Cuomo’s shameful cuts hurt disabled citizens

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has turned his back on our most vulnerable citizens. People living with developmental disabilities were the only group that had its funding dramatically and disproportionately cut in this year’s New York State budget. The governor will not tell you the truth because it makes him look very bad. Since he won’t tell you, I will.

New York provides services to people living with developmental disabilities in two ways. One way is through a more costly state-operated service system. The other and more prevalent way is through a network of not-for-profit agencies that do the job better for about 15 percent less cost to taxpayers. It is unconscionable that the governor would once again cut funding to the private sector and leave the state service system untouched. He knows that fully privatizing developmental disability services would enable New York to better meet the needs of our most vulnerable citizens while lowering the cost. This is what we, as taxpayers, deserve, and this is certainly what people living with developmental disabilities deserve.

We are supposed to be able to count on our governor to act in the best interest of the people, but instead he has sold our citizens a bill of goods in exchange for the backing of powerful labor unions, and to bolster his political prospects. The governor should be ashamed of himself for putting state jobs and his political aspirations before the needs of our most vulnerable citizens, and the interests of taxpayers.

This is a sad day for New York. Cuomo could have prevented this needless suffering. I have lost all faith in him. I figure a few million New Yorkers may feel the same way.

Jeff Sanderson

Executive Director of Rivershore

Vice President, Developmental

Disabilities Alliance of WNY