Services for Developmentally Disabled in Jeopardy Following Drastic State Aid Cuts

April 3, 2013 Updated Apr 3, 2013 at 6:53 PM EDT

By Kyla Igoe

April 3, 2013 Updated Apr 3, 2013 at 6:53 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NEW YORK (WKBW)- The state budget may have been passed on time but it's hitting the local disabled community hard. The budget slashed $90 million in state funding to agencies that serve the developmentally disabled. In Western New York there are 44 agencies that provide vital resources, programs and care for people with developmental disabilities. These groups say the $90 million cut in state aid is actually even more since the federal government normally matches funding dollar for dollar.

"We're lean and efficient now," said People Inc. CEO Rhonda Frederick. "These next cuts may result in less services and less opportunities given to people."

People Inc. serves 30,000 disabled people every year. The agency is now trying to cope with a $6 million cut from Albany.

"We would be talking about going from 3 staffers at a group home down to 1," added Frederick. "There's normally 4-12 people in a group home. Imagine there only being 1 staffer."

Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak says he fought adamantly against the cuts. He says he'll try to find alternative ways to restore some of the funding.

"When you go ahead and negatively impact a segment of the population, you have to wonder why," said Gabryszak. "We'll find a way if possible to try and lessen the blow."