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  • Tell Legislators: Invest in the Workforce and System of Supports for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

    In her Executive Budget address, Governor Hochul pointedly acknowledged years of “neglect and disinvestment” in New York’s system of supports and services for New Yorkers with I/DD. She committed to reversing that neglect. However, the proposed 1.5% COLA committed to voluntary providers falls short of correcting the course and does not even compensate for the year’s inflation.  

    For decades, New York state has not made adequate investments to sustain the essential programs and services people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) rely on. This systemic underfunding has driven us into a critical staffing crisis and eroded New York’s system of supports for its citizens with I/DD. The data speaks for itself:

    • Average statewide staff turnover rate is 31%
    • Turnover costs for non-profit providers have risen to more than $100 million annually
    • Nearly 20,000 critical Direct Support positions are vacant statewide
    • A 17% staff vacancy rate means New Yorkers with disabilities are missing out on needed care and support

    Now we must tell our legislators to respond, by including our budget requests in their respective one-house budget bills. Our goals are twofold:

    • Include the statutory 3.2% Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) – the legislature needs to add 1.7% to make this happen
    • Establish a Direct Support Wage Enhancement (DSWE) to make up for years of underinvestment

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