How Children and Families Fared in the NYS 2022-23 Budget


May 2, 2022

By: Alice Bufkin, Rebecca Charles, Caitlyn Passaretti

The Enacted State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2022-23 Budget comes at a time of particular urgency for New York’s children, as communities strive to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and from years of underinvestment in the systems that serve New York families. In some areas, the Enacted Budget rose to the occasion, with historic investments in child care; critically needed enhancements to the human services and behavioral health sector; and important expansions in health coverage, including the expansion of Medicaid postpartum coverage.

On the other hand, the Budget fails to make many urgent investments and policy changes needed to support New York families. Progress on child welfare reform was reversed in the final stages of budget negotiations; efforts to enhance Early Intervention capacity fell short; child care enhancements continue to exclude immigrant families; and the State failed to act upon the historic opportunity to make permanent investments in a statewide rental subsidy program that could have averted homelessness for countless New York children and families. Moreover, though attempts to rollback Raise the Age were eventually defeated, the Budget still includes harmful reversals to criminal justice reform that will reverberate throughout New York communities.

Below is a scorecard of CCC’s budgetary priorities, indicating which priorities were achieved in the budget (green), which priorities saw partial progress (yellow), and which priorities failed to pass in the budget (red). CCC and our partners throughout the state will continue advocating to build on the progress in this year’s budget and help create a better future for all New York families.

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Healthy

The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the urgent need to ensure all New York children and families have access to comprehensive health coverage and behavioral health supports. The Enacted Budget includes critical new investments in children’s behavioral health services, including a significant cost of living increase for human service works, enhanced rates across multiple behavioral health services, and the expansion of behavioral health services covered in the Child Health Plus program. As children and families continue to grapple with long-standing mental health challenges exacerbated by the pandemic, it will be essential for the State to build on and substantially expand investments in the children’s behavioral health system. The budget also includes important coverage expansions, including extending postpartum coverage from 60 days to one year in Medicaid, pending federal approval. However, the Budget fails to address the significant shortage of Early Intervention providers, and falls short of extending health coverage to all immigrants in the state.

    Address the child and adolescent behavioral health crisis

  • Support and make permanent investments and rate enhancements in the Executive Budget, including: the enhanced FMAP increase for outpatient mental health clinics, $7.5 million for Residential Treatment Facilities, $7.5 million for Home-Based Crisis Intervention, and the alignment of behavioral health benefits between Medicaid and Child Health Plus (CHP)

    • Enacted Budget includes enhanced FMAP funding (funding is attached to the federal Declaration of Emergency)

    • Enacted Budget includes $7.5 million for RTFs

    • Enacted Budget includes $7.5 million for HBCI

    • Enacted Budget includes $11 million to align behavioral health services in Medicaid and CHP and uses the Ambulatory Patient Group (APG) rate for these services, which include Children and Family Treatment and Support Services, Children’s Home and Community Based Services, Youth Assertive Community Treatment, residential rehabilitation for youth services, and Article 29-I voluntary foster care agency health services.

  • Support the 5.4% COLA for human service providers in the Executive Budget, including language that includes children’s services as part of the permanent extension of the COLA;

    • Enacted Budget includes 5.4% COLA for both government and community-based providers, but excludes Health Homes and prevention services

  • Support workforce bonuses in the Executive Budget and address administrative barriers to disbursing funds;

    • Enacted Budget includes workforce bonus of $3,000 maximum, provided in two payments; includes full-time, part-time, per diem, and contract staff; bonus is exempt from income tax.

  • Further address severe workforce shortages through measures including a worker retention tax credit and employee assistance grants.

    • Enacted Budget fails to include a worker retention tax credit or employee assistance grants

  • Provide additional funding to prevent a rate cliff for Children and Family Treatment and Support Services (CFTSS) and Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS)

    • Enacted Budget fails to address the rate cliff for CFTSS and HCBS, but the Office of Mental Health and the Department of Health have indicated a 25% rate increases will be maintained until September 2022 through administrative action; the rate level after October 2022 has not yet been determined.

  • Expand funding for Family Peer Advocacy by $5.5 million to include youth peer, skill building, respite and care coordination for families without Medicaid.

    • Enacted Budget fails to include funding for Family Peer Advocacy

  • Reform the rate methodology for children’s mental health services and conduct an annual assessment of the fiscal viability of clinical rates.

    • Enacted Budget fails to address the rate methodology for children’s mental health services.

  • Enhance funding and reform billing to support two generation, multidisciplinary models that integrate social emotional wellbeing and social determinants of health in pediatric primary care.

    • Enacted Budget includes $10 million in funding for HealthySteps.*

    • Enacted Budget expands the list of prenatal and postpartum services that must be covered by Medicaid to include dyadic services; nutrition services; care coordination, case management, and peer support; patient navigation services; services provided by a licensed clinical social worker; bluetooth-enable devices; and other services. Services are contingent on federal approval.

    *Confirmation of this funding awaits the release of more detailed budget documents.

  • Improve outcomes for young children with developmental delays and disabilities

  • Increase rates for all Early Intervention providers and evaluators by 11%; utilize funding from the Covered Lives assessment to help support a rate increase.

    • Enacted Budget fails to increase reimbursement rates for Early Intervention.

  • Conduct a comprehensive assessment of the methodology used to determine payment for all Early Intervention evaluations, services, and service coordination, and adjust rates accordingly (S.5676/A.6579).

    • Enacted Budget fails to include changes to the rate methodology for Early Intervention.

  • Require that the Bureau of Early Intervention publish an annual disaggregated report on referrals, assessments, enrollment, and timely receipt of services.

    • Enacted Budget fails to include new requirements around data reporting.

  • Improve health coverage options for families and strengthen New York’s public health infrastructure

  • Restore the State’s reimbursement for NYC’s Article 6 General Public Health Works program to 36%.

    • Enacted Budget includes a $25.7 million enhancement to the General Public Health Works program, but does not restore the State’s reimbursement to NYC to 36%.

  • Pass (A880A/S1572A) to provide health coverage to all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status.

    • Enacted Budget expands coverage to all immigrants over 65 years of age and extends post-pregnancy coverage from 60 days to one year postpartum, pending federal approval, but does not provide health coverage to all New Yorkers regardless of immigration status.

  • Include immigrants in the state’s plan to take the federal option to expand postpartum coverage from 60 days to one year

    • Enacted Budget expands Medicaid postpartum coverage from 60 days to 12 months, regardless of an individual's immigration status, pending federal approval.

    • Enacted Budget gives individuals enrolled in the Essential Plan the option to remain enrolled in the Essential Plan when they become pregnant instead of moving to Medicaid; provides pregnant individuals in the Essential Plan 12 months of postpartum coverage following pregnancy with no cost sharing.

    • Enacted Budget expands postpartum coverage from 60 days to 12 months for individuals under CHPlus

  • Extend the coverage period to the first three years post-partum to ensure continuous coverage for parent and child.

    • Enacted Budget deems infants born to Essential Plan enrollees up to 223% of FPL to be eligible for Medicaid for one year, and extends Essential Plan and Medicaid postpartum coverage from 60 days to one year, but fails to guarantee continuous coverage for parent and child for the full first three years postpartum.

  • Repeal the Medicaid Global Cap to allow the Medicaid program to respond to the evolving health needs of children and families.

    • Enacted budget fails to eliminate the Global Cap, but extends and modifies the Medicaid Global Cap to adopt a five-year rolling average of spending projections from CMS.

Housed

The COVID-19 pandemic only deepened the already existing family homelessness and affordable housing crises facing New York State. With the eviction moratorium expired and families struggling to recover economically, New York is facing a historic number of evictions, and hundreds of thousands of people are at risk of losing their homes. CCC is pleased that the Enacted Budget includes additional funding for supportive housing and new affordable housing units. However, we are disappointed by the state’s failure to act upon the historic opportunity to make permanent investments into a statewide rental subsidy program that could have averted homelessness for countless New York children and families.

    Prevent evictions and a surge in family homelessness, keeping children and families housed

  • Pass the Housing Access Voucher Program (S2804B/ A3701B) to create New York’s first statewide rental subsidy program.

    • Enacted Budget fails to enact and fund HAVP.

  • Expand access to the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) by leveraging $2 billion in pandemic relief funds that the state has yet to allocate.

    • Enacted Budget allocates $800 million to funding ERAP.

  • Support proposed funding in the Executive Budget for 7,000 more Empire State Supportive Housing units while ensuring that survivors of domestic violence remain a priority population and families face as few barriers as possible in accessing support.

    • Enacted Budget invests $1.5 billion for 7,000 new supportive housing units and $110 million for operational costs of the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (ESSHI). As of now, domestic violence survivors remain a priority population.

  • Support proposal in the Executive Budget to invest $25 billion over five years to create and sustain 100,000 affordable homes throughout the state.

    • Enacted Budget includes $25 billion for 100,000 affordable homes throughout the state.

  • Support proposal to create the Building Conversion Act to allow for Class B hotels in or near a residentially zoned district in NYC to convert their units into permanent residences.

    • Enacted Budget fails to include proposal to create the Building Conversion Act.

Educated

New York’s children deserve a full continuum of high quality educational supports, including high quality child care and early education, services for students with disabilities, and behavioral health supports for students. The education sector was deeply impacted by the pandemic. Children were forced into distanced learning, the workforce faced inadequate compensation and burnout, families struggled to access child care, and the most vulnerable students became only more marginalized. CCC is pleased with the state’s evident commitment to education through its historic investments in state education aid, child care, and pre-k expansion. However, to transform our current systems, we must meet the needs of all children and families, especially those who are immigrants, multilingual, or have special needs, and we must adequately compensate the education workforce.

    Expand access to early care and education to promote school readiness

  • Create and fund a path to statewide universal child care by investing $5 billion to significantly expand access to child care and properly compensate the child care workforce through investing $600 million for subsidy reimbursements; investing $3 billion to expand child care subsidy eligibility to all families regardless of income or immigration status; and investing $1.4 billion to properly compensate workers and move toward pay parity with public school teachers.

    • The Governor has indicated the Enacted Budget includes $7 billion over 4 years to expand access to child care.* Within this year’s funding are: Investments to increase subsidy reimbursement rates to the 80th percentile by June 2022; Investments to increase subsidy eligibility to 300 percent of the federal poverty level by August 2022; $343 million in workforce stabilization grants. This money has been reappropriated from previous years and includes no new funding.

    • The Enacted Budget fails to make subsidy eligibility universal and entirely excludes immigrant children from eligibility. Furthermore, the budget fails to decouple child care eligibility from work and income requirements, which will lead to the continued exclusion of low-income families.

    *The full extent of child care funding in the budget will not be known until additional details on expenditures in FY23 and outyears have been released.

  • Ensure New York’s expansion of child care assistance provides equal access and needed supports to children with disabilities by providing enhanced rates and supports for providers

    • Enacted Budget fails to ensure enhanced rates and supports for providers serving children with disabilities.

  • Invest $500 million in additional funding to continue to expand access to quality full-day pre-K for all children in the state by providing at least $10,000 per child.

    • Enacted Budget adds $125 million to expand access to pre-K.

  • Equitably resource public schools and address the needs of ALL students

  • Support the $2.1 billion increase in state education aid proposed in the Executive Budget.

    • Enacted Budget increases state education aid by $2.1 billion.

  • Amend the per-student cost rate of after-school programming to reflect actual costs of running high-quality programs; this includes an increase of $40.4 million for Advantage Afterschool contracts, an increase of $87.5 million for Empire State Afterschool contracts, and an increase of $40.1 million for Extended School Day/School Violence Prevention programs.

    • Enacted Budget does not amend the per-student cost rate to reflect the actual costs of running high-quality programs.

    • Enacted Budget increases investments for the following after school programs: $33m increase for Advantage After School; $24m increase for competitive contracts for Extended School Day programs and School Violence Prevention programs.

  • Ensure the full funding of Foundation Aid, as proposed in the Executive Budget.

    • Enacted Budget invests $1.5 billion to ensure full funding of Foundation Aid.

  • Support the Governor’s proposed administrative increase of 11% for preschool special education programs and school-age classrooms serving children with significant disabilities for the 2022-23 school year.

    • Enacted Budget does not include language around the 11% increase, but the Governor has committed to increase the rate, which would be set by the State post-Budget.

  • Allocate $1.72 million to design a new preschool special education tuition rate-setting methodology and discontinue the annual reconciliation process, as recommended by the Board of Regents.

    • Enacted Budget does not discontinue the annual reconciliation process, but does include a provision that would allow programs to keep certain surplus funds.

  • Support $100 million in the Executive Budget for school based behavioral supports but direct a portion of funds for grants to start up or staff school-based mental health clinics.

    • Enacted Budget includes $100 million in matching funds over two years to be provided to school districts and BOCES with the highest needs to address student wellbeing and learning loss in response to the trauma brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes support for extended school day or school year programs, afterschool programs, mental health professionals and other locally determined initiatives.

Safe

The pandemic has caused immense hardship for New York’s children and families. Families report needing more cash resources, childcare, food, housing, and other necessities in order to rebuild from this pandemic and trauma. In the FY23 Enacted Budget, there were significant investments into community-driven gun violence prevention, youth sports, alternatives-to-incarceration, and other positive youth development programs. Unfortunately, we were disappointed to see the Enacted Budget fail to reauthorize the child welfare funding statute for prevention; fail to pull the kinship guardianship assistance program from the foster care block grant and fund separately; and fail to increase the child welfare housing voucher to $725/month. The failure to invest in these initiatives places additional burdens on children and families in the child welfare system who urgently need additional supports to recover and thrive.

    Reimagine child welfare services to strengthen families and communities

  • Restore and secure full funding of the state and local 65/35 match for protection, prevention, and independent living services.

    • Enacted Budget extends the sunset period until June 2027

    • Enacted Budget fails to restore funding to the 65/35 match.

  • Fund KinGAP outside of the Foster Care Block Grant, mirroring the structure of adoption subsidies, to incentivize more counties to use kin as a permanent placement option.

    • Enacted Budget fails to fund KinGap outside of the Foster Care Block Grant

  • Pass (A.1777) which increases the value of the child welfare housing subsidy from $300 to $725 to promote family reunification and independent living.

    • Enacted Budget fails to increase the value of the child welfare housing subsidy

  • Create the Child and Family Wellbeing Fund to support the growth of primary prevention programs focused on the needs of families.

    • Enacted Budget fails to create the Child and Family Wellbeing Fund

  • Oppose the Executive Budget proposal that requires counties to meet 100 percent of costs related to the newly increased foster parent rate. Recommend increasing the state’s investment in the Foster Care Block Grant to address all costs.

    • Enacted Budget increases foster parent rates but fails to support a cost sharing structure between counties and state.

  • Recommend increasing the state’s investment in the Foster Care Block Grant to support workforce needs

    • Enacted Budget invests $390.7 million into the Foster Care Block Grant. This $7.2 million increase from last year’s budget will support the 5.4% COLA for the child welfare workforce.

  • Invest in youth and communities

  • Support the Executive Budget proposals to invest $46.1 million in the Summer Youth Employment Program, representing an increase of $1 million helping to meet minimum wage requirements.

    • Enacted Budget invests $46.1 million for the Summer Youth Employment Program

  • Oppose the Executive Budget proposal to cut $15.8 million from various labor programs, many of which support youth apprenticeship and employment, and invest $10 million annually to adequately fund the State’s 18 YouthBuild programs.

    • Enacted Budget appropriates $12 million for the YouthBuild programs

  • Oppose the Executive Budget proposal to cut $15.8 million from various labor programs, many of which support youth apprenticeship and employment, and invest $10 million annually to adequately fund the State’s 18 YouthBuild programs.

    • Enacted Budget appropriates $12 million for the YouthBuild programs

  • Oppose the $51 million decrease in the Executive Budget for various children and families’ programs, including but not limited to settlement houses, Kinship programs, human services initiatives, and Safe Harbor.

    • Enacted Budget invests $5 million for youth sports activities and education grant programs for youth under 18

  • Support Executive Budget proposals to prevent gun violence by prioritizing community investments, including $10 million in pretrial community-based services to divert people from detention, $24.9 million for community-based gun violence response, $50 million to meet the capital needs of communities most impacted by gun violence, and $25 million for communities impacted by hate crimes.

    • Enacted Budget invests $10 million for the nonprofits and government organizations providing pretrial services

    • Enacted Budget invests $20 million to address the aftermath of gun violence within communities to support rebuilding and recovering

    • Enacted Budget invests $14 million for positive youth development programs providing community-level services to promote positive youth development

    • Enacted Budget invests $31 million to local crime reduction, youth justice programs, and gang prevention through outreach, research, and gun violence prevention program, including utilizing $2.5 million for the creation of the Office of Gun Violence Prevention

    • Enacted Budget invests $1.54 million for gun violence prevention street outreach, anti-violence, shooting/violence reduction programs run by local governments and/or nonprofits

    • Enacted Budget invests $7.3 million for restorative justice programs such as supporting survivors of sexual assault and DV; gun violence prevention, alternatives to incarceration, community supervision, re-entry initiatives

    • Enacted Budget invests $50 million in grants to support capital investments for crime reduction strategies in communities impacted by gun violence

    • Enacted Budget invests $25 million in grants to provide safety and security projects for nonprofit organizations from hate crimes

  • Support the Executive Budget proposal to maintain funding for Raise the Age implementation at $250 million.

    • Enacted Budget maintains funding at $250 million for Raise the Age implementation.

  • Establish a mechanism through which to reinvest savings associated with closures of state youth placement facilities into community services that promote healthy youth development and community safety, such as primary prevention, behavioral health, youth employment, and art & culture programs.

    • Enacted Budget does not establish a mechanism to reinvest savings from the closure of state youth placement facilities into community services.

  • Pass (A3536A/S5749A) to strengthen existing protections under the Youthful Offender law and create a new status covering young adults up to age 26 to help youth overcome barriers to future employment and education.

    • Enacted Budget does not include language to strengthen protections for youth up to the age of 26

Economically Secure

New York leaders must provide all families and social service providers with the tools they need to recover from a pandemic that has deeply shaken the economic security of New York communities. Adequate compensation for our human services workforce, expanded tax credits, and access to nutritious foods are all aspects of economic security and mobility that CCC advocated for in this budget season. We are pleased to see the state address economic wellbeing in Fiscal Year 2023 through enhancements to the Empire State Child Credit, cost of living increases for the human services workforce, and modest increases to anti-hunger programs. However, the needs of low-income require bigger, bolder, and more permanent investments in future years.

    Combat food and income insecurity and support the Human Services workforce

  • Pass (S5866/A3146) to increase the maximum available amount of the Empire State Child Credit and expand the credit to cover children under four and 17 years old.

    • Enacted Budget enhances the Empire State Child Credit for one tax year only and fails to expand the credit to all children under 18. The breakdown of the enhancement is as follows:
      100% increase to household incomes < $10,000
      75% to household incomes >= $10,000 & < $25,000
      50% to household incomes >= $25,000 & < $50,000
      25% to household incomes >= $50,000

  • Support the #JustPay Campaign for the essential human services workforce by establishing and funding an annual cost-of-living adjustment on human services contracts; setting a living wage floor for state human service workers; and implementing and funding a wage and benefits schedule for government-funded human service workers.

    • Enacted Budget approves a 5.4% COLA for human service workers, but does not cover all workers. The Budget excludes crucial agencies and members of the human service workforce, such as preventive service workers, Home Health workers, NYS Supportive Housing Program (NYSSHP) workers, and Solutions to End Homelessness Program (STEHP) workers.

  • Support the priorities of the NYC Food Policy Alliance, including by increasing funding for the Nutrition Outreach and Education Program by $2 million; increasing funding for the Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program to $54 million; Providing $85 million to continue the Nourish NY Program; and adopting statewide Community Eligibility Provision across NYS to allow implementation of a statewide universal school meals program.

    • Enacted Budget includes $1 million increase to NOEP.

    • Enacted Budget increases HPNAP funding by $22 million in FY 2023 on top of base funding of $35 million.

    • Enacted Budget appropriates $50 million for Nourish New York, level funding with the previous year.

    • Enacted Budget does not enable implementation of a statewide universal school meals program.

Emerging Issues

A number of issues impacting children and families emerged throughout the course of budget negotiations, including expansions to health coverage, enhancements to the Earned Income Tax Credits, and proposed rollbacks to youth justice reform.

  • The Enacted Budget included a number of positive health coverage expansions for New York children and families (in addition to postpartum expansions described under the Healthy section):

    • Enacted Budget expands Essential Plan eligibility from 200% to 250% FPL for individuals who are currently Qualified Health Plan eligible, contingent on federal approval.

    • Enacted budget eliminates the $9/month premium for Child Health Plus for households with incomes between 160 and 222% FPL

    • Enacted Budget creates parity in reimbursement for telehealth and in person services in both Medicaid and commercial insurance; requires plans to ensure networks are adequate to meet the telehealth needs of insured individuals, and requires a report on the use of telehealth services.

  • Through state budget negotiations, proposals to enhance the New York City and New York State Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC) gained momentum. The Enacted Budget deepens both the local and state EITC.

    • Enacted Budget allows for NYC to permanently deepen its local EITC beginning in tax year 2022 for the first time in 20 years, with the deepest credit going to the lowest earners.

    • Enacted Budget enhances state EITC for one year (tax year 2021) by 25% for all resident taxpayers who filed timely returns.

  • In the final remaining weeks prior to the budget adoption deadline, Governor Hochul's criminal justice reform plans came to light indicating plans to rollback transformative legislation, such as Raise the Age.

    • There were no rollbacks to Raise the Age.

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