Senate And Assembly Introduce Joint Budget Legislation To Keep Government Working

 

The Senate and Assembly have reached joint agreement on budget bills that will guarantee the preservation of essential services, and continue to close down the state’s budget deficit.
 
These bills include the remaining fields of the budget:

 
"Government works best when we are working together. The budget bills introduced by the Legislature make the smart cuts and tough choices we need to give New Yorkers a budget they can afford. We will continue negotiations, meet our obligation, and pass a fair budget that keeps New York working," said Senate Majority Conference Leader John L. Sampson.
 
“We recognize that New York faces extraordinary fiscal challenges, and that this budget will include billions in cuts,” Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said on Friday. “However, we are committed to sparing our schools from the most devastating cuts and ensuring that our higher education system remains accessible to all New Yorkers. We are also committed to acting responsibly with Senate and the Governor to complete this process and to continue the operations of government.”
 

EDUCATION
 
The Legislature appropriates $32.62 billion on an All Funds basis, this is a decrease of $185.62 million, or 0.57 percent from SFY 2009-10 levels. This is an increase of $509.45 million, or 1.59 percent over the Executive’s All Funds recommendation.
 
The Legislature appropriates $19 billion on a General Fund basis, this is a decrease of $88.28 million, or 0.46 percent from SFY 2009-10 levels. This is an increase of $413.06 million, or 2.22 percent over the Executive’s General Fund recommendation.
 
The legislative budget provides for a $600 million restoration in school aid. School districts throughout the State would still experience a reduction of $648 million for School Year 2010-2011. This is a restoration of 40% of the Gap Elimination Adjustment. The legislative restoration would bring formula-based aids to approximately $20.86, a decrease of 2 percent over last year.
 
A portion of the school aid restorations is anticipated to be used for meaningful property tax relief.
 
HIGHER EDUCATION
 
State University of New York (SUNY)
 
The Legislature appropriates $4.118 billion on an All Funds basis, a decrease of $4.4 million, or 51 percent from the State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2009-10 levels.   The All Funds appropriations reflect an increase of $40.3 million, or 1 percent from the Executive Budget recommendation, attributable to the Legislature’s rejection of the Executive’s proposal to reduce SUNY Community College Base operating Aid by $285 per full-time equivalent (FTE) student.  Effective in 2010-11 academic year, Base Aid rate per FTE student will be $2,545, instead of the $2,260 recommended by the Executive.
 
The budget does not include approximately $1.33 billion appropriations for SUNY State-operated colleges’ tuition and fees required for the university’s operations in 2010-11 academic year.  Approximately $3 billion in special revenues appropriations necessary for the State University Health Care Centers’ operation are also not included in this budget.
 
The Legislature concurs with the Executive recommendation to use $83 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) funds to offset General Fund support for SUNY Community College Base Aid in SFY 2010-11.
 
Article VII:
The Legislature does not include provisions of the New York State Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation Act (PHEEIA), which would provide enhanced discretion for the State University of New York and the City University of New York in the areas of tuition policy and account management, asset maximization, mission-related private partnerships, procurement, and capital construction.  The Legislature also rejects Article VII proposals to:
 

  • Expand investment choices for the Optional Retirement Program to include corporations that manage or invest in mutual funds.
  • Amend the Education law in relation to community college chargeback provisions.

 
City University of New York (CUNY)
 
The Legislature appropriates $1.7 billion on an All Funds basis, an increase of $26.6 million, or 1.6 percent from the State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2009-10 levels.   The All Funds appropriations reflect an increase of $16.4 million, or 0.9 percent from the Executive Budget recommendation, attributable to the Legislature’s rejection of the Executive’s proposal to reduce CUNY Community College Base operating Aid by $285 per full-time equivalent (FTE) student.  Effective in 2010-11 academic year, Base Aid rate per FTE student will be $2,545, instead of the $2,260 recommended by the Executive.  The budget does not include approximately $811 million appropriations for CUNY Senior College tuition and fees required for the university’s operations in 2010-11 academic year.
                
The Legislature concurs with the Executive recommendation to use $32.7 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) funds to offset General Fund support for CUNY Community College Base Aid in SFY 2010-11.
 
 
Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC)
 
The Legislature appropriates $1.08 on an All Funds basis for the State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2010-11, a decrease of $43.9 million, or 3.9 percent from the current year levels.  The All Funds appropriations reflect an increase of $49 million, or 4.7 percent from the $1.031 billion recommended in the Executive Budget.  The Legislature restores a total of $34.5 million to the State’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) to maintain TAP award and academic eligibility standards at the current level, allow graduate TAP awards to be continued in SFY 2010-11.
 
Article VII:
 
The Legislature denies the Executive’s proposal to increase academic standards for TAP eligibility which could reduce awards for approximately 20,000 students.  In addition, Legislature rejects legislation that would reduce awards by $75 across the board for over 300,000 students, as well as a proposal to eliminate graduate TAP was rejected.
 
HEALTH
 
The SFY 2010-11 Enacted Budget includes $58.44 billion in All Funds support, which is $683.8 million above the SFY 2010-11 Executive Budget of $57.75 billion.  This All Funds support of $58.44 billion includes $1.9 billion in funding for various programs and initiatives appropriated as part of the tenth emergency extender.   The most significant portion of the restoration included in the SFY 2010-11 Enacted Budget is $539.6 million in for the Medicaid program, with the remaining amounts being distributed among the various programs under the Department of Health.  In addition, within the $683.78 million in additions and restorations, the SFY 2010-11 Enacted Budget includes an a Federal appropriation of $123.4 million to implement various programs under the Federal Health Care Reform Act of 2010, including funds to assist the State in developing a temporary high risk pool for the uninsured population.  Highlights of the SFY 2010-11 Enacted Budget are as follows:
 
Medicaid
 
The SFY 2010-11 Executive Budget proposed $49.96 billion in All Funds support for Medicaid spending, including $792.4 million (State share) in cost savings actions.  The SFY 2010-11 Enacted Budget includes $774.9 million in cost savings actions rejecting $46.8 million in cuts to the Medicaid program proposed by the Executive.  These cost savings measures for the Medicaid program was included as part of the tenth emergency extender.  Details of the Enacted Budget for Medicaid are as follows:
 

  • The Enacted Budget includes $211.4 million in cost savings measures for hospitals instead of the $221 million proposed by the Executive.  The Enacted budget amends the Executive’s proposal for the Potentially Preventable Readmissions (PPR) and prohibits rate reductions for those patients that are readmitted and are diagnosed with behavioral conditions.  Under the provisions of the Enacted Budget, hospital inpatient rates would be reduced for those preventable medical readmissions that occur within 15 days of the discharge.  In addition, the Enacted budget includes a reduction of $72 million for indigent care funding, but amends the Executive’s proposal and thereby creating sufficient  future spending availability under the Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments.  The DSH spending availability was achieve by creating a separate Medicaid rate for which safety net hospitals thereby reducing the amount of spending that would occur out of the Indigent Care Pools.  Finally, consistent among all sectors the SFY 2010-11 Enacted Budget, accepts the Executive proposal to discontinue the 2010 trend factor of 1.7 percent.
  • The Enacted Budget accepts $72.4 million in cost savings actions for nursing homes which was proposed in the SFY 2010-11 Executive Budget.  The cost saving actions accepted as part of the Enacted Budget include the following:  discontinue the 2010 trend factor increase of 1.7 percent; imposing a cap of $80 million annually on the amount of rate appeals that would be addressed by the Department of Health; reduce the payments to nursing homes for bed holds; and carve out prescription drugs from the rates paid to nursing homes.