Release: October 9, 2001
Coalition of Community Based Aging Service Providers Urge the Governor and Legislature to Restore 17% Cut
The New York State Coalition for the Aging joins many non-profit organizations today to call on the Governor and the Legislature to come together in a spirit of bipartisanship and restore critical funding to programs and services that serve millions of New Yorkers every day.
While New York is still dealing with devastating events of September 11, non-profit and other community organizations have been left out of the baseline budget that was passed in September 2001. Many of these organizations provide critical services to people of all ages and all incomes in every county of New York State.
The aging services network alone stands to lose almost $13 million in funding if a supplemental budget is not passed. The programs and services that will be forced to reduce their service capacity, eliminate staff or close programs altogether include social model adult day care programs, Alzheimer's programs and services, senior center services, caregivers respite programs, elder abuse outreach programs, and health and wellness programs to name just a few. This represents a 17.6% cut in the states commitment to community based services that help older New Yorkers live as independently as possible, with dignity, in their homes and communities.
"While our hearts and prayers go out to the victims of the September 11 tragedy, it is imperative that New York does not make a bad problem even worse by eliminating service funding that employs workers and provides critical services that enable seniors to live at home." says Greg Olsen, Executive Director. "Programs will close, staff will be laid off and services will be reduced if the budget of today stands. If services are reduced or cut, seniors will be at risk of a higher level of care if their needs are not met. This will drive up Medicaid and other health costs because needs will not be met locally. No one wants these kinds of outcomes," Olsen states.
New York communities rely on the services that non-profits provide. In the wake of the New York City tragedy, non-profits and the services they provide are needed even more. Reductions in program funding will mean an increase in the ranks of the unemployed and therefore, an increase in state spending such an unemployment costs, Medicaid and so forth.
"While we understand the budget implications the September 11th tragedy is having on state resources, we believe that it can and will get much worse if a supplemental budget is not passed." Olsen states. "We need the same leadership and energy we have seen in New York City applied to enacting a supplemental budget."