NYAPRS Note: Here are some initial findings in the just released Executive Budget proposal for 2019-20, compiled in tandem with the Mental Health Association in NYS. While there are a few positives we’ve found so far, we have our work cut out for us as regards the Cost of Living Adjustment (not in budget) and Housing Rate Hike (while $10 million is included, we need a lot more!). All hands on deck till session’s end for both of these!
We are very pleased to see another year of Community Reinvestment funds and bridger and related services for adult home residents with psychiatric disabilities, along with enhanced monitoring of health plan compliance with insurance parity requirements.
In addition to working on housing rate hikes and the COLA, we will be working to secure additional Crisis Intervention Team dollars. We have been given encouragement that the HALT bill that will ban the use of solitary confinement with people with mental, physical and intellectual disabilities, youth, seniors and pregnant mothers will pass both houses this year.
See below for program details of our February 26th Annual Albany Legislative Day. Reserve your seat and make your legislative appointments now! Buses will be leaving from Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Westport, Newburgh, New City, Putnam/Westchester, Binghamton, Long Island and New York City. Stay tuned for more details!
NYS 2019-20 NYS Budget First Look: No COLA, $10 Million Housing Rate Hike,
$5.5 Reinvestment Allocation; Funding to Enhance Behavioral Health Parity Compliance
No 2.9% Human Services Cost of Living Adjustment
NYAPRS has been working very closely with our colleagues from the mental health and substance use nonprofit sectors to secure a long promised cost of living adjustment (COLA) that we have only seen once in 9 years. The total cost of a human services COLA would be $140 million, $120 million of which would be spread out across OMH, OASAS and OPWDD funded nonprofits.
The Executive Budget did not include a COLA and so, we will work from today to session’s end to get the Governor, Assembly and Senate to include it in the final agreement, starting with yesterday’s Albany news conference.
See our news release at https://www.nyaprs.org/e-news-bulletins/2019/1/14/behavioral-health-advocates-unite-to-press-for-a-cola-today-in-albany and video excerpts of the news conference that featured NYAPRS’ and Community Access’ Phyllis Fisher at https://www.facebook.com/NYAPRSAlbany/videos/1985937304807667/
Great thanks to MHANYS’ Glenn Liebman for his leadership, NAMI-NYS for the video and our entire coalition for our collaboration. Stay tuned for a regular series of member actions over the next few months
$10 Million Housing Rate Hike
The Executive budget provides another $10 million housing hike, as it has for each of the last 5 years. As an active member of the Bring It Home Campaign, NYAPRS will work throughout this session to attempt to significantly increase this number, given the dire conditions faced by our housing providers
$5.5/11 Million Community Reinvestment Allocation
Once more, OMH’s budget includes more funding for community services expansion derived from the closure of additional state hospital beds. The $5.5 million equates to $11 million when annualized. See https://www.omh.ny.gov/omhweb/transformation/ for terrific examples of how the state and local stakeholders have deployed these funds to boost services for people with the most extensive needs.
$10 million for Adult Home Transitional Supports
It appears that the budget appropriates an additional $5 million for peer bridger and other transitional supports for adult home residents with psychiatric disabilities which, when added to a carryover of last year’s $5 million comes to a total of $10 million.
$100 million to Replace Mid-Hudson Psychiatric Center
“The Budget provides an additional appropriation of $100 million to support the replacement of the Mid-Hudson Forensic Psychiatric Center in Orange County, which includes buildings over 100 years old that are not designed for current standards of care.
$60 million in Capital Funds for Community Based Nonprofit Housing Providers
The Budget also includes $60 million to maintain and preserve existing community-based residential facilities that allow people with mental illness to live in the most integrated setting possible.
Behavioral Health Parity
The budget includes several million dollars to enhance staff at the Department of Financial Services and the Department of Health to help assure health plans have adequate provider networks and are in compliance with parity requirements. dedicated to network adequacy and reviewing existing health plans to help ensure compliance with parity.
NYAPRS Note: Get ready to get on the bus for this year’s 22nd NYAPRS Annual Albany Legislative Day! Below please find this year’s priorities and schedule. We’ll be sending out a list of regional bus contacts tomorrow for groups to contact and reserve their seats!