Catholic Charities leaders from across the state will convene at the Capitol in Albany on Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 9-10, to advocate for their 2015-16 state budget priorities. The New York

State Council of Catholic Charities Directors, representing all eight dioceses of the state, will meet with key legislators and members of the Cuomo Administration on behalf of the state’s poorest and most vulnerable citizens.

The Council’s budget priorities include:

Targeted investment in human services: Fully funding the scheduled 2 percent salary and fringe benefit increases for human services workers; use of bank settlement funds toward an investment in the human services infrastructure; and the development of a strategy addressing high childhood poverty rates in our upstate cities.

Criminal justice: Fully funding the recommendations from the New York Commission on Youth, Public Safety, and Justice around the issue of raising the age of individuals being charged as adults.

Affordable housing: Fulfilling the commitment to fund affordable housing from the initial bank settlement proceeds, with a request that $439 million be appropriated in the 2015-16 state budget.

Services to the intellectually/developmentally disabled and behavioral health populations: Fully funding these services rather than reducing them to repay the federal government $1.26 billion from a CMS audit; with the use of bank settlement funds if appeals are not successful with federal officials.

Unaccompanied minors: Support for the following items previously raised by the Archdiocese of New York in public testimony:

  • $24 million to support comprehensive case management and transitional support;
  • support for deportation defense legal resources for children living outside New York City;
  • support for expanded legal orientation community-based programs for children and parents/custodians;
  • develop and support legal-medical partnerships and clinics; and
  • expand the OTDA/BRIA Refugee Social Services Program and Targeted Assistance Grant.

The Council of Catholic Charities Directors will also hold a reception on the evening of Feb. 9 at the Albany Hilton.

For more information, contact Dennis Poust – 518-434-6195.