Throughout the year, CDS has been communicating with you about the challenges we face with New York State Budget cuts for OMRDD services. As an organization that is dedicated to supporting people with developmental disabilities as they pursue their dreams, it is our duty to keep you informed of any developments in this area.

On Friday, October 16, 2009 OMRDD Commissioner, Diana Jones-Ritter, issued a memo regarding Governor Patterson's two-year plan for deficit reduction. Please take a moment to read the memo below from OMRDD Commissioner, Diana Jones Ritter.

It is imperative we all work together to do our part to stop these cuts. We have heard the State Legislature will meet in a special session on Tuesday, October 27 to consider Governor Patterson's proposal to cut 10% across-the-board cuts to mental hygiene programs, including a $64 million cut to the OMRDD. With matching Federal money from Medicaid, these programs are facing $150 million in loss of revenue from now through the end of the state fiscal year (March 2010), annualized this could mean cuts of $375 million dollars.

What does this mean to people who receive programs and services at CDS?
CDS could lose between $1-$3 million dollars in funding for the Residential and Day Habilitation programs, which could result in a loss of up to 30-50 direct care support staff.

Right now, we need advocates!

Please call, email and/or draft a letter to your legislators today to let them know how the above cuts will affect people with disabilities! Please be sure you leave a message with staff at these offices, as each concern is documented and discussed with each legislator.

Here are some key phrases and talking points you can use to make your call/letter effective:

  1. Ask your legislator to reject the Governor's proposal and work to find less devastating ways to work on budget issues in Albany.
  2. Be sure they understand the Governor's cuts will mean a loss in services and jobs at agencies across the state, including in their local districts.

  3. Let them know that these cuts would seriously compromise the quality of care and services delivered by the mental hygiene system to people with developmental disabilities.
  4. Inform them that these cuts will almost certainly mean the withdrawal of services from people in their district who have been receiving them and need to keep them.

We cannot stress enough the urgency of this request and what the people we serve need our families, staff and associates to do. With your help, we can hope to preserve services for all who need them. CDS has always and will continue to maintain a standard of excellence when it comes to quality care for people living with developmental disabilities. People who are developmentally disabled desperately need you to take action now. Please call, email or write your legislator today!

We will communicate with you as we continue to organize advocacy efforts on behalf of individuals we support at CDS. Please contact Stephanie Buchbinder, Director of Communications, at (585) 347-1205 or via email should you have questions or concerns.


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