|Release: Cuomo lists highlights of budget2019.|
|For Immediate Release: 4/1/2019 |
GOVERNOR ANDREW M. CUOMO
GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES HIGHLIGHTS OF FY 2020 BUDGET
Fights Back Against Washington's Assault on the Middle Class - Makes the Property Tax Cap Permanent, Limits Spending to 2% and Cuts Taxes for the Middle Class
Supports Reform of the MTA with Long-Term Revenue Streams Including Central Business District Tolling
Funds Capital Projects to Begin in FY 2020 as Part of the Governor's Unprecedented $150 Billion Investment to Support Infrastructure Projects Across the State
Increases School Aid by Over $1 Billion, Bringing Total School Aid to $27.9 Billion, and Promotes Education Equity by Prioritizing Funding for Poorer Schools
Enacts Key Criminal Justice Reform by Reforming Cash Bail, Restoring Speedy Trials and Transforming the Discovery Process
Strengthens Women's Agenda Initiatives by Improving Access to IVF and Egg-Freezing Services, Instituting a Rape Shield for Sex Trafficking Victims and Investing in Initiatives to Combat Maternal Mortality
Codifies Affordable Care Act Provisions, Including the State's Health Insurance Marketplace, Into State Law
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the highlights of the FY 2020 Budget. The Budget, building upon the Governor's 2019 Justice Agenda, delivers comprehensive provisions to ensure social and economic justice for all, protects New Yorkers against Washington's continued federal rollbacks and assaults on the middle class, increases education funding, reforms the state's criminal justice system, supports New York's ongoing commitment to a strong women's agenda, and prioritizes investments in infrastructure projects critical to meeting New York's 21st century needs. For the ninth consecutive year, the Budget is balanced and holds spending growth at 2%.
"This is the broadest, most sweeping state budget that we have done and for the ninth straight year it was both timely and fiscally responsible," Governor Cuomo said. "We are not here to do the easy issues - we are here to do the hard ones, the ones that gave you unease in the pit of your stomach, because those are the ones that need to be achieved. From making the property tax cap permanent to reforming and funding the MTA to making our criminal justice system fairer to fixing campaign finance, this budget head-on addresses the tough issues that have been facing this state for far too long. These progressive reforms combined with the rest of our 2019 Justice Agenda demonstrate to the nation that it's possible to make the tough calls and move forward regardless of Washington's dysfunction."
Highlights of the FY 2020 Enacted Budget:
State Operating Funds spending is $102.1 billion for the ninth consecutive year, holding growth to 2% (State Operating Funds exclude Federal funds and capital)
All Funds spending $175.5 billion for FY 2020
Makes permanent the 2% property tax cap, building upon the approximate $25 billion in taxpayer savings since it was implemented in 2012
Reforms and funds the MTA with an estimated $15 billion to be raised through Central Business District tolling
Increases school aid by over $1 billion, bringing total school aid to a record $27.9 billion
Delivers sweeping criminal justice reforms by eliminating cash bail for misdemeanors and non-violent offenses, ensuring the right to a speedy trial, and transforming the discovery process
Builds upon the Governor's unprecedented commitment to invest $150 billion in infrastructure projects over the next five years, generating 675,000 jobs
Codifies provisions of the Affordable Care Act
Bans single-use plastic bags
Launches food waste recycling program
Extends Janus protections to all local governments and guarantees the right to organize and collectively bargain
Builds upon voting reform passed within the first 10 weeks of the legislative session
Invests an additional $500 million in clean water infrastructure, increasing the State's historic investment to $3 billion
Makes Permanent the Highly Successful Property Tax Cap: With the passage of this historic legislation, the inclusion of the permanent 2% property tax cap in the FY 2020 Budget will build upon the approximately $25 billion in taxpayer savings since the cap was implemented by the Governor in 2012.
Continues the Phase-In of Middle Class Tax Cuts: The Budget supports the phase-in of the middle class tax cuts. Under these reforms, rates will continue to drop to 5.5% and 6% when the cuts are fully phased in - an up to 20% cut in income tax rates for the middle class - and produce a projected $4.2 billion in annual savings for six million filers by 2025. As the new rates phase in, they will be the State's lowest middle-class tax rates in more than 70 years.
Extends the Millionaire's Tax: To protect the progress that has been made in enhancing progressivity and ensuring tax fairness for New York's middle-class, a five-year extension of the current tax rate on millionaires will preserve an estimated $4 billion in the first year of the extension, and increase annually thereafter. Revenue from the millionaire's tax will provide revenue that would otherwise be unavailable to make vital investments in education and infrastructure to secure New York's future economic prosperity.
Building 21st Century Infrastructure
MTA Reform and Funding: The FY 2020 Enacted Budget includes MTA reforms and new dedicated funding streams to the MTA.
It requires the MTA to develop a reorganization plan by June, modifies MTA Board appointments to align with appointing authority, requires the MTA to undergo an independent forensic audit and efficiency review, calls for a major construction review unit made up of outside experts to review major projects, implements a 20-year capital needs assessment beginning in 2023, increases the competitive procurement threshold from $100,000 to $1 million, establishes a 30-day review notice for comptroller contract approval, and requires public reporting on MTA performance metrics. The budget would require any Capital Program Review Board member who does not approve of the MTA capital plan to issue a written explanation for their veto, and gives the MTA the opportunity to respond and revise the plan so the member may withdraw their veto. The budget will also allow the MTA to debar any contractor that exceeds 10% of the contract cost or time on a capital construction project. The Enacted Budget requires any MTA capital project over $25 million to use design-build, saving the MTA time and money.
Central Business District Tolling: The MTA funding includes a Central Business District tolling program, the first program of its kind in the nation. This will include the installation of electronic tolling devices on the perimeter of the Central Business District, defined as streets south of 60th Street in Manhattan. The program will be established, operated, and maintained by the TBTA, working closely with the New York City Department of Transportation for installation. A six-member Traffic Mobility Review Board will be established by the TBTA to advise on tolls, exemptions, and credits to ultimately be determined by the TBTA based on recommendations from the Board. Tolls will be variable and passenger vehicles will only be charged once per day. The implementation day will not be before December 31, 2020. This tolling program will leverage $15 billion, which will be dedicated to MTA capital needs.
The Enacted Budget creates a dedicated lockbox to ensure that 100% of this revenue goes to the MTA capital budget and prohibits the use of these revenues for non-capital spending.
Progressive Mansion Tax: To raise resources for the MTA, the Enacted FY 2020 Budget implements a progressive transfer tax with a combined top rate of 4.15% on the sale of residential properties valued at $25 million or above in New York City. This structure promotes tax administration efficiency, raising $365 million from high-end property transfers that will be deposited into the MTA's Central Business District tolling capital lockbox and will be used to support up to $5 billion in financing for MTA projects. The new rates go into effect on July 1, 2019.
Eliminate the Internet Tax Advantage: The Enacted Budget will provide a consistent framework for the collection of required sales taxes by internet marketplace providers, which is expected to annually generate $160 million in new revenue for local governments and $320 million for the MTA capital plan lockbox, supporting up to $5 billion in financing for the MTA. New York's brick and mortar retailers have been at a disadvantage because many on-line retail competitors are not collecting sales tax. This unequal treatment is unfair to the retailers who do collect sales tax, the customers who pay sales tax, the public at large which is forsaking State and local revenues, and the people who depend on the public services supported by those revenues. This proposal ensures that out-of-state merchants do not have a price advantage over our State's retail community.
Invests an Additional $150 Billion in the Nation's Largest Infrastructure Program: Delivering on Governor Cuomo's unprecedented commitment to invest $150 billion in infrastructure projects over the next five years, beginning in FY 2020, these capital projects will begin to rebuild transportation systems, drive economic development, create new green facilities, and support New York's sustainable energy future.
Continuing New York's Bottom-Up Economic Development Strategy
Invests $750 million for Round Nine of the Regional Economic Development Councils: In 2011, Governor Cuomo established 10 Regional Economic Development Councils (REDCs) to develop long-term regional strategic economic development plans. Since then, the REDCs have awarded over $6.1 billion to more than 7,300 projects. This strategy has resulted in more than 230,000 new or retained jobs in New York. The Enacted Budget includes core capital and tax-credit funding that will be combined with a wide range of existing agency programs for a ninth round of REDC awards totaling $750 million.
Invests in Communities Across the State Through the Fourth Downtown Revitalization Initiative: The Downtown Revitalization Initiative is transforming downtown neighborhoods into vibrant communities where the next generation of New Yorkers will want to live, work and raise families. Participating communities are nominated by the State's 10 REDCs based on the downtown's potential for transformation. Through three rounds of awards, each winning community was awarded $10 million to develop a downtown strategic investment plan and implement key catalytic projects that advance the community's vision for revitalization. The FY 2020 Enacted Budget provides $100 million for a fourth round of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative.
Builds a Dynamic, User-Friendly Database of Economic Development Projects: In an effort to increase transparency and modernize the information available on State economic development efforts, the Governor is directing Empire State Development (ESD) to build a searchable online database that will give the public more current and relevant information on projects that receive ESD assistance.
Ensuring A Quality Education for All
Increases Education Funding and Equity: An increase of over $1 billion in school aid will bring total school aid to a record $27.9 billion, with over 70% of the increased funding going to poorer districts. In addition, new reporting requirements will address imbalances in the distribution of resources by prioritizing funding at the individual school level in order to advance a more transparent, equitable education system.
Increases Funding for Higher Education: The Enacted Budget provides a $208 million increase in funding or higher education in New York, bringing total support to nearly $7.7 billion - an increase of $1.7 billion or 28% since FY 2012. This investment includes $1.2 billion for strategic programs to make college more affordable and encourage the best and brightest students to build their future in New York.
Makes the Jose R. Peralta DREAM Act a Reality: First passed by the Legislature earlier this year, the Enacted Budget implements and fully funds the Jose R. Peralta DREAM Act for $27 million.
Expands Eligibility for the Excelsior Scholarship Free Tuition Program: As the state's successful free tuition program enters its third year, students whose families make up to $125,000 annually will now be eligible to apply for the program, allowing more than 55 percent of full-time, in-state SUNY and CUNY students—or more than 210,000 New York residents—to attend college tuition-free when combined with TAP assistance.
Expands Universal Pre-Kindergarten: The Budget includes an additional $15 million investment in prekindergarten to expand high-quality half-day and full-day prekindergarten instruction for 3,000 three- and four-year-old children in high-need school districts, serving a total of more than 123,000 students.
Expands Empire State After School Program: In order to ensure that every child who needs a safe place to go after school is provided one, the Enacted Budget includes an additional $10 million to create 6,250 new after school slots in high-need communities across the state. This additional funding will prioritize areas with high levels of gang involvement, and will focus on serving homeless students and other students who may not have a safe place to go after school. The creation of the additional slots will bring the total number of students served to 80,000.
Recruits New Teachers in Shortage Areas through the We Teach NY Program: To respond to the State's ongoing shortage of teachers of color, the Enacted Budget provides $3 million to recruit and prepare a corps of 250 outstanding teacher candidates who are of color and would work in high-need subject areas.
Expands Master Teachers Program: Building on the success of the Governor's Master Teachers Program—which has awarded more than $50 million to over 1,000 teachers—the Budget provides $1.5 million to fund an additional cohort of master teachers in schools with high rates of teacher turnover or inexperience.
Expands Access to Advanced Coursework: The Enacted Budget includes $5.8 million to subsidize the cost of Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams for students in poverty so that all hard working students will have access to advanced courses. In addition, the budget includes $1.5 million to create advanced courses in school districts where there are few or no advanced courses.
Protects Student Loan Borrowers: The Enacted Budget includes sweeping protections by licensing companies servicing student loans held by New Yorkers and requiring that they meet standards consistent with the laws and regulations governing other significant lending products. The new statute will also ensure that no student loan servicers can mislead a borrower or engage in any predatory act or practice, misapply payments, provide credit reporting agencies with inaccurate information, or any other practices that may harm the borrower.
Creating Economic Opportunity for Every New Yorker
Launches the $175 Million Workforce Initiative: The Enacted Budget supports a $175 million investment and a new Consolidated Funding Application for workforce investments that will support strategic regional efforts that meet businesses' short-term workforce needs, improve regional talent pipelines, expand apprenticeships, and address the long-term needs of growing industries — with a particular focus on emerging fields with growing demand for jobs like clean energy, health technology, and computer science. These funds will also support efforts to improve the economic security of women, youth, and other populations that face significant barriers to career advancement.
Expands Employer-Driven Training Opportunities by Enhancing the Employee Training Incentive Program: The FY 2020 Enacted Budget will expand the Employee Training Incentive Program to provide more training options to more industries by enabling employers with dedicated training shops to draw on in-house expertise in delivering approved training, and by extending ETIP tax credits to internship opportunities in additional high-tech industries.
Expands Janus Protections: The Enacted Budget provides new safeguards for public sector unions and goes further by extending Janus protections to all local governments in New York and guaranteeing the right to organize and collectively bargain.
Expands Access to Medical Providers for Injured Workers: To increase the number and types of medical professionals that care for injured workers, lowering the anticipated cost and duration of care and better serving workers injured on the job, the Budget adds three new types of medical professionals as care providers under the workers compensation system: nurse practitioners, acupuncturists, and licensed clinical social workers. Permitting licensed certified social workers and psychiatric nurse practitioners to treat workers will significantly increase mental health resources, providing desperately needed resources to a vulnerable population. It also removes a barrier to treatment options faced by injured workers suffering with opioid dependency and other mental health conditions.
Ensuring Access to Affordable Housing and Combatting Poverty
Continues the $20 Billion Affordable Housing and Homelessness Initiative: The Budget continues the $20 billion, comprehensive five-year investment in affordable housing, supportive housing and related services to provide New Yorkers with safe and secure housing. This investment is creating or preserving over 100,000 units of affordable housing and 6,000 units of supportive housing. Funding includes $3.5 billion in capital resources, $8.6 billion in State and Federal tax credits and other allocations, and $8 billion to support the operation of shelters, supportive housing units, and rental subsidies.
Enacts Source of Income Protections to Support Fair Housing for All: In certain parts of New York State, landlords can reject applicants based on their lawful source of income, disproportionately impacting households that rely on non-wage income or income assistance and those who use vouchers to obtain housing for their families. The Budget amends the New York State Human Rights Law to prohibit discrimination based on lawful source of income statewide to ensure that such lawful income is not a blanket barrier to housing, reducing financial instability for New York's most economically vulnerable individuals.
Supports ESPRI Communities: The Enacted Budget provides $4.5 million to continue supporting the 16 communities in the Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative (ESPRI). This funding will ensure that all sixteen cities continue to provide services to their communities throughout the upcoming fiscal year.
Supporting the Rural and Agricultural Economy
Continues the Revitalization of the Great New York State Fairgrounds: The State Fair drives $100 million a year in economic activity in Central New York and thousands of jobs. Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York State has invested more than $120 million dollars in two phases over the last three years to remake the New York State Fairgrounds. To continue the transformation of the State Fairgrounds, The Enacted Budget includes $5 million in appropriations, an increase of $2.5 million from FY 2019. This funding will be used to continue repair and rehabilitation of the Fair's facilities and allow for year-round operation of the Fairgrounds, including the Expo Center.
Funds Key Programs to Support New York's Farmers: The Enacted Budget includes $33.2 million in local assistance appropriations which will fund programs that provide the specialized technical assistance, industry promotion, and research investments to reduce farms' exposure to economic and climate inconsistency statewide.
Advancing Criminal Justice for All
Criminal Justice Reform: New York continues its commitment to a fairer criminal justice system with the inclusion of the following reforms in the FY 2020 Enacted Budget:
Reforms Bail and Arrest Procedures to Reduce Pretrial Incarceration: As part of groundbreaking legislation in the FY 2020 Enacted Budget, New York's bail system will be dramatically transformed, significantly reducing the number of people held in jail prior to their trial. Specifically, cash bail will be eliminated for misdemeanors and non-violent felonies, alongside a new requirement that police officers must issue desk appearance tickets to most people charged with misdemeanors and Class E felonies, rather than making a custodial arrest. Together, these reforms will ensure the vast majority- approximately 90% - of cases where people are charged, but not yet convicted of a crime, will remain out of jail before their day in court.
Ensures the Right to a Speedy Trial: Despite principles enshrined in both the United States Constitution and State law, a criminal defendant's right to a speedy trial can - and often does - turn into a drawn-out process leading to people being held in pre-trial custody for excessive periods of time. On average, two-thirds of the people incarcerated in local jails across the state are simply detained waiting for their day in court. These delays have real impacts as people, who have yet to be found guilty of any wrongdoing, often lose their jobs and ties to the community. To address this injustice and reduce the backlog of criminal cases, the FY 2020 Enacted Budget includes legislation that requires courts to increase accountability by reducing unnecessary delays and ensuring all parties are prepared for trial.
Transforms the Discovery Process: To overhaul New York's antiquated discovery process by which prosecutors could withhold basic evidence until the day the trial begins, legislation included in the FY 2020 Enacted Budget will require that both prosecutors and defendants share all information in their possession well in advance of trial. Defendants will also be allowed the opportunity to review whatever evidence is in the prosecution's possession prior to pleading guilty to a crime. Prosecutors will be required to provide the defense with discoverable information and materials within 15 days of arraignment. In addition, the legislation will ensure that victims and witnesses are protected from intimidation and other forms of coercion by providing prosecutors with the ability to petition a court for a protective order, shielding identifying information when necessary to ensure the safety of witnesses and the sanctity of the judicial process.
Brings Transparency and Accountability to Civil Asset Forfeiture: Civil asset forfeiture is the process by which authorities confiscate cash or property believed to be obtained through illicit means or as a manner of providing victims with restitution. Continuing the Governor's efforts to restore confidence in our criminal justice system, the FY 2020 Enacted Budget will require all seized assets to be held in an independently overseen and administered account from which detailed records regarding each disbursement must be maintained. Law enforcement will also be prohibited from freezing a person's cash during a prosecution unless a connection between that money and the alleged illicit conduct can be shown.
Increases Public Trust in New York's Law Enforcement Agencies: Recognizing that positive relationships between the police and their communities are crucial to creating a safer New York, the FY 2020 Enacted Budget includes reforms to use-of-force policies and reporting. Specifically, this legislation will now require that law enforcement agencies have a use-of-force policy, with minimum standards, implemented and report all use-of-force incidents, particularly those incidents resulting in death or serious injury. These measures will ensure that New York's police and peace officers maintain the utmost standards of professionalism and increase public trust in law enforcement.
Transforms the Use of Solitary Confinement in State Prisons: Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York has dramatically reformed and reduced the use of solitary confinement for people who engage in misconduct within state prisons. Using funding provided in the FY 2020 Enacted Budget, the Governor is directing the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision to continue the momentum of solitary confinement reform by developing limits to the length of time spent in separation, expanding dedicated housing units for rehabilitation and integration following a disciplinary sanction, and enhancing therapeutic programming to reinforce positive social behavior.
Enacts a Comprehensive Re-entry Package to Improve Outcomes for Formerly Incarcerated Individuals: Individuals with criminal convictions face significant economic and social barriers to their successful reintegration into society. The FY 2020 Budget includes legislation to eliminate blanket statutory bans on occupational licenses; remove the mandatory six-month suspension of driver licenses for drug offenses, unless the crime involved driving; prevent the release of mugshots that do not have a specific law enforcement purpose; modernize criminal history reporting to prevent past arrest information from being used against someone for civil purposes, such as employment, housing, and licensing; and outlaws housing discrimination based on arrests not leading to a conviction.
Closes Additional State Prisons: Following unprecedented declines in the prison population, the FY 2020 Enacted Budget authorizes the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision to close up to three prisons on an expedited schedule. While it is ultimately dependent on the exact facilities selected, these closures are estimated to eliminate at least 1,200 beds and result in an annual savings of, at least, $35 million. These closures reinforce New York's position as the state with the lowest crime and imprisonment rates, among the nation's large states.
Enacts Person in Need of Supervision Reform: Building off of the historic Raise the Age legislation, this year's Enacted Budget continues to reform youth justice by prohibiting detention and imposing time limits on residential placement of PINS youth. PINS youth have not been accused of a crime and this budget places an emphasis on the provision of community based services designed to keep at-risk youth from penetrating the juvenile and adult justice systems.
Advancing Reproductive Justice and Women's Equality
Invests in Initiatives to Combat Maternal Mortality: As part of Governor Cuomo's Women's Agenda, the Budget includes an $8 million investment over two years to fund initiatives to combat Maternal mortality, including a comprehensive education and training program to reduce implicit racial bias in health care institutions statewide; expansion of Community Health Worker (CHW) programs in key communities across the state; an innovative data warehouse to provide near real-time information on maternal mortality and morbidity; and a Board of experts within the Department of Health to conduct a multidisciplinary analysis to review each and every maternal death in the New York State and to develop actionable recommendations to improve care and management.
Expands Coverage for In-Vitro Fertility Services: As part of Governor Cuomo's Women's Agenda, the FY 2020 Enacted Budget requires large group (employers with 100 or more full-time staff) insurance policies in New York State to provide coverage for three cycles of in-vitro fertilization. This coverage promotes safe and affordable reproductive health care while removing a costly barrier to family planning. The bill also expands coverage for medically-appropriate fertility preservation.
Expands Rape Shield Protections for Sex Trafficking Victims: Rape shield laws providing crucial protection to victims of sexual violence from having their own sexual histories used against them when they seek justice in a court of law. This year's budget expands these protections to victims of sex trafficking crimes.
Reforms Domestic Violence Shelter Requirements: To ensure that all victims have access to vital emergency services with no strings attached, the FY 2020 Budget eliminates the statutory provisions that require domestic violence victims to apply for Public Assistance.
Launches the Family Empowerment Community College Program: Recognizing the importance of education in ending the "sticky floor" and closing the wage gap, New York will fund a pilot program providing customized supports for single parents attending participating SUNY and CUNY community college campuses. This innovative program will support up to 400 parents a year for three years. Participants will receive on-campus childcare, intensive personalized advisement, educational supports including tutoring, career counseling and assistance in transitioning to a 4-year school.
Creating a Safer New York
Regulates Limos: Enacts new regulations for the limo industry making it a Class E felony for knowingly operating a limo where such operation causes the death of another person, creating heightened civil penalties - including higher fines - for operating without State Department of Transportation operating authority or violating DOT safety regulations. Additionally, State Police and DOT will have explicit authority to retrieve vehicle plates when limos are out of compliance. The Department of Motor Vehicles will be able to refuse and revoke registrations for limos that do not meet federal safety standards. If an unauthorized vehicle seeks an inspection at a licensed inspection station, the inspection station will now be required to report that vehicle to the DMV. Any inspection station found to have improperly issued inspections three times within an 18-month period will have its operating certificate suspended. Stretch limos will be prohibited from making U-turns. Commercial vehicles with a seating capacity of eight or more passengers will be required to carry increased insurance of at least $1.5 million in coverage.
Enacts the Democracy Agenda: Building upon voting reform passed within the first 10 weeks of the legislative session, additional legislation mandating three hours of paid time off for all New Yorkers to vote on Election Day, enacting online voter registration, $14.7 in funding for e-poll books, and expanding upstate voting hours to begin at 6:00 am. are being enacted as part of this year's Budget, and includes $10 million for early voting.
Supports a Complete Census Count: This year's Budget authorizes up to $20 million for FY 2020 for outreach and education efforts to ensure all New Yorkers are counted as part of the census.
Campaign Finance Reform
Implements Public Campaign Finance: The FY 2020 Enacted Budget establishes a public financing commission that will have the binding power to implement public campaign financing for legislative and statewide offices, authorizing up to $100 million annually in public funds. The commission will determine specific aspects of the public financing system, including eligibility thresholds, public financing limits, and contribution limits for participating candidates. The commission's findings will be due in a report by December 1, 2019 and will be binding unless modified by law within 20 days.
Ensuring Immigrant Rights
Ensures a Fair Justice System for New York's Immigrants: The FY 2020 Enacted Budget includes a common-sense measure to protect immigrants from deportation following a minor interaction with the criminal justice system. Under federal law, any immigrant who is convicted of a crime punishable by a sentence of a year or more may be deported. This deportation can take place even if the individual ultimately receives a lesser sentence. To protect immigrants from excessive punishment that does little to protect public safety, this measure reduces the maximum sentence for misdemeanors by one day from 365 to 364 days. This one day will guarantee immigrants are entitled to the protections they deserve and prevent unwarranted deportation.
Provides Legal Services to New York's Immigrant Communities: The enacted budget provides $10 million to support the expansion of the first-in-the-nation Liberty Defense Project. Established in 2017, the Liberty Defense Project has provided more than 25,000 vital legal services to immigrants and communities targeted by harsh federal immigration policies. The LDP expansion includes Project Golden Door, which will provide crucial services to immigrant children and families in New York, and a Regional Rapid Response program to quickly respond with effective legal services on the ground, including in response to targeted raids and arbitrary arrests by ICE. These enhancements build on the network of services currently being provided by current LDP partners and create more uniform legal coverage for immigrants across the state, particularly in under-served communities.
JUSTICE FOR ALL NEW YORKERS
Protecting Quality, Affordable Health Care
Codifies the Affordable Care Act and Health Exchange into Law: As Washington continues to threaten to roll back the historic progress made with the Affordable Care Act, the codification of key ACA provisions and the New York State Health Exchange into law to ensure that no matter what happens at the federal level, these key provisions are protected in New York State.
Fighting to End the Opioid Epidemic
Expands Access to Buprenorphine: Buprenorphine is an important advance in Medication Assisted Treatment, which, like methadone and injectable naltrexone, is used in combination with counseling as appropriate to help people reach and sustain recovery from Opioid Use Disorder. To expand use of buprenorphine, Governor Cuomo will direct the Department of Health to require all hospitals statewide to develop protocols for their Emergency Departments to address Opioid Use Disorder based on the standard of care for treatment or referral for treatment. The Enacted Budget also prohibits health plans from requiring prior authorization for Medication Assisted Treatment.
Expands Access to Medication Assisted Treatment in Criminal Justice Settings: The Enacted Budget includes $4.75 million, an increase of $1 million, to support medication assisted treatment (MAT) in local jails and leverages federal funds to expand MAT to three additional Department of Corrections and Community Supervision facilities. These effective programs will support inmates in recovery and link them to community-based services prior to their release, increasing their chances of success and reducing recidivism.
Makes Substance Use Disorder Treatment More Accessible: The Enacted Budget makes treatment more accessible and affordable by requiring minimum coverage standards of health plans; prohibiting the denial of medically necessary treatment; prohibiting multiple co-payments per day and requiring behavioral health co-payments to be equal to primary care co-payments. These changes eliminate administrative and cost burdens that can stand in the way of treatment for New Yorkers struggling with addiction.
Creating Healthy Communities
Measures to Reduce Youth Tobacco Use: In an effort to cut down on tobacco use by New York's youth and provide greater regulation to the industry, the Enacted Budget will introduce a tax on e-cigarettes and require e-cigarettes to be sold by licensed retailers only.
Invests in Community-Based Supports for Aging New Yorkers: The FY 2020 Enacted Budget includes a $15 million investment to address locally-identified capacity needs in NYSOFA support services targeted to keep people in their communities longer, support family and friends in their caregiving roles, and delay future Medicaid costs by intervening with less intensive services earlier.
Creates the Family First Transition Fund: The $3 million Family First Transition Fund will leverage Federal and private foundation funds to provide counties and foster care agencies with support to expand kinship and foster care capacity, helping the State comply with upcoming changes to federal foster care requirements.
Targets Lead Poisoning in Children: The Enacted Budget reduces the healthcare and environmental action levels for blood lead levels in children to five micrograms per deciliter. This action will help to reduce lead exposure across New York State, which is especially harmful for young children whose brains are still developing.
Continuing New York's Environmental Leadership
Expands Renewable Energy Investment: As part of Governor Cuomo's Green New Deal, the nation-leading clean energy and jobs agenda that will put the state on a path to 70% renewable energy by 2030 and 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040, the FY 2020 Enacted Budget expands the role of the New York Power Authority to deliver renewable energy and energy efficiency services to its customers.
Invests in Clean Drinking Water: The FY 2020 Budget will invest an additional $500 million in clean water infrastructure, building on the State's historic $2.5 billion investment.
Prohibits the Use of Plastic Bags: The Enacted Budget includes legislation to ban single-use plastic bags provided to customers and allows counties and cities to opt in to a 5-cent fee on paper bags, with 40% of the revenue supporting local programs to buy reusable bags for low and fixed income consumers, and 60% of the revenue supporting programs in the State's Environmental Protection Fund.
Renews Record Funding for the Environmental Protection Fund: The Enacted Budget includes record funding of $300 million, the highest level of funding in the program's history.
Launches New Organics Recycling Program: The FY 2020 Budget requires the state's largest generators of food waste to begin recycling their food scraps and to donate wholesome food to those in need.
In the first 12 weeks of the legislative session, New York State made historic progress with the passage of the following landmark achievements:
Reproductive Health Act
Comprehensive Coverage Contraceptive Act
Red Flag Bill
Banned Bump Stocks
Extended Background Check Waiting Period
Launched the Green New Deal
Closed the LLC Loophole
Synchronized Federal and State Elections
Pre-registration for Minors
Universal Transfer of Registration
Advanced No-excuse Absentee Voting
Advanced Same-day Registration
Child Victims Act
Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act
Banned Conversion Therapy
Banned Revenge Porn
Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act
Strengthen Protections for Breastfeeding in the Workplace