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Governor Cuomo, Majority Leader Flanagan, Speaker Heastie,Senator Ortt & Assemblywoman Gunther Honored by NYSRA

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017
Media Contacts: Bob Bellafiore, 518-928-8471, bob@stanhope-ny.com
Steve Greenberg, 518-469-9858, steve@greenbergpr.com

Governor Cuomo, Majority Leader Flanagan, Speaker Heastie,Senator Ortt & Assemblywoman Gunther Honored by NYSRA with Public Official of the Year Award Recognizes Leadership & Dedication to New Yorkers with Disabilities, Specifically for Supporting #bFair2DirectCare Living Wage Effort

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – The New York State Rehabilitation Association (NYSRA) is honoring Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Senator Robert Ortt, and Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther with its 11th annual Public Official of the Year Award.
NYSRA is recognizing the Governor and legislators for their collective leadership and commitment to an exceptional system of care that embraces the care, choice and inclusion of New Yorkers with disabilities. Specifically, NYSRA cited their initial investment in this year’s state budget for #bFair2DirectCare and the nearly 100,000 direct support professionals who support people with disabilities.
Michael Seereiter, NYSRA President & CEO, said: “On behalf of our 89 not-for-profit human service organizations and the tens of thousands of New Yorkers we serve, we are proud to recognize and applaud the Governor and these legislative leaders for their commitment and leadership. New Yorkers with disabilities depend on the dedicated direct support professionals who support them every day, and these professionals deserve to earn a living wage for the extraordinary care they provide.
“Gov. Cuomo and legislators from both houses, regardless of party, embraced the #bFair2DirectCare campaign. While this award could be given to virtually every legislator, we recognize the chairs of the mental health committees and the leaders of each house on behalf of all the legislators who championed this cause,” Seereiter said.
Mr. Ortt and Ms. Gunther chair the mental health committees in their respective houses.
“In awarding these five New York leaders for including the first phase of the #bFair2DirectCare six-year plan to ensure a living wage for direct support professionals, we remind Governor Cuomo and all 213 legislators that there is more work to be done,” Seereiter said. “This year’s budget included a down payment toward that living wage. Now we look to these champions to continue the effort.”
Past Public Official of the Year Award winners include U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, State Senator Catherine Young, former legislators Tom Morahan, Peter Rivera and Roy McDonald.
NYSRA’s Public Official of the Year Award will be presented at NYSRA’s Rehabilitation Summit Membership and Awards Luncheon on Thursday, September 28 in Saratoga Springs.
About the NYS Rehabilitation Association
NYSRA is statewide non-profit representing rehabilitation providers who advocate on behalf of individuals with differing abilities and the non-profit agencies who serve them. NYSRA is a member of #bFair2DirectCare, a coalition of non-profits that came together to urge Albany to provide funding so direct support professionals can earn a living wage. For more information on NYSRA, see www.nyrehab.org. Follow us at @NYSRehab.
For more information about #bFair2DirectCare, see
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