It’s no secret that New York’s safety net for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) as well as those living with additional mental health issues, is in crisis. Stories about sudden facility closures and families having to uproot their loved ones with very little notice have been in the news quite a bit lately.
So we just wanted to take this opportunity to say that PEF has and will continue to advocate on behalf of the clients we serve at OPWDD and OMH and on behalf of all New Yorkers who have intellectual and developmental disabilities and/or mental health issues. Last month, President Spence sent this letter to Gov. Hochul, urging her to sign a bill on her desk (S.1765-A by Sen. Mannion/A.117-C by Asm. Gunther) which would provide greater transparency on staffing levels at OMH and OPWDD. This legislation is critical to providing clients important information about the continuity of existing services.
It is unacceptable that the previous governor allowed these agencies to atrophy to the point where they can no longer operate, let alone provide the quality services that all New Yorkers with IDD or mental health issues need and deserve. To that end, we are calling on Gov. Hochul to make good on her promise of greater transparency by signing this legislation. We also are calling for significant investments in state-operated programs and staffing to support those who suffer from IDD and/or mental illness in her upcoming Executive Budget.