State Budget Provides Matching Dollars for Alzheimerís Fund

April 20, 2005

Assemblyman Robin Schimminger, who sponsored a 2002 law providing for state matching funds for monies collected for the Alzheimer’s Disease Assistance Fund via a voluntary state income tax check-off, said that the new state budget contains the first-ever appropriation to fulfill that commitment. Last year approximately $280,000 was donated via the tax check-off by state income tax payers.

"Funds to provide a state match for monies donated through voluntary gifts via the state income tax check-off for the Alzheimer’s Disease Assistance Fund were included in the state budget recently passed by the Legislature and approved by the Governor," said Assemblyman Schimminger. "This is good news for the growing number of New Yorkers who are struggling with this difficult disease."

An estimated 10% of persons over the age of 65 and nearly 50% of people aged 85 or older have Alzheimer’s Disease, which is the fourth leading cause of death among U.S. adults. "With almost 500,000 New Yorkers currently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and other related dementia, and 1.5 million residents active in caregiving roles for these individuals, this fund is a critical component of the state’s commitment to supporting community organizations dedicated to the issues associated with this disease," said Assemblyman Schimminger. "A state match to those funds contributed by New York State residents enhances the partnership between New York State and individuals to provide sorely needed funding to adequately support victims and their families."

Schimminger, who also sponsored the original law creating the Alzheimer’s Disease Assistance Fund and the tax check-off that finances it, said that 23 organizations received grants from this fund last year, including affiliates of the Alzheimer’s Association and each of the State’s nine Alzheimer’s Disease Assistance Centers (ADAC’s), which greatly advanced the educational and supportive services offered across the state.

"Alzheimer’s Disease not only affects the victims but also their spouses, families and friends who bear the emotional, physical and financial burdens of years of caregiving," Schimminger said. "The funds provided in this year’s budget will help to promote research and enhance support services, including education and training, counseling, respite services and technological assistance, for Alzheimer’s Disease victims and their caregivers."