NYS Budget Update: Final Deal Hinges on Horsetrading, Anticipated Federal Medicaid Impact

NYAPRS Note: At this moment, it appears that a number of NYAPRS’ state budget priorities will be addressed during the current session, most notably the 6.5% wage hike for all state funded direct care workers (that includes the housing workforce that was a particular theme of our February 28th Legislative Day) and a 3.5% hike for clinical staff (see yesterday’s e-news posting).

As of this moment, things are unclear about the state investment in 6,000 supportive housing beds. We are hoping to see passage of the Raise the Age initiative (see below), some additional dollars for more Crisis Intervention Teams, a new outreach and engagement pilot for individuals and families in crisis and another year of state hospital community reinvestment dollars.

We are also continuing efforts to oppose a Senate proposal to cut $105 million from the health home program and to gain support for an expansion as to which mental health programs are deemed eligible for Capital Statewide Health Care Facility Transformation Program funding. Stay tuned for more….especially if we move past the April 1 annual budget deadline.

NYS Budget Update: Final Deal Hinges on Horse-trading, Anticipated Federal Medicaid Impact
NYAPRS March 29, 2017

According to Governor Cuomo yesterday, most of the budget deals have been struck between the Executive and the Legislature (‘most bills are ready to print’) and a final agreement is being held up by a few NYS issues…and the impact of potential federal Medicaid cuts.

Workers compensation, education aid, authorizing ride-hailing upstate, water infrastructure spending and the cap on the number of charter schools are currently sticking points that most feel will be resolved shortly. The 3 sides currently break on the issue of the ‘millionaire’s tax’: the Governor wants to extend it, the Assembly wants to increase it and the Senate is opposed to continuing it.

Most important, the Governor is very concerned about the impact of what is expected to be a round of federal funding cuts, possibly at least $1.2 billion. As a result, he has floated the possibility of approving budget extenders…possibly for weeks or even month….until more is known. Such extenders would effectively freeze spending at last year’s level until Washington’s proposed budget comes into sharper focus later this spring.

On a positive note, The 3 sides are apparently very close to a deal on raising the age of criminal liability in New York from age 16-18, one of NYAPRS’ top priorities. The Governor indicated discussions continue as to whether children might still be treated as adults in the case of violent felonies, like murder and rape. They are also looking to identify funds that the Senate feels would be needed for the family court system to take on new juvenile cases. New York is one of only two states to try 16- and 17-year-olds as adults; North Carolina is the other, though lawmakers there have also introduced legislation to change that.

More updates as we get them….