harvey Weisenberg, and Governor Cuomo saw fit to ensure that the resources remained intact so that HeartShare, along with similar agencies, can continue to provide quality programs to those who need them the most," said William R. Guarinello, President and CEO of HeartShare Human Services of New York. "The threat of significant and widespread cuts to essential services for children and adults diagnosed with developmental disabilities, including autism, ran deep across the community based service sector, potentially having a devastating impact on voluntary agencies such as HeartShare. Reduced funding would have prompted program closures, directly affecting thousands of individuals with special needs who rely on the services provided each day by our professional and dedicated staff. HeartShare looks forward to working with the Executive and Legislative branches, as well as other community based organizations, to ensure that the needs of our most vulnerable citizens will continue to be addressed with quality services and delivery mechanisms.”

“Many of these programs provide around-the-clock care and now our children with developmental disabilities no longer have to worry about losing the quality services that they need and rely on,” continued Goldfeder. “It is our responsibility to protect our most vulnerable citizens and I want to thank my colleague Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg for his leadership and constant advocacy for those afflicted with developmental disabilities.”

Following the Governor’s signing, a workgroup will be assigned to evaluate the adopted budget. In case of any funding shortfalls, the New York State Budget Director will be authorized to deposit sufficient funds to fully restore OPWDD programs.
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