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: January 1, 2004
Contact: Kathy Keyser
(845) 338-9610

Assemblymember Cahill's Able Column - Task Force Formulates 2004 Legislative Agenda - January 2004

Happy New Year! It's hard to believe that it is that time of year again when I am reminding disabilities advocates to reach out to us at the Task Force on People with Disabilities to convey your priorities for the new Legislative Session. The Task Force welcomes your thoughts and suggestions in our effort to create a thorough and comprehensive legislative agenda which represents a cross-section of the interests of the disabilities community. Oftentimes, your input is what drives our agenda for the year. In just the last few years, advocates from the disabilities community can, in great part, take credit for the Medicaid Buy-In program and the creation of the Most Integrated Setting Coordinating Council. We are ready to roll up our sleeves and fight! So what's next?

The Task Force has already received numerous requests for the Legislature to expand the Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) program to the disabilities community. It has long been apparent that EPIC is a very successful and necessary benefit for New York's Senior citizens who face high prescription costs but do not qualify for Medicaid. The Task Force recognizes that people with disabilities who may be trying to manage high prescription costs while on fixed incomes should benefit from this cost-saving program as well. Therefore, I am joining forces with Assemblymember David Koon, sponsor of Assembly Bill A.3914 (S.1567/Seward), which makes certain persons who are receiving or are eligible for social security disability insurance benefits also eligible for EPIC. Together, Dave Koon and I will fight for passage of this important measure in the Assembly.

The Task Force has been approached by several organizations seeking to ensure that the protections originally secured under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are enforceable on the state level as well as under federal laws and rules. Because the scope of the ADA has been under scrutiny for quite some time, it is a top priority to gain the support of the Senate and the Governor for legislation (A.5468, A.5469 and A.5511) that the Assembly consistently passes guaranteeing these rights under New York State Law. Your help in this regard, by contacting your Senator and the Governor, could be most beneficial.

As you can see, our agenda is formulated with the input of disabilities advocates statewide. Now is the time to make sure your voice is heard. Please feel free to contact us any time to let us know what is on your mind. We look forward to working with you in the upcoming months.

Assemblymember Kevin A. Cahill is the Chair of the New York State Assembly Task Force on People with Disabilities. The Task Force office telephone number is 518-455-4592. You can write by email at or by regular mail at New York State Assembly Task Force on People with Disabilities, Agency Building 4, 13th Floor, Albany, NY 12248.