I am here today to urge you to oppose the 6% cut to Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD)  community based services proposed by the Governor for next year.  OPWDD services are not luxuries; they are essential services that people rely upon every day of their lives.

Not-for-profit, community based services have already had more that $350 million, or close to 9% in cuts which have been targeted at services for those who are most in need of supports and services.

Almost all OPWDD services are funded through Medicaid, with state dollars and matching federal dollars.  For these programs, the amount cut by the state is only a portion of the total cut to services because every state dollar cut means a loss, or “cut,” of an additional $1.00 in federal matching funds!  

OPWDD services are already cut to the bone.  I fear that additional cuts will:  (select a few of the points below):

Jeopardize  health and safety of those needing these crucial services because the agency serving them will have to lay off staff 

Fewer staff will make it unsafe to take many peole with developmental disabilities out in the community, and they will lose the community integration that is needed.  This is a loss to both the people using the service as well as the community at large

These cuts will force agencies to lay off direct support staff 

Direct support staff work incredibly hard for very low pay. 

These cuts will force critical programs to close

Some of the smaller agencies cannot withstand additional cuts. They will be forced out of business, and people with developmental disabilities will lose vital services.

Ask for your legislators’ help.  Ask them to contact their leadership to urge them to oppose the 6% cut to OPWDD community based services.  Tell them that the 6% cut is $120 million in State funding BUT because this is a cut to Medicaid, New York will lose an additional $120 million in Federal matching funds.  Therefore the cut to OPWDD community based services is $240 million. Ask them to speak up on behalf of people who have a developmental disability.  

Thank you for Your Support.


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