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Mental health cuts: How are local programs coping?

Posted at: 03/29/2013 6:10 PM
Updated at: 03/29/2013 7:04 PM

The new state budget passed Thursday night is getting panned for its $90 million in cuts to programs for the most vulnerable in our community.

They are people with developmental disabilities. To gauge the impact of these cuts, News10NBC went to the ARC of Monroe County, which receives about $26 million in state funding.
   
The ARC of Monroe County serves about 3500 individuals with intellectual and/or other developmental disabilities (taken directly from their pamphlet). Its goal is to enhance the quality of life and self-esteem of the people arc serves.

Tracy Petrichick, VP-Finance, said, “Our first and foremost priority would be the safety and well-being of those we serve.”

Tracy Petrichick is vice-president of finance and although they haven't heard specifics yet from Albany, she said what the size of the cut they're expecting.
   
Petrichick said, “If the impact is across all programs, it could be about $1.2 to $1.6 million.”
    
News10NBC's Ray Levato said, “What do you do with that kind of a cut?”

Petrichick said, “That's a great question. At this point in time, we're an organization that operates very efficiently.”

ARC offers a variety of programs including day services and family support  and also supports 30 residences for people who can and want to live independently. ARC also places more than 300 employees in the workplace.

Petrichick said, “The ARC of Monroe is a strong organization. We've been around for over 50 years. We've seen changes come and we've weathered them. So there's no doubt that we'll get through this, but it's not going to be easy.”

Assemblyman Joe Morelle, the New York State Assembly majority leader,  praised the state budget for having no broad-based tax increases and making what he called the right investments in education, the economy and in hard-working middle-class families. But he's concerned about the cuts.

Morelle said, “While we were able to restore some of the funding for people with disabilities. It is my hope we will be able to do even more to maintain services for our most vulnerable citizens, a commitment we must keep even in the most difficult of times.”

ARC of Monroe says every dollar that comes in, about $26 million from the state, goes to provide services. And there's no fat to cut.