Federal Budget and State Budget Implications

March 7, 2021

Yesterday the Senate passed a slightly amended version of the House bill that delivers $1.9T in COVID Relief, based on the Biden American Rescue Plan.

According to the National Council,  as of March 2 the House bill included over $4B in additional resources to expand mental health and substance use disorder services to Americans in need, to include:

  • $3.5B in additional resources for the SAMHSA federal block grants (SAPT and CMHS).  (That’s $1.75B for each SAMHSA Block Grant, nationally);
  • A provision that permits states to provide bundled payments for community-based services at an 85% FMAP rate, for a 5 year period;
  • A one year FMAP increase for states to make improvements to Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS);
  • Nearly $500M in additional funding for SAMHSA programming including funding for mental health and addiction services, workforce education and training, suicide prevention and public education campaigns.

*Note:  The Senate made some amendments to the House bill so it is conceivable that these numbers could be slightly altered.  We will have more details tomorrow.

Process:  Since the Senate amended the bill the House sent over, the Senate version now goes back to the House for another vote, and (assuming it clears the House) it then goes to the President for his signature. The vote in the House is (as of now) scheduled for Tuesday.

When considering the impact of what is happening in Washington with ongoing state budget negotiations, and based on the information below, it appears NYS will get ALL of the federal funding requested by Governor Cuomo late last year.  (Remember: $12.5B was the number at which point the Governor said he could say New York had been ‘treated fairly’).  This level of funding only reinforces the complete (ongoing) restoration of all prior state withholds to MH and SUD providers, AND (based on what he said earlier this year) the Governor should immediately rescind a proposal he included in his FY22 proposed budget that would impose a permanent 5% cut to state aid for some mental health providers. Note:  The exec budget proposes this for OMH licensed non-residential providers but not for OASAS providers.  (In other words, no proposed cut for OASAS.) 

Schumer: New York to get $100B from stimulus bill
By Erin Durkin, Politico
03/07/2021 02:06 PM EST

New York will to get $100 billion from the pandemic aid bill passed by the Senate, Sen. Chuck Schumer said Sunday.

New York State will get $12.5 billion to plug its massive budget deficit, and New York City will get $6.1 billion — more than the minimums Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio said they needed, Schumer said at a press conference in Manhattan.

“I say to beleaguered New Yorkers, help is on the way,” the Senate majority leader said.

The deal provides $6.5 billion to the MTA, on top of the $8 billion in federal help the transit agency has gotten in two previous stimulus bill. It grants $418 million to JFK, LaGuardia, Newark Liberty and Stewart airports.

With the new money, Schumer said the MTA should be able to avoid the subway service cuts it has once again been discussing.

“From museums to theaters to restaurants, help is on the way. To our beleaguered subway system, help is on the way,” Schumer said. “I believe it will speed up our recovery. It will reduce the number of illnesses and deaths, and it gets so many of our businesses, particularly our smaller businesses, back on track.

”The legislation allocates $9 billion for K-12 schools in New York to help them reopen and another $1.6 billion for colleges and universities, half of which must go toward financial aid awards to help students with hardships caused by Covid-19.New Yorkers will net an estimated $22 billion from the $1,400 stimulus checks that will go out to most Americans, and $21.7 billion in extra unemployment benefits, at a rate of $300 a week.

About $4 billion will go toward vaccination programs, Covid-19 testing and other health care needs in New York.

Nationally, the legislation contains a $28.6 billion bailout for hard-hit restaurants in the form of grants of up to $5 million per restaurant that can be used for payroll, rent, equipment and other expenses.

It’s not clear how much of that restaurant money will go to New York, but the battered industry was breathing a sigh of relief.

“This is incredibly hopeful news for New York City’s restaurants and bars, who will now receive direct grants to help pay rent, payroll, vendors expenses and more,” said NYC Hospitality Alliance executive director Andrew Rigie.