Cuts Coming for Local Non-Profits
Written By: Joe Melillo
Part of the most recent budget from Governor Cuomo is a six percent funding cut to private agencies providing services for people with developmental disabilities.
Chemung County (WENY) - Part of the most recent budget from Governor Cuomo is a six percent funding cut to private agencies providing services for people with developmental disabilities. Chemung County Able2 leaders are bracing themselves for the worst. Losing money from the state means cuts to staff, and those cuts will directly impact services to clients.
Rich Kuehner is the residence manager for the Able2 facility in Horseheads. Over the past few years he's seen more and more cuts to staffing, and he expects the worst again this year.
“This is not the first year we've been through this process and we had to make cuts last year and now we're getting to the bear minimums where we can only provide for the health and safety of our individuals if we have to cut more staff,” says Kuehner.
Able 2 is a private provider of programs and services for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Mark Peters the Executive Director of Able2 in Chemung county says if approved, Governor Cuomo's proposed budget would force Able2 to cut $790,000 from its budget .
“That not only has an impact on our work force but our workforce is the reason we can provide quality services to people with disabilities. So it will impact the care that people with disabilities are able to receive,” says Peters.
“Some of these individuals would have some very significant health issues if we weren't staffed 24 hours. Some of them have to be watched and monitored for either medical or behavioral reasons,” says Kuehner.
Advocates for private providers like Able2, ARC and Pathways are asking legislators to help reinstate the funding, but if the governor's budget stays as is, cuts will be coming.
“We will certainly look at other ways to find savings short of having to affect our workforce but a cut of that magnitude we will have to look across the board at all agency operations,” says Peters.
Able 2 Pre-k programs would not be affected by the cut in state aid. The state budget deadline is April 1st.