Special Olympics New York will see $50,000 less in funds from New York State’s budget this fiscal year.
The organization traditionally receives $200,000to help fund the Unified Champions Program, a version of the Special Olympics that tours schools across the state. Early drafts of the 2019 budget package included plans to eliminate the funding altogether. But by the end of a long Sunday budget process in Albany, the funding was back, but limited to $150,000.
“I’ve seen this kind of budget trick where they cut out something completely, and then give a portion back and ask people to be grateful that they got something back,” said State Senator Chris Jacobs. “So I’m viewing this purely as a cut. I think this is a very worthwhile organization.”
Jacobs said with a large budget of $175.5 billion, it’s sad to see such a small overall cut to the Special Olympics.
Special Olympics New York provided a written statement on the funding allocation:
“Special Olympics New York is thankful to the Governor and Legislature for securing $150,000 in State Budget to support our Unified Champion Schools program, which is creating inclusive school communities throughout New York State. The budget process is always difficult and we are grateful we had so many champions advocating on our behalf. We will continue to work with our representatives in state government to hopefully increase these funds and continue to grow this important program.”