A measure sponsored by a Long Island lawmaker to restore $90 million in social service funding for the developmentally disabled was signed into law by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Friday.
Assemb. Harvey Weisenberg (D-Long Beach), whose adult son is disabled, and state Sen. Martin Golden (D-Brooklyn) pushed a bill through the legislature earlier in the year calling for the restoration, after Cuomo's initial 2013-14 budget proposal called for the cuts to the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities.
The proposed cuts were enacted in March after the federal government reduced the state's funding by $1.1 billion, Cuomo said Friday in a news release. The state owes the federal government about $3 billion for overcharging Medicaid for decades. Part of the new law calls for a working group to find efficiencies to save $90 million in social service spending that doesn't impact programs for disabled youth and adults.
"This new law is another step in our work to improve services and protections for New Yorkers with developmental disabilities," Cuomo said in a statement. "The State is committed to upholding the toughest standards and practices in the nation to care for our most vulnerable citizens."
In a statement, Weisenberg thanked Cuomo "for agreeing to provide the resources necessary to care for New York's most vulnerable population."
Seth Stein, executive director of the Alliance of Long Island Agencies Inc., an umbrella organization that represents several of the Nassau and Suffolk nonprofits that provide care for the developmentally disabled, lauded the restoration.
"This law will ensure that critical services for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities will not be cut," Stein said in a statement.