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Families Fear Budget Cuts To Services For People With Developmental, Intellectual Disabilities

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Albany is now finalizing that state budget, and slashes to care management programs are looming. Some families with loved ones living with developmental or intellectual disabilities worry their case managers will have to go. CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reports.

Video Transcript

[MUSIC PLAYING]

KRISTINE JOHNSON: Expected cuts to the New York state budget has families of those with disabilities concerned over the effect that that could have on services. Welcome back. I'm Kristine Johnson.

MAURICE DUBOIS: I'm Maurice DuBois. Albany is now finalizing that state budget, and slashes to care management programs are looming.

KRISTINE JOHNSON: And some families with loved ones living with developmental or intellectual disabilities worry that their case managers will have to go. CBS 2's Jennifer McLogan reports now from Levittown.

GAIL KENNEDY: Anything that deals with people who are handicapped is a price

JENNIFER MCLOGAN: The Kennedys of Levittown say they were blindsided by a proposed massive cut to funding for New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities that would affect their 27-year-old son Evan, who has cerebral palsy.

GAIL KENNEDY: We have gone through these types of cuts and have had to fight for these things, and usually we lose.

JENNIFER MCLOGAN: Evan relies on mom, dad, and caregiver Paola who guides Evan through daily life five days a week.

PAOLA PICHARDO: We're like a lifeline, he with me and I with him.

JENNIFER MCLOGAN: The pandemic's forcing tough decisions in Albany. Coupled with last year's cuts, a 39% funding reduction for the state's seven regional care coordination organizations who help line up and case manage for 120,000 marginalized New Yorkers.

PAOLA PICHARDO: To do this to a vulnerable population is really unconscionable. It's going to put more pressure on families.

JENNIFER MCLOGAN: An agency spokeswoman says the proposed adjustments to CCO programs will have no impact on services they provide New Yorkers. Budget negotiations are ongoing.

GAIL KENNEDY: There's tons of places where they're not going to cut. And they have to look at people like my son. And they have to see that he has to live every single day, and so do we.

JENNIFER MCLOGAN: The Kennedys, Gail and Patrick, say they are getting older and worry about looming service cuts now and in the future. Who will be around to help Evan and advocate for him?

EVAN KENNEDY: Fight like hell.

JENNIFER MCLOGAN: She's going to fight like hell for you.

GAIL KENNEDY: He's everything. He is. He's everything.

JENNIFER MCLOGAN: The Kennedys want Even with them, not in a group home, but need funding to continue for help with his daily care.

From Levittown, Long Island, Jennifer McLogan, CBS 2 News.

KRISTINE JOHNSON: And advocates say that the state should use some of the funds from Washington to ensure the care management programs for these individuals continue.