NYS capitol

The New York State 2024-25 fiscal year budget was agreed to in April, but there was always some hope for last-minute changes. However, with the legislative session ending June 6, we’ve got what we’ve got. For now.

The WBFO-FM Disabilities Beat podcast with Emyle Watkins has a detailed discussion on how the budget will impact people with disabilities. It’s not great.

Highlights & Lowlights

In a bit of good news, the budget does prioritize the national “Employment First” approach to employing people with disabilities, which in NYS means getting them competitive integrated employment, via a $6.7 million budget allocation. The details are still pending and, as we know, the devil’s in those details.

But there’s lots of disappointing news as well:

  • Direct Support Professionals did not get a cost of living increase that keeps up with inflation.
  • The Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP) will eliminate its 600+ fiscal intermediaries, replacing them with one single FI to be chosen by the state.
  • Funding towards housing for people with disabilities, while a positive, is specifically targeted for people with mental health conditions and not all that helpful for people with multiple disabilities.
  • There are no major changes in this budget to Paratransit, an essential mode of transportation for people with disabilities. As those who deal with the system know, it’s short-staffed and badly in need of  support. Wait times are increasing, scheduling can be difficult, and those who depend on it find it an increasingly impractical way to get where they need to go.

Photo: Mike Groll, Office of Governor Hochul

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