Detailed Overview of the 2022-23 Executive Budget
As a supplement to The Arc New York’s preliminary budget update from January 18, the following further explains the contents of the 2022-23 Executive Budget.
The OPWDD Budget includes funding of $7.2B, an increase of $2.2B from last year due to additional Medicaid costs, the included cost of living adjustment, and bonuses.
Highlights of the 2022-23 NYS Budget Relative to OPWDD
- Includes a 5.4% cost of living adjustment (COLA) for OPWDD, OMH, and OASAS voluntary providers. The total value of this investment is $379.7M in state dollars, and $643.6M including matching federal funds.
- Includes up to $3,000 per frontline worker in the form of a bonus, explained in further detail below. This funding is separate from the eFMAP bonuses that are currently underway, and would be funded in part by federal dollars, resulting from continued enhanced matching funds already committed by the federal government.
- Leverages an additional $40.7 million in state funds to support minimum wage increases for staff at not-for-profits licensed, certified, or otherwise authorized by OPWDD, OMH, and OASAS.
- Includes authorization for a COLA of 11% for special education provider tuition rates in SY 2023 with a total investment of $240 million.
- Commits an additional $15 million to develop housing. As stated in past years, these funds are distinct from, and in addition to, resources available from the five-year, $20 billion affordable and supportive housing plan.
- Provides $13M in enhanced subsidies for Individual Supports and Services (ISS) and Self-Direction programs to increase payment standards and align reimbursement for administration of these subsidies with changing policies.
- Restores $9.5M to Supervised and Supportive Residential Habilitation providers whose room and board costs exceed projected revenues. OPWDD will align room and board supplemental payments with actual costs and reimburse providers for the full amount of OPWDD-approved costs incurred. This would restore the budget neutrality factor from 0.88 to 1.0.
- Includes $4.5M for expansion of crisis services and rate enhancements for Intensive Behavioral Services (IBS) and to improve connections to county-based mobile crisis services.
- Includes a $10 million investment to increase the number of Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) assessments and reassessments conducted by Care Managers with the goal to better align the needs of individuals and the services provided.
- Provides $2.4 billion for healthcare capital infrastructure and improved lab capacity.
- Reflects an 11.9% increase in local government state spending on OPWDD.
Detail on Important Actions
Subject to receipt of additional federal funding due to the ongoing public health emergency, bonuses will be made available for mental hygiene “practitioners, technicians, and assistants and aides that provide hands on health or care services” who make $100,000 a year or less. This applies to full and part-time employees of Chapters, as well as Article 28 and 16 clinics. The bonus amount will be based upon hours worked during two separate vesting periods and the number of individuals served. The bonuses begin at $500 and cap at $3,000 total.
The COLA will be effective for the period of April 1, 2022 through March 31, 2023 and covers a large array of services, including Article 16 and 28 clinics. Providers must submit an attestation explaining how funding was used first to promote recruitment and retention of non-executive direct care staff, DSPs, clinical staff, or to otherwise respond to non-personal service costs before any salary or other compensation increases can be carried out for executive level job titles. Otherwise, funding remains flexible.
Expansion of Income Eligibility for Child Care Subsidies
Expands eligibility for child care subsidies effective in October 2022 to those at or below 225% of the state income standard, an increase from 200%.
Placement of Children Outside New York City
Enacts into law provisions to extend and make permanent the current structure of financing for Committee on Special Education (CSE) residential placements outside of New York City. This legislation removes the previous sunset date of April 1, 2021 to allow for continued placement.
Authorization of the Passthrough of Federal SSI COLA Adjustments
Authorizes Federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits to be increased in 2023 by the percentage of any SSI Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA). Section 131-o and 209 of the Social Services Law establish specific amounts for the monthly Personal Needs Allowance (PNA) and the monthly SSI standard of need (the maximum combined Federal and State benefit) for recipients in various living arrangements. This bill would amend those sections of law to set forth the actual 2022 PNA amounts and the standard of need for eligibility and payment of additional State payments. It also authorizes those amounts to be automatically increased in 2023 by the percentage of any Federal SSI COLA that becomes effective within the first half of the calendar year 2023.
Nurses Across New York (NANY)
Makes statutory changes necessary to implement workforce initiatives to rebuild and grow the healthcare workforce, including establishing the Nurses Across New York (NANY) loan repayment program, which would reimburse nurses working in underserved communities for loan repayment over three years. A work group would be appointed from associations representing nurses, hospitals, and other healthcare providers to streamline the application process.
Transfer of Oversight for Licensed Healthcare Professions
Amends the Education Law and Public Health Law to transfer oversight of certain licensed professions from the State Education Department to the Department of Health.
Increase Medicaid Trend Factor by One Percent
Allows for a payment increase of one percent across all Department of Health (DOH) Medicaid fee-for-service rates. The rate change recognizes provider cost increases to adequately respond to market needs and compete in the labor market to attract qualified workers. This bill would allow providers the flexibility to increase rates of payment to health care workers.
Establish Telehealth Reimbursement Parity
Establishes reimbursement parity for telehealth services by requiring health plans, including those in Medicaid, to reimburse providers for services delivered through telehealth on the same basis, and at the same rate, as services delivered in person.
Permanent Authority for OMH and OPWDD to Appoint Temporary Operators
Grants permanent authority to appoint temporary operators of programs and services in order to preserve limited resources; protect the health and safety of patients and individuals; and protect the State’s investment in such programs, services and facilities. Additional provisions made permanent by this bill include the factors used to evaluate circumstances when a temporary operator may be necessary; duties of a temporary operator; limitations on a temporary operator’s liability and duration of appointment; provisions for notice to the established operator and the available review when the established operator disagrees with the relevant commissioner’s intent to appoint a temporary operator; and the continuing obligations of the established operator.
Authorize the Dormitory Authority to Provide Services to Not-for-Profit Corporations
Provides the Dormitory Authority of New York State (DASNY) with authorization to provide finance, design, and construction services to not-for-profit organizations for capital infrastructure projects with a total cost of not less than $5 million.
Extend the Authorization of the DASNY to Form Subsidiaries
Extends the authorization of the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) to create subsidiaries to take title to the property of borrowers regulated under Public Health Law Article 28, who have defaulted on loan agreements or mortgages with DASNY for an additional 3 years, until July 1, 2025,.
Accelerate the Middle-Class Tax Cut
Accelerates the middle-class tax cuts and change the completion date to Tax Year 2023 rather than Tax Year 2025. The tax cut would take full effect in Tax Year 2023, skip the interim tax brackets for Tax Years 2023 and 2024, and implement the lower rates originally planned for Tax Year 2025.
Create a Tax Exemption for Student Loan Forgiveness Awards
The Higher Education Service Corporation (HESC) makes monetary awards under several student loan forgiveness programs described in Article 14 of the NYS Education Law to attract employees to certain necessary professions, such as nursing, social work and farming. These payments are taxable income for federal purposes and for purposes of the Tax Law. This bill would exclude the amount of these awards.
Extend the Tax Credit for Companies who Provide Transportation to Individuals with Disabilities
Extends the credit for companies who provide transportation to individuals with
disabilities for six years, through 2028. The credit is available to businesses that incur an incremental cost for upgrading a vehicle used in providing a taxicab or livery service so the vehicle is accessible to persons with disabilities or that purchase certain new taxicab or livery service vehicles that are accessible to persons with disabilities. The credit is available for up to $10,000 per vehicle.
Extend the Workers with Disabilities Tax Credit for Six Years
Extends the workers with disabilities tax credit for an additional six years. The credit provides tax incentives to employers of qualified full-time employees with disabilities. The tax credit is currently available until January 1, 2023. This legislation would extend eligibility through tax years beginning before January 1, 2029.
Transfer of Noncompetitive Employees
Section 55-b of the New York State Civil Service Law authorizes the New York State Civil Service Commission to designate up to 1,200 positions normally filled through competitive examination to be filled through the appointment of qualified persons with disabilities. This bill would amend Civil Service Law (CSL) section 55-B to allow employees in the 55-B program the opportunity to transfer into competitive class positions if they meet the necessary criteria.
Registration Open for 2022 Disability Policy Seminar
Registration for the 2022 Disability Policy Seminar is now officially open. This year's seminar will be will be a hybrid event from March 28-30. You will have the opportunity to join advocates in person in Washington, DC or virtually!
The Disability Policy Seminar offers the opportunity for passionate advocates, self-advocates, experts, and professionals in the field to come together and learn about key issues that affect them most. After attending, you will have the tools to bring strong advocacy to virtual meetings and other follow-up actions as we work to raise awareness among members of Congress about issues important to the disability community.
Register by March 13 to take advantage of early bird rates! (Rates will increase starting on March 14.)
2022 Joint Legislative Budget Hearing Calendar Released
The Joint Legislative Budget Hearing calendar was released alongside the FY23 Executive Budget. The Arc New York will submit written testimony and expects to present oral testimony to the Senate Finance and Assembly Ways and Means Committees. The hearing on the proposed Mental Hygiene budget is scheduled for Monday, February 14 starting at 11:00 AM.
DATE CHANGE: Registration for the Joint Legislative & Advocacy Forum
Due to conflicts with the Mental Hygiene Joint Legislative Budget Hearing on February 14, The Joint Legislative & Advocacy Forum has been moved to an all-day event on February 15 from 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM.
The annual forum is a collaboration between The Arc New York and The New York Alliance for Inclusion and Innovation and provides access to information on the 2022-23 Executive Budget proposal, upcoming legislation, advocacy strategies, and opportunities to engage leadership in the Senate and Assembly. Parents and family members, self-advocates, direct support professionals, not-for-profit agencies and other stakeholders will hear from presenters across a wide range of timely topics, reflecting the importance for us to be a strong voice in Albany this year and beyond.
The forum is free to attend and participants will be able to enjoy the benefits of our program without driving to the NYS Capitol! The forum will help to convey the next stage of our advocacy from March to June of 2022.