NYAPRS NYS Budget Update
March 28, 2019
Here’s an update of where things are concerning NYAPRS members’ priorities for the 2019-20 NYS budget.
Negotiators for the Senate, Assembly and Senate continue to meet into the evenings seeking to hammer out agreements on some key outstanding issues. Their aim is to wrap up as much as they can tonight but it’s likely going to all go down to the Sunday March 31 deadline.
· 2.9% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA): our primary challenges this week has been to make clear the difference between the pay hike for direct support/care professionals that the 3 sides announced this past Monday and the across the board COLA that we and our colleagues have been seeking for the broader nonprofit human service sector.
It looks like the key players on all sides and some reporters are getting it: the challenge is in finding the will, the funds and the fashion to roll out this $140 million commitment, and how it might relate to the direct care initiative.
Thanks to the hundreds of members from all of our advocacy groups who’ve been jamming the phone lines. Stay tuned for more!
· Legislative Adds: The 3 sides agreed that there was another $20 million over the Governor’s original budget for OMH, OASAS and OPWDD. We are advocating for funds for the housing rate hike and crisis intervention team initiatives, and are supportive of restoring the vet to vet peer initiatives.
· Humane Alternatives To Long-Term (Halt) Solitary Confinement Act: our campaign is working to see both houses pass their identical bills that include a full ban on the use of solitary for people with disabilities and others, and to insist on those provisions in negotiations with the Governor.
· Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program: we continue to support the very strong advocacy that our friends in the Independent Living community are waging against proposed cuts and regulatory changes that would irreparably harm the CDPAP initiative. Yesterday, Health Committee chairs from both houses expressed strong concerns.
· Restart Medicaid 30 Days Before Prison & Jail Release: groups like NYAPRS are providing comment to the state’s proposed request to the federal Medicaid agency (CMS) to initiate this landmark program.
· Increase Access to Mental Health and Substance Use Treatment: proposals to bolster parity protections and to reduce barriers to behavioral health care are still in flux. More as we know more…
See our next posting urging your calls for the COLA to continue. Thanks you!