State Budget and More News & Information

April 10. 2024

Throughout the years we have shared information with NYS Council members regarding the part of the budget making process where a certain amount of money (based on revenue estimates for what lawmakers believe the state will receive in excess of what it takes to fund the base budget) is assigned to each of the joint legislative budget subcommittees.  They can think of these funds as theirs for purposes of restoring cuts and/or adding money to executive budget proposals in their topic area.  Each of the subcommittees is assigned a ‘table target’ amount and they negotiate with each other regarding their priorities for these limited funds.  The objective is to get agreement on their priorities and how much they want to put towards each of those priority areas. 

Joint Legislative Budget Subcommittee Table Targets

Note:  These numbers do not include capital – just Aid to Localities (ATL): 

  • Health (non medicaid) – $60 million
  • Mental Health – $30 million
  • Higher Ed – $40 million
  • Economic Development – $20 million
  • Education – $90 million
  • Environment/AG/Housing – $20 million
  • General Gov / Local – $20 million
  • Human Services / Labor – $120 million
  • Transportation – $5 million
  • Public Protection $45 million

Generally, the Health table gets a significantly higher amount than $60M.  As you can see above the Health amount does NOT include Medicaid so the number may change significantly if there is a corresponding change in the disposition of the MCO Tax negotiations although (as we stated last night) Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins came out yesterday stating that the legislature cannot rely on MCO Tax revenue to address budget deficits for at least the first part of the new SFY25 budget year.  

Assignment of table targets generally indicates some progress in the budget negotiations process.  Last night there were news reports that lawmakers had reached a conceptual agreement on a framework for a Housing deal.  Some believe that the Executive has been reticent to move forward on other big ticket items until there is a deal on a Housing package.  This item is clearly a budget issue (rather than being pure policy) and the Governor’s most significant leverage is at her disposal during state budget negotiations.  State lawmakers left the Capitol in 2023 without a housing deal and vowed not to leave in 2024 with the same result. So far, things appear to be trending in the right direction with reports emerging of progress on tenant protections and development schemes. That being said, there isn’t a deal in place yet. 

Our elected representatives are going to bump up against the date on the 2024 Legislative Calendar when lawmakers are scheduled to leave Albany (from April 18 – May 6) shortly.  We already know that (unless there is a budget making miracle) there is another extender coming that will take us through Monday, April 15 at 11:59 pm.  Last year the budget wasn’t enacted until May 2.  It certainly feels as if the logjam will break soon but you never know in this town.  


REMINDER:  Just a friendly reminder that the last vesting period of the Healthcare Worker Bonus Program was 3/31/24 and the portal is open for submissions through 4/30.  

Here’s the Portal:

Here’s the page with the most recently updated FAQs:

In follow up to previous updates on the final rule for 42 CFR Part 8  relating to regulatory changes governing OTPs, SAMHSA and the American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence (AATOD) recently hosted two webinars discussing these changes and implications.  One webinar focused on administrative areas, with a presentation slide deck, and the other focused on clinical contentWhile the effective date for these regulations was April 2, 2024, the compliance date is later this year on October 2, 2024.


2nd ransomware group reportedly tries to extort Change Healthcare
Becker’s, 4/10/24

A second ransomware group is reportedly trying to extort UnitedHealth Group’s Change Healthcare over the recent cyberattack.

Hackers known as RansomHub claim to have 4 terabytes of Change’s data and reached out to the company asking for payment or else they would sell the information on the dark web, cybersecurity analyst Dominic Alvieri posted April 7 on LinkedIn.

“We are aware of these reports and continue to work with the authorities,” a Change spokesperson emailed Becker’s.

Change Healthcare reportedly paid the BlackCat/ALPHV ransomware gang $22 million after the February cyberattack that crippled the company’s claims processing systems. The post from the new group means Change could be the victim of a “double extortion” attempt, cybersecurity researchers say.

“It is not uncommon, as an incident responder, to discover not just one threat inside of a compromised environment, but two or more,” Ken Dunham, cyberthreat director at Qualys Threat Research Unit, emailed Becker’s. “It is also not uncommon for companies that give in to bad actors performing extortion, such as ransomware and [distributed denial-of-service] payouts, to become ‘soft targets,’ quickly hit again with additional forms of extortion again and again.”

However, he added, “While nobody advocates paying off an adversary, sometimes it is an action that ends up being the best course of action for a business based upon their risks and needs at the time of breach and impact.”


The following legislation has now passed in both houses of the NYS Legislature and will be sent to the Governor for final action.  If you want to take a look at the legislation use this link and insert the bill number where requested:   Click Here to Find Bill Text and Memo

S4393 MARTINEZ — Requires information about fentanyl test strips and their uses on information cards or sheets
Same as A 5004 Hyndman
SUMM : Amd §3309, Pub Health L Provides that when informational cards or sheets about opioid antagonists are distributed, such information shall include information about fentanyl strips and their uses.
Last Act: 04/09/24 returned to senate

Heads Up!

Congress is set to lay the groundwork for legislative action, which we’ll be watching closely: 

Telemedicine: Lawmakers are teeing up discussions on the future of telehealth, with an E&C subcommittee set to consider several virtual care bills on Wednesday. Eased Medicare and commercial market telehealth rules expire at the end of the year.

In a recent House Ways and Means Committee hearing, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle raised concerns about fraud — drawing pushback from industry groups. Some have raised concerns that there is insufficient data on patient outcomes to inform policy making.

If those concerns persist, it could increase the likelihood of another temporary extension of pandemic-era rules instead of the permanent expansion pushed by telehealth advocates.  (source:  Politico)