More on NYS Senate and Assembly Budget Proposals: Housing, Health Homes, Disability Initiatives

NYAPRS Note: Here are more details about the NYS Senate and Assembly 2018-19 Budget Proposals. Both houses are expected to pass some form of their one house budget proposals this afternoon and it is expected that the General Conference Committee will convene tonight to kick off the budget process. Most, if not all, Conference Committees (including the Mental Hygiene Committee) will have their first meetings tomorrow.

NYS Senate

Housing Rate Hike: it appears that the Senate has accepted ACL’s request to start a $5 million housing rate hike to begin January 2019, which when annualized in 2019 could amount to a total hike of $20 million. NYAPRS joins ACL in hoping that the Governor will start his $10 million hike also in January 2019 which when annualized over the full 12 months would amount an additional increase of $40 million. Stay tuned…

In the Senate’s expanded (by $75 million) Health Care Facility Transformation Program would itemize the following:

  • $70 million for to community based health care providers, including diagnostic and treatment centers, mental health clinics, substance use disorder clinics, children's residential treatment facilities (newly added), or primary care providers.
  • $20 million for assisted living facilities (ALPs) and hospice.
  • $60 million for residential healthcare

The Senate:

  • would reduce health home funding to ensure appropriate reimbursement for care management and requires that any spending on health homes must be transparent and only occur under the explicit health home appropriation authority.
  • allow providers licensed or certified by DOH, OHM and OASAS to provide integrated primary care, mental health, and/or substance abuse disorders services without needing additional licenses or certifications from one of the other agencies.
  • reduce health home funding to ensure appropriate reimbursement for care management and requires that any spending on health homes must be transparent and only occur under the explicit health home appropriation authority.
  • fund an additional $5 million for Independent Living Centers
  • fund an additional $4 million for the Access to Home

NYS Assembly

The NYS Assembly would:

  • add $500,000 to restart the Advocate for the Disabled
  • add $3 million for Access to Home (home modifications)
  • add $1 million for Independent Living Center

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.