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LEGISLATOR PACKET FOR BUDGET ADVOCACY DAY

Urgent action is needed to ensure that DV service providers have the funding required to maintain service provisions to all New Yorkers experiencing domestic violence. To make a united effort and increase our impact, we are asking advocates to contact their NYS Senators and Assemblymembers. Below you will find a template letter and Budget Advocacy Day Legislator Package. Please tailor the sample letter and highlight any other information you feel your legislators should know. This letter can be shared with your legislator as an attachment included with the Legislator Packet Materials found below.


You may use the sample letter below download a copy here: Sample Letter To New York State Legislators 

[DATE]

 

The Honorable {Legislator’s full name}

{Building / Street}

Albany, NY {ZIP}

 

Re: New York State Budget FY ’22–‘23

Dear {Assembly member/Senator + last name},

I am writing to you today as a/an {advocate, program director, executive director, etc.} at {your organization}.

As you may know, victim assistance providers across the state are facing massive funding cuts that will impact the provision of support services for victims of all types of crime. Specifically, the NYS Office of Victim Services (OVS) has informed providers that, due to significant declines in federal funding coming into New York, their funding will be slashed in the next round of awards issued later this year. In addition, OVS cancelled the last year of existing contracts with programs providing civil legal services to crime victims.

The timing of these cuts could not come at a worse time. Calls to crisis hotlines, requests for legal advocacy, counseling and other non-residential services, and requests for short-term financial assistance have all increased during the pandemic. Yet funding for these services is either non-existent, decreasing or flat. Many domestic violence programs are barely getting by financially and making difficult decisions regarding how to continue providing high-quality, trauma-informed services with the funding available to them.

To ensure the continuity and sustainability of New York’s crime victim services, we are asking Governor Hochul and the Legislature to earmark $25 million in the FY’22-’23 budget to extend current contracts with all victim assistance providers. The State is well positioned to extend these existing contracts, with its surplus and the availability of ample pandemic relief funding.

In addition, we are asking the Legislature to:

  • Remove Part H of the PPGG Budget Bill which creates a mandate for all DV advocates to obtain 40 hours of state-provided training and certification. More information is available in the enclosed document.
  • Increase TANF funding for non-residential domestic violence services. Non-residential supports for domestic violence victims include critical services such as toll-free hotlines, legal advocacy, workforce skills development, child care supports, language assistance, and counseling. The current $3 million set-aside of TANF funding included in this year’s executive budget has not increased since it was first proposed and allocated 20 years ago.
  • Maintain Governor’s $5 million appropriation to pilot a new flexible funding model aimed at transforming New York’s domestic violence service delivery system. The Governor has allocated $5 million for the NYS Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) to pilot a new flexible funding model that reduces current barriers and challenges for domestic violence service providers assisting survivors. Transforming New York’s antiquated domestic violence service delivery system is critical to ensuring victims and their families receive the support they need immediately and without conditions.

If you would like more information, I can be reached at {phone number}, or you can contact Joan Gerhardt, Director of Public Policy and Advocacy at the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, at 518-482-5465.

Thank you for your time.

 

Sincerely,

{Your name and title}

 


 

Legislator Package Materials

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