ALBANY, NY – New York State lawmakers on both side of the aisle are speaking out against cuts to substance abuse treatment funding.
NewsChannel 34’s Corina Cappabianca has more on why they say now is not the time for a funding reduction despite the state’s 13 billion dollar deficit.
((Chris Tague, Assemblyman)) I think if you talk to any New Yorker, some way shape or form, they have been affected by someone that’s overdosed, or that has a substance abuse problem.
Republicans and Democrats are opposing budget cuts to substance use treatment providers.
The Buffalo News reported a 31% reduction in state payments to local governments for the programs.
In a statement Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal said:
“A 31% cut for addiction treatment providers at a time when overdose deaths are increasing will mean more people will die from preventable overdoses as community-based treatment providers are forced to close their doors…”
Senator Pete Harckham echoed that saying:
“It is certain that substantial decreases in funding to valuable, community-based treatment programs will add a great deal of woe to residents who need more help, not less, during this medical emergency…”
Lawmakers say overdoses are going up statewide as the pandemic continues.
((Chris Tague, Assemblyman)) less than 30,000 people in Schohaire county, we’ve had six overdoses in the last two months. It seems like the COVID-19 is overshadowed everything. It’s a terrible virus, it’s put this country upside down but let’s not forget before COVID came along we’ve been fighting a war on heroin and opioid even before COVID-19.
Governor Cuomo has said if the federal does not provide a relief package for states New York could face 20% across the board cuts.
Tague says raising taxes is not the answer.
((Chris Tague, Assemblyman)) We don’t need to raise taxes in this state. We need to get rid of regulation that’s nutso and let these people run their businesses.
Harckham and Rosenthal on the other hand have signed a statement to not allow state budget cuts without raising taxes on “ultra-millionaires” and billionaires.