NYAPRS Note: Tomorrow, upwards of 600 NYAPRS members and are coming to Albany from across the state to push for the attached NYS budget advocacy agenda (see summary below) with legislators, staff and the media. Buses are coming from Long Island, New York City, White Plains, Newburgh, Plattsburgh, Buffalo, Binghamton and Rochester.
During the course of the day, participants will learn about the issues, prepare for and conduct meetings with legislative staff or members and rally to promote housing and other NYAPRS priorities outside the Capital. As of now, the weather forecast shows around 40 degrees and sunny! We will also be holding a 12:30 news conference focused on housing.
Please use the attached document to familiarize yourselves with the issues and advocacy; please note the sample script at the back of this book.
Please direct any questions to NYAPRS Public Policy Specialist Tom Templeton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you tomorrow!
NYAPRS FY 2016-2017 BUDGET ADVOCACY SUMMARY
PRESERVE AND EXPAND COMMUNITY-BASED HOUSING
Shore up Existing Community Housing to address the crisis caused by steadily rising supported and congregate housing costs that are now almost 50% higher than current funding levels.
� Request: Fund $92.9 million for OMH housing rate adjustment
Expand Supportive Housing capacity to address huge unmet need and to address the crisis in steadily rising homelessness across the state.
� Request: Support Governor Cuomo�s landmark proposal to add 20,000 supportive housing beds over the next 15 years and urge collaboration with NYC Mayor de Blasio to commit to a NY/NY IV program that totals 35,000 supportive housing units.
KEEP THE PROMISE OF COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH
Invest in Community Mental Health Service Infrastructure �At a time when the community mental health sector is struggling to respond to longstanding unaddressed service, infrastructure and operating needs and as we move into the great uncertainties of the transition to managed care, the Executive budget takes upwards of $70 million in savings. They do so using replacement funds that we believe must instead be added to the mental health budget.
Request: Invest $90 million in the community mental health service sector
STRENGTHEN CRIMINAL JUSTICE DIVERSION AND RE-ENTRY SUPPORTS
Fund additional Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT) that train police to de-escalate crises and to reduce the number of avoidable arrests, hospitalizations and tragedies by promoting improved collaborations between law enforcement and local community mental health systems.
� Request: $500,000 to bring new CIT programs to additional jurisdictions.
Extend Presumptive Medicaid Eligibility for all individuals discharged from jails and prisons prior to their release to enable immediate access to needed services and supports.
� Request: Establish presumptive Medicaid eligibility for inmates up to 60 days prior to their release
Raise the Age: NYAPRS strongly supports the Governor’s proposal to increase the age of Youthful Offender Status to 18 so children are not treated like and housed with adults in the criminal justice system.
� Request: We urge state legislators to approve the Governor�s proposal.
SUPPORT A QUALITY WORK FORCE
Provide Additional State Funding for Community Based Mental Health Agencies to Cover the Costs of an Expected $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage Hike
While NYAPRS strongly supports Governor Cuomo’s proposal to up the minimum wage to $15 per hour by July 2021, community nonprofits that depend on state funding require investments at necessary levels to fund such an increase.
- Request: Extend sufficient increases to community mental health and related human services nonprofits to fund a $15 minimum wage hike over the next 5 years.
ADVANCE CONSUMER CHOICE AND RIGHTS PROTECTIONS
Improve Health Outcomes for New Yorkers with Serious Mental Health Conditions by Improving Service Delivery, Not Expanding Coercion: There is now ample evidence that improved discharge planning and the immediate and sustained delivery of evidence-based individualized community services and housing best address the needs of those with the most serious mental health conditions….without having to resort to the greater use of police and court mandated coercion.
- Request: $500,000 to expand and evaluate the effectiveness of immediate intensive outreach, engagement and effective treatment responses for individuals and families with the most serious needs
- Request: Oppose S.4722/A.1275 to further expand and make permanent Kendra’s Law.
Open Access to Medications of Choice: Once again, the Governor seeks to make savings by restricting the medication choices Medicaid beneficiaries and their prescribers are afforded. While this proposal would exempt anti-psychotic and anti-depressant medications from this policy, many NYAPRS members require different medications. Ultimately, NYAPRS strongly believes that all beneficiaries should be able to get all medications that have or will work best for them.
- Request: Restore Prescriber Prevails Protections.
Speed Community Transitions for Adult Home Residents to fulfill the 2013 settlement that ensures individuals’ legal right to live in their home communities.