We Need Your Help - Advocacy Action: Therapeutic Leave Rate Cuts

We need your help, and it won’t take long.


Every contact made makes a difference. We must be willing to ask our legislators to represent our needs and honor their oath of office to serve our most vulnerable people. 


There are 3 simple action items.

  1. 1. Letter CampaignClick here, enter a few quick responses, and that is it! 

  2. 2. Phone Calls - On Thursday, September 24th, we ask you all to engage in an all-day “phone rally”. We ask that you take 10-15 minutes out of your day to share how these cuts will personally affect you, the people you support, and families - their loved ones. 

  3. Who to Contact:

    • Governor Andrew Cuomo: 1-518-474-8390 

    • NYS Assembly Members:

      • Christopher S. Friend 607-562-3602 – District office, 518-455-4538 – Albany office, ​​​​​​​friendc@nyassembly.gov

      • Philip A. Palmesano 607-776-9691 – District office, 518-455-5791 – Albany office, ​​​​​​​palmesanop@nyassembly.gov

    • NYS Senator: Thomas F. O'Mara 607-735-9671 – District office, 518-455-2091 – Albany office, ​​​​​​​omara@nysenate.gov


  5. What to Say? Below is a script, to make it easy for you!

A Few Pointers and Instructions 

  • The goal is to inform, but also to seek where they stand on the issue and if we can count on them to fight against these cuts. 

  • Ask to speak to your legislator by name. If they are not available ask to speak with the person who oversees their policy, such as chief of staff, legislative director, etc. 

  • Make as personal as you would like. Example: replacing “families” with “us” or a person’s name. All highlighted and italicized areas are where you can and should make it specific to you, your loved ones, and the office you are calling.  **Click here for highlighted script. 

  • Remember to thank the person taking the call. 

  • If you leave a message, ask for a call back and be sure to leave your number. 


  1. 3. After you make your calls, please complete this short survey so we can measure the impact of this initiative. 

  2. Script to Follow as Guide 

Hello, my name is ________________ and I am a constituent and [supporter, mother, father, caretaker, etc.] of [insert who are calling on behalf of] an individual(s) with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  

I am calling to voice my extreme opposition to administrative cuts from the Department of Health and Office for People with Developmental Disabilities that could jeopardize the residential stability of [insert who are calling on behalf of]. While several cuts are proposed, the one that hits closest to home would reduce payments to voluntary service providers by 50% whenever individuals with I/DD leave to spend time with family or are admitted to the hospital for care. It is planned to go into effect on October 1, 2020, which is coming right up! 

This seems to be punishing families for staying connected and involved with their loved ones with disabilities, and threatens to erode the stability of our residential support system.  

This is [his/her/their] home, not just “a bed”. Our own fixed expenses do not go away when we are on vacation or in the hospital and the same is true for providers when an individual they support is away from home.  

I understand that this is a difficult time; it has been for all of us. But, I feel it is my duty to inform about what is going on behind the scenes...I know [he/she/you] didn’t vote for these cuts directly, but I am asking you to join with your colleagues and push back against this. New York state has a constitutional obligation to support their most vulnerable and [you/Assemblymember _______/Senator________] took an oath to uphold the constitution.  

Do you know where [insert legislator name] stands on this and if they are willing to take a public position on it? (Please record response and report back) 


Additional Talking Points 

  • Imagine being a family member who is burdened with the knowledge that spending time with their loved one could cause financial harm and instability to the place they call home. 

  • Providers have tried their hardest not to burden families with issues like this, but the reality is that New York state is has been intentionally underfunding our system of supports and services for years. Basic human decency would dictate that this is unacceptable in any form. 

  • These are the homes of people that they may come and go from in times of crisis or for connection - homes they have a right to return to. This cut would jeopardize that basic security.


Thanks for helping The Arc of Chemung-Schuyler get this very important message out there!​​​​​​​

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