Associated Press Capitol Watch: NY Looks At Mental Health, Higher Ed Budgets


February 1, 2020

The Democratic governor is proposing to boost funding for the state’s Office of Mental Health by 1.1% to $4.5 billion. Cuomo is balancing his budget in part by reducing state funding that’s helped local government run certain health programs.

But he’s proposing more money to help mental hygiene providers deal with the cost of minimum wage hikes and to transform a state psychiatric center into a recovery hub, among other initiatives.

New York would also launch a new program to treat confined sex offenders at a secure treatment and rehabilitation center under another proposal. Cuomo estimates the state would see $2.5 million in savings because sex offenders are expected to have shorter lengths of stay.

His budget would also direct $1 million in new funds for suicide prevention efforts for veterans, law enforcement and corrections officers.

A statewide coalition of child advocates and mental health professionals say they’re concerned that New York could further cut children’s behavioral health care amid concerns about higher-than-expected Medicaid spending.

The Campaign for Healthy Minds, Healthy Kid s points to New York’s move this year to eliminate enhanced rates of reimbursement for child and family treatment and support services. Advocates say over half of New York children with a mental health condition or substance use disorder who need treatment services don’t receive them.

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