NYS Senate Proposes Housing, Workforce Hikes, CIT funds; Assembly Funds Another Million for Crisis Diversion Services

NYAPRS Note: Over the past two days, the NYS Assembly and Senate have released budget proposals that add several provisions of great importance to NYAPRS members and friends, the first four of which were heavily pushed by NYAPRS members at our February 27th Legislative Day. More details and clarifications as we get them.

Housing

It appears that the Senate has added $5 million for “additional residential services support.” We are hoping that these funds will add to the $10 million allocation from the Governor to increase housing rates.

Workforce

We’re thrilled that the Senate has proposed a state budget commitment for next year and the 3 following ones for several more rounds of a 3.25% increase for direct care staff and direct support professionals and clinical staff beginning. These would take effect “beginning 4/1/19 and an additional annual increase of 3.25% for the same positions in 4/1/20, 4/1/21 and 4/1/22.” We’ll be working to secure Assembly and Executive support for our hard working hard pressed workforce.

Crisis Intervention Teams and Diversion Programs

Criminal justice items were especially high priorities for NYAPRS members once again this session. The Senate funds another $500,000 to bring improved police response to people with behavioral health conditions to more jurisdictions across New York. The Assembly adds another $1 million in crisis diversion programming.

Community Reinvestment:

Both houses extend by another 3 years the authorization for OMH to reinvestment savings from the downsizing state psychiatric facilities to increase the amount and array of local community mental health services

Other Items

Children’s Mental Health Services Reforms, Expansion:

Both houses restore funding to eliminate a 2 year delay in state plans to increase access to an array of new community based Medicaid services for children. The Assembly proposed $15 million and the Senate has put up $10 million.

Health Care Facility Transformation Program:

The Senate increased funding for the state’s Health Care Facility Transformation Program by $75 million for a total of $500 million. The Assembly has backed an additional $100 million, earmarking $75 million for community-based providers.

The program makes grants available to healthcare providers to support capital projects for the purpose of strengthening access to healthcare services throughout New York and covers cost of planning and consultants, construction, renovation acquisition and equipment. Funds can also be used for some non-capital purposes, including debt restructuring and general operating expenses directly connected to the eligible project for which funding is awarded.