The following is a summary of the finished New York State Budget, from the New York Association on Independent Living ...
The budget was passed over the weekend. Now that it has passed, I want to share some updates this morning on our top priorities.
IL funding: The statewide network was allocated a $500,000 funding increase. Clearly this falls short of what we were seeking, but given the difficult budget year, it was an accomplishment to receive an increase at all. Further, now that we have strong support from both Education Chairs, we have momentum we can build on next year.
Consumer Directed Personal Assistance (CDPA) program:
The final language broadens who can be a FI from the proposed language, which limited it to ILCs and FIs who were in operation prior to 2012. It does still include ILCs in the language though as entities who can be FIs. Contracting will be directly with the Department Of Health, as opposed to LDSS offices.
The bill did include some consumer protections, including creating a workgroup, to be formed by May 15th, to do the following:
- best practices for the provision of fiscal intermediary services;
- inform the criteria for the application to be a fiscal intermediary;
- identify whether services should differ for different groups of consumers;
- identify what criteria should be used in reporting; and
- develop transition plans for consumers who may need to transition to a different fiscal intermediary.
As for our primary concern, which was changing reimbursements to a per member per month (PMPM) model, the bill does not address this. Advocates were hoping it would be part of the workgroup’s charge, but it is not. There is apparently a plan to move forward with a PMPM model though, which the Executive already had the authority to implement without approval from the legislature. The plan is for rates to be banded, meaning there is a low rate for people who need 1-4 hours; a higher rate for consumers who need more hours; and a high rate for consumers who need more than 96 hours. We will be confirming those rates with legislative staff today and sharing this with the FIs in our network.
Access To Home level funded at $1 million. The funding increase for this program was to come from the Mortgage Insurance Funding (MIF), which did not turn out to have adequate funding to support our increase. We will need to work harder on ensuring the Senate and Executive understand the necessity of providing funding for home modifications.
Office for the Advocate not included in final budget. Though we had strong support in the Senate, we understand there were concerns from the Assembly and Executive which we are working to find out more regarding.
We will send a more thorough update shortly.
Here is an overview of how the rest of our priorities on our Budget DPA did in the final budget.
Health / Medicaid:
Spousal refusal protected! People who have a spouse or child who become sick or disabled and require Medicaid will not have to divorce or institutionalize their loved ones just so they can get the care they require!
Prescriber prevails protected! A doctor will be able to determine the best course of treatment for their patients, as opposed to the managed care organization.
Global cap extended.
The final budget did not include a community-based high needs rate cell or risk adjustment, as proposed by the Assembly and Senate.
The National Diabetes Prevention Program was included.
New York Connects received a $1M increase over two years.
Long Term Care Ombudsman Program level funded.
Early voting funded! The budget includes $25M to cover the costs associated with implementing early voting. $14.7M will go toward purchasing software necessary software. This includes electronic poll books, as well as on-demand ballot printers and cybersecurity protections. An additional $10M will reimburse county Boards of Elections for costs associated with implementing early voting. Counties would not have the funds necessary to implement early voting, so this is big.
I already reported that a person’s lawful source of income is now a protected class in NYS Human Rights Law and Access To Home was level funded. As for our third housing priority, the Visitability Tax Credit was not included.
Small Business Tax Credit not included.
Director of Advocacy
New York Association on Independent Living
155 Washington Ave, Suite 208
Albany, NY 12210
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