Buffalo legislator urges Senate to fully restore across-the-board-cut of $120 million in state funding
New York State Sen. Mark Grisanti, R-I-60, a member of the Senate finance committee, asked his colleagues in the Senate Tuesday to fully restore approximately $120 million in proposed cuts in funding that supports and services people with developmental disabilities.
Grisanti said he and Senate finance chairman John DeFrancisco believe full restoration of the funding will support New York's most vulnerable residents.
"As part of the ongoing budget process, I am urging the Senate to advocate for the use of the resources identified in the negotiations we have had with the Assembly and Gov. Cuomo," Grisanti said. "This includes $200 million in revenues identified by the Consensus Economic and Revenue Forecast Report, as well as any consensus spending re-estimates, rejections of new proposed spending initiatives and other available resources."
Grisanti has recently met with constituents who are concerned with the proposed budget cuts that will impact the operation of the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities.
"I have heard from the parents, families and individuals with these disabilities who are currently being provided with support and services as well as a number of the over 12,500 employees of the agencies who assist people with developmental disabilities here in Western New York and the Finger Lakes region," he said. "Their message to me is that a 6 percent cut across the board is simply not manageable."
Grisanti said previous budget reductions have already impacted New York state residents who either have developmental disabilities or work in that field.
"As a result of reductions in funding that have been imposed every year since 2009, services have already been sharply cut and the proposed cut this year will force agencies to lay off direct support staff and close or sharply reduce critical programs that people with developmental disabilities and their families rely upon," he said. "These cuts can adversely impact the health, safety and quality of life of some of the most vulnerable among us. I have been asked to do everything in my power to restore this funding as part of the budget process and therefore will bring the concerns of Western New York residents to my legislative colleagues in Albany."
The full letter can be viewed by clicking here.
Grisanti currently represents the 60th Senate District, which includes parts of the City of Buffalo, the north towns and the south towns. Grisanti is chairman of the environmental conservation committee and currently sits on the finance, cities, cultural affairs, tourism, parks and recreation, higher education, infrastructure and capital investment, insurance, labor and veterans, homeland security and military affairs committees in the Senate.