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Letter: Governor’s cuts will hurt our most vulnerable people

Governor’s cuts will hurt our most vulnerable people

To hold a “celebration” for an on-time budget and to boast about all the wonderful elements, when you have hurt the most vulnerable people in New York State, is unacceptable. Cutting funding to not-for-profit agencies providing services to the developmentally disabled population by $90 million (which equates to $180 million, including the federal matching funds) is unconscionable. We are filled with anguish trying to understand how Gov. Andrew Cuomo chose to close his ears to the voice of the citizens of New York State and the people who need it the most. Our local legislators did everything they could to reinstate the funding, yet Cuomo chose to veto their voice as well. How could this happen?

Instead, he decided to buy votes by including a silly $350 “refund” to certain families earning between $40,000 and $299,000. The cost of this “refund” is $385 million next year. Really? Will this $350 refund change their lives? A reduction of $180 million will dramatically and negatively affect people with developmental disabilities and those who faithfully serve them.

We are parents of a beautiful 21-year-old daughter. Laura has cerebral palsy, is non-verbal, has no fine motor skills and is completely dependent on us for everything 24/7. We adore her. We are blessed that we are still able to care for her at home, but we rely on these wonderful not-for-profit agencies to provide services that enable us to do so.

Laura is only one of the 126,000 individuals who rely on various services needed to do things that most people take for granted. And yet our governor has made a self-serving decision that puts that in jeopardy. God can move mountains and change hearts. Let’s pray for both!

Barb & Jon DeLong