Disabled groups seek money in budget to pay better wages
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Karen DeWitt

Governor Cuomo is due to release his budget on Tuesday, and agencies that work with the intellectually disabled are among those hoping for more funds. They say they need help in order to pay their workers the new, higher minimum wage.

New York’s minimum wage is going up over the next few years, to $15 eventually in New York City and lesser amounts upstate.  Groups that provide services for the developmentally disabled rely on Medicaid reimbursements to pay their workers, and they say they’ll have a hard time meeting the higher wages without more money from the state. Michael Seereiter, with the New York State Rehabilitation Association, is part of the group that held a demonstration outside one of Governor Cuomo’s State of the State speeches in Albany. He says $45 million dollars is needed.

“We’re in are a real crisis at this point,” he said. “If we don’t get this corrected and don’t get funding in this year’s budget, I think we’re going to see organizations fall, quite frankly.”

The governor did not mention the funding his speeches. The groups hope he’ll come through in the state budget.