Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Ways and Means Chair Herman D. Farrell, Jr., today released the Assembly Majority's Conference Committee Summary for the 2012-2013 budget. This publication, found here, outlines the $132.6 billion fiscal plan by agency.
"In many ways, this year's state budget is good news for New Yorkers," said Silver. "While we are holding the line on spending, and staying within a two percent spending cap with no new fees or taxes, we are funding vital programs, including the promised four percent increases in education and healthcare programs."
"The final budget is very similar to our one-house proposal that reflects many of the priorities of the Assembly Democratic Majority," said Farrell. "This includes providing the resources necessary to protect our children, students, and our most vulnerable citizens."
The Assembly Majority began the year by calling upon the state to help rebuild the ladder to financial security long relied on by New York's working families. The 2012-2013 budget goes a long way toward meeting that goal, with key investments in higher education, public assistance, and the first increase in school aid in three years.
Education is a key to climbing the ladder to economic security and because of the efforts of the Assembly Majority, state support for SUNY and CUNY community colleges is increased for the first time in five years to a total of $31.2 million, amounting to $150 per full-time equivalent (FTE) student for SFY 2012-2013.
Total funding for Opportunity Programs is $31.5 million. An appropriation of $3.5 million will restore the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP). Other Opportunity Programs to receive funding restorations include: the Liberty Partnerships Program; the Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP); the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP).
In this agreement, the Assembly Majority keeps the promise to increase investments in public education, the cornerstone of the state economy. This plan provides the greatest assistance to the neediest school districts, while at the same time, encouraging innovation and better performance. This budget also demonstrates a continued commitment to early childhood education by maintaining Universal Pre K funding through the 2013-2014 school year.
The budget allocates $20.3 billion for General Support for Public Schools, an $805 million increase from School Year 2011-2012, including $751 million more in total funding for formula based aids. This is a 3.9 percent increase, which is the first year-to-year increase in three years, and $200 million more than the Executive proposal.
Other critical state education programs to receive increased funding include: $10 million for Teacher Centers; $1 million for Adult Literacy; $3.9 million for Aid to Libraries; and $7 million for the Comprehensive Attendance Program for non-public schools.
On the all-important issue of housing, the Assembly led the effort to increase the state's investment to increase quality, affordable housing. Funding for the Neighborhood and Rural Preservation Programs is not only restored but is increased by $2.2 million for a total investment of $14.2 million. The Foreclosure Prevention Program will be funded over a three-year period with a first year investment of $25 million. As part of this funding, existing program contracts will be extended for at least six months. This agreement also provide $3 million for homelessness prevention and supportive housing programs.
Vital Safety Net Services
The final budget restores more than $50 million in restorations to human services programs to help New York's neediest families. It includes a significant investment of more than $16.7 million in critical safety net funding to protect vital programs and services, such as Non-Residential Domestic Violence Services ($1.2 million), Child Care subsidies ($2 million), and also includes support for Advanced Technology Training and Information Networking (ATTAIN) Technology Training ($3 million).
The 2012-13 state budget provides for a full ten percent increase in the public assistance grant to be implemented in two phases starting with a five percent increase on July 1, 2012 and an additional five percent increase on October 1, 2012.
The 2012-12 state budget provides for $1.5 million in funding for The Safe Harbour for Exploited Children Act, which provides specialized services for children subjected to commercial sexual exploitation.
This budget establishes the Close to Home Initiative, a program that would create rehabilitation-focused detention facilities for low-level youthful offenders. Historically, youthful offenders have been sent to facilities upstate. This program would create more facilities in New York City, where there is a greater demand for services.
The final budget also includes funding for supportive services programs for children, including nearly $1.3 million for Youth Development and Delinquency Prevention/Special, Delinquency Prevention Programs; $757,200 to reduce caseloads for Child Protective Services caseworkers; $750,000 for child advocacy centers; $750,000 for the New York State Alliance of Boys and Girls Clubs; and $214,456 for Runaway and Homeless Youth.
The final budget provides funding for three immigrant services clinics in New York. The clinics will serve young immigrants and their families in their quest to build successful and productive lives despite their unresolved immigration status. Three clinics, the Legal Services NYC Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Clinic, New York State Immigration Action Fund, and Make the Road NY, will each be funded at $150,000.
Critical funding is restored to workforce training programs in the state budget to ensure that all New Yorkers on the margins have the tools they need to achieve economic security and self-sufficiency. The state budget provides $4.4 million for various Department of Labor workforce initiatives, including funding for Workforce Development Institute. Additionally, the spending plan preserves more than $1 million in funding for vital resources such as the SUNY and CUNY child care centers to ensure more parents of young children can attend college and invest in the future of their families.
As a healthy body and mind are the foundation upon which all else is built, the Assembly Majority successfully advocated for ongoing support of programs and provides more than $56 million in additional support for health care programs across the state.
The budget restores prescriber prevails for antipsychotic drugs so that the decision regarding the medications a patient with psychiatric conditions should receive remains in the hands of the doctor and the patient, not the insurance company.
Medicaid coverage for enteral formula for HIV related illnesses and other conditions is maintained. Also, the provision that expanded estate recovery rules to allow the county departments of social services to recover more assets from the estates of deceased Medicaid recipients is repealed.
The budget also includes provisions that would require service coordinators, with parental consent, to provide notice to the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) if a child appears eligible for OPWDD services
The spending plan rejects the requirement that E.I. providers contract with insurance companies, and preservers the ability for children to receive E.I. services by rejecting the ban on providers that have a working relationship with evaluators.
The state budget establishes a pilot program to provide students residing in OMH hospitals with a more appropriate education that comports more closely with the curriculum and related therapy services they would receive in their home school districts.
This plan provides $30.6 million in funding to partially restore Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) program and provides for assistance with Medicare Part D co-payments.
The state budget restores $458,000 in funding for Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORC) and Neighborhood NORC Programs (NNORC). It also restores$34.3 million to maintain the right for spousal refusal in New York State and provides $1.135 million for the Enhanced In-home Services for the Elderly Program and for Community Services for the Elderly programs to partially mitigate the reallocation of funds based on new Census data.
Economic development aid in the new budget stands to create and retain thousands of new jobs in the State. This spending plan maintains $250 million in funding for the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE), the largest, most state-of-the-art, high-tech complex in the academic world. Also included is an investment of $220 million to support a second round of the Regional Economic Development Councils, an initiative to jumpstart local economies across New York State.
The $75 million provided for the New York Works Economic Development Fund will promote business development and job creation efforts to revitalize the State's economy by funding capital grants for employer projects to create and retain jobs, and infrastructure investments. More than $16 million will fund the Jobs Now Program to attract major new businesses and permanent private-sector jobs to New York.
Minority- and women-owned and operated businesses are a critical component of economic development and job creation in the state. This budget includes a $1.6 million to invest in technology for compliance monitoring. It also increases the MWBE Business Development and Loan program to $1 million, an increase of $365,000 from last year.
Additional programs to create and retain jobs include: $35.6 million for arts grants through the New York State Council on the Arts; $9.8 million for tourism initiatives; $5 million for Military Base Retention; $1.8 million for the University at Albany Institute for Nanoelectronics and Exploration (INDEX) Program; and $713,000 for the University at Albany Center for Advanced Science & Technology (CAIST) Program.
This budget takes the first steps for a phased-in assumption, by the state, of the growth in the local share of Medicaid. It also authorizes the Department of Health to assume the administrative services of Medicaid. These combined actions will provide much needed mandate relief to struggling county governments.
This budget also streamlines the Early Intervention program. Administrative functions including paying claims and contract authority will be assumed by the Department of Health, providing additional mandate relief to struggling counties. It also eliminates the proposal to reduce payments by two percent.
The budget provides $4.5 billion for highway, road and bridge projects throughout the state, and $1.16 billion for New York Works, a major job creation and retention plan that will accelerate the beginning of many transportation projects across the state.
For the MTA Capital plan, the budget provides $770 million in increased funding for the plan's final three years and allows the MTA to obtain the full $13.1 billion needed for the agency's five-year capital plan to move forward on some of the largest transit construction projects in New York City's history, including the Fulton Street Transit Center, Second Avenue Subway, East Side Access and the extension of the No.7 train.
The Department of Transportation will be able to conduct an additional 5,000 to 7,000 bus inspections with the $1 million included in the budget to ensure the safe operation of travel buses on the state's roadways. Also funded are programs critical to the maintenance of municipal roads and bridges through $39.7 in Marchiselli Aid and $363.1 million for the CHIPS program.