Due to an amendment to the state budget, developmental disability service providers would face a 6 percent cut state-wide
That's about $240 million.
It's part of Governor Cuomo's plan to address a $1.1 billion dollar reduction in federal medicaid funding.
Rochester-based CDS Monarch provides services to close to 1,700 people in our area with developmental disabilities.
President and CEO Sankar Sewnauth said "Whether they live in a residence, or go to a day program, or work in a community, or are supported by a medicaid service organization they all need that support. And the funding we receive from the government is helping us do that."
Just two years ago, CDS Monarch lost $2 million in state funding.
The agency learned how to do more with less, all without compromising their care.
This year, another $1.8 million could be taken away.
Its part of a 6% cut in funding to every state agency of its kind, in this year's budget; a total of $240 million state wide.
Sewnauth added "There are so many smaller agencies in the Finger Lakes and the Southern Tier that are serving specialized communities. If you dismantle that service system what will be left?"
Paul Pickering hopes that question will never be answered.
He's the Executive Director of Catholic Charities Community Services.
The agency could lose 360 thousand dollars if this measure goes through.
Pickering said "Anything could be possible. We may have to lay off individuals we may have to stop serving some individuals, which is always difficult."
He says the cuts could backfire, and end up costing the state more in the long run.
Pickering added "They get less support, they become more dependent on things like institutional care emergency rooms hospitals those kinds of things, all of which are more expensive."
Pickering is now heading up I-Circle. It's a group of more than 40 agencies now appealing for help.
They sent this letter to area lawmakers, hoping they can help them avoid cuts to staff, resources, and increased burdens on families. All ahead of April 1st.
He added "Certainly we feel that a good budget if it takes a little longer it is better than an on-time budget that doesn't really meet the needs of the people of NY state."
Pickering and other I-Circle members are headed to Albany next week to meet face to face with lawmakers, in hopes that the budget will be changed.