CENTER FOR DISABILITY RIGHTS RELEASES ANALYSIS OF GOVERNOR HOCHUL’S EXECUTIVE BUDGET AND ITS IMPACT ON NEW YORKERS WITH DISABILITIES
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 2, 2022
CONTACT: Zach Garafalo, Manager of Government Affairs, Center for Disability Rights, 518-362-7916, firstname.lastname@example.org
ROCHESTER – Today, the Center for Disability Rights released its Analysis of Governor Hochul’s Executive Budget. Although the Center praised forward-thinking proposals included in her budget – which seemed to be designed to solidify her progressive credentials – the Center found the document fell short in advancing Disability Justice.
“Governor Hochul’s Budget rightfully promotes a forward-thinking, inclusive vision for New York,” said Zach Garafalo, Manager of Government Affairs at the Center for Disability Rights. “Although we unequivocally support and are grateful that the Governor is prioritizing long-neglected and oppressed communities, she needs to understand that it falls short because she isn’t listening to Disabled New Yorkers.” CDR specifically identified that Governor Hochul’s Budget fails to:
● Fund permanent wage increases for CDPAS personal assistants and personal care workers who are primarily Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC);
● Give Disabled New Yorkers permanent representation in state government; and,
● End subminimum wage across sectors, including for people with disabilities who may be paid pennies on the dollar.
The Center also raised concerns that Governor Hochul’s Budget advances ableist proposals that roll back the rights of people with disabilities. These proposals include:
● Extending and expanding the scope of Kendra’s law, which criminalizes mental health disabilities while rolling back the right of people with mental health disabilities to have their records kept confidential; and,
● Undermining the bodily autonomy of Disabled New Yorkers by giving the State authority to override doctors and Disabled individuals’ decisions regarding choice of prescriptions.
“The analysis underscores why Governor Hochul needs to establish an Office of the Advocate for People with Disabilities,” said Ayisha Salifu, Deaf Systems Advocate at the Regional Center for Independent Living. “The Governor must understand that we cannot have Racial Justice, Gender Justice, Climate Justice or Reproductive Justice without Disability Justice. Our oppressions are linked. She needs to engage communities and cannot pick and choose the most expedient issues by herself and claim success. I hope Governor Hochul listens to our community.”
With the February 4th deadline fast approaching, the Center once again called on Governor Hochul to sign legislation establishing the Office of the Advocate for People with Disabilities (A3130/S1836). It is CDR’s understanding – based on communication with the Executive Chamber – that Governor Hochul’s Budget includes funding for a Chief Disability Officer (CDO) and two additional staff.
“Governor Cuomo vetoed previous versions of legislation establishing the Office because there wasn’t funding. Governor Hochul doesn’t have that excuse. There is no reason not to sign the legislation into law”, said Bruce Darling, President and CEO of the Center for Disability Rights. “Not signing this bill, championed by Disabled New Yorkers, would be outright ableism, either in its disregard for the Disability Community or a paternalistic approach assuming that Disabled people don’t understand what’s best for us.”