Funding Vital for Agency’s Mission to Care for New Yorkers with Developmental Disabilities
Albany, NY (September 27, 2013)
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the signing of legislation to restore up to $90 million in funding for the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). This law amends the executive budget which called for reducing the agency’s budget by $90 million as a result of a $1.1 billion federal reduction in aid. This funding will allow the agency to continue its vital mission to provide critical care to New Yorkers with developmental disabilities while reversing decades of mismanagement and overpayments that resulted in a decline of services to this vulnerable population.
“This new law is another step in our work to improve services and protections for New Yorkers with developmental disabilities,” Governor Cuomo said. “The State is committed to upholding the toughest standards and practices in the nation to care for our most vulnerable citizens, and I am pleased to sign this bill into law to restore funding to OPWDD after our federal aid was reduced. I commend Senator Golden and Assemblyman Weisenberg for their hard work on this legislation.”
Funding for OPWDD was restored by establishing a work group charged with developing a cost savings plan that would yield $40 million recovered through a series of audits. Additional cost savings totaling $50 million will come from program reductions over time. The new law ensures that if the plan created by the work group fails to deliver these savings, $90 million will be provided to cover OPWDD and Medicaid rate shortfalls.
Senator Marty Golden said, “Today, every New Yorker should cheer that Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation I sponsored to fund the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities and the programs necessary for our disabled. Those with physical and developmental disabilities deserve the proper care to insure that they have the best possible quality of life.”
Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg said, “I extend my thanks to the Governor and his administration for agreeing to provide the resources necessary to care for New York’s most vulnerable population.”