Legislators Push Back Hard on Cuomo’s Medicaid Plan
 
Health Commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker, and Medicaid Director, Donna Frescatore, took center stage yesterday when they answered questions from legislators about the Governor’s new Medicaid plan. Many elected officials were not shy in making their displeasure known. Several went so far as to raise concerns about the accounting, facts being withheld, the impact of cuts on our most vulnerable residents, and shifting costs to county taxpayers under the Governor’s proposal.
 
Legislators were frustrated by answers lacking specifics, the blocking of information to legislative staff experts, and the plan by the Governor to create a private, outside panel to come up with $2.5 billion in Medicaid savings whose findings won’t be reported until shortly before the state budget is due on March 31.
 
Local leaders spoke at length about the havoc this would cause to their budgets, with New York City officials saying that this proposal would mean an additional billion dollars in Medicaid costs. The Governor is looking for these cuts to help close the State’s $6.1 billion deficit, but many see this as just pushing these costs on localities instead of finding the money from within. 
 
NYSRA Westchester Chapter Meets with Elected Officials During Productive Lobby Day
Earlier this week, members of the NYSRA Westchester Chapter Board traveled to Albany to meet with their local representatives. The restaurant owners had six different meetings over the course of the day, including a sit down with Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.
 
The conversations covered a variety of issues but mainly focused on how restaurants are having a lot of trouble meeting all the mandates that have come down over the last few years and that some form of relief would help. We also talked at length about how ‘Main Street’ relies on restaurants to become reliable neighborhood fixtures and drive economic development. 
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