Speaker Carl Heastie announced today the Assembly's State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2019-20 Budget includes restorations and investments to critical human services programs.
"Despite the state's financial challenges, the Assembly Majority remains committed to putting families first," said Speaker Heastie. "Our budget reflects our commitment to New York families by investing in child care, fully funding the cost of raise the age implementation, and providing safeguards for families struggling with housing costs and substance use issues."
"For years, the Assembly Majority has been committed to finding meaningful solutions to help New Yorkers escape poverty by achieving greater economic security," said Social Services Committee Chair Andrew Hevesi. "Securing affordable housing still remains a challenge for many. Ending homelessness begins with preventing homelessness. We must ensure every New Yorker has access to affordable housing, regardless of their situation."
"Ensuring that the state's spending plan includes critical funding for resources, programs and services that support our children, youth and families is a top priority for me and the Assembly Majority," said Children and Families Committee Chair Ellen Jaffee. "This spending plan recognizes the importance of affordable child care and access to youth programs, as well as the importance of raise the age implementation."
"No matter the challenges we face, the Assembly Majority has always been committed to allocating the resources we have in a way that allows us to meet the unique needs of every New Yorker," said Mental Health Committee Chair Aileen Gunther. "This budget helps us ensure that programs are funded properly, individuals receive quality care, and services are readily available."
"Across the state, communities continue to struggle to address the challenges of substance use disorder," said Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Committee Chair Linda B. Rosenthal. "We are committed to ensuring that every individual and family impacted by substance use disorder has access to the prevention, treatment and recovery services they need."
"Our veterans - who put their lives on the line to serve our nation-and their families who serve in their own ways, deserve to know that New York State is committed to programs that address their needs whether it's career placement, mental health support or legal services," said Veterans' Affairs Committee Chair Didi Barrett. "The budget should reflect that commitment."
Children and Families
High quality child care that is accessible and affordable is essential for New York families. The Assembly's spending plan includes $20 million for additional child care slots.
Also included in the proposal are restorations for family support programs, including:
The Assembly Budget would require the state to fully fund the implementation of Raise the Age for all local social services districts, and establish caseload standards for child protective services workers.
The Assembly Budget also restores cuts to preventive services for youth, as it relates to children that are, or are at risk of being adjudicated as Persons in Need of Supervision (PINS), and includes language to restore state funding for local social services districts when placing or detaining PINS in limited circumstances.
The Assembly budget proposal includes $18.9 million in Temporary Funding for Needy Families (TANF) funding for legislative initiatives that were eliminated from the Executive Budget, including:
In addition, the plan would restore $1.5 million for the Disability Advocacy Program, $2 million for refugee resettlement support and $350,000 for programs for those who have been displaced from Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands that have now resettled in New York.
The Assembly's proposed budget includes $25 million to support a minimum wage increase for health and human service workers contracted with the state.
The Assembly's proposed budget also includes $100 million to support the Home Stability Support (HSS) program, which would create a new statewide rental supplement for families and individuals who are facing eviction, homelessness or loss of housing due to domestic violence or hazardous living conditions.
The plan also includes $20 million for the Nonprofit Infrastructure Capital Investment Program, which makes targeted investments in capital projects that will improve the quality, efficiency and accessibility of nonprofit human services organizations throughout New York State.
The plan would also provide $25 million in capital funding for community based providers, residential treatment facilities for children and youth, and programs licensed and certified by the Office of Mental Health (OMH), the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), and the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD).
The Assembly's plan would extend Ambulatory Patient Group (APG) rates for all behavioral health services, except inpatient, until March 31, 2023. The proposal would also establish a work group to conduct an analysis of the current APG rates paid to behavioral health service providers to ensure that the APG rate is adequate and covers the actual cost of care.
The Assembly rejects the executive's proposal to defer the human services cost of living adjustment (COLA), restoring $141.1 million for human services agencies that work with OASAS, OMH, OPWDD, OTDA, and the State Office for Aging providers.
The Assembly proposal includes a two percent increase for salary increases for direct support professionals and clinical staff employed by OMH, OASAS and OPWDD, resulting in an additional $57.4 million for staff wages.
The Assembly includes $10 million for existing supported housing and single residency programs.
In order to help individuals with disabilities and their families access services, address denials and navigate the new managed care environment, the Assembly would include $1.5 million in the budget proposal to create an intellectual and developmental disabilities ombudsman program.
The Heroin and Opioid Crisis
Like many states, New York is battling an ongoing opioid epidemic. The Assembly would restore $2 million cut from the Executive Budget to fund Substance Abuse Prevention and Intervention Specialist in New York City, and $10 million in capital funding to support additional medically supervised withdrawal and stabilization beds.
In addition, the plan would provide $1.5 million to expand the jail-based substance use disorder services in county jails, for a total of $5.25 million.
Those who selflessly serve our country deserve our support. The Assembly's proposal would restore $850,000 in funding for various veterans programs.