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Assemblyman Gabryszak and Assemblyman Kearns hold press conference in support of funding for OPWDD |

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Assemblyman Gabryszak and Assemblyman Kearns hold press conference in support of funding for OPWDD
Assemblyman Gabryszak and Assemblyman Kearns hold press conference in support of funding for OPWDD

Assemblyman Dennis H. Gabryszak and Assemblyman Michael P. Kearns are to hold a press conference on Friday, May 10th at 1 p.m. at Aspire of Western New York located at 7 Community Drive in Cheektowaga, New York.  The press conference is in support of funding restorations for the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, and is intended to strengthen the voice of the families and individuals with developmental disabilities. Assembly bill A.6692-A (S4777), introduced by Assemblymember Weisenberg, would provide $90 million dollars in funding to restore the 4.5% cut on nonprofit service providers enacted in the 2013-2014 state budget.

Assemblyman Weisenberg explained, "These are cuts that impact some of the most vulnerable people in our society, who are placed in harm's way because the system is already short staffed, over-worked and under-paid. Every Senator and Assembly Member in the state initially voted to restore the Governor's original cuts, but the funds were reduced despite that support. Our bill will restore funds to address the health and safety of individuals who rely on the care of facilities impacted by these cuts." 

Assemblyman Gabryszak added that, “Over the years, the developmental disabilities system has endured repeated budget cuts, and the members of this community have faced major unexpected structural changes to the process. I do not want to see these families confronted with any more uncertainty. The restorations provided in this bill will not only help to reduce the financial burden that is associated with high costs of service providers, but it can also serve to reassure families that their representatives have not forgotten about their concerns.”

Assemblyman Michael P. Kearns, summed up the goals of for the conference stating, “We should not be balancing our budget on the backs of the states most vulnerable citizens. Although there have been discussions that 90 million dollars has been restored to this year’s budget, I will continue to fight in support as a co-sponsor of A6692-A (S4777), to fully restore what I believe is an obligation that should not be subject to political rhetoric.” Assemblyman Kearns continued to express his support for funding restorations as he reflected on his personal experiences. “Recently, my brother and I were featured in the news media – and I am here today to be the voice for all the families who have someone who are in need of services or who have had their services cut because of this budget.”

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