April 2 , 2020 (Updated April 3)
NYSAC Special Bulletin  

Between the Legislature and COVID-19, news is breaking at a pace like we’ve never experienced — and it all directly ties to the work New York’s counties are doing. To help keep you as updated as possible, NYSAC will be sending out daily “Special Bulletins.”
Top Three Takeaways
We get it. You have too many things to do and not enough time to do them. Here are the top 3 things you need to know.

1)       After months of organizing and fighting, we did it! We Kept the Cap on local Medicaid costs.

2)      The budget makes changes to the controversial Cashless Bail law, adding more offenses that would be eligible for cash bail.

3)      The NY Department of Health is expanding the Enrollment Period for New York State of Health to May 15 th
State Budget Agreement

Today the remaining budget bills were finalized and printed. The legislature is currently finishing up voting on the bills, but all are expected to pass by the end of today.
NYSAC is currently working on our SFY 21 Enacted State Budget County Impact Report, which we expect to publish on Friday. 
Highlights from the Enacted Budget

After months of organizing and fighting, we did it! We Kept the Cap on local Medicaid costs .

State Leaders have rejected proposals to unravel the local Medicaid caps in the final state budget.

We want to thank all of you for taking the time to speak out for your county and counties across the state. When we work together and voice our collective concerns, we are effective advocates for the communities, residents, and taxpayers that we serve. 

Federal Stimulus FMAP Increase

The Budget does appear to accept the enhanced FMAP of 6.2 percent signed into law recently by the President. According to Senator Schumer’s office, this could provide as much as $6.7 billion in federal fiscal relief to New York state and its counties, including New York City, if the increase is in effect for an entire year. The federal legislation says that the enhanced federal Medicaid matching rate will be provided to states for each quarter the national public health emergency remains in place. Based on the full annual estimate this would equal about $1.68 billion per quarter for New York State, based on current federal sharing requirements we estimate that about 20% of the savings each quarter will be shared with counties and New York City. We are working with the state to see how this will be operationalized. 
Creation of a Fiscally Distressed Hospital and Nursing Home Pool

The budget includes the creation of a new fund to help fiscally distressed health care facilities that will be partially funded through the diversion of county and New York City sales tax. The new law would divert $50 million in county sales tax and $200 million in New York City sales tax per year for two years at which time the law is scheduled to sunset. The funds would be diverted quarterly on January 15th, April 15th, July 15th and October 15th.  
Changes Made to Cashless Bail Law

New York lawmakers agreed on budget bill that would amend the state’s controversial bail reform law by expanding the list of crimes eligible for cash bail.
The changes would allow judges to set bail on charges like aggravated vehicular assault, first-degree grand larceny and failure to register as a sex offender, among other crimes.
Judges would also be able to set bail on “any crime that is alleged to have caused the death of another person,” according to the legislation.

E-Scooters and E-bikes Will be Legalized 

The budget also legalized electronic scooters and bikes in municipalities across the state. Cities, towns, and villages have the ability to regulate the maximum speed, time, place and manner of operation of bicycles with electric assist and electric scooters including requiring headwear or reflective material and limiting or prohibiting the usage in specified areas under their jurisdiction. Operation on public lands would be prohibited unless lands have been designated and posted for travel by bicycle with electric assist or electric scooter. Most provisions of the law take effect in 120 days.   
Stay tuned for more analysis of the budget coming soon from NYSAC!
COVID-19 by the Numbers

  • 238,965 tests / 18,031 new
  • 92,381 cases /8,669 new
  • 1,000 new cases in both Nassau and Suffolk
  • Every county in the state has at least one case
  • 13,383 hospitalized / 1,157 new
  • 3,396 ICU / 374 new
  • 2,373 deaths (up from 1,291 yesterday) 
  • 313 daily intubations
  • 7,434 patients discharged (this is up – that's good +1292)
Governor Announces Actions on Securing More Ventilators
Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the State Department of Health has approved a protocol allowing BiPAP machines to be converted into ventilators. The State has purchased 3,000 BiPAP machines from Philips in Pittsburgh, and 750 machines are already in stock and will be distributed to hospitals. If necessary, hospitals may also use anesthesia machine ventilators or use a "splitting" protocol where one ventilator is used for two patients using separate tubes.

The Governor said the state expects to need between 70,000 and 110,000 beds at the point of apex, which is predicted to be between 7 and 30 days away. Current bed capacity is 53,000 statewide – 36,000 downstate.

The Governor also said that New York State constructing additional temporary hospitals with a new 750 bed hospital expected to open next week at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal and a COVID only hospital expected to open next week on Staten Island.

New York State continues to shift staff from upstate to downstate. So far, 21,000 staff have come from out of state. Additionally, all hospitals are asked to contribute the PPE they have to a central stockpile. The state will distribute based on need.

In the absence of a state defense authorization act, the state is looking for manufacturers to step up and create new supplies. 

Contact 212-803-3100 or COVID19supplies@esd.ny.gov . According to the Governor, the state will finance the transitioning of facilities and pay a premium for the supplies. 
New Resources Available at NYSAC.org/Covid-19

We’ve recently updated the COVID-19 section of our website. As part of the update we’ve included a new Frequently Asked Questions section featuring common questions we’ve received from counties for which we have received answers from the State.

Additionally, we’re continuing to collect examples of innovative solutions that counties are deploying in response to the COVID-19 in the Counties Innovating section of our website. We’re now breaking these stories out by topic so if you’re interested in procurement, or public safety or communications, you can find articles by that topic. 
State Expands Enrollment Period for New York State of Health

The NY State of Health and the New York State Department of Financial Services announced a one-month extension of the special enrollment period through May 15, 2020 to allow uninsured New Yorkers to apply for coverage through NY State of Health or directly to insurers. If you lost employer coverage, you must apply within 60 days of losing that coverage. Because of a loss of income, New Yorkers may also be eligible for Medicaid, the Essential Plan, subsidized Qualified Health Plans or Child Health Plus.

Nassau County Economic Impact Advisory Council Update

The Economic Advisory Council recently put out a 10-minute survey and in one week received 1,431 responses, 90% of which were from small businesses, those with less than 25 employees. The respondents revealed that more than half have already laid off employees, with the rest claiming layoffs are coming. In addition, more than half said they won’t make a profit in 2020, with 80% saying they’ll need loans to operate through 2020.
The Economic Advisory Council is working with HR&A advisors to create an economic portrait of the county, comparing normal circumstances to the situation during the crisis. They are looking at the current conditions and using sophisticated modeling techniques to come up with a plan before asking the state and federal governments for help. The County executive said by doing so, the county can quantify its needs and have proof.
Oneida County Following Nassau’s Lead
National Update - Federal Response Efforts

The President announced today he is expanding his use of the Defense Production Act (DPA) to help several manufacturers secure supplies for ventilators. Trump issued a memorandum allowing the secretary of Health and Human Services to use authority under the powerful Korean War-era law to help six companies, including General Electric and Medtronic, secure supplies to make ventilators. 

The Federal Government has also enlisted Walmart to ship medical supplies. The President stated that he wants to ship directly to hospitals but has not yet provided further details on logistics for this. 
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