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Photo by Suzanne Monteverdi/QNS
Seniors rally against proposed budget cuts in Bayside.

The $17 million in funding allocated to the city’s senior centers that was relocated in the governor’s proposed state budget has been restored, lawmakers announced.

In his proposed state budget, Governor Andrew Cuomo suggested that Title XX funding used to support senior centers throughout the city be relocated to “childcare purposes” —a shift which would have forced 65 senior centers to close. The recently adopted 2017-2018 Fiscal Year Budget rejected the proposed cut and restored the funding.

“I am relieved that the state budget rejected Governor Cuomo’s proposal to redirect Title XX funding that is used to support senior centers,” Assemblyman Edward Braunstein said. “Restoring this funding prevented 65 senior centers in New York City from closing, which would have had a devastating impact on thousands of seniors.”

In the final budget, funding for child care was allocated as well, separate from the Title XX funding, according to David Fischer, Braunstein’s chief of staff.

During a rally at the Bayside Selfhelp Senior Center in February, Braunstein stood with Assemblywoman Nily Rozic, state Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, seniors and local leaders to speak out against the proposed funding cut.

Stavisky and Rozic also spoke out in favor of the restored funds.

“Senior centers are an important part of many seniors’ day, acting as a source for socializing and education,” Stavisky said. “I am happy to see funds were restored to our senior centers in this year’s budget and I wish to thank each and every person who called my office, came to meetings, signed petitions and reached out to the governor’s office to ensure Title XX funding was included in the 2017-2018 Fiscal Year Budget.”

“Senior centers provide continued education, meal services, friendship and more to an integral part of our community,” Rozic said. “The Assembly was proud to stand with our seniors in ensuring these cuts did not happen in this budget.”

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