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February 5, 2021
On February 5th, Alice Bufkin, Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York Director of Policy for Child and Adolescent Health submitted testimony to the New York State FY 2022 Joint Legislative Budget Hearing regarding CCC’s recommendations for the Governor’s Executive Budget related to behavioral health.
The testimony calls attention to the behavioral needs that have been heightened during the pandemic and outlines proposed cuts in the Executive Budget that threaten the healthcare infrastructure of the state and the ability of the state to meet the behavioral health needs of children, including:
• The proposed 5% cut to nonprofit Local Assistance, which would damage the ability of nonprofits to survive and continue serving their communities;
• The removal of $22 million originally intended for the Community Mental Health reinvestment fund; and
• The proposed 10% cut to the State’s reimbursement of NYC’s Article 6 General Public Health Works program. Community-based mental health programs are among the many services provided through Article 6 funding, which have experienced a 16% reduction in state reimbursement in the previous two years.
The testimony also urges State leaders to make targeted investments in behavioral health services, increase school-based supports for New York’s students, and develop an equitable approach to telehealth services.