NYAIL Summary of NYS Budget Results

Closeup of computer keyboard with large key labeled Updates

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.

Housing:

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.

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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.

Elections:

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.

Housing:

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.

Employment:

Small Business Tax Credit not included.

Meghan Parker
Director of Advocacy
New York Association on Independent Living
155 Washington Ave, Suite 208
Albany, NY  12210
Phone: 518-465-4650
Fax: 518-465-4625
Email: mparker@ilny.org
Visit Our Website:  www.ilny.org

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Help ensure Independent Living Centers receive a crucial funding increase of only $5 million in this year’s budget!

Action Alert in bold white letters on dark red background

We all know how crucial Independent Living Centers are in communities across the State. They provide a wide array of supports and services that help people be independent and integrated in their communities. ILCs rely on the State for funding to provide these vital services, but the State has failed to adequately fund centers for well over a decade, leaving centers struggling to continue providing core IL services.

Unfortunately, Governor Cuomo’s proposed Executive Budget once again failed to give centers the additional funding they need to meet the needs of their communities. But it isn’t too late to get an increase in this year’s budget!

The next step is the legislature. The Senate and Assembly will release their one house budget responses in a few weeks. There was a budget sign on letters in support of an increase in funding for Independent Living Centers in the Assembly with strong support.  Now we need to make sure the members of the Senate and Assembly’s Education Committees hear from their colleagues about the importance of ensuring their one house budgets include a funding increase of $5 million for ILCs!

ACTION: Send a message to your Senator and Assembly member urging them to speak to the members of the lower Education Committees in support of an increase of only $5 million for Independent Living Centers being included in their one house budget response!

Take Action!

Action Alert: Act Now To #SaveCDPA

ACTION ALERT in white bold letters on dark red background

This action alert comes from the New York Association on Independent Living:

The Governor’s proposed budget makes drastic changes to the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance (CDPA) program that will put the whole program at risk! This proposal, if enacted, would significantly reduce the number of Fiscal Intermediaries (FIs) in the State. FIs provide necessary assistance to ensure CDPA consumers are successful and maintain their independence in the community through training, ongoing support, payroll and other administrative assistance.

Even more alarmingly, the State is planning to cut the reimbursements to FIs so drastically that it would immediately put most of the FIs, including all of the Independent Living Centers who are FIs, out of business immediately. The Governor believes that all FIs do is process payroll, which demonstrates a lack of understanding of CDPA. Such radical and ill-informed changes to CDPA puts the entire program at risk and threatens existing consumers.

Last week, NYAIL and CDPAANYS had a successful Budget Advocacy Day where hundreds of Independent Living advocates, FIs, and CDPA consumers came to Albany to fight this proposal. The legislators heard our concerns. However, they need to keep hearing from us! The Senate and Assembly will be putting out their one house budget proposals in a few weeks, and it is very important that those budget proposals successfully get rid of this very harmful proposal and that puts the whole CDPA program at risk!

*Action:*Follow the "Take Action" link to send a letter https://www.votervoice.net/BroadcastLinks/qrrkqpix61j1NuDCDamt1A to your legislators urging them to #SaveCDPA in their one house budget proposals!

Take Action! https://www.votervoice.net/BroadcastLinks/qrrkqpix61j1NuDCDamt1A

For information on our CDPA program, click here to visit the NCCI website.

The 2019 New York State Disability Priority Agenda

New York Association on Independent Living

Staff from the North Country Center for Independence are in Albany today to meet with legislators and advocate for better disability-related policies in New York State. As a member center in the New York Association on Independent Living, (NYAIL), NCCI will be focusing our broader advocacy 2019 on the issues outlined on the pages linked below:

NYAIL 2019 Legislative Disability Priority Agenda
Policy changes we want to see in New York State.

NYAIL 2019 Budget Disability Priority Agenda
New York State budget steps we want to see.

The following documents provide additional background on the current state policies and trends that determine our goals for 2019:

NYAIL Legislative Report Card 2019
An assessment of past promises and current New York State disability policy.

NYAIL Budget Report Card 2019
An analysis of how the current New York State budget addresses disability issues.

NYAIL’s 2019 Budget Priorities Letter to Governor Cuomo
Our message to Governor Cuomo for 2019.

Ombudsman Action Alert - 6/12/18

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June 14, 2018 UPDATE: ON THE ACTION ALERT EXPLAINED BELOW. This was also received from the New York State Ombudsman Program.

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Good morning everyone. Last evening we were informed of the progress on our request for our bill being introduced in the Senate. The bill has now been introduced by Senator Dilan with a bill number of 9002. Due to this progress, we are now asking for you to change your request when you call your local senators. Instead we would like you to reach out to your senators and request that they support bill number 9002, regarding the long term care ombudsman program. If you have already contacted your senators offices please reach out again and inform them of the progress of the bill being introduced by Senator Dilan and request their support of the bill during this session. I apologize for the quick change in this request, however time is of the essence as session ends 06/20/18. If you have any questions, please contact your ASO for assistance. Thank you for your actions on this request.

Claudette Royal
New York State Ombudsman
NYS Office for the Aging

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This call for advocacy was received from the New York State Ombudsman, who directs New York’s Long Term Care Ombudsman Program. NCCI runs the Ombudsman Program for Clinton, Essex, and Franklin Counties, New York. It’s important we act on this by Friday, June 15, 2018.

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I need your assistance in gaining passage of legislation that would conform NYS Elder law provisions governing LTCOP with the new regulations issued by the Feds governing the operations of LTCOP.

Enactment of the bill is important since failure to be in compliance with the new Federal program requirements could jeopardize overall Federal program funding for LTCOP and all NYSOFA programs. A letter was received from ACL in response to the question asked by the Senate regarding the impact of not passing this bill. Legislation has been introduced – at my request as well as by Assemblywoman Lupardo and Senator Serino - A.10161, Lupardo / S. 7975, Serino - that would accomplish this goal.

The Assembly and Senate both have made changes to their bills and the Assembly decided to  introduce a new bill (A. 11050, Lupardo)- which is in the 2nd attached file, for procedural reasons and for the purpose of helping the process advance; that reflected changes that both houses were seeking.  All of the changes are acceptable to the Office of the State Long Term Care Ombudsman.

There now needs to be a companion bill in the Senate that matches Assembly bill (A.11050). 

THE ASK -

We are requesting that you contact your State Senator [Sen. Elizabeth Little: (518) 455-2811]. Tell them your name and that your organization provides a valuable service to their constituents who live in nursing homes, adult care facilities and family type homes.

This worthwhile program is helping address quality of life issues for these individuals, by advocating on their behalf.

The proper and lawful operations of this program by the Federal Administration on Community Living (ACL) by NYS is a top priority. Let them know that failure by the Senate to introduce and pass this bill potentially could jeopardize funding for LTCOP which ACL has put in writing;  share a copy of the letter which is the in the first attached file. 

NEXT -- SPECIFICALLY ask that your Senator reach out to their colleague Senator Serino, the Senate Chair of the Aging Committee, to request that she introduce  a companion bill to A.11050, Lupardo, and then work to have it passed by the Senate  immediately before the final day of session which is 06/20/18. 

We will let you know what actions Senator Serino has taken to introduce the bill later in the week. Please note that if a companion bill has not been introduced by Friday I will ask that you again reach out to your Senator to respectfully request an update on this matter.

I appreciate all of your efforts! 

Claudette Royal
New York State Ombudsman
NYS Office for the Aging