Albany, NY – Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright today was named Chair of the People With Disabilities Committee of the New York State Assembly. The standing committee is critically important, impacting New Yorkers with intellectual, developmental, mental and physical disabilities.
“I am pleased to appoint Rebecca Seawright to lead the Committee on People with Disabilities,” said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. “Rebecca is a hard working member of the Assembly who is dedicated to serving the needs of her constituents. I know that she will be a committed advocate for New Yorkers with disabilities, and I look forward to working with her as chair.”
In this new leadership position, Seawright and the Committee members will hear from people across the state and advocate for needed funding in the budget and legislation to improve access to critically important services, affordable housing, employment, education, high quality healthcare, transportation, with a critical lens on the social determinants of health.
“Thank you to Speaker Carl Heastie for entrusting me with this important Committee Leadership assignment. As Chair of the People With Disabilities Committee, working with committee members, we will advocate for over 3 million adults and close to 500,000 children and infants with disabilities, families and caregivers. Together with my colleagues on the Committee and in the Assembly, we must defend and expand the rights of people living with disabilities,” said Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, disability health care costs in New York are up to 39% of healthcare spending in the state. The Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and other state agencies designed to serve the disability community have suffered from significant underfunding and inadequate staffing for the last decade causing significant gaps in available state services.
Seawright will be a key voice in upcoming budget hearings to strongly advocate for expanded resources for OPWDD and other agencies providing critical services for people with disabilities. At the same time, she will seek assurances that service delivery and deployment are provided with effectiveness and efficiency. She represents the Upper East Side, Yorkville and Roosevelt Island in the 76th Assembly District in Manhattan. The Assembly Member is the former chair of the Assembly Steering Committee and the Women's Issues Task Force.