March 13, 2018

Assembly SFY 2018-19 Budget Includes Funding for Critical Human Services

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie announced today that the Assembly's SFY 2018-19 Budget includes funding to prevent and reduce homelessness as well as funding restorations for critical programs that support children, families and veterans. The spending plan also includes a new surcharge on opioids to fund the expansion of opioid treatment, prevention and recovery programs.

"Putting families first has always been a top priority for the Assembly Majority," said Speaker Heastie. "Our budget ensures that families will continue to have access to the supportive services they need to help them get ahead, and that those struggling with homelessness and substance use disorders are equipped with the resources they need to overcome those challenges and change the direction of their future."

"The Assembly Majority has been committed to finding meaningful solutions to address the challenges many individuals face in securing affordable housing," said Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi, chair of the Social Services Committee. "In order to prevent homelessness, we must ensure that every New Yorker, regardless of their situation, has access to affordable housing."

"Hardworking New York families are the heart and soul of this state. They deserve security and stability," said Assemblymember Ellen Jaffee, Chair of the Committee on Children and Families. "That's why each year, the Assembly Majority fights to ensure that there is adequate funding for the programs, services, and resources that are needed to support New York's children and youth, our caregivers and families, as well as those dedicated individuals who work on the front lines."

"Our nation's battle with substance use has continued to spiral out of control and it is clearer than ever that Washington will not address the problem with meaningful action," said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal, chair of the Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Committee. "This budget demonstrates our commitment to helping prevent and treat substance use disorders while exploring some new ideas to reach that goal."

"Veterans sacrifice so much so that each of us can enjoy the security and freedoms we often take for granted," said Assemblymember Michael DenDekker, chair of the Veterans' Affairs Committee. "The Assembly Majority recognizes all their sacrifices and has once again prioritized funding the programs that help ensure veterans can access the essential services they need to help ease their transition from military to civilian life."

Social Services

The Assembly's Budget proposal includes a new pilot program to provide a shelter supplement for individuals and families who are homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless and reside in New York City or the City of Rochester. The $15 million program would provide a total of 320 shelter supplements up to 100 percent of federal fair market rent. Fifty of those supplements would be provided to individuals or families in the City of Rochester, and the remaining 270 supplements would be provided in New York City (180 families and 90 individuals) for three years. The program would conclude with a study to evaluate its effectiveness.

The plan also reduces cost shifts to local governments by restoring $58.4 million to reject the Governor's reductions to the City of New York for the Close to Home Program ($41.4 million) and child welfare services ($17 million).

The budget also provides $18.9 million in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funding, including restoration for the following programs:

The proposal also includes a restoration of $1.5 million for the Disability Advocacy Program.

Children and Families

The Assembly's Budget proposal includes a new $128.7 million federal allocation in support of child care services, including $31 million to increase child care subsidies.

The Assembly's Budget proposal allocates funds for the restoration of important family support programs including:

The Heroin and Opioid Crisis

The Assembly Budget provides $270 million in support for heroin and opiate abuse programming, including a new proposed surcharge on opioids of two and half cents per morphine milligram. This one half cent above the Governor's proposal would generate an additional $31.75 million. The additional revenue would be used to support an expansion of opioid treatment, prevention and recovery programming; school-based substance use programming; workforce recruitment and retention; and alternatives-to-incarceration programs.

In addition, the Assembly's Budget restores $10 million in capital funding to support residential bed and opioid treatment program development. The plan also restores $2 million to fund Substance Abuse Prevention and Intervention Specialist (SAPIS) in New York City through the Department of Education. An additional $1.5 million is allocated to establish a behavioral health ombuds program to assist both insured and uninsured enrollees with coverage issues related to mental health or substance use disorders.

Veteran's Services

The Assembly restores $675,000 in funding for various veterans programs.