April 4, 2022
On Thursday, rank and file Senate and Assembly Dems lawmakers left Albany and remained ‘on call’ through the weekend. Staff remained in town and worked through the weekend to push forward with budget deals; however, it appears that lawmakers have not agreed on a number of high profile issues that still require resolution.
Non-fiscal policies are often stuffed into the springtime budget process, and the biggest obstacles this spring are complicated social issues that have divided lawmakers, particularly the question of revisiting the sweeping bail reform law that was part of the 2019 budget deal. Last month, as budget negotiations heated up, key leads in the Assembly vowed to push policy and social issues to the second part of the legislative session (after the budget is enacted) however, other issues such as healthcare for undocumented immigrants, state investments in child care, and wages for home healthcare workers that all have a ‘fiscal’ tied to them must be ironed during budget negotiations.
To our knowledge, no budget bills have been printed yet. All we have is the intelligence we have picked up. We remain cautiously optimistic that the parties have agreed to extend the sunset of APG government rates to 2027, AND to ensure that Child Health Plus benefits (paid at the APG government rate) are expanded to include CFTSS and other children’s services, similar to Medicaid benefits. But please bear in mind that until ALL deals are done, none are guaranteed.
Recently Senator Gustavo Rivera spoke to Susan Arbeter from Capitol Tonight about his concerns that the $265M in Opioid Settlement funds the Governor included in her executive budget may be appropriated without the Opioid Advisory Board having had an opportunity to convene and discuss how these fund should be used. Here’s a link to the article: https://nystateofpolitics.com/state-of-politics/new-york/politics/2022/04/01/ny-sen–rivera-concerned-about-end-run-around-opioid-settlement-board (if the link isn’t live, copy and paste into your browser).
We will keep you apprised as the day goes on.