UPDATED MENTAL HEALTH BUDGET 3/31/08
This information comes to us from NYAPRS who notes: Following up on previous alerts, the following details are emerging out of the developing NYS budget agreement between the NYS Legislature and the Paterson Administration. New York’s budget crisis has caused a 50% reduction in all but two of the Governor’s previously proposed mental health initiatives, while sparing the workforce COLA (heavily pressed in recent days by NYAPRS and our colleagues) and the Clinic Rate Restructuring initiative. OMH will also be delivering a 2% cut to community services (taken as a whole, not across the board cuts to ‘each one’) and a 3.3% cut to state operated services.
1. Governor’s Budget: Actions on Newly Proposed Initiatives
a. Workforce Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)
i. will go forward unchanged for the next 4 years until 2012.
ii. This year’s COLA will be at a rate of 3.2%.
iii. The COLA rate will be calculated based on the Consumer Price Index level that exists at the beginning of the fiscal year (rather than previous retrospective and re-adjustment system).
b. The Clinic Rate Restructuring Initiative will go forward as planned (held harmless).
c. All Of The Other Proposed Mental Health Increases In The Governor’s January Budget Will Be Cut By 50%. These apparently include:
i. Sustaining and Expanding the Ambulatory Care System and Removing Barriers to Specialty Mental Health Treatment for Children - ($5 million)
ii. Expanding Supported Housing - ($1.1 million)
iii. Expanding Efficiency Apartment Beds for Persons with Mental Illness - ($145 million in Capital Funding)
iv. Enhancing Community Residence and Family-Based Treatment Models - ($12 million)
v. Enhancing Family Care Reimbursement - ($1.5 million)
vi. Adding Family Support Services to Child and Family Clinic Plus - ($1.0 million)
vii. Managing the Care of People with Co-Occurring Disorders - ($1.0 million)
viii. Establishing Managed Care Demonstration Programs - ($1.5 million)
ix. Expanding Access to Vocational Services in PROS - ($0.8 million)
OMH will have the flexibility to manage and revise these over the course of the fiscal year.
d. Housing Flexibility: The Governor’s proposed flexible language to permit collaborations between the Office of Mental Health and the Division of Housing and Community Renewal and other state housing agencies was upheld (it had been questioned by the legislature).
2. The Governor’s Budget: Cuts to Existing Programs
a. Over the course of the coming year, the Office of Mental Health is to deliver a 3.3% to State Operated Services and a 2% cut to Local Assistance programs (how most NYAPRS members are funded). OMH will have the flexibility to deliver this cut, so this does not mean that all programs will be cut or if so, by a now known percentage.
3. NYS Legislature’s Actions
a. As reported in a previous e news posting, the Assembly partially restored a cut to OMRDD providers and the Senate funded a number of local service initiatives, as well as a $150,000 for a geriatric mental health item.