Officials eye eliminating cut to nonprofit funding

PERTH – State officials said at the “Meet the Legislators” Breakfast on Friday the majority of legislators are trying to eliminate or significantly reduce the proposed $120 million cut in financing for nonprofit organizations that serve people with developmental disabilities.

“On behalf of [those nonprofits] the Legislature is unanimous in trying to restore that 6 percent, but the governor is pretty dug in on that issue and we are working on it,” state Sen. Hugh Farley said. “Whether we will get the full amount I don’t know, but it will certainly be an improvement over the 6 percent cut.”

Lexington Center, which help support people with developmental disabilities, are among agencies across the state facing millions of dollars in cuts under a proposal by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

In the amendments to his budget proposal, Cuomo proposed a 6 percent reduction in funding to not-for-profit providers that operate under the Office of Persons with Developmental Disabilities, which includes Lexington Center.

The 6 percent reduction comes after a $500 million budget gap was created due to a reduction in what the federal government will pay the state to care for the developmentally disabled under Medicaid. Federal officials had recently concluded the state was being reimbursed too much for some Medicaid costs.

Lexington officials have said they are analyzing the potential effects of the roughly $5 million cut to the agency.

“We have a very strong consensus from both houses to restore that 6 percent cut,” Assemblyman Marc Butler said.

State Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk said they are all fighting to get the 6 percent restored because that money lost will mean cuts to staff.

“It means employees and people in your community are going to lose their jobs,” Tkaczyk said. “The people they are serving will not have the programming they need, so I am really concerned. The budget is still not done so keep advocating and hopefully we will get as much of that money back as we can.”

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