Budget & More

April 10, 2023

As anticipated, earlier today both houses of the Legislature passed a budget extender that keeps the trains running (so to speak) and continues mandatory spending for state operations at 2022-2023 budget spending levels, through April 17.  Also today, there was some buzz regarding possible forward movement regarding bail reform.  The Executive wants to retool language in bail statutes to give judges wider discretion to set bail or remand a defendant they deem to be a danger to themselves or the public.

In related budget news, tomorrow night OMH will host another community forum during which time state agency leads will share details of the State Budget proposal currently being negotiated in Albany.  According to OMH, the primary goal of the sessions is for community stakeholders to weigh in with their ideas to inform decision-making around how the mental health resources proposed in the budget (expansion of housing, outpatient programs, school-based clinics and hospital services, and increasing insurance coverage for mental health services) can be programmed to meet the specific needs of communities around the state.

Note:  At a previous community engagement session, children’s mental health advocates and family members learned that none of the nearly $890 million in new capital funding proposed in the Executive Budget are currently directed to the expansion of children’s mental health treatment options.  Our ‘ask’ for the children’s system is for legislative leaders to make sure the (mental health) capital plan appropriates significant resources for the expansion of children’s services, beginning with expansion of treatment services.  Family members spoke at length about bringing children to the emergency department only to be turned away without being admitted.  OMH reports that during COVID-19 pandemic 871 inpatient psychiatric hospital beds were converted for general hospital use and only 444 of those have reopened.  We encourage those in the region to attend one of the two forums in Corning either tomorrow night or Wednesday morning (see below) and make your concerns known to state leaders.  

See information re: the upcoming OMH events below:

New location announced – Register in advance!

We are hitting our stride with the Office of Mental Health (OMH) community engagement sessions! In addition to our Mohawk Valley sessions tonight and tomorrow morning in Gloversville, we are also announcing additional sessions next week in the Southern Tier (see below). We’re collecting valuable information from providers, advocates, people and families with lived experience, community members, and county leadership.

During these sessions we will discuss the mental health priorities outlined in Governor Hochul’s 2023 State of the State plan and Fiscal Year 2024 Executive Budget and ask for your feedback on how to best make the new opportunities work for your community. Your input will be integral in OMH’s planning process for these historic resources aiming to expand housing, outpatient programs, school-based clinics and hospital services, and increase insurance coverage for mental health services.

Please see the dates and locations below and register in advance for the session that works for you. The evening and morning sessions in each location cover the same content; both are offered to ensure we reach as many people as possible. The session will begin with a review of the initiatives by OMH leadership and then we will break into groups for focused discussion.


Mohawk Valley

Gloversville – Holiday Inn Johnstown, 308 N. Comrie Avenue, Johnstown

6:00PM-8:00PM – Monday, April 3, 2023

9:00AM-12:00PM – Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Southern Tier

Corning – Radisson Hotel Corning, 125 Denison Parkway East

6:00PM-8:00PM – Tuesday, April 11, 2023

9:00AM-12:00PM – Wednesday, April 12, 2023