Statement on Restoration of OPWDD Cuts

In a victory for people with disabilities and those workers who take care of them, SEIU Local 200United applauds state elected officials who successfully restored $90 million in budget cuts to the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities. The news was announced Thursday, June 13, two months after the state budget, which included the cuts, was approved.

“It is highly unusual for funds to be restored after the state budget has already been adopted,” noted Brian Curran, Legislative Director and Counsel for Local 200United. “Not completely unprecedented, but rare.”

Lobbying visits made by Local 200United members were key in getting this deal brokered between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislators. Members traveled to Albany, Rochester and Buffalo to meet with lawmakers. We thank the bill’s sponsors, Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg (D-Long Island) and Sen. Marty Golden (R-Brooklyn), as well as Mental Health Committee chairs, Sen. David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester) and Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther (D-Sullivan/Orange).

SEIU Local 200United represents nearly 15,000 public and private sector workers in Upstate New York. Our members work as direct care workers and nurses, administrative assistants and secretaries, teaching assistants, food service workers, bus drivers, EMS professionals, municipal workers, security guards, janitors, buildings and grounds keepers, maintenance workers, ticket takers and ushers, cemetery workers, and parking attendants.

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