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Since the early 1950’s, our grassroots advocacy is the foundation of our agency.  Our founding parents wanted to create a rightful place in society for their children, develop educational opportunities, increase physical, verbal, communication and daily living skills and promote better personal and social opportunities.  They realized their children deserved to have a fair chance to succeed in life.

As a result of their efforts, children with developmental disabilities were able to go to school, adults were moved out of institutions and people were employed in community positions.

Due to their grassroots action and those by NYSARC, New York led the United States in establishing the rights of children and adults with developmental disabilities.

Legislative Advocacy

Family members, friends, volunteers, staff and self advocates were unwilling to rest until they succeeded in making real change.  They realized that true progress was linked to the passage of key federal and state legislative mandates.  Thanks to their relentless, hardworking efforts, the people we serve are now able to conquer everyday challenges and achieve their dreams by working, learning, socializing, volunteering, recreating and leading full, productive lives.  Consequently, they are being accepted and integrated throughout their communities.

Currently the purpose of Legislative Advocacy is to provide, educate and inform family members, advocates, staff members and the community of impending local, state and federal legislative issues that affect the lives of individuals, families and the agency itself.  Our hope is to quickly disseminate information and raise awareness to all of our stakeholders.

Read about the end of 2016 Legislative Session Summary

Click on any of these archived NYSARC “Politics as it Happens”

New York Nonprofit Press: “Transition Collides with Transformation I/DD Sector Faces ‘Perfect Storm’ of Systemic Reforms”

Carl Heastie is elected Speaker of New York State Assembly

NY Times: As New York moves people with developmental disabilities to group homes, some families struggle

Cuomo’s State of the State features Opportunity Agenda

DRNY files complaint against Justice Center

NY Times story reveals challenge of at home care

Former Governor Mario Cuomo Dies at 82 – championed the rights and dignity of people with developmental disabilities

12-4-14 Meeting With Governor Cuomo’s Staff

Lawmakers Poised To Vote On ABLE Act

Advocates Dismayed Over Vetoes

Advocates Eye Expanding State Budget Surplus

Weisenberg urges Governor to sign Front Door Bill

Critical bills before the Governor

Editorial Comments on Transparency in Governor’s Office 

Governor tightly controls public information

Another Disallowance: Feds Want $23 million Back from NYS for Supported Employment

Right to out of State care, controversial school highlighted

Buffalo News: BlueCross, BlueShield Withdraws from Medicaid Managed Care Program in Western NY

Obama signs law limiting sheltered workshop admissions

Letter to the Editor: Brandt Responds to Subminimum Wage/Sheltered Workshop Article

New York Times Reports on Lawsuit Against the State: Managed Care Warning Sign?

Disability Protesters Shut Down Assembly (video)

Critical Bills Before The Legislature

Assemblyman Weisenberg will not seek re-election

House Republicans call to stop “Superwaiver approval”, Mental Hygiene Budget Hearings, Issa Letter

Institutional Rate Controversy Still an Issue

Summary of Key Highlights in Governor’s Budget for People with Developmental Disabilities

Governor’s Budget Released. Many Details Outstanding. Preliminary Overview. More to Follow.

Kansas Considered Medicaid Managed Care “Bellwether”

Last Year’s Budget Fight Continues to Resonate

Marc Brandt Comments on Meeting with the Justice Center

Governor Cuomo’s 2014 State of the State

Another Editorial Against Budget Cuts/On-line Petition Against Budget Cuts

More Commentary Against Budget Cuts: A Promise at Risk of Being Broken

Governor Suggests Surplus, No Spending Cuts in Upcoming State Budget

New York Nonprofit Press: Comprehensive Story on “Rocky Start” for the Justice Center

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle Publishes Editorial Against Any More OPWDD Budget Cuts

Rochester Station Features Background Check Issue at Monroe Arc

Two Bills Signed by Governor Cuomo 

Sheltered Workshop changes and concerns

State Employee Unions to fight prison, MH Center, developmental center closures

Saturday’s Daily News Editorial Blasts CSEA on Abuse

News from around the nation

Senator Libous launches online petition to prevent developmental center closure

Broad State Medicaid policy points to squeeze on group homes and other intensive long term care settings

The Hill: Comments from former Clinton official on The Rehab Act, sheltered workshops and subminimum wage

Mass Duals project slows, Insurers balk at risk

State to Close Four Remaining Developmental Centers

Justice Center Opens for Business

End of Session Legislative Wrap-Up – session concluded June 21

Various Articles on Passage of Restoration Bill

A Deal has been reached between the Govenor and Legislature on the Restoration Bill

Restoration and Reinvestment Act Gets Contentious

Harvey Weisenberg makes case for passing “People with Developmental Disabilities Restoration and Reinvestment Act of 2013″

142 cosponsors for “People with Developmental Disabilities Restoration and Reinvestment Act of 2013”

Governor’s poll ratings climb

Coalition holds meetings on restoration legislation

NYSARC Meets with CMS Medicaid Director

Uniform Guardianship Act Passes Both Houses: Part of NYSARC’s Legislative Platform

Budget Cuts Stay in the News

Controversy over Medicaid Managed Long Term Care grows

Full Restoration Bill is introduced

FY 13-14 State Budget:  Advocates fundamentally change Managed Care Law 

$1.75 billion in extra State money? Officials scratch heads. Details not clear.

State Budget Director – Cuts to disabled programs will not affect services

Medicaid rates for DCs drop from $5100 to $1200

NY Post: GOP cites reasons for “slide” in Governor’s poll numbers

The Governor is dug in on the 6% 

NYSARC urges Legislature to restore $120 million in State funding for people with developmental disabilities

$200 million more in revenue according to consensus revenue estimate 

Commissioner Burke fields tough questions on 6% — providers fear layoffs and closures

Commissioner’s briefing – 6% across the board cuts for ALL OPWDD voluntary programs!

New York Times, Poughkeepsie Journal and other papers release coverage of $500 million institutional rate cut

House Oversight Committee recommends more auditing; praises Governor; cites ineffective OMIG

21 day Amendments out and show no cuts – however, there could be 30 day Amendments

House Oversight Committee posts final report 

House Oversight Committee to release report today detailing NYS Medicaid Program and Executive Compensation 

Federal payback issue looms big over developmental centers rate controversy

Budget Analysis FY 13-14

Furor over rate controversy may expand

Preliminary Budget highlights for services for people with developmental disabilities

Wall Street Journal – State, Feds negotiating payback terms for institutional rate settlement

New Committee Chairs appointed in Assembly and Senate







NYSARC Summary of Legislative Platform

NYSARC Position Statements

Take Action!  Visit the New York State Legislative Action Center to learn about and get involved with state and national inititives.  Start your journey here.