Bipartisan Budget Veto Override
From the NYS Assembly • Sheldon Silver, Speaker
Richard N. Gottfried • Chair, Health Committee
Steve Englebright • Chair, Aging Committee
Peter M. Rivera • Chair, Mental Health Committee
Legislature makes the right choice —
The Legislature put aside partisan differences and stood firm in its commitment to the people of New York, overriding the governor’s vetoes and delivering a budget that restores $1.2 billion in state funds for Medicaid, public health, and Health Care Reform Act programs.
Originally, Governor Pataki called for over $2 billion in cuts to Medicaid and other health care spending when hospitals and nursing homes are already losing money and facing serious staffing shortages. The governor’s cuts to Medicaid would have seriously threatened the quality of care available for our families, in addition to jeopardizing 48,000 health care-related jobs and eradicating services.
In a spirit of bipartisan unity, the Assembly and Senate worked diligently to override the governor’s vetoes, and enacted a responsible budget, providing more New York families with quality, affordable health care.
Fighting the governor’s wrong choices
When you take funding from a hospital, nursing home, home care agency or clinic — whether by cutting Medicaid payments or by leaving more patients uninsured — staff gets cut and services are stretched thinner. Even the wealthiest will receive a poorer quality of care. Our families depend on quality, affordable health care, and the Legislature’s budget helps them get it.
The Legislature’s budget lessens the damage of the governor’s severe cuts by:
Protecting New York’s most vulnerable
To help some of our most vulnerable citizens, the Legislature also restored $30 million to block the governor’s attempt to:
These centers and research facilities attract much-needed funding and provide reliable jobs for our families. The budget ensures these facilities remain intact to continue their progressive research and provide New Yorkers with quality care.
Additionally, we restored $26 million to fund the Supplemental Security Income cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA). SSI helps many elderly and disabled individuals to make ends meet. Originally, the governor proposed taking the federal COLA away from SSI recipients, but the Legislature’s budget restores funding for this critical program.
Keeping seniors independent
To help seniors stay independent and remain an integral part of the community, the Legislature restored funding for Social Model Day and Respite Care and the Retired Senior Volunteer Program. The Legislature also rejected the governor’s proposal to consolidate and cut funding for the Community Services for the Elderly program with the Expanded In-Home Services for the Elderly program and restored them to their respective funding levels.
Seniors should be active members of our community, and restoring these initiatives will help ensure they enjoy a higher quality of life. We also rejected the governor’s proposal to take away health benefits from state retirees and employees — keeping the state’s promise to these hard-working men and women.
Keeping quality health care a priority
There is no excuse for cutting health care programs like Medicaid that serve the most vulnerable. Yet, Governor Pataki abdicated his leadership role and proposed a shortsighted budget that would have crushed our health care system. The Assembly and Senate’s override of his vetoes ensure access to quality, affordable health care for millions of New Yorkers. The Assembly will continue making the right choices for our families, and fighting to ensure that all New Yorkers have dependable health care.
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