With the New York State Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo expected to reach agreement at any time on the 2016-17 State Budget, advocates want people with disabilities, families and staff to call Albany with a simple message – Be Fair to Direct Care!
Thursday is the deadline for the Governor and Legislature to approve an on-time Budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year, which begins April 1. One of the sticking points is the Governor’s call for an increase in the minimum wage to $15 per hour. But while the Governor wants to raise the minimum wage, he has said he has no plans to provide agencies like The Resource Center with an increase in funding so that disability service providers can pay the higher wages to their direct-support staff. Without an increase in funding from the State, disability service providers would have to eliminate staff positions and cut services to people with disabilities.
Disability advocates across New York State want everyone to call the offices of elected officials in Albany and say the following:
Be Fair to Direct Care! I support an increase in the minimum wage. But direct support staff in services for people with developmental disabilities must not be left out. The budget must provide $135 million to enable non-profit disability service providers – who rely exclusively on state funding – to afford to pay appropriate increases to direct support staff.
Here are the phone numbers you need:
- Governor Cuomo: 518-474 -1041 and press 3 to speak to an assistant
- Senator Catharine Young: 518-455-3563
- Assemblyman Andrew Goodell: 518-455-4511
Several advocacy associations – the Alliance of Long Island Agencies (ALIA), Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State, the Developmental Disabilities Alliance of Western New York (DDAWNY), the Inter Agency Council of Developmental Disabilities Agencies (IAC), the New York Association of Emerging and Multicultural Providers, the New York State Association of Community Residential Agencies (NYSACRA), NYSARC, the New York State Rehabilitation Association (NYSRA), and the Self-Advocacy Association of New York State – are reaching out to their members and telling them to “ring the phones off the hook!”
If you have time, please call the Governor, Senator Young and Assemblyman Goodell so that we at TRC can do our part to help with this effort.