— ALBANY, NY – New York State Senator Terry Gipson (D-Dutchess, Putnam) continued to advocate for New York State to provide funding to counties for Early Intervention programs. Senator Gipson sent a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo, Co-Coalition Leaders Dean Skelos and Jeff Klein, and Speaker Sheldon Silver urging them to include this relief to counties as they finalize the 2014/2015 State Budget.
“The state should take responsibility for providing funding for these important services to children with special needs and their families,” said Senator Gipson. “Doing so will provide counties additional revenue to invest in tax relief that taxpayers desperately need.”
In the letter Senator Gipson highlights that New York State has placed the entire responsibility of funding Early Intervention programs on our counties. In the 41st Senate District, Senator Gipson cites that Dutchess County spends approximately $9 million annually on Early Intervention, and Putnam County puts that cost at approximately $2.2 million.
Senator Gipson also highlighted his legislation, S.6001, which would streamline the process by which funds are distributed to municipalities to finance Early Intervention programs and create a grant pool to provide funding for counties to pay for these programs.
Senator Gipson stated, “By taking action, New York State would provide vital relief to the municipalities across the state so that we can work together to reduce the cost of living, while also improving their ability to more effectively administer Early Intervention services. The current structure of financing Early Intervention costs is simply inadequate.”