Independent Living Centers like CIDNY provide people with disabilities and their families the supports and services that help them live independently and integrated in their communities. ILCs rely on the State for funding to provide these vital services, but New York State has failed to adequately fund centers for well over a decade, leaving us struggling to continue providing services.
The State Education Department and Board of Regents recommended a $5 million increase for ILCs for the second year in a row. Unfortunately, Governor Cuomo’s proposed Executive Budget failed to give centers this additional funding they need to meet the needs of their communities. But it isn’t too late to get an increase in this year’s budget!
The next step is the legislature. The Senate and Assembly will release their one house budget responses in mid-March. There were budget sign-on letters in support of an increase in funding for Independent Living Centers in both houses with strong support. Now we need to put pressure on the Senate and Assembly’s leadership and Education Committee Chairs to include this $5 million increase for Independent Living Centers!
ACTION: Make the following four phone calls today to help ensure Independent Living Centers receive a vital funding increase in this year’s budget!
- Call the Assembly’s Education Chair, Catherine Nolan at 518-455-4851
- Call Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie at 518-455-3791
- Call the Senate’s Education Chair, Carl L. Marcellino at 518-455-2390
- Call Senate Majority Leader John J. Flanagan at 518-455-2071
Say: “Help Independent Living Centers and the people with disabilities they serve by providing ILCs with a crucial funding increase of $5 million in the one house budget.”
Below are some additional talking points. Feel free to customize based on your personal experience.
- Independent Living Centers have gone well over a decade with level funding, which is why this modest increase of only $5 million is so crucial.
- Independent Living Centers save the State money! Every $1 invested in ILCs saves the State $9 thanks to their work helping people leave nursing facilities and other institutions.
- This additional funding will help centers to cover the increased costs of providing services and prevent them from program cutbacks and staff layoffs.
- This additional funding will ensure they can meet the needs of their local communities across the State.
Learn more about the federal impact on ILC funding here.