Statement of NYS Senator Tom Duane on the Fight to Save New York City's Senior Centers

March 9, 2011

I am strongly opposed to the proposal in Governor Cuomo's Fiscal Year 2011-2012 Executive Budget that would result in a reduction of $25.2 million in Title XX funding for New York City senior centers and effectively force 105 of them to be closed. This would be devastating to the elderly New Yorkers who rely upon these centers for meal programs, activities and companionship, which are critical for their well-being and prevent their premature institutionalization.

A similar cut was proposed last year in former-Governor Patersonfs Executive Budget but Senate Democrats, along with our colleagues in the Assembly, were successful in securing a full restoration of this Title XX funding in the adopted Fiscal Year 2010-11 budget. I and my Senate Democratic colleagues are again fighting for these vital funds to be fully restored. This year, in a fractured Senate, we can not do this alone. To succeed, the Senate Republican Majority and the Independent Democratic caucus must also strongly advocate for this funding. Please see attached the letter I and the other members of the Senate Democratic Conference sent to the Senate Majority and Minority leaders urging them to work collaboratively to ensure that the elimination of Title XX discretionary funds is not included in the final enacted budget.

I appreciate all the constituents who have reached out to me on this important issue and I will continue working with individuals, advocacy organizations and legislative colleagues to overturn this devastating cut.

I encourage you to reach out to the following members of the Senate leadership and tell them why it is critical that Title XX funds be fully restored in the Senatefs forthcoming budget bill:

Hon. Dean Skelos
Majority Leader
New York State Senate
Albany, NY 12247
Phone: (518) 455-3171

Hon. David Valesky
Chair, Senate Committee on Aging
New York State Senate
Albany, NY 12247
Phone: (518) 455-2838

Hon. Jeffrey Klein
Independent Democratic Conference
New York State Senate
Albany, NY 12247
Phone: (518) 455-3595

It has been my experience that phone calls and personal letters are the most effective form of advocacy; however, form letters and emails are also closely monitored by Senate leadership.

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