June 3, 2022
Governor Announces $15 Million for Integrated Supported Housing
This week, Governor Kathy Hochul announced the release of an Integrated Supportive Housing Application available to qualifying service providers and housing developers. The 2022 funding opportunity will be administered by OPWDD and award a total of $15 million in capital funding to expand access to affordable, accessible, non-certified supportive housing options for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Funding will be available for applicants in all areas of New York state. OPWDD may allocate additional resources where applicants demonstrate effective strategies to meet the needs of individuals with varied racial, ethnic, cultural, linguistic, gender and sexual identity backgrounds. Awards include capital dollars, and/or rent subsidies, and the creation of supportive housing projects that include a request for preferential tenancy units ("set-aside units") for persons with I/DD.

Additional information and access to the application can be found on the OPWDD website. Proposals are due July 11, 2022.
Urgent Call to Action: Special Education School Funding
Even though legislative session is coming to a close, the fight for special education funding continues. We previously shared The Arc New York's advocacy efforts in support of funding for special education in our April 29 and May 27 Advocacy Updates. We must take this message directly to Governor Hochul through your grassroots action! We're calling on you to join the fight and send a message to the Governor through our one-click advocacy campaign.

Last year, Governor Hochul vetoed legislation which would have provided special education schools (4410, 853 & Special Act schools) funding parity with the yearly public-school increase. In her veto message, she promised a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) of 11% for the 2022-23 school year, which was reiterated in the Executive Budget proposal. 

However, due to the current tuition funding structure, the final budget language, and disagreements between the State Education Department (SED) and Division of Budget (DOB), most schools will not be able receive this promised 11% increase. We cannot allow administrative gridlock to block this much needed funding.

Take action and urge the governor and the DOB to find a solution that keeps the promise to our special education schools for an 11% ($240 million) increase effective July 1, 2022. New York’s most vulnerable children deserve it!
OPWDD Telehealth Consumer Survey
In order to better understand patient perspectives on telehealth, the New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) Office of Health Insurance Programs (OHIP) has partnered with the Office of Addiction Services and Support (OASAS), Office of Mental Health (OMH), Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), and the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) to conduct the Telehealth Consumer Survey. All New York state residents are encouraged to complete the survey, whether they have used telehealth services or not. Survey results will be used to inform future telehealth policy development in the state.

To access the survey, visit the NYS DOH “Telehealth Consumer Survey” web page. The survey will close on July 1, 2022. All questions regarding the survey should be sent to the NYS DOH at Telehealth.Policy@health.ny.gov.
$150 Billion Federal HCBS Investment Needs our Help!
As we shared in our May 13 and April 29 updates, strong advocacy continues in support of a $150 billion investment in home and community-based services (HCBS), but the guarantee of this funding is at severe risk. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to secure the future of HCBS supports for our loved ones and create a sustainable workforce model to aid in the recruitment and retention of a skilled direct care workforce is now at severe risk. With this funding, states would be eligible for a permanent 10-percentage-point increase in the federal Medicaid match for delivering HCBS, as well as enhanced funding for administrative activities associated with improvement efforts.

It is imperative that we impress upon our federal representatives to make bold decisions and support HCBS. You can send a letter to your federal representatives in support of these efforts here
Register for the White House Biweekly Engagement Call
Did you know The White House Office of Public Engagement hosts a biweekly Stakeholder Engagement call for Americans with disabilities? This is a closed press, open registration opportunity to hear directly from the Administration about national issues impacting people with disabilities.

The next community call will be held on Thursday, June 9 at 3:00 PM. ASL and CART will be provided. Please feel free to share with your Chapter’s membership and REGISTER HERE!
Governor Announces Confirmation of Nominees and New Appointments 
Today, Governor Kathy Hochul announced the confirmation of her transportation and economic development nominees. More detailed information on the confirmation and short bios can be found in the governor’s press release.
  • Renee Delgado was confirmed to serve on the Workers Compensation Board
  • Alicia Glen was confirmed to the Gateway Development Corporation Board of Commissioners
  • Lisa Gomez was confirmed to the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York Board of Directors
  • Michael Hughes was confirmed as Chair of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority
  • Kevin Law was confirmed as Director of the Urban Development Corporation and will be designated Chair of the UDC.
  • Joe Martens was confirmed for the Olympic Regional Development Authority
  • Brian O'Dwyer was confirmed to serve on the Gaming Commission
  • Marissa Shorenstein was confirmed to serve on the Gaming Commission   
  • Robb Simpson was confirmed to serve on the Empire State Development Board of Directors
  • Lisa Sorin was confirmed for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors
Governor Hochul also announced that Richard Berkley will join the Department of Public Service as Consumer Advocate. More information on this appointment can be found here
Want to do More?
Visit The Arc New York Advocacy Center for more ways to take action, including campaigns to support federal funding, employment opportunities, and our dedicated workforce. You can also find tools and resources to help you be a stronger advocate for New Yorkers with disabilities.

This and all advocacy updates are archived on The Arc New York website for future reference. Please contact us if you have questions regarding any of this information.
Contact: Philip Aydinian, Director of Governmental Affairs 
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