JAMESTOWN – Officials with The Resource Center are still waiting to see just how severely the cuts in state funding will affect the services here in Chautauqua County.
According to TRC Community Relations Director Steve Waterson, the state is currently putting together a work group that will make recommendations on how service providers like TRC should implement the funding cut so as to minimize negative impacts on individuals with disabilities. He said a formal plan is supposed to be developed by the end of April, and the State has directed providers to hold off on any service cuts until the plan is released.
Waterson adds that the new funding cut – which totals $180 million – is the latest in a series of steps by New York State that have challenged TRC’s ability to provide services. Two years ago, the state began cutting back on the money it gives organizations like TRC as reimbursement for providing services to people with developmental disabilities. And last year, TRC was hit with a $1.6 million cut in funding from the state.
The latest funding cuts would remove $1.8 million from TRC’s annual operating budget. However, officials say the situation would have been worse had it not been for supporters of TRC and other organizations speaking out against the cuts, with many traveling to Albany the past couple of weeks to lobby for the developmentally disabled.
In an e-newsletter sent out earlier this week, TRC officials said they have already held a meeting to inform families about what is going on. They also thanked supporters and said that TRC is facing a number of financial challenges. In addition to funding cuts, they say the state has initiated a plan to switch to a managed-care system for delivering services to people with disabilities. With these two combined challenges, they say the traditional ways TRC has provided services may be on the verge of disappearing.
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