March 12, 2013

Assembly Budget Supports Critical Programs for Children and Families
Proposal Will Restore Funding for Cost of Living Increase for Human Services Workers

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Social Services Committee Chair Michele R. Titus and Children and Families Committee Chair Donna Lupardo today announced the Assembly budget proposal commits more than $28 million for safety net programs and $132.8 million for services that support children and families.

The Assembly budget also restores a two percent cost of living adjustment (COLA) for human services workers at state funded human services agencies. The $105 million proposal, which was agreed to in 2008 but delayed each year since, will provide the first pay increase for care providers in more than five years. The COLA would be implemented for programs funded by the State Offices for Aging, Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services, Children and Family Services, Mental Health, People with Developmental Disabilities and the Department of Health.

"The Assembly Majority has always taken steps to support programs that assist families and those who struggle to care for themselves," said Silver. "This budget not only continues our investment in these programs, but it makes a commitment to increase wages for our hard working and under-appreciated men and women who deliver critical services for the most vulnerable among us."

"Families across New York are struggling to make ends meet. Safety net programs provide the support that help families to break the cycle of poverty. These services help them to attain employment, keep an existing job or improve skills so they can start to climb the ladder to financial independence. It is essential that we continue to fund these crucial programs," said Titus.

"New York is a leading advocate in protecting our children and helping them reach their full potential," said Lupardo. "It is essential that we continue to support programs that ensure the safety and improve the lives of our children and promote learning, including enhanced access to quality, affordable child care."

The Assembly fiscal plan includes $3.3 million to support a one percent increase in the state share for Child Welfare Services beginning October 1, 2014. The proposal also provides $28.1 million in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funding to restore the following programs:

The Assembly invests in several other essential human services programs including: