WOODBURY - Nonprofits and other agencies who serve the disabled on Long Island are slamming the approved budget cuts they will face this year.
The state budget that was approved late last night includes $90 million in cuts to agencies that serve the developmentally disabled. Last-minute attempts to restore the funds failed.
Terri Manzione, who works with an agency that serves people with autism, says the budget cuts will hit them hard.
Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg (D-Long Beach) has a severely disabled son and was angered over the cuts.
"We have an obligation," Weisenberg said. "An obligation to provide a voice to those who would otherwise be silent. An obligation to represent those who physically can't make their voices heard in the voting booth."
Gov. Andrew Cuomo defended the cuts, saying many nonprofits are top-heavy with high-salaried administrators. However, Manzione argues that most nonprofits don't have high-salaried administrators and that the cuts will affect the patients directly.
The agencies are facing a rough road ahead, as the federal government will also cut a dollar for every dollar the state cuts. The cuts now translate into the loss of $180 million for the agencies.