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Senator Ortt, Assemblywoman Gunther Hailed as Legislative Preferred Source Champions
October 5, 2017

Senator Ortt, Assemblywoman Gunther Hailed as Legislative Preferred Source Champions

NYS Senator Robert Ortt (R,C,I-North Tonawanda) and Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther (D,I,WF-Forestburgh) have long been known for their advocacy on behalf of individuals with disabilities in their communities.

During its Annual Meeting on September 26 at The Saratoga Hilton, NYSID presented these legislators with its Legislative Preferred Source Champion Award as co-recipients.

Senator Ortt is Chair of the Senate Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee and a member of the Senate Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee. Assemblywoman Gunther is Chair of the Assembly Committee on Mental Health and the Subcommittee on Women's Health.

Senator Ortt has advocated on behalf of facility-based employment in his district, reaching out to the NYS Office for People With Developmental Disabilities and submitting letters to the editor to support work center job choices.

Assemblywoman Gunther was the lead sponsor of Assembly bill 6832, which reaffirmed the legislative intent of the Preferred Source Law and provided for needed updates to the law. Ortt co-sponsored the companion bill in the Senate.

Together, these legislators have sponsored legislation creating the mental illness anti-stigma license plate. In recent years, New York has taken steps in this direction, including implementing policies calling for mental health education in schools.

Both Senator Ortt and Assemblywoman Gunther also have actively supported NYSID's CREATE initiative.

NYSID, its member agencies and corporate partners honor these champion legislators for their true commitment and ongoing support of job opportunities for New Yorkers with disabilities, particularly as we encourage their fellow legislators to "MAKE THE CHANGE" to clarify Preferred Source Law, so NYSID can continue its core purpose of "Purchasing That Powers Employment" across New York State.