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Stop the killer cut!

Stop the killer cut!

Governor David Paterson has proposed a 10% across the board cut as a means of addressing the $5 billion deficit that has been projected for next year. “I would guess that this approach would seem fair to many New Yorkers,” said Camp Venture’s Executive Director Dan Lukens. “As the brother of a man with autism and mental retardation, however, I grew up in home where nothing could be fair because my brother’s needs were such that it just couldn’t work that way. If life were fair people would not have developmental disabilities but they do. The Governor and the legislature have a very difficult task before them and the need to reduce spending is apparent but this kind of cookie-cutter approach is an inexcusable abdication of their responsibility to our most vulnerable citizens,” Lukens said.

The fight for services on behalf of vulnerable people is not just a fight for our family members. It is a fight to preserve the kinder gentler character of our community and, in that sense, it’s for all New Yorkers.

A hearing on the budget sponsored by the New York State Senate is scheduled for:

Note date change:
New date is:

THURSDAY- November 5, 2009
10:00 a.m, At the Greenburgh Library 300 Tarrytown Rd., Elmsford, New York 10523
The public will have an opportunity to testify at the hearing.
To Testify Contact: Travis Proulx @ (518) 455-2415
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
The hope is that enough parents and family members will be there to convince the Senators and the Governor that a more thoughtful approach needs to be considered. The New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (OMRDD), the not-for-profit provider community and their associations along with parents and self-advocates have worked together to make substantial reductions. The model for effective fiscal policy is there and it needs to be used because lives are at stake.

*  Cutting vital OMRDD services at the same rate as non-essential services makes no sense and will not result in savings for the State.
  * Most OMRDD funding has federal matching dollars so that the cuts are really more than 2.5 times bigger than they seem and amount to approximately $375 million annually.
  * Some not-for-profits will go out of business and others will have to cut back on essential services for people with developmental disabilities but the need for these services won’t go away. Some services will have to be taken over by the State at a much higher cost.
  * Families who don’t have services for their loved ones will have to leave their jobs and stay home to provide care and many direct care workers will lose their jobs. Rather than paying taxes these people may be forced to rely on entitlements at an additional cost to the State.
  * Fewer staff in the remaining programs will severely limit the ability to safely provide integrated, community based services, which we have fought many years to achieve.
  * Education funding is also being cut which could have severe impact on our Special Education programs.
  * Does this mean 1out of every 10 staff will be eliminated?
• Does this mean that 1 out of every 10 families will lose their services?

Go to this Web site for advocacy information;

Doing the right thing is not easy in the face of a crisis and the state of our state’s economy is, indeed, a crisis but this is when it really counts. Try to be at the hearing or call your Senator. Now is the time for action!

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2008 Rockland County Autism Symposium Venture Foundation Address
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