March 1, 2016
CCC responded to the New York State Fiscal Year 2016-2017 Executive Budget proposals with our Budget Recommendations for the Governor and State Legislature. CCC is a multi-issue child advocacy organization and we have a number of priorities for the upcoming budget. Three core priorities are outlined below:
New York remains one of only two states in the country that prosecutes all 16 and 17 year olds as adults, regardless of the crime they allegedly committed (the other is North Carolina). This contradicts the brain science research that shows that adolescent brains are not fully developed—which is what can lead to impulsive behavior and also makes youth more receptive to rehabilitative services. Treating youth as adults is also harmful for public safety because it has been proven to increase recidivism. We are very pleased that the Governor’s budget once again proposes a comprehensive plan to raise the age of criminal responsibility in New York and the money to fund it.
We are about to face a child care crisis in the state—the current budget leaves a $190 million hole in funding. If this budget gap is not resolved by the state, thousands of children will lose their child care subsidies, thousands of parents will not be able to work, and thousands of low-income home based child providers will not have their jobs. The budget gap was created because the federal government strengthened a number of health and safety rules. For example, legally exempt family/friend/neighbors will be required to have background checks and home inspections. This is all aimed at increasing safety, which is a good thing. The federal government also calls for 12-month eligibility for children and homeless children will have a priority for child care. These are all good things. The problem is that the federal government did not fund it and so if the state does not fund it, low-income working parents in this state will likely lose child care. The Governor’s budget includes $10 million for this purpose, which is obviously not sufficient.
We strongly support the Budget proposal to phase-in a $15 minimum wage throughout the state. This is critical for working families to be able to able to get out of poverty. We urge the State Legislature to include the minimum wage increase in this year’s budget. It is also critical that the minimum wage increase be funded for non-profits with state contracts and those reimbursed by Medicaid. While for profit businesses can raise prices if they need to, non-profits and those funded through Medicaid cannot. To prevent these vital community services from having to cut services, lay-off employees or perhaps even close their doors, it is essential that the minimum wage increase be funded in the budget.
Please download our Budget Recommendations to learn about all of our state priorities for children and families related to income security, homelessness, child welfare, juvenile justice, education, early education, youth services and health and mental health.