NYAPRS Note: Things are heating up in Albany as we near the expected/possible April 1 deadline for a 3 way agreement between the Governor, Assembly and Senate. Some sources are now saying that the leaders may punt the controversial minimum wage hike issues till after budget, some are fearing that nonprofits that rely on state funding might get cut out of such a hike. Senate and Assembly leaders have been granted a paltry $7.5 million each to restore or add dollars to the OMH, OASAS and OPWDD budgets, way too few dollars to do way too little.
In this environment, and beyond the wage issue, NYAPRS has been focusing on:
- a restoration of the Governor’s $5.5 proposed cut in Community Reinvestment funding
- the Governor is using these ‘savings’ to pay for transitional costs for state hospital residents to move to and live in alternative nursing home settings
- the Assembly is contesting the policy and putting up no restoration dollars and
- the Senate has put up $2.5 million.
We’ve gotten more information from OMH staff and, while it’s sounding like the transition planning might be appropriate, such expenses shouldn’t come out of the long accepted commitment to send reinvest the long accepted sum of $110,000 for each hospital bed to be closed.
- an agreement by the Governor to apply for federal waiver/funding approval to extend Medicaid 30 days out before individuals with ‘high’ behavioral health and other needs are discharged from state prisons and local jails and to change state law to support this policy change.
- The Assembly has proposed these changes and the Senate seems tentative; our primary focus at this time has been on the Governor, whose staff have offered to confirm their willingness to apply for the waiver but have declined to support the change in state law, citing opposition from several state agencies.
- approval of $75 million for capital infrastructure costs to licensed community health and behavioral healthcare providers
- a proposed pilot to offer individuals with serious mental health conditions and their families a new model that will offer ‘immediate, intenstive and sustained’ services and support.
Stay tuned for more budget developments. You can get all the breaking details about where we came out and what it’ll mean to you just a few weeks after the budget deal at our April 21-22 Annual Executive Seminar at the panel discussion described below. See program and registration info below and see you at the Seminar!