Tedisco to Governor: Act Now to Prevent a Crisis for New York’s Developmentally Disabled

Assemblyman calls on Governor to make it a high priority in state budget to provide consistent care for people with developmental disabilities by including funding to recruit and retain skilled workers so they don’t find other jobs that pay more


Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Glenville) today is calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to prevent a staffing crisis by using some of the expected state budgetary windfall to help provide the highest level of care for thousands of New Yorkers with developmental disabilities by increasing services for clients and support for the professionals who directly care for them.


Tedisco, who helped lead the effort two years ago to restore $90 million in state funding the Governor cut for the state Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), has written Cuomo (see attached) asking that the state give a high priority to recruit and retain a skilled workforce to care for the disabled who are facing increasing pressure to find work in other jobs that pay more.


“The role of state government is to have spending priorities and those should begin with protecting our most vulnerable citizens in the state budget.  Currently, our ARCs and those agencies that provide direct care to the developmentally disabled are facing enormous pressure to find qualified employees and keep them in their jobs to provide the consistency of care their clients deserve,” said Tedisco.


Tedisco noted he’s been told the decision by the state Wage Board to mandate a $15 per hour minimum wage for fast food workers is already having a chilling effect on the ability of ARCs and related human services agencies to recruit and retain a skilled and talented workforce to care for people with developmental disabilities.


“In light of recent concerns about the alarming number of reports of alleged abuse brought to the Justice Center, wouldn’t we want our state to go above and beyond to ensure we have the highest level of skilled talent available to our loved ones who depend on consistency in their care?” said Tedisco.


“To recruit and retain hard-working and compassionate direct care workers, the state must give a higher level of support to those individuals.  If nothing is done, we could be faced with a real staffing crisis in terms of having competent and qualified people in place to care for our most vulnerable citizens,” said Tedisco.