ADVOCATES CLOSE TO A WIN - BUT THE FIGHT IS NOT OVER UNTIL IT’S OVER 

NY State Senate and Assembly work together to restore Title XX Funding

by Council of Senior Centers and Services Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Advocacy efforts to save senior centers have forced elected leaders to take action. In a bipartisan effort the Senate has completely restored Title XX funding for discretionary programs in its one-house budget bill, and the state assembly has also introduced and passed a one-house budget resolution. Now each chamber must meet together in a joint conference to finalize the budget bill that will be sent to Governor Cuomo.

Igal Jellinek, Executive Director, CSCS, said, “New York State Senators and Assemblymembers are publicly supporting the efforts to save senior centers and Title XX funding. However the fight is not over until it is over. Senior centers are still in danger of closing by April 1. This means that advocates and elected leaders must continue to place pressure on the governor. In addition, our elected leaders must make senior center funding mandatory so that older New Yorkers and their senior centers are not faced with this devastating cut every year.”

Under Title XX senior centers are an optional service not a mandated service. However, advocates argue that after 35 years of providing a foundation for senior centers, Title XX is hardly an optional funding source.

Senator Diane Savino stated, " On Monday we witnessed a truly bi-partisan effort in the State Senate to restore the Title XX cuts that the Governor had proposed. I am proud to have worked with my colleges and the advocates to ensure that our seniors continue to have the quality of life they deserve. Fiscal uncertainty is always difficult for people and as we go forward those of us in government will need to make tough decisions in order to balance the budget, but we should not do that by closing senior centers,"

Senator Martin Golden stated, "The State Senate decided that we will not allow the proposed Governor's $25 million cut to senior centers in the City of New York in our budget. Closing senior centers will be detrimental to the health and well-being of thousands of New Yorkers. It is just not an acceptable way of addressing the fiscal struggles facing our State next year and we hope that the State Assembly joins us in sending a budget recommendation to the Governor that also maintains the current level of funding for our senior centers."

Senator Rubén Díaz stated, “I am pleased and grateful that Senator Skelos and the Senate Republicans, as well as my conference Leader John Sampson and the Senate Democrats, worked to ensure that this very important funding was restored.”

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz has been a leader in the Assembly to save senior centers and to date has obtained signatures of support from 58 NYC Assembly Member’s (to view the list visit: http://cscs-ny.org/advocacy/titleXX-budget-cut-section.php)

Assemblyman Dinowitz, said "It is absolutely essential that 100% of the Title XX money be restored in the State budget. As Chair of the Assembly Committee on Aging I have made this restoration my top priority in budget negotiations and organized by New York City colleagues in support of this crucial restoration. I am very pleased that the Assembly's proposed budget contains no cut in Title XX funding.”

While there is heavy support in the legislature and prospects for passage are likely, Governor Cuomo would still have to approve and sign the bill into law. If the Assembly and Senate are successful they would save 105 senior centers from impending doom.
The Council of Senior Centers and Services (CSCS) promotes the quality of life, independent living, productivity, and dignity of mature older adults principally in New York City. CSCS champions elder rights. For more information visit the CSCS web site at cscs-ny.org.
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The Council of Senior Centers and Services (CSCS) promotes the quality of life, independent living, productivity, and dignity of mature older adults principally in New York City. CSCS champions elder rights. For more information visit the CSCS web site at cscs-ny.org.

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