Monday 7 February 2011

Children's defence fund - New York

February 3, 2011 

The Children's Defense Fund - New 

York (CDF-NY) will be analyzing 

the Governor's budget proposal 

more closely over the coming 

weeks and determining the 

impact on New York's children. 

Below is an initial summary 

of the Governor's proposals 

and a discussion about the 

areas of most concern. We will continue 

to provide updates as more details become available and 

advocate vigorously for the children and youth 

of New York. 

Summary and Preliminary Analysis

The Executive Budget proposal for SFY 2011-2012 
closes a $10 billion budget gap primarily through 
reductions in spending and shifts in state support 
to financially strapped counties and cities. The 
$132.9 billion budget proposes an across-the-board 
reduction of 10 percent on all agencies and 
reduces state aid to localities by more than 
$3 billion, primarily through reductions in School 
Aid and Medicaid. While encouraged by efforts 
to reform the juvenile justice system and some 
efforts to improve our education system, we are 
greatly concerned about the level of reductions 
to preventive services, youth programs and 
education, as well as the significant cost-shift 
to localities. 

Juvenile Justice

  • The budget proposes to eliminate the 12-month 
  • notification rule and close 376 beds.
  • The Governor has proposed a $13.5 million 
  • investment to improve services in OCFS 
  • (Office of Children and Family Services) 
  • facilities in the first year, and $24 million 
  • in the second. 
  • The budget includes a cap on detention 
  • funding to localities. Under this proposal, 
  • counties would only be reimbursed for 
  • youth deemed high risk by an OCFS validated 
  • Risk Assessment Instrument. Counties would 
  • still be able to detain low and mid-risk youth 
  • but would have to cover the full costs themselves. 
  • The Governor has proposed the creation 
  • of a Supervision and Treatment Services for 
  • Juveniles Program (STSJP) that will provide 
  • $31.4 million in 2011-12 growing to $48.3 million 
  • in 2012-13 for community-based alternatives 
  • to detention and alternatives to placement. 
  • (The budget also proposes to eliminate $2.2 
  • million from the existing alternatives program, 
  • which will be consolidated into the new program). 
  • A 62 percent funding stream is created for the 
  • STSJP. 
CDF-NY applauds Governor Cuomo’s commitment to 
closing under-utilized youth prisons and investing in 
community-based alternative-to-placement programs. 
We have strongly advocated for alternative programs 
because they have consistently proven to produce 
better outcomes for youth, while resulting in both 
significant cost savings and increased public safety. 
We are hopeful that the Executive and the Legislature 
will work together to finally make 
this new program and reimbursement stream 
a reality. The Governor has 
also proposed capping the funding for 
local detention 
in order to pay for these new alternative 
While, in principle, CDF-NY supports stopping local 
over-reliance on pre-trial detention (and the 
concurrent over spending). We urge Governor 
Cuomo to ensure that struggling counties are not 
forced to make reductions in critical preventive 
services in order to pay for detention costs because 
funding for local detention has been capped. 

Child Welfare and Youth Services

  • The Governor has proposed a change to 
  • the state reimbursement rate for the Adoption 
  • Subsidy program, decreasing the state share 
  • from 73 percent to 62 percent.
  • The Governor proposes a reduction and 
  • cost-shift in Title XX funding. 
  • The budget proposes the creation of a new 
  • Primary Preventive Investment Fund at $35 
  • million this year growing to $42 million next 
  • year. This will be a competitive process for 
  • districts and is created through the 
  • elimination/consolidation of home visiting, 
  • delinquency preventive programs, runaway 
  • and homeless youth programs, community 
  • optional preventive services, settlement 
  • houses and other TANF-funded programs. 
  • The new fund will invest 50 percent of the 
  • current funding for these programs. 
CDF-NY is very concerned about the extent 
of the cost-shift to localities. Counties and 
cities are already struggling with massive budget 
deficits. By significantly decreasing state support 
and reducing overall funding for preventive 
programs, the Governor is creating an environment 
that will lead to devastating cuts for programs that 
are designed to protect children and prevent the 
need for expensive and intrusive interventions. 
By eliminating funding for programs that are effective 
at putting youth on the path to success, the state 
is being short-sighted and will only need to invest 
more money in the future on more intrusive interventions. 


  • The budget proposes $2.85 billion in cuts to 
  • Medicaid, including around $1 billion (2%) in 
  • All Funds spending. The Medicaid Redesign 
  • Team will help decide how the remainder of 
  • the cuts will be made. (Formal recommendations 
  • will be made to the Governor by March 1.)
  • The budget proposes $162.1 million in 
  • reductions to Public Health and Aging 
  • Programs of which the following savings 
  • are expected:
    • $11.1 million in a 10% across-the-board 
    • rate reduction for Early Intervention (EI) 
    • $1.6 million by billing EI services in 
    • 15-minute increments 
    • $10.5 million by no longer reimbursing 
    • General Public Health Work (GPHW) 
    • optional services. (Optional services include: 
    • EI Service Coordination, Dental Services, 
    • Emergency Medical Services.) 
    • $48.3 million by decreasing General Fund 
    • spending for State agency operations by 10%. 
CDF-NY eagerly awaits details of the proposed 
$2.85 billion in cuts to Medicaid. These proposed 
cuts, guided by feedback from the Medicaid Redesign 
Team, must take into consideration the best interests 
of children and families. The Medicaid Redesign Team 
lacks significant consumer representation, and CDF-NY 
urges the team and the state to make unbiased 
decisions, taking consumer input from the public 
hearings and written comments. The state’s 
transparency and inclusiveness in the Medicaid 
redesign process is commendable, and we 
encourage continued communication from the 
state and the Medicaid Redesign Team. To ensure 
all children in New York State have access to health 
insurance, we encourage the state to maintain 
eligibility levels for Medicaid and Child Health Plus. 
The Facilitated Enrollment program has a proven 
history of ensuring children and families are 
successfully enrolled in public health insurance, 
and should therefore be maintained. Furthermore, 
the state should focus on reducing administrative 
costs through technological efficiencies. We 
encourage the state to be cognizant of requirements 
under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act 
(ACA) and plan accordingly. By maintaining eligibility 
levels, continuing successful programs such as 
Facilitated Enrollment, and improving administrative 
functions, the state will position itself to be a leader 
in ACA implementation. Although we are in a budget 
deficit, we must move towards more efficient and 
cost-effective health insurance and health care 


  • The Governor has proposed reducing School Aid 
  • to $19.39 billion by implementing a $2.8 billion 
  • Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA).
  • The budget includes a delay of the full phase-in 
  • of Foundation Aid until 2016-2017. 
  • The Governor has proposed conducting a 
  • comprehensive review of school district mandates 
  • to identify and eliminate mandates that hamper 
  • school districts’ ability to provide services. 
  • The budget proposal will incorporate wealth 
  • as a factor when reimbursing districts’ summer 
  • school special education costs, for an anticipated 
  • cost-savings of $57 million in State Fiscal Year 2011-2012. 
  • The budget creates two $250 million competitive 
  • incentive programs to reward school districts that: 
    • demonstrate significant improvements 
    • in student academic achievement and 
    • outcomes 
    • make structural changes intended to 
    • create efficiencies. 
  • The budget proposal also includes another 
  • cost-shift from the state regarding special 
  • school placements. The state is shifting its 
  • share of funding for residential schools to 
  • the local school districts – increasing the 
  • school district share from 20 percent to 
  • about 53 percent. 
  • The budget maintains universal pre-kindergarten 
  • funding at its current level. 
The Governor has proposed many new cost-containing 
measures that would pass significant costs to local 
counties and cities. CDF-NY is very concerned 
about this across-the-board approach to reducing 
education funding. Cumulatively, the property 
tax reduction, proposed GEA formula and the 
idea of delaying the phase-in of foundation aid 
would place already at-risk children throughout 
New York State in further risk of not receiving 
the support and services they need to succeed in 
school and in life. While we understand the need 
to rein in costs and applaud some of the initiatives 
proposed to create greater efficiency in our 
school systems, we are greatly concerned about 
the impact the proposed budget will have on 
already struggling school districts' abilities to 
provide services and supports for their students 
in the near future.

Children's defence fund.

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