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Dear IAC Board Members and Other Association Representatives,



Thank you for joining us this week in Albany for our OPWDD and DOH budget requests! While we didn’t have as many meetings as we have in previous years, the ones we had were important in advancing our agenda. The rally we held on Monday was a GREAT SUCCESS with approximately 400 people from all across the State packing the War Room at the Capitol and many legislative champions in attendance, including Chairs, Senator John Mannion and Assemblymember Rebecca Seawright, Senator Jessica Scarcella Spanton, Assemblymembers Angelo Santabarbara, Aileen Gunther, Harvey Epstein who spoke, and others who attended but didn’t get the chance to speak.


We had meetings with the Chairs and other rank and file Legislators, with the Speaker’s Office and with the Governor’s Office and DOB. We are currently getting Assemblymembers’ signatures for Rebecca Seawright’s sign-on letter to the speaker. Still, asking our members to forward the letter we have provided, to both their Senators and Assemblymembers, to send to their leadership.


When we met with the Governor’s Office and DOB, we discussed all but the Education Ask below. While they generally supported the Governor’s proposal, saying that “2.5% was what they could afford this year” and vaguely suggesting that the salary increase for state staff only could be viewed as justified, depending on the audience, they identified a small increase on the Medicaid score card for dental services for people with I/DD. They indicated that there are ongoing conversations related to increasing EI rates, to which we responded that we look forward to something in the 30-day amendments (due by around March 1st). I hope we made a strong case for the 8.5% COLA and $4000 DSWE. The Assistant Secretary for Human Services and Mental Hygiene, Pat Wildes, with whom we spoke extensively after the larger meeting, told us he has personal family experience with people with I/DD and seemed supportive of our needs.


Keeping the advocacy going, we also need to keep up the meetings in the DOs with legislators, and if you have personal relationships with any of them (especially Dems), please make a call and ask them to get behind:


· 8.5% COLA


· $4000 DSWE


· 11% for EI


· 10% for 4410 and 853 schools to match the increase for public schools


· A 30% increase in the add-on for Art 28 clinic rates for code 95 and 81 patients


· Telehealth rate parity for Art 28 clinics even when neither the patient nor the clinician is in the building


One House Budgets are being developed as you read this email, so please make these calls as soon as possible!

Below is a Facebook video of the rally and the first of the media coverage (with Crains and New York NOW on the way)


Thank you again for your advocacy, and please keep it up!





Winifred Schiff


Chief Executive Officer


InterAgency Council of Developmental Disabilities Agencies

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