POLICY and ADVOCACY UPDATE
Executive Budget: State dollars invested to maintain lost TANF funds
As a Gap-closing Action, the Executive Budget proposes to provide State funding to offset the loss of Federal funds that have been supporting child care slots since 2009-10 but were discontinued this year. (2012-13 Value: $93 million; 2013-14 Value: $215 million) The gap-closing plan provides sufficient resources to cover essential new costs, including State funding to maintain 19,000 child-care slots for working families that would otherwise be lost due to a reduction in Federal aid.
Child Care Resource and Referral funding is maintained at $22,034,000, while $1,100,000 is maintained for Infant/Toddler Resource Centers.
Contact Governor Cuomo and thank him and his administration for working to save child care slots in New York State! Child Care keeps New York working!
Reform Early Intervention Program. The EI program provides a comprehensive array of therapeutic and support services to children under the age of three with confirmed disabilities (i.e., autism, cerebral palsy) or developmental delays. The program serves approximately 72,000 children annually and is jointly financed by Federal, State and local governments. The Executive Budget recommends a series of program modifications, without impacting services that provide significant fiscal and administrative mandate relief to counties and generate cumulative local savings totaling $99 million over five years. These proposals would:
- Expand Insurance Coverage. Require commercial health insurance to include EI service providers in their networks.
- Centralize Fiscal Oversight. The State will centralize fiscal administration of the EI program through a fiscal intermediary contract. Counties will be relieved of responsibility for contracting with EI providers, administering provider payments and seeking third party reimbursement.
- Reduce Local Costs. Counties will immediately benefit from a reduction in their share of EI program costs. State savings will also be applied to improving the timeliness of State reimbursement of local program costs.
Preschool Special Education
New York State offers extensive services to its students with disabilities, including services to children before they reach school age. The State's investment in Preschool Special Education has doubled over the past ten-years to a projected State cost of $1.1 billion for the upcoming school year. The Executive Budget proposes several changes to both rationalize the existing Preschool Special Education financing system and eliminate potential conflicts of interest.
Second Round of Regional Council Awards
This year Governor Cuomo created 10 Regional Councils that brought together stakeholders from labor, business, academia, and communities to develop long-term strategic plans based on each region's unique resources and specific priorities. These Councils awarded $785 million competitively to projects determined to have the greatest potential for creating jobs.
- $130 million in new capital funding from the New York Works initiative; and
- $70 million in tax credits from the enhanced Excelsior Jobs Program.