Assemblymember Frontus: Assembly Budget Funds Health Programs, Fair Elections, Safer Streets in Brooklyn

Assemblymember Mathylde Frontus (D-Brooklyn) announced that she helped pass the Assembly’s 2019-20 state budget proposal, which provides significant funding for youth programs, early voting and health care services in Brooklyn.

“The Assembly’s state budget proposal outlines a strong set of priorities and puts New York families first,” Frontus said. “People are struggling to make ends meet and now more than ever, we need to invest in the services and programs that can get them on their feet and make their lives better. I’m fighting to ensure we get our fair share.”

Investing in our families’ health

The Assembly’s proposal rejects cuts to Medicaid funding and protects access to over-the-counter prescription drugs. The plan restores $691.9 million in Medicaid funding and provides $53.8 million to fund public health programs. This includes:

  • $222 million to restore the 2 percent rate increase for hospitals and the 1.5 percent rate increase for nursing homes;
  • $190.2 million to restore the 0.8 percent Medicaid claim cuts across the board; and
  • $137.8 million to restore cuts to the Indigent Care Pool.  

The Assembly’s proposal also provides $12.3 million to restore coverage for over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and block an increase in OTC copayments, while earmarking $25 million for enhanced safety net providers. It provides $16 million for family planning services to protect New Yorkers from the federal government’s changes to Title X.

Strengthening democracy

Earlier this year, Frontus strongly supported a measure to establish early voting in New York during a nine-day period before any general, primary or special election to give voters more flexibility and time to make it to the polls (Ch. 6 of 2019). To help offset the costs of increased poll hours, the Assembly’s plan includes $7 million for localities across the state, including New York City. The plan also provides capital funds for the New York City Boards of Elections to purchase electronic poll books and on-demand ballot printers to help modernize their operations.

The Assembly’s budget proposal also strengthens democracy in our state by limiting the influence of money in politics and supports a low-donor matching program. “Far too often, running for office seems like something only the rich and connected can do,” Frontus said.  “A low-donor matching program levels the playing field and would encourage a more diverse group of candidates to run.”

Supporting our youth, making our neighborhoods safer

The Assembly budget proposal also adds $10 million, for a total of $20 million, for youth gang prevention programs, including street outreach, crime analysis, research and violence reduction programs. The budget also restores $300,000 for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program, which provides funding support for drug treatment, crime prevention and education, crime victim and witness initiatives, and mental health programs. Additionally, it carves out $1 million in funding for SNUG programs in New York City and adds $200,000 for the Gun Violence Institute.