Westchester Delegation Meeting

Friday, Mar 8, 2013 at 3:00pm

Arc of Westchester

265 Saw Mill River Road, Hawthorne , NY 10532




Hawthorne, N.Y. – 3/05/13 - Arc of Westchester will host a meeting with local legislators on Friday afternoon to urge Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature to avoid drastic cuts to the New York State Medicaid spending plan.

Governor Cuomo is proposing a $500 million cut to the New York State Medicaid spending plan. The Office of People with Developmental Disabilities, (OPWDD), could lose $120 million dollars from the budget that supports programs serving people with developmental disabilities statewide. This means a cut of $2.2 million to Arc of Westchester’s 2013 budget.

Richard Swierat, Executive Director of the Arc of Westchester, said that a 6% cut would be detrimental to the growing population that relies on their services. “The
governor has allocated a whopping $60 million to the Buffalo Bills in this same budget proposal – where are the priorities in Albany?” Swierat said.

The Arc of Westchester, the oldest and largest agency in Westchester County that serves individuals with developmental disabilities, has been operating with a
$3 million shortfall from their budget due to the rebalancing of the Medicaid program two years ago.

"Some parents think that because there are so many programs now available to their children they don’t have to be advocates. But, if we don’t all support these programs we now enjoy, we risk losing everything we’ve gained,” Michele Christie, an Arc of Westchester parent said.

These additional cuts mean a loss of services,not only for individuals and families currently dependent on the programs, but will impede access to programs for those who seek services in the future. The current proposed 6% cut would remove another $2.2 Million from their budget.
While Arc of Westchester has received over 9% in cuts, the number of people they serve has increased by 12%.

“In a time when demand for our services is on the rise – with increased autism diagnoses, expanded life expectancy and more families than ever turning to us for our life-transforming assistance – we cannot allow our government’s commitment to people with developmental disabilities to be weakened,” Swierat said in a letter addressed to families who will be impacted by these cuts.

If the governor’s proposed measure is passed by the state legislature, the cuts will become effective April 1, 2013, - putting programs that support people with developmental disabilities statewide in immediate jeopardy.

What: Arc of Westchester urges legislature to stop 6% cuts

Who: Westchester Delegation of State Representative, Arc of Westchester and other special needs advocates.

When: Friday, March 8th at 3pm

Where: Arc of Westchester,
265 Saw Mill River Road
Hawthorne NY 10532

For more information, please contact:
Regina Moore
Marketing Manager, Arc of Westchester
at (914) 495-4573