The Arc New York Statement on the final NYS Budget
The final NYS budget was released today, and [The Arc New York is] truly stunned by the inadequate investment in our service system. Nonprofit providers of supports and services for New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities will receive a mere 4% cost of living increase.
This minimal increase covers less than half the increase in inflation over the past year. It does nothing to reverse our escalating workforce crisis. Most importantly, it does not address the erosion of care and supports for New Yorkers with I/DD.
Paired with the reality of inflation, a 4% COLA has become essentially a 4.5% cut.
New Yorkers with I/DD needed meaningful investment to sustain quality supports and care. Our staff needed meaningful investment to align their compensation with their skill and dedication. We called for an 8.5% COLA and a Direct Support Wage Enhancement to meet those needs. The legislature included an 8.5% COLA and no DSWE in their budgets. We advocated fiercely for that compromise to be realized, but the end result is entirely inadequate.
We are grateful to the tireless advocates who raised their voices and their stories with passion and power. We thank our Champions in the legislature who fought for our families, staff, and the people we support.
We are devastated that we have not been heard.
State leaders put the care and quality of life New York’s most vulnerable citizens up for negotiation. Their final agreement continues a pattern of neglect we fought for decades to overcome.
That fight is not over. We will grow louder. We will grow fiercer. We will not let New Yorkers with I/DD be forgotten.
A Message from The Arc New York CEO, Erik Geizer:
The final result of the New York State budget is deeply disappointing for New Yorkers with I/DD and the families and providers who support them. Below you will find The Arc New York’s official statement on the budget.
Please share this message, and your own. Be assured, these statements do not mark the end of this year’s advocacy efforts. They mark the beginning of our fight moving forward.
The budget is disappointing, but we have more to advocate for before this session ends. Our issues are better understood today, the voices of New Yorkers with I/DD are better heard, and we will mobilize to ensure the support of state leaders translates to action.
The Arc New York CEO Erik Geizer has delivered oral testimony at the Joint Legislative Public Hearing on the Mental Hygiene Executive Budget proposal y, and The Arc New York has submitted formal written testimony calling for the nonnegotiable inclusion of investments in supports and services for New Yorkers with I/DD.
- Watch The Arc New York testimony
- Watch The Q&A with legislators
- Read The Arc New York written testimony
- Read the full oral testimony
The testimonies follows months of advocacy and activities. Just this past week we had a wildly successful Capitol Rally, Joint Legislative and Advocacy Forum, and a Lobby Day, during which The Arc New York Chapters met with numerous legislators from across the state. We must advocate fiercely with legislators to ensure that the 8.5% cost-of living-adjustment (COLA) and Direct Support Wage Enhancement (DSWE) are included in the Senate and Assembly one house bills due to be released in early March.
As we look to strategize our efforts going forward, we encourage you to continue participating in our one-click campaign!
Here are all the ways you can engage our local leaders, and get the word out so that more of our fellow New Yorkers can join in:
ONE-CLICK CAMPAIGN: SEND A LETTER!
Take a moment to add your voice to our one-click campaign calling on elected officials to invest in supports and services for New Yorkers with I/DD. Send a letter to ALL your representatives with just one click!
Check out The Arc New York’s Advocacy Toolkit!
To support your advocacy efforts, The Arc New York has created an updated resource package, including shareable information sheets and talking points. If you have not done so already, please be sure to schedule your virtual appointments with Senators and Assemblymembers as soon as possible to take full advantage of the budget negotiation timeline.
The Arc New York and our NYDA partners are calling for:
-Establishment of a Direct Support Wage Enhancement (DSWE)
-Inclusion of the statutory 8.5% Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA)