Most recently, Weisenberg helped lead a successful bipartisan effort to include a 2 percent salary increase for care-givers at nonprofit agencies in the 2014-15 state budget, saying that those workers — who serve the developmentally disabled, the mentally ill and others — are among the lowest-paid in the state.
“Because of what I accomplished this year, 130,000 direct care-givers are getting a raise,” he said. “We had an enormous amount of neglect and abuse because these people were working 16 hours days … and if we didn’t have good, qualified and experienced people — and the caretakers, they bond with these kids — it would have been another disappointment.”
Last year, Weisenberg fought to restore approximately $90 million in cuts to state funding for the developmentally disabled. In 2012 he had filed a federal lawsuit against AHRC Nassau — a private organization that provides services for more than 2,200 people with special needs — alleging that one of its former employees physically and verbally abused Ricky Weisenberg during his stay at a residential facility in Plainview. The lawsuit was settled last October.
When Sandy hit, Weisenberg and his wife handed out food and supplies at local relief and distribution centers, and he said he played a large role in bringing much-needed resources to the district. He also said that his office continues to help constituents with NY Rising and other relief programs.
“We’re still doing that — people from my office are working as best as they can to get relief for those who need it the most,” said Weisenberg, adding that he has also been promoting the establishment of a medical facility at the shuttered Long Beach Medical Center by South Nassau Communities Hospital.
He led an effort in the Assembly to pass a measure that allowed the city to issue up to $12 million in municipal bonds to help close its budget gap and pay for Sandy repairs, an initiative that passed the Senate and was signed by the governor.