A message from the Executive Director: Thank you for your advocacy during the state legislative session


June 17, 2021

By: Jennifer March

Dear advocacy partners:

We write you today to thank you for your help in keeping the needs of children and families front and center in the State legislative session which wrapped up on June 11th. With your support, we were able to accomplish several important victories that will move us forward in our efforts to advance equity and recovery for New York’s children and families.

Included among them are legislation that will build on youth justice reforms, expand access to rental assistance to prevent family homelessness, protect child behavioral health services, reduce child poverty, and provide increased stability to providers of vital programs children and families rely on such as Early Intervention, child care, and preschool special education.

Bills supported by CCC that passed both the Senate and Assembly and await the Governor’s signature include:

  • S.6573 (Kavanagh)/ A.8009 (Rosenthal), which will raise the maximum rent payable under the state Family Homelessness and Eviction Prevention Supplement (FHEPS) program The bill would raise the rent cap from 85% to 100% of HUD’s Fair Market Rent (FMR)
  • S.5560-A (Reichlin-Melnick) /A.5339 (Paulin), which would establish a Covered Lives assessment of $40 million to ensure commercial insurers pay their fair share for Early Intervention (EI) services. This would help address a major barrier to the sustainability of EI services by reducing administrative barriers and ensuring commercial insurers are paying their fair share for Early Intervention services.
  • S.6516-A (Mannion)/ A.8013 (Benedetto), which aligns growth in preschool special education payment rates with growth in general education school funding rates. This bill will help ensure that these crucial early care providers for children with delays and disabilities receive more just compensation and the sector is better supported for years to come.
  • S.4051 (Bailey)/A.4982 (Hevesi), which will end the arrest and prosecution of children as young as 7 as juvenile delinquents in New York State and keep the youngest children out of the criminal legal system. What young children that come in contact with law enforcement need most are support services, not handcuffs, traumatizing court proceedings, or punitive measures that increase the likelihood of continued justice system involvement into adulthood.
  • S.282 (Myrie)/ A.6769 (Hyndman), legislation providing people who were eligible for youthful offender (YO) status but denied in the past a new opportunity to apply for it. Criminal convictions too often lead to lifelong barriers to economic security. Providing a second chance for youthful offender status will lead to expanded protections for young people and remove significant barriers to employment and self-sufficiency.
  • S.2755-C (Ramos)/ A.1160-C (Bronson), which requires New York State to publicly commit to cutting child poverty in half in ten years with the creation of a Child Poverty Reduction Advisory Council that will regularly assess progress toward this goal and related strategies to improve racial equity.
  • S.5162 (Brisport)/ A.5840 (Clark), which allows providers to be reimbursed via direct deposit which eliminates delays in payment and other unnecessary hardship for child care providers that has been intensified during the pandemic particularly for smaller providers struggling to make ends meet.
  • S.7128 (Brisport)/ A.7721-A (Clark), which extends the term and expands the scope of the Child Care Availability Task Force allowing the state to continue to assess and improve its child care subsidy system and continue to expand access for families and support providers.
  • S.6431 (Brouk)/A.7405-A (Bronson), which will extend diagnostic authority for certain Licensed Mental Health Professionals, preventing a sudden shortage of essential behavioral health providers.

We thank the New York State Senate and Assembly for passing legislation that prioritizes New York’s economic recovery from the pandemic, and the health and well-being of our state’s children, and we urge the Governor to sign these bills into law without delay.

CCC looks forward to working with the Governor, state leaders and our coalition partners to ensure all of New York’s children and families have access to the resources they need to not only recover from the pandemic, but thrive.

Sincerely,

Jennifer March

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