April 15, 2022
FY 2022-23 Budget Overview
Last week, the New York state legislature passed the 2022-2023 budget. The final $220 billion budget was $4 billion more than Governor Hochul proposed in January. You can read our statement on the Enacted Budget here

Of particular interest to the intellectual and developmental disability (I/DD) community, the Enacted Budget includes a 5.4% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for the human services field, bonuses of up to $3,000 for frontline staff, expanded eligibility of the Statewide Health Care Transformation Program (SHCFTP) to include community-based I/DD providers, and changes in language so our clinical staff can access the Nurses Across New York (NANY) loan repayment program.

Final budget bills were released last Saturday and included the language governing the frontline staff bonuses, which can be found in the Education, Labor, Housing, and Family Assistance budget bill, S 8006-C/A 9006-C, Part ZZ. A plain language breakdown of legislation, including a list of titles eligible for the bonuses, can be found here

Other Items of Interest
The Education Article VII:
  • Allows special education schools (4410, 853 & Special Acts) to retain annual surpluses of 11% in 2022-23 through 2024-25, 8% in 2025-26, 5% in 2026-27, and 2% in 2027-28 and thereafter.
  • Limits the language added in last year’s budget regarding 853 reserve funds to the 2021-22 school year – a change which was needed for 853s to retain the 11% surplus.
  • Will not eliminate reconciliation, add interim plus rates, or hold harmless for enrollment declines. 
  • Administrative talks on legislative intent are underway, and a letter is being developed to clarify the agreement and provide definitions (i.e., “allowable and reimbursable costs,” holding future tuition rates harmless from the impact of surplus deposits, etc.). We will continue working with SED, The Legislature and the Executive to ensure that the Governor’s promise of an 11% COLA is kept.

Community Resiliency, Economic Sustainability & Technology Program:
  • $385 million in capital grants for projects intended to improve the quality of life of New York State residents “through investment in facilities support arts, cultural, athletic, housing, child care, educational, parks recreational, transportation, port development, economic development, workforce training, employment development, community redevelopment, climate change mitigation, resiliency, environmental sustainability and other civic activities." 
  • These funds will be distributed by the Governor, Senate & Assembly and appear to be geared toward nonprofits.

New Opportunities for those living at home:
  • $2 million for new service opportunities for individuals with disabilities that are currently living at home and whose caregivers are unable to continue caring for them

988 Hotline
  • Establishes a 9-8-8 suicide prevention and behavioral health crisis hotline system with modified reporting metrics, and ensures call centers are established in-house.

Statewide Healthcare Facility Transformation Program (SHCFTP):
  • Authorizes $450 million in Phase IV funding, for which OPWDD community-based programs as now eligible. Of that amount,
  • $25 million is earmarked for community-based health care providers,
  • $25 million for mental health clinics
  • $50 million for residential or adult care facilities.
  • Up to $200 million has been set aside to modernize emergency departments of regional significance. These resources are directed at Level 1 trauma centers with the highest volume in their region. They have the capacity to segregate patients with communicable diseases, trauma or behavioral health issues, provide training in emergency and trauma care, and serve a high proportion of Medicaid patients

Child Care Subsidies
  • The income eligibility for childcare subsidies increased to 300% of the federal poverty level and reimbursement rates increased from 69% to 80%.
  • The work requirement for recipients in post-secondary education and the Executive's language modification related to rollover funds for local districts were eliminated.
  • The 10 percent of income over the Federal Poverty Level cap on copayments was continued.

  • The Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) will be replaced with the Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government to include victim statement confidentiality, increase member standards, and specify that unfounded complaints are not FOIL-able

Additional items
  • Gas and diesel fuel taxes will be cut by 16 cents a gallon from June 1 through December 31, 2022
  • $2.2 billion in one-time property tax rebates will be made available for low- and middle-income property owners
  • $162 million in tax cuts for middle-class families will be fully phased in by April 2023 rather than 2025
  • $5.1 billion have been directed to reserves/the state’s rainy day fund
Next Phase for The Arc New York Advocacy
Following our highly successful budget advocacy campaign, we are shifting our focus to a couple of key items, including a personal income tax credit for direct care staff on the state level and efforts on the federal level to invest $150 billion in-home and community-based services (HCBS) through budget reconciliation. As you might recall, this initial effort was presented as the Build Back Better Act/Better Care Better Jobs Act.

Our proposal for a personal income tax credit for DSPs (S7643-A/A9200-A) was not included in the Executive or One-House budgets, but the legislation remains active in the NYS Senate and Assembly. A personal income tax credit is a critical solution that our sector needs to stabilize and reinvigorate our sorely depleted workforce. This tax credit would provide recruitment and retention incentives to these vital employees, recognize their essential work, and address the significant workforce challenges of our Mental Health and I/DD service systems. You can send a letter to your state representative here supporting this important legislation. 

The investment of $150 billion in HCBS through budget reconciliation includes substantial funding for states to expand access to Medicaid HCBS and addresses the decades-long workforce crisis and our current emergency. 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. 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 the need for this funding. You can send a letter to your federal representatives in support of HCBS investment here
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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