101st Assembly District
Kevin Cahill

Room 557 LOB, Albany, NY 12248 • (518) 455-4436
Governor Clinton Building, One Albany Ave., Suite G-4
Kingston, NY 12401 • (845) 338-9610

For Immediate Release
Date: October 1, 2002
Contact: Kathy Keyser
(845) 338-9610

Assemblymember Cahill's Able Column - 2002 Legislative Accomplishments - October 2002

As another summer comes to an end, I appreciate this opportunity to congratulate New York's disabilities community on several jobs well done this year. I cannot stress how important it is for you to be respected as a united body that carries a great deal of power. Together, we have celebrated many great legislative victories in 2002. We required the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code Council to keep nearly all newly-constructed multi-unit apartments accessible and livable to wheelchair users and others as New York State converts to a new building code. I am sure many of you remember that the Code Council originally planned to require only two-percent of these units to maintain the degree of accessibility that New Yorkers with disabilities need, deserve and have counted on for the last 17 years.

We fought for and created the Medicaid Buy-In program, which will allow workers with disabilities to buy into the Medicaid program by paying premiums on a sliding scale based on income, and to earn up to 250 percent of the federal poverty level, or $44,000, while still maintaining Medicaid benefits when the program takes effect in April, 2003. We also made sure the cap on how much a person can retain in assets will be increased to $10,000.

We drafted, introduced and passed legislation to create a Most Integrated Setting Coordinating Council, which will develop and oversee the implementation of a comprehensive plan to ensure that people of all ages with disabilities receive the services they need in the most integrated settings possible. This legislation was advanced as a direct result of the 1999 U.S. Supreme Court's Olmstead vs. L.C. decision, which states that the unnecessary segregation of individuals with disabilities in institutions is discriminatory and could be considered a violation of a person's civil rights. The bill is currently before Governor Pataki for his approval.

We also passed several other legislative measures aimed at improving the lives of people with disabilities, but there is always more work that needs to be done. People with disabilities in New York State have proven that when they unite in a common cause, good things happen. Let us join together again as another legislative session draws near to ensure that our priorities are focused on making the lives of people with disabilities easier. Together, we have made, and will continue to make a difference.

Assemblymember Kevin A. Cahill is the Chair of the New York State Assembly Task Force on People with Disabilities. Anyone with questions, comments or suggestions can reach the Task Force office at 518-455-4592 or by email at