State Senate leaders in their one-house budget plan rejected Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to reduce funding for some women’s health programs.
Cuomo proposed shifting funding for 89 health programs—including 16 that specifically deal with women—into six discretionary pools. The state would then implement an across-the-board 10 percent cut. Several health groups have opposed the change, including the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.
“This funding is important to the health and well-being of millions of women across this state, and my Republican colleagues and I are pleased and proud to include it as part of the Senate’s budget resolution,” Senate GOP Leader Dean Skelos said in a statement. “We urge the Governor to consider the impact of these harmful cuts, and ask him to join us in standing up for women.”
Cuomo has defended his proposed cuts to health programs, saying they are necessary to help the state close a $1.3 billion deficit. Cuomo and the leaders of the Assembly and Senate will move forward with budget negotiations this week, hoping to reach an agreement by March 21.
Among programs on the chopping block are the Evidence Based Cancer Services Program, the Adelphi University Breast Cancer Program, SNAP/WIC, the Safe Motherhood Initiative, the Prenatal and Postnatal Home Visitation Program and rape crisis center funding.
“Working families and single moms have had to make many hard choices during these tough financial times,” Sen. Betty Little, R-Queensbury, Warren County. “We don’t want their health care decisions to be among them.”