NYAPRS 2nd Look at Legislative Budget Proposals, Action Plan

NYS Senate and Assembly Release Budget Bills: NYAPRS 2nd Look

Here’s our most recent analysis and action plan as regards what’s in the NYS Assembly and Senate one house budget proposals, building on recent First Look, to be found at This report builds on our First Look to be found at http://www.nyaprs.org/e-news-bulletins/2016/014842.cfm. We will continue to work the halls and will report back throughout the coming days until the expected April 1 passage of the 2016-17 state budget.

INVESTMENTS IN COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES

Restoration of the Administration’s $5.5 million cut to Community Reinvestment funding: The Senate has put up $2.5 million here; we continue our work with MHANYS to urge the Assembly to make up the difference.

WORKFORCE

Minimum Wage – There is a lot of discussion around whether the Assembly’s $200 million reserve fund will go far enough to help offset increased labor costs to nonprofits given a minimum wage increase. Although the Senate appears silent on the matter, they suggest a plan to consider an increase in the State’s minimum wage based on an economic analysis. This is a top issue, so stay tuned for more information as we get it!

HOUSING

Supportive Housing – Things remain cloudy here. While the Assembly and Senate appear to support the Governor’s proposal to add 6,000 supportive housing beds over the next 5 years, there are critical questions about whether there is enough capital funding in play to sustain the commitment. Stay tuned for details as we know more…

OMH Community Housing – We’re very disappointed that neither house provided funding to support a much needed housing rate adjustment.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Crisis Intervention Teams – Once again, the Senate adds another $500,000 to launch additional CIT programs to improve police and community response to people with mental health conditions in crisis, building on their previous $900,000 investments over the previous 2 years. The Assembly c$ontinues its own strong commitment here, re-appropriating 1 million to expand CITs and related initiatives.

Medicaid Restoration for ‘High Needs’ Individuals 30 Days Prior to Jail or Prison Discharge – The Assembly bill requires the Administration to see federal waiver approval to extend Medicaid coverage 30 days before individuals with serious behavioral health and other chronic conditions are discharged from state prisons and local jails to allow for appropriate transition planning and access to care coordination, medication, medical care and other pressing needs and to prevent avoidable relapses and recidivism. NYAPRS is partnering with advocates for those with substance use conditions – specifically the Legal Action Center – to raise the level of advocacy on this issue in the Assembly, Senate and Governor’s office.

Raise the Age – The Assembly modified the language from the Executive proposal, and the Senate rejected all language, BUT it appears that both bills include the $1 million that Governor Cuomo proposed to Raise the Age. NYAPRS will keep a close watch on what happens here, as we believe it is essential that the age of criminal liability be increased from 16 to 18. New York remains one of two states (with North Carolina) that have yet to do so.

RIGHTS AND CHOICE PROTECTIONS

Prescriber Prevails –The Senate bill fully restores prescriber prevails medication choice protections.

Intensive Outreach and Engagement Initiative – NYAPRS is working closely with legislators in proposing a pilot, Project INSET (INtensive, Sustained Engagement and Treatment), as an alternative to expanding involuntary outpatient commitment laws. Stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks!

SUBSTANCE USE TREATMENT SERVICE EXPANSION

According to a newly issued release, the Senate budget proposes $167 million in Heroin Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery initiatives:

“To help address the growth in heroin and opioid abuse in communities throughout the state, the Senate budget includes a total of $167 million to strengthen prevention, treatment, recovery, and education services. This includes an increase of more than 18 percent above the Executive Budget proposal, with the additional $26 million going to support:

  • $10 million for transitional housing for individuals in recovery, with 25 percent of these funds to be used for individuals ages 15-24;
  • $6.5 million for additional recovery services;
  • $3.85 million for 11 additional Recovery Community Centers. The Executive Budget proposed to expand the number of Recovery Community Centers in the state by six, from the current number of three to a total of nine. The Senate proposal would bring the total to 20, and would require that all centers be distributed on a geographically even basis;
  • $2 million for school prevention efforts;
  • $2 million for Recovery Coaches;
  • $1 million for an additional 10 Family Support Navigators, who will assist New Yorkers and their families with navigating insurance and treatment systems. The Executive Budget proposes 10 Navigators to be regionally distributed statewide and the Senate proposal doubles that commitment to 20, helping to ensure their services would be distributed on a geographically even basis;
  • $450,000 for opioid drug addiction, prevention and treatment programs; and
  • $200,000 for Family Support Navigator training.”