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Lack of Funding Solution Critical

Developmental disability community critical of failure to include Medicaid funding solution for proposed $15 minimum wage in 30-day amendments NYSARC predicts reduction in employment and services if final 2016-17 state budget doesn’t include funding.

Latham, NY (2/16/2016) – Leadership from NYSARC, Inc., the largest not-for-profit organization in New York State supporting people with developmental disabilities and their families, today expressed grave disappointment in the failure of the administration to include a Medicaid funding solution for the proposed $15 minimum wage in the 30-day amendments to the state budget.

NYSARC President Laura Kennedy said: “Pushing for an across-the-board minimum wage increase without offering any funding for developmental disability providers that are 90 percent Medicaid-reliant will amount to the largest unfunded mandate in the history of these programs. Our dedicated support professionals deserve to be paid a living wage, but funding that wage increase by reducing staff and eliminating services at our provider agencies will be our only alternative. The Governor needed to provide funding in his budget. Without action in this budget, the consequences to agencies like ours will be felt by the tens of thousands of people with developmental disabilities who depend on our care and assistance.”

NYSARC Executive Director Steve Kroll said: “We continue to be extraordinarily disappointed and will continue to work closely with our policymakers to ensure they firmly understand professional livelihoods and the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities are at stake. We are grateful to the many members of the Legislature who have joined us in expressing their support regarding this important state budget concern.”

NYSARC has been advocating for provisions in the state budget to ensure the continuity of vital supports and services for people with developmental disabilities, including those with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism, and neurological impairments, and their families, and a living wage for the support professionals entrusted with their care. NYSARC is leading the “It Matters To Me” grassroots advocacy campaign to highlight the concerns of people with disabilities, their families, and the dedicated staff who support them. To learn more about the “It Matters To Me” campaign, visit NYSARC’s Advocacy Action Center.