Quick Notes from Gov. Cuomo Budget Address

January 21, 2020

Governor’s Budget Address, 1:00 pm


Gov. Cuomo began with a discussion of climate change and the need for NY to take a leadership role in addressing this challenge, and then discussed a new package of spending and reforms to relevant state agencies, etc. to address these challenges and speed up the process of change.

Moved to transportation and discussed infrastructure investments to include expansion and/or re-building of airports, bridges, railroad, Javits Center, Penn Station, etc.)

Homeless Mentally Ill:  Commit the most funding ever to provide Supportive Housing and Services to the mentally ill. $130m plus changes to hope money is spent.  NY needs a real strategy to tackle this tragedy and strategies must be based on science and data.

Child Poverty – NY’s raising the Minimum Wage to $15 is one of our greatest achievements and now (today) Gov proposing to add $2.9 mil for Empire Child Tax Credit.  This combined with lifting Minimum Wage ‘will make a real difference’.

Emergency Management Services – Budget adds $12 mil

MTA – Mass Transit:  Subway safety and repeat sex offenders who use subway system as feeding ground.

Legalization of Adult Use Cannabis – best addressed within the budget negotiations process.

Bail Laws and Reforms – need to act on information rather than hyperbole.

Domestic Terrorism (referenced what happened in orthodox community in Monsey last month) – we need laws incl first in the nation NYS Domestic Terrorism Law to address what’s happening all over the state (growth in hate groups, anti-LGBTQ, etc.)

$25 mil for security grants for not for profits to help them enhance security

$2 mil to assist NYS Hate Crimes Task Force

Expand educational efforts to address prejudice and hate at the earliest of ages.

Building Trust in our Democracy – Gov supports pay increase for members of the NYS Legislature.

Census – we get $880B dollars in federal support for increased participation in census

$18 mil NYers covered by health insurance out of total 19.5

6 million NYers on Medicaid (1 of 3)

Local governments currently have no ‘skin in the game’ to curb costs of Medicaid.

$20 Bil is the increased costs of Medicaid since 2013 ($2 bil in NYC).

MRT worked well before – found efficiencies and saved NY $19B since 2011.

Assignment for MRT this year?  Save $2 billion in the Medicaid Program.

Governor stated that most of growth in Medicaid spending is coming from LTC side.

2020 ‘MRT 2’ Directives:

-0 impact on LGUs

-0 impact on beneficiaries

-find ‘industry’ efficiencies

-root out fraud and abuse

-Do it by April 1, 2020

Now saying to LGUs, you must stay within 3% Medicaid Growth Cap (a sustainable level to keep Medicaid alive).  If you go above 3% LG must pay, but if you  stay below 3%, increase you get 25% of savings yu achieved.

No problem going to Canada to get our prescription drugs.

Cap insulin co-pays at $100/month

Increase transparency – what each hospital charges for a particular procedure

Vaping – Gov sees as a public health crisis.  Let’s pass new law banning flavored ecigs.

Education – Now at highest level of spending in history.  Governor now proposing 3% increase for education and wants to decrease funding inequities.

There will be balance between Medicaid and Education (in this budget, allowing 3% growth for each).

The Numbers (as described by the Governor)

NYS has a total $6.1B Budget Deficit


$2B – Medicaid deficit

$4B – This number is the projected growth differential, so we need to reduce the rate of growth in this budget and that’s what we’ve done with our budget proposal.

The full Budget Briefing Book is available online here.


“The Budget recommends significant investments in the OPWDD, OMH and OASAS not-for-profit workforce. These investments include resources to leverage $170 million annually to provide targeted compensation increases to direct care and clinical staff, as well as $265 million (an annual increase of $51 million) to support provider costs for minimum wage and related fringe benefit cost increases associated with the movement to a $15 per hour living wage.”

**At this time it is unclear to us as to whether the commitments (discussed above) are actually continuations of previous commitments made to OMH,OASAS, OPWDD (2% ‘BFair”), and the Minimum Wage commitments, or something new.  

NOTE:  After the Governor speaks about his executive budget proposal (announcement begins at 1:00), NYS Budget Director Robert Mujica will provide a presentation that looks at various aspects of the Governor’s (soon to be released) executive budget proposal.  Actual budget bills with the all-important details are expected much later today.  Stand by.