I am proud to be part of the Assembly Minority Conference which is dedicated to working on behalf of all our citizens including people with disabilities and their care providers. Last year, we fought tirelessly to restore $90 million in funding for the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) cut from the state budget.
This year, when we learned that money was not being provided and critical services were being left unfunded, our conference offered an amendment to the state budget to force Albany to keep its promise. Unfortunately, that amendment was defeated, but our fight is far from finished. Keeping vital services from being funded and provided is disrespectful to the people who need our help the most.
LEGISLATIVE DISABILITIES AWARENESS DAY 2014
On Monday, May 19, I will be joined by my Assembly colleagues to co-host the New York State Assembly Legislative Disabilities Awareness Day in Albany. This event is held annually to increase awareness about the needs of the disability community and celebrate the accomplishments and dedication of advocates and people with disabilities in New York.
The day-long celebration features a poster exhibit from grade school children showcasing their personal experiences and perspectives on issues facing people with disabilities, as well as over 40 informational exhibits from organizations that serve this population and two educational seminars offering participants an opportunity to learn more about current issues facing the disability community.
CONTINUING THE WORK AT HOME
But the work doesn’t end in Albany. Continuing to collaborate with advocates and people with disabilities year-round is crucial to providing a better quality of life and care for individuals. Sharing ideas and working with local organizations like Happiness House and Ontario County ARC in the Finger Lakes has always been among my top priorities as an Assemblyman. I look forward to another successful day celebrating the dedication and achievements of people with disabilities and their advocates at Legislative Disabilities Awareness Day.
What do you think? I want to hear from you. Send me your feedback, suggestions and ideas regarding this or any other issue facing New York State. You can always contact my district office at (315) 781-2030, e-mail me at email@example.com, find me by searching for Assemblyman Brian Kolb on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.