Joint Legislative Public Hearing on 2016-2017 Executive Budget Proposal: Topic "Human Services" - Testimonies



 2  --------------------------------------------------
 4              In the Matter of the
           2016-2017 EXECUTIVE BUDGET ON
 5                HUMAN SERVICES
 6  -----------------------------------------------------
 7                           Hearing Room B
                             Legislative Office Building
 8                           Albany, New York
 9                           February 9, 2016
                             9:43 a.m.
12           Senator Catharine M. Young
             Chair, Senate Finance Committee
             Assemblyman Herman D. Farrell, Jr.
14           Chair, Assembly Ways & Means Committee
16           Senator Liz Krueger 
             Senate Finance Committee (RM)
             Assemblyman Robert Oaks
18           Assembly Ways & Means Committee (RM)
19           Senator Tony Avella
             Chair, Senate Committee on Children 
20             and Families
21           Assemblywoman Donna A. Lupardo
             Chair, Assembly Children and Families 
22             Committee
23           Senator David Carlucci
             Chair, Senate Committee on Social Services


 1  2016-2017 Executive Budget
    Human Services
 2  2-9-16
 3  PRESENT:  (Continued)
 4           Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi
             Chair, Assembly Social Services Committee
             Senator Susan Serino
 6           Chair, Senate Committee on Aging
 7           Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz
             Chair, Assembly Committee on Aging
             Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee
 9           Chair, Assembly Committee on Oversight,
               Analysis and Investigation
             Senator Diane J. Savino
             Assemblyman Andy Goodell
             Senator Velmanette Montgomery
             Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer
             Assemblyman Keith L.T. Wright 
             Senator Phil M. Boyle 
             Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy
             Senator Timothy Kennedy
             Senator Daniel Squadron
             Assemblyman Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes
             Senator Roxanne J. Persaud 




 1  2016-2017 Executive Budget
    Human Services
 2  2-9-16
 3                   LIST OF SPEAKERS
 4                                    STATEMENT  QUESTIONS
 5  Sheila J. Poole 
    Acting Commissioner
 6  NYS Office of Children 
     and Family Services                   9          14
    Sharon Devine
 8  Executive Deputy Commissioner
    Krista Rock
 9  General Counsel
    NYS Office of Temporary
10   and Disability Assistance           134         139
11  James S. Rubin
12  NYS Homes and Community
     Renewal                                         146
    Corinda Crossdale 
14  Director 
    NYS Office for the Aging             228         235
    Patricia Sheehy
16  Legislative Committee Chair
    Association on Aging in
17   New York                            262         267
18  Laura Palmer
    Associate State Director
19  AARP New York                        273         279
20  Shelly Nortz
    Deputy Executive Director
21   of Policy
    Coalition for the Homeless           281         290



 1  2016-2017 Executive Budget
    Human Services
 2  2-9-16
 3                   LIST OF SPEAKERS, Continued 
 4                                     STATEMENT  QUESTIONS
 5  Kirby Hannon
    Legislative Coordinator
 6  John Lewis 
    Legislative Committee Cochair
 7  Veterans of Foreign Wars
 8  Linda McKinnis
    Legislative Coordinator
 9  Disabled American Veterans
10  Bob Becker
    Legislative Coordinator
11  NYS Veterans Council                  303         324
12  Michelle Jackson
    Associate Director &
13   General Counsel
    Human Services Council                329         336
    Rick Terwilliger
15  Director of Policy
    New York Public Welfare 
16   Association                          340         345
17  Jim Purcell
18  Council of Family &
     Child Caring Agencies                350         355
    Renee Smith-Rotondo
20  Chair, Board of Directors
    NYS Children's Alliance               373         378
    Stephanie Gendell
22  Associate Executive Director,
     Policy & Govt. Relations             
23  Citizens' Committee for Children
     of New York, Inc.                    381         386 


 1  2016-2017 Executive Budget
    Human Services
 2  2-9-16
 3                   LIST OF SPEAKERS, Continued 
 4                                     STATEMENT  QUESTIONS
 5  David Voegele
    Executive Director
 6  Jessica Klos Shapiro
    Director, Policy and 
 7   Community Education
    Early Care and Learning Council       387       392
    Jenn O'Connor
 9  Cochair
    Winning Beginning New York            395       398
    Kelly Sturgis
11  Executive Director
    Alli Lidie
12  Deputy Director
    After School Works/
13  The NYS After School Network          403       409
14  Anne Goldman
    Vice President for 
15   Non-DOE Titles
    United Federation of Teachers         410       415
    Maclain Berhaupt
17  State Advocacy Director
    Supportive Housing Network
18   of New York                          419       424
19  Carmelita Cruz
    Director of NYS Advocacy
20  Housing Works, Inc.                   432       438
21  Jeffrey Lozman, M.D.
22  NYS Society of Orthopaedic
     Surgeons                             440       449


 1  2016-2017 Executive Budget
    Human Services
 2  2-9-16
 3                   LIST OF SPEAKERS, Continued 
 4                                     STATEMENT  QUESTIONS
 5  Hillary Stuchin
    Senior Advocacy Advisor, 
 6   Govt. & External Relations
    UJA-Federation of New York            450       457
    Gerard Wallace
 8  Director
    NYS Kinship Navigator                 458       463
    Kate Breslin
10  President and CEO
    Schuyler Center for Analysis
11   & Advocacy                           472       479
12  Susan Antos
    Senior Attorney
13  Empire Justice Center                 481       488
14  Randi Levine
    Policy Coordinator 
15  Advocates for Children 
     of New York                          494       
    Melanie Blow
17  COO
    Stop Abuse Campaign                   501






 1                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Good morning.  

 2                 I'm Senator Catharine Young, chair of 

 3          the Senate Finance Committee.  

 4                 Pursuant to the State Constitution and 

 5          Legislative Law, the fiscal committees of the 

 6          State Legislature are authorized to hold 

 7          hearings on the Executive Budget proposal.  

 8          Today's hearing will be limited to a 

 9          discussion of the Governor's proposed budget 

10          for Human Services.  

11                 Following each presentation, there 

12          will be some time allowed for questions for 

13          the chairs of the fiscal committees and other 

14          legislators.  

15                 I would like to welcome Sheila Poole, 

16          acting commissioner of the New York State 

17          Office of Children and Family Services.  

18          Testifying on behalf of New York State Office 

19          of Temporary and Disability Assistance 

20          Commissioner Samuel D. Roberts, we will have 

21          James S. Rubin, commissioner of the New York 

22          State Division of Housing and Community 

23          Renewal; Sharon Devine, executive deputy 

24          commissioner of the New York State Office of 


 1          Temporary and Disability Assistance, OTDA; 

 2          Linda Glassman, OTDA deputy commissioner; and 

 3          Kristin Rock, OTDA general counsel.  And 

 4          Corinda Crossdale, director, for the New York 

 5          State Office for the Aging.

 6                 We are joined today by my colleagues 

 7          from the Senate.  We have Senator Liz 

 8          Krueger, who is ranking member on the Senate 

 9          Finance Committee.  We have Senator David 

10          Carlucci, who is chair of the Social Services 

11          Committee.  We've been joined by Senator 

12          Diane Savino and Senator Phil Boyle.  

13                 And at this point I'd like to turn 

14          things over to my colleague Chairman Denny 

15          Farrell, from the Assembly.

16                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you, Senator.  

17                 We've been joined by Assemblywoman 

18          Jaffee, Assemblyman Cymbrowitz, Assemblywoman 

19          Lupardo, and Assemblyman Hevesi.  They are 

20          each chairpeople of Social Services, of C&F, 

21          of Veterans Affairs and the Aging Committee.  

22                 And Mr. Oaks will give you his 

23          members.

24                 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:  Yes, and we've also 


 1          been joined by Assemblyman Goodell.

 2                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.  

 3                 At this time I'd like to begin with 

 4          the testimony of Sheila Poole, who is acting 

 5          commissioner of the Office of Children and 

 6          Family Services.  

 7                 Welcome and good morning.

 8                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Thank you.  

 9          Good morning.

10                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  We look forward to 

11          your testimony today.

12                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Thank you, 

13          Senator.  And it's good to be here with all 

14          of you today.  

15                 Chairwoman Young, Chairman Farrell, 

16          Senate Children and Families Committee Chair 

17          Avella, Assembly Children and Families Chair 

18          Lupardo, and distinguished members of the 

19          Senate and Assembly, my name is Sheila Poole 

20          and I'm the acting commissioner of the Office 

21          of Children and Family Services.  

22                 This year's Executive Budget reaffirms 

23          the Governor's commitment to a balanced and 

24          fiscally responsible budget that strongly 


 1          supports OCFS' core mission.  As an agency 

 2          dedicated to serving the children, youth and 

 3          families of New York State, OCFS oversees a 

 4          wide range of programs and services in the 

 5          critically important areas of child welfare 

 6          and community services, childcare and 

 7          juvenile justice.  

 8                 The proposed Executive Budget 

 9          maintains vital agency funding at last year's 

10          level while making investments in key 

11          initiatives that will benefit all of the 

12          populations that OCFS serves.  One example of 

13          that funding is for Child Welfare Services. 

14          The Executive Budget recommends $635 million 

15          to continue supporting Child Welfare 

16          Services, renewing New York's commitment of 

17          62 percent state reimbursement.  

18          Supplementing other available federal funds, 

19          these dollars support a host of child 

20          protective, child preventive, aftercare, 

21          independent living, and adoption services. 

22                 New York is a national leader in 

23          providing robust funding for these efforts, 

24          which make a difference in the lives of 


 1          thousands of New York State's children and 

 2          families.  This investment supports the 

 3          critical work of our local social services 

 4          districts.  It also funds the essential 

 5          programs and services provided by our child 

 6          welfare partners in community-based agencies 

 7          throughout the state.  

 8                 The Executive Budget proposal includes 

 9          $445.5 million in Foster Care Block Grant 

10          funding, which supports foster care services, 

11          including kinship programs.  Local districts 

12          continue to have the ability to reinvest any 

13          unused portions in the next fiscal year, 

14          which can be used to support locally designed 

15          child welfare initiatives that strengthen 

16          preventive services and better serve 

17          high-needs children who can benefit from 

18          independent living or aftercare services.  

19                 The proposed budget also includes an 

20          additional $4.5 million in funding to support 

21          programs that serve this population under the 

22          Runaway and Homeless Youth Act.  

23                 The Governor's budget proposal 

24          includes authority to invest adoption 


 1          assistance savings of $5 million into 

 2          preventive services and other post-adoption 

 3          services as required by federal law for 

 4          children at risk of entering foster care. 

 5          OCFS plans to use these funds to support 

 6          Permanency Resource Centers to provide 

 7          post-adoptive and kinship support to 

 8          families.  

 9                 The Executive Budget continues the 

10          critical investment in the Child Care Subsidy 

11          Program for 2016-2017 at $799 million.  These 

12          funds enable low-income working families to 

13          access affordable childcare and support 

14          New York State's childcare providers.  

15                 A $5 million investment in the 

16          QUALITYstarsNY program would support the 

17          implementation of a quality rating and 

18          improvement system to provide high-quality 

19          early learning programs and enable the state 

20          to mandate participation for low-quality 

21          programs as a condition of receiving state 

22          funding.  

23                 This year's budget proposal also 

24          reflects the Governor's continuing commitment 


 1          to raising the age of criminal responsibility 

 2          in New York State from the age of 16 to 18.  

 3          New York State took a bold step forward in 

 4          December with the executive order that will 

 5          remove most minors from adult prisons and 

 6          house them in age-appropriate correctional 

 7          facilities with specialized programs offering 

 8          them a better chance to turn their lives 

 9          around and find a brighter future.  While the 

10          executive order is an important step, and 

11          OCFS strongly supports this action, it does 

12          not, however, raise the age.  

13                 The reasons to raise the age are many. 

14          We know that when troubled youth are sent to 

15          adult prison, it sets the stage for a life of 

16          violence, recidivism, and little prospect for 

17          the rehabilitation that would prepare them to 

18          return to their communities as productive and 

19          responsible adults.  Removing young people 

20          from the adult criminal system will improve 

21          outcomes and make a vast difference in the 

22          lives of these 16- and 17-year-olds.  

23                 Additionally, the Executive Budget 

24          proposal increases funding for the Human 


 1          Services Call Center by $600,000, for a total 

 2          of $14.1 million.  The call center was 

 3          established upon recommendation of the SAGE 

 4          Commission, and now answers more than 30 

 5          telephone lines for 10 state agencies.  And 

 6          we anticipate a call volume of 1.2 million 

 7          calls in the coming year.  

 8                 I thank you for the opportunity to 

 9          address you today, and I welcome your 

10          questions and comments.  Thank you.  

11                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you very 

12          much.  

13                 Our first Senator up will be Senator 

14          David Carlucci.  

15                 And before he begins, I do want to 

16          mention that we've been joined by Senator 

17          Squadron and Senator Roxanne Persaud.

18                 Senator?  

19                 SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Thank you, 

20          Chairwoman Young.  

21                 And thank you, Acting Commissioner 

22          Poole, for your testimony and particularly 

23          for addressing Raise the Age.  

24                 And I just had a further question 


 1          about the executive order that was done in 

 2          December.  And if you could talk a little bit 

 3          about how that has evolved in terms of 

 4          placing our 16-to-18-year-olds in 

 5          age-appropriate settings.  Are there places 

 6          for them?  Have we started to move them?  How 

 7          far do we have to go?  If you could address 

 8          that.

 9                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Certainly.  

10                 I would just clarify that that 

11          executive order really directed the 

12          Department of Correctional Services to 

13          undertake those activities.  But because we 

14          are working in partnership with DOCCS, I feel 

15          like I can provide a good answer for you.  

16                 So DOCCS is currently working to 

17          renovate an existing DOCCS facility to serve 

18          as the place where the 16- and 17-year-olds  

19          are to be moved out.  I believe the plan is 

20          for that to be accomplished by September of 

21          2016.  

22                 I can also report, Senator, that as 

23          part of the executive order the Governor 

24          asked OCFS to work closely with DOCCS to 


 1          provide assistance in mental health 

 2          consultation, any curriculum retraining that 

 3          we have at OCFS, given our work with 

 4          juveniles.  And so we're providing support 

 5          and consultation to DOCCS as they create the 

 6          new model for these youth in that facility.

 7                 SENATOR CARLUCCI:  So just to clarify, 

 8          until we have a legislative change, the 

 9          custody of these children will be under DOCCS 

10          and not OCFS?  

11                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  That's 

12          correct, for those currently incarcerated 16- 

13          and 17-year-olds who are in DOCCS, they 

14          remain in DOCCS' custody.

15                 SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Okay.  And if we 

16          were to change the law, are there adequate 

17          places for these children in New York State 

18          right now?  Do we have a lot of work to do to 

19          get up and ready and build these facilities?  

20          Is there room?  

21                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Yes.  The 

22          answer to that, Senator, is yes.  Certainly 

23          within the OCFS footprint of juvenile justice 

24          facilities we do have capacity in a number of 


 1          our facilities to accept youth.  Under the 

 2          current Raise the Age proposal, the majority 

 3          of newly sentenced 16- and 17-year-olds would 

 4          come to OCFS's secure levels of service.  And 

 5          so I think we can work to create that 

 6          capacity in relatively short order.  As I 

 7          said, given our existing footprint, I think 

 8          we can make that possible.

 9                 SENATOR CARLUCCI:  So right now, 16- 

10          and 17-year-olds that are under the custody 

11          of DOCCS are in our correctional facilities.  

12          They are being isolated from the general 

13          population.  And have you worked with DOCCS 

14          to know a number of -- are there still these 

15          children in the general population?  

16                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  I couldn't 

17          answer that question, Senator.

18                 SENATOR CARLUCCI:  And then just to 

19          talk about childcare, you know, one of the 

20          things that is so important is accessible, 

21          affordable, quality childcare here in 

22          New York State.  And we hear story after 

23          story about how it's out of reach for most 

24          families in New York State, just the 


 1          affordability option.  And they're left with 

 2          subpar options.  

 3                 What is your agency doing to make sure 

 4          that there is affordable childcare, that 

 5          there's safe childcare, and, to another 

 6          level, that there's transparency, that we 

 7          know, as a parent, when I drop my child off 

 8          at daycare, that I know if there's a 

 9          violation, that I know what's going on and 

10          how my daycare ranks as opposed to other 

11          daycares and what would be a model daycare?  

12          You know, how does a parent know that, how 

13          can we work towards that end?  

14                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Sure.  So 

15          to answer the first part of your question, 

16          the Executive Budget provides almost 

17          $800 million to provide subsidy support for 

18          those families, as you said, who need 

19          assistance in accessing safe and quality 

20          care.  That's a commitment that this 

21          administration has sustained for a number of 

22          years despite, in fact, a diminishing 

23          investment on the part of the federal 

24          government.  There's always need for more, 


 1          you know, without question.  

 2                 At OCFS we also do a lot, and have 

 3          done, in partnership with our unions -- UFT, 

 4          CSEA -- our childcare resource and referral 

 5          agencies that we also fund, to really be in 

 6          the communities, supporting providers, 

 7          providing training to further professionalize 

 8          the childcare workforce, so that not only are 

 9          we creating access, but that we're building 

10          quality.  You know, improving child 

11          development, understanding of development, 

12          well-being, safety for children, safe 

13          sleeping -- all those kinds of things that 

14          can help create a safer childcare 

15          environment.  

16                 So I think we've made some good 

17          progress, some good investments.  And 

18          certainly the federal Child Care and 

19          Development Act -- that I'm sure we'll talk 

20          about soon -- calls for even additional kinds 

21          of training qualifications.  

22                 As to your last question, Senator, 

23          OCFS's website -- I don't know if you've ever 

24          had the opportunity to go, but you are a 


 1          parent, it's really aimed for parents seeking 

 2          childcare so that they can do just what you 

 3          described:  How do I know if a childcare that 

 4          I'm considering, first of all, is licensed or 

 5          registered with the state?  So you can go and 

 6          plug in Sheila Poole's childcare center, and 

 7          if it's registered or licensed by the state, 

 8          that will pop up, and you will be able to 

 9          search the enforcement history along with any 

10          violations or enforcement actions that we 

11          have taken.  

12                 We also strongly encourage you to 

13          contact one of our childcare resource and 

14          referral agencies, again, as a navigator to 

15          help families.  And we also field a lot of 

16          calls at our OCFS regional offices.  Those 

17          are our licensers, our front-line staff who 

18          are licensing, who know these providers the 

19          best out in the community.  So I think we try 

20          and do that.  

21                 You know, as you are probably aware, 

22          childcare centers in New York City are 

23          currently under the purview of New York City 

24          only.  And so we also want to make sure that 


 1          if families happen to come to the OCFS 

 2          website seeking care, that there is, you 

 3          know, a large prominent note making sure that 

 4          folks understand that some of that care is 

 5          also in New York City.  And they click on a 

 6          link, and it can take them to New York City's 

 7          website, which also is very transparent in 

 8          terms of a provider's enforcement history.

 9                 SENATOR CARLUCCI:  My colleagues and I 

10          in the Independent Democratic Conference have 

11          been working towards legislation to have a 

12          letter-grade system for daycare, similar to 

13          the restaurants.  Is that something that OCFS 

14          would be in favor of, support?

15                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  You know, 

16          I think we're always interested in any 

17          conversations to be had about collectively 

18          trying to raise the quality of care, and 

19          certainly making sure that any parent who's 

20          seeking care -- I mean, that's one of the 

21          most important decisions you ever make as a 

22          parent, right -- is a fully informed one.  So 

23          we'd be happy to engage in any conversations.

24                 SENATOR CARLUCCI:  And just one last 


 1          point.  We talked about the childcare 

 2          subsidies, extremely important.  And we've 

 3          got to make sure that parents can put their 

 4          children in the appropriate places.  

 5                 What are we doing to address the issue 

 6          of middle-class families that are not 

 7          qualifying for the subsidies and are just out 

 8          of reach of that and are paying the full 

 9          price?  In many cases -- I know in Rockland 

10          and Westchester, on average, it's $1500 a 

11          month per child.  For middle-class families 

12          that are out of reach for the subsidy, that's 

13          a big bill to pay.  You know, you can take 

14          out a loan for college; you can't take out a 

15          loan for daycare.  

16                 What do we do to address that issue 

17          for middle-class families?

18                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  You know, 

19          I think the best answer to that is that local 

20          departments of social services who administer 

21          the childcare allocations, including the 

22          subsidies that the state sends down to them, 

23          I think do their very best, Senator, within 

24          their means to try and balance, you know, 


 1          creating access for new families seeking 

 2          care, the working poor, folks looking to 

 3          return to work, with also maintaining 

 4          caseloads and continuing subsidy or other, 

 5          you know, parts of support for the working 

 6          families.  

 7                 But again, it's really a function of 

 8          the available funds to local districts and 

 9          the fluidity of their childcare caseload.

10                 SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Well, even so, I 

11          mean, that money wouldn't flow over to these 

12          middle-class families.  They would not be 

13          eligible for it.  

14                 So this is an issue where we have 

15          these silos, right?  We've got Office of 

16          Children and Families over here, we've got 

17          Taxation and Finance over here.  Maybe that's 

18          something where we could use your experience, 

19          your expertise to really lobby other agencies 

20          to say, hey, maybe we should increase the 

21          dependent care tax credit, and strategies 

22          like that.  That would be very helpful, to 

23          say, hey, you know, we know we have our 

24          function and role, but there are other things 


 1          that relate to the Office of Children and 

 2          Family Services.  

 3                 And that's something I'd really 

 4          implore you to do, to use your expertise to 

 5          try to help, say, Hey, what can we do to use 

 6          the synergy of our enormous government to 

 7          work together towards addressing these issues 

 8          so important as childcare.  

 9                 So thank you so much for answering my 

10          questions.  I really appreciate it.

11                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  You're 

12          welcome, Senator.  Thank you.

13                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.  

14                 Assemblyman?  

15                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  The next person to 

16          question will be Assemblywoman Lupardo, who 

17          is the chair of the Children and Families 

18          Committee.

19                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN LUPARDO:  Thank you.  

20                 Good morning, Commissioner.  It's nice 

21          to have you here.  

22                 I'm going to spend the bulk of my time 

23          talking about the implementation of the 

24          Childcare and Development Block Grant, which 


 1          from our point of view looks like a very 

 2          large unfunded federal mandate.  

 3                 And, you know, while additional site 

 4          inspections, background checks, new 

 5          background checks on some 220,000 providers, 

 6          new training and professional development 

 7          requirements, and a whole new approach to 

 8          parental eligibility is welcome, and I think 

 9          many of the advocates welcome that 

10          improvement in the system, estimates are very 

11          troubling as to what that would cost -- 

12          upwards of $90 million just for the first 

13          three items that I mentioned, and an unknown 

14          amount for the parent eligibility.  

15                 So if you wouldn't mind, maybe if 

16          you'd go through step-by-step some of those 

17          areas and we can sort of compare notes and 

18          see what you have in mind.  

19                 The first one has to do with training 

20          and development.  That needs to be completed, 

21          our understanding is, by September 2016, and 

22          budget estimates are about $20 million.  Do 

23          you have any additional information on 

24          that -- whether or not we already have 


 1          something in place that would be eligible for 

 2          that, or whether we're doing something?  

 3                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Thank you, 

 4          Assemblywoman.  Great questions.  

 5                 So if I could, just for a minute, 

 6          because I think there's a lot of questions 

 7          about the implementation of this act.  I 

 8          think just to kind of set a contextual stage 

 9          a bit, so the act was passed and signed by 

10          President Obama in November of '14, and of 

11          course at that time we saw the implications, 

12          as has every other state, in terms of the 

13          magnitude, Assemblywoman, that you just 

14          pointed out, without any federal money coming 

15          to help states try to address the 

16          implementation of this.  

17                 We've been advocating really since the 

18          passage of the bill, through our Governor's 

19          D.C. office, through all the advocacy groups 

20          that we belong to at OCFS, really expressing 

21          to the federal government just what you said, 

22          Assemblywoman, that on its face, who can 

23          argue, right, with increasing quality, who 

24          can argue with enhanced training, all those 


 1          kinds of things -- but for the federal 

 2          government to expect states like New York, 

 3          who already make such a deep investment in 

 4          subsidy, to really find a way to fund all of 

 5          these new requirements is really -- it's 

 6          really, really problematic.  

 7                 On top of that, the federal government 

 8          waited until December of 2015 to issue their 

 9          draft regulations.  And all of us who are now 

10          looking at those draft regulations across the 

11          country are further alarmed that those 

12          regulations actually seem to go far beyond 

13          what the initial statute said.  So that 

14          public comment period is open right now; it 

15          will close on February 22nd.  And we are 

16          putting together our comments, we're 

17          imploring all of our partners, including all 

18          of you, to be a strong and loud voice on 

19          behalf of our families in New York State 

20          that, without additional federal funding, 

21          states are really left with either requesting 

22          extensions for some of the provisions until 

23          we really understand what the final federal 

24          regulations will come out and look like, or 


 1          that we continue to advocate for more money.  

 2                 You know, the worst possible scenario, 

 3          which is one that many states are facing, to 

 4          comply with the federal requirements absent 

 5          any additional federal funding, you're 

 6          looking at decreasing your subsidies.  Right?  

 7          Moving your state's investment in subsidies, 

 8          which we all know is key for our families, 

 9          and using it to try and support some of the 

10          unfunded mandates of this act.  

11                 So the final part of your question, 

12          though, Assemblywoman, is as we're looking at 

13          the proposed act as well as the regulations, 

14          we're also making a careful list of the 

15          things we currently do in New York State.  

16          And so you all know we're one of the most 

17          regulated states in childcare in the country 

18          as it is now, and so we do a lot of 

19          prequalification, we do a lot of clearances 

20          for interested providers, in-state 

21          clearances, SCR clearances.  We check 

22          providers against the Justice Center staff 

23          inclusion list.  We don't do the national 

24          checks that are called for in the act, but in 


 1          fact we do a lot in our state.  And so we're 

 2          trying to make that case where we can, to 

 3          prove that we do have that capacity.  

 4                 Again, you know, Assemblywoman, we 

 5          don't have a sense whether or not the federal 

 6          government is going to recognize, you know, 

 7          those efforts.

 8                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN LUPARDO:  So we seem to 

 9          be in a little bit of a time frame collision.  

10          And our concern is that if we don't get this 

11          right or understand the implications, we're 

12          going to drive providers underground, risk 

13          losing subsidies, as you mentioned, we're 

14          going to lower quality.  And, I mean, we 

15          already have a fragile system.  And this is 

16          going to threaten and risk it even further.  

17                 So can you walk us through that one 

18          more time?  We're hoping the federal 

19          government will come to the rescue, but in 

20          the meantime are we at least planning to be, 

21          you know, out in front of this to avoid 

22          calamity in the long run?

23                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Yes, 

24          Assemblywoman, we have been out in front of 


 1          it.  I mean, we continue to -- and especially 

 2          now that the draft regulations are out there, 

 3          I think states have been put in a really 

 4          untenable position trying to implement an act 

 5          with so many moving parts, all of which cost 

 6          so much money.  Not many of them are one-time 

 7          expenses or non-reoccurring.  You know, when 

 8          you're into this, you're in for the long 

 9          haul.  

10                 So I want to assure you and all the 

11          members here that we are advocating very 

12          strongly.  I think, frankly, it's going to 

13          take a broader voice, including our 

14          Legislature, to really help say we cannot 

15          afford to do this.  

16                 You know, and the other fact of the 

17          matter is that our administration, with the 

18          support of all of you, has invested a lot of 

19          money in daycare.  You know, we have almost 

20          $800 million in the budget, we have other 

21          quality initiatives.  And so it's a real 

22          challenge for us, Assemblywoman.

23                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN LUPARDO:  So you did put 

24          $10 million -- or, I'm sorry, the Governor 


 1          put $10 million in the budget toward one of 

 2          the components of this.  

 3                 So again, just so I understand we're 

 4          all on the same track, our hope is to either 

 5          get an extension, to appeal to the federal 

 6          government to help pay for this.  But by 

 7          April 1st, we have to have a budget that at 

 8          least has some additional resources put 

 9          toward this if need be.  

10                 I can't imagine we're going to be able 

11          to pull this off with just $10 million.  

12          Would you agree with that?

13                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  I think 

14          it's going to be very challenging, absent 

15          additional federal money, for us to pull off 

16          the requirements within the time frames that 

17          the act calls for.

18                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN LUPARDO:  I see.  

19                 We also noticed that there's nothing 

20          in the budget to address the market rate 

21          change.  Regrettably, certainly in my area 

22          and many parts of the state, when you went 

23          down to the 69th percentile, it really hurt.  

24          And it doesn't reflect the cost of delivery 


 1          of service.  

 2                 But there's no recognition of the 

 3          market rate in the budget, and we'd like to 

 4          see it get back up to the 75th percentile.  

 5          What's the overall game plan on market rate?  

 6                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Yes.  So 

 7          the overall game plan on the market rate, 

 8          Assemblywoman, is that we do plan and it will 

 9          be part of the federal plan that we have to 

10          submit on March 1st or 31st to the federal 

11          government.  We do plan on supporting the new 

12          market rate effective June 1st.  Again, 

13          that's 69 percent.  So unfortunately, I think 

14          for many of the reasons we just discussed, 

15          you know, we're not able to go to 75 percent 

16          as we enjoyed for a number of years.  But 

17          again, at the 69th percentile, which I would 

18          just add is -- we're probably one of only 

19          three states left in the country who are able 

20          to maintain that level of support for the 

21          market rate.

22                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN LUPARDO:  So how can we 

23          help you on this federal advocacy 

24          specifically?


 1                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  You know, 

 2          I think certainly joining with us to have a 

 3          conversation with the feds, to have a 

 4          conversation with our congressional 

 5          delegation.  I think your voices are really 

 6          important in this conversation.  You know, 

 7          we've done our best to date; we need local 

 8          departments of social services, we need the 

 9          advocates.  But in your positions as elected 

10          officials representing thousands of 

11          constituents, families, providers I think you 

12          have an incredibly powerful voice that we'd 

13          like to tap into very soon to really let 

14          folks know that without additional support 

15          we're really in a very tough spot.

16                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN LUPARDO:  I'd just like 

17          to get your opinion about one other item 

18          having to do with the background checks.  

19          What's your opinion about requiring that that 

20          be portable?  So when someone has that 

21          background check and works for a provider for 

22          two months and them moves along, that we 

23          don't have to keep reinventing the wheel, 

24          that it could perhaps stay with them for a 


 1          period of time.  It would, in light of this 

 2          implementation, probably drive down the cost 

 3          in the long run.

 4                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Yes, I 

 5          think -- you know, I think on principle that 

 6          makes sense, for all the reasons, you know, 

 7          that you just articulated.  

 8                 Again, the up-front costs of making 

 9          that happen, particularly having to navigate 

10          through the requirement that you have to go 

11          across the nation and check anyplace that the 

12          potential provider has lived in in the last 

13          five years, and there's no foundational work 

14          that's been done to date by the federal 

15          government in creating, you know, those 

16          pathways of communication so that we could 

17          create, you know, the portability of those 

18          clearances.  Because you're right, having to 

19          re-clear people time and time again is really 

20          not the most efficient way.

21                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN LUPARDO:  Thank you.

22                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  You're 

23          welcome.  

24                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.  


 1                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.  

 2                 We've been joined by Assemblywoman 

 3          Fahy, Assemblyman Keith Wright, Assemblywoman 

 4          Mayer.  

 5                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.  And 

 6          we've been joined by Senator Tim Kennedy.  

 7                 Again, Acting Commissioner, thank you 

 8          for being here today.  I'd like to piggyback 

 9          on what the Assemblywoman was saying, because 

10          we are very concerned about this $90 million 

11          unfunded mandate that's come from the federal 

12          government.  And as has been pointed out, 

13          there's a $10 million allocation put forward 

14          by the Governor in his Executive proposal 

15          that covers health and safety inspections.  

16          But what's not covered, for example, is the 

17          first aid and CPR training, which 

18          approximately would cost around $28 million; 

19          federal criminal background checks costing 

20          $24 million.  

21                 And so I guess the question is you've 

22          talked about the fact that this is 

23          extraordinarily difficult to pull off in the 

24          time frame.  And if that doesn't happen, do 


 1          you anticipate that some of those costs or 

 2          all of those costs would be passed on to the 

 3          providers?  

 4                 And I have to tell you, I have deep 

 5          concerns about that.  Studies show 

 6          consistently that in New York State we have 

 7          the highest childcare costs in the country.  

 8          We're among the top.  And it's already very 

 9          difficult for families.  And we have 

10          subsidies, as you pointed out.  But it's so 

11          difficult for families, and oftentimes they 

12          can't afford the childcare so that they can 

13          go out and work and support themselves.  

14                 So if there's advocacy and it doesn't 

15          work, the question is what does the state do 

16          next.  Because I don't see any further 

17          allocations that put forward right now to 

18          cover these costs.  Would these be passed 

19          along to providers?

20                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  So, you 

21          know, I think the first strategy, you know, 

22          that we would take is to request in the plan 

23          that's due in March to request extensions 

24          within the plan that would allow us more time 


 1          to really, again, when the federal 

 2          regulations -- which have not yet been 

 3          promulgated.  We don't -- you know, they're 

 4          asking us to plan and to fund something that 

 5          is really not fully understood or known 

 6          because the regulations aren't there.  

 7                 You know, absent that, Senator, our 

 8          plan is to request for an extension.  

 9                 As to your question about, you know, 

10          passing along fees to providers, we know that 

11          is of concern.  It's not something we have 

12          historically done as a state.  But this is a 

13          historic piece of federal legislation that 

14          may take us to conversations and places that 

15          we haven't had to go before.  

16                 But again, I think those all open 

17          difficult questions that we're going to have 

18          to struggle with in the months ahead.  

19                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  How much does a 

20          background check cost?

21                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Well, the 

22          SCR clearance check for us is $25.  I'm not 

23          sure exactly what the -- you know, the full 

24          totality.  But I believe it would probably be 


 1          around a hundred dollars or a little bit more 

 2          for providers.

 3                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Right.  That's what 

 4          my understanding is.  Again, a difficult cost 

 5          to pass along to providers.  

 6                 Have you examined ways that New York 

 7          State's statutory and regulatory structure 

 8          could be amended somehow to give relief to 

 9          providers?  

10                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  I'm sorry, 

11          Senator, I didn't --

12                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  So because of this 

13          mandate that's on the state, has the 

14          department looked at possible statutory or 

15          regulatory changes that could be made in 

16          order to give -- you know, in light -- in the 

17          context of the federal requirements, to 

18          provide relief to the providers in New York 

19          State of childcare?  

20                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  I don't 

21          believe we have, Senator.  

22                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Do you think that's 

23          possibly something that you should be taking 

24          a look at?  


 1                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Yes, I 

 2          think we can certainly take a look at that.  

 3          I'm not sure where it would take us, but 

 4          we're happy to explore.

 5                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Okay, thank you.  

 6                 In addition, the federal changes to 

 7          eligibility rules require a 12-month 

 8          eligibility -- not enough coffee yet this 

 9          morning -- redetermination period and the 

10          gradual phaseout of the subsidy if a family 

11          is longer eligible.  And that's likely to 

12          have an impact on the overall number of 

13          childcare subsidy slots in the state.  And 

14          you address that a little bit, but how many 

15          children currently receive childcare 

16          subsidies in New York?  

17                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  So in 2015 

18          there were 207,000 children who received a 

19          subsidy at some point throughout the year in 

20          New York State.  

21                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  And have you done 

22          an analysis -- you know, you just asked about 

23          the statutory and regulatory structure that 

24          we have.  But have you done an analysis 


 1          through OCFS on the available number of slots 

 2          in the state and what this federal mandate 

 3          would mean?  Have you quantified that at all?  

 4                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  No.  I 

 5          mean, I think we have, you know, a general 

 6          sense, Senator, that what you articulated in 

 7          terms of the new federal requirement, the 

 8          12-month guaranteed eligibility -- and then 

 9          now what we found out in reviewing the 

10          regulations is that a phaseout that we 

11          thought states would have some flexibility in 

12          determining is really now meant by the feds 

13          to mean another year of phaseout.  

14                 So for a newly eligible family, that 

15          will mean that from the point of eligibility 

16          until the end, you're looking at a guaranteed 

17          almost two years of childcare subsidy.  And 

18          that, you know -- that's great.  We've talked 

19          about, you know, right, the cliff and 

20          avoiding the cliff.  The challenge for us is 

21          that in eliminating the cliff for families 

22          exiting subsidized care, the act has created 

23          a mountain of a lack of access, potentially, 

24          to new families needing access to subsidy.  


 1          And, you know, therein lies the challenge.

 2                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  What would the 

 3          additional resources be that would be 

 4          necessary for us to actually maintain the 

 5          current subsidy slots?  Have you done any 

 6          kind of analysis on that as far as what the 

 7          costs would be?  What would the state have to 

 8          invest?

 9                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  I don't -- 

10          you know, until we know what the federal 

11          regulations really say, once the final 

12          comment period -- I think it's difficult to 

13          estimate that fully, Senator.

14                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  And when does that 

15          end?  

16                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  The public 

17          comment period ends February 22nd.  But we 

18          don't have a date yet when the final regs 

19          will come out, despite the fact that our 

20          state plan is due to them in March.

21                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  How many counties 

22          in New York currently redetermine eligibility 

23          on a 12-month basis?

24                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  I believe 


 1          there are around 18 local departments of 

 2          social services who do.

 3                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Okay.  So for those 

 4          counties who don't currently redetermine 

 5          eligibility on a 12-month basis, is there any 

 6          estimate of what it will cost them to go into 

 7          compliance, the ones that don't right now?

 8                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  I don't 

 9          have that figure, Senator.

10                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Okay, thank you.

11                 I have several follow-up questions, 

12          but I'll defer to my colleagues and come 

13          back.  

14                 So Assemblyman?  

15                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.  

16                 Assemblyman Hevesi.

17                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Good morning, 

18          Commissioner.

19                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Good 

20          morning.  

21                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Good morning.  So 

22          I'm sorry I have to start with you, because 

23          to be honest with you in the Governor's 

24          budget he's done some really good things, but 


 1          not on childcare.  So let me ask you a 

 2          question about the federal reauthorization.  

 3          Why don't you just fund it?

 4                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Because I 

 5          think it's an incredible amount of expense 

 6          where the administration has chosen the need 

 7          to prioritize expenses in other important 

 8          areas -- anti-poverty initiatives, other 

 9          things to also help working poor families in 

10          the state.

11                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  So the Governor's 

12          not making this a priority.

13                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  I don't 

14          think that's fair, Assemblyman.  As I said, 

15          the Governor has sustained, you know, an 

16          $800 million subsidy allocation --

17                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Which is flat 

18          from last year, so you haven't increased it.  

19          Right?

20                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  That's 

21          true.

22                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  And the poverty 

23          reduction initiative that you mentioned is a 

24          $25 million -- we'll get to that later.  


 1                 But you're saying because of all of 

 2          the other things that the Governor is dealing 

 3          with, he can't come up with the $90 million 

 4          to protect the kids who currently have 

 5          subsidies?

 6                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  I think 

 7          the Executive Budget articulates what the 

 8          administration's best guess at their 

 9          investment is in the next upcoming fiscal 

10          year, Assemblyman.

11                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Right.  So you're 

12          telling us -- so let me phrase it this way.  

13          The federal government comes down with new 

14          regulations, we all think they're really good 

15          ideas -- background checks, inspections, all 

16          kinds of good stuff.  We should be saying 

17          this is fantastic.  But if it's not funded, 

18          it's the equivalent of the federal government 

19          coming with a big punch about to hit the kids 

20          and families in New York State.  

21                 Now, the state is in a position to 

22          step up and take that punch, but the Governor 

23          is moving out of the way so he can let the 

24          children and families -- and the providers -- 


 1          in this state take the hit.  Why is that?

 2                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  You know, 

 3          the best answer --

 4                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  You knew -- sorry 

 5          to cut you off, but you knew this was coming 

 6          since November 2014.  

 7                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  So again, 

 8          you know, I think part of what's a strength 

 9          for us in New York is the fact that we 

10          already have to do a lot of training, we do 

11          background checks, we provide a lot of 

12          subsidy to families.  

13                 And so unlike other states, we're 

14          starting --

15                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  I'm sorry to cut 

16          you off.  A lot of subsidies to families 

17          of -- the 207,000 kids in New York State who 

18          are eligible for subsidies, what percentage 

19          of those kids do we currently cover that you 

20          say we do a lot of subsidies?  Have we 

21          reached --

22                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  That's the 

23          number of children who at some point 

24          were receiving a subsidy --


 1                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  No, that's the 

 2          number of children who are eligible.  What's 

 3          the number of kids who are actually being -- 

 4          what percentage of that 207 are actually 

 5          receiving services?  Our estimation, it's 

 6          under 20 percent.  So I --

 7                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  No, the 

 8          figures I have, Assemblyman, is that in 2015 

 9          there were 207,000 children who at some point 

10          were the recipients of a subsidy.  

11                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Okay.  Okay.  We 

12          now know that with the federal government 

13          coming down with this new $90 million 

14          request, okay -- and that's DOB coming up 

15          with the number -- why did you guys come up 

16          with $10 million?  Can you explain that to 

17          me?

18                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  I think 

19          the $10 million is an attempt to begin to 

20          implement the increased inspection 

21          requirement of the act with the resources 

22          that the administration has.

23                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Okay, let me go 

24          back.  And I apologize, the 207, you are 


 1          absolutely right.  But that's 20 percent of 

 2          the eligible population.  That's why I bring 

 3          it up.  That's my mistake.  

 4                 So let me go back to the $10 million.  

 5          That's only for inspections, which is only 

 6          one of the four pieces that the feds are 

 7          coming down with.  How did you get to 10 when 

 8          DOB asked for, what was it, 34 for that?  Why 

 9          is the Governor coming up with only 10?  

10          Yeah, 34.5.  Why do you guys come up with 10?  

11                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  I'd have 

12          to go back to the work we did with DOB in 

13          creating the --

14                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Could it be that 

15          you're assuming that if you don't do these 

16          inspections, a lot of the families who are in 

17          legally-exempt childcare are just going to go 

18          under and stop receiving subsidies?  Is that 

19          possible?  

20                 Because if that's the case, that's an 

21          outrage.  Because what you're doing is 

22          pushing these children and families -- not 

23          only are they not going to get their 

24          subsidies, but they're going to go 


 1          underground, which is exactly what we don't 

 2          want them to do.  

 3                 So again, let me come back to my first 

 4          question.  Why aren't we funding this?

 5                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Well, 

 6          Assemblyman, the budget session isn't over 

 7          yet, so --

 8                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Yeah, but your 

 9          position is.  Unless you're telling me by 

10          Friday, which is when you get your 30-day 

11          amendments, you're going to come out with the 

12          extra $80 million.  Is that what you're 

13          telling us?

14                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  No, that's 

15          not what I'm telling you, Assemblyman.

16                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  So your position 

17          is $10 million when we know the need to be 

18          90, and now the Governor is just walking 

19          away; is that correct?

20                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  What's in 

21          the Executive Budget right now is what's in 

22          the budget from the administration.

23                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Okay.  So we will 

24          do our best to pick up the slack, but I've 


 1          got to tell you, what has happened here on 

 2          childcare is nothing short of an outrage.  

 3                 Thank you, Commissioner.

 4                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  You're 

 5          welcome, Assemblyman.

 6                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Senator?  

 7                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.  

 8                 Senator Diane Savino.  

 9                 And we've been joined by Senator Tony 

10          Avella.  

11                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Thank you, Senator 

12          Krueger.  

13                 Good morning, Acting Commissioner 

14          Poole.  I want to follow up on what 

15          Assemblyman Hevesi said, because I've often 

16          asked this question:  Why don't we look at 

17          childcare as an economic development tool as 

18          opposed to social services?  And I think it's 

19          part and parcel of keeping women in the 

20          workforce.  Because we know interruptions in 

21          childcare or the inability to obtain safe, 

22          quality affordable childcare, or subsidized 

23          childcare, leads to disruptions in a woman's 

24          career, and it affects her not just in her 


 1          present life, but in her retirement.  

 2                 So I do think that if we're going to 

 3          put money into anti-poverty initiatives, that 

 4          maybe the suggestion is move that money to 

 5          this initiative so that we can maintain 

 6          quality, affordable, subsidized childcare for 

 7          as many children as we can.  

 8                 On the 207,000 children, does that 

 9          include the largest social service district 

10          in the state, New York City?  

11                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Yes, I 

12          believe it does.  

13                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Okay.  So I find it 

14          amazing that in a state of 19.5 million 

15          people, only 207,000 children are eligible 

16          for subsidized childcare.  And that begs a 

17          bigger question of what outreach we're doing 

18          to families that could potentially be 

19          eligible for it.  

20                 But Senator Carlucci talked a bit 

21          about the level of safety that parents can 

22          feel with respect to the places that they 

23          send their children.  And you talked about 

24          the state's website.  It's true, though, that 


 1          a few years ago, as a result of legislation 

 2          that was introduced by Senator Klein and then 

 3          adopted by the Senate and passed by the 

 4          Assembly and signed by the Governor, 

 5          facilities that are licensed by the State of 

 6          New York are required to post their latest 

 7          inspection.  

 8                 The City of New York insisted on being 

 9          carved out of that mandate because they 

10          feel -- they felt at the time that they would 

11          be able to handle it on their own.  And as 

12          you know, daycare centers in New York City 

13          are licensed by the Department of Health, not 

14          by ACS.  And not by your agency.  

15                 What we have seen in reports and 

16          research is there are thousands of daycare 

17          centers in New York City that are unlicensed, 

18          many of them operating for years.  There was 

19          that horrible case of a small baby who, on 

20          his first day in a daycare center, died 

21          because they did not know how to provide CPR.  

22          And this daycare center had been operating 

23          for 14 years without a license.  

24                 So we're suggesting potentially a 


 1          letter-grade system.  But more importantly, 

 2          we believe that the state needs to play a 

 3          bigger role in licensing and certifying the 

 4          daycare centers operating in the City of 

 5          New York are safe, that the staff is 

 6          adequately trained, that they are cleared 

 7          through these background checks.  That's not 

 8          happening right now.  

 9                 What role do you think the state can 

10          play in forcing the City of New York to do 

11          these things?

12                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Well, 

13          Senator, I think, you know, we have a shared 

14          goal of trying to improve safety.  And, you 

15          know, those tragedies that you just mentioned 

16          I think are evidence that we should explore 

17          how we can strengthen our oversight, so ...  

18                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Good.  I want to 

19          shift to the Raise the Age issue, because I 

20          understand the Governor's executive order was 

21          really about complying with the federal 

22          directive that you can no longer house 16- 

23          and 17-year-olds in adult prison.  So it's 

24          really not the implementation of Raise the 


 1          Age, it's complying with that directive.  The 

 2          money that's being allocated for the 

 3          retrofitting of Hudson Correctional facility 

 4          is for that purpose.

 5                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Correct.

 6                 SENATOR SAVINO:  But assuming we do 

 7          raise the age, there's a question as to what 

 8          role OCFS is going to play with some of the 

 9          children who aren't -- they're not sentenced 

10          to a DOCCS facility.  

11                 So are we talking about pooling these 

12          children with the Close to Home facilities, 

13          or is it going to be a separate system?

14                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  It would 

15          be a separate system.  So if we raise the age 

16          according to the Governor's executive 

17          proposal, you know, newly sentenced 16- and 

18          17-year-olds would continue to start in 

19          criminal court.  It calls for the creation of 

20          a new youth part, so that there's specially 

21          trained judges through Supreme Court.  

22                 But they'll start in criminal court.  

23          There's no longer the transfer of presumption 

24          down, you know, to Family Court, as was in 


 1          last year's proposal.  

 2                 So the majority of those 16- and 

 3          17-year-olds would be processed.  The 

 4          difference is once they are sentenced, they 

 5          wouldn't go to DOCCS or to a local jail for 

 6          those youth who have very short sentences, 

 7          but they would come to OCFS.  Okay?  And we, 

 8          as part of the Governor's executive proposal, 

 9          would develop a classification tool, in 

10          partnership with DOCCS, with the State 

11          Commission on Corrections, and with DCJS, and 

12          apply that rule based upon the youth's 

13          history, their service needs, to determine 

14          what's the right level of placement.  

15                 And one of the additions in the 

16          Governor's Executive proposal is the creation 

17          of a separate hybrid enhanced secure facility 

18          that could potentially be there for youth 

19          with enriched service needs.  

20                 The vast majority of the other youth, 

21          Senator, the projection is that over time, 

22          once we're fully implementing, over, again -- 

23          you know, the 16-year-olds would start in 

24          '18, the 17-year-olds in '19 -- we would 


 1          probably be looking at creating additional 

 2          capacity of about 700 beds, thereabouts, 

 3          within OCFS's mostly secure system.  

 4                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Thank you.  My time 

 5          is up, but I would like a second round 

 6          because I'd like to talk to you about Close 

 7          to Home, where we are on the implementation, 

 8          and also on child protective services and the 

 9          effect of the opioid abuse crisis on it.  So 

10          I'll wait for my second round.  

11                 Thank you.  

12                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Assembly.  

13                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Assemblywoman 

14          Jaffee.  

15                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN JAFFEE:  Thank you.  

16                 Good morning, Commissioner.  I know 

17          that you would agree that providing access to 

18          childcare significantly contributes to a 

19          child's well-being, preparing that child for 

20          the future socially, academically, in many 

21          ways, as well as providing important and 

22          successful outcomes for the working parents.

23                 This should be a priority in New York 

24          State.  Unfortunately, we're seeing much too 


 1          much disparities that exist to access, 

 2          regarding access to childcare.  And there are 

 3          a number of issues that I feel are essential 

 4          to be addressed.  I mean, just in terms of 

 5          funding, we need to significantly increase 

 6          funding.  And some of the issues in terms of 

 7          the 69 percent should -- we should bring it 

 8          back to 75 percent.  I think that is 

 9          absolutely essential.  

10                 And in terms of the subsidies, too 

11          many of our providers are closing down.  

12          They're also cutting back on the childcare 

13          services.  I have programs that have very 

14          long waiting lists, children and families who 

15          are struggling because they are not provided 

16          access to childcare.  It is becoming a very 

17          serious situation.  I mean they're lowering 

18          the eligibility below 200 percent of the 

19          federal poverty levels in many, many cases.  

20          Many have actually closed the application 

21          process because they do not have the finances 

22          to be able to offer the services.  

23                 And I could go on.  There are so many 

24          issues that are involved.  So are you hearing 


 1          this from the local districts regarding the 

 2          administration of the childcare subsidies and 

 3          the finances, the issues that they face?  

 4                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Thank you 

 5          for your comments, Assemblywoman.  Some 

 6          districts, yes, you know, we do hear concerns 

 7          about not having sufficient subsidy dollars, 

 8          you know, to meet the needs.  So yes, we do 

 9          hear that on occasion.  

10                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN JAFFEE:  Because we've 

11          been hearing that over and over from the 

12          providers as well as the organizations in 

13          support of the providers, that it's just 

14          becoming a very serious situation in terms of 

15          providing access appropriately to children 

16          and families throughout the state.  

17                 Another issue, in terms of the 

18          homeless -- which is also another major issue 

19          in terms of assuring that the families -- are 

20          we meeting the needs, the childcare needs of 

21          the homeless?  Is that something on the 

22          agenda in terms of ensuring that there are 

23          programs for the homeless in our communities?  

24                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  That's an 


 1          excellent point.  In fact, that is one of the 

 2          elements of the federal Child Care Act, is 

 3          making sure that states take appropriate 

 4          steps to make sure that families experiencing 

 5          homelessness do have immediate access to 

 6          childcare services.  

 7                 So our staff are working closely with 

 8          the Office of Temporary and Disability 

 9          Assistance to assess how we can strengthen 

10          our partnership in that area now, regardless 

11          of the provisions of the act.  But yes, it's 

12          on a issue with our homeless families as 

13          well.  

14                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN JAFFEE:  And with the 

15          federal mandate, with all the requirements 

16          that the federal mandate has put in place and 

17          the lack of funding that is being allocated, 

18          clearly the federal government provided 

19          nothing.  But I really believe that we as a 

20          state should at least put forward, you know, 

21          significant funds to be able to respond to 

22          what the providers will be providing, the 

23          services.  

24                 They are going to be -- they're 


 1          already struggling with the subsidies and the 

 2          level of the subsidies, and on top of that 

 3          comes this mandate.  We are going to lose 

 4          many providers throughout the state.  Our 

 5          families are going to lose the opportunity 

 6          for childcare; they will not be able to work.  

 7                 And this is a serious issue.  I 

 8          consider this an economic development issue.  

 9          This is about providing families the 

10          opportunity to have affordable childcare as 

11          well as giving families access to childcare 

12          so that they can work.  It's also about jobs, 

13          jobs that are involved with childcare.  We 

14          need to focus on this as an absolute priority 

15          in New York State as we move forward.  And I 

16          hope that is something that you will focus 

17          on.  

18                 (Applause from audience.)

19                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN JAFFEE:  Thank you.

20                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.

21                 Senator.  

22                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Senator Daniel 

23          Squadron.  

24                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Thank you very 


 1          much.  Nice to see you.  

 2                 So I'm a little confused.  Is it the 

 3          state's position or the Executive's position 

 4          that we're in favor of the new federal 

 5          guidelines or we're opposed to them and want 

 6          them not to go into effect?  

 7                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  You know, 

 8          as I said earlier, I think on principle, 

 9          Senator, the concepts are very good.  They 

10          move away from, you know, the federal dollars 

11          really being primarily a work support to the 

12          federal dollars really being more child 

13          development.  And it's very hard to argue 

14          with those principles.

15                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  So that's good for 

16          kids.

17                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Yes.  

18                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  And if we delay, it 

19          means that kids won't see the benefit of that 

20          until later.  Some kids, because they age out 

21          of childcare and go to school, will miss the 

22          benefit of that entirely.  

23                 So, you know, I understand that it's 

24          expensive and that certainly federal aid to 


 1          help with it would be wonderful.  But it 

 2          sounds like we're talking about asking for a 

 3          delay.  

 4                 Let me ask another question.  Two 

 5          hundred seven thousand beneficiaries, 

 6          currently, of the subsidy.  What percentage 

 7          of eligible is that again?  Of those who 

 8          would be eligible for it.

 9                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  I don't 

10          know that off the top of my head, Senator.  

11                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  I read it's about 

12          22 percent.  Does that sound --

13                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  It might 

14          be, I just -- I don't know, Senator.  

15                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Can we have a 

16          commitment here that the funding will be 

17          there to ensure that there are no cuts in the 

18          number of folks who are able to receive 

19          subsidies, whatever happens with the federal 

20          requirements?  

21                 (Applause from audience.) 

22                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Unfortunately, 

23          those are not the people testifying.

24                 (Laughter.)


 1                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  I can't 

 2          make that commitment here today, Senator.  

 3                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  So that may well 

 4          happen, then.

 5                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  I'm sorry?

 6                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  That may well 

 7          happen.

 8                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  I don't 

 9          know.  I don't know yet.  

10                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Is it fair to say 

11          that the choice before us is either to delay 

12          improvements in quality or cut subsidies?  

13                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  I think 

14          that's -- I think that's the dilemma that 

15          states are finding themselves in, as I said 

16          earlier, in trying to implement this act.  So 

17          yes.  

18                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  I mean, that's not 

19          an acceptable choice.  It does sound like the 

20          choice the Legislature is being given right 

21          now with this budget proposal.  That's an 

22          enormous problem.  

23                 Just finally, just so I understand, 

24          because this is the other confusing thing, is 


 1          the contention that $10 million is sufficient 

 2          for the new regulations, or is the contention 

 3          that it will be delayed and therefore we only 

 4          need 10 million, but 90 million is the 

 5          correct number?

 6                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  I think 

 7          it's an initial investment to try and 

 8          initially comply with that element of the 

 9          increased inspections required by the act.  

10                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  So we agree, 

11          90 million is about the right number.  

12          Because if there's debate on that 90 million 

13          number, I'd be happy to know that.  Is there?  

14                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  I think 

15          it's fair to say, Senator, that it's possible 

16          once the new federal regulations are 

17          promulgated, it may in fact turn out to mean 

18          more than $10 million.  

19                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Like 90 million?  

20                 (Laughter.)

21                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  I mean, is there a 

22          reason to doubt that number?  Yes, no, maybe?  

23                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  No, 

24          there's no reason to doubt it.  


 1                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Okay, so we'll go 

 2          with 90 million.  So we have an $80 million 

 3          gap; there's going to be $80 million in cuts 

 4          to existing subsidies.  

 5                 Let's talk about evidence-based home 

 6          visiting.  I notice that Healthy Families is 

 7          proposed at last year's level, and 

 8          Nurse-Family Partnership is proposed at a cut 

 9          from last year.  Are all of the eligible 

10          families for evidence-based maternal home 

11          visiting, which has an enormous return on 

12          investment to the state, has tripartisan 

13          support in the Senate, bipartisan support in 

14          the Assembly -- is there any reason to be 

15          reluctant to have the funding to offer that 

16          to every eligible family?  

17                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  So the 

18          Nurse-Family Partnership is in the Department 

19          of Health's budget, Senator.

20                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  And Healthy 

21          Families.  I'm talking about evidence-based 

22          maternal home visiting, which is very, very 

23          much an Office of Children and Family 

24          Services issue.  


 1                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Yeah.  

 2          Yeah.  I think we're pleased to see that in 

 3          our current budget we're maintaining our 

 4          $23.3 million to support Healthy Families.

 5                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Great.  Do you know 

 6          how many families that serves?

 7                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  

 8          Approximately 6,000 a year.  

 9                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Do you know how 

10          many are eligible every year?  

11                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  I don't.  

12                 SENATOR SQUADRON:   About 120,000.  

13                 It's just confusing that we have 

14          programs that are working, that (A) we silo 

15          them and (B) we maintain a funding stream 

16          that excludes 95 percent of eligible 

17          families.  I'm just confused about what the 

18          policy decision is there.  Would you mind 

19          explaining?

20                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  You know, 

21          Senator, the best answer I can give you is 

22          that, you know, we have to make a lot of 

23          decisions about which program to fund.  

24          You're absolutely right, the Nurse-Family 


 1          Partnership and, you know, Healthy Families 

 2          have proven, you know, outcomes.  But the 

 3          truth is there's a lot of other priority 

 4          needs as well.  So, you know, again, it comes 

 5          back to if we had more money to invest, those 

 6          are the kinds of programs with proven track 

 7          records and good returns on investment.  

 8                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  I mean, I would 

 9          just urge, both when it comes to childcare, 

10          where we have a lack of available subsidies 

11          for those who are income eligible, a lack of 

12          support for middle-class families, and 

13          evidence-based maternal home visiting, that 

14          we should really put money where we know 

15          we're going to need to spend it -- 

16          $90 million is the new federal regulations, a 

17          gap of those who are getting subsidies, and 

18          programs for new families that save money and 

19          save lives over time.  

20                 It's just strange that we just do what 

21          we've always done instead of trying to 

22          improve things.  So I would really urge and 

23          hope that in the 30-day amendments we see a 

24          goal of improvement, not sort of treading 


 1          water or drowning.  Thank you.

 2                 (Applause from audience.)

 3                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Assembly.

 4                 And also could we maintain order in 

 5          the house, please.

 6                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Assemblywoman 

 7          Jaffee -- Assemblywoman Fahy, I'm sorry.

 8                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN FAHY:  Thank you, 

 9          Mr. Chairman.

10                 Good morning, and thank you, 

11          Commissioner, for being here. 

12                 Just a couple of questions, but I just 

13          want to start by reiterating that I do share 

14          the concern about the -- no question, I think 

15          there have been a number of questions 

16          already -- but I do want to share the concern 

17          about what I also think is a lack of funding 

18          in terms of implementing the new childcare 

19          regs, given the extraordinary demand out 

20          there.

21                 One related question to that, however.  

22          What would the -- or do you know what the 

23          number would be if we brought the childcare 

24          market rates up to 75 percent?  Do you know 


 1          what that might cost?  I know you did say 

 2          we're at about 69 or so right now.  If we 

 3          brought it up to the 75th percentile, is 

 4          there an estimate as to what that might be in 

 5          funds?

 6                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  

 7          Assemblywoman, I don't have that figure with 

 8          me here.  I can certainly follow up.

 9                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN FAHY:  Okay.  I mean, 

10          given the expense and given the needs, 

11          obviously it would be another great goal in 

12          addition to the needs of the impending 

13          regulations.

14                 Switching gears, after-school funds.  

15          I know there was limited additional funds put 

16          in last year.  Certainly there was another 

17          op-ed this morning from the After-School 

18          Network, and the number that we keep hearing 

19          is that there's an unmet need of about a 

20          million students across the state who are 

21          estimated to be not served.

22                 Do you have a sense of what the 

23          department might be doing now to try to 

24          expand within the dollars they have, and if 


 1          that number is a number you would concur with 

 2          in terms of the need out there for 

 3          after-school?

 4                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  I have not 

 5          read the report that, you know, you 

 6          referenced, Assemblywoman.  So, you know, we 

 7          have the Advantage After-School, it's 17 

 8          something in our budget.  And I believe 

 9          there's 15,000 youth across the state who are 

10          able to benefit from after-school, you know, 

11          programs, which is terrific.  I think we have 

12          117 contracts across the state.

13                 So I think that's in recognition that 

14          they're great programs to support, you know, 

15          youth in communities.  And, you know, we are 

16          maintaining that in the proposed exhibit.

17                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN FAHY:  Okay.  Thank you, 

18          Commissioner.  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

19                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.

20                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

21                 Our next speaker is Senator Kennedy.

22                 SENATOR KENNEDY:  Thank you, 

23          Commissioner.  I want to touch base a little 

24          bit about the resources for caseworkers, 


 1          childcare workers, throughout the state as it 

 2          pertains to investigating reports of abuse.

 3                 As you know, we've had some horrific 

 4          incidents out in Western New York.  They seem 

 5          to have been cyclical in nature.  A lot of 

 6          the problems and abuses that we're seeing, 

 7          you know, are oftentimes due to generational 

 8          poverty and substance abuse, mental health 

 9          issues that are happening.  And I believe 

10          it's very, very important that our state 

11          provide the proper amount of resources for 

12          our caseworkers on the front lines.  I know 

13          you share the same sentiment.

14                 I'd like to hear a little bit about 

15          what your office has done due to this 

16          scourge, in many ways, across our community 

17          in Western New York, as well as the state, in 

18          providing those resources for our 

19          caseworkers.

20                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  So I would 

21          just also make a comment, Senator, that we've 

22          seen good progress in Western New York since 

23          those tragedies several years ago.  And, you 

24          know, to the credit of the Erie County 


 1          Department of Social Services and new 

 2          leadership there, they've really made a lot 

 3          of progress in turning things around.  

 4                 We've provided, of course, a lot of 

 5          support to them, a lot of training, 

 6          assistance, to support the caseworkers that 

 7          they were bringing on board.

 8                 But I think as a general response, you 

 9          know, to your question -- and thank you for 

10          recognizing, you know, we too at the Office 

11          of Children and Family Services take very 

12          seriously the responsibilities that 

13          front-line child protective service workers 

14          have across the state.  In many ways, they 

15          are our first responders to the most 

16          horrific, difficult situations that anyone 

17          could be expected to walk into.

18                 We're doing work with counties now 

19          in -- we have a workgroup that we launched at 

20          the end of last year bringing together some 

21          of the commissioners and caseworkers to look 

22          at our current model of training and coaching 

23          and supporting caseworkers.  Again, given 

24          the, as the Senator mentioned, the trends in 


 1          heroin and opiate abuse, caseworkers are 

 2          always walking in, you know, to new 

 3          situations.

 4                 So I think we do our best to try and 

 5          enhance our training so that they're armed 

 6          with the best tools and skills.  And we've 

 7          also invested a lot of money in recent years 

 8          in child protective service supervisors.  

 9          Right?  Because you can have a great 

10          front-line worker, but if there's not good 

11          supervision, then unfortunately that's not 

12          the kind of support that they need.

13                 So we've had, with support from the 

14          feds and Casey Family Programs, an enhanced 

15          supervision model that a number of our 

16          districts have been taking advantage of to 

17          strengthen CPS practice and supervision.  

18                 So I think those are a couple of 

19          examples, hopefully, that will address your 

20          question, Senator.

21                 SENATOR KENNEDY:  Thank you.  I want 

22          to switch gears to the Workforce Development 

23          Initiative Facilitated Enrollment Program.  

24          There's a gap between job training that we're 


 1          putting a major focus on and available 

 2          childcare.  And there's been a lot of talk 

 3          throughout this hearing about childcare.  

 4          There's a lot of funding and attention on 

 5          workforce development and training for 

 6          adults, but if they can't afford the 

 7          childcare or they don't qualify for subsidies 

 8          at 135 percent or 200 percent above the 

 9          federal poverty rate, they can't secure 

10          childcare.  And they can't go to work anyway.

11                 And so, you know, in regard to the WDI 

12          Facilitated Enrollment Program that allows 

13          for these subsidies to be increased to 

14          275 percent, and this program is implemented 

15          in various counties across the state, 

16          Erie County is not one of them.  I've been 

17          making a major push to get Erie County 

18          included.  There can be a case for making 

19          Buffalo, which is considered one of the 

20          poorest cities in the country, certainly in 

21          the state, to qualify for this through the 

22          WDI's program.  It would bring in 300 

23          families in Erie County.

24                 Is there anything standing in the way 


 1          of making this happen?

 2                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  You know, 

 3          Senator, I don't know.  But I'm writing down 

 4          notes; I'll be happy to look into that for 

 5          you.

 6                 SENATOR KENNEDY:  Again, the number 

 7          we're looking at is $2.5 million.  That's 

 8          just for Erie County.  That would bring in 

 9          300 families and allow these families to go 

10          to work and give them the ability to afford 

11          childcare.  It's a major priority for our 

12          community.  I think it's important.

13                 Thank you.

14                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

15                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Assemblywoman 

16          Mayer.

17                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN MAYER:  Good morning.  

18          Thank you for being here.

19                 Two questions.  One is on the issue of 

20          making after-school availability clearer to 

21          parents.  The department was directed by the 

22          Governor's office, it's my understanding, to 

23          enhance the ability of parents to actually 

24          find funded after-school programs online.  


 1                 And I wonder if you know the status of 

 2          the department's efforts to make it easier 

 3          for parents to simply find funded quality 

 4          after-school programs like they have in 

 5          New York City but we don't have in the rest 

 6          of the state.  I wonder if you know the 

 7          status of the department's efforts on that.

 8                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  

 9          Assemblywoman, I don't.  I'll be happy to get 

10          back to you on that.

11                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN MAYER:  Okay.  I'd 

12          appreciate that.

13                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Of course.

14                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN MAYER:  And the second 

15          thing is, to the issue of the low percentage 

16          of children who are in subsidized care 

17          compared to the families that are eligible, 

18          one of the challenges is that counties have 

19          their own policies, as you know, and then 

20          there's no uniform policy across the state.  

21                 What is the department doing to -- 

22          from a policy point of view to ensure that 

23          children are more widely -- that families 

24          know about subsidized care and that you push 


 1          counties to make every effort to ensure that 

 2          more children are enrolled in subsidized 

 3          care?  I have the feeling the department has 

 4          a somewhat passive relationship with the 

 5          counties on this subject, and I wondered what 

 6          is your approach to that?

 7                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Sure.  So 

 8          in terms of, you know, education for 

 9          families, as I said earlier, Assemblywoman, 

10          we do contract with 34 CCR&Rs across the 

11          state.  So, you know, they are embedded in 

12          communities, they should be the first point 

13          of contact for families, you know, seeking 

14          care.

15                 So I feel like we -- and again, you 

16          know, through a variety of modalities -- have 

17          really tried to make sure that any families 

18          seeking care, that it's not that difficult to 

19          find help in answering some of those 

20          questions.

21                 With respect to the local departments 

22          of social services, you know, certainly one 

23          active step that OCFS has taken in the past 

24          several years is to make sure that local 


 1          departments of social services are, to the 

 2          extent possible, spending all of their 

 3          childcare allocations.  And so 10 years ago 

 4          we allowed for a lot of rollover, was the 

 5          term that we used, but in the recent years we 

 6          have set limits -- it's 15 percent of the 

 7          district's local childcare allocation.  

 8          Because there is fluidity, and it's okay to 

 9          have a little bit of wiggle room.  

10                 But we do watch rollover.  And if a 

11          district is rolling over more money than is 

12          permitted, we do reduce their allocation and 

13          redistribute it to other local departments of 

14          social services -- you know, making sure that 

15          there's not unspent childcare money on the 

16          table that could be used to provide subsidy 

17          to other families.

18                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN MAYER:  Okay.  Have you 

19          ever challenged any county's determination of 

20          how much money they actually have to spend on 

21          subsidized care?

22                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  No, I 

23          don't believe we have.

24                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN MAYER:  Okay, thank you.


 1                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

 2                 Senator Krueger.

 3                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Good morning.

 4                 So following up on so many of my 

 5          colleagues' concerns about childcare and the 

 6          inadequacy of funding for subsidized 

 7          childcare -- Senator Kennedy just raised the 

 8          plea for the City of Buffalo, Erie County, 

 9          and I would suggest that there's probably not 

10          one county who doesn't share the Senator's 

11          views that there's a hue and cry for more 

12          available, affordable childcare throughout 

13          the State of New York.

14                 I'm a little confused when I try to 

15          get my arms around it.  And I think your 

16          inability to perhaps estimate how many unmet 

17          needs there are is we split it all up between 

18          multiple agencies.  So OCFS oversees OTDA -- 

19          right, you're still the ranking agency over 

20          OTDA; is that correct?

21                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  I've never 

22          actually heard it referred to that way.

23                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Okay.  I think in 

24          statute you are.


 1                 So in OTDA, and they'll be up next, I 

 2          see actually a $100 million increase in TANF 

 3          funding for subsidized childcare.  

 4                 So can you help me, and perhaps all of 

 5          us, understand how the state in totality 

 6          looks at unmet need and attempts to address 

 7          childcare support for families in New York 

 8          State who may or may not be on specific 

 9          public benefits but are all relatively 

10          low-income, trying to get into or stay in the 

11          workforce?  How do you do that work, and how 

12          does it come out that, you know, your 

13          division doesn't see an increase but there's 

14          TANF money moved to it?  And does somebody 

15          oversee the whole thing and go, Well, this 

16          will help these folks over here, but we still 

17          aren't addressing these folks over here?

18                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Mm-hmm.  

19          Right.  So we do, with respect to the 

20          childcare, we share the TANF fund.  And, you 

21          know, we work together to make sure that the 

22          TANF fund is used as flexibly and as 

23          appropriately as possible.  

24                 And so you're correct that in this 


 1          year's budget there's an additional -- 

 2          there's an offset.  There's an additional 

 3          $100 million of federal TANF money being used 

 4          to support the childcare allocation.

 5                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  And who decides 

 6          where that goes versus, I think, the 

 7          discussion so far this morning with any 

 8          number of us discussing how desperately we 

 9          need childcare funds probably not within the 

10          TANF eligibility?

11                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  So we do 

12          that.  I mean, we share the same DOB unit, so 

13          there's good consultation between our 

14          departments and our unit chiefs.  And I think 

15          that's where the shared decision making comes 

16          in, Senator, about how the TANF and FFFS 

17          funds can be used to support the various 

18          programs within our two agencies.

19                 As to more mechanical details, I don't 

20          have them right here today.

21                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Okay.  So can I ask 

22          you to do follow-up for us --

23                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Of course.

24                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  -- with some kind of 


 1          documentation of if one looks at the various 

 2          funding streams that go through the state for 

 3          subsidies to childcare, what are they all, 

 4          regardless if whether they're in OTDA's 

 5          budget or your budget, what are the different 

 6          eligibility standards for those, and 

 7          approximate number of children being served 

 8          by -- (broadcast noise).  Sorry.  God was 

 9          here for a minute.

10                 And is there a breakdown of numbers of 

11          children being served and geographic 

12          distribution?  I think that would actually 

13          help all of us.

14                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Okay.

15                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Then following up on 

16          the issues of the only $10 million for 

17          $90 million worth of work and the concern 

18          that we are actually simply placing this on 

19          the providers for them to have to pick up the 

20          costs if the federal government doesn't 

21          either (A) allow us to delay -- which Senator 

22          Squadron points out puts our children at 

23          continuing risk for these things happening if 

24          we're delaying -- or places the cost on 


 1          providers.

 2                 Does your agency evaluate how much 

 3          providers -- what kind of margin the 

 4          providers are operating on now?  I mean, when 

 5          I hear that the state is asking them to pick 

 6          up $80 million of new costs, or potentially 

 7          asking them to pick up, I'm curious -- how 

 8          much of a bite is that into the actual 

 9          ability of these providers to remain open?

10                 Because I hear constantly the 

11          reimbursement for the kids is incredibly low, 

12          the cost for the parents continues to grow 

13          percentagewise, perhaps unrealistically for 

14          many people, and now we are basically placing 

15          I guess I would call it, in Albany lingo, a 

16          new unfunded mandate on -- even if it's the 

17          feds handing us the mandate, an unfunded 

18          mandate not on the localities in this 

19          situation, but on the actual providers.

20                 So is there any mechanism for 

21          evaluating sort of what share of their total 

22          income we're asking them to have to turn over 

23          for these new costs?  I'm wondering if you 

24          know that now.


 1                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  I do not 

 2          know that answer.

 3                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  So if you could also 

 4          get back to us on that.

 5                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Yes --

 6                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Because clearly 

 7          you're seeing that we're all very disturbed 

 8          about the concept that so, yes, the feds 

 9          should have given us the money if they were 

10          making the mandate, but they don't seem to be 

11          cooperating -- and I think you're hearing 

12          here the concept that asking the childcare 

13          providers to pick up these costs themselves 

14          not only is unfair, but may actually be the 

15          straw that breaks the camel's back and 

16          results in our having fewer childcare 

17          providers who are following the laws in New 

18          York State.

19                 So I would love if you could get back 

20          to me with that also.

21                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Yes, 

22          Senator.

23                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  I'm out of time.  

24          Thank you.


 1                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, Senator.

 2                 Assemblyman?

 3                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.

 4                 Assemblyman Goodell.

 5                 ASSEMBLYMAN GOODELL:  Thank you very 

 6          much, Commissioner, for being with us this 

 7          morning.

 8                 Of course we've talked a lot about the 

 9          additional $90 million cost coming down from 

10          the federal government and the lack of 

11          additional funding in your budget for that, 

12          but that's only part of the costs that the 

13          childcare providers are facing.  The Governor 

14          has also proposed, as you know, nearly a 

15          70 percent increase in minimum wage.  

16                 Are we anticipating a 70 percent 

17          increase in funding for childcare support or 

18          a reduction in our commitment to childcare 

19          support by 70 percent over the next several 

20          years?  Do you have any visions or 

21          perspective on that?

22                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Thank you.  

23          It's a very good question.

24                 So I do know that the administration, 


 1          you know, has the goal of raising the minimum 

 2          wage.  But I think there's also a 

 3          recognition, Assemblyman, that there's got to 

 4          be some deep analysis and the appropriate 

 5          time taken to consider the impacts of that 

 6          analysis.  

 7                 And so we are working with the 

 8          Division of the Budget I think to address 

 9          that very kind of analysis that you just 

10          asked.  It's not yet complete.  But I think 

11          taking all that information in will really 

12          help guide the administration and the 

13          Legislature about how we could raise the 

14          minimum wage.

15                 ASSEMBLYMAN GOODELL:  I would 

16          certainly appreciate a copy of that analysis 

17          if you can provide it to me, because 

18          obviously I don't want to be in a situation 

19          where I'm voting for a cut in daycare 

20          subsidies -- an effective cut -- by imposing 

21          a substantial increase in the cost without 

22          providing an appropriate level of funding.

23                 So if you could provide that to us, 

24          that would be great.


 1                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Thank you, 

 2          Assemblyman.

 3                 ASSEMBLYMAN GOODELL:  I want to change 

 4          topics just a little bit and talk a little 

 5          bit about the Raise the Age.  

 6                 Am I correct that under this proposal 

 7          we create a special Youth Division in 

 8          superior court and we eliminate the role of 

 9          all the town courts or town justices, even on 

10          misdemeanors?

11                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  You know, 

12          I'm not the expert, I'm not an attorney, and 

13          that was probably a great question for 

14          Commissioner Green at DCJS.  

15                 But what I do know is that there will 

16          be the creation of the youth part in the 

17          existing criminal court.  Those judges will 

18          be trained to handle those cases.  But I also 

19          believe, Assemblyman, that there is a 

20          recognition, particularly in some of the 

21          smaller rural counties, that some of those 

22          new youth parts may need to create training 

23          opportunities for the existing, you know, 

24          judges who wear multiple hats.


 1                 ASSEMBLYMAN GOODELL:  Well, I just 

 2          would point out that a lot of times the 16-, 

 3          17-year-olds get into minor scrapes, if you 

 4          will, with the law, involving misdemeanors, 

 5          you know, criminal mischief, petty larceny, 

 6          trespass -- there's a number of minor crimes 

 7          that are not felonies that might best be 

 8          handled in the local court, justice court, 

 9          with a town judge who knows the family, knows 

10          the situation, often knows the kids.  

11                 And I would really encourage the 

12          administration not to move those minor crimes 

13          into the criminal court system.

14                 The other concern I have is that 

15          there's no secure detention at all operated 

16          by OCFS in my county.  And I represent over a 

17          thousand square miles.  So if we eliminate 

18          any incarceration even in the local jail, 

19          that means low-income families would have to 

20          drive hours round-trip to visit their son or 

21          daughter.  And in the rural counties, we 

22          don't have subways that run from Jamestown to 

23          Buffalo.  We don't even have aboveground 

24          trains.  We don't have mass transit.  It's a 


 1          huge imposition and a real disservice if we 

 2          can't provide youth detention facilities that 

 3          are relatively close to the families.

 4                 So I would ask you -- I know you 

 5          mentioned in response to Senator Carlucci 

 6          that you thought there would be enough 

 7          spaces.  But it's not just enough spaces, 

 8          it's the location of those spaces as well.

 9                 Can you address that issue?

10                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  So one of 

11          the things, you know, that I think we are 

12          proud of in our own state-run juvenile 

13          justice system -- again, we also try, 

14          whenever possible, to find a placement within 

15          our system that is as close to home as 

16          possible for families for the very reasons, 

17          you know, that you articulate. 

18                 And so, you know, when we would grow 

19          our system, right, to accommodate the need 

20          for more secure facilities in a Raise the Age 

21          scenario, one of the things, Assemblyman, 

22          that we would certainly look at is where are 

23          youth coming into the system.  Right?  So we 

24          try and have a strategy and build the new 


 1          capacity in those areas for proximity 

 2          reasons.  So that's the first thing I would 

 3          say.

 4                 The second thing is that we have a big 

 5          focus within our current New York model and 

 6          our juvenile justice programs on supporting 

 7          family visitation.  And so we provide bus 

 8          transportation, we pay for families and 

 9          siblings.  And in some instances where we 

10          have young people who are parents, to come up 

11          to our facilities, have protected family 

12          visiting time.  And we really try and support 

13          that, knowing that it improves the likelihood 

14          of success upon reentry into the community.

15                 ASSEMBLYMAN GOODELL:  Thank you, 

16          Commissioner.

17                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.

18                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.  Thank 

19          you very much.

20                 I'd like to point out that we've been 

21          joined by Senator Velmanette Montgomery.  

22          Welcome.

23                 I would like to question, because I 

24          have several questions and I'll probably have 


 1          to come back for a third round as chair.  

 2                 But we've touched on it a little bit 

 3          that the Governor has once again included 

 4          Article VII legislation to raise the age of 

 5          juvenile jurisdiction and implement juvenile 

 6          justice reforms.  And under the proposal, the 

 7          age of juvenile jurisdiction would rise to 

 8          16 years old on January 1, 2018, and to 

 9          17 years old on January 1, 2019.

10                 And we've asked some questions about 

11          the juvenile facilities.  I would like to 

12          associate myself with Assemblyman Goodell's 

13          concerns about in the Western Region, all of 

14          the state facilities for youth have been 

15          closed.  And in fact Great Valley was closed 

16          by the state a few years ago; Cattaraugus 

17          Limestone was closed.  And so there is a 

18          great deal of travel time for families if 

19          they want to go visit their children in 

20          another part of the state.  So I just would 

21          like to point that out.

22                 But how many additional youth do you 

23          envision being placed with OCFS as a result 

24          of raising the age?


 1                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  So if the 

 2          bill were enacted as proposed, Senator, there 

 3          would be approximately 700 additional youth 

 4          at full implementation that would be served 

 5          within the OCFS system.

 6                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  And as you 

 7          previously stated, you feel that the system 

 8          as it exists right now would be able to 

 9          handle that excess capacity?

10                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Some of 

11          it.  I mean, you know, we have some capacity 

12          within the system.  But I think we would also 

13          look to some facilities that we may have 

14          decommissioned in the past.  You know, we'd 

15          have to really look at the whole picture if 

16          the bill were to pass.

17                 But it's possible that some new 

18          facilities would need to be reopened.

19                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  How many do you 

20          have as detention facilities currently right 

21          now under OCFS?

22                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  So we have 

23          one reception center.  That's in Brooklyn, 

24          and that does assessments for youth coming 


 1          into the system -- not secure youth, but 

 2          youth coming in for limited secure or 

 3          nonsecure care.  And then we have 11 other 

 4          facilities.  We have I think four secure 

 5          facilities, and then the rest are a mix of 

 6          limited secure facilities and nonsecure.

 7                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Okay, thank you.

 8                 How many of the facilities in the 

 9          state are operated by OCFS, and then how many 

10          are voluntary agencies?

11                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  So there 

12          are approximately 88 voluntary agencies 

13          across the state operating a variety of 

14          foster-care and juvenile justice programs.

15                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.  

16                 One of the issues that I've been 

17          concerned about over the years is the high 

18          rate of violence within the facilities, and 

19          it's been both youth-on-youth and then 

20          youth-on-staff.  And as a matter of fact, it 

21          was a bipartisan effort, but a Democratic 

22          Assemblyman and I actually looked at the 

23          figures a few years ago, and workers' comp 

24          cases pointed to the fact that these 


 1          facilities were the most dangerous places to 

 2          work in the state because of the violence on 

 3          the staff.

 4                 So could you please tell us about what 

 5          the current rate of violence in the juvenile 

 6          detention facilities is, both youth-on-youth 

 7          and youth-on-staff?

 8                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Certainly.  

 9                 So I think overall last year our 

10          restraints, number of restraints on youth is 

11          down about 15 percent from 2014.  Our 

12          youth-on-youth violence is down slightly by 

13          2 percent.  And our youth-on-staff assaults 

14          was up slightly by about 3 percent.

15                 I would also just add, Senator, as a 

16          point of I think important information, you 

17          know, while workers' comp claims are up, you 

18          know, part of our model, as you may recall 

19          from our previous system and our involvement 

20          with the Department of Justice, was moving 

21          away from a prone restraint, that a restraint 

22          was the first response as a way to manage the 

23          situation.  We've done a tremendous amount of 

24          work in the past decade or so creating an 


 1          alternative model that balances 

 2          accountability and recognizes that these are 

 3          young people who have a lot of mental health 

 4          needs and other services.  

 5                 So our restraint model that we have 

 6          created now is a whole continuum of 

 7          deescalation techniques that we have learned.  

 8          We've also consulted with DOCCS to help 

 9          improve our deescalation techniques.  

10                 But the fact of the matter is that a 

11          fair number of our workers' comp claims are 

12          as a result of a staff perhaps having a knee 

13          injury while safely performing, you know, a 

14          different type of restraint than they did in 

15          the past.  So I just -- I think that's 

16          important context when we're talking about 

17          the violence.  

18                 The other thing I would say that is 

19          different is that even when there are 

20          situations where the youth are having a 

21          fight, one youth is going after another youth 

22          in the facility, you know, those things are 

23          going to happen when you have young people, 

24          you know, living together.  They can be 


 1          impulsive, they're living in a relatively 

 2          confined space, you know, with that group.  I 

 3          think you can all appreciate that.  

 4                 But I think what we've tried very hard 

 5          to do as an agency is how we manage our 

 6          response to those incidents so that they are 

 7          addressed very quickly, that they are 

 8          managed.  And we have made tremendous 

 9          investments in our facilities to have 

10          enhanced staffing, to have additional 

11          cameras, to have specialized security 

12          staff -- as I said, to have specialized 

13          deescalation techniques.

14                 So you know, Senator, I think our OCFS 

15          system today honestly is a very different 

16          system than the one some of you may recall, 

17          you know, from a decade ago.  And I certainly 

18          would encourage all of you to come out and 

19          visit some of our facilities so you can see 

20          firsthand I think some of the changes we've 

21          tried to make.

22                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you for that.

23                 And you said there were some minor 

24          reductions, 2 and 3 percent.  And I would say 


 1          to you that, you know, as a state it's our 

 2          responsibility to keep the youth that are 

 3          under our care safe, and at the same time 

 4          it's an important responsibility to make sure 

 5          that our employees are safe.  And I would 

 6          appreciate any workers' comp case statistics 

 7          or information that you may have.  I don't 

 8          know if you're prepared today to give it to 

 9          us, but, you know, do you have that, the 

10          number of claims for employees in these 

11          facilities, and the value?

12                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  I don't 

13          have it with me, Senator.  We'd be happy to 

14          follow up with that information.

15                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  That would be very 

16          helpful.

17                 As you know, we've had tragedies that 

18          have occurred.  One that comes to mind is 

19          Renee Greco, who was murdered in a voluntary 

20          agency house in Western New York by some of 

21          the youth that were there, 19 years old, for 

22          example.  And since that time, what changes 

23          have been made in those types of scenarios?  

24          because she was, you know, in her early 20s, 


 1          left alone with six youth; some had a history 

 2          of violence.  And, you know, as a result, we 

 3          had a tragedy.

 4                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Yes.

 5                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  So have there been 

 6          any changes to address those situations?  

 7          Because it was hard to imagine why a young 

 8          girl was left in charge of people with those 

 9          kinds of criminal histories.

10                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Yes.  So, 

11          Senator, you may also recall that after that 

12          terrible tragedy, as you just described, 

13          occurred, you know, OCFS took immediate 

14          action with that agency, and that particular 

15          program has since closed.

16                 I think, generally speaking, all of 

17          our foster care providers, including those 

18          that run the type of facility that you 

19          mentioned, are intensively focused on 

20          employee safety as well.  So there's 

21          additional training, there's enhanced 

22          staffing.  In fact, we just had a meeting 

23          with COFCCA, the child and family childcare 

24          agencies, to really engage in additional 


 1          conversation together, how can we continue to 

 2          explore improving safety.

 3                 But I think it's fair and accurate to 

 4          say that following that tragedy, where a 

 5          young woman was on staff alone that evening, 

 6          is something that you would not find today in 

 7          one of our agencies across the state.

 8                 The other thing that's changed 

 9          substantially, Senator, is the fact that the 

10          Justice Center has also been created and 

11          again is another additional level of 

12          oversight, not only to certainly protect the 

13          vulnerable people who are being served, 

14          right, in a variety of programs, but also to 

15          hold all of us accountable, and those running 

16          programs, to make sure that we're doing a 

17          good job keeping staff safe as well.

18                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you for that 

19          answer.

20                 I've been involved heavily and very 

21          concerned about juvenile justice for a long 

22          time.  And right after I was elected to the 

23          New York State Assembly in 1999, in my 

24          district, in Salamanca, we had a terrible 


 1          case:  39-year-old Penny Brown went jogging 

 2          on Mother's Day on a trail, so it was in the 

 3          middle of the day in Salamanca, with her two 

 4          dogs, and she never came home.  She had been 

 5          strangled with her dog's leash, and raped.  

 6          So she was raped and murdered by a 

 7          15-year-old by the name of Edward Kindt.  

 8                 Edward Kindt had previous violent 

 9          offenses and was supposed to be under the 

10          supervision of the Office of Children and 

11          Family Services.  Obviously the ball was 

12          dropped somewhere.  And as a result, we 

13          pushed very hard to pass Penny's Law, 

14          successfully, which actually increased the 

15          determinate sentencing of youth who commit 

16          second-degree murder.

17                 So under the Governor's current 

18          proposal regarding Raise the Age, the age of 

19          criminal responsibility, as I said, for 16- 

20          and 17-year-olds would be raised, and there's 

21          a system that would be created called youth 

22          parts within a superior court in each county 

23          to exercise criminal jurisdiction.  It's a 

24          change from what the Governor proposed last 


 1          year, but I still have concerns because the 

 2          result could be that people who commit 

 3          violent crimes could end up going to family 

 4          court and actually have a decriminalization 

 5          and a big reduction in a penalty.

 6                 And I just want to read some of the 

 7          offenses that would be included under this 

 8          proposal:  First-degree murder; second-degree 

 9          murder; first-degree kidnapping; first-degree 

10          arson; first-degree assault; first-degree 

11          manslaughter; first-degree rape; first-degree 

12          criminal sexual act; first-degree aggravated 

13          sexual abuse; second-degree kidnapping but 

14          only where the abduction involved the threat 

15          or use of deadly physical force; 

16          second-degree arson; first-degree robbery; 

17          attempt to commit first- or second-degree 

18          murder; attempt to commit first-degree 

19          kidnapping, such conduct committed as a 

20          sexually motivated felony; first-degree 

21          burglary; second-degree burglary; 

22          second-degree robbery; second-degree criminal 

23          possession of a weapon where such is 

24          possessed on school grounds, such conduct 


 1          committed as a sexually motivated felony; 

 2          second-degree assault; criminally negligent 

 3          homicide; aggravated criminally negligent 

 4          homicide; second-degree manslaughter; 

 5          second-degree aggravated manslaughter; 

 6          first-degree aggravated manslaughter; 

 7          first-degree course of sexual conduct against 

 8          a child; predatory sexual assault; operating 

 9          as a major trafficker; first-degree criminal 

10          possession of a chemical weapon or biological 

11          weapon; first-degree criminal use of a 

12          chemical weapon or biological weapon, such 

13          conduct committed as a sexually motivated 

14          felony; specified offense when committed as 

15          an act of terrorism; any felony-level act of 

16          terrorism.  

17                 So that's the list.  And I understand 

18          that the Governor has changed his proposal so 

19          that it would go to the youth parts in the 

20          superior court, as I said, but there would 

21          still be the opportunity -- and I understand 

22          that it's with district attorneys signing 

23          off, but still, the opportunity for these 

24          very serious violent crimes to actually be 


 1          reduced in family court and basically 

 2          decriminalized.

 3                 So I just want to point that out to 

 4          you because I think that that is something 

 5          that many members of the Legislature are 

 6          concerned about, and public safety is one of 

 7          our most basic responsibilities as elected 

 8          officials.  So I didn't know if you wanted to 

 9          comment on --

10                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Yeah.  No.  

11          So -- and I think what you just recited, 

12          Senator, I think is in recognition that I 

13          think the Governor and the administration too 

14          want to be certain that as we raise the age, 

15          that it's done so safely, that community 

16          safety is not compromised, and that young 

17          people who need to be held accountable are 

18          held accountable but also, at the same time, 

19          are given an opportunity, given the fact that 

20          they are juveniles and all the research 

21          points to the need for treatment and 

22          rehabilitation.  

23                 If it's any small comfort to you, I 

24          believe that when we look at the number of 


 1          young people, the 16- and 17-year-olds who 

 2          have been coming to the attention of the 

 3          criminal court system, the jail offenses, 

 4          that the vast majority -- and I want to say 

 5          it's about 92 percent, but don't quote me on 

 6          that -- but nonetheless, a very high 

 7          percentage of those 16- and 17-year-olds who 

 8          have been coming to the attention of the 

 9          system are for nonviolent offenses, the top 

10          offenses being burglary, robbery, and some 

11          level of assault.

12                 But again, you know, Senator, as we 

13          continue to deliberate the Raise the Age 

14          proposal, I think any additional information 

15          about the types of youth we could certainly 

16          share with you.  

17                 And certainly I think we recognize, 

18          based upon the proposal last year, there was 

19          a concern about a presumptive transfer down 

20          to family court, which as you point out is 

21          not part of this proposal, and that it is 

22          upon the consent of the DA or a grand jury.  

23          And so, you know, that control is really left 

24          in the criminal court system.


 1                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Okay.  Thank you.  

 2                 I still have some deep concerns about 

 3          this proposal, but at this point I'll defer 

 4          to the Assembly and come back for some more 

 5          questioning.

 6                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Assemblyman Oaks.

 7                 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:  Thank you, 

 8          Commissioner.

 9                 In the state, the Child Care and 

10          Development Block Grant requires a 

11          responsibility on childcare providers to do 

12          more inspections of those.  And I see in the 

13          budget that there is $10 million additional 

14          for that.  With the requirements of that 

15          oversight and the inspections, do you think 

16          that $10 million is going to sufficiently 

17          cover all that has to be done?

18                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  You know, 

19          I think it's a question that your colleagues 

20          have raised.  I think it's an initial 

21          investment, Assemblyman, that we could begin 

22          to -- you know, we already increased 

23          inspections, as I think you heard me say.  

24          Absent additional funding, last year OCFS 


 1          increased its inspection visits by about 

 2          15 percent to childcare providers.  So again, 

 3          I think we want to continue those efforts.

 4                 I think the $10 million will get us 

 5          started, you know, on our way.  Again, the 

 6          other part of the federal act that is a new 

 7          element for us is that these inspections also 

 8          require the legally exempt community, so 

 9          that's another significant group of providers 

10          that we will have to plan for and address.

11                 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:  Are these all going 

12          to be done by the state, or are some of those 

13          going to be responsibilities, the 

14          inspections, of the counties?

15                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  So I think 

16          the majority will be done by the state.  But 

17          we do have some CCR&Rs who may, you know, 

18          provide some inspection visits on behalf of 

19          us, particularly in a legally exempt care.  

20          So again, I think it will be a mix.

21                 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:  Thank you.

22                 The other question I had was just 

23          related to after-school programs.  And I know 

24          that we have a lot of programs run in schools 


 1          that are funded perhaps from other sources 

 2          and whatever.  Do we -- it was brought to my 

 3          attention that, for instance, qualifying 

 4          people to work in those programs, we have 

 5          some staff who may work at the school during 

 6          the day and also work at the after-school 

 7          programs, but needing to be separately 

 8          qualified to do that.  

 9                 Have we looked at trying to do, in 

10          this program and others, more synergy between 

11          the -- in cooperation between the different 

12          state agencies?  So if we've qualified 

13          somebody here, it would seem to me that we 

14          ought to be able to do that for the others.

15                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Yeah, I 

16          think that's a very similar theme to what I 

17          think it was Assemblywoman Lupardo raised 

18          earlier.  And so I think, you know, again as 

19          we contemplate how to incorporate the 

20          elements of the federal act, I think we'll be 

21          looking at how can we -- now that we're going 

22          to be doing our needing to comply with 

23          additional clearances, how do we do so in a 

24          more efficient and less duplicative way?


 1                 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:  Thank you.

 2                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.

 3                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

 4                 Our next speaker is Senator Savino.

 5                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Thank you, Senator 

 6          Young.

 7                 I'm back for round two.  First, for 

 8          clarification, I just want to make the point 

 9          that when we discussed earlier the fact that 

10          the City of New York wanted to be carved out 

11          of that statewide program for posting your 

12          most recent childcare inspection report, it 

13          was the previous administration, not the 

14          current administration.

15                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Okay.

16                 SENATOR SAVINO:  But I want to turn to 

17          an issue that we started working on a few 

18          years ago, and that was Close to Home.  So if 

19          you can give me briefly the implementation of 

20          limited secure and whether or not we've moved 

21          to secure detention at all in that program.

22                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Sure.  

23          Happy to.

24                 So as you'll recall, legislation was 


 1          passed I think in 2012 calling for Close to 

 2          Home -- which, just to recall everyone's 

 3          memory, allowed New York City to reclaim its 

 4          young people who were adjudicated needing a 

 5          nonsecure level of care that was called 

 6          Phase 1, and then Phase 2 was for youth 

 7          needing limited secure care.

 8                 So after a lot of planning and work on 

 9          the part of New York City and OCFS, in 2013 

10          Phase 1 -- which effectuated the transfer of 

11          238 youth from New York City out of state 

12          facilities back to the city -- was completed.  

13          So New York City created capacity within 

14          their service delivery system and then also 

15          had to create an after-care component.  So 

16          that's the post-release supervision 

17          requirement of those young people leaving 

18          care.  So that was ended.  

19                 And then just recently, at the end of 

20          2015, I think, frankly -- and I know if 

21          Commissioner Carrion were here, she would say 

22          the same thing -- New York City really wanted 

23          to be very thoughtful and to slow down the 

24          planning before doing the limited secure 


 1          phase.  

 2                 You know, doing Close to Home 

 3          nonsecure was, as expected, in many respects 

 4          a learning lesson.  A whole new population of 

 5          youth, providers learning new skills and 

 6          techniques.  And so I think we very much 

 7          supported them taking the second phase very 

 8          slow, which they did.

 9                 So in December of 2015, just two 

10          months ago, with the state's approval, the 

11          city launched Phase 2, of limited secure.  

12          And so they have, again, a very small uptake 

13          of youth -- I think they have about six young 

14          people who are living in limited secure 

15          programs right now.

16                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Okay, thank you.

17                 I want to turn to child welfare and 

18          child protective services.  We are in the 

19          grip of a statewide epidemic with respect to 

20          opioid abuse and heroin abuse.  And as you 

21          know, Commissioner, 25 years ago I started as 

22          a caseworker in the child welfare system.  

23          Then, the drug that was ravaging communities 

24          was crack.  The default reaction from child 


 1          protective services then was any child that 

 2          was born with a positive toxicity to drugs or 

 3          alcohol was immediately remanded into foster 

 4          care, and oftentimes the siblings were as 

 5          well.

 6                 We no longer do that.  But I'm curious 

 7          as to what the effect of the opioid abuse 

 8          crisis and the number of positive-tox babies 

 9          is having on the child protective services 

10          system and the child welfare system.

11                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  It's a 

12          very good question.

13                 So we obviously have been, you know, 

14          watching this very closely in the past couple 

15          of years.  

16                 You know, we know that in looking at 

17          our data, approximately 19 counties are 

18          seeing some increase into foster care.  And, 

19          you know, again, the trajectory of foster 

20          care in New York State has been downward.  

21          We've had about a 64 percent decrease in the 

22          number of children in care in the past 

23          20 years.  And so we started to see a small 

24          uptick and it attributed, you know, to 


 1          removals due to the opioid/heroin crisis, 

 2          particularly in upstate smaller 

 3          jurisdictions.

 4                 And so, you know, we've been working 

 5          very closely with OASAS, who I know -- and 

 6          you heard their testimony -- they're doing a 

 7          lot to try and create increased access to 

 8          treatment services, which is always a 

 9          challenge.

10                 We've also been working with some 

11          counties that border the State of Vermont.  

12          We saw a lot of those counties being 

13          particularly impacted.  And so we've joined a 

14          collaborative with some of those counties 

15          upstate.

16                 So again -- and as to your question of 

17          babies born toxitive --

18                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Positive-tox.

19                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  -- 

20          positive-tox, I don't have that data.  We 

21          probably could look to the Health Department 

22          to provide that.  

23                 But, you know, make no mistake, it's 

24          having an impact, certainly, in some counties 


 1          where sibling removals are on the increase.

 2                 SENATOR SAVINO:  But you should have 

 3          some sense, because a positive-tox birth 

 4          should trigger a call to the state's central 

 5          registry, if for no other reason than to come 

 6          in and figure out what's happening with that 

 7          family before you release an infant home to a 

 8          mother who is obviously, you know, dealing 

 9          with addiction issues.

10                 So there should be some way for you 

11          all to understand how many infants are born 

12          in this state positive-tox, how many families 

13          are receiving either preventive or protective 

14          services, how many court-ordered supervision 

15          cases.  

16                 And the reason I bring this up is 

17          because I believe that we're going to start 

18          to see foster care placements rise again, and 

19          they may never reach the level that they did 

20          in the early 1990s because we treat these 

21          cases differently now.  We don't 

22          automatically take every child and put them 

23          into foster care.  But there's no doubt that 

24          we're going to have to do a better job of 


 1          coordinating services between child 

 2          protective services, and maybe more 

 3          court-ordered supervision, if not foster 

 4          care.

 5                 So I would just hope that you and the 

 6          local social service agencies, you know, take 

 7          a better look at this and figure out how 

 8          widespread this problem is and what we can do 

 9          to preserve families and keep them together.

10                 Thank you.

11                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Thank you, 

12          Senator.

13                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, Senator.

14                 Assemblyman?

15                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  That's it.

16                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Senator Kennedy.

17                 SENATOR KENNEDY:  Thank you again, 

18          Commissioner.

19                 I want to talk a little bit about 

20          Healthy Families New York.  In your 

21          experience, can you talk about how the 

22          relationship between OCFS and Healthy 

23          Families New York can work to proactively 

24          attack this scourge of abuse that's happening 


 1          in our communities?

 2                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  So we're 

 3          very proud to -- that's our program, Healthy 

 4          Families New York.  So we are able to -- we 

 5          have set 37 programs, Senator, across the 

 6          state.  It is a nationally recognized 

 7          evidence-based model, you know, with really 

 8          good returns on investment for the state.  

 9                 And so these are for very young 

10          families with newborn children, home visiting 

11          model, going and teaching parents safe 

12          sleeping, all sorts of child development 

13          skills that have very good outcomes in terms 

14          of readiness of these children being ready 

15          for pre-K and kindergarten, reading 

16          outcomes -- we have a whole list of, you 

17          know, great outcomes.  And as I said earlier, 

18          we're serving right now about 6,000 children 

19          in the state.  So it's a program we're very 

20          proud of.

21                 SENATOR KENNEDY:  And do you believe 

22          that -- well, let me ask you this.  What 

23          percentage of eligible mothers are actually 

24          enrolled in the program?  Do you know that 


 1          percentage?

 2                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  I don't 

 3          know the percentage, Senator.  

 4                 SENATOR KENNEDY:  Do you know if all 

 5          eligible mothers are enrolled, or is there a 

 6          gap?

 7                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  No, I 

 8          think it's fair to say that there would be 

 9          more opportunity to serve more families.

10                 SENATOR KENNEDY:  And do we have a 

11          cost on that?

12                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  I don't 

13          know what it would take to take it to 

14          statewide scale.  

15                 And as Senator Squadron pointed out, 

16          you know, there are other valuable models of 

17          home visiting as well.  But I don't know, you 

18          know, to your precise question, the exact 

19          unmet need.

20                 SENATOR KENNEDY:  Can you talk about 

21          the relationship between the enrollment in 

22          prevention services and its impact on child 

23          abuse statistically?

24                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  So, you 


 1          know, I think the impact is the evidence that 

 2          we see that this model of intervention with 

 3          families, you know, and their children does 

 4          show that those families who fully 

 5          participate in the program -- and again, this 

 6          is a program that is an average of five-year 

 7          investment, so we stay with families, you 

 8          know, for quite a bit of time -- has shown 

 9          reductions in further reports to the state 

10          central register.  So presumably that would 

11          show that there are families who have greater 

12          capacity to care for their children.  

13                 So I think it -- to your question 

14          about it as a prevention strategy, I think 

15          the answer is unquestionably yes, it is.

16                 SENATOR KENNEDY:  A prevention 

17          strategy that needs to be funded 

18          appropriately.

19                 The home visiting programs that you 

20          had mentioned, can you talk about how those 

21          home visiting programs relate to child 

22          fatalities?  What would be the cost savings 

23          associated with universal coverage?

24                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Well, as I 


 1          said earlier, Senator, I don't have the data 

 2          about what would the universal coverage mean 

 3          in terms of numbers, you know, or cost.  And 

 4          again, you know, none of our evidence points, 

 5          you know, to a correlation that this has 

 6          prevented child fatalities.  It's -- we don't 

 7          know that.  

 8                 But again, as I said, what we do know 

 9          from the evidence of our program is that it 

10          does in fact prevent additional calls to the 

11          state central register, which is an important 

12          indicator that, you know, families are not 

13          coming to the attention of the child welfare 

14          system again.

15                 SENATOR KENNEDY:  Okay.  I just want 

16          to go back to what I had asked you earlier -- 

17          I'll be very brief -- because it's been 

18          burning me since I first asked it.  And you 

19          had said that you didn't have the numbers and 

20          you didn't know what would preclude New York 

21          State from allowing Erie County to move 

22          forward with the DWI Facilitated Enrollment 

23          Program.  

24                 I think -- lookit, there should be a 


 1          level playing field across the state as it 

 2          pertains to these services; I think we can 

 3          all agree on that.  And from a needs-based 

 4          perspective, Erie County is certainly teed up 

 5          to be in dire need of that facilitated 

 6          enrollment program for childcare at the 

 7          275 percent level that DWI facilitates.

 8                 So I would just like to get your 

 9          thoughts on how we can implement this in Erie 

10          County, because the folks that I represent 

11          desperately need this.  But in every county 

12          across the state, so that there's not this 

13          mish-mosh across the state of counties that 

14          have this program and counties that don't.  

15          There should be an equitable playing field.

16                 And I'd like to hear your thoughts on 

17          that, what we can do working together to make 

18          this happen.

19                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  So, you 

20          know, I can't commit, as I did earlier, 

21          Senator, to going back and looking at the 

22          current facilitated enrollment initiative.

23                 You know, as to your larger question, 

24          you know, the statewide-ness of these 


 1          initiatives, I think it's something that we 

 2          always aspire to, you know, given our 

 3          resources and other priorities.  But again, 

 4          you know, the issue of childcare has really 

 5          been the number-one topic here, you know, at 

 6          the hearing this morning.

 7                 So again, I'll take into consideration 

 8          as we continue these conversations around 

 9          childcare and access for other individuals 

10          across the state.

11                 SENATOR KENNEDY:  Great.  And I'll 

12          just leave you with this, just to reiterate, 

13          that the city that I represent, Buffalo, 

14          New York, while we have come a long way and 

15          we're working to pull ourselves out of 

16          poverty, there's still an enormous percentage 

17          of children that are living in poverty, and 

18          the working poor, that need that service.  It 

19          is a desperate opportunity that folks would 

20          take advantage of.

21                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Thank you, 

22          Senator.

23                 Senator Montgomery.

24                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  Thank you, Madam 


 1          Chair.

 2                 Good morning -- good afternoon, 

 3          Commissioner.  I just want to ask you a 

 4          question regarding the Close to Home and the 

 5          Raise the Age.

 6                 You have certainly indicated in your 

 7          testimony and I'm happy to see that the 

 8          Governor has already done his executive order 

 9          to remove young people from adult facilities.  

10          But I'd just like to ask if you have -- where 

11          you are in OCFS as it relates to funding for 

12          the evidence-based early intervention 

13          programs that are clearly known and have been 

14          successful in disrupting violent behavior and 

15          keeping young people out of the system 

16          altogether.

17                 So I would like to know what kinds of 

18          programs you now fund that do restorative 

19          justice or the alternative to incarceration 

20          programs for young people, programs that 

21          combine employment and other aspects that 

22          young people need in order to help them 

23          change their lives and go in a different 

24          direction.


 1                 And there are two programs that I 

 2          specifically know about and am very close to.  

 3          One of them is Youth Build, which does work 

 4          with young people in these categories, and 

 5          also Youth Courts.  But I'm sure there are a 

 6          number of others that I'm not aware of 

 7          necessarily, but are found to be part of the 

 8          system where we invest in young people at an 

 9          early enough point so that we don't have to 

10          pay for the back end when they're 

11          incarcerated or they're in the system in one 

12          way or another.

13                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Yes.  Yes.  

14          I'm happy to.

15                 And, you know, Senator, I can't take 

16          credit that all of these programs reside with 

17          OCFS.  We certainly support some through our 

18          state reimbursement; as you know, the state 

19          continues to pay counties 62 cents on the 

20          dollar for their investment in prevention 

21          programs like the ones that you just 

22          mentioned.  So that's our biggest pot of 

23          money to support prevention.    

24                 But also DCJS, the Department of 


 1          Criminal Justice Services, through local 

 2          probation departments, also funds an array of 

 3          alternatives to detention, youth restorative 

 4          justice practices.  So I think at the local 

 5          level, through the Regional Youth Justice 

 6          Teams, there are a lot of -- if they're not 

 7          evidence-based -- effective programs that 

 8          have done exactly what you would have hoped 

 9          they would have done.  

10                 And I think that's evidenced by our 

11          overall state juvenile justice profile.  The 

12          truth is the number of young people who are 

13          being brought to the front door of probation 

14          for referral, for PINS, is down dramatically.  

15          It's not just upstate, it's also in New York 

16          City.  But I think in fact the stories are -- 

17          they're not penetrating further into the 

18          system because probation, local departments 

19          of social services, youth bureaus, other 

20          important players at the local level, all of 

21          our not-for-profits, have really done a 

22          tremendous job in the past year trying to 

23          engage these young people so that they're not 

24          penetrating into our placement in the 


 1          juvenile justice system.  

 2                 Also the Department of Labor -- you 

 3          know, you mentioned employment.  You know, 

 4          the Urban Youth Jobs program, I think really 

 5          understanding that for many of our young 

 6          people in the system, you know, they've been 

 7          educationally disadvantaged, right, for a 

 8          number of reasons, and so they lose hope of a 

 9          college degree -- although I just want to put 

10          a plug in that in our own secure facilities 

11          we actually have a number of partnerships 

12          with colleges.  We've had a number of youth 

13          in our secure facilities actually obtain an 

14          associate's degree, and so forth.

15                 So again, I think there is wide 

16          recognition -- and, you know, the Governor 

17          has been focused on reentry and removing some 

18          of those barriers to adults as well as young 

19          people really being successful citizens in 

20          the community.  So I think that's a good 

21          story for New York State, Senator.

22                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  Yes.  I certainly 

23          would like to hear more of that from you, if 

24          at all possible.  And I recognize that in 


 1          order to be successful with Raise the Age, we 

 2          will need, in communities, some 

 3          infrastructure which helps us to be able to 

 4          deal with young people very differently from 

 5          just appearing at your door with a PINS 

 6          petition.

 7                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  

 8          Absolutely.

 9                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  So thank you for 

10          that.

11                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  And so 

12          just to that point, Senator, in the state 

13          fiscal plan, you know, '17 -- the outyears, 

14          you know, there's $155 million in the outyear 

15          state plan to support all those kinds of 

16          local efforts to build capacity to serve 

17          those young people.  So I think the Governor 

18          has extended his commitment to support that 

19          development.

20                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  I appreciate 

21          that.  Thank you.

22                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Thank you, 

23          Senator.

24                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.


 1                 Senator Squadron.

 2                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Thank you very 

 3          much.  And thank you for the opportunity to 

 4          come back.

 5                 Just briefly, in answer to Senator 

 6          Montgomery's question, Nurse-Family 

 7          Partnership has a 50 percent reduction in 

 8          participation in the criminal justice system 

 9          at 15 years of age, exactly the Raise the Age 

10          category we're talking about, for both kids 

11          and parents.  So you talk about diversion and 

12          prevention, Nurse-Family Partnership is an 

13          extraordinary program.  I was disappointed 

14          you didn't raise that.

15                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Thank you, 

16          Senator.

17                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Also, Senator 

18          Kennedy asked about savings from reduced 

19          child protective services or abuse and 

20          neglect claims if Healthy Families was 

21          expanded.  Your answer was that you didn't 

22          know the cost of expansion, but he was asking 

23          about savings.

24                 Do we know how much claims of abuse 


 1          and neglect could be reduced if Healthy 

 2          Families or Nurse-Family Partnership were 

 3          expanded?

 4                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  We have 

 5          not done that analysis that I'm aware of, 

 6          Senator.

 7                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  The analysis, the 

 8          public analysis of Healthy Families New York 

 9          is a 49 percent reduction in cases of 

10          confirmed CPS between -- in child protective 

11          services between the fifth and seventh 

12          years -- a 49 percent reduction in the rate 

13          of confirmed child protective services claims 

14          between Years 5 and 7.  Nurse-Family 

15          Partnership is 48 percent over 15 years.

16                 So there is an answer to that question 

17          that we know.  And just to be clear, 

18          reductions in child protective services 

19          claims protect children, save lives and 

20          families -- but they also save money; right?

21                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Yes.

22                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  About how much?

23                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  That's the 

24          part of the question I don't have an answer 


 1          for, Senator.

 2                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  What's the average 

 3          cost of each claim?

 4                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  I don't 

 5          have the answer.

 6                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  We don't know how 

 7          much it costs every time a family gets 

 8          involved in the CPS system?

 9                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  No, we 

10          don't.  I don't have that information.

11                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Is it possible to 

12          try to get that to us?

13                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Yes, 

14          Senator, we'll work on that.

15                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Thank you.  

16                 But we know whatever that cost is, 

17          it's that divided by two if we expand Healthy 

18          Families and Nurse-Family Partnership.

19                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  

20          Understood.  Thank you.

21                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Thank you.

22                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, Senator.

23                 Just a couple of quick questions 

24          before we close.


 1                 Senator Savino asked about the Close 

 2          to Home program.  And as you know, Phase 1 

 3          involved the transfer of the custody for 

 4          young people in nonsecure placements from 

 5          OCFS to New York City.  However, there was a 

 6          March 2014 report that showed -- that was 

 7          done by you, your agency -- that showed that 

 8          there were more than 1,100 escapes by youth 

 9          during the program's first year.

10                 So I was wondering what specific 

11          actions have been taken to address this 

12          problem.

13                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Yes, 

14          certainly.

15                 So the report you're referring to is 

16          of course published in early 2014.  I think 

17          it's very fair to say that in the early 

18          implementation phases of the nonsecure that 

19          there was an adjustment, you know, as I 

20          described earlier.  The escapes were in fact 

21          AWOLs, the majority of which young people 

22          they were now in more neighborhood settings, 

23          closer to their families.  They are not in 

24          locked-down facilities.  You know, there were 


 1          a lot of kids exiting those programs, but the 

 2          vast majority returned within an hour or two.  

 3          So just to kind of put that into some 

 4          context.

 5                 We provide very rigorous oversight 

 6          from the state level of the Close to Home 

 7          initiative.  We created a special Close to 

 8          Home oversight team who works very closely 

 9          with ACS in monitoring programs performance.  

10                 During the initial implementation of 

11          the nonsecure portion of Close to Home when 

12          it became evident, Senator, that some of the 

13          providers just weren't up to getting the job 

14          done, New York City took appropriate action 

15          in putting those agencies on heightened 

16          monitoring, trying to provide technical 

17          assistance to support them in stabilizing the 

18          program.  

19                 And in instances where that was not 

20          successful, the city, with urging from the 

21          state, took appropriate oversight to actually 

22          exit the contract for that provider.

23                 And so they had a challenging 

24          beginning, but I am pleased to report that on 


 1          the nonsecure portion they've actually made 

 2          tremendous progress in reducing the AWOLs for 

 3          those programs.  They're getting some really 

 4          good educational outcomes for the young 

 5          people in the nonsecure programs.

 6                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Have you looked at 

 7          2015 statistics?  Do you know what those are?

 8                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  I'm sorry, 

 9          Senator?

10                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Have you looked at 

11          2015 statistics?  Do you know what those are 

12          as far as escapes?  So you said they're down.

13                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Yes.

14                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  So do you have any 

15          kind of report that you can give to the 

16          Legislature regarding those incidents?

17                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Certainly 

18          I can provide that to you.  Yeah, it's down 

19          dramatically, I do know that.  But I want to 

20          be accurate when I give you the number.

21                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.  That 

22          would be helpful.

23                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Of course.

24                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  I just want to 


 1          touch on Phase 2 implementation.  That is 

 2          placing youth in limited secure placements.

 3                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Yes.

 4                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  As you said, you've 

 5          launched Phase 2 recently, and you said there 

 6          have been six young people who have been 

 7          placed through the program.

 8                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Mm-hmm.

 9                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  And just to follow 

10          up, how many limited secure facilities does 

11          New York City oversee, and what level of 

12          oversight do you have as an agency over those 

13          facilities?  How does that operate?

14                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  So the 

15          city contracts -- they did an RFP, a request 

16          for proposal, within the city -- for the 

17          provision of those limited secure services.  

18          I believe there are three providers who were 

19          selected.  And I believe right now there are 

20          probably six or seven active open programs 

21          that we license.  So they have to apply to 

22          us, they have to go through a rigorous 

23          application period, we have to make sure that 

24          everything that was in that program proposal 


 1          comports with the limited secure plan that 

 2          the city said.  

 3                 So there is intense state involvement 

 4          even before any youth go into the facility; 

 5          it is us who actually issues the operating 

 6          license for the city-contracted program.  

 7                 And again, Senator, I think our state 

 8          team's oversight of the limited secure 

 9          portion is similarly intensive as it was in 

10          the nonsecure portion.  Our staff do 

11          unannounced visits to Close to Home programs, 

12          we receive incident reports, we meet 

13          regularly with those agencies to help 

14          problem-solve and provide technical 

15          assistance.  So there's a lot of state 

16          involvement, and the city's been a good 

17          partner with us.

18                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Have there been 

19          incidents of youth escaping from the limited 

20          secure in New York City under the Close to 

21          Home?

22                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Not to my 

23          knowledge.

24                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Okay, thank you.


 1                 And do you have any information on the 

 2          rates of violence -- again, youth-on-youth, 

 3          youth-on-staff -- in those facilities?

 4                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  I do not 

 5          have that available.

 6                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  How could we get 

 7          that information?

 8                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  I'll see 

 9          what is collected, Senator, and we'll see 

10          what we can provide to you.

11                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Okay, thank you.  

12          Thank you.

13                 Anybody else?

14                 I think that concludes your portion of 

15          the program.  Thank you for sticking with it.  

16          We appreciate you being you here today --

17                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Thank you 

18          all very much.

19                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  -- and look forward 

20          to working with you in the future.

21                 ACTING COMMISSIONER POOLE:  Thank you, 

22          Senator.  Thank you all.

23                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

24                 Our next speaker -- actually, I think 


 1          we have a group.  Testifying on behalf of the 

 2          New York State Office of Temporary and 

 3          Disability Assistance Commissioner Samuel D. 

 4          Roberts, we have Commissioner James S. Rubin, 

 5          commissioner of the New York State Division 

 6          of Housing and Community Renewal; Sharon 

 7          Devine, executive deputy commissioner of the 

 8          New York State Office of Temporary and 

 9          Disability Assistance; Linda Glassman, OTDA 

10          deputy commissioner; and Krista Rock, OTDA 

11          general counsel.  Welcome.

12                 So the question is, who's on first?

13                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  Keep 

14          your eyes on the center.

15                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  To the center.

16                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  Yes.

17                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Welcome.  And we 

18          look forward to your testimony.

19                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  Good 

20          morning, almost afternoon, to the Finance 

21          Committee, Chairs Farrell and Young, and to 

22          the Social Services Committee Chairs Hevesi 

23          and Carlucci, and to all the committee 

24          members here today.


 1                 I'm Sharon Devine.  I'm the OTDA's 

 2          executive deputy commissioner.  

 3          Unfortunately, Commissioner Sam Roberts is 

 4          unable to be here with us this morning due to 

 5          an emergency back in Syracuse.

 6                 I want to begin by talking about 

 7          OTDA's core mission, which is to help our 

 8          most vulnerable New Yorkers get back on their 

 9          feet.  The agency oversees a range of the 

10          state's most important programs for 

11          low-income residents, focusing on employment 

12          wherever possible.  Those programs serve over 

13          4.5 million New Yorkers, and they include 

14          providing cash, food and heating assistance; 

15          overseeing the state's child support 

16          enforcement program; supervising homeless 

17          housing and services programs; inspecting 

18          homeless housing shelters; and providing 

19          assistance to certain refugee and immigrant 

20          populations.  The agency also provides 

21          funding to local districts and 

22          not-for-profits to assist low-income families 

23          in finding and retaining employment.  

24                 Over the past year, major agency 


 1          accomplishments include providing more than 

 2          $70 million to create over 800 homeless 

 3          housing units; launching a statewide shelter 

 4          inspection initiative; collecting a state 

 5          record of $1.83 billion in child support 

 6          payments; and increasing the state's SNAP 

 7          participation rate to 86 percent of all 

 8          eligible New Yorkers -- that's up 6 percent 

 9          from the previous year.  

10                 Governor Cuomo, who started working to 

11          help homelessness people over 30 years ago, 

12          says he's deeply troubled by our homeless 

13          crisis.  We need to rally around the 

14          Governor's unprecedented $20 billion housing 

15          plan in his 2016 Built to Lead agenda.  I 

16          know my colleague Commissioner Rubin from HCR 

17          covered the details of that plan in his 

18          testimony, so what I'm planning to focus on 

19          is the important steps my agency is taking to 

20          immediately make sure that homeless people 

21          come in from the cold and are housed in safe, 

22          clean shelters.  

23                 OTDA is working closely with local 

24          social service districts to help each county 


 1          comply with the executive order to protect 

 2          the homeless when temperatures drop to 

 3          32 degrees or below.  

 4                 My agency has also launched an 

 5          unprecedented initiative to inspect homeless 

 6          shelters statewide.  This effort is designed 

 7          to ensure that shelters are safe and 

 8          well-maintained, as well as fully compliant 

 9          with all laws and regulations.  To support 

10          these inspections, OTDA introduced new 

11          regulations that strengthen the state's 

12          oversight authority over the emergency 

13          shelter network.  

14                 Reducing poverty is critical, and 

15          we've made historic economic progress in 

16          New York State since the Governor took office 

17          five years ago.  Unfortunately, concentrated 

18          pockets of poverty still remain.  The 

19          statewide poverty rate is less than 

20          16 percent; however, some cities have poverty 

21          rates that are double that.  The Governor's 

22          Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative 

23          will provide $25 million to 10 targeted 

24          high-poverty areas around the state.  Each of 


 1          the 10 communities selected will receive half 

 2          a million dollars in implementation grants. 

 3          Then government stakeholders and nonprofits 

 4          will partner to apply for the remaining 

 5          $20 million in capital grants.  

 6                 Governor Cuomo wants us to help 

 7          750,000 more households gain access to the 

 8          federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance 

 9          Program, often called SNAP.  He is also 

10          adopting a recommendation of his Anti-Hunger 

11          Task Force and raising the gross income test 

12          from 130 percent of the federal poverty level 

13          to 150 percent for all households with earned 

14          income.  

15                 Those additional households could 

16          receive nearly $700 million in federally 

17          funded SNAP benefits each year.  They'll 

18          spend those funds in local markets and create 

19          an economic impact of $1.2 billion annually.  

20                 I'm looking forward to collaborating 

21          with you, along with the Governor and our 

22          partner agencies, as we work to lift up and 

23          fortify all New Yorkers.  Our agency is 

24          dedicated to helping the most vulnerable -- 


 1          with no judgments attached.  We welcome your 

 2          questions and comments.

 3                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

 4                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  Before 

 5          we take questions, I'd just like to introduce 

 6          the two individuals who are sitting at the 

 7          table with me.  We have Commissioner Jamie 

 8          Rubin, as Senator Young has stated.  We 

 9          collaborate a lot together on homeless and 

10          housing issues, so we thought we'd bring 

11          Jamie along.  

12                 We also have Krista Rock, who leads 

13          our legal division within the agency and has 

14          expert knowledge as well.

15                 We're ready for any questions.

16                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you very much 

17          for that.

18                 Our first speaker is Senator Persaud.

19                 SENATOR PERSAUD:  Good morning.

20                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Who, by the way, is 

21          ranking member on Social Services.  So we're 

22          glad to hear from you.

23                 SENATOR PERSAUD:  Good morning.  My 

24          first question to you, it's in reference to 


 1          TANF funding.  Because I didn't really hear 

 2          much about the funding surrounding children.  

 3                 As we know, $19.5 million were cut, 

 4          and most of these cuts have to do with 

 5          childcare.  What is the rationale for these 

 6          cuts, especially in a time when we know the 

 7          childcare subsidy is critical in our state?

 8                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  At its 

 9          core, OTDA is about helping families to get 

10          back on their feet.  And we recognize the 

11          importance of childcare in that effort, and 

12          so the childcare funding we look at as an 

13          important tool to help our clients achieve 

14          economic self-sufficiency.  

15                 So as such, we're working with our 

16          colleagues over in OCFS on the funding that 

17          has been identified.  You know, as they 

18          evaluate the costs and the programmatic 

19          implications to their childcare needs, we 

20          will be working with them to determine what 

21          the best approach is moving forward.

22                 SENATOR PERSAUD:  Was there -- was 

23          childcare specifically targeted for these 

24          cuts?  Because it seems disproportionate to 


 1          the other cuts.

 2                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  Well, I 

 3          defer to my colleagues in OCFS on the impact 

 4          of those cuts.  But, you know, again, OTDA 

 5          sees child support as an important support 

 6          for those families who are working and need 

 7          the additional support.

 8                 SENATOR PERSAUD:  Thank you.

 9                 My other question is around the public 

10          assistance caseload.  We see a decrease in 

11          the caseload.  And what can you tell us 

12          contributes to this decrease in caseload and 

13          the funding?  And what specific factors were 

14          taken into consideration when you did the 

15          budget estimates?

16                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  So 

17          annually, as the Executive Budget is 

18          prepared, caseload projections, which are 

19          based on a number of different economic 

20          factors models -- and it would take into 

21          account current employment levels, the 

22          state's minimum wage, as well as a number of 

23          state and national factors.  

24                 So when you combine all of those 


 1          features, the Division of the Budget has come 

 2          up with a projected caseload.  And the 

 3          funding that has been appropriated in this 

 4          year's budget is sufficient to cover that 

 5          caseload.

 6                 SENATOR PERSAUD:  I am not really 

 7          seeing that.  But I will follow up with you 

 8          on that.

 9                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  Okay.

10                 SENATOR PERSAUD:  The decrease in the 

11          caseload, do you foresee -- this is a trend 

12          going forward in the outyears.  And what is 

13          contributing, again, to that trend?

14                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  Can you 

15          repeat that again?

16                 SENATOR PERSAUD:  The decrease in the 

17          caseload, you say it will continue in the 

18          outyears.  And what do you think really is 

19          contributing to this decrease?  Because we 

20          see an increase in need, but a decrease in 

21          the caseload.

22                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  I think 

23          there -- I'm not an economist, but I think 

24          that there are a lot of factors economically 


 1          that play into whether or not the caseload 

 2          would increase or decrease.  I think it's, 

 3          you know, really based on having enough jobs 

 4          around the state in order for people to 

 5          maintain a standard of living.  And so, 

 6          again, I don't work on those projections.  

 7          However, those would be my assumptions.

 8                 SENATOR PERSAUD:  You say it's 

 9          increasing the standard of living.  That ties 

10          into our raising the wages, but that's a 

11          different topic.

12                 Getting back to TANF funding again, 

13          there's -- CUNY's childcare funding was cut.  

14          Can you tell me why, when there's such a 

15          great need for childcare assistance within 

16          CUNY?

17                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  I'm 

18          sorry, I wish I had the answer to that.  I 

19          really don't know.  I would have to defer to 

20          the education experts on the funding levels 

21          within the State University system.

22                 SENATOR PERSAUD:  That's all within 

23          your agency.  The funding for that particular 

24          program was cut from your agency.


 1                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  For 

 2          CUNY?

 3                 SENATOR PERSAUD:  Yeah, the childcare 

 4          subsidy.

 5                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  Okay, I 

 6          would have to look into that.

 7                 SENATOR PERSAUD:  Thank you.

 8                 My other question to you, it's around 

 9          homelessness.  And we see that the Executive 

10          Budget includes comprehensive affordable 

11          housing and the homeless plan.  Under the 

12          executive's affordable housing plan, it's 

13          proposed to add 1,000 emergency shelter beds.  

14          Do we know the cost of each bed?  And where 

15          are we proposing to place each bed?  

16                 New York City in particular has a 

17          growing homeless population.  And when we say 

18          1,000 beds and the amount of money that we're 

19          talking about, you -- allocating 1,000 beds 

20          is just a drop in the bucket.  What are our 

21          real plans to combat the homeless situation?

22                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  There 

23          are a number of different things that we are 

24          doing to combat the homeless situation.  


 1                 But to address the thousand-bed issue, 

 2          we are, you know, currently working to 

 3          identify where the greatest need is with 

 4          regards to the shelter beds.  And so adding 

 5          additional shelter beds will only help us be 

 6          able to address the larger statewide homeless 

 7          issue.

 8                 However, this Executive Budget is just 

 9          a banner year for the agency with regards to 

10          homelessness.  As you know, there are several 

11          different initiatives that are included in 

12          there.  We talked about the $20 billion, but 

13          $10 billion of that is specifically geared 

14          towards the Governor's homeless action plan, 

15          which include the creation of 6,000 units of 

16          supportive housing across the State of 

17          New York.  It also would include support for 

18          several homeless housing services programs.  

19          And so we're looking forward to enactment of 

20          this budget this year.

21                 SENATOR PERSAUD:  Do you have the 

22          distribution of the 6,000 units?  And again, 

23          can you tell me, the 1,000 beds, do you have 

24          the distribution of that?


 1                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  We do 

 2          not have the distribution of the thousand 

 3          beds.  However, I'd like to defer to my 

 4          colleague Commissioner Rubin on distribution 

 5          of the 6,000.

 6                 COMMISSIONER RUBIN:  Good morning, 

 7          Senator.  I assume -- you're asking about 

 8          geographic?  Just to be sure.

 9                 So I testified -- you were not there, 

10          but I testified a couple of weeks ago about 

11          the supportive housing plan, and I think I 

12          said at the time that while we don't have an 

13          exact geographic breakdown yet, it should 

14          track roughly the incidence of homeless or 

15          special needs populations across the state.  

16          And if the past data that we've got points to 

17          where we are today, which it probably does, 

18          my guess is you're going to see something 

19          like -- call it 75 to 85 percent of those 

20          beds in New York City, and the balance in the 

21          rest of the state.

22                 SENATOR PERSAUD:  Are you paying 

23          particular attention to the rural areas where 

24          there's a growing homeless population also?


 1                 COMMISSIONER RUBIN:  With respect to 

 2          the supportive housing plan or --

 3                 SENATOR PERSAUD:  Yes.

 4                 COMMISSIONER RUBIN:  Sure.  So 

 5          actually -- this is going to be a little bit 

 6          of a ping-pong-ball exercise.  But I think -- 

 7          my guess is that with respect to the rural 

 8          homeless, again, there are -- we have any 

 9          number of programs across state agencies to 

10          address them.  I know that my colleagues at 

11          OTDA have, through the HHAP, particularly 

12          outside of New York City, very valuably, have 

13          over time assisted and helped build many of 

14          the smaller homeless agencies.  My guess is 

15          some of those are in rural areas?

16                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  

17          Absolutely.  The HHAP program has 

18          successfully created thousands of units all 

19          across the State of New York.  And so we're 

20          looking to continue that program in order to 

21          address some of those rural areas as well.

22                 SENATOR PERSAUD:  Thank you.  That's 

23          it for now.

24                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.


 1                 Assembly?

 2                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.

 3                 First to question from our side, 

 4          Chairman Hevesi.

 5                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Hi.  Good 

 6          afternoon.

 7                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  Good 

 8          afternoon.

 9                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  First, I 

10          appreciate the fact that all of you are here, 

11          because I know some of the issues cross both.

12                 And to start with, let's give some 

13          credit where credit is due.  This is a very 

14          good budget, and we'd like to thank the 

15          Governor.  Let me go through it.

16                 So first, the fact that the 

17          $15 million Rental Assistance Program that 

18          the Assembly and the Senate put forward last 

19          year has been baselined for five years.  

20          Thank you for that.  That is outstanding.

21                 And we'll touch on a non-budget issue 

22          that we are greatly appreciative of, which is 

23          the sanctions, the conciliation bill that the 

24          Governor signed.  I know Assemblyman Wright 


 1          has been pushing for that for several years.  

 2          So that's great.  Thank you.

 3                 We will be coming back, as I mentioned 

 4          to Ms. Devine, we'll be coming back for the 

 5          rest of state.  I hate that phrase, "rest of 

 6          state."  But we'll be coming back with all of 

 7          New York State.  So that's great.  

 8                 And then supportive housing.  To be 

 9          perfectly honest, this is, you know, 

10          historic.  And the Governor, to his credit, 

11          should take a bow on this one:  20,000 units 

12          of supportive housing, in addition to the 

13          mayor's 15,000, is remarkable.  I know some 

14          executives like saying "This is historic" 

15          frequently, but this is actually historic.  I 

16          want to give the Governor credit and thank 

17          him and you for your work on this issue.

18                 A couple of questions I have about -- 

19          let me start there, with that commitment to 

20          20,000.  Are you guys in conversations with 

21          the city to put together a New York/New York 

22          IV agreement so we can make sure that those 

23          20,000 come online after both Mayor de Blasio 

24          and Governor Cuomo are no longer in office?


 1                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  So I 

 2          think our foremost concern is about getting 

 3          the program up and going and making sure that 

 4          we are delivering the units as, you know, 

 5          quickly as we possibly can.  And so I'm not 

 6          sure when an agreement will be signed or if 

 7          it's even necessary, understanding that the 

 8          20,000 units are fully funded and I think 

 9          New York City's units are also fully funded.

10                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Okay, I 

11          understand that and I appreciate it.  But 

12          from a legislative perspective -- and I take 

13          both the Governor and the mayor at their word 

14          with their numbers.  But they're going to be 

15          out of office.  So to budget long-term and to 

16          make sure that there's a commitment by the 

17          city and the state respectively, I would 

18          really look to start looking to get an 

19          agreement together.  I would strongly insist 

20          on that, if I could, but in the context of I 

21          am incredibly grateful to your actions on 

22          that.

23                 Let me ask you a couple of questions 

24          about the 6,000 units, if I can.  Right now, 


 1          if I understood Commissioner Rubin, you said 

 2          that -- or my understanding of the plan is 

 3          most of the supportive housing units are 

 4          going to be matching what the city has 

 5          proposed?  Is that the current plan with your 

 6          6,000?  So it would be 5,000 for the city and 

 7          about a thousand or 1200 upstate?

 8                 COMMISSIONER RUBIN:  Assemblyman, 

 9          before I answer your question I want to make 

10          sure you're talking about taking -- giving 

11          credit where credit is due, I would be remiss 

12          if I didn't thank you for your leadership on 

13          this, this exact same issue.

14                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  No problem.  See, 

15          when we work together, great things happen, 

16          and that's everybody in the Legislature.  So 

17          thank you, sir.  I appreciate it.

18                 COMMISSIONER RUBIN:  Not at all. 

19                 As far as geographic distribution, 

20          again, I -- the best we can do at the moment, 

21          I think, is, you know, the way our agency 

22          works, and our agency is the capital provider 

23          for most of those units, for most of those 

24          units we issue periodic capital RFPs, so 


 1          competitive issuances to make the world know 

 2          that our capital is available once they've 

 3          got services contracts in place.  

 4                 My guess is that what we will see is 

 5          that the distribution, as I said, of 

 6          applicants for that capital is going to be 

 7          something like, I don't know, call it 

 8          85 percent New York City and 15 percent rest 

 9          of state.  That just matches where our best 

10          understanding is of where the capital has 

11          been spent in past years.

12                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Okay.  So if I 

13          may, a recommendation.  So first, if you're 

14          talking about capital units you mean that by 

15          definition you're going to build new housing 

16          or new units.  So that means no units are 

17          coming online until about 2018-2019, is my 

18          understanding.  Am I right?

19                 COMMISSIONER RUBIN:  So, Assemblyman, 

20          anticipating where you're going with this, if 

21          I can try --

22                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  No, no, go.  

23          Please.

24                 COMMISSIONER RUBIN:  We 


 1          specifically -- in the 6,000 unit commitment 

 2          we specifically did not include funding for 

 3          scattered-site units, which are, as you're 

 4          I'm sure aware -- better aware than I am, 

 5          probably -- the traditional method for 

 6          bringing online new capacity ahead of the 

 7          capital -- you know, the capital cycle.

 8                 You know, the reason for that is 

 9          fundamentally we had some -- I will say we 

10          had some concerns about the scattered-site 

11          model just generally, and you --

12                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Agreed.

13                 COMMISSIONER RUBIN:  -- recall 

14          conversations around it.  And the Governor 

15          wanted to make sure that this was a long-term 

16          capital plan and that, you know, funding for 

17          scattered-site may come from elsewhere.  

18                 My understanding is that the mayor's 

19          plan has substantial funding for new 

20          scattered-site, which obviously is a 

21          different model.

22                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  So we're on the 

23          same page.  I would recommend an addition of 

24          scattered-site units on top of the 6,000 to 


 1          address the need for immediate relief, but 

 2          primarily upstate.  

 3                 Now, I'm a guy from Queens, but I've 

 4          got to tell you, upstate has a real 

 5          homelessness problem too.  So if you're 

 6          looking to do scattered-site, and even though 

 7          my colleagues in the city might not love 

 8          this, I would strongly recommend that you 

 9          take a look at upstate first for immediate 

10          relief, and some in the city as well.  Also, 

11          you know, just recognizing that scattered- 

12          site in the city and scattered-site upstate 

13          are very different animals.  

14                 So I would ask you to take a look at 

15          that.

16                 COMMISSIONER RUBIN:  Thank you, 

17          Assemblyman.

18                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  If I could move 

19          on to existing supportive housing units.  

20          And, Ms. Devine, you and I talked about this.  

21          Advocates and my colleagues in the Assembly 

22          and I have estimated that there's about a 

23          $4.8 million deficit for current supportive 

24          housing units that we'll need an additional 


 1          $4.8 million to sort of keep them up and 

 2          running baseline.

 3                 And while we're talking about this in 

 4          the context of a great commitment long-term 

 5          for new units, I just want to make sure that 

 6          the units we have online that have just come 

 7          online here are properly funded.  So we're 

 8          going to be looking to move on that in the 

 9          Assembly.  I would also ask you to consider 

10          that as well.  We have the number at -- it's 

11          $38.99 million, I'll call it.  You know, 39 

12          or 40.  But I would ask you to keep an eye on 

13          that.

14                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  

15          Absolutely.

16                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  And then there's 

17          some other homeless issues I just want to 

18          bring to your attention.

19                 First, there is language in the 

20          budget, Article VII language, that permits 

21          the state to withhold funds from New York 

22          City.  Whatever the logic is behind that one, 

23          I just want you to know that's a nonstarter 

24          for us.  I just don't see the need for that.


 1                 And then I have some questions about 

 2          the thousand new emergency beds.  And Senator 

 3          Persaud raised this.  Just the plan with 

 4          that?  What's the logic?  Where do you think 

 5          you're going to put those beds?

 6                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  You 

 7          know, based on the crisis that we have at 

 8          hand, you know, the state thought it prudent 

 9          to develop as many additional units to help 

10          the localities as we possibly could.  And so 

11          a thousand units is the target that the 

12          Governor has set for us.  We're working 

13          towards right now, identifying possible 

14          locations and working towards administrative 

15          red tape to possibly bring those online, 

16          which will provide relief for the local 

17          districts.

18                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Which is great.  

19          I would just recommend that those units don't 

20          go to New York City.  They're duplicative.  

21          They have a robust shelter system; I know 

22          it's been part of a public debate, but it's 

23          robust.  So if you have their system and add, 

24          you know, several hundred beds on top of that 


 1          from the state, redundancies, duplicative -- 

 2          it just doesn't make sense to me.

 3                 So my recommendation is to take those 

 4          shelter beds, which we greatly appreciate 

 5          that you're putting online, and look to the 

 6          rest of state.  Again, the phrase "rest of 

 7          state" -- so I apologize.

 8                 Then can you do me a favor and talk 

 9          through the shelter inspections piece of the 

10          budget?

11                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE: 

12          Absolutely.  So as far as shelter 

13          inspections, I think the Governor made it 

14          very clear in the State of the State that the 

15          conditions that we are currently experiencing 

16          within the shelters, we need to do something 

17          about.  It's a local district's 

18          responsibility to ensure that the shelters 

19          are being maintained in a safe and clean and 

20          well-maintained manner.  

21                 And we did a blitz of shelters, an 

22          inspection blitz, last year, around May of 

23          2015.  And what that blitz told us was that 

24          the conditions were not up to par and that we 


 1          need to really launch a statewide effort to 

 2          look at every single shelter that's out 

 3          there.

 4                 So our initiative is going to cover 

 5          the 900 shelters that are across the state, 

 6          approximately 700 of which are in New York 

 7          City.  And as you do know, we will be 

 8          collaborating with the comptrollers in order 

 9          to conduct those --

10                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Okay.  And with 

11          the administration as well, as a 

12          collaborative effort, I'm assuming and 

13          hoping, because I know there's been some 

14          tension on this issue.  I'm just hoping, you 

15          know, for this particular piece, inspections 

16          of shelters and they should be done, they 

17          should be robust and there should be rapid 

18          reaction to it, but a coordinated effort.

19                 But I appreciate that.

20                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  Thank 

21          you.

22                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Two other 

23          questions, and I know my time is getting 

24          limited, but -- your anti-poverty initiative, 


 1          $25 million for upstate, $20 million capital.  

 2          Look, we're looking to accept it because any 

 3          bit we get to help deal with poverty is 

 4          helpful.  But what are you guys thinking 

 5          localities, the 10 you've identified, can do 

 6          with that money?

 7                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  You 

 8          know, it's a start.  I recognize that poverty 

 9          is a large issue.  It hasn't happened to 

10          families overnight, and we're not going to be 

11          able to solve it overnight.

12                 However, I'm really excited about the 

13          anti-poverty initiative because it's going to 

14          give seed money to those 10 communities who 

15          have had high-poverty concentrations in their 

16          areas.  And so with the seed money, of course 

17          you know, they'll be able to work with the 

18          not-for-profit community as well as other, 

19          you know, for-profit entities that are 

20          interested in helping to pave a road for 

21          recovery of poverty in these various areas.

22                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Okay.  And we 

23          appreciate that.  And we will be, in the 

24          Assembly, going forward with a pretty robust 


 1          package related to anti-poverty and public 

 2          assistance and how the system is actually 

 3          working at this time.  So I'd love to have 

 4          conversations with you on that, and maybe 

 5          those two can be joined. 

 6                 One last question.  And Senator, 

 7          forgive me, I know that I am running out of 

 8          time.  But when it relates to HIV funding, 

 9          it's my understanding that the City of 

10          New York included $26 million in their budget 

11          for HASA, to expand HASA.  And I was just 

12          wondering if there's going to be a state 

13          match to that money.

14                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  I 

15          believe there is a state portion to that 

16          funding, but I'm not entirely sure.  So let 

17          me get back to you with, you know, what 

18          our --

19                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  And just -- 

20          sorry.  Thank you.  I appreciate that.  One 

21          last follow-up on that is there's also 

22          several thousand individuals with HIV who 

23          live upstate, and so I would look to have 

24          conversations with you offline about dealing 


 1          with that population in a similar manner to 

 2          HASA.

 3                 But that's it for me.  Just let me end 

 4          with this.  Thank you to you, and thank you 

 5          to the Governor.  He did an outstanding job 

 6          with his social services budget this year, 

 7          and it's greatly appreciated.  Thank you.

 8                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  Thank 

 9          you.

10                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, 

11          Assemblyman.

12                 I do have some questions, and one of 

13          them is that although the Executive Budget 

14          assumes continued declines in overall public 

15          assistance caseload through fiscal year 2017, 

16          the budget proposed has a $40 million 

17          increase in appropriation authority for the 

18          Safety Net Assistance Program, an increase of 

19          9 percent.  

20                 To what can this increase be 

21          attributed?

22                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  I think 

23          it's similar to what we discussed just a few 

24          minutes ago, which is the projection of where 


 1          the caseload -- what the caseload's needs are 

 2          going to be for this coming year.  At any 

 3          given month the caseload can go up or down.  

 4          And based on the solid projections that we 

 5          have in hand, and that has been executed by 

 6          the Division of the Budget, we believe that 

 7          those funds are necessary to support those 

 8          programs and those clients.

 9                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  So thank you for 

10          that.  But then what you're saying is you see 

11          the trend going up, actually.  So what steps 

12          is the agency taking -- you know, what steps 

13          are being taken by the agency to address the 

14          trend?

15                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  Mm-hmm.  

16          As you know, the agency operates numerous 

17          work support programs as well as work 

18          training programs, and are to help people get 

19          back into the work environment in order to 

20          reduce the caseloads.  And we work closely 

21          with our not-for-profit providers as well as 

22          the local districts on some of those 

23          programs.  So the more that we can focus on 

24          work and participation and finding people 


 1          work activities, I think the better off we 

 2          are in the State of New York.  So I think 

 3          it's all about getting people back to work.

 4                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  I'm very familiar 

 5          with the work participation groups, and I 

 6          know Assemblyman Goodell has done a lot of 

 7          work in this area.  

 8                 As you look around the counties, 

 9          however, there are counties across the state 

10          that have very low work participation rates.  

11          And what is the agency doing to assist those 

12          counties to get those numbers up?

13                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  The 

14          agency works closely with all of the 

15          districts.  And so I'm not sure exactly what 

16          district you're talking about.  But if we 

17          can, you know, look at it offline and talk 

18          about maybe some of the initiatives in an 

19          individual county -- and if you have a 

20          concern about a specific individual county, 

21          we should look at it and we can talk about 

22          what programs we have right now and what we 

23          may be able to do additionally to bring them 

24          up.


 1                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  That would be 

 2          great.  I know that Cattaraugus County, for 

 3          example, which I represent, has done an 

 4          excellent job in the work participation 

 5          program.  So if there are best practices, 

 6          maybe we can spread those across the state, 

 7          with your help.

 8                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE: 

 9          Absolutely.

10                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  I wanted to ask 

11          about the fair hearing chargebacks.  So in 

12          the fiscal year 2015 enacted budget, there 

13          was included a performance improvement 

14          initiative to encourage local service 

15          districts with high percentages of the 

16          statewide total of fair hearings to improve 

17          their administrative fair hearing practices.

18                 Have any local social service 

19          districts had penalties assessed against them 

20          in accordance with this initiative?  And if 

21          so, which ones?

22                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  No 

23          local services districts have received any 

24          penalties or chargebacks as a result of this 


 1          particular legislation.  In fact, we have 

 2          seen a decline in the number of unscheduled 

 3          hearings continually because of the agencies 

 4          working with the local districts.  We've 

 5          instituted several improvements.  We've done 

 6          the Lean Process, in collaboration with 

 7          New York City and HRA, in order to come up 

 8          with improvements, and I think it's been 

 9          wildly successful.  And I don't think the 

10          chargeback at this point is needed.

11                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  So I'm glad to hear 

12          that there have been improvements.  That's 

13          great news.  And I was wondering, though, 

14          because this initiative actually is set to 

15          expire on March 31st of 2016, so in very 

16          short order.  And obviously there were 

17          underlying issues that prompted this whole 

18          effort to begin with.  

19                 What are your thoughts on what happens 

20          after March 31st of this year?  Do you see 

21          that there could be a return to some of the 

22          issues that previously existed?  And how will 

23          we address that?

24                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  I hope 


 1          not, and I think not.  I think we have worked 

 2          collaboratively with the districts over the 

 3          last two years in order to revamp and really 

 4          tighten the process as tightly as we can.  

 5          And I think that's what has led to the 

 6          success in the reduction in the backlog of 

 7          cases.  

 8                 So no, I hope we won't return here.  

 9          And I have confidence that we won't.

10                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

11                 I salute the Governor for his 

12          attention to the homelessness problem.  And 

13          as we've seen in New York City, there's an 

14          exploding issue with increased numbers that 

15          are so significant.  And as Assemblyman 

16          Hevesi pointed out, however, there is a 

17          homeless problem upstate.

18                 So you touched on the 6,000 new units 

19          and the fact -- and I appreciate, 

20          Commissioner Rubin, that you're here today 

21          too -- you touched on the 1,000 new units, I 

22          believe, of supportive housing that are 

23          available out there.  One of the questions I 

24          had, however, is that there are these 


 1          thousand units but the agency's budget in 

 2          this area is essentially flat.  

 3                 So will your agency have any 

 4          involvement in carrying out this proposal?  

 5          And is there any additional information that 

 6          you can provide?  Because obviously there's a 

 7          deep concern, there's a need, yet it doesn't 

 8          seem like the funding is there through your 

 9          agency.  So how will that work?

10                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  I think 

11          the funding mechanism for those shelter beds 

12          would be the same as all of our other shelter 

13          beds.  I mean, there is shelter costs, which 

14          are paid through public assistance, and there 

15          are funding formulas and reimbursement rates 

16          that exist within these funding formulas.  

17                 And I think that the funding will come 

18          from the existing funds that we use right 

19          now.

20                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Okay, but we 

21          anticipate, however, that there's probably 

22          going to be an increase just because of the 

23          increased population.  So I just want to 

24          maybe have further discussions about that 


 1          issue.

 2                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  Okay.  

 3          Will do.

 4                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Also brought up 

 5          previously was the Empire State poverty 

 6          reduction initiative, and I wanted to ask 

 7          about that, because the City of Jamestown, 

 8          which I represent, is one of the 10 cities 

 9          selected to be part of the Governor's 

10          $25 million Empire State Poverty Reduction 

11          Initiative.  And as you pointed out, there 

12          are $500,000 planning grants that will be 

13          distributed to each of these cities, with the 

14          remaining $20 million to leverage 

15          private-sector and foundation funding for 

16          initiatives designed to reduce poverty and to 

17          also increase social mobility.

18                 So your agency is going to be involved 

19          in overseeing this initiative, correct?

20                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  Yes.

21                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  You'll be 

22          monitoring that.

23                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  Yes.

24                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  And do you have any 


 1          further information about how the grants will 

 2          be distributed?  And I was wondering, is it 

 3          for capital expenses, is it for operating?  

 4          And you mentioned that it could be working 

 5          with not-for-profits, for-profits.  But it 

 6          just seems like it's a little bit undefined 

 7          right now.  So can you give some more 

 8          structure and definition to what this 

 9          actually will mean?

10                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  I think 

11          the intent here is to make it flexible.  I 

12          think each one of these communities that have 

13          been selected have their own unique poverty 

14          issues.  And so the $20 million has been set 

15          aside; I think it can be used for capital 

16          construction as well as for implementation of 

17          new programs that could help resolve some of 

18          those local issues.  

19                 And so I think the flexibility with 

20          regards to the $20 million is I think what's 

21          going to help these communities in order to 

22          address their needs.

23                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  What metrics will 

24          you use to measure success of the program?  


 1          So, you know, the ultimate goal, I think, 

 2          from what you said, is just this broad vision 

 3          of reducing poverty, which we all support, 

 4          obviously, and we need to do something about 

 5          it.

 6                 But how will you measure the success 

 7          of the program?

 8                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  I think 

 9          that's going to be part of the planning 

10          process.  As these communities take their 

11          $500,000 and start to implement and launch 

12          their planning efforts, I think that that 

13          needs to be an important component of what 

14          they're thinking about as they are developing 

15          those plans.  I think those plans will be 

16          their roadmap to success in those areas.  And 

17          so measuring the success becomes important as 

18          we look to expand that, possibly, in future 

19          years or other communities are looking to 

20          mimic what has been done successfully in 

21          these, you know, cities that have been 

22          selected.

23                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  So there are 

24          several agencies that already exist in 


 1          Chautauqua County that deal with poverty 

 2          issues.  So, for example, Chautauqua 

 3          Opportunities, Inc.  You know, and it's 

 4          everything from that agency to a lot of 

 5          United Way agencies to Salvation Army, 

 6          whatever.  Is part of that mobilizing those 

 7          organizations?  They do a good job already of 

 8          working together.  But how will you tap into 

 9          all of that experience and knowledge that 

10          exists, currently, in those agencies?

11                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  I think 

12          the Rochester Anti-Poverty Task Force is a 

13          good example, and I think this is modeled 

14          after that.  I think the expectation is fully 

15          that you need a wide array, you need to call 

16          in and have those community-based 

17          organizations, as well as United Way and 

18          others, who have been successful in helping 

19          some of the communities think this through.

20                 So absolutely, I think it's a part of 

21          the recipe for how those planning efforts are 

22          supposed to occur.

23                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Okay.  Well, thank 

24          you.  


 1                 Assembly?

 2                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Next, Assemblyman 

 3          Goodell.

 4                 ASSEMBLYMAN GOODELL:  Thank you very 

 5          much for being here today.

 6                 As you know, the federal government 

 7          has changed the SNAP program and reinstated a 

 8          work requirement for able-bodied individuals 

 9          who are receiving SNAP.  While I appreciate 

10          the Governor's initiative to increase SNAP 

11          eligibility from 130 to 150 percent of 

12          federal poverty, that's a meaningless gesture 

13          unless the individuals who are in that 

14          program can meet qualifying work experience 

15          requirements.

16                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  Mm-hmm.

17                 ASSEMBLYMAN GOODELL:  Does your budget 

18          include any funding or other initiatives to 

19          help individuals who are able-bodied 

20          receiving SNAP benefits meet that work 

21          experience requirement?

22                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  So I 

23          understand that the ABAWD requirement -- that 

24          is a federally mandated requirement -- is 


 1          currently upon us right now.  We are, at this 

 2          point and stage, working very closely with 

 3          the districts to ensure that they have what 

 4          they need.  

 5                 As you know, SNAP determinations are 

 6          made on an individual basis, and so as 

 7          individuals come in, the counties will be 

 8          working very closely with them to ensure that 

 9          they can get back into compliance with their 

10          work requirements.  There's a number of 

11          different tools that the counties have that 

12          they can use in order to make this happen.

13                 ASSEMBLYMAN GOODELL:  As Senator Young 

14          mentioned, you know, the existing work 

15          participation rates vary amongst counties.  

16          Statewide, we're not meeting what was the 

17          federal target of 50 percent; I think we're 

18          around the 30 percent range.  This 

19          requirement is on top of existing ones.

20                 So my question again is, is there any 

21          additional funding in this budget to assist 

22          local social services districts meeting the 

23          increased work participation and obligations 

24          that are a result of the SNAP amendments?  Is 


 1          there any change in this budget to address 

 2          that?

 3                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  There 

 4          isn't an increase in funding for the work 

 5          participation programs, but they still exist.  

 6          And I think to the greatest extent that the 

 7          counties can continue those efforts and, you 

 8          know, target those efforts to the SNAP 

 9          participants, I think, you know, they will 

10          have a greater success of being able to 

11          comply.  So there's new funding.

12                 ASSEMBLYMAN GOODELL:  In looking at 

13          some of your programs, I noted that all the 

14          funding, 100 percent of the funding for the 

15          Welfare to Careers program, the Advanced 

16          Technology Training program, Career Pathways 

17          program, the Wage Subsidy program, Wheels for 

18          Work program, all those funding opportunities 

19          were eliminated in this budget.

20                 With the greater employment 

21          obligation, shouldn't we be increasing 

22          funding for those types of programs rather 

23          than eliminating funding?

24                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  


 1          Absolutely.  I understand your question.  And 

 2          so I think we all know that the Executive 

 3          Budget is constructed in a way that it covers 

 4          our core programs, and then the additional 

 5          initiatives are negotiated through the 

 6          process.  And so, you know, as we've said and 

 7          we've talked about in the past, if those 

 8          funding programs are enacted, we will happily 

 9          administer them.

10                 ASSEMBLYMAN GOODELL:  A very 

11          diplomatic way of encouraging us to restore 

12          funding, and I appreciate that.

13                 Looking at childcare, I appreciate the 

14          Governor has increased the childcare 

15          allotment by $100,000 on the childcare 

16          subsidies.  But at the same time, he's cut 

17          $5.7 million from the childcare demonstration 

18          projects, eliminated childcare subsidies for 

19          SUNY and for CUNY.  So it looks like we're 

20          going backwards on childcare by about 

21          $6 million.  Is that your understanding of 

22          the budget as well?

23                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  You 

24          know what, I think that question was asked 


 1          earlier, and I really need to check on the 

 2          components, the various components of the 

 3          program to see what was eliminated and what 

 4          is still there.  So I really need to 

 5          double-check on that.

 6                 ASSEMBLYMAN GOODELL:  Okay.  And I 

 7          look forward to your response.

 8                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  Okay.

 9                 ASSEMBLYMAN GOODELL:  One of the 

10          greatest frustrations I have is that, one, 

11          we're encouraging people to leave welfare and 

12          become self-sufficient, with a higher 

13          lifestyle and a better lifestyle and whatnot; 

14          they run into financial barriers.  You know, 

15          they reach 130 percent, they lose their food 

16          stamps.  They reach 175 percent, they're 

17          ineligible for HEAP.  They go over 

18          138 percent, they're ineligible for Medicaid.  

19          They get a subsidy up to 200 percent, and 

20          then they're on their own.

21                 Every time they hit a financial 

22          barrier like that, they lose money, 

23          out-of-pocket benefits, net, when they take a 

24          raise or when they accept additional 


 1          employment.  What are we doing in the state 

 2          to make it possible, more feasible, for 

 3          people to actually be successful and move 

 4          ahead?

 5                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  Mm-hmm.  

 6          Mm-hmm.  I recognize the challenge.  However, 

 7          the agency is doing a lot in this area.  

 8                 Public assistance, as you know, is 

 9          meant to be temporary in nature.  However, 

10          when a family does reach the threshold or an 

11          individual does reach the threshold and they 

12          become ineligible for assistance, there are 

13          several work supports that the agency has in 

14          place in order to help transition them off of 

15          public assistance and into self-sufficiency.  

16          And one of those is, you know, being eligible 

17          for childcare for up to a year after you are 

18          off of public assistance.  

19                 I think the other sort of programs 

20          that we have, and we've talked about, is the 

21          SNAP program.  There are also programs to 

22          maintain a person's eligibility for health 

23          insurance as well as energy assistance, as 

24          well as numerous tax credits that are 


 1          available for low-income families.  And I 

 2          think when you couple all of those together, 

 3          it provides a nice safety net and nice 

 4          assistance to help somebody transition off of 

 5          public assistance.

 6                 ASSEMBLYMAN GOODELL:  Thank you.  I 

 7          will advise you that I did couple them all 

 8          together and create a graph that shows the 

 9          impact on employment versus loss of benefits.  

10          And shockingly, in many situations, you are 

11          much better off in New York State by 

12          declining a raise.  And I'll be happy to 

13          share that with you.

14                 And thank you again for your comments.

15                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  Okay.  

16          Thank you.

17                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.

18                 Hi, I'm going to take the next set of 

19          questions.

20                 Just quickly on the poverty 

21          initiative, so Rochester already got, I 

22          think, $550,000 last year as they were, I 

23          guess, the pilot for this idea.  So what have 

24          they proposed -- what have they come in 


 1          recommending for themselves?  And do they get 

 2          in line with the other nine locations?  How 

 3          does that work?  I mean, they were a year 

 4          ahead of the rest of us, so to speak.  So 

 5          what happens for Rochester now, and what are 

 6          they asking for?  

 7                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  I do 

 8          not know all of the specifics of the 

 9          Rochester proposal.  However, I do understand 

10          that the task force has done a lot of work to 

11          identify what their needs are and where 

12          they're going.  I think that they are going 

13          to need additional funding.  I do not know 

14          what the plan is for them at this moment 

15          going forward, but I do know that they'll 

16          need to continue their efforts.  

17                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  And the $20 million 

18          that the 10 locations will be competing for, 

19          that's capital money, am I reading the budget 

20          correctly?

21                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  It's 

22          capital money, yes.  

23                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  So you're giving 

24          planning money and then for the communities 


 1          to come back with saying what they would do 

 2          with capital money to address their poverty 

 3          concerns.

 4                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  Yes.  

 5                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Is the department 

 6          giving any suggestions on what you would 

 7          build that would help with poverty issues?  

 8                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  I think 

 9          what the state will do -- not just OTDA, but 

10          other agencies who can lend a hand as well -- 

11          we'll definitely be available for the 

12          planning committee and the team, as we were 

13          for the Rochester Anti-Poverty Task Force.  

14          And I think the expertise that we did lend to 

15          them helped to shape a really successful 

16          planning effort and a proposal that they can 

17          now move forward with.  

18                 So yes, we plan on assisting and 

19          providing guidance where necessary.  

20                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Like my colleagues, 

21          I would like to point out that overall I 

22          think many of us are very happy with the 

23          social services and OTDA budget this year.  I 

24          would like to point out, as you did in your 


 1          testimony, how pleased I am that the state is 

 2          moving forward to expand eligibility for 

 3          federal SNAP benefits.  I am known to be 

 4          somewhat critical of the state's economic 

 5          development programs, but for the record, 

 6          expanding SNAP to people who are eligible, 

 7          it's 100 percent federal money, immediately 

 8          gets spent in poor communities in their local 

 9          stores, has a multiplier effect in the local 

10          economy for jobs, from the local store to the 

11          trucking to the store, through the 

12          fields where food is grown.  

13                 So actually, for those of you who 

14          follow regional economic development, you 

15          might point out that expanding food stamps 

16          probably has a better return on it than 

17          almost any other program the state might 

18          invest in, and it's all federal money.  So I 

19          applaud the Governor and your department for 

20          moving forward with that change.  And 

21          anything more we can do to expand 

22          participation of eligible New Yorkers in food 

23          stamps -- excuse me, SNAP; I'm never going to 

24          learn the new name -- would actually play off 


 1          the last Assemblymember's point of how do we 

 2          support families who are working but still 

 3          earning too little or moving in and out of 

 4          the workforce.  So I do applaud you on that.

 5                 I don't know whether the next question 

 6          is for you or the housing commissioner, but 

 7          around funding for homelessness issues.  So 

 8          last year's budget, we said we were putting 

 9          $74.5 million of JPMorgan bank settlement 

10          money into programs to address homelessness, 

11          and we were moving $55 million in savings 

12          from the changes in the youth programs, youth 

13          at home programs, we were going to move that 

14          into services for the homeless.  

15                 My understanding is none of that has 

16          been spent, and we're getting close to the 

17          end of the fiscal year.  Can somebody let me 

18          know what happened with those monies?

19                 COMMISSIONER RUBIN:  Sure.  Senator, 

20          thank you for your question.  

21                 My -- with respect to the $75 million 

22          of the JPMorgan money, this predates my 

23          arrival at the agency, but it was actually in 

24          our budget and held there, I think, for 


 1          suballocation to whatever agency -- you know, 

 2          subject to the spending plan -- to whatever 

 3          agency it ultimately was used for.  It's 

 4          actually now part of the Governor's 

 5          commitment to the new -- to the support 

 6          services for the new 6,000 units.  So that's 

 7          included within I think it's our total of -- 

 8          I want to say it's almost $200 million for 

 9          this -- I may be wrong, but almost 

10          $200 million total for support in -- you 

11          know, for contracts supporting those 

12          6,000 units, that we're ultimately going to 

13          roll out the 75 as the first chunk of that.  

14                 The 55, and this is now truly not in 

15          my -- not only does it predate my getting 

16          here, but I think it might actually not be 

17          part of my agency.  But I think that that 55 

18          is in support of -- has gone in support of 

19          some of the rental assistance programs that 

20          are run in New York City.  But I might be not 

21          right, otherwise known as wrong, about that.  

22                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  My understanding was 

23          that that was what that money was intended 

24          for.  But as of today, I've been advised that 


 1          we haven't spent that money.  So that was my 

 2          question to you, and I'd be happy if you 

 3          could get back to me on that.

 4                 COMMISSIONER RUBIN:  One of us will 

 5          absolutely do that.  

 6                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Okay.  

 7                 And going back to the JPMorgan 

 8          settlement money, it does sort of move me 

 9          down the road of the overall commitments on 

10          homelessness funds in this year's budget.  

11                 It worries me, I will tell you, that 

12          we are applying funds that we promised last 

13          year, before we ever had this new commitment, 

14          that we didn't spend them but we'll spend 

15          them towards that longer-term commitment.  I 

16          think we all want to see us moving forward.  

17          I don't think there's any debate we want to 

18          see more funds out there both for more 

19          supportive housing units throughout the State 

20          of New York and more affordable housing, 

21          which was another hearing you were at 

22          recently, throughout the State of New York.  

23                 But it troubles me when we commit in 

24          previous years' budgets to things and then we 


 1          don't spend them, but then we count them as 

 2          going forward as if they weren't previous 

 3          commitments.  And meanwhile, the numbers of 

 4          people desperately waiting in line to get off 

 5          the streets just keeps growing.  

 6                 So from my perspective, I don't think 

 7          last year's monies ought to count towards 

 8          future years' accounting.  It was supposed to 

 9          get out there in the fiscal year that's 

10          ending.  And I'd be surprised if there wasn't 

11          a mechanism where those providers could use 

12          that money now.  

13                 But on that note, even in going 

14          forward with the Governor's proposals -- and 

15          I guess this will jump back to the OTDA side 

16          of the room, but maybe not -- money for 

17          homeless services is written in a way in the 

18          budget that one is led to believe it's coming 

19          out of the safety net budget and will somehow 

20          be, at least as a formula, simply paid for by 

21          the City of New York.  

22                 And so I'm a little confused what 

23          we're doing there.  Because right now, unlike 

24          the rest of the state, the City of New York 


 1          is only receiving about 20 percent of its 

 2          costs towards its homeless system from the 

 3          state.  And it appears, although the language 

 4          is complicated, it appears that the language 

 5          in this year's budget continues or transfers 

 6          even a greater amount of the cost for any new 

 7          programs for the homeless to the City of 

 8          New York.  

 9                 So can you clarify that for me? 

10                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  I think 

11          that the language that's included there was a 

12          part of the projections for the state's 

13          financial plan, and I would defer to the 

14          Division of the Budget.  I know that they 

15          have been working with the finance committees 

16          as well as the staff to discuss the funding 

17          mechanisms that support the Executive Budget, 

18          and I think that's included in that.  

19                 So I would really defer to the 

20          Division of the Budget on it.  

21                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  So might you agree, 

22          based on a previous question from I think one 

23          of my colleagues who had to leave now -- that 

24          your budget appears flat for new expansion of 


 1          homeless services, and yet there's a 

 2          commitment to expanded homeless services -- 

 3          that the reason your budget is flat is 

 4          because Division of Budget has determined 

 5          they can pass that cost off to the City of 

 6          New York?

 7                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  Well, I 

 8          would say that the homeless action plan that 

 9          the Governor has put forward is definitely 

10          fully funded.  Those funds are in a 

11          miscellaneous appropriation.  So we know that 

12          there are funds that are available for this 

13          purpose.  

14                 And, you know, I think that the 

15          funding streams and the sources behind the 

16          $20 billion are fully accounted for, and your 

17          staff can again work with the Division of the 

18          Budget to determine where all of those 

19          funding lines are located within the budget.  

20                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Okay.  So I guess 

21          for the record, for whoever from Division of 

22          the Budget is watching this hearing, we would 

23          love to see some kind of chart that shows how 

24          all these programs for homeless New Yorkers 


 1          and expanded both capital and supportive 

 2          service and operating expenses are actually 

 3          paid for in the state budget.  Because 

 4          frankly, I can't figure it out, holding up 

 5          your various budgets.

 6                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  We 

 7          commit to getting that to you.

 8                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  So I think we really 

 9          need a chart that documents that.  Because 

10          again, I think that there is a fear that we 

11          are announcing programs and either not 

12          putting the money into them that would be 

13          needed for you to operationalize, or counting 

14          double money that we promised to others in 

15          earlier years and treating it as if it's new 

16          money for new programs when it was already 

17          committed, or simply transferring those costs 

18          down to the local level.  Which we might have 

19          ideological disagreement on one way or the 

20          other, but we certainly want to know whether 

21          that's the story or not.

22                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  We'll 

23          give you some visibility into that, 

24          definitely.  


 1                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you very much. 

 2                 Assembly?  

 3                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Yes.  Assemblywoman 

 4          Lupardo.  

 5                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN LUPARDO:  Yes, thank 

 6          you.  Thank you.  

 7                 Thank you for being here.  

 8                 I just have a few questions on a 

 9          variety of topics.  The first has to do with 

10          the Governor's Executive Order 151.  In your 

11          testimony you said that you were helping each 

12          county comply with that order.  Can you tell 

13          me how exactly you're going about doing that?  

14          I just -- I'll tell you why I'm asking the 

15          question.  I just received a few minutes ago 

16          a copy of an application my county, 

17          apparently, has submitted, and I was unaware 

18          that there would been monies appropriated.  

19          So I'm curious as to how much you have 

20          appropriated and how you're planning on 

21          distributing it.  

22                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  So the 

23          agency has done a lot of outreach.  When the 

24          executive order was enacted and released, we 


 1          immediately arranged calls, a statewide 

 2          conference call with all 58 districts across 

 3          the state.  The commissioners all 

 4          participated in that call.  And we took a 

 5          couple of hours to go through with them and 

 6          talk about the EO 151, what it meant, how 

 7          they could execute it.  

 8                 And, you know, we also provided them 

 9          with additional information in order to give 

10          them a good framework for processing requests 

11          to us for technical assistance as well as 

12          funding.  So they did receive the EO 151 plan 

13          document.  We asked every county to fill it 

14          out.  Whether they were applying for 

15          technical assistance or resources was 

16          something that we asked them to do in all 

17          cases so that we would have good knowledge of 

18          what their executive order practices and 

19          policies are within their local communities.  

20                 So each one of the districts have been 

21          working on submitting those plans.  We've 

22          received a number of them, probably 28 to 30 

23          of them we've received from various counties 

24          across the state, and we are currently 


 1          working to evaluate those initiatives.  And 

 2          any costs that are over and above what the 

 3          county would have been spending to shelter 

 4          individuals, we are committing to helping 

 5          them fund that.  

 6                 And so, again, we're working with the 

 7          counties and there are very many counties who 

 8          are doing a great job with execution of the 

 9          EO 151.  

10                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN LUPARDO:  So you're 

11          analyzing this county by county, depending on 

12          their individual needs.  There isn't some 

13          distribution for certain parts of the state 

14          over others, it's all being done on a 

15          case-by-case basis?  

16                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE: 

17          Absolutely.  

18                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN LUPARDO:  Okay.  

19                 A question on the antipoverty 

20          initiative.  Binghamton is one of the 10 

21          cities that has been designated.  We also 

22          were one of the initial pilot programs from 

23          last year.  Do you know how the cities were 

24          chosen, the 10 cities?  


 1                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  I 

 2          believe the cities were chosen based on the 

 3          high concentration of poverty within the 

 4          various areas.  

 5                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN LUPARDO:  I think one of 

 6          the reasons why a lot of my colleagues are 

 7          asking you about the capital component of 

 8          that -- you know, we're sort of scratching 

 9          our heads a little bit.  I think it's fair to 

10          say that many of us think that we have in 

11          place some really terrific programs that 

12          would benefit people living in poverty.  

13          Certainly through the entire economic 

14          regional process and all of the hearings and 

15          whatnot that we do over the years, there are 

16          several themes that keep coming up -- 

17          childcare, of course, home visiting programs, 

18          transportation.  

19                 So that's why you're going to keep 

20          being asked about capital:  Do we really need 

21          to build something more?  We really would 

22          rather see us support the known programs that 

23          have a history of doing well that are clearly 

24          being underutilized.  You know, every single 


 1          one of us has asked a question about the 

 2          potential use or potential benefit of various 

 3          programs and how many are not being served.  

 4                 A question on the childcare.  Have you 

 5          been following -- I know we've had a 

 6          conversation on this, but have you been 

 7          following the conversation about the federal 

 8          unfunded mandate regarding childcare and the 

 9          potential impact it may have on your agency 

10          and ability to serve children and provide the 

11          number of slots that we've become accustomed 

12          to but we're also hoping to increase as we go 

13          forward?  

14                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  We are 

15          working with our sister agency, OCFS -- of 

16          course you know, who was just here -- who has 

17          taken the lead on that effort.  And so we are 

18          aware of the challenges in implementation of 

19          the federal changes.  

20                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN LUPARDO:  And you are 

21          part of the conversation and are also aware 

22          that our estimates are well over $90 million, 

23          probably twice that much?  

24                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  Limited 


 1          visibility into it, but I am aware.  

 2                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN LUPARDO:  Okay.  All 

 3          right.  And just one last comment.  

 4                 When you've been given a number of 

 5          questions about the cuts to its facilitated 

 6          enrollment -- SUNY, CUNY childcare and other 

 7          impacts -- these are typically legislative 

 8          adds that come out each year and get back 

 9          each year.  I mean, ultimately I think many 

10          of us would like to see a system that just 

11          makes sense that we don't have to keep, in a 

12          sense, playing games with this money.  This 

13          is just important, it should be a basic 

14          component of good government, good public 

15          policy.  So ultimately we'd love to have a 

16          conversation about developing a childcare 

17          system that works on all levels that includes 

18          all of these components.  

19                 Thank you for being here.

20                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  

21          Absolutely.  

22                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.  

23                 Senator Squadron.  

24                 SENATOR SQUADRON:   Thank you very 


 1          much.  

 2                 Thank you for being here.  

 3                 Just briefly, I note that in this 

 4          proposal -- and I know that it's administered 

 5          by the Department of Health but comes out of 

 6          the OTDA budget -- the Nurse-Family 

 7          Partnership is proposed at a million dollars 

 8          less than it was last year.  Is that cut 

 9          reflective of a feeling on the OTDA side that 

10          that's not an effective program?

11                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  Say the 

12          last part of the question?

13                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Is that reflective 

14          of a feeling that it is not an effective 

15          program, not worthy of funding, or does that 

16          cut reflect something else?  

17                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  No, we 

18          believe that it's an effective program, 

19          absolutely.  

20                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Great.  And 

21          Settlement House funding as well, I notice, 

22          you know, which helps -- Settlement House is 

23          comprehensive lifelong services -- is cut 

24          $2.5 million.  There's a real push, 


 1          bipartisan, in both houses, to get it to 3.5.  

 2          Is that cut down to zero reflective that 

 3          there's a belief that that funding is not 

 4          well spent or not productive?  

 5                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  Again, 

 6          a great program.  I think there are tough 

 7          choices that have to be made in development 

 8          of the budget, and so I think that -- you 

 9          know, that leaves it to the negotiation.

10                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Thank you very 

11          much.  There's always a negotiation, isn't 

12          there?  

13                 And similarly, Community Service for 

14          the Elderly, Summer Youth Employment and 

15          many, many of the programs we've heard about, 

16          funded through the TANF -- same idea, there's 

17          no belief that those programs aren't worthy, 

18          they were just decisions made in the first 

19          step of a negotiation dance?  

20                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  

21          Absolutely.  

22                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Thank you so much.  

23                 On homelessness and the funding, I'm 

24          just trying to understand here two things, 


 1          kind of simply.  And I really look forward to 

 2          the charts Senator Krueger asked for, and I 

 3          really appreciate her providing some clarity 

 4          into something where I've had trouble 

 5          understanding it myself, for sure.  

 6                 So just if you can answer simply, I'd 

 7          really appreciate it.  And any of the 

 8          commissioners up there.  Is this a strategy 

 9          that's going to have an impact on 

10          homelessness in the short term, or only in 

11          the long term?  

12                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  I think 

13          it's both.  I think there are components that 

14          help in the short term, in that it's 

15          including rental subsidies that help families 

16          right now stay in the homes that they're in, 

17          as well as gain housing.  So definitely short 

18          term, but obviously there's a long-term 

19          component to that.  

20                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  And how much are 

21          the rental subsidies?

22                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  How 

23          much?

24                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  The rental 


 1          subsidies, what's the number?  

 2                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  It's 

 3          approximately $200 million in this year.  And 

 4          that's a huge increase over where we were 

 5          back in 2012, for instance, which was just 

 6          around $100 million.  

 7                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  And compared to 

 8          2011?  

 9                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  I don't 

10          know what the comparison is there.  

11                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  The number you're 

12          using is post the Advantage Housing Program 

13          ceasing to exist, right, for rental 

14          subsidies?

15                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  Yes.  

16          It's before my tenure, but I am familiar with 

17          it.  

18                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  So it doesn't take 

19          into account that cut.

20                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  I think 

21          it does.  I think Advantage went away; 

22          however, Advantage, again, was a rental 

23          subsidy program.  And since it's gone away, I 

24          think the state has more than made a solid 


 1          commitment to rental subsidies.  And so it's 

 2          funded at $200 million, projected at 

 3          $200 million for 2016-2017, which more than 

 4          replaces Advantage.

 5                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  And how much of 

 6          that will be available in the City of New 

 7          York, the 200?

 8                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  I don't 

 9          have the breakdown, but by and large, I 

10          think -- Commissioner Rubin said based on 

11          need.  A large portion of that, of course, 

12          would be in New York City.  

13                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Great.  And do we 

14          know how many units that's going to help 

15          fund?  

16                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  I don't 

17          have that in front of me, but it's easy 

18          enough to get to you.  

19                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  But we don't know 

20          how many.

21                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  Not off 

22          the top of my head, I'm sorry.

23                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  And in terms of the 

24          rental subsidy program, the shelter beds, the 


 1          emergency shelter beds, and the supportive 

 2          housing, just to be very, very clear -- 

 3          Senator Krueger was talking about a 

 4          formula -- at the end of the day, is that new 

 5          money for localities, or does that replace 

 6          any other funding that localities already get 

 7          in any program at all?

 8                 COMMISSIONER RUBIN:  I can speak most 

 9          clearly, Senator, to the capital side of it, 

10          which is by far the largest amount of money.  

11          So the 6,000 supportive beds, the 6,000, just 

12          for the next five years, is about 

13          $2.5 billion of new capital funding.  That is 

14          entirely new money that has never been 

15          appropriated before.  

16                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Great.  Thank you.  

17          That's such a clear answer.  I really 

18          appreciate it --

19                 COMMISSIONER RUBIN:  We strive for 

20          clarity.

21                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  And it's great 

22          news.  

23                 On the other two, on the rental 

24          subsidies and the emergency beds, can I have 


 1          an equally clear answer one way or the other?  

 2                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  Yes.  

 3          The resources are new for those.  

 4                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Are new, and in no 

 5          way replace any other funding stream in any 

 6          program at all?  

 7                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  Well, 

 8          the rental subsidies are a continuation of 

 9          programs that have been in place and are 

10          receiving increases going forward, so ...  

11                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Right.  But for 

12          example, they would not be offset in a 

13          reduction in public assistance dollars or --

14                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  

15          Correct.

16                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  -- or any other 

17          fund or -- the Flexible Fund for Family 

18          Services or any other fund at all?  

19                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  

20          Correct.

21                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Great.  So that's 

22          new money.  And just so I understand the 

23          amount of money it is -- and I know my time 

24          is up -- it's $100 million in new money for 


 1          rental subsidies eligible for localities 

 2          across the state.  And how much for the 

 3          emergency shelter beds?  

 4                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  Well, 

 5          that will be determined once we find the 

 6          locations and determine, you know, what those 

 7          costs will be.  So undetermined.

 8                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  But the cash is 

 9          sitting there, it will go somewhere and it 

10          won't get offset against anything else?  

11                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  Yes.  

12                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  That's great.  

13          Thank you for the clarity.

14                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, Senator.

15                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.

16                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Senator Savino.  

17                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Thank you, Senator 

18          Young.  

19                 I want to go back to the homeless 

20          issue and the new policy.  Not to discuss the 

21          housing issue -- we discussed that 

22          extensively last week.  But I'm curious as to 

23          who's going to do the -- so who's going to be 

24          in charge of this new joint effort of 


 1          inspecting shelters?  Is that going to be the 

 2          state, will that be OTDA?  

 3                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  Well, 

 4          the Office of Temporary and Disability 

 5          Assistance is leading the effort.  But it is 

 6          a collaborative effort with the comptrollers.  

 7          And so they will be making their selections 

 8          of shelters based on information that we 

 9          share with them.  

10                 So once we complete our inspections, 

11          we will be sharing it with them and they will 

12          be determining which shelters they would like 

13          to do their own inspections on.  

14                 SENATOR SAVINO:  As you know, the 

15          majority of the shelters are in the City of 

16          New York.  I think earlier you said it's 700 

17          of the 900 around the state.  Those shelters, 

18          does that also include the family hotel 

19          programs, or is that just shelters 

20          themselves?

21                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  It's 

22          going to include shelters themselves and a 

23          portion of the hotels and motels will also be 

24          visited.


 1                 SENATOR SAVINO:  So assuming the state 

 2          inspects these shelters and they find the 

 3          conditions are as bad as some of the homeless 

 4          have claimed them to be, are you going to 

 5          then take action and order them closed, or 

 6          some corrective action?  Ultimately the state 

 7          does not have a contract with those shelters, 

 8          it's the City of New York.  So who's going to 

 9          demand the action, the cleanup, whatever the 

10          case may be?  

11                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  It's 

12          the state's responsibility in order to 

13          oversee the districts in their provision of 

14          these services.  So ultimately the districts 

15          are responsible for making sure that the 

16          shelters are in a well-maintained condition.  

17                 And so the state will be working 

18          directly with the district and providing them 

19          with instructions as far as the conditions 

20          that we find.  For instance, we have done 

21          shelter inspections over the last couple of 

22          weeks, we have found deplorable conditions, 

23          and we have directed the social services 

24          districts to move those clients into better, 


 1          more well maintained housing.  So.  

 2                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Where would they put 

 3          them, though?  I mean, I'm assuming you don't 

 4          have empty shelters somewhere to transfer 

 5          them to.  

 6                 I'm wondering, are we going to be 

 7          shifting people to motels and hotels?  Which 

 8          is something that was done, you know, 

 9          20 years ago.

10                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  There 

11          is some fluidity to the way that the shelter 

12          intake process works, and so they have been 

13          successfully finding other locations for 

14          these clients.  To date, there haven't been 

15          too many of those.  However, as we continue 

16          our inspection initiative, we expect that 

17          definitely more will be found.  And so 

18          therefore at that time I think we will need 

19          to work with New York City on a corrective 

20          action plan and finding out where they can 

21          identify those additional beds.  

22                 And so I know that that's something 

23          that they are working on and something that 

24          they contemplate needing to happen.  But I 


 1          think our foremost concern is making sure 

 2          people are safe and in, you know, 

 3          well-maintained locations.

 4                 SENATOR SAVINO:  As it should be.  

 5                 I want to switch to the minimum wage.  

 6          We've discussed it extensively with OPWDD, 

 7          all of the human service agencies, the effect 

 8          that the raise in the minimum wage will have 

 9          on your partner social services agencies or 

10          human service agencies and their inability to 

11          absorb it.  So I don't need to remind you of 

12          that.  And we've said it a million times.  

13          And I'm sure we'll hear from some of them 

14          today.  

15                 But I'm also concerned somewhat about 

16          those working people out there who are 

17          currently earning the statutory minimum wage 

18          of $9 an hour.  So they're earning $9 an 

19          hour; if they're working a 40-hour week, 

20          they're earning $18,720.  As a result of 

21          that, you know they're eligible for certain 

22          support services.  And it's been mentioned 

23          more than once in the argument to raise the 

24          minimum wage that the state is subsidizing 


 1          many of these corporations by improving all 

 2          sorts of benefits to these low-wage workers.  

 3                 So if we raise the minimum wage to 

 4          $15 an hour for these workers -- which, by 

 5          the way, I am totally supportive of.  I think 

 6          we need to establish a livable wage.  But 

 7          they are going to then jump from $18,720 for 

 8          working a 40-hour week to $31,200 working a 

 9          40-hour week.  Many of these jobs also, you 

10          know, require overtime, so they're going to 

11          go over that.  There's a very real 

12          possibility, as you know, that they will lose 

13          all eligibility for assistance, which is 

14          going to force them to do one of two things:  

15          Reduce their work hours because they can't 

16          afford to, you know, lose the benefits, or 

17          they're going to quit. 

18                 And so how -- what can we do to look 

19          at the eligibility standards for assistance 

20          to stabilize families so that we don't give 

21          with one hand and take with the other?  

22                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  Mm-hmm.  

23          I think -- and I think we discussed this a 

24          little bit earlier, the fact that there are 


 1          numerous work supports that are in place.  

 2          And so a family who finds themselves 

 3          ineligible for public assistance can still 

 4          maintain child support -- again, childcare 

 5          payments for up to a year after.  And so that 

 6          gives them a long transition time.  They can 

 7          still be eligible for heat benefits, heating 

 8          assistance benefits, as well as tax credits 

 9          and other things.  

10                 And, you know, when you combine all 

11          those things, I think that that is adequate.  

12                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Well, I certainly 

13          hope so.  Because as I said, I would hate to 

14          see where on one hand we are giving, we're 

15          lifting people and on the other hand we're 

16          literally pressing them back down again.  

17                 There's also going to be a 

18          corresponding effect to workers above it.  

19          You know, when you raise the floor, you raise 

20          the ceiling too.  You know, and I'd just like 

21          to point out, just in your agencies alone, 

22          the starting salary for a job opportunity 

23          specialist -- which is your eligibility 

24          specialist workers, the people who determine 


 1          who's eligible -- in the City of New York is 

 2          35,000.  And those are people who have to 

 3          have a bachelor's degree.  And they're making 

 4          determinations, but under this, they would 

 5          only be earning $4,000 more than a minimum 

 6          wage worker.  

 7                 So I really think -- I've said this 

 8          continuously -- we as a state need to look at 

 9          what we're doing to attract people into the 

10          social service field and how we value those 

11          jobs.  The idea that we're paying people 

12          minimum wage, in some instances, to take care 

13          of the elderly and provide home care services 

14          and, you know, direct support to the 

15          developmentally disabled is appalling.  They 

16          should not be earning minimum wage.  We can't 

17          recruit and retain these workers.  Which is 

18          critically important for the partner 

19          agencies.  

20                 So I think as we move forward with 

21          this discussion we have to take into 

22          consideration the effect of low wages on the 

23          delivery of social services in our state.  

24                 Thank you.


 1                 COMMISSIONER RUBIN:  Senator, for what 

 2          it's worth, I obviously agree with your 

 3          commitment to that sector.  And, you know, to 

 4          refocus to a different part of the budget, we 

 5          did talk a couple of weeks ago about the 

 6          affordable housing plan.  It is absolutely 

 7          the Governor's commitment to make sure that 

 8          the vast majority of the new units that we 

 9          create or preserve, in New York City as well 

10          as elsewhere, are targeted to the low, the 

11          very low, and the extremely low income 

12          segments of the population.  And it's for 

13          exactly the reason you mentioned:  You cannot 

14          have a vibrant, growing city if you're not 

15          able to provide adequate housing to the 

16          people that are stuck at those income 

17          levels -- for whatever reason, whether it's 

18          because they're down on their luck or because 

19          they've chosen to enter fields that simply 

20          don't pay, you know, what other fields pay.  

21          It's an incredibly important part of the 

22          workforce of the city.  And so that's -- you 

23          know, taking it to the other part of the 

24          budget, that's why the Governor made that 


 1          comment.  

 2                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Thank you.  

 3                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.  

 4                 Senator Montgomery.  And then we'll 

 5          have Senator Kennedy to close.  

 6                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  Yes, thank you, 

 7          Madam Chair.  

 8                 I think I want to direct my question, 

 9          I believe, to Commissioner Rubin in terms of 

10          housing because that's what I -- I know we're 

11          talking about homelessness.  And I just want 

12          to emphasize that I'm really so excited and 

13          happy about the emphasis on looking at the 

14          homeless situation and the people who are 

15          sort of stuck there.  

16                 But you know, I think we have this 

17          huge crisis certainly in my district and my 

18          part of the city.  And it occurs to me that 

19          the homelessness is a symptom of another 

20          policy area that we have not really 

21          successful addressed, I should say.  

22          Obviously there is an increasing shortage of 

23          affordable housing, and there is this 

24          gentrification that is taking place, that has 


 1          taken place, and that gentrification, aside 

 2          from removing affordable housing and 

 3          replacing it with luxury housing, 

 4          essentially, market rate housing, it has 

 5          increased the affordability of the housing 

 6          that has not been gentrified.  

 7                 And so there is an increased number of 

 8          evictions related to the fact that people can 

 9          no longer just simply afford to live where 

10          they've lived for the last 20 years or so.  

11          And so we have this homelessness.  And it's 

12          the homelessness of families which is the 

13          most critical problem that we have.  And so 

14          my -- we've had this -- this is not the first 

15          time that we have experienced this crisis in 

16          homelessness.  

17                 But we continue to treat it as if it's 

18          just episodic, right, and that it's going to 

19          go away somehow, and if we just invest in 

20          these shelter beds that we're going to begin 

21          to correct this terrible situation.  

22                 But at that time we also begin to 

23          invest much more specifically in the creation 

24          of affordable housing in partnership 


 1          primarily, I believe, with the not-for-profit 

 2          community housing developers and many of the 

 3          supportive housing providers.  I know about 

 4          our city, the city in particular.  

 5                 So my question to you is, where are we 

 6          with that process?  And is there -- do we 

 7          have projects in the pipeline?  If so, where 

 8          are they?  And, you know, how many units are 

 9          we talking about within that context?  And 

10          what part of your plan includes a specific 

11          targeting of your partnering, once again, 

12          with not-for-profit community housing 

13          developers to develop affordable housing?  

14                 And I don't mean a few units in a 

15          luxury building where they build a back door 

16          for the poor people to go into, the poor-door 

17          people.  Not that.  I'm just talking about 

18          housing that is specifically for the purpose 

19          of creating an opportunity for poor people to 

20          live in our city.

21                 COMMISSIONER RUBIN:  So, Senator, 

22          there's so many issues packed into that 

23          question, we may be here --

24                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  Yes, I realize 


 1          that.  I don't have much time, so I tried to 

 2          put everything into the question.

 3                 COMMISSIONER RUBIN:  No, it's fine.  

 4          I'm happy to be able to talk to all of 

 5          them -- or some of them.  

 6                 Let's see.  So I certainly couldn't 

 7          agree more with your assessment of the 

 8          problem, from the symptom, which is the lack 

 9          of housing, down all through to the 

10          diagnosis, which is gentrification and 

11          economic conditions and just the grinding 

12          poverty that so many people in New York City 

13          and elsewhere suffer from.  

14                 So what are we doing in this budget, 

15          what is the Governor doing in this budget to 

16          address that?  First, there's the budget 

17          itself, which is really an unprecedented 

18          five-year fully funded, as my colleague said, 

19          capital commitment to the development of new 

20          affordable housing.  And it's -- as we've 

21          talked about before, before you even get to 

22          the special needs, it's $10 billion of new 

23          funding over five years for 100,000 units, 

24          both new and preserved.  So that by itself is 


 1          a significant contribution to New York City 

 2          and outside of New York City's housing stock.  

 3                 You asked about not-for-profits in 

 4          terms of the affordability.  Again, I 

 5          understand exactly why you're asking.  And I 

 6          think I mentioned before the Governor has 

 7          made it clear that his commitment is to 

 8          create, as you say, truly affordable housing.  

 9          And so we anticipate that about 85 percent of 

10          the units that we create or preserve through 

11          that plan will be affordable at the levels of 

12          low, very low, and extremely low-income 

13          people.  Depending on, you know, what that 

14          means in the region where the housing itself 

15          is developed.  

16                 As far as the nonprofit sector -- 

17          which again, I share your commitment to the 

18          nonprofit sector.  They are some of our 

19          greatest partners in this work -- we fund 

20          nonprofits, actually, through some of our 

21          grant programs.  I had the opportunity just 

22          now to look at the annual report that our NPP 

23          and RPP program puts out to talk about the 

24          good work that they've done in the last year 


 1          funding a lot of those local development 

 2          agencies, some of which I know Senator Young 

 3          knows well.  Those are in many places, 

 4          particularly in the rural areas but also in 

 5          the city, some of our greatest partners in 

 6          the work of developing and preserving 

 7          affordable housing and making homeownership 

 8          opportunities available to people of low 

 9          income.  

10                 So -- and obviously we will continue 

11          at higher levels, because that's what's in 

12          the budget, to fund those agencies for the 

13          coming years to take advantage of the 

14          affordable housing plan that the Governor 

15          laid out.  

16                 And then as far as just more 

17          generally, even for those groups that are not 

18          recipients of our grant funding, many of our 

19          applicants for our funding programs, just by 

20          the nature of the programs themselves are 

21          nonprofits.  In fact, most are.  They're 

22          usually either paired by themselves or they 

23          are paired with a for-profit developer, and 

24          we do our best to work with them.  They are 


 1          some of the most sophisticated developers 

 2          there are, actually, and we work very closely 

 3          with them to make sure that they know of our 

 4          funding availability well in advance of our 

 5          issuance of the RFPs, and then how to take 

 6          advantage of those programs.  

 7                 In fact, you should know we've had a 

 8          series of conferences in the last few 

 9          months -- not in New York City but in -- I'm 

10          now going to blank on where we've done them, 

11          but we've done three -- Utica, I think 

12          Rochester and perhaps one other.  And then 

13          we've got about 10 others coming up over the 

14          next year specifically for the purpose of 

15          bringing our agency staff and other agency 

16          staffs out into the field at the direction of 

17          the Governor to meet with representatives of 

18          local not-for-profits to explain to them 

19          exactly how to take advantage of government 

20          funding, for the reasons that you said.  

21          Because for those agencies that haven't yet 

22          gotten into our pipeline, we need to make 

23          sure that they have the ability to do that, 

24          and that's really critically important work.  


 1                 The one thing I'll say finally, you've 

 2          talked at the beginning about gentrification.  

 3          It's a serious issue, obviously, particularly 

 4          in a place like New York City, where real 

 5          estates values continue to go up.  But we're 

 6          also seeing it in many of the other 

 7          outside-of-New-York-City cities that are 

 8          experiencing economic growth.  

 9                 I will take this opportunity to talk 

10          about the good work that our Tenant 

11          Protection Unit does, as I did at my budget 

12          hearing.  They're not here to take the credit 

13          today as they were two weeks ago, but they do 

14          an enormous amount of good work to protect 

15          against illegal harassment, which often 

16          results in eviction or effective eviction, 

17          where somebody shuts off the heat in the 

18          middle of winter or something like that.  

19                 We are active participants in a task 

20          force with the Attorney General's office and 

21          with the city HPD to do the same thing.  And 

22          it's all in the interest of combating the 

23          dynamic that you just described.  

24                 So I think, if I've ticked off all the 


 1          issues, I think I agree with you on 

 2          everything.  And I'm glad that you raised 

 3          those issues.

 4                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  Yes, and I just 

 5          would like also to know if you have projects 

 6          that are in the pipeline that we can sort of 

 7          look at that and determine when we might be 

 8          able to look forward to some -- your 

 9          addressing is this in other than looking at 

10          shelter beds.

11                 COMMISSIONER RUBIN:  Sure.  So we have 

12          a very active pipeline, and I think probably 

13          it would be best to come back to you in 

14          person with our staff or something and talk 

15          about it.

16                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  That would be 

17          very helpful.

18                 COMMISSIONER RUBIN:  Happy to do it, 

19          of course.

20                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  Thank you.  

21                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, Senator.

22                 Senator Kennedy, to close.  

23                 SENATOR KENNEDY:  Thank you very much.  

24                 Deputy Director, I want to touch on 


 1          the Anti-Poverty Initiative.  I'm very 

 2          pleased that this is underway, you know, 

 3          especially coming out of the district that I 

 4          represent, where there's a very high 

 5          propensity for poverty in certain areas of 

 6          the district.  

 7                 So we have been working collectively 

 8          with the community and with various levels of 

 9          government to attack poverty at its base 

10          root.  So I want to talk about the initiative 

11          and the funding for providing the planning 

12          and implementation for this Anti-Poverty 

13          Initiative.  

14                 It's at the $500,000 level.  How do 

15          you feel that this implementation can be 

16          realized with that level, $500,000, when you 

17          look at a city like Buffalo, which, you know, 

18          you were funding at the $500,000 level when 

19          Rochester was at $750,000 and is still in the 

20          initial phases of this?  Can you just talk a 

21          little bit about that, where that $500,000 

22          number came from and if that number is 

23          adequate?  

24                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  We 


 1          believe that the amount is adequate to at 

 2          least see the planning and implementation 

 3          effort in each one of these communities.  

 4          It's a place to start.  Might these 

 5          communities need more?  Possibly.  However, 

 6          $500,000 will allow them to bring the 

 7          appropriate parties together and to engage in 

 8          a really meaningful planning process.  

 9                 And so we are hopeful that that seed 

10          money will provide an avenue for them to 

11          create a roadmap for anti-poverty within 

12          their local community.  But I understand 

13          where you're going with that.  

14                 SENATOR KENNEDY:  So the City of 

15          Rochester just -- around its local strategic 

16          plan, they're yet to move past that.  And the 

17          rest of the initiative is being modeled off 

18          of that.  Now, everything I've heard about 

19          Rochester is very positive, so don't get me 

20          wrong here.  But it's slow in evolving into 

21          the implementation phase.  And we need to 

22          attack this in a very aggressive nature.  And 

23          there's organizations like the United Way 

24          that are on the front lines that are already 


 1          working in a collaborative fashion with local 

 2          governments, with state government, with 

 3          various agencies at a local level.  

 4                 Why not allow the United Way to be the 

 5          leading partner in this sort of initiative?  

 6          And why open the process up now?  

 7                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  I think 

 8          that community-based organizations, including 

 9          United Way, will play an important part in 

10          that planning effort.  However, we don't want 

11          to dictate statewide one particular entity in 

12          order to lead that effort.  I think that that 

13          is more appropriately grown out of the local 

14          community and what their needs are.  

15                 But I fully expect that United Way, as 

16          well as other community-based organizations, 

17          will be right there and right there leading 

18          the effort and helping.

19                 SENATOR KENNEDY:  So there's nothing 

20          precluding the United Way from, say, playing 

21          a lead role in any of these various 

22          initiatives in the various localities.

23                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  

24          Correct.  


 1                 SENATOR KENNEDY:  Okay.  I want to 

 2          talk about the statewide 211 system.  That's  

 3          a model that can be used as a resource to 

 4          combat poverty.  It's already in place, 

 5          there's no cost to implementing it as a part 

 6          of the Anti-Poverty Initiative.  However, 

 7          there's no state funding for the program.  

 8          Last year they received $1.3 million; there 

 9          was a request in this year for $1.4 million.  

10          And the allocation that came forward was 

11          zero.  

12                 Do you believe that this is something 

13          that should be changed?  And do you believe 

14          that this is something that can help us with 

15          this Anti-Poverty Initiative?  

16                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  I have 

17          some knowledge of the 211 system that has 

18          been developed.  I also know that some 

19          communities have their own version of the 211 

20          system.  However, I do believe it's a really 

21          effective and positive model.  The funding 

22          for the 211, I don't know where it has come 

23          from.  Not from our agency.  So I'm not 

24          really sure what's going to happen to their 


 1          funding in next year.  But it is certainly a 

 2          good model that could be considered as 

 3          something that would be effective statewide.  

 4                 SENATOR KENNEDY:  Okay.  But putting 

 5          that funding back in place you feel would be 

 6          helpful to the Anti-Poverty Initiative 

 7          statewide?  

 8                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  I 

 9          believe that there are certain communities 

10          who would need a 211 system who don't 

11          currently have one.  And I think that that 

12          would be very helpful for them.  There are 

13          communities who have other 211 systems who 

14          don't need that support and help, so ...  

15                 SENATOR KENNEDY:  Thank you.  

16                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, Senator.  

17                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.  

18                 We've been joined by Assemblywoman 

19          Peoples-Stokes to ask a question.

20                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN PEOPLES-STOKES:  Thank 

21          you very much, Mr. Chairman.  

22                 And thank the panel for your comments.  

23          I did get the opportunity to hear most of 

24          them in the office this morning, and some of 


 1          them here.  So I appreciate your thoughts 

 2          here today.

 3                 One of the things that I'm sure you 

 4          all know, that the Governor has done a really 

 5          great job with highlighting the importance 

 6          and the value of minority and women business 

 7          enterprises.  And so I'm just wondering if 

 8          each of you could respectfully speak to the 

 9          role that your agency has played in fostering 

10          that business development in terms of vendors 

11          as well as developers.  

12                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE: 

13          Absolutely.  I'll take a crack at that first.  

14          I think the Office of Temporary and --

15                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN PEOPLES-STOKES:  I'm 

16          sorry, I can't hear you.

17                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  I just 

18          said I think I'll take a crack at that first.

19                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN PEOPLES-STOKES:  Okay.

20                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  The 

21          Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance 

22          has a robust minority- and women-owned 

23          business practice, and we have been able to 

24          achieve participation rates that meet the 


 1          statewide goals.  And so last year we were at 

 2          26.5 percent, and this upcoming year we're 

 3          expected to exceed the 30 percent goal.  

 4                 And so we have a program in place that 

 5          really is robust and reaches out to the 

 6          providers and makes sure that there is 

 7          participation through lots of outreach, lots 

 8          of connections with these local providers.  

 9          And so I think we are doing very well in this 

10          area.

11                 COMMISSIONER RUBIN:  I'm happy to say 

12          the same thing.  I realize, you know, 

13          Assemblymember, I'm relatively new to the 

14          agency.  Actually last year we were 

15          successful, I believe, in exceeding the 

16          Governor's goal, which was 20 percent at the 

17          time.  This year obviously we'll strive to 

18          hit and exceed 30 percent.  

19                 I should say that -- two things.  One, 

20          the new chairman of the board of the Housing 

21          Finance Authority, which oversees much of the 

22          work that our agency does, is Bill Thompson, 

23          who I think was the head of the Governor's 

24          commission on -- task force, exactly, on 


 1          MWBE.  So that obviously we're benefiting 

 2          from his expertise.  

 3                 And the other is Sharon Devine, to my 

 4          left, spent a number of her years at our 

 5          agency and is responsible for whatever 

 6          success we've had in past years.  So I can't 

 7          really take credit for it.

 8                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN PEOPLES-STOKES:  Thank 

 9          you.  And I will just add that, you know, you 

10          can't measure the value of allowing minority 

11          and women business enterprises to have access 

12          to do business with government.  It not only 

13          helps them and their immediate families, but 

14          it actually helps the community as well 

15          because they're able to create the small 

16          businesses that a lot of communities thrive 

17          on.  

18                 So I applaud your ability to meet 

19          those goals, and I'm almost sure that you're 

20          going to meet the new goals the Governor has 

21          set out.  And there's some things that we can 

22          do to be helpful to you to make sure that 

23          happens; we'd be happy to.  

24                 The only last point I want to make is, 


 1          you know, while it's good to be a vendor, 

 2          sometimes we have to make sure that we get 

 3          minority and women opportunities to be 

 4          developers as well.  

 5                 Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  

 6                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.  

 7                 Senator?  

 8                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you very 

 9          much.  

10                 That concludes your portion of the 

11          proceedings today.  So sincerely, thank you 

12          so much for your testimony.  We appreciate 

13          you being here and being on stage for so 

14          long.  So it's great to see you.

15                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER DEVINE:  Thank 

16          you.

17                 COMMISSIONER RUBIN:  Nice to see you, 

18          Senator.  Thank you.  

19                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Our next speaker, 

20          from the New York State Office for the Aging, 

21          Corinda Crossdale, director.  

22                 Welcome.

23                 DIRECTOR CROSSDALE:  Thank you.  

24                 Good afternoon, Chairpersons Young, 


 1          Farrell, Cymbrowitz and distinguished members 

 2          of the Senate Finance and Assembly Ways and 

 3          Means Committees.  My name is Corinda 

 4          Crossdale, and I am the director of the New 

 5          York State Office for the Aging.  

 6                 The New York State Office for the 

 7          Aging, established in 1961, is New York's 

 8          designated state unit on aging as required by 

 9          the federal Older Americans Act.  NYSOFA is 

10          the lead agency for promoting, coordinating, 

11          and administering federal, state and local 

12          programs and services for older New Yorkers 

13          age 60 and over and their caregivers.  

14                 The goals and priorities of the State 

15          Office for the Aging are consistent with the 

16          state's vision for promoting and sustaining 

17          the independence of older New Yorkers, 

18          slowing the growth of Medicaid spending, 

19          reducing preventable hospital readmissions, 

20          and supporting New York's Olmstead 

21          implementation plan.  

22                 In carrying out the agency's mission, 

23          NYSOFA provides leadership and direction to 

24          an integrated network of 59 county-based Area 


 1          Agencies on Aging and more than 1,200 public 

 2          and private organizations which serve and 

 3          help empower older adults and their families. 

 4          Governor Cuomo's priority to better 

 5          coordinate state agencies work in an effort 

 6          to better utilize and leverage existing 

 7          resources, reduce duplication, strengthen 

 8          service delivery, increase efficiencies and 

 9          improve outcomes, has led to stronger working 

10          partnerships among many agencies.  

11                 In addition to protecting and 

12          preserving core programs we administer, the 

13          Executive Budget over the past two years has 

14          invested an additional $8 million to increase 

15          access to services statewide.  This includes 

16          $7.5 million to expand the Community Services 

17          for the Elderly Program, which provides 

18          flexible funds to counties to meet locally 

19          determined needs and $500,000 to support the 

20          modernization of the Long Term Care Ombudsman 

21          Program.  LTCOP serves as the advocate and 

22          resource for persons who reside in long-term 

23          care facilities such as nursing homes, 

24          assisted living, and board and care homes.  


 1                 The Executive Budget also supports the 

 2          sustainability plan for the enhanced and 

 3          expanded New York Connects program under the 

 4          state's Balanced Incentive Payment award.  

 5          New York Connects is a statewide, locally 

 6          based no-wrong-door system that provides 

 7          one-stop access to free, objective and 

 8          comprehensive information and assistance on 

 9          accessing long-term services and supports.  

10                 NYSOFA receives about $210 million 

11          annually from the federal Administration for 

12          Community Living and state General Fund 

13          resources.  These funds leverage an 

14          additional $250 million from county match, 

15          voluntary contributions, cost sharing, and 

16          fundraising.  

17                 The statewide network of service 

18          providers and volunteers that work to support 

19          older adults and their caregivers are able to 

20          be successful because of the public/private 

21          partnerships that have been built as a result 

22          of how the network was originally organized, 

23          and the recognition that partnerships are the 

24          only way to strengthen and expand services. 


 1          These services are coordinated with other 

 2          entities that provide similar services, such 

 3          as faith-based organizations, not-for 

 4          profits, and other municipal supports.  

 5                 The aging services network provides 

 6          the following core services to communities 

 7          statewide:  Legal services; caregiver support 

 8          services, such as support groups, training 

 9          and respite; care management and assistance 

10          with everyday tasks such as bathing, 

11          dressing, eating, house cleaning, laundry, 

12          meal preparation, grocery shopping, errands, 

13          and bill paying; social adult day services; 

14          and transportation and other services that 

15          you'll find in your written testimony.  

16                 Preliminary data has shown that when 

17          compared to last year, the network has 

18          expanded access to many core services. 

19          Service expansion between 6 percent and 

20          41 percent were realized depending on the 

21          particular service.  Additionally, NYSOFA's 

22          partnership with the county Offices for the 

23          Aging and sister state agencies to increase 

24          access to services has yielded positive 


 1          results.  And these include our Health 

 2          Insurance, Information, Counseling and 

 3          Assistance Program.  HIICAP was able to 

 4          provide savings in the amount of 

 5          $43.6 million to low-income New York Medicare 

 6          beneficiaries who were seeking financial 

 7          assistance with prescription drugs and other 

 8          Medicare costs through enrollment assistance 

 9          into the Extra Help and Medicare Savings 

10          Programs.  This past year, HIICAP served over 

11          158,000 Medicare beneficiaries in New York 

12          State.  

13                 Our enhanced and expanded New York 

14          Connects became operational across the state, 

15          including the five boroughs comprising New 

16          York City, as of September 30, 2015.  Work is 

17          ongoing to reach full implementation by the 

18          end of 2016.  

19                 NYSOFA continues to work closely with 

20          DOH and other state partners -- OPWDD, OMH, 

21          OASAS -- as well as the local New York 

22          Connects programs.  An RFA to expand and 

23          enhance New York Connects for persons with 

24          physical disabilities will be issued in 2016.  


 1                 Elder abuse/crimes against the 

 2          elderly.  NYSOFA has partnered with OCFS and 

 3          other partners to pilot an enhanced 

 4          multidisciplinary team approach in combating 

 5          elder abuse and financial exploitation.  The 

 6          addition of a forensic accountant within the 

 7          E-MDTs has proven to be a very successful 

 8          model.  Training has been initiated with DFS 

 9          and OCFS for financial institutions on 

10          financial exploitation.  

11                 NYSOFA is also working with DCJS to 

12          update the basic course for police officers 

13          in New York State to help law enforcement be 

14          better equipped to identify and assist older 

15          adults who are abused or are victims of other 

16          crimes.  

17                 The Senior Farmers Market Nutrition 

18          Program.  In partnership with the Department 

19          of Agriculture and Markets, county Offices 

20          for the Aging received 25 percent increases 

21          in the number and value of coupon books that 

22          allows low-income, at-risk older adults to 

23          purchase locally grown fresh fruits and 

24          vegetables.  


 1                 NYSOFA continues to be proactive in 

 2          working to improve service delivery and 

 3          advocacy for older adults by increasing 

 4          partnerships and integrating our work with 

 5          other agencies and entities.  I want to thank 

 6          you for your commitment to aging services and 

 7          for your partnership.  We look forward to 

 8          continuing to create systems that are 

 9          seamless for the consumer and their families. 

10                 And I want to thank you for the 

11          opportunity to share my comments.  I am happy 

12          to answer any questions you may have.

13                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, Director 

14          Crossdale.  We appreciate your testimony.  

15                 I'm very pleased to announce that 

16          we've been joined by the chair of the Senate 

17          Aging Committee, and that's Senator Sue 

18          Serino.  And I believe that she would like to 

19          speak.  

20                 SENATOR SERINO:  Good afternoon.  My 

21          question is regarding the Community Services 

22          for the Elderly program.  I know that we've 

23          had an additional $7.5 million for the CSE 

24          over the last two fiscal years which has been 


 1          maintained in the Executive Budget.  But how 

 2          has this funding reduced waiting lists at the 

 3          local level?  

 4                 DIRECTOR CROSSDALE:  We've seen 

 5          increases in services across all of the core 

 6          service programs, and that was at between 6 

 7          and 41 percent.  So it has had an impact on 

 8          waiting lists across the entire state in the 

 9          aging network.  

10                 I also wanted to point out, I had 

11          mentioned in my comments that the funding 

12          that we receive and distribute to the 

13          counties through the area Agencies on Aging 

14          also leverage an additional $250 million in 

15          services.  

16                 So though an individual might be on a 

17          waiting list with the area Agency on Aging, 

18          it doesn't equate to no services at all.  

19          They would most likely be referred to another 

20          community not-for-profit organization or a 

21          faith-based community organization to 

22          continue to receive services.  

23                 We continue to track those individuals 

24          through the area Agencies on Aging, but they 


 1          do receive services in the interim.

 2                 SENATOR SERINO:  Okay.  And what are 

 3          some of the other unmet needs local Aging 

 4          offices are facing?

 5                 DIRECTOR CROSSDALE:  I would say when 

 6          we do our needs assessment or when we receive 

 7          the needs assessments through the area 

 8          Agencies on Aging, some of their top priority 

 9          areas are assisting caregivers in making sure 

10          that they have the resources that they need 

11          to continue to provide for their loved ones.  

12          And another top area with the needs 

13          assessment has been with transportation.  

14                 Our area Agencies on Aging do provide 

15          us with an annual implementation plan on how 

16          they're going to address the identified needs 

17          in their area and what our office can do to 

18          assist with that.  

19                 SENATOR SERINO:  Can I ask another --

20                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Sure, Senator, you 

21          still have at least eight minutes or more, as 

22          chair of Aging.  Even more if you need to.

23                 SENATOR SERINO:  Thank you.  With 

24          regard to New York Connects, the recent 


 1          statewide expansion of the New York Connects 

 2          program has been financed through one-time 

 3          federal balancing incentive program BIP 

 4          funding.  Is there funding in the budget to 

 5          maintain support for New York Connects upon 

 6          the expiration of the BIP funding in October?  

 7                 DIRECTOR CROSSDALE:  Absolutely.  That 

 8          initial investment was for infrastructure 

 9          building.  And it's not in the language of 

10          this year's budget, but last year's budget 

11          did include the language of an investment of 

12          $18 million in sustainability funds.  That's 

13          under the global Medicaid cap.  And we stay 

14          in close contact with the Department of 

15          Health, and that funding is still available 

16          for sustainability.  

17                 We had an extension through the 

18          federal government this year, so we didn't 

19          need the global cap this year.  But it will 

20          be in the language next year.

21                 SENATOR SERINO:  Then another question 

22          I have is do you anticipate any discrepancies 

23          in the availability of the services to older 

24          adults who are on Medicaid versus older 


 1          adults who are not receiving Medicaid 

 2          support?  

 3                 DIRECTOR CROSSDALE:  I think that 

 4          there's synergies.  We serve all older 

 5          adults, regardless of what type of source of 

 6          funding of assistance that they're receiving.  

 7          So we do serve individuals who are on 

 8          Medicaid and individuals who are not 

 9          receiving  Medicaid funds.  

10                 With the implementations of the MLTCs, 

11          we do look at transitioning individuals who 

12          might be receiving services through our 

13          network who are now eligible to receive 

14          services through the MLTCs.  So we do look 

15          across the board at all funding sources as we 

16          deliver services to older New Yorkers.  

17                 SENATOR SERINO:  Okay, great.  

18                 And then my last question is about the 

19          NORCs.  The Executive proposes to prohibit 

20          awarding contracts to NORC and Neighborhood 

21          NORC if the program is not in compliance with 

22          statutory requirements.  And how many NORCs 

23          and Neighborhood NORCs are currently not in 

24          compliance with the statutory requirements?  


 1                 DIRECTOR CROSSDALE:  There are seven 

 2          Neighborhood NORCs currently not in 

 3          compliance, and four NORCs not currently in 

 4          compliance.

 5                 SENATOR SERINO:  And do you know where 

 6          the NORCs are located?

 7                 DIRECTOR CROSSDALE:  I do.  I can 

 8          provide you with that list, or I can -- I 

 9          could read it off.

10                 SENATOR SERINO:  That's okay.  Thank 

11          you.  

12                 And do you believe there could be 

13          unintended consequences of not providing 

14          these supports to communities, such as a more 

15          expensive placement like assisted living or 

16          nursing home placement?  

17                 DIRECTOR CROSSDALE:  A lot of the 

18          NORCs are cofunded, so they have other 

19          resources that go into their programs.  The 

20          vast majority of the funding goes towards 

21          hiring individuals to coordinate the program.  

22          The actual services are provided by local 

23          service providers.  

24                 So when you look at the -- let's say 


 1          the nursing component, when they go in and 

 2          they take blood pressure, that's an existing 

 3          service provider in the community that's not 

 4          funded by the NORC, but those services are 

 5          coordinated by individuals hired to implement 

 6          the NORC program.  

 7                 And just a portion of their funding, 

 8          the funding for their salary, comes out of 

 9          NYSOFA's budget.  So you might find like a 

10          program coordinator, maybe 15 percent of 

11          their total salary is paid out of the NYSOFA 

12          budget.  So those positions won't go away.  

13                 We would also work with the local 

14          areas Agencies on Aging to look for 

15          alternatives.

16                 SENATOR SERINO:  Great.  Thank you, 

17          Director.

18                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, Senator.

19                 Assemblyman?  

20                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Assemblyman 

21          Cymbrowitz, chairman for Aging.

22                 ASSEMBLYMAN CYMBROWITZ:  Thank you, 

23          chairman.  

24                 Thank you, Director Crossdale.  


 1          Wonderful to see you this afternoon.  

 2                 I think the best way to sum up the 

 3          Executive's proposal for NYSOFA is flat.  

 4          There are no significant increases in the 

 5          funding and a few cuts that are very 

 6          concerning.  

 7                 If we're going to be serious about the 

 8          goal of keeping older adults in the community 

 9          and the fact that there is an increase in 

10          seniors on a daily basis, we need to figure 

11          out a way of funding those needs and how to 

12          develop more service infrastructure for our 

13          seniors.  

14                 So I'd like to follow up and talk 

15          about what Senator Serino talked about, and 

16          the fact that one of the programs that you're 

17          cutting is NORCs.  The Executive has 

18          identified about a million dollars from NORCs 

19          and Neighborhood NORCs as savings.  That's 

20          almost a 25 percent cut.  Can you talk about 

21          exactly where those funds are going to be 

22          going?  

23                 DIRECTOR CROSSDALE:  Based on the 

24          current budget proposal, there's no plan for 


 1          reinvestment.  But we would be open to 

 2          considering other options as we move through 

 3          the budget-making process.

 4                 ASSEMBLYMAN CYMBROWITZ:  Now, these 

 5          NORCs have contracts with NYSOFA; is that not 

 6          correct?  

 7                 DIRECTOR CROSSDALE:  That's correct, 

 8          yes.

 9                 ASSEMBLYMAN CYMBROWITZ:  So what 

10          happens to those contracts?

11                 DIRECTOR CROSSDALE:  We would have a 

12          transition plan in working with the current 

13          NORC providers.  It wouldn't necessarily be a 

14          cliff as of April 1.  We would look at the 

15          time they have left in their contract period 

16          and then what would happen with those 

17          services as they move forward.  

18                 We would also work with the area 

19          Agencies on Aging at the local level, because 

20          there are investments at the local level, to 

21          see if there are possibilities of investments 

22          from other funding into those programs.

23                 ASSEMBLYMAN CYMBROWITZ:  Will any of 

24          the contracts that are mid-term be cut?  


 1          Those that are in the middle of their 

 2          contracts, will they be ended?  

 3                 DIRECTOR CROSSDALE:  There's a 

 4          possibility.  But again, we would work on a 

 5          transition plan.  We wouldn't just drop them 

 6          immediately.  This would be a conversation 

 7          that we would have with the service provider.  

 8                 We would also go back and look at the 

 9          data that was presented that really 

10          identified those NORCs and Neighborhood 

11          NORCs, just to make sure there weren't any 

12          shifts in the data since we looked at it 

13          last.  So that would be part of the overall 

14          analysis.

15                 ASSEMBLYMAN CYMBROWITZ:  Could you 

16          talk a little bit about exactly what NORCs 

17          do?  Not only classic NORCs, but Neighborhood 

18          NORCs as well.

19                 DIRECTOR CROSSDALE:  It's really a 

20          coordination of services.  As I mentioned, a 

21          lot of the service providers that go into the 

22          neighborhood NORCs and the traditional NORCs 

23          already exist in the community.  The 

24          coordinating staff pull all of those services 


 1          together, because there is a high 

 2          concentration of older adults, as we know, in 

 3          those neighborhood NORCs and the traditional 

 4          NORCs, to make sure that the older adults are 

 5          receiving the services that they need to 

 6          remain in their communities and in their 

 7          homes.  

 8                 So it's really about the coordination 

 9          of services.

10                 ASSEMBLYMAN CYMBROWITZ:  So which 

11          programs would be impacted by that reduction?  

12          You mentioned that there are seven 

13          neighborhood NORCs and four classic NORCs.  

14          Could you tell us which ones they are?

15                 DIRECTOR CROSSDALE:  Yes.  So with the 

16          neighborhood NORCs, in Albany it would be 

17          Jewish Family Services of Northeastern 

18          New York.  In Monroe it would be the Jewish 

19          Family Services of Rochester.  In Nassau it 

20          would be the Mid-Island Y Jewish Community 

21          Center.  In New York City, it would be the 

22          Isabella Geriatric Center.  Again in 

23          New York, it would be the Visiting Nurse 

24          Services Center.  In Queens it would be the 


 1          Samuel Field YWHA.  In Queens it would be the 

 2          Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement House.  

 3                 And with our NORCs, in New York it 

 4          would be the Grand Street Settlement.  Again 

 5          in New York, the Henry Street Settlement.  

 6          Again in New York, Stanley Isaacs 

 7          Neighborhood Center.  And again in New York, 

 8          Samuel Field YWHA.  

 9                 A lot of these also have investments 

10          from DFTA in the tune of almost $6.5 million, 

11          and they also receive funding from the 

12          City Council in the tune of $2.1 million.  So 

13          it would be hard to say what the actual 

14          impact would be.  We have to look at their 

15          budget and see what other investments go into 

16          their programs to determine the ultimate 

17          impact.

18                 ASSEMBLYMAN CYMBROWITZ:  One of the 

19          requirements for NORCs is to find matching 

20          funds.  So you're now punishing these NORCs 

21          and Neighborhood NORCs, and I find it 

22          extremely interesting that most of them are 

23          in New York City and most of them, it's -- 

24          I'm shocked, most of them are in 


 1          neighborhoods that are serving Jewish 

 2          communities.  Because almost six out of the 

 3          11 or seven out of the 11 had the word 

 4          "Jewish" in the name of the organization or 

 5          serve a YMHA, which is the Young Men's Hebrew 

 6          Association.  

 7                 I'm concerned that the match is being 

 8          punished and certain communities in New York 

 9          City are being punished.

10                 DIRECTOR CROSSDALE:  The decision 

11          wasn't made based on quality of services and 

12          certainly wasn't made to punish any provider.  

13          We think they all do a fantastic job.  

14                 As stewards of taxpayer dollars, we 

15          can't fund programs that are out of 

16          compliance with statutory requirements.  We 

17          would be, though, open to other options as we 

18          move through the budget-making process.

19                 ASSEMBLYMAN CYMBROWITZ:  But you're 

20          specifically asking for matching funds.  A 

21          certain amount of funds -- a certain amount 

22          of dollars have to be matched.  And those 

23          that are receiving DFTA funds or other funds, 

24          you're saying, well, they have enough money.  


 1          Isn't that what you're saying?

 2                 DIRECTOR CROSSDALE:  No, absolutely 

 3          not.  A lot of the match that goes into the 

 4          NORC and Neighborhood NORC programs are 

 5          in-kind match.  So whenever we have a 

 6          community provider that goes in and, say, 

 7          like I had mentioned, provides nursing 

 8          services, the value of that service can be 

 9          used as an in-kind match.  

10                 For some of our programs that are in 

11          extremely impoverished areas, we do have the 

12          ability to waive the match, and I sign off on 

13          those.  And we have, on a lot of these, 

14          waived the match because of the low-income 

15          neighborhoods that these NORCs reside in.

16                 ASSEMBLYMAN CYMBROWITZ:  Is there 

17          something wrong with DFTA and New York City 

18          funding a program and NYSOFA -- you're 

19          basically saying the two can't be funded at 

20          the same time because they're providing 

21          services -- or they're providing too many 

22          services?  I mean, what's the rationale 

23          behind that?  

24                 DIRECTOR CROSSDALE:  Oh, no, they can 


 1          absolutely provide services in tandem with 

 2          each other.  New York City has its own 

 3          regulations and rules outside of what we 

 4          might find in the New York State Older 

 5          Americans Act.  We have for decades provided 

 6          services in tandem with New York City.  It's 

 7          not a question of whether or not we can do 

 8          this in partnership, because we thrive off 

 9          partnerships in the aging network.  It's just 

10          strictly a matter of not meeting the 

11          statutory requirements under the Older 

12          Americans -- or the New York State Elder Law.  

13          It's not based on anything outside of that.

14                 ASSEMBLYMAN CYMBROWITZ:  Which 

15          statutory requirement are they not, you 

16          know -- what are they missing?  Which 

17          requirements are they not matching?  

18                 DIRECTOR CROSSDALE:  It has to do with 

19          the number of older adults that are residing 

20          in the catchment area.  For the Neighborhood 

21          NORCs, they have to have 40 percent of older 

22          adults, identified as those being 60 years of 

23          age or older.  And they also can't have more 

24          than 2,000 older adults living in the 


 1          catchment area.  

 2                 For the NORCs, it's 50 percent of the 

 3          residents have to be 60 years of age or 

 4          older, and they have to have a minimum of 

 5          2500 older adults living in the residence.  

 6                 So those are the areas where the 

 7          Neighborhood NORCs and NORCs that are 

 8          identified have fallen outside of the 

 9          statutory requirements.

10                 ASSEMBLYMAN CYMBROWITZ:  The goal of 

11          NORCs and Neighborhood NORCs is to help 

12          residents maintain their independence, keep 

13          them out of nursing homes, unnecessary -- you 

14          know, try to avoid unnecessary hospital 

15          visits.  

16                 By cutting these programs, these 11 

17          programs, what would be the Medicaid impact 

18          of reducing the availability of services?  

19                 DIRECTOR CROSSDALE:  I don't know that 

20          there would be a Medicaid impact.  The nature 

21          of all of our programs in the aging network, 

22          all have the same goal as the NORCs.  That's 

23          to keep older adults at home, to reduce the 

24          rehospitalization, to reduce the risk of 


 1          going into a skilled nursing facility.  So 

 2          it's not that these older individuals in any 

 3          of these areas would cease to receive 

 4          services through the aging network; it just 

 5          might be through a different mechanism.

 6                 ASSEMBLYMAN CYMBROWITZ:  Would you 

 7          have a number of how many people would be 

 8          affected by eliminating these 11 NORCs and 

 9          Neighborhood NORCs?  

10                 DIRECTOR CROSSDALE:  I can certainly 

11          get that data for you.  I don't have it in 

12          front of me this afternoon.

13                 ASSEMBLYMAN CYMBROWITZ:  Okay.  Would 

14          you be able to give me a number also of what 

15          the economic and healthcare consequences are 

16          by reducing the Neighborhood and classic 

17          NORCs in these communities and what the 

18          impact would be on Medicaid funding?  

19                 DIRECTOR CROSSDALE:  I can certainly 

20          try to pull that data together.  But again, 

21          it doesn't mean that we couldn't put other 

22          services in place for the individuals who are 

23          residing in those catchment areas.  That 

24          would definitely be part of the analysis.


 1                 ASSEMBLYMAN CYMBROWITZ:  It just 

 2          doesn't seem that it's worth doing this to 

 3          11 neighborhoods for $951,000.  I just don't 

 4          know what the Executive was thinking.  

 5                 DIRECTOR CROSSDALE:  We're certainly 

 6          open to other options.  The conversation is 

 7          not closed.  We can discuss this further as 

 8          we move through the budget-making process to 

 9          see if we can come up with other 

10          alternatives.

11                 ASSEMBLYMAN CYMBROWITZ:  Thank you 

12          very much.  

13                 Thank you, Chairman -- Chairwoman.  

14                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Okay.  Thank you 

15          for that.  

16                 I don't think that we have any more 

17          questions, so we wanted to -- oh, I'm sorry.  

18          Senator Savino.  I didn't see you down there.  

19                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Thank you, Senator 

20          Young.  

21                 Just briefly, I wanted to -- first of 

22          all, welcome to the hearing.  By the way, you 

23          have the greatest name, Corinda Crossdale.  I 

24          love that.  It's like alliterative.


 1                 DIRECTOR CROSSDALE:  Thank you.

 2                 SENATOR SAVINO:  I wanted to talk 

 3          about two issues.

 4                 One, as you know, in 2013 or 2014 -- 

 5          2014, we took the step of raising the income 

 6          eligibility levels for SCRIE and DRIE.  But 

 7          those income eligibilities are going to 

 8          expire, sunset later this year.  Would you 

 9          support an extension, a permanent extension 

10          of raising those levels?  As you know, many 

11          seniors, if they lose this SCRIE benefit that 

12          they've now been able to obtain, are going to 

13          wind up in a scenario where they're not going 

14          to be able to afford their apartments.  

15                 DIRECTOR CROSSDALE:  I'm of course not 

16          an expert on SCRIE and DRIE, but I do know it 

17          does have a significant impact, especially in 

18          the New York City area, for older adults.  

19                 We've worked very closely with DFTA to 

20          ensure that older adults who are eligible for 

21          SCRIE are aware that that benefit exists.  

22          And it has had a positive impact on older 

23          New Yorkers -- and, like I said, in 

24          particular in the New York City area.


 1                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Good.  I also noticed 

 2          that your office is going to be working on 

 3          elder abuse.  And I see the partners that 

 4          you're working with, which is OCFS and other 

 5          agencies and law enforcement.  

 6                 Have you had any discussions with the 

 7          banking industry?  And I asked you this 

 8          question because earlier this year I was able 

 9          to sponsor an elder abuse roundtable with 

10          some individuals from the banking industry, 

11          because they're usually the first people to 

12          see this happening.  So will they be part of 

13          this endeavor?  

14                 DIRECTOR CROSSDALE:  They have been 

15          part of it.  I've been in the network for it 

16          seems like forever.  We've had conversations 

17          with them over the last couple of decades 

18          that I've worked in human services, through 

19          this initiative with the enhanced 

20          multidisciplinary teams.  DFS has actually 

21          had training for financial institutes to help 

22          them further be able to identify where there 

23          might be instances of financial abuse on 

24          older adults, and then what do you do with 


 1          that information, who do you report that to.  

 2          So that training extends beyond just saying 

 3          this is what it is.  

 4                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Are you including -- 

 5          in the City are you including Adult 

 6          Protective Services also at HRA?  

 7                 DIRECTOR CROSSDALE:  They are a key 

 8          component across the State of New York.  A 

 9          lot of referrals don't come into the aging 

10          network.  The first line of defense typically 

11          is PSA -- or APS, if you're in the upstate 

12          area.  

13                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Six of one, 

14          half-dozen of the other.

15                 DIRECTOR CROSSDALE:  Yeah, same thing.

16                 SENATOR SAVINO:  And the final thing, 

17          a few years ago we were seeing, especially in 

18          the City of New York, in communities where 

19          you had large populations of seniors who were 

20          non-English speakers who were being enrolled 

21          into long-term-care programs through social 

22          adult daycare programs.  

23                 There was a proliferation of illegal 

24          social adult daycare centers.  There was a 


 1          crackdown on some of them; some of the worst 

 2          actors have been prosecuted.  But we're 

 3          seeing it again, and they're popping up.  And 

 4          you just have to go into one of them and look 

 5          at them and you know that these are not 

 6          seniors who should be in a social adult 

 7          daycare center.  We're seeing healthy 

 8          seniors, they're dancing -- it's basically a 

 9          senior center where Medicaid is paying for 

10          it.  

11                 So I know OMIG technically is 

12          responsible for investigating, but it's 

13          critically important, I think, that your 

14          agency cooperate with that, because, you 

15          know, it's not just fraud, it's having an 

16          effect also on the senior centers that are 

17          licensed by DFTA.  Because, as you know, they 

18          keep their doors open by serving a certain 

19          number of meals.  And when you're siphoning 

20          healthy seniors out of that process into 

21          these social adult daycare centers, they 

22          can't compete, they lose their license, their 

23          doors shut, and then there's nowhere for 

24          seniors to go.  


 1                 So this is not a solved problem, it is 

 2          a continuing one, and we look forward to 

 3          working with your agency and others to fix 

 4          this problem.  

 5                 DIRECTOR CROSSDALE:  I absolutely 

 6          agree with your assessment.  We definitely 

 7          work in partnership with the Department of 

 8          Health, OMIG.  This is definitely something 

 9          that we've seen, primarily in the New York 

10          City area.  And we work very closely with 

11          DFTA.  Any time they receive a complaint 

12          through their established ombudsman program, 

13          we receive copies of all of the complaints 

14          and copies of the resolution.  

15                 And I do share anything that comes 

16          through our agency with OMIG and DOH to make 

17          sure we all stay on the same page with this.

18                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Great.  Thank you.

19                 DIRECTOR CROSSDALE:  You're welcome.

20                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.  

21                 Assemblyman?

22                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Hi, Director.  

23          Yeah, over here.  Sorry, I switched on you.  

24                 Just before we thank you for your 


 1          testimony -- and we very much appreciate 

 2          it -- I just want to echo the comments of 

 3          Chairman Cymbrowitz.  NORCs are especially 

 4          important to us, not only in New York City 

 5          but upstate.  We had a chance under Steve's 

 6          leadership to talk about this in our 

 7          Democratic conference, and it was almost 

 8          universal how important the NORCs are.  

 9                 So I just wanted to express that to 

10          you, and hopefully we can work towards a good 

11          resolution under your leadership and the 

12          leadership of the chairman.  Thank you.

13                 DIRECTOR CROSSDALE:  I look forward to 

14          working with you.  

15                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, 

16          Assemblyman Hevesi.  

17                 Senator Serino has one more question.  

18          Or more.  

19                 SENATOR SERINO:  Yes, thank you, 

20          Director Crossdale.  I just have one other 

21          question with regard to the NORCs.  

22                 I was wondering about the monitoring 

23          process and when did they identify that these 

24          NORCs were not in compliance.  And also with 


 1          a follow-up to that, have there been 

 2          discussions with the NORCs regarding this as 

 3          well?  

 4                 DIRECTOR CROSSDALE:  This started 

 5          prior to my -- the analysis started prior to 

 6          my taking on my current position.  

 7                 The agency did do due diligence, they 

 8          did stretch this out as long as they possibly 

 9          could, taking into the consideration the 

10          census data -- that's how we identify the 

11          number of older adults in particular areas.  

12          They also took further into account the 

13          American Communities Survey, which drills 

14          down a little bit deeper to make sure that 

15          what they were seeing in the census data was 

16          accurate.  

17                 They did reach out to all of the NORCs 

18          and neighborhood NORCs and had conversations 

19          with them to further verify the data.  So 

20          they spent a number of years looking at this 

21          and looking at the trends to see are we 

22          seeing what we think we're seeing -- are we 

23          seeing a reduction in older adults in these 

24          NORCs and Neighborhood NORCs.  


 1                 So I think the agency did a fantastic 

 2          job of collecting the data before any final 

 3          decisions were made.  As both you and 

 4          Assemblymember Cymbrowitz mentioned, this is 

 5          a very vulnerable population, and we want to 

 6          make sure that they're well taken care of.

 7                 SENATOR SERINO:  Absolutely.  Thank 

 8          you.

 9                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you very 

10          much.  

11                 So, Director Crossdale, I think you've 

12          heard there that there is concern among the 

13          members who are here today about the proposal 

14          regarding the NORCs and the Neighborhood  

15          NORCS.  And I think that one of the concerns, 

16          of course, is that we always want seniors to 

17          be able to live in the most appropriate 

18          setting.  And this provides a home for them.  

19                 And as we move forward, if we could 

20          take a look at that situation again, that 

21          would be most helpful.  Because the 

22          alternative may be placing people in a higher 

23          level of care that could -- that maybe is not 

24          necessary and also, you know, is more costly.  


 1          So if you could take a look at it, that would 

 2          be great.  

 3                 We thank you for your testimony today.  

 4          We appreciate you being here and look forward 

 5          to working with you in the future.  So thank 

 6          you so much.

 7                 DIRECTOR CROSSDALE:  Thank you.

 8                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  That concludes the 

 9          state agency part of the testimony for 

10          today's hearing.  So it's almost 2 o'clock; 

11          we've been going for nearly 4 1/2 hours.  We 

12          have 31 speakers left to go, just so you 

13          know.

14                 And I consulted with Assemblyman 

15          Farrell, Chairman Farrell, and he agrees that 

16          we should move into this portion of the 

17          program with each participant giving five 

18          minutes of testimony, if you could stick to 

19          that number.  Obviously if Senators or 

20          Assemblymembers have follow-up questions, 

21          those will be entertained.  But we want to 

22          make sure that everyone has the chance to 

23          speak today, and we want to be sensitive to 

24          people's time constraints.  So the further 


 1          you are down, of course, the longer you're 

 2          going to have to wait.

 3                 So we want to make sure that this 

 4          moves along, but at the same time, we want to 

 5          hear from people.  If you cannot stay, you're 

 6          welcome to submit your testimony, and that's 

 7          an option.  But we do look forward to hearing 

 8          from you. 

 9                 So our first speaker, moving into this 

10          section of the program, is Patricia Sheehy, 

11          legislative committee chair and director of 

12          Putnam County Office for Senior Resources, 

13          with the Association on Aging in New York.  

14                 Welcome.

15                 MS. SHEEHY:  Good afternoon, Chairman 

16          Young and Assemblyman Hevesi.  My name is Pat 

17          Sheehy, and I am the chair of the Legislative 

18          Committee of the Association of Aging in 

19          New York.  And I'm also the director of the  

20          Putnam County Office for Senior Resources.  

21                 I would like to thank the Aging 

22          Committee Chairs Senator Serino and 

23          Assemblyman Cymbrowitz for their dedication 

24          to older New Yorkers.  


 1                 Our association represents 59 mostly 

 2          county-based Area Agencies on Aging, known as 

 3          the AAAs, throughout New York State.  These 

 4          agencies design, fund, and coordinate 

 5          programs that maintain seniors in their homes 

 6          to help delay and possibly prevent the need 

 7          for more medically intensive and costly 

 8          healthcare services.  

 9                 Our counties are seeing an 

10          ever-expanding 60-plus population, in 

11          addition to complex needs of those who are 

12          75 and 85-plus.  This cohort has put an 

13          additional strain on our aging services 

14          network.  In 2015, 20 percent or 3.7 million 

15          New York residents were 60-plus.  And this 

16          was the first time in history that we've seen 

17          that number.  By 2025, 51 counties will have 

18          25 percent or more of their population over 

19          the age of 60.  

20                 As many of you know, funding has 

21          remained rather flat for the non-Medicaid 

22          programs that serve older New Yorkers, such 

23          as those programs provided through the AAAs.  

24          The result:  New Yorkers with long-term care 


 1          needs end up on a waiting list for vital 

 2          services such as home-delivered meals, social 

 3          adult daycare, transportation, and case 

 4          management.  

 5                 The Governor's budget includes the 

 6          increased funding the Legislature added last 

 7          year for CSE and the Long Term Care Ombudsman 

 8          program.  Once again, we thank you for that 

 9          increase.  However, while the Executive 

10          Budget baselines funding for certain 

11          programs, there remains a significant unmet 

12          need.  The budget proposal includes multiyear 

13          plans for a number of other agencies and 

14          sectors, yet not for the seniors, the 

15          fastest-growing population in New York.  The 

16          time has come for a focus and a serious 

17          investment in our aging network.  

18                 The Association on Aging in New York, 

19          along with our colleagues LiveOn NY and 

20          Lifespan, have developed a $177 million 

21          multiyear plan to modernize long-term 

22          services and supports for older New Yorkers.  

23          The full plan is included in our written 

24          testimony, and I'd like to just highlight a 


 1          few of those initiatives.

 2                 First is Community Services for the 

 3          Elderly.  There are nearly 10,000 older 

 4          New Yorkers on a waiting list.  CSE funds are 

 5          used for a wide array of programs and 

 6          services, which include transportation, adult 

 7          daycare, in-home care, personal emergency 

 8          response systems, and others.  We are 

 9          requesting an additional $15 million 

10          annually, without a local match, to eliminate 

11          these waiting lists.  

12                 New York Elder Caregiver Support 

13          Program.  We're asking for an additional 

14          $25 million annually under the Medicaid 

15          global cap to build on the existing Elder 

16          Caregiver Support Program for Alzheimer's and 

17          dementia-related individuals, and provide for 

18          enhanced services for the 4 million-plus 

19          family caregivers in New York State.  

20                 Elder abuse.  Elder abuse is 

21          underrecognized, underreported, and 

22          underprosecuted.  For every one case of elder 

23          abuse reported, there are 23 cases that go 

24          unreported. The Rochester-based Enhanced 


 1          Multi-Disciplinary Team has recovered more 

 2          than $500,000 for financial elder abuse 

 3          victims -- more than the previous 10 years 

 4          combined.  

 5                 Ten million dollars in funding for 

 6          elder abuse is needed to expand the 

 7          multidisciplinary teams statewide and to 

 8          support community-based programs that work to 

 9          prevent elder abuse.  

10                 Aging services network investment.  

11          Our aging services network has relied on 

12          volunteers to deliver many of our programs 

13          and services.  While volunteers are 

14          critically important, they cannot be a 

15          substitute for paid staff.  Increased funding 

16          of $35 million over a two-to-three-year 

17          period is needed to invest in this workforce.  

18                 Targeted EISEP.  Increased funding of 

19          $25 million will provide the AAAs with 

20          enhanced tools to target and assist older 

21          New Yorkers who are at imminent risk of 

22          Medicaid spend-down and nursing home 

23          placement.  We have identified a potential 

24          source of funding for this investment.  Since 


 1          2006, $37 million in federal money has been 

 2          drawn down by New York State using SOFA 

 3          programs -- that is, EISEP and CSE -- yet 

 4          these funds have remained in the Department 

 5          of Health.  These programs are the reason 

 6          New York has been able to draw down these 

 7          funds, and therefore we believe that these 

 8          funds should be suballocated to SOFA for 

 9          reinvestment in non-Medicaid aging services 

10          and programs.  

11                 Programs and supports provided by the 

12          AAAs and their community-based partner 

13          organizations are an integral part of the 

14          continuum of care for all New Yorkers as they 

15          age.  This comprehensive, multiyear, 10-point 

16          plan will help ensure that older New Yorkers 

17          receive the services they need to remain 

18          independent.  

19                 I want to thank you, and we look 

20          forward to working together to improve the 

21          lives of older New Yorkers.

22                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

23                 Senator Serino.

24                 SENATOR SERINO:  Welcome, Pat.  It's 


 1          nice to see you here.  Thanks for taking the 

 2          trip up.

 3                 In your role at the county level, you 

 4          have a front-row seat as to what is needed to 

 5          serve our aging population -- what works 

 6          well, and how we can do things better.  In 

 7          your opinion, both regionally and statewide, 

 8          what can we do better to help individuals age 

 9          in place?

10                 MS. SHEEHY:  I think that, you know, 

11          the thing that we really can do is to look 

12          over this request for the $177 million 

13          modernization and provide what we're asking, 

14          because all of those initiatives will help us 

15          to have our citizens remain in place.

16                 SENATOR SERINO:  And that's so 

17          important to all of us.

18                 And I just have one other question.  

19          In the fall you attended an elder abuse 

20          roundtable that I held in Dutchess County.  

21          At that roundtable, much of the discussion 

22          focused on multidisciplinary teams that are 

23          currently being used to address elder abuse 

24          in the western part of the state.  And they 


 1          do a great job.  Many, if not all, 

 2          represented that such teams could be a 

 3          tremendous benefit statewide.

 4                 What are your thoughts, and have the 

 5          AAAs taken a position on the expansion of the 

 6          multidisciplinary teams?

 7                 MS. SHEEHY:  The AAAs are in support 

 8          of the multidisciplinary teams and their 

 9          expansion.  I'm a great proponent of them; we 

10          saw how they work when I was regional 

11          director for the Office of Children and 

12          Family Services, and they're modeled after 

13          that.

14                 And I must say that just last month we 

15          unfortunately had a situation in Putnam 

16          County where a home health aide provider had 

17          tried to cash a check of one of the people 

18          she was taking care of, and the State Police 

19          got involved.  And it did have a successful 

20          outcome.  

21                 But just such a case, with the 

22          involvement of a multidisciplinary team and 

23          the model that has the bankers involved, 

24          would be a great benefit.  We're seeing more 


 1          and more fiscal abuse of our seniors every 

 2          day.  So that would be tremendously helpful 

 3          to us.

 4                 SENATOR SERINO:  Yes.  Thanks, Pat.  

 5          And I look forward to doing another 

 6          roundtable soon.  Thank you.  

 7                 MS. SHEEHY:  We are looking forward to 

 8          that too.  

 9                 And I want to thank both you and 

10          Assemblyman Cymbrowitz for the work that 

11          you've been doing with us.  Thank you.

12                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, Senator.

13                 Assemblyman Hevesi.

14                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Chairman 

15          Cymbrowitz.

16                 ASSEMBLYMAN CYMBROWITZ:  Thank you.

17                 Thank you for being here today.

18                 A lot of thought went into your 

19          testimony and the organizations that put this 

20          package together.  There's a lot of money in 

21          here over several years.  I'm sure you 

22          thought about where the funds would be coming 

23          from and how we can fund this over -- some of 

24          it is three years, some of it is five years.  


 1          Long-term funding.  Our budget is one year.

 2                 How do you foresee us funding this 

 3          request?

 4                 MS. SHEEHY:  Thank you for that 

 5          question.

 6                 As I said in the testimony, we did 

 7          identify that there has been money being 

 8          drawn down by the state.  And the way they 

 9          were able to draw it down was through the CSE 

10          and the EISEP services that we do provide.  

11          And I believe that $37 million has come into 

12          the state through that program since 2006.

13                 I believe that there's approximately 

14          $7.5 million that would be available right 

15          there this year alone.  So I would urge the 

16          Legislature to look into that.  I believe 

17          it's come through a waiver for the F-SHARP 

18          program.

19                 ASSEMBLYMAN CYMBROWITZ:  So you're 

20          talking about increases as opposed to cuts 

21          that are existing.  You know, for these 

22          programs there are cuts in the NYSOFA budget 

23          that we hope that we can find dollars 

24          for first before we do a three- or five-year 


 1          projection.

 2                 MS. SHEEHY:  Well, I hope that we'll 

 3          be able to be successful in finding both of 

 4          them.  I'd like to keep in mind that most of 

 5          the services that we are providing are to the 

 6          Medicare recipients and that these have been 

 7          New Yorkers who have lived their whole lives 

 8          and paid taxes to New York State throughout 

 9          that time.  And I think that they are 

10          well-deserving of these funds at this point 

11          in time.

12                 ASSEMBLYMAN CYMBROWITZ:  Well, I 

13          couldn't agree with you more.  But it's a 

14          matter of finding those dollars.

15                 Thank you very much.

16                 MS. SHEEHY:  Thank you.

17                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

18                 Okay.  Well, thank you so much for 

19          being here today.  We truly appreciate it.

20                 Our next speaker is from AARP:  Laura 

21          Palmer, associate state director.  

22                 And following Ms. Palmer we will have 

23          the Coalition for the Homeless, Shelly Nortz, 

24          deputy executive director of policy.  


 1                 So thank you, Associate Director 

 2          Palmer, for being here today.  We look 

 3          forward to what you have to say.

 4                 MS. PALMER:  Thank you very much.  And 

 5          good afternoon to the members of the 

 6          committee.  

 7                 My statement will focus on two basic 

 8          areas of import to our membership, State 

 9          Office for the Aging-funded programs and 

10          hunger-related programs.

11                 The Governor's Executive Budget 

12          essentially provides level funding for SOFA's 

13          non-Medicaid-funded home and community-based 

14          programs which support older people and their 

15          family caregivers.  These programs are vital 

16          for keeping older people out of 

17          taxpayer-funded institutions and are a great 

18          value to the millions of caregivers in our 

19          state.  

20                 The proposed flat funding is 

21          unfortunate.  According to the Association on 

22          Aging in New York, which represents county 

23          Offices for the Aging, there is a statewide 

24          waiting list of close to 10,000 people 


 1          seeking non-Medicaid-funded home and 

 2          community-based services through programs 

 3          such as the EISEP, Senior Transportation 

 4          Services, and home-delivered meals.  Many 

 5          counties don't keep waiting lists, and there 

 6          are an unknown number of people who are 

 7          eligible for these programs but who are not 

 8          aware of them.  

 9                 New York State should make an 

10          additional investment in non-Medicaid-funded 

11          home and community-based care that assists 

12          both older adults and their family 

13          caregivers.  New York State's lack of 

14          commitment to older residents and their 

15          caregivers frankly comes at the wrong time.  

16          Our population is aging, and it leaves fewer 

17          caregivers to care for a growing cohort of 

18          frail elderly residents.  

19                 A recent survey conducted by AARP 

20          New York shows that the majority of New York 

21          State voters aged 50 and over would much 

22          prefer to receive their long-term care 

23          services at home rather than in a long-term 

24          care facility.  The poll shows strong support 


 1          for New York to make an investment in home 

 2          and community-based services that help 

 3          seniors to age in place and to keep them out 

 4          of expensive Medicaid-funded nursing homes we 

 5          well.  

 6                 Our recommendations are, first, that 

 7          the budget include a $25 million investment 

 8          for SOFA to eliminate these waiting lists 

 9          through the Community Services for the 

10          Elderly program line; and secondly, that the 

11          budget include a $30 million investment in 

12          the SOFA Respite Program to provide services 

13          to family caregivers who are in need and in 

14          crisis.  These situations often arise while 

15          trying to help their loved ones to age in 

16          place in their communities, where they want 

17          to be.  

18                 The Governor's Executive Budget 

19          proposal also provides level funding for 

20          NORCs and Neighborhood NORCs, each at 

21          $2.275 million.  While we're grateful that 

22          this funding stream has been maintained, we 

23          are very concerned that the new language 

24          intends to recapture $951,000 from program 


 1          funding for the state.  

 2                 The new language specifies that the 

 3          existing, successful NORCs and Neighborhood 

 4          NORCs that are out of compliance with 

 5          outdated demographic and density requirements 

 6          in the current Elder Law -- to Assemblyman 

 7          Cymbrowitz's earlier question, it's 

 8          subdivision 1, Section 209 -- will have 

 9          contracts terminated at their next renewal 

10          date either in July or in January of this 

11          coming year.  This is estimated to affect 11 

12          of the 33 state-funded NORC and Neighborhood 

13          NORC programs throughout New York State.  

14                 AARP agrees that state funds should 

15          only be provided to successful and effective 

16          NORC and Neighborhood NORC programs.  

17          However, the compliance issues in this case 

18          are dictated by residency requirements in the 

19          current Elder Law, which have not been 

20          reexamined in the last 20 years.  Instead of 

21          taking funds from existing NORC and 

22          Neighborhood NORC services, there should be a 

23          focus on meeting the needs of an ever-growing 

24          and aging population.  


 1                 As New Yorkers age, an increasing 

 2          number of residents are going to require the 

 3          special health and social services that are 

 4          facilitated by NORC and Neighborhood NORC. 

 5          These programs and resources allow 

 6          New Yorkers to age in place, to thrive in 

 7          their communities, and to avoid unnecessary 

 8          hospitalization or early nursing home 

 9          placement.  

10                 Our recommendation is that the new 

11          language in the Executive Budget terminating 

12          contracts with effective programs should be 

13          excluded in the final State Budget.  However, 

14          there should be a review of the NORC statute, 

15          including a program review of the 

16          demographics and density requirements.  In 

17          addition, we recommend a $9 million 

18          appropriation to better serve this very 

19          vulnerable population.

20                 In the interests of time, I will cut 

21          short my hunger testimony.  I have submitted 

22          the full written testimony.  

23                 But I will say that it's estimated 

24          that three out of every five seniors facing 


 1          hunger here in New York are women, and 

 2          African-Americans and Hispanics are twice as 

 3          likely to face hunger threats than are 

 4          Caucasians.  Many older adults here in New 

 5          York are living on fixed incomes and rely on 

 6          their Social Security benefits as the main 

 7          source of their monthly income.  

 8                 A report issued by the Assembly 

 9          Hispanic Task Force this past May found some 

10          fairly alarming statistics that showed that 

11          the Latino elderly have the highest poverty 

12          rates of all elderly ethnic and racial groups 

13          in our state.  We would encourage the 

14          Legislature to take a look at this Assembly 

15          Hispanic Task Force report.  

16                 We support the Governor's hunger 

17          initiatives that include new funding and 

18          extending availability and access to SNAP 

19          benefits.  The task force report shows a 

20          fairly alarming trend, and clearly it needs 

21          to be arrested.

22                 I have gone over my time, so I'll say 

23          thank you for allowing us to testify.  I'm 

24          certainly happy to take any questions that 


 1          the committee might have.

 2                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Great.  

 3          Ms. Palmer, first, thank you for your 

 4          testimony.  Much appreciated.  

 5                 I would like to agree with you as it 

 6          relates to the hunger prevention.  And we 

 7          have been working in the Assembly, under the 

 8          leadership of Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, head 

 9          of the Hispanic Task Force, who is going to 

10          be pushing not only to deal with the SNAP 

11          issue but, more appropriately for us on the 

12          state level, the HPNAP funding, and see if we 

13          can address that problem that way.

14                 So we agree with you, and thank you 

15          for your testimony here today.  I do have -- 

16          there is one question by Senator Krueger.

17                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you very much.

18                 And I had to leave and come back, so I 

19          read the other testimony from the two senior 

20          groups prior.  No one's talked about the 

21          issue of dementia.  And I'm just curious, 

22          because in my district it seems that I 

23          have -- I have a very large percentage of 

24          seniors who live on the East Side of 


 1          Manhattan for a variety of housing 

 2          demographic reasons.  And you start to feel 

 3          like the issues of dementia and Alzheimer's 

 4          are impacting every other senior that comes 

 5          into your office for help.

 6                 So I'm wondering what AARP's positions 

 7          might be around the need for expanded 

 8          services to seniors for dementia issues.

 9                 MS. PALMER:  Certainly.  We know the 

10          longer that we live, the more likely we are 

11          to be impacted by dementia or Alzheimer's or 

12          other non-Alzheimer's dementias.  I think 

13          certainly some of our proposals around making 

14          sure that NORC continues to be an effective 

15          and strong support in the community, our 

16          proposals around providing robust support to 

17          family caregivers who are caring, 

18          increasingly, for people with dementia and 

19          Alzheimer's, are going to be absolutely 

20          critical.

21                 I think providing broad supports 

22          across the board will, by extension, help 

23          people with dementia.  We also offer 

24          programming and all of the other things that 


 1          AARP does.  But as far as our legislative 

 2          work, we stand by ready to help you with any 

 3          support that you're willing to offer to New 

 4          York residents living with dementias and 

 5          their family caregivers.

 6                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.

 7                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

 8                 I think we're all set, so we truly 

 9          appreciate your advocacy and your presence 

10          here today.

11                 MS. PALMER:  Thank you.

12                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  As I said, our next 

13          speaker will be from the Coalition for the 

14          Homeless, and that's Shelly Nortz, deputy 

15          executive director of policy.  

16                 Following Ms. Nortz we will have a 

17          panel from the New York State Veterans 

18          Council.

19                 Welcome.  Thank you for joining us 

20          here today.  

21                 MS. NORTZ:  Good afternoon.  And thank 

22          you for the opportunity to testify today.

23                 My name is Shelly Nortz, and since 

24          1987 I've had the privilege of representing 


 1          the Coalition for the Homeless here in 

 2          Albany, seeking funds to address the problem 

 3          of homelessness and the root causes of it.  

 4                 The members and leaders of the 

 5          New York State Assembly and Senate are to be 

 6          commended for spending the last year focusing 

 7          the entire state on the problem of 

 8          homelessness and promoting the solution we 

 9          all know works best:  Supportive housing.  

10          Assemblymember Hevesi and Senator Golden over 

11          the last year organized an unprecedented 

12          degree of support for their letters to 

13          Governor Cuomo calling for 35,000 units of 

14          supportive housing for homeless New Yorkers 

15          statewide.  

16                 Our elected officials from across the 

17          state turned out for rallies, forums, news 

18          conferences, public hearings, and other 

19          events to underscore the importance of 

20          gubernatorial leadership to provide the 

21          needed resources for this cost-effective 

22          housing solution.  Supportive housing, as we 

23          have said time and again, solves 

24          homelessness, improves neighborhoods, and 


 1          saves tax dollars.  

 2                 A two-year grass roots campaign 

 3          bolstered by your enthusiastic support 

 4          delivered big for homeless New Yorkers in 

 5          this budget.  Governor Cuomo has committed to 

 6          building 20,000 units of supportive housing 

 7          for homeless people over the next 15 years.  

 8          These units, combined with the 15,000 

 9          supportive housing units for homeless 

10          individuals and families announced by Mayor 

11          de Blasio in November, bring us to the 

12          35,000 units we have been fighting for, and 

13          now we all need to make it real.  

14                 We unequivocally support the state 

15          investments in capital, service and operating 

16          expenses for the first 6,000 units of 

17          supportive housing for homeless individuals 

18          and families, which Governor Cuomo proposes 

19          to fully fund.  

20                 We are most grateful both to Governor 

21          Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio for seeing the need 

22          and addressing it, and we call on them to 

23          guarantee the future of their respective 

24          commitments by signing a fourth New York/ 


 1          New York agreement for 30,000 supportive 

 2          housing units for homeless households in 

 3          New York City.  This will help ensure that 

 4          the units are developed in a timely fashion, 

 5          and that investors and banks are confident in 

 6          their lending for these projects.  

 7                 Further, we ask that the Legislature 

 8          add to this by appropriating additional funds 

 9          to fully back the commitment of 20,000 

10          state-funded units over 15 years for homeless 

11          New Yorkers.  Governor Cuomo has provided a 

12          substantial down payment to fund 6,000 of the 

13          20,000 units over the next seven years.  

14          These are all capital units, the first 1,200 

15          of which will not be available for occupancy 

16          until 2018ñ2019.  

17                 In the absence of a city-state 

18          agreement, we recommend that funds for all 

19          20,000 units be appropriated this year, and 

20          include 1,000-1,500 state-funded 

21          scattered-site units in at least the first 

22          couple of years to help ease the shelter 

23          census in New York City and the rest of the 

24          state.


 1                 Further, the Legislature should ensure 

 2          that the operating and service rates are 

 3          adequate for all models of supportive 

 4          housing, past and future, to enable them to 

 5          remain financially viable and 

 6          programmatically effective, and that New York 

 7          City receives at least 15,000 of the 

 8          state-funded supportive housing units.  

 9                 We all stand ready to work together to 

10          make this promise to homeless New Yorkers a 

11          reality, and we thank you all for your 

12          steadfast leadership.  

13                 I'm going to turn and just take a 

14          brief look at the situation of homelessness 

15          in New York City and discuss a few other 

16          budget-related matters.  

17                 More than 109,000 different homeless 

18          New Yorkers, including more than 42,000 

19          children, slept in the NYC municipal shelter 

20          system last year, and this constitutes more 

21          than 85 percent of the population in all of 

22          New York State in shelters.  It's about a 

23          58 percent increase since 2011 when I came 

24          here to testify.  


 1                 And I think a picture speaks volumes.  

 2          The chart accompanying my testimony shows 

 3          that we really basically are where we were a 

 4          year ago.  And part of the reason for that is 

 5          that the investments from last year in the 

 6          state budget actually haven't really borne 

 7          any fruit yet.  For example, none of the 

 8          JPMorgan settlement funds programmed to 

 9          address homelessness via supportive housing 

10          in the current budget year were spent, nor 

11          has the cityís plan for rent supplements 

12          related to the allocation of youth facilities 

13          reimbursement savings been approved by the 

14          state.  Therefore, the two largest state 

15          budget initiatives to address homelessness in 

16          2015-2016 have not actually been made 

17          available to help homeless people move out of 

18          the shelters this year.  Therefore, it's 

19          unsurprising that the shelter census is 

20          virtually unchanged from a year ago.  

21                 And as we have previously warned, city 

22          investments alone are not going to get us 

23          where we need to be in terms of driving down 

24          the shelter census.  Therefore, additional 


 1          state investment is required.  

 2                 As Assemblymember Hevesi mentioned, 

 3          we're very pleased to see the continued 

 4          funding of the $15 million for the enhanced 

 5          rent supplements that he initiated last year.  

 6          We're very pleased to support that.  

 7                 We support the provision of an 

 8          additional $1 million in General Funds for 

 9          emergency homeless needs, but we also ask 

10          that the TANF line be restored for $1 million 

11          as well, as that references the groups with 

12          particular specified expertise and serves a 

13          different population than the General Fund. 

14                 And we ask that the Legislature 

15          provide $1 million for the Client Advocacy 

16          Program.  At one time it was annually funded 

17          by the Legislature, but it has not been since 

18          the recession.

19                 I'm going to just speak very briefly 

20          about the executive order and outreach and 

21          the homeless shelters.  

22                 First of all, the executive order 

23          created quite a bit of confusion in the 

24          initial days, but I think everybody's clear 


 1          at this point that they don't have major 

 2          changes to make in how they handle the needs 

 3          of people who may be a danger to themselves 

 4          or others.  And I think the good thing that's 

 5          come out of it is that some of the shelters 

 6          have opened up their doors on cold nights, 

 7          some of the communities have been able to 

 8          begin to see some resources from the state to 

 9          help them in reaching out to homeless people 

10          that are staying outside, and bringing them 

11          in.  

12                 We also welcome the Governor's 

13          attention to the conditions in shelters.  We 

14          are court-appointed monitor for municipal 

15          shelters for adults in New York City, also 

16          recently appointed to monitor the shelters 

17          for families in New York City by City Hall.  

18          And we think more attention to shelter 

19          conditions is a good thing.  And it's frankly 

20          refreshing because there are large and we 

21          think dangerous shelters that have been left 

22          unregulated altogether by the state, over our 

23          objections in the past.  So we welcome the 

24          state's added attention to shelter 


 1          conditions.  

 2                 We do not think that the state should 

 3          be operating homeless shelters, any more than 

 4          we should.  We are a regulator of shelters; 

 5          we shouldn't be running them as well.  The 

 6          same view holds with respect to the state.  

 7          But we think that the state should be sharing 

 8          equally in the nonfederal share of the costs 

 9          of running shelters in New York City.  And in 

10          recent years, the state has vastly shifted 

11          that cost onto the City taxpayers alone and 

12          has really cut back on the state investment 

13          in operating shelters, so that should be 

14          restored.

15                 And we finally, as was referenced 

16          earlier, ask that the Legislature reject the 

17          language in the Safety Net appropriation that 

18          would permit the state to withhold funds from 

19          New York City in order to reimburse its own 

20          costs for operating shelters.  There's no 

21          need for the state to fund it that way.  If 

22          they want to put an appropriation in to pay 

23          themselves to run shelters, if that's what 

24          they want to do, they can do that.


 1                 There's some additional budget items 

 2          in here.  I would thank Senator Savino for 

 3          mentioning the sunset date on SCRIE and DRIE, 

 4          because I think that's vitally important.  

 5          And one of my additional recommendations 

 6          actually would suggest we expand to include 

 7          families with a disabled family member who 

 8          isn't head of household, for example.  

 9                 So I thank you, and I'll take any 

10          questions.

11                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Ms. Nortz, first 

12          of all, thank you for your testimony.  On a 

13          personal note, I've just got to tell you, you 

14          and your organization are fantastic, and 

15          Giselle and Mary, who's been leading the 

16          charge.  The 35,000 units in the State of 

17          New York was an idea about nine months ago; 

18          with your strength and guidance, it has come 

19          to fruition.  

20                 So I just want to thank you and 

21          everybody else at the Coalition.  You guys 

22          are absolutely great.

23                 MS. NORTZ:  Thank you.

24                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  You've raised a 


 1          number of significant issues with 

 2          scattered-site being spent up for the first 

 3          year of New York/New York IV.  So we agree 

 4          with you.  I think that particularly in 

 5          upstate -- in the City as well, but in 

 6          upstate that's something that is crucial.  

 7                 I hear you about the two largest 

 8          investments that we did last year not coming 

 9          to actually get on the ground and start 

10          helping people in need, so that's something 

11          we will take up with the Executive.  

12                 And I will tell you, just on the last 

13          note, the Safety Net appropriation language, 

14          yes, I am pretty confident and that will be 

15          my recommendation that we reject that.  

16          There's no need to be punitive about that.  

17                 But other than that, just want to say 

18          an incredible thank you once again.

19                 MS. NORTZ:  Thank you so much.  

20                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Well, I don't like 

21          you as much as he does, but --

22                 (Laughter.)

23                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Yeah, I cornered 

24          the market on this one.


 1                 MS. NORTZ:  But I've known you longer.  

 2                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  That's true.  

 3                 I actually agree with Assemblymember 

 4          Hevesi.  

 5                 So I'm still confused.  I understand 

 6          that the state is attempting to bill the City 

 7          via the Safety Net Program for additional 

 8          services for the homeless, unlike what they 

 9          do with any other locality in the state.  But 

10          do you have a sense of how much this money 

11          this would be?  

12                 MS. NORTZ:  I don't think they've made 

13          that determination yet.  My understanding is 

14          that they've been scouting state-owned 

15          properties to convert to shelter use 

16          throughout New York City.  I haven't heard of 

17          them inspecting facilities outside the City, 

18          but they could be doing that as well.  

19                 And not that they would charge the 

20          City under the Safety Net; they would just 

21          pay themselves out of the Safety Net budget 

22          line for the cost of the state operating the 

23          facilities.  Which I just think is a bad 

24          idea.  If you're the regulator, you regulate 


 1          and you supervise what the localities are 

 2          doing in either directly operating or 

 3          subcontracting with not-for-profits to run 

 4          shelters.  

 5                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  But your 

 6          understanding is the state would keep control 

 7          of the operation of these new shelter sites 

 8          or contract them out directly?

 9                 MS. NORTZ:  That is on the table.  My 

10          understanding is that it hasn't -- that their 

11          decision making is in flux.  It's a bit fluid 

12          about how they're going to proceed, from what 

13          I understand.  Which is why I think there's 

14          not much detail and I haven't been able to 

15          get a briefing from DOB to get what their 

16          intentions are yet.  

17                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  And given the way 

18          the City of New York currently operates 

19          intake, evaluation and location of where a 

20          homeless person would be directed, wouldn't 

21          that create a really complicated dual system 

22          in the City of New York?  

23                 MS. NORTZ:  I agree with the question.  

24          I don't know how it would work mechanically 


 1          because -- and then there's another layer to 

 2          it, which is for the single adults, they're 

 3          governed by the Callahan consent decree to 

 4          which both the city and state are a partner, 

 5          which would mean we actually would be also 

 6          needing to inspect state-operated shelters.  

 7                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  So when the Governor 

 8          did his executive order about how localities 

 9          should deal with street homeless, there was 

10          some back and forth and a lot of discussion, 

11          at least in the City of New York, about what 

12          we already do and that the City -- even 

13          though I'd be the first to tell you they need 

14          to do more and they're not perfect -- 

15          actually has a system in place and they've 

16          made the commitment to dramatically expand 

17          the number of people on the homeless outreach 

18          teams and providing supplemental services.  

19                 So my concern is more about what's 

20          happening in the rest of the state, because 

21          I've heard anecdotally stories of people 

22          being swept up and taken to emergency rooms 

23          in hospitals and left there.  And I don't 

24          know a lot about upstate emergency rooms, but 


 1          I'm going to take a wild guess that that's a 

 2          really bad idea.  

 3                 And so I'm wondering whether that is 

 4          simply anecdotal and not really happening, or 

 5          whether you see this going on in counties.  

 6                 MS. NORTZ:  So I read the account of 

 7          that happening in Saratoga, and I'm not 

 8          surprised to hear it.  Because police often 

 9          in upstate communities will transport 

10          homeless people, whether they're intoxicated 

11          or in psychiatric distress, to an emergency 

12          room.  But very often emergency rooms decline 

13          to admit.  And I think what Saratoga Hospital 

14          said was they did it -- the reason they 

15          received these people was because of the cold 

16          weather and the fact that there wasn't 

17          another place to take them.  

18                 That has not been a pattern that I'm 

19          aware of.  What has been happening is a lot 

20          of the upstate shelters have started putting 

21          mats on the floor to accommodate vastly more 

22          people than they're used to having, probably 

23          in violation of their licenses.  And I guess 

24          because their license are not withstood by 


 1          the executive order, maybe that's okay.  But 

 2          it does create risks.  

 3                 I mean, one of the shelters that we 

 4          inspected years ago at the invitation of a 

 5          local sponsor had had a very deadly TB 

 6          outbreak, and they were packing people in, 

 7          you know, with just inches between their mats 

 8          and beds, and making the spread of 

 9          communicable disease a very serious problem.  

10          So I think -- you know, I'm glad to hear the 

11          counties are submitting plans.  I'm hoping 

12          they're submitting plans that are adequate 

13          for the purpose of having sufficient shelter 

14          space that meets these standards.  

15                 And so the inspection thing going hand 

16          in hand with the executive order may mean we 

17          actually have more adequate shelter capacity 

18          everywhere.  

19                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.

20                 MS. NORTZ:  Thank you.

21                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Assembly?

22                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  I think that does 

23          it.  Thank you, Ms. Nortz.  

24                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  No, actually we have 


 1          another Senator then.

 2                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Oh, I'm sorry, 

 3          Senator.

 4                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Senator Diane 

 5          Savino.

 6                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Thank you, Senator 

 7          Krueger.  

 8                 Shelly, nice to see you again.  

 9                 I want to ask you the question that I 

10          asked the OTDA commissioner about the state 

11          intervention into the homeless system, 

12          because I'm still not quite sure what role 

13          they're going to play.  Considering the city 

14          issues those contracts, the state doesn't, 

15          have they involved the Coalition for the 

16          Homeless in this?  Because as you stated, you 

17          are the court-appointed monitor of the 

18          shelters.  

19                 MS. NORTZ:  They haven't.  We're not 

20          quite sure what they're thinking about.  We 

21          are seeking clarification.  I've requested a 

22          meeting to just understand the basic 

23          parameters of what the intentions are in the 

24          budget.  And I think we'll be trying to meet 


 1          with OTDA on the shelter inspection issue, 

 2          just to make sure that we all understand what 

 3          our respective roles are currently.  

 4                 And because they haven't yet 

 5          apparently decided exactly what they're going 

 6          to do with these thousand additional shelter 

 7          beds, I just think it's a little too early to 

 8          know.  

 9                 I'm hopeful that what their decision 

10          is is that they make those spaces available 

11          to localities to do their usual process of 

12          contracting and bringing in experienced 

13          providers.  Generally speaking, I think the 

14          not-for-profits do the best job.  From our 

15          30-some-odd years of monitoring shelters, the 

16          best-run shelters are the smaller facilities 

17          that are run by not-for-profits.

18                 SENATOR SAVINO:  I mean, certainly we 

19          all welcome the state's assistance on dealing 

20          with the homeless crisis.  And one of the 

21          reasons it became I think a new crisis is 

22          because we began to see more people on the 

23          street.  You know, besides the fact that we 

24          have more people seeking shelter, we're 


 1          seeing them on the street and they're 

 2          becoming more noticeable.  

 3                 And one of the reasons for that -- and 

 4          I've never understood this -- when I talk to 

 5          shelter operators -- you know, we have 

 6          Project Hospitality on Staten Island.  You 

 7          know, Reverend Troia runs a wonderful 

 8          program.  But every day she is required, by 

 9          DHS and the contract that she has, to put 

10          people out in the morning.  They're not 

11          allowed to stay in the shelter.  They have to 

12          leave at 9 a.m. and they can't come back 

13          until later in the evening.  And many of them 

14          don't have anywhere to go, and they wander 

15          around and they take their belongings with 

16          them.  

17                 And I'm just wondering as to the 

18          wisdom of a policy that says that people who 

19          are undomiciled, who don't have anywhere to 

20          go, are afraid to leave their belongings 

21          behind, some of them are dealing with mental 

22          illness -- what sense does it make to force 

23          them to sit out in the street all day long?  

24                 MS. NORTZ:  It doesn't.  And as a 


 1          matter of fact, you know, 30-some-odd years 

 2          ago I was running a shelter, and it had that 

 3          policy, and we changed that policy.  Because 

 4          putting people out in the day if they don't 

 5          have employment or education to attend to is 

 6          a recipe for serious problems.  And it 

 7          doesn't enable you to work with them on 

 8          problem solving, income issues, disability 

 9          issues, health issues, housing search, any of 

10          that.  

11                 So I think it's not a good policy.  I 

12          think that it's not true of all shelters in 

13          the state; there are shelters where people 

14          are allowed to stay through the day.  And 

15          then there are shelters that have that 

16          policy.  And I would say I'd be delighted to 

17          talk to Reverend Troia about trying to fix 

18          that problem.  

19                 My suspicion is that some of the 

20          shelters where that's the policy is because 

21          they don't have sufficient community space.  

22          So those are the places that, for example, do 

23          things like eat in the cafeteria in shifts 

24          because they don't have enough seating for 


 1          all the shelter residents to sit at one time.

 2                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Mm-hmm.  Yeah, and 

 3          again, it does elevate, you know, public 

 4          awareness because now people think about the 

 5          homeless population and they're looking for 

 6          them.  And they see them.  You know, and it 

 7          just doesn't seem to make sense that, you 

 8          know, they're out wandering around all day 

 9          long.  

10                 And finally, we don't have a 

11          commissioner of DHS in New York City.  Not 

12          yet.  And I'm not sure what changes will be 

13          made with respect to that agency, if any.  I 

14          know Steve Banks is kind of handling a lot of 

15          homeless policy.  But I imagine at some point 

16          they're going to name a commissioner.  

17                 But has the Coalition for the Homeless 

18          and DHS and the state talked about, you know, 

19          how to begin this what the Governor rightly 

20          calls the continuum of care?  Because as you 

21          know, homelessness is a multifaceted problem.  

22          It's not just not having enough money to pay 

23          the rent for many of these families.  So is 

24          there that discussion happening as well?  


 1                 MS. NORTZ:  So there's a discussion, 

 2          for example, about the need for more safe 

 3          haven beds that are the lower demand, smaller 

 4          shelters that can be very helpful to the 

 5          population that stay on the streets because 

 6          they're fearful of the larger congregate 

 7          facilities.  And I believe there will be 

 8          increased capacity, and I think maybe even 

 9          the state's effort could assist with that.  

10                 Commissioner Banks I think is very 

11          clearheaded about the fact that he's got kind 

12          of a system in flux right now.  They've made 

13          a commitment to get out of the cluster-site 

14          shelter model, which is, you know, where they 

15          take clusters of apartments in a regular 

16          apartment building and use them as temporary 

17          housing.  They've made a pledge to get out of 

18          those 3,000 apartment units by I believe 

19          December of 2018.  

20                 And that will be a housing resource, 

21          once renovated -- and they intend to make 

22          some resources available for that 

23          renovation -- that could be, for example, 

24          made available with rental assistance to be 


 1          able to help people live in apartments that 

 2          they can keep, as opposed to having them in 

 3          temporarily.  

 4                 So I think there are aspects of the 

 5          continuum coming together, and I think it's a 

 6          work in progress.  But I have many, many 

 7          years of experience working with Commissioner 

 8          Banks, and I have a lot of confidence in his 

 9          ability to take this in the right direction.  

10                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Me too.  Thank you, 

11          Shelly.

12                 MS. NORTZ:  Thank you so much, 

13          Senator.  

14                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.  

15                 Assembly?  

16                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Nope.  

17                 Thank you, Shelly.

18                 MS. NORTZ:  Thank you.

19                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.  

20                 Our next testifier is a panel of the 

21          New York State Veterans Council:  Bob Becker, 

22          Linda McKinnis, John Lewis, Kirby Hannan. 

23                 Good afternoon.

24                 MS. McKINNIS:  Good afternoon.  


 1                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  And we're just going 

 2          to ask you all if you can fit in with the 

 3          five minutes between the four of you, okay?  

 4          Given the fact that it is twenty to 3:00 and 

 5          we are on Testifiers No. 7 out of -- you 

 6          don't even want to know.  

 7                 MR. HANNAN:  We timed it out,  

 8          Senator.  We come to 5 minutes and 15 

 9          seconds, so -- 

10                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   You can have the 

11          extra 15 seconds, thank you.

12                 (Laughter.)

13                 MR. HANNAN:  Thank you for the 

14          opportunity, Senators and members of the 

15          Assembly.  And the panel consists of veteran 

16          volunteers who greatly appreciate this 

17          opportunity.  We want to talk to you about 

18          the most pressing and challenging issues that 

19          we believe face the veteran today.  

20                 We're going to be brief because we 

21          want to leave time for your questions.  We 

22          think your questions are just as important as 

23          what we have to say.  

24                 I'm Kirby Hannan.  I'm legislative 


 1          coordinator for the VFW.  With me is John 

 2          Lewis, legislative chair of the VFW; Linda 

 3          McKinnis, legislative coordinator for the 

 4          Disabled American Veterans; and last but not 

 5          least, Bob Becker, who is the legislative 

 6          coordinator for the Veterans Council of 

 7          New York State.  

 8                 And I'd like to point to our narrative 

 9          or our testimony.  And there's a memo on top 

10          of it, if you have it in front of you.  The 

11          memo happens to deal with the VDP program, 

12          what we call the Veterans Defense Program.  

13          And it's a budgetary request.  But that's not 

14          the only thing we wanted to come and talk to 

15          you about today.  

16                 But what we really did want to do is 

17          have you understand Bob's council and the 

18          wide panoply of people that sent us here 

19          today with their mission.  So that's what 

20          we're here to do.  

21                 John is going to talk about the 

22          importance of a continued emphasis on 

23          orientation for the returning vets of all 

24          wars.  


 1                 Linda and I will talk about -- very 

 2          briefly -- about the efforts to fully fund 

 3          service officers and the Peer to Peer 

 4          Program.  And we want to urge, or Linda would 

 5          like to urge Senate support for a federal 

 6          initiative, the federal Women Veterans Access 

 7          to Quality Care Act, to the extent that you 

 8          can communicate with your counterparts at the 

 9          federal level.  

10                 And then Bob Becker, the critical 

11          nature of what is commonly known as the 

12          Veterans Buyback Bill, a huge message bill 

13          for veterans of all wars.  

14                 And then, finally the groundswell of 

15          support for the Veterans Defense Program, 

16          which is the memo on top.  

17                 So please, John --

18                 MR. LEWIS:  Very well.  My name is 

19          John Pemrick Lewis, and I'm here today 

20          representing the Veterans of Foreign Wars, 

21          Department of New York, as their state 

22          legislative cochairman.  I also am a 

23          legislative appointee to the New York State 

24          AIDS Advisory Council.  I'm employed with the 


 1          Office of Emergency Management in the 

 2          recovery division.  I'm a 22-year Navy 

 3          veteran. 

 4                 As we are aware, the United States has 

 5          been at war for more than 15 years. 

 6          Reorientation funding for our combat troops 

 7          and sailors is on the decline.  We have found 

 8          many veterans with multi-tiered systemic 

 9          problems.  These include family problems, 

10          mental health problems, problems with the 

11          law, and problems with living their life.  

12                 Veteran service organizations are 

13          dealing with this the best they can, but they 

14          need help.  Veteran services organizations 

15          pride themselves on taking care of their own. 

16          We have discovered raising money privately 

17          simply is not enough.  Various stress 

18          disorders are rampant and causing mounting 

19          fiscal implications.  

20                 While service officers and Peer to 

21          Peer mentors are available, many current and 

22          former service members are falling through 

23          the cracks.  Many are finding problems with 

24          the law.  


 1                 I present to you, Madam Chair, two 

 2          examples of why we need a Veterans Defense 

 3          Program.  The first example occurred here in 

 4          Albanyís federal court system.  A married 

 5          veteran with a very young autistic child 

 6          served in both Iraq and Afghanistan.  He was 

 7          arrested and incarcerated.  He was facing 

 8          five years in a federal penitentiary for his 

 9          crime.  Representatives from the Veterans 

10          Defense Program engaged the court system, 

11          providing extenuating mitigating 

12          circumstances, as environment in his service 

13          records, to which the federal judge ruled 

14          favorably, resulting in a fighting chance for 

15          this warrior to work towards becoming whole 

16          again.  

17                 My second example, Madam Chair:  A 

18          young local veteran serving over 12 

19          consecutive months in the Iraq theatre -- 

20          engaged in two combat patrols each day, every 

21          day -- came home and began self-medicating in 

22          order to cope with his experiences.  He 

23          nearly lost his life in a motorcycle 

24          accident.  The Albany County court system, 


 1          with the assistance of the Veterans Defense 

 2          Program, recognized the impact of his service 

 3          and how it played a role in his service, and 

 4          ruled, with the Veterans Administration's 

 5          assistance, to give him a fighting chance.  

 6                 I am thrilled to convey to you today 

 7          both warriors are doing very well in their 

 8          progress.  Neither has reoffended, and both 

 9          remain steadfast in working towards becoming 

10          whole again.  

11                 Madam Chair, I strongly urge your 

12          support for the inclusion of $1.1 million in 

13          this yearís budget for the Veterans Defense 

14          Program of the New York State Defenders 

15          Association, which will create the 

16          sustainability needed to defend those who 

17          defend America.

18                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

19                 MR. HANNAN:  Linda McKinnis and I 

20          would like to create an awareness of the 

21          importance of service officers and the 

22          importance of the Peer to Peer Program, which 

23          I know the Senate is very familiar with, but 

24          we'd like to take a minute on it.  And there 


 1          is no better way to do that than by turning 

 2          to Linda, who is both a service officer and a 

 3          Peer to Peer mentor.  Linda?

 4                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, Linda, 

 5          for your service.

 6                 MS. McKINNIS:  Thank you very much.  

 7                 Again, like he said, my name is Linda 

 8          McKinnis.  I am a two-time war -- combat 

 9          veteran, woman veteran.  I also work with the 

10          DAV, I'm a member and a legislative officer 

11          for the DAV, for Chapter 38 and for the whole 

12          state.  I thank you today for being here.

13                 As far as the Peer to Peer is 

14          concerned, I do that in my community.  I 

15          realize a lot of veterans have a hard time 

16          trying to deal with the VA system themselves.  

17          They don't want to go to the VA for services, 

18          they feel like it's very clinical.  And as a 

19          veteran myself, I understand that very well.

20                 So what I have done, through the DAV 

21          and through them, is also we set up Peer to 

22          Peer programs.  There are Peer to Peer 

23          programs, mostly through the VA and through 

24          other mental health facilities.  But 


 1          unfortunately, people don't want to feel 

 2          stigmatized, and I think that's the biggest 

 3          problem.  We're trying to break down that 

 4          wall of stigmatization.  And the fact that 

 5          you're a veteran, it weighs even much more 

 6          heavier on you.

 7                 So with that being said, I have taken 

 8          it upon myself to be trained to be a Peer to 

 9          Peer specialist.  I am at this moment waiting 

10          for my certification to not only deal with 

11          the mental illness, but to deal with the 

12          person as a whole being, as whole.  And 

13          that's what we want.  We don't want the 

14          veteran to just be cured from whatever their 

15          illness is, but we also want them to be able 

16          to go through the rest of their lives, help 

17          their families also deal with the 

18          circumstances that we have.

19                 We hope that you continue to support 

20          the Peer to Peer programs and not only make 

21          money available for myself and other 

22          organizations like the DAV the VFW, and the 

23          American Legion, who want to become Peer to 

24          Peer specialists, that the money is there, 


 1          that we can go ahead and get certified, we 

 2          can continue to help our brothers and 

 3          sisters, especially the ones that are on 

 4          their way coming home right now, and the ones 

 5          that are here.  They need our help, and 

 6          that's the best thing.

 7                 As far as service officers are 

 8          concerned, I also am a service officer, 

 9          meaning that I go out to the neighborhoods or 

10          to the communities, I find resources for the 

11          people, whether it be finding information on 

12          the Department of Labor, whether it be 

13          something on human resources, whether it's 

14          finding food pantries -- those are things 

15          that a lot of veterans are not aware of, so I 

16          go out and I find these resources.  

17                 If I have to be an advocate and hold 

18          their hand and go to the VA Hospital with 

19          them, I do that.  I'm very advocate in what I 

20          do.  I will sit with them in that nurse's 

21          office, I will sit with them wherever they 

22          need to be.  And that's what we need to do as 

23          veterans.

24                 And I'm hoping that through this, that 


 1          you continue to fund these programs, you 

 2          continue to fund the Peer the Peer Program 

 3          and also fund the Service Officers Program, 

 4          because if I'm not out there in that 

 5          community, then there's not going to be no 

 6          one else to serve these veterans.  And 

 7          without myself and my other comrades being 

 8          here -- we are the front-line help to all of 

 9          these veterans.  Thank you.

10                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you very 

11          much.

12                 MR. HANNAN:  I just want to point out 

13          two things, if I could, to follow up Linda.  

14                 One is thank you to the Senate for 

15          having put money in the budget for several 

16          years now that directly relates to the Peer 

17          to Peer Program, and we would love to see 

18          that expanded.

19                 And then secondly, I just want to 

20          point out that the Service Officer Program, 

21          which Linda is intimately involved with, is 

22          really the traffic cop involved here, and 

23          that's the person who does all of the things 

24          that Linda just said in a panoply of ways.  


 1                 Right now we have a bill up, it's 

 2          Senator Addabbo's bill, S2497A.  It is an 

 3          example of a personal income tax checkoff 

 4          similar to the breast cancer checkoff.  It 

 5          would raise perhaps around $500,000.  But 

 6          it's an example of our kind of -- in some 

 7          respects, maybe even naive way -- of 

 8          approaching the funding.  But if we ever had 

 9          matching funding for that, wouldn't that be 

10          wonderful.  We could put 20 to 30 more 

11          service officers on the ground.  

12                 Thank you.

13                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.  

14                 MS. McKINNIS:  Just to, I guess, put 

15          the icing on the cake, one of the Peer to 

16          Peer services that is very strong in the 

17          community is the SAGE organization, and 

18          that's the Services Advocate for Gay, Lesbian 

19          and Bisexual Gender Elders, and they're all 

20          veterans.  

21                 And we understand, again, trying to 

22          break down the wall of stigma.  If a veteran 

23          even dares to say that they have a sexual 

24          orientation issue, that -- it's like they're 


 1          cut off from all services.  And we don't do 

 2          that.  You know, as brothers and sisters of 

 3          the services, we don't discriminate.  

 4          Regardless of what gender you are, what 

 5          service you are, or whatever you were in 

 6          conflict, we don't do that.  And we treat 

 7          everybody equally.  And on that level, SAGE, 

 8          that is working out of New York City, they're 

 9          asking for $200,000 to continue doing what 

10          they do also.  They would like to open up a 

11          location in the Rochester area to expand on 

12          their facility, which again, we sit here as a 

13          counselor and we stand behind them on that.  

14          Because again, like I said, we're all 

15          brothers and sisters in arms.  

16                 So with that being said, I hope that, 

17          you know, they can be honored with that 

18          $200,000 to continue doing the fight and 

19          being on the front line like we are.  

20                 Thank you.

21                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

22                 MR. HANNAN:  Last but not least, 

23          Senator Larkin's bill adds a permissive 

24          component, and that is Senate 2206.  It adds 


 1          a permissive component to your program, your 

 2          Peer to Peer Program.  It would allow people 

 3          like Linda, service officers, to be able to 

 4          move into credentialing if they so choose, 

 5          but not to be a threshold of entry.  Thank 

 6          you.  Sorry.

 7                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, Kirby.  

 8                 I wish to thank all of the members of 

 9          the New York State Veterans Council for being 

10          here today.  And most of all, we thank you 

11          with all our hearts for your service to our 

12          country, for protecting our freedoms.  And 

13          your voice is so important to veterans all 

14          across New York State, because oftentimes 

15          they don't speak up -- and you speak up on 

16          their behalf.  

17                 And you advocate, and we've gotten a 

18          lot of work done together on behalf of 

19          veterans.  But as you point out, there's 

20          further to go.  We have a lot more to do.  

21                 Linda, thank you so much for taking 

22          part in the Dwyer Peer to Peer Program.  As 

23          you know, it was the Senate that started that 

24          effort.  The fact that you are taking this on 


 1          to counsel your fellow veterans is enormous, 

 2          and it makes such a difference.  And I'll get 

 3          back to that in a second.  

 4                 But every generation who has served 

 5          our country and has been in combat during 

 6          war, comes home with wounds.  And some wounds 

 7          we can see, because they're physical, and 

 8          some wounds we can't see, because of PTSD, 

 9          some other emotional problem that they may 

10          have developed because of their service.  And 

11          we owe it to them to do as much as we can to 

12          help them.  

13                 A few years ago I was talking to a 

14          woman, and her brother had served in World 

15          War II.  And he's since deceased.  But she 

16          said after he came home, they had a whistling 

17          teapot and her mother had to throw it away 

18          because every time the teapot came to a boil, 

19          it made that whistle and it reminded him of 

20          incoming.  

21                 And that's the kind of service and 

22          sacrifice that our brave veterans have made 

23          over the generations.  

24                 And, Linda, I want to ask you about 


 1          this, because what we have found -- you're in 

 2          the military, you're trained to be a warrior.  

 3          How difficult is it to make that switch when 

 4          you get home and say, I've got some issues I 

 5          need to deal with, and I have to get help?  

 6          Because I have to imagine that it's an 

 7          enormous hurdle for some people to change 

 8          that whole mentality that they've been 

 9          trained to fulfill.  

10                 Could you address that?

11                 MS. McKINNIS:  Yes, I can.  

12                 Like you say, it is a challenge 

13          because in the military they teach you to be 

14          self-sufficient a lot on everything.  And 

15          when you go from military to civilian, you're 

16          still stuck in that military mode.  

17          Everything that you do has a time basis.  You 

18          wake up at a certainly time, you eat at a 

19          certain time, you do something at a certain 

20          time.  It is very hard to transition over 

21          because you're so stuck in that.  

22                 That's where Peer to Peer comes in.  

23          And that's where we go there and we say:  

24          Listen, you know, civilians are not going to 


 1          move on your command.  They're not on a 

 2          timely basis.  You know, if you ask somebody 

 3          to do something and they don't do it, you 

 4          can't get all upset, you can't start 

 5          exploding.  

 6                 So it takes time.  You know, some 

 7          people can transition very easily, and some 

 8          may take up to six months, maybe a year to do 

 9          it.  And then on top of that, we have to also 

10          know that these people are coming back now, 

11          once their mind is starting to settle down, 

12          PTSD is starting to kick in, TBI is starting 

13          to kick in, schizophrenia is starting to kick 

14          in.  

15                 And, you know, a lot of them are 

16          flashbacking.  And I am a true witness to 

17          that; a lot of veterans are flashbacking to 

18          that time when they thought it was safe, 

19          thought it was safe when all the gunfire was 

20          happening.  That was safe for them, because 

21          they knew what to expect.  Now that they're 

22          home, they don't know what tomorrow is.  They 

23          don't know what the next hour will consist 

24          of.  


 1                 So the transition is hard.  We do have 

 2          some people -- not a lot, unfortunately -- 

 3          that are on the front end trying to help with 

 4          the transitioning.  It is difficult.  Again, 

 5          myself, being a Peer to Peer, and I've been 

 6          down that dark road a lot of times.  I'm out 

 7          there, I have no shame in telling my story, I 

 8          have no shame in telling somebody that I've 

 9          done things that I shouldn't have done.  But 

10          at the same time, I'm there to help you.  If 

11          you need help trying to get the mental help, 

12          I'll be there with you.  If your family needs 

13          money or needs some type of resources, I will 

14          work with you.  

15                 We need people to be out there that 

16          can walk that same walk with these 

17          individuals that's been there.

18                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you very 

19          much.  And thank you for your service.  

20                 What we're seeing now with veterans 

21          coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan is that 

22          there is a significant issue, as you point 

23          out, with traumatic brain injury because of 

24          injuries due to improvised explosive devices 


 1          that have gone off.  I've spent time 

 2          previously with my constituents who were 

 3          injured, at Walter Reed, and I saw the work 

 4          that they were doing with people who were 

 5          missing limbs -- you know, arms and legs -- 

 6          traumatic brain injury.  

 7                 I had a constituent who lost his leg 

 8          and almost lost his life.  And I'm happy to 

 9          report he since has recovered and he has 

10          three beautiful children.  

11                 But it's those types of instances that 

12          we have to really assist with.  So that's why 

13          the Senate has done other things like 

14          adaptive housing, supportive housing is a big 

15          thing.  And we see vets with issues with 

16          heroin and opioid addiction now because 

17          they're self-medicating.  We see veterans who 

18          are homeless because of PTSD.  We see 

19          veterans who are committing suicide, which is 

20          a very alarming situation.  

21                 So I just want to say to you thank you 

22          so much for what you're doing to change 

23          people's lives and give them a helping hand.  

24          We truly appreciate it.  


 1                 And again, I want to thank all the 

 2          veterans organizations who are represented 

 3          here today for all that you do.  And we look 

 4          forward to continuing to work with you.  

 5                 Assembly?

 6                 MR. BECKER:  We could not say that any 

 7          better.

 8                 MR. HANNAN:  Senator, Bob Becker had 

 9          one 10-second request that I think you'll 

10          find somewhat humorous.

11                 MR. BECKER:  My name is Bob Becker.  

12          I'm a retired Marine, 20 years.

13                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  I didn't think 

14          Marines ever retired.  

15                 (Laughter.)

16                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  I thought once 

17          you're a Marine, you're always a Marine.  

18          Ooh-rah, right?

19                 MR. BECKER:  I'm not really retired.

20                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  I knew that.

21                 MR. BECKER:  I'm over here to support 

22          the veterans from New York State here.  And 

23          we're -- the council has 31 veteran 

24          organizations from the State of New York.  


 1          And we cover every facet of life -- female 

 2          veterans, black veterans, VFW, American 

 3          Legion, Marine Corps League, DAV.  We're here 

 4          to support them.  And we meet once a month 

 5          here in Albany, and we have a good thing 

 6          here.  

 7                 The Veterans Defense Program, we 

 8          support it a hundred percent.  Last year you 

 9          gave us $500,000 last year to support this 

10          program, and this year we're asking for an 

11          additional $600,000 to bring it up to 

12          $1.1 million so they can expand down in New 

13          York City and also expand out in the western 

14          part of the state.  This is a great program, 

15          and they've done a marvelous job on Veterans 

16          Day.  

17                 We support Senator Larkin's bill 

18          S5937, on -- the buyback bill.  And we 

19          know -- we thank the Senate and we thank the 

20          Assembly for supporting this for the last two 

21          years.  And, you know, I think every year 

22          we -- in fact, this council here is the one 

23          that worked so hard to get this bill 

24          together, and we got it passed.  But it 


 1          always got that little -- at the end there, a 

 2          veto from the Governor saying that he was 

 3          going to veto it.  

 4                 But this year he really surprised us 

 5          by saying "You put it in the budget and I'll 

 6          sign it."  And we're here to ask you to put 

 7          it in the budget for us and put also the 

 8          Veterans Defense Bill, the Peer to Peer and 

 9          service officers in the bill.  We're here to 

10          help our veterans, and they can use it, and 

11          our veterans can too.  

12                 Thank you very much from the council, 

13          the 31 members of the council.  Thank you.  

14                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Very good.  And 

15          thank you for bringing that up.  As you know, 

16          there's very strong support in the 

17          Legislature, both in the Assembly and in the 

18          Senate for that bill.  

19                 And I'm also very pleased to see that 

20          you mentioned so many of Senator Larkin's 

21          bills.  And as you know, he's a true American 

22          hero who is devoted to veterans issues.  So 

23          it's great that you support him so much.

24                 MR. BECKER:  Also a retired lieutenant 


 1          colonel.

 2                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  That's exactly 

 3          right.  

 4                 Senator Savino.

 5                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Thank you, Senator 

 6          Young.  

 7                 Speaking of Senator Larkin, Senator 

 8          Larkin was instrumental two years ago in 

 9          helping me pass the Compassionate Care Act of 

10          New York State, the medical marijuana bill, 

11          because he had heard from many veterans, as I 

12          have heard from many veterans in my district, 

13          about the level of PTSD.  

14                 At the time, the Governor's office 

15          decided that they would wait and make a 

16          decision about adding posttraumatic stress 

17          disorder to the program in order to study it 

18          more.  For whatever reason, they decided not 

19          to add it.  

20                 And what I was hoping is that with the 

21          level of PTSD that you are seeing, knowing 

22          that many of our veterans are self-medicating 

23          with alcohol and illegal drugs or they're 

24          being prescribed medication to deal with 


 1          anxiety, anti-anxiety drugs -- you know, 

 2          Ativan, Valium, you name it -- and then 

 3          they're given drugs to help them sleep at 

 4          night, Ambien or some other sleeping pills.  

 5          They're either self-medicating or they're 

 6          being medicated.  

 7                 There are significant studies that 

 8          show that medical marijuana -- and you can't 

 9          smoke it in New York State, it's not a 

10          smokeable kind -- can have a very positive 

11          effect on PTSD.  

12                 So we're going to take another shot at 

13          getting the administration to add to it.  And 

14          I would welcome the support of any of your 

15          organizations, and your organization, in 

16          helping make that case that it is time for us 

17          to give veterans an alternative to what they 

18          have right now when they're suffering from 

19          PTSD.  And it shouldn't just be highly 

20          addictive, dangerous narcotics.  

21                 So that's more of a statement.  And I 

22          would solicit your assistance in this effort.  

23          Thank you.  

24                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, Senator.  


 1                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Just very quickly.  

 2          Cathy Young and I don't find that many things 

 3          we can agree on so 100 percent, so I --

 4                 (Laughter.)

 5                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Come on.  We're 

 6          getting along swimmingly.  

 7                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  No, we are.  But 

 8          actually I just wanted to say everything that 

 9          she said, I don't think there's one 

10          legislator who doesn't agree with that.  And 

11          the recognition not just of your service but 

12          of such a huge number of men and women coming 

13          back to our state from the military, and the 

14          critical needs that you have every right to 

15          come to your government and ask for 

16          assistance with.  

17                 I have the Manhattan VA Hospital in my 

18          district, I think probably one of the finest 

19          VA hospitals in the country.  But that 

20          doesn't mean that they even have adequate 

21          resources to deal with the needs of people 

22          coming back.  And I'm a huge fan of 

23          peer-to-peer programs.  They are just such a 

24          wonderful model, not just for veteran needs 


 1          but in so many different community 

 2          participation issues that you look at.  

 3          People who have walked the walk and lived the 

 4          life, not only can they offer incredible 

 5          service to others, but I actually think it 

 6          strengthens us all when we participate.  So 

 7          we are winners as well as the givers in those 

 8          programs.  

 9                 So just thank you all for what you're 

10          doing, and hopefully we will actually be able 

11          to accomplish what you've asked us here 

12          today.  

13                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, Senator 

14          Krueger, for those eloquent remarks.  So 

15          thank you.

16                 MR. HANNAN:  Thank you very much.

17                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  All right.  Well, 

18          thank you for your participation today.  

19          Again, we salute you for everything you've 

20          done for your country and what you continue 

21          to do, and truly it's a pleasure.  Thank you.

22                 ALL PANELISTS:  Thank you.  

23                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Our next speaker, 

24          from the Human Services Council, is Michelle 


 1          Jackson, associate director and general 

 2          counsel.  

 3                 And following Counsel Jackson, we'll 

 4          have, from the New York Public Welfare 

 5          Association, Rick Terwilliger, director of 

 6          policy.  So as I call your name, if you want 

 7          to start to migrate down toward the front, 

 8          we'll be able to expedite things.  

 9                 But I want to sincerely give my 

10          appreciation to Ms. Jackson.  Welcome.

11                 MS. JACKSON:  Thank you.  And thank 

12          you so much for providing me the opportunity 

13          to testify today.  I do promise to be brief, 

14          as I know there's a lot of people behind me 

15          wanting me to be brief.  

16                 You have a copy of my testimony, so 

17          I'd just like to summarize a couple of key 

18          points about the human services sector in 

19          New York.  

20                 I represent the Human Services 

21          Council.  We're a membership association of 

22          about 170 nonprofit human service providers, 

23          and we do policy and advocacy on their behalf 

24          at the city and state level.  


 1                 Overall, the sector is not doing well.  

 2          We are a partner with government in 

 3          delivering vital services to communities, in 

 4          building resilient communities, in providing 

 5          bridges to opportunity for individuals and 

 6          families.  And since the recession we have 

 7          seen a divestment in the sector as well as a 

 8          continued underfunding.  

 9                 Some of the main points pointed out in 

10          a recent survey that we have done as well, as 

11          the Urban Institute, have shown that 

12          30 percent of nonprofits in 2013 had only two 

13          months or less of operating reserves.  Half 

14          of their budgets showed losses between 2010 

15          and 2013, even after they implemented cost 

16          savings measures.  And the Urban Institute 

17          survey points out that across the state, 

18          human service providers, 49 percent of them 

19          froze or reduced employee salaries; 

20          43 percent drew down on their reserves; and 

21          27 percent reduced their employee head 

22          counts.  And there's a lot of other numbers 

23          that, you know, are not good.  Which we can 

24          share with you.  


 1                 We'll be coming back to the 

 2          Legislature in this session and in coming 

 3          sessions to talk about long-term solutions.  

 4          We have a report coming out about the sector 

 5          and the real need for reform.  But in this 

 6          legislative session, we'd really like to talk 

 7          to you about three things.  First is the need 

 8          for a minimum wage increase that includes 

 9          funding for human services contractors.  The 

10          second is the reinvestment and make the 

11          Nonprofit Infrastructure Fund a reoccurring 

12          fund, and fund it at $100 million, not just 

13          $50 million, which is what it's currently 

14          allocated at for last year.  And then full 

15          implementation of the OMB guidelines, which 

16          is around indirect rates, a very sexy topic 

17          which I'll get to at the end.  

18                 So first, around the minimum wage, the 

19          nonprofit sector is supportive.  Our members 

20          in the Human Services Council support an 

21          increase of the minimum wage to $15.  The 

22          lack of wages in the State of New York 

23          prevents us from doing our jobs effectively.  

24          We need an adequate wage to move people out 


 1          of our programs and into the middle class and 

 2          have a healthy income.  

 3                 There's recently been articles using 

 4          the nonprofit human services sector as a 

 5          reason not to do the minimum wage.  We do not 

 6          want to be used as a scapegoat for opposition 

 7          to minimum wage in that area.  We will step 

 8          up.  It will be painful in certain ways.  Not 

 9          all of our contracts are with government.  

10          We'll have to use private philanthropy, 

11          private fundraising, and make staffing 

12          decisions around the minimum wage -- but it's 

13          long overdue.  And it helps not just the 

14          people that we serve, but also our workers.  

15                 There's a lot of data about our 

16          workforce itself needing access to services, 

17          the services that they provide as well as 

18          public assistance programs.  We are not a 

19          minimum wage sector, and yet the wages that 

20          we give to our staff often are minimum wage, 

21          not allowing for sustainable development 

22          within organizations.  And so the minimum 

23          wage would be incredibly important to them.  

24                 And also the big piece of that is for 


 1          human service contracts, they need to be 

 2          funded.  We have estimated that for human 

 3          services contracts, it will be about 

 4          $350 million once it's fully implemented, the 

 5          $15 minimum wage.  That does not take into 

 6          account the Medicaid dollars, which is much 

 7          more convoluted math, but that's also a 

 8          significant investment.  But it's an 

 9          investment in a workforce that needs an 

10          investment in our wages and is long overdue.  

11                 So speaking of that, along with just 

12          the minimum wage, we would need spillover for 

13          people who are either above minimum wage and 

14          above $15.  Typically I would come to you 

15          with an ask around the cost-of-living 

16          adjustments, COLAs.  We haven't really seen a 

17          statutory COLA in the last six years.  There 

18          has been a COLA in the last two years, but 

19          it's pretty dismal; in fact, it's only a 

20          certain subsector of workers.  So along with 

21          the minimum wage, we'd like to see investment 

22          in spillover, which we think will help to 

23          right-size the salaries of the workforce who 

24          are under contract with the state.  


 1                 So that's the minimum wage piece.

 2                 Secondly, the Infrastructure Fund,  we 

 3          were very happy to see the $50 million 

 4          Nonprofit Infrastructure Fund that was 

 5          implemented last year.  It's currently being 

 6          allocated.  We don't see a new $50 million 

 7          allocation this year.  We have assessed our 

 8          members, and just out of 30 responses that we 

 9          got, there's about $17 million in 

10          infrastructure needs.  So we'd like to see 

11          that fund reoccur at $100 million and be a 

12          reoccurring fund, because we think there's a 

13          lot of infrastructure need.  

14                 This is another area that the 

15          nonprofit sector has greatly underfunded.  

16          For example, DHS has just funded $120 million 

17          just for New York City shelter infrastructure 

18          needs.  And at the state we have a one-time 

19          $50 million infrastructure for all human 

20          service nonprofits as well as other 

21          nonprofits across the state.  So there really 

22          needs to be more investment in that area.  

23                 And then finally, there is OMB 

24          guidelines, which require, for any federal 


 1          pass-through dollars, an indirect rate of at 

 2          least 10 percent, or using the federal 

 3          indirect rate that individual nonprofits have 

 4          that finally went into effect at the end of 

 5          last year.  We have not seen the state or New 

 6          York City implement that.  

 7                 Indirect rates definitely speak to the 

 8          infrastructure needs of nonprofits.  They 

 9          don't have adequate infrastructure, IT 

10          systems, telephone systems, financial 

11          reporting systems.  And being able to pay an 

12          adequate indirect rate is really key to that.  

13          We want to thank Assemblymember Hevesi for 

14          writing a letter on our behalf about the OMB  

15          guidelines.  

16                 Again, it's people want to feed the 

17          kids, no one wants to gas up the van.  

18          Indirect is not the sexiest of topics, but 

19          it's really crucial in terms of not just are 

20          we fixing cracks in ceilings and do we have a 

21          front desk, do we have security, but also in 

22          terms of having financial accountability, 

23          which we see the state looking more and more 

24          towards, is making sure taxpayer dollars are 


 1          spent adequately.  But that means paying for 

 2          accountants, CFOs, contract managers and 

 3          those kinds of positions that are not program 

 4          dollars.  

 5                 So I'll stop there and take any 

 6          questions that you have.  

 7                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.  

 8                 Assemblyman Hevesi.

 9                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Thank you.  

10                 First, good afternoon.  How can you 

11          say that indirect rates from the federal 

12          government are not sexy?  I mean, that's as 

13          good as it gets.

14                 (Laughter.) 

15                 MS. JACKSON:  You know, the indirect 

16          stuff, it's just not great at cocktail 

17          parties.

18                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Okay.  Fair 

19          enough.  So yes, we have worked with you and 

20          we will follow up with the Executive on that, 

21                 I do want to touch on the other two.  

22          Regarding the $15 minimum wage, look, you 

23          guys are on the front lines of dealing with 

24          all of our critical issues -- childcare, 


 1          homelessness, foster care.  We have to make 

 2          sure you're taken care of.  

 3                 So I am not at liberty to tell -- not 

 4          at liberty.  I'm not able to tell you that it 

 5          is definitively going to be in the Assembly 

 6          one-house, but I will tell you that a 

 7          significant coalition of members of the 

 8          Assembly -- I believe over 40 and growing -- 

 9          are looking to not only include costs for 

10          nonprofits in the $15 minimum wage, but also 

11          address the spillover issue.  So that's one.

12                 MS. JACKSON:  Great, thank you.

13                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  And we will 

14          continue to push because we need you guys 

15          more than whole, we need you to continue the 

16          great work that you do.  

17                 I will also suggest the Nonprofit 

18          Infrastructure Fund.  The Executive did not 

19          put in an additional 50, and we in the 

20          Assembly are looking to see if we can come up 

21          with dollars for that as well.  And yes, we'd 

22          like to see that recurring because we 

23          understand there's a need.  

24                 My question is about the first 50.  


 1          The distribution, has it been going well?  I 

 2          know $50 million for every nonprofit in the 

 3          state is sort of difficult.  I just wanted to 

 4          know if the parameters the Executive has set 

 5          geographically and otherwise make sense.  

 6                 MS. JACKSON:  So 50 million, first of 

 7          all, is just a drop in the bucket.  I have 

 8          one nonprofit in Manhattan that could have 

 9          spent $12 million on its own on one project.  

10                 We're not privy to kind of how the 

11          distribution is breaking out.  For the most 

12          part, we've heard that there's at least over 

13          about -- you know, just from surveying our 

14          members and knowing the needs from our 

15          membership and the statewide coalition that 

16          we partner with, we think there's clearly 

17          over 500 applications for this $50 million.  

18                 And like I said of the survey, a rough 

19          survey of our members with only 30 

20          respondents, we came up with about 

21          $18 million to $20 million in needs.  So we 

22          expect that fund to be spent quickly.  I 

23          think it was a good allocation.  They 

24          included a lot of different areas.  And 


 1          initially they had not included DSRIP groups, 

 2          but they amended that.  And that obviously is 

 3          a big deal because a lot of our members do 

 4          get some sort of DSRIP funding in terms of 

 5          running different types of clinics.  

 6                 They did not include HEAL funding, 

 7          though.  If you received HEAL funding, that's 

 8          one area -- and we'll follow up with a 

 9          one-pager around some of the areas we'd like 

10          to see fixed.  But we do have a number of 

11          organizations who would have liked to apply  

12          but felt that they weren't eligible based on 

13          getting HEAL, being a HEAL recipient or a 

14          subrecipient.  

15                 And of course that's an RFP system, so 

16          we didn't get all of our questions answered 

17          in the process, so we'll probably flesh some 

18          of that out on the tail end once the awards 

19          are made.

20                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  And we'll look to 

21          follow up with you just to ask those same 

22          questions.  And, you know, looking to see how 

23          the first 50 is spent is not in any way 

24          precluding the fact that we go after more 


 1          money, because we certainly understand the 

 2          need.  

 3                 But thank you for your advice and 

 4          counsel.  We appreciate it, and your 

 5          testimony.

 6                 MS. JACKSON:  Thank you.  

 7                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, 

 8          Director.  Appreciate you being here today.  

 9                 SENATOR KRUEGER:   Thank you.

10                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Next, from the 

11          New York Public Welfare Association, Rick 

12          Terwilliger, director of policy.  

13                 And following that director, we have 

14          Jim Purcell from the Council of Family and 

15          Child Caring Agencies.  If you could get 

16          ready, please.  

17                 Welcome, Director.  Glad to have you 

18          here.

19                 MR. TERWILLIGER:  Nice to be here.  

20          Thanks for getting my name right.  It's a 

21          rare thing.

22                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Is it really?

23                 MR. TERWILLIGER:  Yes.

24                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Okay.  I do have 


 1          Terwilligers who live in my district, so I 

 2          have practice.  So thank you very much.  

 3                 MR. TERWILLIGER:  Good afternoon.  My 

 4          name is Rick Terwilliger.  I'm director of 

 5          policy at the New York Public Welfare 

 6          Association.  I'm honored to testify here 

 7          before you today.  

 8                 The NYPWA represents all 58 local 

 9          districts -- departments of social services 

10          statewide.  Our members are dedicated to 

11          improving the quality and effectiveness of 

12          social welfare policy so that it's 

13          accountable to taxpayers who protect 

14          vulnerable people.  

15                 For the sake of time, my remarks will 

16          focus on a few key budget areas, but our 

17          written testimony will delve into a little 

18          bit more detail.  And I did time it; I think 

19          I can make it under five minutes.

20                 Our first area of concern surrounds 

21          the issue of food, shelter, and the state 

22          safety net program.  The Governor has 

23          announced plans to expand the SNAP program 

24          for more households with earned income, 


 1          adding a projected 750,000 eligible 

 2          households.  SNAP administration is a 50/50 

 3          split between federal and local governments, 

 4          without any state support.  Therefore, NYPWA 

 5          recommends that the state restore its past 

 6          practice of sharing the administrative costs 

 7          of this program.  

 8                 Under the property tax cap, counties 

 9          are not in a position to hire the staff that 

10          will be or may be needed, without state 

11          funding.

12                 NYPWA also supports permanent low-cost 

13          supportive housing and emergency shelters.  

14          Local DSS commissioners are committed to 

15          serving people who are homeless and every 

16          other vulnerable person in New York State.  

17          The best way to keep people safe is to 

18          prevent homelessness in the first place.

19                 Attached to our written testimony, on 

20          the back end of the testimony, is a broader 

21          look at the issue and NYPWA's recommended 

22          actions to meet the challenges of 

23          homelessness.  One of those recommendations 

24          is our call for a restoration of the state's 


 1          commitment to safety net assistance.  New 

 2          York State only funds 29 percent of 

 3          recipients' benefits, and none of the 

 4          administrative expenses.  

 5                 The program, which is entirely 

 6          controlled by the state, was funded at a 

 7          50/50 state and local share until five years 

 8          ago.  The time has come to gradually restore 

 9          the 50/50 share of funding.

10                 A second area of concern revolves 

11          around issues affecting childcare and child 

12          welfare.  Recent changes to the federal Child 

13          Care and Development Block Grant Act are 

14          designed to promote stability and quality but 

15          were delivered without the necessary 

16          financial support.  Although well- 

17          intentioned, efforts to promote quality 

18          childcare may shift funding away from other 

19          struggling families who may stay on childcare 

20          wait lists longer.

21                 Due to the property tax cap, most 

22          counties are not able to raise funds to pay 

23          for additional childcare.  As the state 

24          considers how to best address childcare 


 1          needs, it is important not to take the funds 

 2          away from other social services and child 

 3          welfare programs that serve families in need.

 4                 On juvenile justice issues, NYPWA 

 5          supports efforts to raise the age of juvenile 

 6          jurisdiction to age 18, and the Governor's 

 7          commitment to fund 100 percent of the costs 

 8          associated with this change.  Attached to our 

 9          testimony -- towards the back end again -- is 

10          a list of several recommendations regarding 

11          the Raise the Age issue.  

12                 However, it is important to note that 

13          in the past the state has stepped back from 

14          its original financial support for programs 

15          serving the needy.  Therefore, statutory 

16          language may be needed to hold counties 

17          harmless for the costs associated with Raise 

18          the Age.  Fiscal caps must also be removed 

19          for foster care and youth detention as part 

20          of that reform.

21                 In addition, Raise the Age will shift 

22          the burden of care to the child welfare 

23          system, making it all the more important to 

24          fund services to contain that expense and to 


 1          keep children from harm.  That's why the 

 2          NYPWA supports continued open-ended funding 

 3          for child preventive and protective services 

 4          and calls for a return to the prior 65/25 

 5          state and local share of the funding levels.

 6                 In closing, the NYPWA wishes to thank 

 7          the Legislature for its leadership in 

 8          bringing attention to the challenging fiscal 

 9          and policy issues affecting social services.

10                 Thank you.

11                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Assembly?

12                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  {Inaudible mic}.  

13          Thank you for your testimony.  Wow, that was 

14          aggressive.

15                 (Laughter.)

16                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Let me start by 

17          suggesting to you one piece of your 

18          testimony, the safety net, since the Assembly 

19          is taking a very hard look at the rationale 

20          behind those percentages and maybe even 

21          beyond even the reason for the way it's 

22          funded right now.  We will get back to you on 

23          that.  

24                 And I will tell you that, under the 


 1          leadership of my colleague Chairwoman 

 2          Lupardo, that we are going to be very 

 3          aggressive as well about the impact of the 

 4          federal Child Care Block Grant.  We will not 

 5          leave it as it was proposed in the Executive 

 6          Budget.  

 7                 So I very much appreciate the other 

 8          issues that you raised, and those two in 

 9          particular, and I look forward to working 

10          with you in the future.

11                 MR. TERWILLIGER:  Thank you.  

12                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.  

13                 Senator Montgomery.  

14                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  A brief question.  

15          Thank you for including Raise the Age in your 

16          testimony as being one of the issues that 

17          you're intending to focus on.  

18                 I'm just wondering if you have looked 

19          at some of the ramifications of Raise the Age 

20          as it relates to the community where these 

21          young people generally will be -- come from 

22          now and will be hopefully able to remain.  

23          What do we need to do to make sure that we're 

24          able to support them and sustain them being 


 1          out of the system?  

 2                 MR. TERWILLIGER:  Right.  There's 

 3          going to be a big influx of 16- and 

 4          17-year-olds back into the child welfare 

 5          system.  So those services that will be 

 6          needed to turn things around for their lives 

 7          need to be in place.  That's why the 100 

 8          percent funding by the state is so vital.  

 9          And that extends through all types of 

10          preventive services.  

11                 So as we move forward, it's still a 

12          little bit unclear at this point how that 

13          that's going to play out.  Our association is 

14          very concerned that the state does their part 

15          and fulfills their obligation to meeting all 

16          the preventive and all the other services 

17          that this group of kids are going to need.  

18                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  So I would hope 

19          that one of the things that will happen, 

20          based on the discussion around Raise the Age, 

21          is that we begin to work on a plan for 

22          accommodating this new policy in the best 

23          interests of the children that we're trying 

24          to help.


 1                 MR. TERWILLIGER:  Absolutely.

 2                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  So I look forward 

 3          to work with you as well.  

 4                 MR. TERWILLIGER:  Thank you.  

 5                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  Thank you.  

 6                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.  Just one 

 7          comment.  Some of us sit here day in, day 

 8          out, through all of these hearings.  Looking 

 9          around, Senator Savino and I win the award, I 

10          think, so far.  

11                 So two themes that you actually hit on 

12          in your testimony without necessarily 

13          realizing you were hitting on them was two 

14          things I've seen from throughout all the 

15          hearings.  One, the state continues not to 

16          invest in its infrastructure at the local 

17          level or recognize that local governments are 

18          actually the women and the men who actually 

19          deliver the service to the real people.  

20                 And two, we keep balancing our budget 

21          by putting more and more of the costs on you.  

22          So I appreciate that your testimony laid out 

23          on a number of different categories how we 

24          have reduced the formula match to the 


 1          counties, and again, even more so to the City 

 2          of New York.  

 3                 You also pointed that out in your 

 4          testimony, that we keep just shifting more of 

 5          the burden to you all and pretending that 

 6          we're reducing our funding streams or costs 

 7          for these programs.  We're not reducing the 

 8          costs of delivering the services, we're just 

 9          making you pay more of it.  And you of course 

10          have your own caps to deal with.  So I 

11          appreciate your going through and reminding 

12          us all of some of the history of what used to 

13          be 50/50 matches and are now radically 

14          changed.  So I appreciate your reminding us 

15          all of that.  Thank you.  

16                 MR. TERWILLIGER:  Thank you, Senator.

17                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  And our next 

18          testifier, Jim Purcell from the Council of 

19          Family and Child Caring Agencies.  

20                 And if people want to move down, if 

21          they're following their schedule, after that 

22          will be Renee Smith, New York State 

23          Children's Alliance, followed by Stephanie 

24          Gendell of the Citizens Committee for 


 1          Children of New York.  

 2                 Hi.  

 3                 MR. PURCELL:  Hi.  Thank you.  I am 

 4          Jim Purcell.  I'm the CEO of the Council of 

 5          Family and Child Caring Agencies.  We have 

 6          about a hundred nonprofit agencies across the 

 7          state that provide foster care, family 

 8          preventive support services, juvenile justice 

 9          services, and adoption.  And we appreciate 

10          this opportunity to speak with you today.  

11                 I will actually stop in mid-sentence 

12          at five minutes, because I can't imagine the 

13          last two weeks that most of you have spent 

14          here.  

15                 So I think that -- I just want to 

16          outline.  I'm going to skip the testimony; 

17          you've got it.  I trust you're all going to 

18          read it, you know, because you may not be 

19          able to sleep tonight, so I recommend it.  

20                 We have a couple of key priorities 

21          related to foster care this year.  One is we 

22          so appreciate the support that the 

23          Legislature gave us last year after the 

24          budget in getting the first rate increases 


 1          for foster care in seven years.  They were 

 2          greatly appreciated.  It was 2 percent, but 

 3          as people on our boards of directors said, at 

 4          least they were reminded that the state 

 5          actually cares.  And they had begun to lose 

 6          hope in that, and so that was vitally 

 7          important.  

 8                 This year our first request, frankly, 

 9          is that you continue to do that.  We 

10          recognize that there is a -- the human 

11          service COLA is back in the budget this year.  

12          But that was not a typo.  It's -- I thought 

13          it was a typo, I told my members it was a 

14          typo, but it's actually .002.  On a $35,000 

15          annual salary, that's $70 a year, which is 

16          about $2.57 in every paycheck.  Which may or 

17          may not get you a cup of coffee once every 

18          two weeks.  

19                 So while we appreciate it, we need to 

20          begin to restore the salaries that we've lost 

21          over the last seven years when there were no 

22          adjustments in the rates.  

23                 Which brings us to the minimum wage.  

24          As others here have testified,  the nonprofit 


 1          agencies are concerned about the impact of 

 2          the minimum wage and how they'll fund it for 

 3          their staff, but there can be no doubt that 

 4          we support the increases.  In our case, 

 5          virtually all the families that we work with 

 6          are poor or very poor.  How could we say, No, 

 7          we shouldn't increase the minimum wage, when 

 8          we're working with families who can't pay 

 9          their rent, they run out of food stamps and 

10          they stop feeding their kids because maybe 

11          the food pantry said, Don't come back here 

12          again?  

13                 And it's our job in our preventive 

14          services to work with those families and say, 

15          No, you can go back there again.  But that's 

16          our answer.  The refrigerator breaks; we 

17          can't help replace it.  

18                 So the families we work with who are 

19          working -- and many of them are -- deserve to 

20          be paid a salary on which they can try to 

21          support their families.  At the same time, we 

22          have a lot of workers who are making way 

23          under $15 an hour.  We're currently doing 

24          some analysis with our hundred members to see 


 1          what they think it will cost.  I think the 

 2          cost in the first year will be relatively 

 3          minimal because right now, although, with the 

 4          fact that the fast-food workers just got 

 5          their first minimum wage, we're now competing 

 6          directly, dollar for dollar, with Ben & 

 7          Jerry's and Dunkin' Donuts for the people who 

 8          will care for our kids who have some pretty 

 9          serious problems.  

10                 We too are looking for some additional 

11          capital investment.  Because of all those 

12          rate freezes over the last seven years, we've 

13          deferred a lot of maintenance.  Our lengths 

14          of stay for kids in residential care are 

15          getting shorter, which means we're moving 

16          more and more 15- and 16- and 17- and 

17          19-year-old kids through buildings which are 

18          quite old, and kids that age, the buildings 

19          and the furniture pay a price.  And so we 

20          need to reinvest in that.  

21                 And finally, we're looking for a 

22          million dollars to begin to try to support 

23          our workers in getting degrees -- a 

24          bachelor's degree for some of our childcare 


 1          staff, a master's degree for some of our 

 2          caseworkers -- and for some loan forgiveness.  

 3          So a million is just a way to start this, I 

 4          think.  Child welfare is sort of an 

 5          entry-level position for people coming out of 

 6          school, out of high school with an 

 7          associate's degree, like the Senator here 

 8          who's done so well.  

 9                 But they often -- they spend a couple 

10          of years with us.  They've just developed the 

11          ability to gain the trust of some of these 

12          kids we're working with, and then they say, 

13          Look, I just have to leave, my $300 a month 

14          student loan bill is just not something I can 

15          pay when I'm making $33,000 a year.  

16                 There are several other pieces in the 

17          budget that I want to reference.  The 

18          Governor included -- we are thrilled with 

19          language that would create some protection 

20          for our foster parents and childcare workers 

21          who last year you required that they begin to 

22          use a reasonable and prudent parenting 

23          standard.  That means not saying no to 

24          everything a kid asks for, like can I go on a 


 1          sleep over with all the rest of the girls in 

 2          my class, because it's Judy's birthday, and 

 3          we say:  No, you can't, because we need to do 

 4          an SCR clearance on their parents.  

 5                 Or "I can't play on the school soccer 

 6          team."  We need a little bit of protection 

 7          here, or that language is going to turn out 

 8          not to mean very much.  As there will be 

 9          lawsuits, because somebody will get hurt 

10          playing soccer, and then there will be a 

11          lawsuit about it.  And we need to support 

12          these volunteers in doing that.

13                 And I'm going to stop, although I have 

14          a number of other things to talk to you 

15          about.  

16                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Senator Diane 

17          Savino.  

18                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Thank you.  

19                 And, Jim, thank you for your 

20          testimony.  

21                 And, you know, I'm not going to harp 

22          on the issue of the minimum wage and the 

23          effect on the agencies, because I'm getting 

24          tired of hearing myself think.  


 1                 But I'm just startled in your 

 2          testimony where you talk about the starting 

 3          salary for many of your field staff at $11.33 

 4          an hour.  That is absolutely outrageous.  

 5          When I started 25 years ago, my starting 

 6          salary was $24,670, which worked out to 

 7          $15.77 an hour.  Nonprofit agencies at the 

 8          time were paying caseworkers about 

 9          $4,000 less than the city was.

10                 MR. PURCELL:  Right.

11                 SENATOR SAVINO:  This gap, though, has 

12          gotten enormous between the nonprofit 

13          sector -- and your agencies are the ones who 

14          are providing foster care.  The city doesn't 

15          do foster care anymore.

16                 MR. PURCELL:  None.

17                 SENATOR SAVINO:  That's a different 

18          argument, a different discussion to have.  

19                 But I'm very curious about the 

20          effect -- and I asked Sheila Poole about the 

21          effect of the opioid abuse crisis and the 

22          rise in heroin and the number of cases that 

23          your agencies are now dealing with doing 

24          preventive services, having to make hard 


 1          decisions about very complicated drug 

 2          problems with families.  And how can you 

 3          recruit and retain people if this is the only 

 4          thing you can pay them?

 5                 MR. PURCELL:  It's an increasing 

 6          challenge.  Sheila spoke, I thought, really 

 7          well to the fact that where we've seen 

 8          increases in foster care -- the foster care 

 9          numbers are at record low numbers.  I've been 

10          doing this for --  

11                 SENATOR SAVINO:  That's because of 

12          very good preventive services.

13                 MR. PURCELL:  Because of preventive 

14          services.  But now our preventive services 

15          workers are working with families that used 

16          to be in foster care.  And you're right, 

17          where the parents are using opiates, that 

18          creates a huge challenge.  

19                 Just last week I asked 10 of our 

20          New York City executive directors if they too 

21          were seeing the impact of heroin and opiates, 

22          because we hear it upstate all the time.  

23          Interestingly -- now, I only had 10 people in 

24          the room, and the answer back was not a huge 


 1          impact that we're seeing in Brooklyn or the 

 2          Bronx, but a big impact in Queens and Staten 

 3          Island.  I don't know what that means yet, 

 4          it's not a scientific study, it was just a 

 5          question that I asked.  And the people who 

 6          work in those two bureaus both responded that 

 7          they're seeing more and more of the impact.  

 8                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Well, unfortunately, 

 9          Staten Island has earned the dubious 

10          distinction of being the heroin capital of 

11          the state right now.  

12                 But I do think we're going to see a 

13          corresponding rise in placements or more 

14          intensive social services.  So I think, you 

15          know, we've got to make sure that we provide 

16          enough assistance to your agencies so that 

17          you can do that kind of work.  

18                 I'm very happy to see you include the 

19          idea of a child welfare worker tuition 

20          forgiveness.  As you know, I think it was 

21          about six years ago --

22                 MR. PURCELL:  Yeah.

23                 SENATOR SAVINO:  -- we started the 

24          Social Work Loan Forgiveness Program.  It's 


 1          been somewhat successful, because again, 

 2          we're -- you know, it's hard to keep social 

 3          workers in the public sector, even in the 

 4          nonprofit sector, because this pay is not a 

 5          lot and, you know, the tuition for graduate 

 6          school is about $40,000 on average.  And the 

 7          starting salary for a social worker in these 

 8          fields is about $40,000, on average.

 9                 MR. PURCELL:  That's right.  Actually, 

10          with master's degrees, it's still lower than 

11          40 right now.  

12                 SENATOR SAVINO:  In the city, for city 

13          social workers, it's about 40.  In your 

14          agencies, it's lower.

15                 MR. PURCELL:  Yeah.

16                 SENATOR SAVINO:  And I do agree we 

17          should try and add child welfare workers into 

18          this, and I look forward to talking to you 

19          about ways to kind of expand this tuition 

20          loan forgiveness program, because it is 

21          important that we attract people to this 

22          field.  And if we can't raise the salary, 

23          maybe we should lower their debt.  

24                 MR. PURCELL:  You know, the state has 


 1          funded loan forgiveness programs for 

 2          engineers, for farmers, for 10 or 12 

 3          different professions, and this would be an 

 4          opportunity to keep some of these people who 

 5          have spent a couple of years, whose heart is 

 6          still in the work with these kids, but who 

 7          just can't do it.  

 8                 And I'm glad you mentioned Raise the 

 9          Age, because Senator Montgomery will get mad 

10          that I didn't mention it, but it was the next 

11          thing on my list, Senator.  

12                 SENATOR SAVINO:  But on the loan 

13          forgiveness, since we already have one 

14          created for social workers, it might be 

15          easier just to expand it from social workers 

16          to child welfare workers as well, so we don't 

17          have to create a whole new program.  I mean, 

18          I think we should talk about that.  

19                 MR. PURCELL:  Absolutely.  Our 

20          proposal is very much modeled after the 

21          programs that already exist.  And I agree 

22          with you, we don't need a second mechanism if 

23          the mechanism is already existing.  

24                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Right.  Great.  Thank 


 1          you.

 2                 MR. PURCELL:  Thank you.

 3                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.

 4                 Assembly?  

 5                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Mr. Purcell, good 

 6          to see you.

 7                 MR. PURCELL:  Good to see you again.

 8                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  And I'd like to 

 9          thank you for all of your advice and guidance 

10          that stemmed from an Assembly roundtable that 

11          we did together.

12                 MR. PURCELL:  Thank you for asking.

13                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  No, my pleasure.  

14                 So I wanted to also express some 

15          similar sentiments, that we are very happy 

16          with the Governor putting in the reasonable 

17          and prudent parenting standard in the 

18          Executive Budget.  That's a fantastic step.  

19                 And I just want to say I hear you on 

20          the rate increases and understand the 

21          particular nature of how that would impact 

22          your agencies and your workers who we 

23          desperately need to keep providing the 

24          services that they are providing.  


 1                 And I look forward to continuing to 

 2          work with you on issues like MSAR and some of 

 3          the others that you raise.  

 4                 MR. PURCELL:  We look forward to it.

 5                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  But I just want 

 6          to say a personal thank you.  I don't have 

 7          any questions --

 8                 MR. PURCELL:  I think we're on speed 

 9          dial.

10                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  We are on speed 

11          dial, which is great.  And I appreciate the 

12          advice.

13                 MR. PURCELL:  Thank you.  

14                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Senator Montgomery.  

15                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:   Thank you.  I 

16          didn't see in your testimony where the Raise 

17          the Age is.  But I'll just ask very quickly, 

18          could we get a list or some idea of which of 

19          your members actually are in the -- I guess 

20          the front end of the Raise the Age issue?  In 

21          other words, trying to look at building the 

22          infrastructure in the community --

23                 MR. PURCELL:  The diversion end of it.

24                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  Yes, diversion.  


 1          Yes, exactly.  

 2                 Could we have some sense -- could I 

 3          get that from you?

 4                 MR. PURCELL:  Of course.  Not right at 

 5          this moment I can't, but we will get it back 

 6          to you.  

 7                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  Exactly.  I would 

 8          appreciate that, because we're going to need 

 9          a lot more of that discussion.

10                 MR. PURCELL:  Yeah, and they report 

11          that they've been quite successful in keeping 

12          a number of these kids safely at home without 

13          recommitting offenses, working with their 

14          families.  So a number of evidence-based 

15          models being used in those programs as well.  

16                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  Yes.  Yes.  And 

17          families really are going to need a lot of 

18          support with that, I think.  

19                 And the last part of my question is on 

20          the whole issue of foster care.  Where are we 

21          in terms of supporting young people who are 

22          out of foster care but still need housing, 

23          need a lot of supports, they're not ready to 

24          just go off and be on their own?  


 1                 MR. PURCELL:  I think that's one of 

 2          the huge issues.  And you know, again, 

 3          we're -- even as we all begin to try to work 

 4          across lines, not be so siloed, the fact is a 

 5          number of kids stay in foster care until 

 6          they're 21.  New York State has always 

 7          allowed that.  I'm very proud of that.  Other 

 8          states are still struggling with it, in some 

 9          cases.  

10                 But whether you just throw kids out at 

11          18 or you tell them they've got to leave at 

12          21 -- you know, somebody just told me that 

13          the average age across the state, all income 

14          levels, for children becoming independent of 

15          their parents is closer to 26 or 27 now.  And 

16          yet these kids, who don't have that parental 

17          resource behind them, are -- you know, we get 

18          them an apartment, we get them a job, but 

19          typically there's two or three kids sharing 

20          an apartment, and all it takes is one of them 

21          losing their job and then they don't pay the 

22          rent and they lose the apartment, and then 

23          the second one loses his or her job.  

24                 So we've got to find a better way for 


 1          some transitional services.  Nobody wants to 

 2          keep these kids in care after they're 21.  

 3          That is not -- that is never part of our 

 4          agenda.  But cutting off all the supports -- 

 5          so in many ways, and I'm no expert on 

 6          supported housing, but using supported 

 7          housing, perhaps tying in the child welfare 

 8          caseworker support into that so that we can 

 9          help these kids stay on track and, frankly, 

10          help them with those short-term emergencies.  

11                 I mean, how many kids would not end up 

12          back in a homeless shelter if in fact when 

13          the third kid in the apartment lost his job 

14          and couldn't pay the rent, we were somehow 

15          able to subsidize that until either somebody 

16          got him another job or we moved another young 

17          person in there with a job?  

18                 We end up with three kids in homeless 

19          shelters because of one unforeseen -- 

20          although job losses and a fire in an 

21          apartment is not so unforeseen.  But that's 

22          where those numbers come from.  We're not 

23          discharging kids to homeless shelters, we're 

24          discharging them to apartments.  But somebody 


 1          just -- one of my own execs just showed me 

 2          data that said that the failure rates in 

 3          NYCHA for former foster care kids is higher 

 4          than for any other segment of their 

 5          population that they target.  

 6                 We've got to figure out how to -- I 

 7          mean, now that we know that, let's do 

 8          something with that information.  

 9                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  Thank you.

10                 MR. PURCELL:  Thank you.  

11                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.

12                 Assembly?

13                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Chairwoman 

14          Lupardo.  

15                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN LUPARDO:  Yes, thanks.  

16                 Hi, Jim.

17                 MR. PURCELL:  Hi.

18                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN LUPARDO:  In your 

19          testimony you said that there are 60 

20          residential foster care programs in need of 

21          capital investment.  

22                 MR. PURCELL:  We surveyed -- like 

23          Michelle mentioned a few minutes ago, we 

24          surveyed four of our agencies last fall who 


 1          were working with us on a workgroup about if 

 2          they could apply for all the funds they 

 3          needed for capital -- which is mostly 

 4          deferred maintenance, but it also includes -- 

 5          the Justice Center often indicates cases and 

 6          then tells the agencies they ought to 

 7          purchase cameras to put in public areas.  A 

 8          number of our agencies have been able to do 

 9          that; some have not, they don't have the 

10          money.  So they might want to put cameras in 

11          public areas, which tends to make the kids 

12          and the staff safer.  

13                 And a number of our residential 

14          programs were built with a cottage that had 

15          two kids in a bedroom, or maybe three.  We're 

16          not serving kids today in residential care 

17          who we should be putting two and three in a 

18          room.  So they need to not build a new 

19          building, but they need to remodel the 

20          cottage that they're using so that we get 

21          maybe eight or nine single rooms instead of 

22          four or five double or triple rooms.  

23                 We surveyed four agencies; they came 

24          up with $9 million of requests.  So our 


 1          request was for $15 million this year, 

 2          $15 million next year.  That would be 30.  If 

 3          I just extrapolated that out, I would have 

 4          been saying $120 million.  But I'm willing to 

 5          recognize that perhaps the state wouldn't 

 6          think some of the things our agencies 

 7          identified were such high priorities.  A 

 8          little competition isn't the worst idea in 

 9          the world.  But the $50 million last year 

10          across all of human services is just so far 

11          from being enough.  And so we need an 

12          increase in that.  

13                 Let me say, in response to some 

14          concerns I've heard, whether that was 

15          15 million for the child welfare system or 

16          whether that was 100 million for human 

17          services, I defer to your judgment on that.  

18          We just need some money, access to some money 

19          to improve these programs.

20                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN LUPARDO:  I hear you.  

21                 Do you know how many of the 60 applied 

22          for the $50 million?

23                 MR. PURCELL:  I don't know that yet.  

24          Actually, I think the proposals were just 


 1          due.  They extended it a couple of times.  

 2          The Human Services Council mentioned a couple 

 3          of the problems.  You know, you might gotten 

 4          $20,000 in a HEAL grant three years ago and 

 5          that disqualified you from filing here, which 

 6          doesn't really make any sense.  

 7                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN LUPARDO:  So have you 

 8          ever had a capital improvement funding line 

 9          in the budget?

10                 MR. PURCELL:  No.

11                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN LUPARDO:  This would be 

12          something new?  

13                 MR. PURCELL:  The only thing that's 

14          related to us at all in that regard were many 

15          of our schools were written into DASNY and 

16          got DASNY-funded new school buildings 15 and 

17          20 -- 20 years ago or so.  That's been the 

18          only capital funding for any of these 

19          residential programs.  

20                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN LUPARDO:  So how have 

21          they been doing any capital improvements?  

22                 MR. PURCELL:  Try to raise some money 

23          and name a building after somebody who wants 

24          to give you some money.  


 1                 We don't have a lot of people who want 

 2          to give us that kind of money.  

 3                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN LUPARDO:  Thank you.  

 4                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  I want to thank 

 5          you -- oh, excuse me.  We have one more.  

 6                 Roxanne Persaud.

 7                 SENATOR PERSAUD:  Good afternoon.  One 

 8          quick question for you.  

 9                 I see that you're advocating for many 

10          things in the foster care system, but I just 

11          don't see anything specifically about kinship 

12          care, which is a growing issue.

13                 MR. PURCELL:  It's part of the foster 

14          care system.  It's funded through foster 

15          care.  In fact, too much of it's funded 

16          through foster care right now.  The KinGAP, 

17          which is built -- has grown more slowly than 

18          either we or at least New York City would 

19          have expected it to, and ACS is now working 

20          with our agencies to try to clear some of the 

21          hurdles out of the way for KinGAP, which 

22          would allow some of the kids in kinship 

23          foster care to be permanently discharged to 

24          their relatives, where the conclusion is that 


 1          that family no longer needs caseworkers and 

 2          all of that.  

 3                 The problem from a structural 

 4          perspective is when that got approved several 

 5          years ago, the funding was stuck into the 

 6          foster care block grant, which was a fine 

 7          short-term expedient.  The problem is that as 

 8          it grows, that means that a larger and larger 

 9          part of what should be funding foster care is 

10          funding families that are now out of foster 

11          care.  

12                 There's a separate appropriation for 

13          adoption subsidies.  We ought to move the 

14          KinGAP program into the same funding stream 

15          as the adoption subsidies and stop -- 

16          frankly, it takes money away from the 

17          counties again, the point that was just made 

18          with regard to the prior speaker.  

19                 SENATOR PERSAUD:  Thank you.  

20                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  I want to thank you 

21          for your testimony today.

22                 MR. PURCELL:  Thank you.

23                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  And I just want to 

24          throw in, when Velmanette -- Senator 


 1          Montgomery was discussing the issues and you 

 2          were answering about ending up putting kids 

 3          from foster care into the homeless shelters, 

 4          I've always thought we should just pay for 

 5          them to go to college.

 6                 MR. PURCELL:  Actually, one of the 

 7          things we're supporting is --

 8                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  It's got to be a lot 

 9          cheaper than any of these other ridiculous 

10          stories.  

11                 MR. PURCELL:  Absolutely.  And you 

12          funded -- this is amazing to me, but you 

13          funded last year a million and a half dollars 

14          for FYSA, the Fostering Youth Success in 

15          college.  That money was included in the 

16          Governor's budget this year.  And those of us 

17          who follow state budgets know that it doesn't 

18          matter much who the Governor is, they seldom 

19          put in what the Legislature has added.  I see 

20          that as they saw this was a great idea too.  

21          I think everybody did.  I think the group 

22          putting that together has done a fantastic 

23          job.  They're back asking for increase to 

24          support some additional kids this year, and 


 1          we support that as well.  

 2                 But you're absolutely right, we could 

 3          get these kids into college instead of 

 4          homeless shelters, we get our workers to stay 

 5          longer on the job than the kids stay in 

 6          foster care, the kids will stay a lot shorter 

 7          because they won't keep changing workers.  

 8                 So thank you.  

 9                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.

10                 Our next testifier is Renee Smith, 

11          chair of the board, New York State Children's 

12          Alliance.

13                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Welcome.

14                 MS. SMITH-ROTONDO:  Thank you.  Thank 

15          you for having me.

16                 Good afternoon, and as I said, thanks 

17          for this opportunity.  My name is Renee 

18          Smith-Rotondo.  I am the chair of the 

19          New York State Children's Alliance, which is 

20          the membership organization for New York 

21          State's 40 Child Advocacy Centers, and I am 

22          here representing our membership to ask again 

23          for your support for the critical work that 

24          we do with child victims of abuse.


 1                 But first I want to thank this body 

 2          for its strong support of our programs.  In 

 3          2014, you added a legislative appropriation 

 4          of $2.57 million to the state budget that 

 5          year that greatly helped our programs provide 

 6          immediate responses and quality services to 

 7          our child victims.  And then last year you 

 8          again added that same amount to the 2015-2016 

 9          budget.  So we are really grateful that you 

10          recognize the importance of the work that we 

11          do in our communities and the children and 

12          families that we serve.

13                 This year NYSCA submitted a formal 

14          request to the Governor's office to, at a 

15          minimum, include that funding in this year's 

16          budget, and unfortunately the proposed 

17          2016-2017 budget does not include these 

18          funds.  So the result is that we are here 

19          again to ask for your support in maintaining 

20          state funding for CACs at at least the level 

21          of last year's funding, which was 

22          $7.779 million.

23                 You have been very generous to our 

24          mission over the years, and in a very real 


 1          sense what we ask you to invest in is really 

 2          the children of our state.  We work with one 

 3          of the most vulnerable populations, abused 

 4          children.  And last year we saw approximately 

 5          18,000 children in our 40 programs -- 18,000.  

 6                 We understand that, as you have to 

 7          decide where to put your state dollars, that 

 8          you need to consider return on your 

 9          investments.  So I just wanted to take my 

10          time here to run through a few things that 

11          you could expect to get from investing in our 

12          Child Advocacy Centers.

13                 The first thing is that we provide a 

14          proven, effective approach to child abuse 

15          cases by employing a collaborative, 

16          multi-disciplinary approach to these cases.  

17          We have team members that are specially 

18          trained in all types of services and all 

19          aspects of these cases, and the team works 

20          collaboratively to provide an immediate 

21          response in a safe and comfortable 

22          environment for the children and the families 

23          who are coming in having been subjected to 

24          trauma.  


 1                 Secondly, what you can expect in 

 2          return for the investment is programs that 

 3          now use a single state-of-the-art case 

 4          tracking system that allows us to monitor our 

 5          cases, collect data, analyze that data, 

 6          determine if there are patterns, trends, 

 7          gaps, and then adjust our programs 

 8          accordingly.

 9                 Third, we have centers that now have 

10          the ability to survey our clients for their 

11          feedback on the services that we provide 

12          through the use of a web-based outcome 

13          measurement system that allows all of our 

14          programs to see how they're responding to the 

15          community's needs and adjust accordingly.

16                 And you can also expect that we share 

17          all of these program dollars with a myriad of 

18          agencies in our communities that have an 

19          obligation to respond to a child abuse case.  

20          So your support provides cutting-edge 

21          training and equipment to prosecutors, to law 

22          enforcement, to child protection, child 

23          protective workers, to victim advocates, 

24          mental health and medical health providers.  


 1          We share our dollars with our very dedicated 

 2          team members, and the result is that we have 

 3          a better, more immediate response when we 

 4          need to respond to a case.

 5                 And further, we are -- oh, and I'm out 

 6          of time.  I'm pretty much reading --

 7                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Sure, if you could -- 

 8          if you could just continue --

 9                 MS. SMITH-ROTONDO:  I'll just -- 

10                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Sure.  A little 

11          bit.  But, if you could summarize, that would 

12          be helpful.

13                 MS. SMITH-ROTONDO:  I'll just -- okay, 

14          I'll just finish by saying our programs are 

15          really expert at responding to trauma, and 

16          there's a whole section in my testimony about 

17          when you are able to address trauma at a 

18          young age and how much that helps a person 

19          later on in life in terms of health, and that 

20          we're not re-traumatizing children in our 

21          programs because we provide the type of 

22          multidisciplinary, sensitive approach that's 

23          very helpful to them.

24                 I could go on.  The returns, I think, 


 1          are obvious for the investment in our 

 2          programs.  We ask you to continue to support 

 3          us the way you have been.  We are very, very 

 4          appreciative.  We do this hard work every 

 5          single day, and we see these children every 

 6          single day -- they come in traumatized, as do 

 7          their families.  And we could really use the 

 8          support, the financial support, from the 

 9          state to be able to continue what we do.

10                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you very 

11          much, and I couldn't agree more.  We have 

12          Child Advocacy Centers in Chautauqua, 

13          Cattaraugus, and Allegany Counties, and I've 

14          been personally involved with their efforts.  

15                 And I remember they brought in this 

16          speaker several years ago, and it was -- I 

17          can't recall her name -- but it was one of 

18          the most notorious child abuse cases from the 

19          1950s.  It was very shocking.  And she was 

20          tied in a closet, severely abused; her 

21          brother was tied to the shower and was 

22          already dead, but they used to sing to one 

23          another to communicate.  

24                 But she said that after she was 


 1          finally discovered, they had nowhere to take 

 2          her except to the local police station, and 

 3          she ended up spending the night in a jail 

 4          cell.  So if you can imagine the horror that 

 5          she had been through, and the fact that 

 6          that's where she ended up because there was 

 7          nowhere to put her -- really, it's something 

 8          that takes your breath away.  

 9                 So I want to thank you for what you 

10          and your member organizations do to take 

11          children who are abused into a safe, homelike 

12          setting -- multidisciplinary, as you said, 

13          healthcare, law enforcement, counselors all 

14          working together on behalf of the children.  

15          And I think it's an extraordinarily 

16          compelling and important program.  So I want 

17          to thank you for your testimony today.

18                 MS. SMITH-ROTONDO:  Thank you.  And I 

19          just want to say that I was going to include 

20          stories, but I knew there wasn't time, so 

21          yours was perfect.  

22                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  We're all set.   

23          Thank you so much.

24                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.  


 1                 MS. SMITH-ROTONDO:  Thank you. 

 2                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Our next speaker, 

 3          Stephanie Gendell, Esquire -- oh, I'm sorry.  

 4                 Velmanette, if you have a question, 

 5          sure.

 6                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  I only wanted to 

 7          identify -- I just only wanted to identify 

 8          the fact that the New York State Children's 

 9          Alliance is located in my district.  

10          320 Schermerhorn Street is around the corner 

11          from my office.  So welcome.

12                 MS. SMITH-ROTONDO:  That is the Child 

13          Advocacy Center in your district --

14                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  Yes.  I just 

15          wanted to acknowledge that.

16                 MS. SMITH-ROTONDO:  Gena is here, but 

17          would not come down with me --

18                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  Who is here?

19                 MS. SMITH-ROTONDO:  -- who runs that 

20          Child Advocacy Center.

21                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  Who is here from 

22          there?

23                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Raise your hand.  

24                 MS. SMITH-ROTONDO:  Gena Diacomanolis.


 1                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  Oh, there.  

 2          Hello.  Welcome.

 3                 MS. SMITH-ROTONDO:  She's on the board 

 4          as well.

 5                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  Thank you.

 6                 MS. SMITH-ROTONDO:  Thank you.

 7                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, Senator.

 8                 Next is Stephanie Gendell, Esq,, 

 9          associate executive director for policy and 

10          government relations from the Citizens' 

11          Committee for Children of New York.  Glad to 

12          have you here.  

13                 And following you there will be David 

14          Voegele, executive director, the Early Care 

15          and Learning Council.  So if you could get 

16          ready.

17                 MS. GENDELL:  Good afternoon.  I'm 

18          Stephanie Gendell, from Citizens' Committee 

19          for Children.  

20                 We don't accept any government 

21          funding, so I'm not asking for any funding 

22          for myself.  However, we are multi-issue, so 

23          I actually have a slew of --

24                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Could you summarize 


 1          it, though?  Because I see --

 2                 MS. GENDELL:  Oh yeah, yeah.  Of 

 3          course.

 4                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  -- that you have 

 5          some thick testimony here.

 6                 MS. GENDELL:  Yeah, yeah, I was 

 7          actually going to say -- and I'm going to 

 8          mention as many as I can in five minutes.

 9                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  We appreciate it.  

10          Thank you.  

11                 MS. GENDELL:  Starting with -- we were 

12          really disappointed to see all of the cost 

13          shifts in the Governor's budget for New York 

14          City, and we urge you to reject all of those, 

15          including whatever's going on in the safety 

16          net language, which we don't fully 

17          understand.  

18                 With regard to childcare, I appreciate 

19          everyone's support this morning for 

20          childcare.  We discussed the $90 million.  

21          Our estimates are that it's actually 

22          significantly higher than $90 million, 

23          probably closer to $190 million, to also 

24          account for the 12-month eligibility and some 


 1          other changes.  

 2                 On income security, we support the 

 3          raising the minimum wage, and we also ask 

 4          that you ensure that state contracts include 

 5          the money to actually maintain employees when 

 6          they raise the minimum wage.  Unlike the 

 7          private market, the nonprofits can't raise 

 8          prices.  

 9                 We support paid family leave.  

10                 We support Raise the Age, and we urge 

11          you to use this session to raise the age.  It 

12          will keep communities safer, has been proven 

13          to do so elsewhere -- as you know, we're one 

14          of only two states that treat all 16- and 

15          17-year-olds as adults, and we urge you to 

16          pass comprehensive Raise the Age legislation 

17          this session.

18                 With regard to child welfare, the 

19          budget once again cuts the state's share for 

20          preventive and protective from 65 percent to 

21          62 percent.  We urge you to think about 

22          restoring that funding or, instead, 

23          reallocate the 3 percent for primary 

24          preventive services.  Right now, the money 


 1          that you get through this open-ended 

 2          reimbursement scheme is for prevention where 

 3          there's an open case against the family.  If 

 4          you could have primary preventive services, 

 5          somebody wouldn't have to have a case open 

 6          and people might be more open and not 

 7          concerned about the stigma.  It would also 

 8          ensure that the money was used for something 

 9          different and not just a cost shift.

10                 We support what Jim Purcell discussed 

11          about KinGAP, moving it out of the foster 

12          care block grant.  Also, the subsidy should 

13          go to age 21 for all young people, as well as 

14          we'd like to see the definition of "relative" 

15          consistent with the definition we use for 

16          foster care.  

17                 There was some discussion about 

18          helping youth age out of foster care. 

19          Assemblymember Hevesi's bill, A7756, would be 

20          helpful in that regard.  It raises the 

21          housing subsidy from $300 to $600 per month 

22          and enables youth to receive it until age 24, 

23          and have roommates, and we urge you to pass 

24          that bill this session.


 1                 We were happy to see post-adoption 

 2          language and $5 million for post-adoption 

 3          services in this bill.  That's a federal 

 4          requirement that we've been waiting for the 

 5          state to implement.  We're concerned that the 

 6          appropriations language makes it sound like 

 7          OCFS can use the money for whatever they'd 

 8          like and also reduce it if they'd like to, 

 9          and so we just urge you to make that language 

10          more specific.

11                 We support adding more resources for 

12          home visiting, runaway and homeless youth, 

13          and the Summer Youth Employment Program.  

14                 And then -- I have so much time left 

15          that I'll end going back to one of the things 

16          I left out, which is on the income security.  

17          Helping New Yorkers save for college, we 

18          think, is critical.  And the best way to help 

19          families get -- and young people get -- out 

20          of poverty ultimately is to go to college.  

21          And so we've long supported the proposal to 

22          allow New Yorkers to put a portion of their 

23          tax refund directly into a 529 college 

24          savings account at the time they do their 


 1          taxes, which if you get EITC, it's the only 

 2          time you really have the money to do that.

 3                 And so we actually have the bill in 

 4          both houses, A9065 and S6229, which is Hevesi 

 5          and Carlucci, and we urge you to pass that 

 6          bill this session.  And then, once 

 7          New Yorkers are able to do that, those on 

 8          public assistance would need to be able to 

 9          have 529s waived from the asset limit test or 

10          else they wouldn't really be able to save 

11          through this mechanism.  

12                 So that is the quickest summary of my 

13          18-page testimony that I could do.  Thank 

14          you.  

15                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.  Very 

16          good.

17                 Any questions?

18                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Yeah, I have one.

19                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Assemblyman.

20                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Thank you, 

21          Senator.

22                 Yeah, I just -- there's too many 

23          things to agree on, so I'm just going to say 

24          thank you so much for all of your advice and 


 1          guidance.  And I continue to look forward to 

 2          working with you, and there should be some 

 3          real results.  Thank you.

 4                 MS. GENDELL:  Thank you for your 

 5          support.

 6                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

 7                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.

 8                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Our next speaker, 

 9          as I should say, is David Voegele, executive 

10          director from the Early Care and Learning 

11          Council, and he will be joined by Jessica 

12          Klos Shapiro, director of policy and 

13          community education.

14                 Very happy to have you with us.  How 

15          badly did I butcher your name?

16                 MR. VOEGELE:  I'm David Voegele.

17                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Oh, okay.  Good.

18                 MS. SHAPIRO:  You got mine perfectly.  

19          So thank you.

20                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Okay.  I'm glad to 

21          hear that.  It's good when that happens.

22                 MR. VOEGELE:  Well, we appreciate very 

23          much the opportunity to be speaking today.  

24          The Early Care and Learning Council is the 


 1          state association of 35 childcare resource 

 2          and referral agencies that serve every region 

 3          of New York State.  Our purpose is to promote 

 4          excellence in early learning.  

 5                 We do this united in purpose and in 

 6          partnership with the 35 CCR&Rs.  The Child 

 7          Care Resource and Referral programs are in 

 8          fact the linkage between the parents and 

 9          providers throughout the state, between the 

10          need for childcare and the services that meet 

11          that need.  

12                 Parents utilize CCR&Rs to identify and 

13          obtain resources and childcare that meets 

14          their needs.  Providers utilize the CCR&Rs 

15          for quality improvement, for training and 

16          technical assistance, and to access resources 

17          and to be connected to the consumers they 

18          want to reach.

19                 Our CCR&Rs know where the regulated 

20          childcare exists in the regions they serve, 

21          they're aware of what capacity needs to be 

22          developed to better meet the needs of a 

23          region.  Childcare is infrastructure support 

24          for children, for families, and for 


 1          communities.  CCR&Rs are a critical tool in 

 2          making that childcare available and effective 

 3          throughout the state.

 4                 Quality childcare, which is needed in 

 5          order for children to thrive, is expensive, 

 6          particularly in New York State.  The recent 

 7          report by Child Care Aware of America in the 

 8          fall of 2015 documented again how expensive 

 9          it is in New York State.  There's a report 

10          that I believe we may have distributed to 

11          just about everyone in the Capitol, so 

12          hopefully you do have that.  But it cites -- 

13          I'm just going to cite two of the factors 

14          that show up in this report.  

15                 One is that the average annual cost of 

16          full-time care for an infant in a childcare 

17          center is over $14,000.  For a 4-year-old, 

18          it's nearly $12,000.  Combined, for a 

19          two-child family, that would be almost 

20          $26,000 a year in childcare costs.  If you 

21          are a single parent, the average income of a 

22          single parent does not cover that.  The 

23          average income of a childcare worker does not 

24          cover that.  


 1                 So it is very expensive.  New York is 

 2          the least affordable state in the country for 

 3          center-based care for 4-year-olds.  It is the 

 4          third least affordable state for center-based 

 5          infant care.

 6                 As I've stated in a different 

 7          testimony this year, the cost of a year of 

 8          center-based care for an infant in New York 

 9          is nearly double the cost of tuition at a 

10          public college.  This is the widest gap in 

11          any state in the country.  And while parents 

12          will pay about 60 percent for the childcare 

13          costs for the family, they actually only pay 

14          about 23 percent of the costs associated with 

15          a public college education, with the 

16          remainder subsidized by state and federal 

17          funds.

18                 Given how expensive childcare is, in 

19          New York State in particular, if it did not 

20          have the public support that it has, parents 

21          would not be able to go to work, employers 

22          would not be able to operate or expand their 

23          businesses.  There's a wonderful five-minute 

24          video circulating somewhere that we can 


 1          provide a link to, about -- I think it's 

 2          entitled "A Day Without Childcare."  And it's 

 3          a very poignant demonstration of how the 

 4          world collapses if there's not quality 

 5          childcare available.

 6                 Reliable, regulated childcare 

 7          increases employee attendance, punctuality, 

 8          and productivity.  Quality childcare is 

 9          necessary for parents, for children, and for 

10          our communities.  

11                 This year we call upon the Legislature 

12          to invest an additional $190 million in 

13          childcare.  Ninety million dollars of this is 

14          necessary in order to cover the costs of the 

15          new health, safety, and quality initiatives 

16          required by the block grant, in order for no 

17          children to actually lose subsidies.  We also 

18          are asking for $100 million that we perceive, 

19          and our experts perceive, will be necessary 

20          to also maintain current levels of slots 

21          because of the market rate increases that are 

22          due in June of this year, and because of the 

23          new -- the expanded eligibility rules that 

24          will take effect in October of this year.


 1                 What, time's up already?  Wow.  Okay.

 2                 I'm happy to take questions.  You have 

 3          most of my testimony, so I don't want to go 

 4          beyond the time I had allowed.

 5                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  I just had a couple 

 6          quick questions.

 7                 So we heard a lot of concern earlier 

 8          today out of legislators about the Executive 

 9          Budget and the fact that we have this federal 

10          $90 million mandate that's coming down on 

11          childcare agencies.  And I was wondering, you 

12          know, you're talking about increasing funding 

13          and how expensive childcare already is in 

14          New York State, and it does put working in 

15          some cases out of reach for some families, in 

16          having that ability.

17                 I was wondering what you felt the 

18          impact of the increase in the minimum wage 

19          would have on childcare providers in the 

20          state.  

21                 MR. VOEGELE:  We have heard from 

22          several of our CCR&Rs of concerns that 

23          providers have raised about how it would 

24          impact their payroll and their ability to 


 1          continue business.  I heard a comment earlier 

 2          today related to -- I don't believe the term 

 3          "profit margin" was used, but it was a 

 4          reference to how much money is being made and 

 5          to what extent are providers able to cover 

 6          this cost of additional wages.  

 7                 The reality is the childcare world is 

 8          not a high-profit enterprise.  Many, many 

 9          childcare providers already struggle.  There 

10          are concerns -- we absolutely believe that a 

11          childcare worker should be making probably, 

12          on the average, $10,000 a year more than they 

13          currently make.  However, at the moment, 

14          we're not aware of a way to make that -- to 

15          accomplish that.  

16                 ECLC, the Early Care Learning Council, 

17          has not taken an official position on the 

18          minimum wage proposal, but we do know that 

19          some of our CCR&Rs have heard concerns from 

20          providers as to how this may in fact put them 

21          out of business.  

22                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

23                 MS. SHAPIRO:  I just wanted to add to 

24          that, if that's possible.


 1                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Go ahead.

 2                 MS. SHAPIRO:  The difference -- these 

 3          campaigns that we would be supportive of are 

 4          the Fiscal Policy Institute, like the 15 and 

 5          Funded, because a lot of the contracts happen 

 6          between childcare workers and the state.  If 

 7          you just mandated that a person be paid $15, 

 8          and they're not funded, we'd put businesses 

 9          out and there would be less childcare 

10          available for families.  So those are 

11          something we'd support.

12                 Thank you.  

13                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Assemblyman Hevesi.

14                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Just a comment.  

15                 First, thank you for your testimony.  

16          But I just want to go on record and say, 

17          Ms. Shapiro, thank you for your advice and 

18          your guidance.  I would not understand these 

19          issues even close to what I do now if it 

20          wasn't for your advice.  So thank you very 

21          much.

22                 MS. SHAPIRO:  Thank you very much.  

23                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  No one else?

24                 Thank you for being with us.


 1                 MR. VOEGELE:  Thank you.  

 2                 MS. SHAPIRO:  Thank you.

 3                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Our next speaker is 

 4          Jenn O'Connor, cochair of Winning Beginning 

 5          New York.

 6                 And following her we will have Kelly 

 7          Sturgis, executive director of After School 

 8          Works.

 9                 MS. O'CONNOR:  Good afternoon.

10                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Good afternoon.  

11          Welcome, Chair.

12                 MS. O'CONNOR:  They made us take the 

13          sticks out of our signs so we wouldn't use 

14          them as weapons, so I'll just hold this for 

15          you (showing).

16                 I feel like I'm preaching to the 

17          choir.  I want to thank you all for your 

18          attention to all of our issues today.  I will 

19          say very briefly we wanted to talk today 

20          about home visiting, childcare, and 

21          after-school.  

22                 In terms of home visiting, nearly 

23          70,000 children a year are abused or 

24          neglected.  That would fill Madison Square 


 1          Garden nearly four times.  We know that 

 2          maternal, infant, and early childhood home 

 3          visiting can help to prevent child abuse and 

 4          neglect.  

 5                 We would urge you to look not just at 

 6          Healthy Families and the Nurse-Family 

 7          Partnership program, but also at the Parents 

 8          as Teachers and the Parent/Child Home 

 9          Program.  These are four research-based 

10          programs, and the reason that we support them 

11          is we look across the continuums at different 

12          eligibility levels, different demographics 

13          across the state.  And we are fully 

14          supportive of all four getting a little 

15          funding this year.

16                 In addition, obviously we would like 

17          the $90 million for CCDBG implementation.  We 

18          disagree with the Governor's office, with 

19          their strategy, to let the feds take care of 

20          it.  And so we are meeting with them about 

21          30-day amendments, but we do hope that we can 

22          come to some sort of resolution on that.  

23                 In particular, passing the cost of 

24          background checks down to providers is 


 1          unconscionable to us.  We're talking about 

 2          12,500 small businesses and a number of 

 3          low-wage workers.  One hundred million 

 4          dollars for subsidies, that would just 

 5          maintain the number of childcare slots right 

 6          now to keep parents working.  

 7                 And we are asking for an increase in 

 8          Advantage After School funding by 

 9          $49.9 million, and also asking for a 

10          restoration of $2 million from last year.  My 

11          colleagues from After School Works and the 

12          New York State After School Network are 

13          following me immediately, so I'll let them 

14          get specific on that.  

15                 I will tell you that the only reason 

16          that I found after-school programming for my 

17          12-year-old a while back was calling on those 

18          folks at the After School Network to help 

19          hook me up -- because there's nothing out 

20          there, and the last thing you want is a 

21          12-year-old home alone.  

22                 So I thank you very much, and I'm 

23          happy to entertain any questions.

24                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Senator Krueger.  


 1                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.  

 2                 You're the second testifier in a row 

 3          to bring up the fact that New York State's 

 4          early childcare is much more expensive than 

 5          anywhere else in the country.  

 6                 MS. O'CONNOR:  Sure.

 7                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  We're certainly not 

 8          paying our childcare workers much more, so 

 9          why are we so much more expensive?

10                 MS. O'CONNOR:  I think my colleagues 

11          are actually better versed in that piece than 

12          I am.  I mean, what the cost of childcare 

13          right now is what people can afford to pay.  

14          It's not based on a real valid market rate.  

15          So it's not based on what childcare providers 

16          should be paid.  

17                 It still ends up being much more 

18          expensive -- I mean, you're going to pay more 

19          for childcare then you would for a four-year 

20          college at a state university.  So there 

21          should be something in place, we would hope, 

22          to help with those costs.

23                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  So again, your 

24          testimony says the average cost of 


 1          high-quality infant care is $14,000 per year.  

 2          Implying that in other states it would be 

 3          less than expensive than $14,000 a year?

 4                 MS. O'CONNOR:  We also have pretty 

 5          good regulations around ratios, so -- 

 6          child-to-provider ratios, and infant care is 

 7          just a lot more expensive.  

 8                 I will say that as we move 3-year-olds 

 9          into pre-K programs, we would like to see 

10          them served in community-based organizations, 

11          because that will help defer the cost of the 

12          infants and toddlers.  So our concern with 

13          pre-K, while we're completely supportive of 

14          it, is to not move too many kids into 

15          school-based settings because infant and 

16          toddler care is so expensive.  

17                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  And the older kids 

18          subsidize, in some way, the younger kids.

19                 MS. O'CONNOR:  Right.

20                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you very much.  

21                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

22                 Senator Montgomery.

23                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  Yes, thank you.

24                 You are at least the second of the 


 1          testimonies that deals quite extensively with 

 2          child abuse issues.  And I am just -- you 

 3          know, I'm interested because child abuse 

 4          often is an indication, a symptom of a much 

 5          larger issue in a family.  And all of those 

 6          stresses are being, I guess, delivered on -- 

 7          at the expense of a child, the children.  

 8                 So I'm wondering where are we in terms 

 9          of looking at child abuse as an indication of 

10          a much larger issue and that there is a way 

11          of beginning to deal with the larger issue -- 

12          if there is a housing issue, if there is 

13          spousal abuse, if there's family violence of 

14          any sort, on and on and on.  

15                 Where are we in -- do we have a system 

16          that uses child abuse as an indication that 

17          we need to be doing much more with any given 

18          family situation?

19                 MS. O'CONNOR:  I don't think we do a 

20          good enough job of connecting the dots.  I 

21          think we still look at child abuse as a 

22          punitive situation, and we don't necessarily 

23          look at poverty and homelessness and domestic 

24          violence.  


 1                 I would love to come by with a 

 2          colleague -- I sit on the board of Prevent 

 3          Child Abuse New York, and I'd love to come by 

 4          with the executive director and talk to you 

 5          more about kind of the specifics of that.  

 6                 But I do think programs like home 

 7          visiting can help by making supported 

 8          referrals to other programs.  And having 

 9          someone -- the benefit of home visiting -- 

10          completely voluntary, but if you have someone 

11          come into your home, they're not just looking 

12          at the child that is in the program, they're 

13          looking at the whole structure and they're 

14          looking at all the people in the home and 

15          around the home, and they're sometimes really 

16          good first responders.  

17                 But I would love to talk to you 

18          offline about some more specifics.

19                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  I would love to 

20          talk to you about that.  

21                 There was a very, very outstanding 

22          issue in my own district with a child that 

23          was killed, and one of the indicators for 

24          that -- for stress in that family was that 


 1          the child missed so many school days.  

 2                 And so there are things that it seems 

 3          to me we could do to act, as you know -- to 

 4          have an emergency response team, so to speak, 

 5          to a crisis that a family is experiencing, 

 6          which we know could very well, probably would 

 7          lead to child abuse or the death of a child.  

 8                 And so I look forward to working with 

 9          you.  We've tried to do that.  There are some 

10          other places where that's done, and it makes 

11          a tremendous difference in dealing with the 

12          whole -- the degree to which child abuse and 

13          child homicides have become so prevalent.

14                 MS. O'CONNOR:  Sure.

15                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  And we're 

16          concerned about that, so I look forward to  

17          working with you.  

18                 MS. O'CONNOR:  That would be 

19          fantastic.  

20                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  If you don't 

21          mind.

22                 MS. O'CONNOR:  I think it could 

23          definitely work to shore up the safety net.

24                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  Thank you.  


 1                 MS. O'CONNOR:  Thank you.  

 2                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, Senator.  

 3                 Thank you very much for your testimony 

 4          today.  

 5                 Our next speakers are from After 

 6          School Works/The New York State After School 

 7          Network, and that would be Kelly Sturgis, 

 8          executive director, and Alli Lidie, deputy 

 9          director.

10                 Thank you for being here.

11                 MS. STURGIS:  Thank you.  

12                 Good afternoon.  I'm Kelly Sturgis, 

13          the executive director of After School Works 

14          New York/The New York State After School 

15          Network.  And first, not only do we want to 

16          thank you for allowing us to testify today, 

17          but also staying this late in the day and 

18          committing your time to this.  So thank you 

19          very much.

20                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  This is nothing.

21                 (Laughter.)

22                 MS. STURGIS:  There's still more 

23          people.  

24                 At ASWN/NYSASN we believe that all of 


 1          New York's students deserve the chance to 

 2          reach their full potential no matter where 

 3          they are from.  Each year, studies 

 4          demonstrate the impact and value of 

 5          after-school and summer programs in helping 

 6          youth reach that potential.  These benefits 

 7          are outlined in the written testimony that 

 8          we've provided to you, so we'll try to keep 

 9          this short.

10                 To build an innovation-focused 

11          economy, ensure our children are graduating 

12          high school ready for college and career, and 

13          keep them on track for healthy adult lives, 

14          New York needs to increase investment in 

15          high-quality after-school and summer learning 

16          experiences.  

17                 Furthermore, as the state turns to the 

18          community schools strategy to support school 

19          turnaround, a strategy in which 90 percent of 

20          schools include after-school programming or 

21          expanded learning time, there is increasing 

22          interest throughout the state in greater 

23          access to these programs.  

24                 While we strongly support the 


 1          community schools strategy, we are deeply 

 2          concerned that schools attempting to add in 

 3          needed after-school and summer programs will 

 4          further stretch the already overextended 

 5          funding streams.  Even without considering 

 6          potential increased demand, 1.1 million 

 7          New York students want an after-school 

 8          program and do not have access to one.  That 

 9          number remains unchanged from 2009.  

10                 Similarly, a report based on the same 

11          survey, from the 2014 America After 3 P.M., 

12          revealed that 500,000 New York children are 

13          still without access to high-quality summer 

14          programming.  Fortunately, the state has the 

15          opportunity to make a difference.

16                 We ask that you appropriate 

17          $69.2 million to the Advantage After School 

18          program.  This will restore $19.3 million in 

19          funding to this past fiscal year and increase 

20          funding by an additional $49.9 million to 

21          this coming fiscal year.  This increase will 

22          allow the program to serve 20,000 students, 

23          which is an increase of 5,000 students over 

24          current capacity, and expand the funding 


 1          stream to allow for full-day summer 

 2          programming for 20,000 youth.  

 3                 Additionally, this funding will align 

 4          per-student allotment for these programs with 

 5          national best practice standards, which is 

 6          also aligned with 21st-century community 

 7          learning centers.  A portion of this 

 8          investment will also ensure quality by 

 9          leveraging statewide knowledge, resources, 

10          and supports through technical assistance, 

11          allowing for data collection and evaluation 

12          to make evidence-based quality improvements, 

13          and providing state-level data on 

14          after-school and summer programming.

15                 Additionally, we request that you 

16          provide an additional $190 million in 

17          childcare to maintain and expand subsidies.  

18          More than a third of childcare subsidies in 

19          New York support care for school-aged 

20          children, including after-school programs.  

21          An additional $90 million is needed to ensure 

22          that no current children lose childcare 

23          subsidies as the state implements these new 

24          federally mandated health, safety, and 


 1          quality initiatives.  

 2                 Furthermore, an additional 

 3          $100 million is needed to expand childcare 

 4          subsidies to reach an additional 

 5          13,000 children in income-eligible families 

 6          that are waiting to be served.  Investing in 

 7          childcare subsidies helps families ensure 

 8          that their children are safe after the school 

 9          day ends, and the need is currently much 

10          higher than the available funding.

11                 MS. LIDIE:  I'm Alli Lidie; I'm the 

12          deputy director.  I just wanted to highlight 

13          a couple of the great programs that we have 

14          across the state doing after-school and 

15          summer programs already.

16                 One of them is the Comet Design 

17          Company in Carthage.  It's actually an 

18          entrepreneurial program for high school 

19          students where they get to create a business 

20          plan, develop a product, use 3D printers and 

21          other high-tech machines to actually create 

22          these products, and then they sell them to 

23          support the after-school program.

24                 Another is a partnership in Massena, 


 1          which is a community that has an increasing 

 2          heroin and prescription drug addiction 

 3          problem among youth, where the Boys and Girls 

 4          Club has teamed up with the police department 

 5          to provide a positive alternative through 

 6          their after-school program.  

 7                 And these are just a couple of the 

 8          opportunities that are currently in the state 

 9          that need support.

10                 In addition to the recommendations 

11          that Kelly mentioned, we also hope that you 

12          consider a few other recommendations that 

13          support these programs, including the 

14          addition of $28.33 million to the Youth 

15          Development Program to expand the 

16          out-of-school-time program services, and then 

17          growing that eventually to $85 million.

18                 We also urge you to accept the 

19          Governor's proposed increase in the Summer 

20          Youth Employment Program to $31 million, and 

21          to increase that program by $17.2 million to 

22          add an additional 10,000 jobs and pay the 

23          increased minimum wage.  

24                 We also urge you to accept the 


 1          Governor's proposal for a continued 250,000 

 2          to increase enrollment in the Child and Adult 

 3          Care Food Program.  

 4                 And finally, to support baselining the 

 5          $2.1 million legislative add for the Runaway 

 6          and Homeless Youth Act programs, which would 

 7          bring total state support to $4.48 million, 

 8          and then, in addition, $5.5 million to bring 

 9          total support to $10 million. 

10                 Thank you.  

11                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

12                 Questions?

13                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.

14                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Assemblyman?

15                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Yeah, just very 

16          quickly.

17                 First -- there we go -- first, thank 

18          you, it's good to see you again, and thank 

19          you for all your work and to be part of, at 

20          least for me and I'm sure others of my 

21          colleagues, an understanding that 

22          after-school is not just good for the kids, 

23          but it's also sort of daycare that is crucial 

24          for parents to stay at work.  It's an 


 1          economic development tool which is incredibly 

 2          important for us.

 3                 So your guidance on these issues has 

 4          been invaluable.  I just want to say thanks.

 5                 MS. STURGIS:  Thank you.

 6                 MS. LIDIE:  Thank you for all of your 

 7          support.

 8                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

 9                 Well, thank you for participating 

10          today.  We appreciate it.

11                 MS. STURGIS:  Thank you.

12                 MS. LIDIE:  Thank you.

13                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Our next speaker is 

14          from the United Federation of Teachers, Anne 

15          Goldman, vice president for non-DOE titles.  

16                 Following Ms. Goldman, Vice President 

17          Goldman, we'll have Maclain Berhaupt, state 

18          advocacy director for the Supportive Housing 

19          Network of New York.  

20                 Welcome.

21                 MS. GOLDMAN:  Hi.  Good afternoon.  

22                 So I've had the opportunity to hear 

23          the very informative debate, discussion, and 

24          I've learned a lot from all of you by sitting 


 1          here today.  So I will be succinct and 

 2          rephrase the reason for my appearing before 

 3          you, which is to talk about the federall 

 4          unfunded mandate on childcare providers from 

 5          the lens of the provider.

 6                 I can't emphasize enough what a 

 7          mistake this is.  As someone who's been on 

 8          the end of trauma teams as a registered 

 9          nurse, intervention in homeless shelters, and 

10          worked for many, many years through different 

11          aspects in society, let me be clear:  There 

12          is no way for us to succeed in New York if we 

13          don't start with leveling the playing fields 

14          for the multicultural children and poor 

15          people who need this service.

16                 I heard the discussion this morning 

17          and many of your questions with OCFS.  Bottom 

18          line:  Of course the providers who are 

19          legally exempt will go underground.  How can 

20          they survive?  They cannot compete and 

21          survive.  And, quite frankly, as some of your 

22          questions have indicated, of course they're 

23          attracted to the $15 minimum wage in other 

24          areas.  Childcare, if we really value it, we 


 1          have to understand it's more than just 

 2          watching a child or the so-called 

 3          babysitting.  It is indeed meeting the 

 4          society's and the community's needs in a 

 5          culturally sensitive, proficient manner.  

 6          Getting that child the chance to compete in 

 7          life, to understand what it is to sit in a 

 8          classroom, eat a hot meal, be with other 

 9          children.  

10                 When we don't do that correctly, we 

11          pay for that later if we don't pay for it 

12          up-front.  And when we talk about costing 

13          items, let's go to the emergency room.  Let's 

14          look at the children and the prices we pay 

15          for the recovery of a lost opportunity.  

16          Those opportunities are lost when we don't 

17          recognize it's not fair to consider legally 

18          exempt in the number of vouchers we need for 

19          children serving 21 or 25 percent, depending 

20          on who does the math, of those eligible -- 

21          it's ridiculous.  How do we consider 

22          ourselves prudent by investing in the 

23          economics of our state when we disadvantage 

24          the very people who are trying to succeed who 


 1          we claim we're trying to move forward?  How 

 2          can that possibly happen?  

 3                 I have seen in my time different 

 4          mandates that are unfunded or that are 

 5          untimely.  This cannot work.  There is not 

 6          the ability because we do not know the rules,  

 7          the inspectors do not know the rules, we do 

 8          not have a timeline.  And as so many speakers 

 9          before me were very clear in articulating, 

10          are we kidding?  We're going to put 

11          background checks and fingerprinting, 

12          additional costs, on the backs of very poor 

13          people?  These are not enforceable mandates 

14          in legally exempt -- you're walking into 

15          someone's home.  How do you walk in someone's 

16          home and enforce all of these things?   

17                 Do we just want to feel good by saying 

18          these are the great rules New York has?  Or 

19          do we want to do it right the first time?  

20          And doing it right the first time starts by 

21          understanding we need a timeline, we need a 

22          rollout, we need an action plan, and we need 

23          to give support to those people there.  And 

24          we need to remember there is no time to do it 


 1          over.  How many times do we sit and 

 2          contemplate the do-over, the do-over because 

 3          we did not correctly implement the first 

 4          time?  

 5                 In effect, there's a lot of planned 

 6          remarks and a lot of learned people in the 

 7          room, but that's the points I feel I wanted 

 8          to emphasize.  

 9                 I do want to also say about 

10          special-needs children -- and again, 

11          culturally proficient, this is a very serious 

12          skill mix, that we need to be sensitive to 

13          the public health needs of our children and 

14          the ability to react to children who need 

15          additional guidance, support.  And that will 

16          not happen if we do not treat poor children 

17          in the same way we treat children who have 

18          the opportunity to be in our healthcare 

19          system.

20                 All of that said, we hope that you 

21          will review -- and I'm sure from your 

22          comments today and your concerns and your 

23          interests, you already know these things, but 

24          we want to emphasize to you those are the -- 


 1          I think the summary that I wish to 

 2          articulate, based on a long day of hearing 

 3          very interesting remarks.  

 4                 So thank you.

 5                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Senators?

 6                 Senator Diane Savino.

 7                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Thank you, Senator 

 8          Krueger.  

 9                 Hi, Anne.  How are you?

10                 MS. GOLDMAN:  Good.

11                 SENATOR SAVINO:  I'm just curious.  

12          When we did the legislation a few years ago 

13          to allow for collective bargaining rights for 

14          daycare workers, the family-based daycare 

15          workers, the UFT has the workers in the city 

16          and CSEA has them everywhere else.  One of 

17          the reasons why we wanted them to have 

18          collective bargaining rights was so they 

19          could band together for the purposes of 

20          making the argument that we needed to raise 

21          the subsidies, which basically is how they 

22          earn their living.  

23                 Has there been any success with that, 

24          with the effort to bring awareness to how low 


 1          the subsidies are so we can elevate them?  

 2                 MS. GOLDMAN:  No.  And with the market 

 3          rate being rolled back, in effect, that 

 4          wasn't helpful either.  

 5                 There's been a series of discussions, 

 6          and it isn't even a fair formula.  If we were 

 7          bargaining wage and talked about the 

 8          providers, it's under the $11 that you 

 9          remarked about before because they're doing a 

10          12-, 13-hour day.  

11                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Mm-hmm.

12                 MS. GOLDMAN:  So no, we have not 

13          succeeded in that area.  We talk about a lot 

14          of things, but there's no progress that I am 

15          aware of.  

16                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Mm-hmm.  And I know 

17          that other people have raised the concern 

18          that if we raise the minimum wage, you know, 

19          over this period of time to $15 an hour, 

20          childcare workers are entitled to that too, 

21          and there's a concern that that will somehow 

22          elevate the cost of childcare to working 

23          parents.  Although most of your members, 

24          their childcare -- their actual salary comes 


 1          through the subsidy that the parent receives; 

 2          correct?

 3                 MS. GOLDMAN:  Yes.  

 4                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Right.  So how would 

 5          raising the state's minimum wage affect them?

 6                 MS. GOLDMAN:  It would be a welcome 

 7          opportunity for the families they're serving, 

 8          and for them, to participate in a more viable 

 9          career.  

10                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Mm-hmm.

11                 MS. GOLDMAN:  This is actually -- it 

12          can become a career, where we have talked 

13          about PD -- I heard other speakers talk about 

14          it.  

15                 The UFT administers those programs, 

16          and I think what it does is offer the 

17          opportunity, the launch pad, if you will, for 

18          someone to nurture and develop into a worker 

19          with some respect and some dignity.  

20                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Mm-hmm.

21                 MS. GOLDMAN:  In a lot of areas where 

22          it's just considered women's work, and we're 

23          still doing that based on the way this 

24          particular budget has reacted to childcare.


 1                 SENATOR SAVINO:  And you have 

 2          15,000 -- 

 3                 MS. GOLDMAN:  Yes.

 4                 SENATOR SAVINO:  -- members in the 

 5          City of New York?  Do you know how many -- 

 6          how many children are being served by the 

 7          home-based childcare system?

 8                 MS. GOLDMAN:  Oh, my goodness.  About 

 9          200,000.

10                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Two hundred thousand.

11                 MS. GOLDMAN:  Yes.

12                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Because earlier today 

13          deputy -- acting commissioner --

14                 MS. GOLDMAN:  That's through that 

15          system -- 

16                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Right.

17                 MS. GOLDMAN:  But remember, now, 

18          that's vouchered, and there are so many 

19          others.  But in terms of framing the question 

20          in that way, that's about the number.

21                 SENATOR SAVINO:  So through that 

22          voucher system, that's 200,000.

23                 MS. GOLDMAN:  Yes.

24                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Because earlier today 


 1          we were told there's 207,000 children 

 2          statewide that are given a -- eligible for 

 3          subsidy, but not that subsidy.

 4                 MS. GOLDMAN:  That's correct.

 5                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Thank you.

 6                 MS. GOLDMAN:  Thank you very much.  

 7          Thank you very much, everyone. 

 8                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.

 9                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.  

10                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Good night, Annie.

11                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.  

12                 Our next speaker is Maclain Berhaupt, 

13          Supportive Housing Network of New York.  

14                 And then for people who are watching, 

15          next up will be Carmelita Cruz from Housing 

16          Works.

17                 Hi.

18                 MS. BERHAUPT:  Thank you.  Thank you 

19          all for the opportunity to testify this 

20          afternoon.  

21                 My name is Maclain Berhaupt.  I'm the 

22          state advocacy director of the Supportive 

23          Housing Network of New York.  The network is 

24          a member association representing over 


 1          200 nonprofit providers and developers who 

 2          operate more than 50,000 supportive housing 

 3          units across the state.  

 4                 Supportive housing is permanent, 

 5          affordable housing linked to on-site services 

 6          for individuals and families that are 

 7          homeless, disabled and at-risk.  It is the 

 8          proven, cost-effective, and humane way to 

 9          provide stable homes to individuals and 

10          families who have difficulty maintaining 

11          housing due to disabling conditions.  

12                 Supportive housing allows disabled 

13          individuals who have spent years living on 

14          the streets or in institutions to live 

15          fulfilling, rewarding lives integrated into 

16          the community.  It gives them the stability, 

17          support, and sense of community they need to 

18          reunite with their families, become 

19          healthier, and in many cases secure 

20          employment.  It changes and saves lives every 

21          day.  

22                 That is why the network strongly 

23          supports the Executive Budget's proposal for 

24          20,000 new units of supportive housing 


 1          statewide over the next fifteen years.  The 

 2          five-year program is set to invest 

 3          $2.6 billion for 6,000 new units of 

 4          supportive housing over the first five years 

 5          of this 15-year commitment.  

 6                 The Governor has said that over the 

 7          15 years, the plan will result in 20,000 new 

 8          supportive housing units.   We commend the 

 9          Governor for this commitment and urge the 

10          Legislature to stand with him and continue to 

11          support the need for the state to fund the 

12          20,000 units over 15 years, specifically to 

13          build the first 6,000 units over the first 

14          five years.  This plan is exactly what the 

15          Legislature and the Campaign 4 NY/NY 

16          envisioned when we stood together asking the 

17          state to support 35,000 units across the 

18          state.

19                 And while we are overjoyed with this 

20          long-term commitment to build 20,000 new 

21          units, we must not forgo a commitment to fund 

22          the state's existing units that are housing 

23          formerly homeless persons today.  Otherwise, 

24          we are not expanding the pipeline to address 


 1          the crisis -- rather, replacing old units 

 2          with new units.  Adequate funding for units 

 3          that are open now is just as critically 

 4          important to funding the new units.

 5                 OTDA supports the New York State 

 6          Supportive Housing Program, which is one of 

 7          the state's most important funding sources 

 8          for innovative and effective solutions to 

 9          keeping people from becoming or remaining 

10          homeless.  It is the primary funding stream 

11          for the ongoing operation of supportive 

12          housing in New York State.  It pays for 

13          critical on-site services that make it 

14          possible to house multi-disabled and 

15          vulnerable individuals, families and children 

16          in supportive housing.  Services include case 

17          management, counseling and crisis 

18          intervention, employment and vocational 

19          assistance, parenting skills development, and 

20          building security services.

21                 This year the Executive Budget 

22          flat-funds this program at $29.1 million.  

23          This is just -- this is about $4.8 million 

24          short of what is needed to adequately fund 


 1          all existing supportive housing residences 

 2          and all new residences opening up in 2016.  

 3          This funding shortfall jeopardizes the 

 4          housing stability of over 6,300 homeless 

 5          individuals, families, and children across 

 6          the state.

 7                 Without this additional 4.8 million, 

 8          just under 100 supportive housing residences 

 9          are either not receiving this critical 

10          service funding or are underfunded by 

11          10 percent.  About roughly half have been cut 

12          10 percent, and the other half have not 

13          received any of this service funding.  

14                 I did leave a few examples in the 

15          testimony of how these cuts will impact 

16          existing residences and future residences 

17          about to open, and I would just conclude with 

18          asking the Legislature to consider that at 

19          this time we're facing record homelessness; 

20          we must stand together to ensure that the 

21          programs currently serving this population -- 

22          that the most vulnerable maintain minimal but 

23          critical support services to keep high-risk 

24          tenants safely housed.


 1                 Thank you.

 2                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.  I'm 

 3          going to start.

 4                 So in earlier today's testimony we 

 5          learned that $75 million of the JPMorgan 

 6          settlement money that was supposed to be in 

 7          the 2014-2015 budget -- I mean the 2015-2016 

 8          budget -- 

 9                 MS. BERHAUPT:  Right.

10                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  -- has never been 

11          released.  And that was for supportive 

12          housing.  What did you think you were getting 

13          that money for, and what's happened since you 

14          didn't get that money?

15                 MS. BERHAUPT:  Sure.  It was our 

16          understanding last year that money was kind 

17          of the down payment for 5,000 units of 

18          supportive housing that the Governor had 

19          announced a year ago.  

20                 It's our understanding now that that 

21          funding has been kind of lumped into this new 

22          five-year commitment of 6,000 units.  So it 

23          was never -- it wasn't spent.  There were -- 

24          are -- a piece that went out, I think it's 


 1          been wrapped up now into this new commitment.  

 2          So essentially last year's commitment is part 

 3          of this year's commitment, if that makes 

 4          sense.

 5                 SENATOR SAVINO:  So last year's 

 6          commitment was 5,000 units over five years, 

 7          and that became 6,000 units over five years, 

 8          but we lost a year.

 9                 MS. BERHAUPT:  Yeah.  Right.  But the 

10          difference is that last year there was a plan 

11          for the city and the state to share in that 

12          commitment, and now it's our understanding 

13          that the state is fully funding those 

14          6,000 units -- 100 percent with all state 

15          funding, no local match.  So that would be 

16          the difference.

17                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  And also from 

18          earlier testimony, of the money for 

19          supportive housing, it was broken down X 

20          amount for capital and Y amount for services.  

21                 MS. BERHAUPT:  Mm-hmm.

22                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  So you're showing 

23          today that you've actually been flat-funded 

24          or actually are short almost $5 million for 


 1          ongoing supportive services.  

 2                 MS. BERHAUPT:  Right.  The specific 

 3          program, the New York State Supportive 

 4          Housing program.  Correct.

 5                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Right.  But the 

 6          Governor's people said that they actually 

 7          have lots of new money for the services to go 

 8          along with supportive housing.  

 9                 So is there somewhere else in the 

10          budget where we can find that money that will 

11          address both your shortfall and your 

12          expanding needs?

13                 MS. BERHAUPT:  Sure.  It's our 

14          understanding the commitment for the 6,000 

15          units was, I believe, $2.6 billion, of which 

16          $200 million was for the support services.

17                 That RFP has not gone out yet.  So 

18          we're not sure how they will be rolling out 

19          the services funding for that.  I would 

20          anticipate, you know, maybe it would be 

21          through the NYSHIP program; maybe it would be 

22          a brand-new program.  We just don't know the 

23          details of that.

24                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  And is it your 


 1          understanding that that $200 million includes 

 2          money for existing supportive housing, or 

 3          just new units?

 4                 MS. BERHAUPT:  For new units.

 5                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  So no matter what 

 6          they roll out, that wouldn't apply to the 

 7          shortfall you're suffering from now.

 8                 MS. BERHAUPT:  Correct.

 9                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  And that 

10          hypothetically wouldn't be available until 

11          X number of years into the future when new 

12          supportive housing units came online.  

13                 MS. BERHAUPT:  Correct.  Those 6,000 

14          units are all for new construction, which 

15          will take a couple years to be built.  So 

16          that -- you're correct.

17                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  And again, as you've 

18          described, we're actually a year behind when 

19          the first commitment was made a year ago for 

20          5,000 units.

21                 MS. BERHAUPT:  Right.

22                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  So we have actually 

23          a -- we've taken a step backwards when we're 

24          supposed to be taking big steps forwards.


 1                 MS. BERHAUPT:  Sure.  I mean, we at 

 2          the network -- we're very excited to hear 

 3          this 15-year commitment.  We're even more 

 4          excited to see the 6,000 units that's fully 

 5          funded in the budget.  But we would like to 

 6          see some type of way that the 15,000 

 7          commitment be memorialized and realized over 

 8          the next -- I'm sorry, the 20,000 units over 

 9          the next 15 years.

10                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.

11                 Assembly?  Assemblymember Hevesi.

12                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Thank you.  Thank 

13          you.

14                 First I've just got to get the 

15          pleasantries out of the way.  Maclain, thank 

16          you and Laura Mascuch and everybody at the 

17          network for being incredible over the last 

18          year.  If it was not for your work, the 

19          members of the Legislature wouldn't have an 

20          understanding of what supportive housing is, 

21          what you do, how it is the answer to our 

22          current homeless crisis, and every step of 

23          the way it's been a long, difficult process 

24          to get to the 35,000 units.  You guys have 


 1          been great.  So I just want to say thank you.  

 2                 MS. BERHAUPT:  Thank you so much.

 3                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  We agree with 

 4          you, or I agree with you, specifically about 

 5          the need for a New York/New York IV agreement 

 6          with respect to both Mayor de Blasio and 

 7          Governor Cuomo, who've done an outstanding 

 8          job on this issue.  They will no longer be in 

 9          office when these units come online, and so 

10          we agree with you at the need to lock down 

11          that deal.  Also, it allows people in your 

12          network to plan and to go after other money 

13          to make sure that these units come to 

14          fruition.

15                 And I can tell you, from the Assembly 

16          point of view, that we are really going to be 

17          focused on the $4.8 million shortfall for 

18          existing units.  And I believe, based on 

19          conversations publicly and also privately 

20          with the commissioner, that they acknowledge 

21          that need.  

22                 MS. BERHAUPT:  Thanks.

23                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  So we're ready  

24          to stand with you.  And again, you guys have 


 1          been great, and you need to take a bow for 

 2          the incredible work you've done to get us to 

 3          35,000 units.  We have some concerns about 

 4          how they're coming out, but that's a good 

 5          problem to have.  

 6                 So thank you, Maclain, for all your 

 7          work.

 8                 MS. BERHAUPT:  Thank you.

 9                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.  

10                 Senator Velmanette Montgomery.

11                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:   Yes, thank you, 

12          Madam Chair.

13                 Hello.  

14                 MS. BERHAUPT:  Hi.

15                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  Thank you for 

16          your testimony.  

17                 You named in your -- you listed 

18          several examples, one from Rochester, one 

19          from Montrose, New York, one from the 

20          Finger Lakes.  And, you know, for me and for 

21          us in the city in particular, it is very 

22          difficult to site special-needs supportive 

23          housing --

24                 MS. BERHAUPT:  Mm-hmm.


 1                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  -- and impossible 

 2          to do it without the supportive parts.

 3                 MS. BERHAUPT:  The services.

 4                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  So -- and you 

 5          mentioned that there are cuts.  Is there -- 

 6          can I find out?  Because I have a number of 

 7          supportive housing projects in my district.  

 8          They are all extremely important, very well 

 9          run, so far no problems, but it's because 

10          they have the supportive housing arm there.

11                 Can you give us -- can you give me a 

12          list of the housing developments that I 

13          represent or that are in Brooklyn and that 

14          we'll be losing funds based on this?  

15                 MS. BERHAUPT:  Sure.

16                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  And so that we 

17          can all work together.  I'm sorry, I'm not -- 

18          not that I don't support these, but you 

19          understand.

20                 MS. BERHAUPT:  Yeah.  Absolutely.  I'm 

21          happy to talk with you after, and we're happy 

22          to give you that information relative 

23          specifically to your district, of course.

24                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:   Thank you.  I'd 


 1          appreciate that.

 2                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Assembly?

 3                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.

 4                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you very much 

 5          for your testimony and all your work through 

 6          the Supportive Housing Network.

 7                 MS. BERHAUPT:  Great.  Thank you so 

 8          much.  I appreciate it.

 9                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you. 

10                 Our next testifier will be Carmelita 

11          Cruz, director of New York State advocacy for 

12          Housing Works.  

13                 And for those of you keeping track, 

14          we've had a number of cancellations.  So next 

15          up, in preparation, Jeffrey Lozman, New York 

16          State Society of Orthopaedic Surgeons, along 

17          with Babette Grey, followed by UJA 

18          Federation.  For just preparing yourselves 

19          for moving down, because there have been 

20          quite a few cancellations.

21                 Hello.  Good afternoon.  

22                 MS. CRUZ:  Good afternoon.  So thank 

23          you so much for sticking around, and I 

24          promise to be as short as I possibly can.


 1                 My name is Carmelita Cruz.  I'm the 

 2          director for New York State advocacy at 

 3          Housing Works.  Housing Works is a healing 

 4          community of people living with and affected 

 5          by HIV/AIDS.  Our mission is to end the dual 

 6          crises of homelessness and AIDS through 

 7          relentless advocacy, the provision of 

 8          life-saving services, and entrepreneurial 

 9          businesses that sustain our efforts.

10                 So over the past few years, Housing 

11          Works has worked tirelessly to support the 

12          New York State plan to end the HIV and AIDS 

13          epidemic here in our state.  On June 29th, 

14          the Governor announced a very ambitious plan 

15          for New York State to end our AIDS epidemic 

16          by the year 2020.  We were the first 

17          jurisdiction in the world to set this goal, 

18          so it's really historic.  

19                 And the plan basically focuses on 

20          three pillars that the Governor announced.  

21          One is identifying people who are 

22          HIV-positive and getting them into care; the 

23          other is identifying folks that know they're 

24          HIV-positive and have fallen out of care, and 


 1          really bringing them back into care; and then 

 2          also facilitating access to PrEP and PEP.  

 3                 Our goal in how we determine if we are 

 4          able to succeed and end the AIDS epidemic by 

 5          2020 is to reduce the number of new 

 6          infections that we have here in the state 

 7          each year.  So last year we had around 3,000 

 8          new HIV infections.  We're trying to get that 

 9          to below 750 by 2020.  That's the CDC's 

10          definition of ending our epidemic here in the 

11          state.

12                 As you probably know, there's no cure 

13          to end -- there's no cure for HIV and AIDS, 

14          but with effective antiretroviral treatments 

15          that suppress the virus level in someone's 

16          blood, we can really maintain the health of 

17          person and make it virtually impossible to 

18          transmit HIV to others.  

19                 So what I wanted to focus on today 

20          were two specific housing items that were not 

21          included in the budget, and that is expanding 

22          HASA services.  So the HIV and AIDS 

23          Administration in New York City provides a 

24          series of benefits for people living with 


 1          AIDS -- that's enhanced rental assistance, 

 2          nutrition and transportation assistance -- so 

 3          expanding those services to anyone in 

 4          New York City who is HIV-positive.  

 5                 Right now those services are only 

 6          available if someone has an advanced HIV 

 7          diagnosis, so we're really waiting for people 

 8          to get sick before we're willing to help 

 9          them, and we'd really like to see that 

10          expanded to anyone who's HIV-positive.

11                 So Mayor de Blasio included 

12          $26 million in his preliminary budget to 

13          expand HASA services to anyone who's 

14          HIV-positive, and that's really contingent 

15          upon the state putting up their share, which 

16          is about another $30 million.  So I really 

17          want to urge you to include that in your 

18          budget.  

19                 It would really be a missed 

20          opportunity -- we've been fighting to see the 

21          city even be willing to include this money 

22          for a number of years.  So I am hoping that, 

23          you know, the state can put that money 

24          forward and that will ensure social services 


 1          to an estimated 7,300 HIV-positive New York 

 2          City residents that are currently ineligible 

 3          for HASA services because they aren't sick 

 4          enough to access those services.

 5                 The other thing that I wanted to bring 

 6          up was that there is no HASA-like benefits 

 7          for people that are HIV-positive living 

 8          outside of New York City.  Right now, each 

 9          county has the opportunity to participate in 

10          that program, but because of the county match 

11          for funding, the program is so expensive that 

12          many counties just don't have the funds to do 

13          that.  

14                 We would really love to see money 

15          included in the budget to fund 100 percent of 

16          the expansion of HASA services to people 

17          living with HIV outside of New York City.  

18                 There is a lot of information included 

19          in here, including research and some return 

20          on investments, but the return on investment 

21          is really, you know, potentially billions of 

22          dollars if we are able to meet our goal of 

23          reducing the number of new infections to 750 

24          by the year 2020 and in the years after that.  


 1          You know, it costs so much to house and care 

 2          for and provide medical care for people with 

 3          HIV that we can realize billions of dollars 

 4          in Medicaid savings, potentially.

 5                 So I wanted to highlight those things, 

 6          and this is my last 45 seconds.  I just want 

 7          to bring up two areas where we have been 

 8          really, really successful in the state with 

 9          reducing an infection by really investing in 

10          effective interventions, and that's with 

11          injection drug users.  

12                 At one point, about 7,500 new 

13          infections per year were attributable to 

14          injection drug use.  In the last reported 

15          year, which is either 2013 or 2014, we only 

16          had 69 new infections that were attributable 

17          to injection drug use.  And that's really 

18          because of the success of our harm reduction 

19          program.  

20                 And then, also, mother-to-child 

21          transmission.  A number of years ago 

22          mother-to-child transmission was around 

23          500 per year for newborns, and within the 

24          past year we have not had a single child that 


 1          was born HIV-positive, just because we have 

 2          changed the law and started testing pregnant 

 3          women for HIV and getting them on ARVs.

 4                 So I just wanted to point out the 

 5          success that we can really see when we invest 

 6          in preventing new infections in the state.

 7                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Any questions?

 8                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Any questions?

 9                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Diane Savino.

10                 SENATOR SAVINO:  I just have one 

11          question.  I should know this, and I don't, I 

12          don't remember.  But do the other counties 

13          around the state have a HASA equivalent?

14                 MS. CRUZ:  No.

15                 SENATOR SAVINO:  They don't.  So 

16          New York City is the only social service 

17          district that has an agency directly --

18                 MS. CRUZ:  That pertains just to HIV 

19          and AIDS.

20                 SENATOR SAVINO:  -- to HIV and AIDS.  

21          That's interesting.  So how -- if you live 

22          outside the City of New York and you are 

23          HIV-positive or you're HIV-positive and 

24          you're symptomatic, where do they go for 


 1          assistance?

 2                 MS. CRUZ:  You go to the regular 

 3          social service agency and you're provided 

 4          with the same assistance that anyone else 

 5          would --

 6                 SENATOR SAVINO:  So there's no 

 7          additional assistance provided to them?

 8                 MS. CRUZ:  No.

 9                 SENATOR SAVINO:  In the almost 

10          30 years since New York City created what was 

11          then a division of AIDS services?

12                 MS. CRUZ:  Yes.  Yeah.

13                 SENATOR SAVINO:  That's amazing.

14                 MS. CRUZ:  I mean, at some point I'm 

15          going to point out that 80 percent of the 

16          epidemic resides -- 

17                 SENATOR SAVINO:  True.

18                 MS. CRUZ:  -- 80 percent of the people 

19          with HIV reside in New York City.  But that's 

20          still 20,000 to 30,000 people living outside 

21          of the city with HIV or AIDS that, yeah, 

22          don't have these enhanced benefits.

23                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Right. 

24                 I actually do have a second question.  


 1          It's about the 30 percent rent cap.  As you 

 2          know, the Governor instituted it I think two 

 3          years ago.  Has it been successful in the 

 4          City of New York?  Are we seeing the --

 5                 MS. CRUZ:  Yes.  So far, we've seen it 

 6          be successful.  There are a couple of issues 

 7          that have come up, but the administration has 

 8          been very open and willing to kind of 

 9          overcome those obstacles when they've been 

10          identified.

11                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Great.  Thank you.

12                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you very much.

13                 MS. CRUZ:  Okay, thank you.

14                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Appreciate your 

15          testimony.  

16                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.

17                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.

18                 And the next testifier is -- it's a 

19          twofer, Jeffrey Lozman and Babette Grey, of 

20          the New York State Society of Orthopaedic 

21          Surgeons.

22                 DR. LOZMAN:  Thank you very much.  I 

23          will not be sitting here asking for any 

24          funding allocation, I can assure you.


 1                 My name is Dr. Jeffrey Lozman.  I'm an 

 2          orthopedic surgeon here in Albany, I'm a 

 3          professor of orthopedics at Albany Medical 

 4          Center, so I'm very familiar with this area.

 5          And I'm here today serving as president of 

 6          the New York State Society of Orthopaedic 

 7          Surgeons.  

 8                 On behalf of the New York State 

 9          Society of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the 

10          1,600 orthopedic surgeons that we represent, 

11          thank you for providing us with this 

12          opportunity to present our views on the 

13          sweeping changes to the workers' compensation 

14          program as proposed in the Governor's budget.  

15                 The New York State Society of 

16          Orthopaedic Surgeons maintains a specific 

17          focus on improving access to care, promoting 

18          public health, and facilitating improvement 

19          of patient safety and quality of care.  It is 

20          estimated that employers spend as much as 

21          $15 billion to $18 billion a year on direct 

22          costs for musculoskeletal disorder-related 

23          workers' compensation, and up to three to 

24          four times that much for indirect costs, such 


 1          as those associated with hiring and training 

 2          replacement workers.

 3                 A United States Department of Health 

 4          study showed that from 1996 to 2004, managing 

 5          musculoskeletal disease, including lost 

 6          wages, cost an average $850 billion annually, 

 7          making it the largest workers' compensation 

 8          expense.  For employers paying workers' 

 9          compensation claims, the economic strain has 

10          reached a tipping point.  

11                 Eighty percent of all claims under 

12          workers' compensation are musculoskeletal 

13          sprains, strains, injuries, with low back 

14          injuries consuming more than 33 percent of 

15          every workers' compensation dollar.  Back 

16          pain causes more than 300 million bed days 

17          and 187 million lost work days yearly, from a 

18          review from the Department of Labor.  Nearly 

19          all orthopaedic surgeons treat workers' 

20          compensation patients.  The New York State 

21          Society of Orthopaedic Surgeons believes that 

22          properly designed and efficiently run 

23          workers' compensation managed-care programs 

24          can provide high-quality healthcare to 


 1          injured workers and minimize their 

 2          disabilities.

 3                 The proposed changes in the Governorís 

 4          Executive Budget seek to ensure the system 

 5          provides more timely and appropriate medical 

 6          and wage replacement benefits to workers. 

 7          While we support these general concepts, we 

 8          are concerned several of the proposals will 

 9          result in broad authority for the Workers' 

10          Compensation Board in decision making without 

11          oversight, and continued marginalization of 

12          physician participation in the program.  This 

13          type of shift has grave potential to 

14          negatively impact access to care for the 

15          injured worker.

16                 The proposals of specific concern 

17          include provisions that would expand existing 

18          categories of healthcare providers to 

19          non-physicians, create an authorization 

20          agreement without specification, remove the 

21          role of medical societies not only from the 

22          approval process but for removal of providers 

23          from the system, and extend the opt-out 

24          period from employer-selected preferred 


 1          provider organizations from 30 days to 

 2          120 days.

 3                 The New York State Society of 

 4          Orthopaedic Surgeons represents orthopaedic 

 5          physicians who best serve injured workers 

 6          with the highest quality of care and provide 

 7          easy accessibility.  According to the 

 8          American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 

 9          musculoskeletal injury accounts for 

10          30 percent of all workplace injuries 

11          requiring time away from work, and is the 

12          leading cause of disability claims.  

13                 Orthopaedic surgeons enable injured 

14          workers with sometimes devastating injuries 

15          to return to the workforce, improve and 

16          restore function, and foster active lives.  

17          Studies have shown that early intervention by 

18          the specialist, the orthopaedic surgeon, for 

19          musculoskeletal injuries decreased the 

20          overall cost of care by allowing the 

21          musculoskeletal expert to develop a treatment 

22          plan that may or may not involve surgery.  

23          Studies also show that delays in direct, 

24          appropriate care can result in high 


 1          percentages of patients not returning to 

 2          work, essentially increasing the costs to the 

 3          overall system. 

 4                 The proposed Executive Budget would 

 5          now define providers in the system to include 

 6          acupuncturists, chiropractors, nurse 

 7          practitioners, occupational therapists, 

 8          physical therapists, physician assistants, 

 9          podiatrists, psychologists, and clinical 

10          social workers.  Clarification as to how 

11          these non-physicians will coordinate with 

12          other practitioners when these patients are 

13          in need of specialized care is crucial.

14                 The proposal would permit those 

15          non-physician providers to render treatments 

16          and offer opinions on issues such as causal 

17          relationship of the injury to the accident 

18          and level of disability.  These 

19          non-physicians will serve as independent 

20          medical examiners, and have the ability to 

21          contradict the recommendation of the injured 

22          worker's treating physician.

23                 There's no clarity as to how this 

24          broad expansion of non-physician providers 


 1          will benefit patient care.  Rather, it leaves 

 2          tremendous uncertainty as to how these 

 3          non-physicians will coordinate patient care 

 4          delivery and only dilutes the care received 

 5          by the injured worker.

 6                 The proposal goes on to expand the 

 7          Workers' Compensation Board's authority with 

 8          the creation of an "authorization agreement" 

 9          which will cause steep fines to physicians 

10          who do not follow the proposals.  We have 

11          significant concerns that this type of broad 

12          authority may result in unilateral decisions 

13          not in the best interest of the patient or 

14          the treating physicians.  This centralization 

15          of power, in concert with the imposition of 

16          the board's medical treatment guidelines, 

17          relegates the care delivered to these 

18          patients and ultimately marginalizes the role 

19          of the physicians.

20                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  And Doctor, because 

21          you're at zero, if you could just summarize 

22          the remainder of your testimony.  

23                 DR. LOZMAN:  I would be very happy to 

24          do that, thank you.  


 1                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.

 2                 DR. LOZMAN:  What we see in the 

 3          treatment of these patients is that the time 

 4          that is allowed for their treatment in the 

 5          physician's office is more than double any 

 6          other type of treatment of the patients.  In 

 7          fact, in some physicians' office -- 

 8          40 percent -- it's even more than doubled.  

 9                 The budget concerns that we have right 

10          now are significant.  We have polled all of 

11          the orthopaedic surgeons by a survey in 

12          New York State.  We have proposed to them 

13          options that they can select from that deal 

14          with the new proposed fee schedules, that 

15          deal with the things that I've just 

16          addressed.  Eighty-two percent of the 

17          orthopedic surgeons in this state have 

18          responded by saying they will cut down 

19          significantly the number of workers' 

20          compensation patients that they see.  We've 

21          received a tremendous feedback -- both in my 

22          position and the position of our executive 

23          director, Babette, who's sitting next to 

24          me -- from orthopedic surgeons in the state 


 1          in the form of phone calls:  How do I resign 

 2          from workers' compensation?  

 3                 To just jump to the end, if I may, we 

 4          strongly recommend reforms that preserve 

 5          access to the physicians most qualified to 

 6          care for injured workers.  We do not believe 

 7          that the New York State Workers' Compensation 

 8          Business Reengineering Process has addressed 

 9          these concerns between orthopedic surgeons 

10          and other stakeholders.

11                 The orthopedic community throughout 

12          the state has spoken in no uncertain terms. 

13          We fear the proposal will result in access to 

14          care issues and poorer quality of care.  This 

15          is the very opposite of the workers' 

16          compensation mission and all that has been 

17          invested in the interests of getting the 

18          injured patient back to a healthy, active, 

19          and productive lifestyle.

20                 I'm not going to be a fearmonger.  I'm 

21          here to inform you that I believe the 

22          direction we're heading is not safe for 

23          patient access, for patient quality, for 

24          patient care.


 1                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  So I think that you 

 2          ended up in this hearing because the Labor 

 3          hearing, which would deal with worker's comp, 

 4          had already come and gone.  

 5                 I just want to let you know that I 

 6          represent the East Side of Manhattan, and 

 7          shockingly, there are some doctors who live 

 8          in my district also.  And I had received an 

 9          email with very parallel concerns today and 

10          had forwarded it on to our Healthcare ranker 

11          and our Labor ranker and staff.  So I know 

12          that we're actually looking at this issue.

13                 So I appreciate your coming and 

14          testifying, even though perhaps some people 

15          in the audience aren't quite sure why this is 

16          in this hearing today.

17                 So I want to thank you.

18                 DR. LOZMAN:  I can't answer that last 

19          question as to why it's in the hearing today 

20          either.  But that's where we were placed, and 

21          we felt it was important enough to be here.

22                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Fair enough.  And 

23          this is the last hearing, so frankly it's the 

24          only place anybody who wanted to get our 


 1          attention was going to get it.  

 2                 But I wanted to assure you that I 

 3          moved it along to the Labor staff and 

 4          Senators and the healthcare policy people as 

 5          well.

 6                 DR. LOZMAN:  Thank you for listening 

 7          and paying attention.  I appreciate it.

 8                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.

 9                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.

10                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you very much.

11                 Our next testifier, Hillary Stuchin of 

12          United Jewish Appeal, UJA-Federation.  And I 

13          probably destroyed your name, so you'll 

14          correct me.

15                 MS. STUCHIN:  Actually, you got it 

16          quite right.

17                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Oh.

18                 MS. STUCHIN:  And you're one of the 

19          few.  So thank you.

20                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Just luck.

21                 MS. STUCHIN:  So thank you for 

22          allowing me to testify today.   My name is 

23          Hillary Stuchin, as you said.  I'm the senior 

24          advocacy advisor with UJA-Federation of 


 1          New York.  In case you don't know, UJA- 

 2          Federation of New York is one of the nation's 

 3          largest local philanthropies.  We have a 

 4          network of over 80 nonprofit organizations 

 5          and agencies that serve New York's most 

 6          vulnerable individuals and help build 

 7          communities.

 8                 Considering the length of how things 

 9          have gone today, I'm just going to draw 

10          attention to a few things, mostly the needs 

11          of aging New Yorkers and proposed programs to 

12          help combat poverty, health, and social 

13          service issues affecting this population.  

14          I'll start with an issue that you may have 

15          heard about already today, NORCs and 

16          Neighborhood NORCs.  

17                 So New Yorkers are aging.  An 

18          increasing number of residents will require 

19          special health and social services 

20          facilitated by these Naturally Occurring 

21          Retirement Communities, as well as the 

22          Neighborhood NORC model.  These vital 

23          programs and resources help enable low- and 

24          middle-income New Yorkers to age in place, to 


 1          thrive in their communities, and to delay 

 2          hospitalization, assisted living placement, 

 3          or nursing home placement.

 4                 The programs and services that NORCs 

 5          provide support a group that we really think 

 6          might otherwise fall through the cracks.  And 

 7          in our conversations with directors of these 

 8          programs, we learned that the resources that 

 9          they provide -- many seniors have come to 

10          rely on them.  This includes case management, 

11          socialization programs, social worker- 

12          assisted transportation services, shopping 

13          assistance, and basic health services.  This, 

14          again, allows seniors to remain in their 

15          homes and greatly improves their quality of 

16          life. 

17                 In this year's Executive Budget we've 

18          been provided with level funding for the NORC 

19          and Neighborhood NORC programs.  And while 

20          this is great, it is only $2,027,500 for each 

21          program.  Worse than this, we're very 

22          concerned with new language that intends to 

23          cut funding by an estimated $951,000.  And 

24          this is to programs that are really vital and 


 1          successfully serve seniors and allow them, 

 2          again, to age in place.

 3                 We recommend that at a minimum the 

 4          Executive Budget terminate these -- that the 

 5          language in the Executive Budget terminating 

 6          these contracts should be either excluded 

 7          from the final budget and also seriously 

 8          reconsidered.  

 9                 We feel that it's essential that the 

10          state adopt significant changes to the 

11          Elder Law, and this includes a review of the 

12          program demographic and density requirements 

13          and an increase in funding statewide to 

14          $10 million.  This is $5 million for the NORC 

15          program and $5 million for the Neighborhood 

16          NORCs program.  This will better serve this 

17          vulnerable and aging population.

18                 These changes will actually more 

19          adequately finance the existing programs and 

20          increase eligibility for essential services 

21          like this throughout the state.  The intended 

22          program cuts evaluate the NORC programs based 

23          on, as I said, out-of-date density and 

24          demographic requirements.  The current 


 1          Elder Law hasn't been reviewed for the past 

 2          20 years.  This is something that we urge you 

 3          to consider.  This means that programs whose 

 4          numbers do not meet these statutory 

 5          requirements, even by 1 or 2 percent, have 

 6          their contracts terminated at their next 

 7          renewal date.  And this proposal is estimated 

 8          to affect a substantial number of the NORCs 

 9          throughout the state.  

10                 Instead of taking funding away from 

11          existing services, we urge you to be focused 

12          on meeting the needs of your seniors and 

13          expanding services for this ever-growing 

14          cohort.

15                 The next item I'll discuss is actually 

16          a new funding request, and that's the 

17          Survivor Initiative for New York State.  

18          New York State is home to nearly 60,000 

19          Holocaust survivors, just over half of the 

20          110,000 survivors in the United States.  And 

21          while the majority of this population 

22          actually does live downstate -- in New York 

23          City, the five boroughs, Long Island, and 

24          Westchester -- we've actually found in our 


 1          discussions that the Mid-Hudson Valley, 

 2          Western New York, and Central New York 

 3          regions also have a significant group.  

 4                 According to the Claims Conference, 

 5          just the general definition of a survivor, a 

 6          Holocaust survivor, is a person, Jewish or 

 7          non-Jewish, who was displaced, persecuted or 

 8          discriminated against due to racial, 

 9          religious, ethnic and political policies of 

10          the Nazis and their allies.  In addition to 

11          the former inmates of concentration camps, 

12          ghettos, and prisons, this definition 

13          includes, among others, people who were 

14          refugees or were in hiding.

15                 Survivors experience complications 

16          beyond the normal scope of aging, and the 

17          needs of this group can actually be more 

18          complex than those of the senior community at 

19          large.  They live with the aftermath of 

20          trauma and experience higher rates of 

21          depression, anxiety and distrust of others.  

22          They have experienced childhood malnutrition 

23          and inadequate medical care growing up, and 

24          as a result they have brittle bones, poor 


 1          oral health, and other health issues.  Some 

 2          actually will not shower, and many do need to 

 3          keep food close by at all times.

 4                 Many survivors live in poverty, 

 5          subsisting on fixed incomes that do not 

 6          adequately cover the cost of care or basic 

 7          necessities like housing, food, and 

 8          utilities.  We found that New York's 

 9          survivors, many of them live 200 percent 

10          below the federal poverty guidelines and 

11          nearly 35 percent cope with chronic illness 

12          and require assistance.  

13                 Seeing the amount of time, I'm just 

14          going to get to the ask.  We request that 

15          following the support of both the federal 

16          government and the New York City Council, we 

17          hope that the Legislature will fund the 

18          Survivor Initiative at $4 million.  This will 

19          provide funding for specialized case 

20          management, caregiver training, mental health 

21          services, transportation services, 

22          socialization and legal services statewide, 

23          as well as end-of-life care.  These critical 

24          supports enhance the quality of life for 


 1          Holocaust survivors as they live out their 

 2          remaining years.

 3                 Thank you.  

 4                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Any questions?  

 5                 I want to thank you for your 

 6          testimony.  I do have one question; it's not 

 7          within your testimony.  

 8                 I think I read a story today that 

 9          UJA-Federation is trying to get $40 million 

10          back from FEGS which went out of business.  

11          Do you know any details about that?

12                 MS. STUCHIN:  I can't speak to that, 

13          but I can bring the question back with me.

14                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you very much.  

15                 MS. STUCHIN:  Thank you.

16                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you for your 

17          testimony.

18                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.

19                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Next to testify, 

20          Gerard Wallace, director, New York State 

21          Kinship Navigator.  

22                 And following, for people getting 

23          lined up, Yolanda McBride, Children's Aid 

24          Society, followed by Kate Breslin, Schuyler 


 1          Center.  Thank you.

 2                 Good afternoon.

 3                 MR. WALLACE:  Good afternoon.  Thank 

 4          you for the opportunity to speak.  

 5                 I noticed that Assemblywoman Lupardo 

 6          was here before, and I want to express my 

 7          gratitude to her for the good work that she's 

 8          done in the past two years in getting a 

 9          million dollars added to kinship funding.  

10          And Senator Montgomery was here, and she was 

11          way back in the heyday of kinship funding in 

12          2009-2010, when we had a grand total of 

13          $2.9 million for the kinship population.  

14                 And Senator Savino, who has always 

15          been a friend and a champion of kinship care.

16                 Kinship care -- 

17                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  That leaves the 

18          three of us {inaudible} --

19                 (Laughter.)

20                 MR. WALLACE:  I know.  What wonderful 

21          people.

22                 (Laughter.)

23                 MR. WALLACE:  I'm sure you're all 

24          supporters, okay?  


 1                 I'm Gerard Wallace.  I started in 

 2          kinship care in 1997, first at Albany Law 

 3          School, then at Hunter College.  Since 2006, 

 4          I'm the director of the Kinship Navigator 

 5          Program, the only statewide program serving 

 6          this community, funded in the Governor's 

 7          budget for $220,000.

 8                 I've had a federal grant for the past 

 9          three years with the Center for Human 

10          Services Research.  It's been a lot of 

11          surveying and studies, and I'm going to be 

12          referencing some of their data as we go 

13          forward.  I also will try and cite to the 

14          page in case that's helpful if someone wants 

15          to look at the graphic.  Okay?

16                 Kinship care -- grandparents, 

17          relatives raising kids, even family friends.  

18          It is not foster care.  To associate it with 

19          foster care is to really misrepresent and do 

20          an injustice to the kinship population.

21                 Estimates, page 6 -- 150,000 to 

22          250,000 children -- the census data there 

23          shows 218,000 kinship families.  We really 

24          don't know, but the number is huge.  


 1                 Kinship care causes are in the 

 2          literature.  Abuse, neglect, abandonment, 

 3          mental illness, incarceration, death of the 

 4          parent -- these are the causes that are very 

 5          similar to the reasons that children could be 

 6          in foster care.  The informal kinship 

 7          population that I'm referring to is a child 

 8          welfare system.  It just happens to be one 

 9          that isn't funded.

10                 On page 13, part of our survey, the 

11          Center for Human Services Research has a 

12          table there of the causes of kinship care.  

13          You'll note that the two largest causes are 

14          mental illness of the mother and -- the 

15          largest one is child protective services 

16          involvement.  Clearly our children are 

17          similarly situated to children in foster 

18          care.

19                 On page 14, in another part of our 

20          survey, in a cohort data mining of child 

21          welfare data in five upstate counties, of the 

22          459 children, 86 percent of them had CPS 

23          investigations.  Clearly our children are 

24          similar to children in foster care, but they 


 1          are not in foster care.

 2                 Kinship caregivers, their 

 3          circumstances -- clinically high levels of 

 4          stress, 40 percent.  Trauma and loss, I have 

 5          Center for Disease Control data in here 

 6          showing that the ACE study, the Adverse 

 7          Childhood Experiences, these kids have those 

 8          experiences.

 9                 And poverty.  The study that we have 

10          in the federal grant, 40 percent poverty rate 

11          for families upstate.  These families are in 

12          tough shape.

13                 Now, the worst thing we hear is "Child 

14          Protective Services gave me this child eight 

15          years ago.  This is the first time I've found 

16          out there's help."  That's what our programs 

17          do.  We're the only outreach out there.  

18                 What are our programs?  On the Kinship 

19          Navigator, the Kinship Navigator Information 

20          Referral, a warm line, a website with a lot 

21          of resources on it, advocacy, legal 

22          assistance, and policy work.  Local kinship 

23          programs, funded by the good work of the 

24          Legislature -- 13 programs serving 17 


 1          counties.  Some of the counties left out, for 

 2          the benefit of the chair:  Bath, Jamestown, 

 3          and elsewhere in the state.  Dutchess County, 

 4          Poughkeepsie, and all the mid-level 

 5          municipalities upstate are left out of the 

 6          situation.  And yet they are suffering 

 7          tremendously, particularly along the Southern 

 8          Tier, with the opioid epidemic, the heroin 

 9          epidemic that's going on.

10                 We deserve to do better for our 

11          kinship families.  We can do better to them 

12          by providing the small ask that we have.  The 

13          Kinship Navigator wants to implement, in the 

14          45 counties that it is the only resource, 

15          techniques that it learned in its federal 

16          grant that increased referrals from DSSs by 

17          600 percent.  We want to collaborate in those 

18          counties.  

19                 In the local programs we deserve to 

20          have more, and the ones that are there 

21          deserve to have more too.  You'll see in my 

22          recommendations what our ask is.  

23                 One other ask that I'd like to 

24          highlight is we need the Legislature to be 


 1          more involved in the kinship community.  

 2          Whether it's hearings, whether it's 

 3          roundtables, whether it's funding a study, 

 4          this huge population is so badly served and 

 5          in such dire straits, they deserve better 

 6          attention -- for us to look at the reasons 

 7          why child protective services is giving kids 

 8          to relatives and to look at what we can do to 

 9          serve them better.

10                 I'm out of time.  Thank you.

11                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Well, you did a lot 

12          in that very short period of time.

13                 MR. WALLACE:  Thank you.  Okay.

14                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Senators?

15                 Diane Savino.

16                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Hello, Gerry.  How 

17          are you?  

18                 MR. WALLACE:  Hi.

19                 SENATOR SAVINO:  I'm just curious, do 

20          you have -- how many children in the state 

21          are living in kin-care, kinship -- not 

22          kinship foster care, but living with 

23          relatives that are not -- where the children 

24          aren't in foster care.  Do you have a sense 


 1          of that?

 2                 MR. WALLACE:  I would say -- yes, 

 3          well, the numbers range.  Annie E. Casey 

 4          estimates 153,000 children in kinship care, 

 5          of which they say 5,000 are in foster care.

 6                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Mm-hmm.

 7                 MR. WALLACE:  We know the number in 

 8          foster care -- which is an approximation, 

 9          because the data is bad -- is under 6,000.  

10          But the range upward -- you can go from a low 

11          of 153,000 to other estimates over a 

12          quarter-million children living with 

13          relatives.  

14                 And again, this is a snapshot in time.  

15          One in 10 of all children will live with 

16          relatives during their childhood.

17                 SENATOR SAVINO:  And because these 

18          children aren't in foster care, you don't 

19          have a court order over them, you don't have 

20          a support rate.  We may have court-ordered 

21          supervision, I guess.

22                 MR. WALLACE:  Prior to Article 6.

23                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Right.

24                 MR. WALLACE:  And there may be some 


 1          direct custodies, which is final for that 

 2          10-17 outcome.  

 3                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Right.

 4                 MR. WALLACE:  But for the most part, 

 5          they've either gotten it on their own -- now, 

 6          Erie County's a good example, where lawyers 

 7          up there tell me that the county gives 

 8          children to relatives and then cuts ties and 

 9          they wind up in the legal service arena up 

10          there, going to family court.

11                 SENATOR SAVINO:  That's how we've 

12          wound up with kinship foster care to begin 

13          with.  There was a landmark lawsuit brought 

14          against the City of New York --

15                 MR. WALLACE:  I'm sorry?

16                 SENATOR SAVINO:  That's how we wound 

17          up with kinship care to begin with.  

18                 MR. WALLACE:  Only if they come into 

19          care and are subject to an Article 10.  

20                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Right.  But if you 

21          recall -- 

22                 MR. WALLACE:  They're not subject to 

23          Article 10 --

24                 SENATOR SAVINO:  I know that, Gerry.  


 1          But 30 years ago, that was -- 

 2                 MR. WALLACE:  Yeah.

 3                 SENATOR SAVINO:  -- this was the 

 4          subject of a huge lawsuit against the City of 

 5          New York.

 6                 MR. WALLACE:  Yup.  Mm-hmm.

 7                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Because at that time 

 8          the child welfare worker, the protective 

 9          services would take children, drop them off 

10          with a relative, and leave them there.  And 

11          provide no support services, no judicial 

12          oversight of the case -- actually, no service 

13          plan whatsoever.  

14                 And that led to a lawsuit against the 

15          city for not providing children with 

16          relatives with the same level of services as 

17          children in traditional foster care.

18                 MR. WALLACE:  Well, the same level of 

19          services is the key.  If they're in the 

20          system, they have to get the same level of 

21          services.  

22                 What I'm portraying here is they don't 

23          get in.  And that's what our data in our 

24          federal work backs up.  So that's the 


 1          distinction.  

 2                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Mm-hmm.

 3                 MR. WALLACE:  The distinction is 

 4          they're not in the database, they're in the 

 5          CPS record, the case record that goes no 

 6          further than the desk of the CPS worker.  No 

 7          one understands or can give a real estimate 

 8          as to how much of this is going on.  But we 

 9          hear it anecdotally all the time.

10                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Oh, that's 

11          outrageous.

12                 MR. WALLACE:  It is.  It truly is.

13                 SENATOR SAVINO:  We should -- well, 

14          you know, we -- we've had a long 

15          relationship, and I think we should probably 

16          talk more about this post-budget.

17                 MR. WALLACE:  Yeah.  Really, the 

18          investigation by the Legislature into this 

19          practice -- and I would say on both sides.  

20          CPS wants to do the job right, they're 

21          overwhelmed.  Kin are a resource, the 

22          counties are strapped for money, you know.  

23          Depending on the county you're in, there are 

24          wholesale practices to use kin on the cheap.


 1                 SENATOR SAVINO:  But foster board rate 

 2          is predominantly reimbursed by the federal 

 3          government.

 4                 MR. WALLACE:  Administrative costs, 

 5          court costs.  You know, caseloads.

 6                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Mm-hmm.

 7                 MR. WALLACE:  And -- an dit's gone.

 8                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Mm-hmm.  Okay.

 9                 Thank you.

10                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  A follow-up on 

11          Diane's question.

12                 So why do you think you end up in a 

13          better situation if you get pulled out of 

14          foster care eligibility and move into the 

15          adoption subsidy category?  Won't --

16                 MR. WALLACE:  Well, that's KinGAP.  

17          KinGAP again applies to that small sliver of 

18          foster parents who are kin.  

19                 The KinGAP report has not been 

20          released by the Governor, but the last one I 

21          saw, which is at least two years ago, there 

22          are less than 2,000 KinGAPs done in a year -- 

23          Kinship Guardian Assistance Program.  And the 

24          counties resisted it when it was enacted, 


 1          because they were using the same money from 

 2          the social services block grant that they had 

 3          to use for other purposes.

 4                 So the idea is they'd be more willing 

 5          and there would be less roadblocks to kin 

 6          exiting foster care as guardians with that 

 7          grant if the funding stream was part of the 

 8          adoption subsidy.  

 9                 That's all well and good, and we 

10          support that.  My emphasis here is to say 

11          that's missing the target.

12                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  I guess I've been 

13          here in the Senate for about 14 1/2 years.  

14          Before, I spent 20 years in direct service.  

15          And at that time, even up to say the year 

16          2000, what we would see in the City of 

17          New York, despite the court case that Diane 

18          is correct about, would be the grandparent or 

19          other relative would take the child because 

20          Mom, Dad went to jail, went to a psychiatric 

21          hospital, were incapable of caring for them.

22                 The adult would eventually come and 

23          say "I can't afford to keep this child, I 

24          can't afford the rent with an additional 


 1          child or children, help me."  They would be 

 2          advised to go on, add the children to the 

 3          public assistance case.  When that was 

 4          inadequate -- because it was -- they would 

 5          say, "I heard a rumor I could be eligible for 

 6          something called kinship foster care," and 

 7          they would be told "You have to say you're 

 8          giving up the kids unless you get the kinship 

 9          care.  And if you threaten to give up the 

10          kids, we'll determine you aren't qualified to 

11          be the kinship adult."  Therefore --

12                 MR. WALLACE:  That practice continues.

13                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  -- therefore it's a 

14          lose-lose.  And we used to have to fight that 

15          day and night.

16                 And you're telling me nothing has 

17          changed 15 years later?

18                 MR. WALLACE:  I'm telling you that the 

19          practice of surrender, the threat by some 

20          counties is you'll never get the kid back.  

21          And they -- there are many ways in which they 

22          dissuade families, kinship families, from 

23          wanting to be in foster care.  

24                 And I've written papers on it, I've 


 1          written one recently for the Child Welfare 

 2          League of America on these practices.  And 

 3          I'm not even -- I'm saying everyone's 

 4          overwhelmed.  We need to make better 

 5          decisions about who gets into foster care and 

 6          who doesn't.  

 7                 And the only way to do that is to get 

 8          good assessment tools and to put in place 

 9          good practices for CPS to at least figure 

10          this out and not worry about mom sneaking in 

11          the back door and doing something crazy 

12          because they dumped the child and there's no 

13          oversight.  You know?

14                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  So I know that OCFS 

15          happens to still be in the room.  So consider 

16          this a request, that OCS come and visit 

17          myself and the other Senator who'd like to 

18          join us to explore why we're still hearing 

19          the same stories 15 and 20 years later 

20          statewide.

21                 MR. WALLACE:  Thank you.  Yeah.

22                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you very much 

23          for your testimony.

24                 MR. WALLACE:  Thank you.


 1                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Any other?

 2                 No.  Thank you for your testimony.

 3                 MR. WALLACE:  Thank you very much.

 4                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  And our next 

 5          testifier I think is Yolanda McBride from 

 6          Children's Aid Society.  Is she here?  

 7          Because we didn't see any testimony.

 8                 Oh, somebody's coming down?  No?  

 9          Okay, goodbye, Children's Aid Society.  You 

10          had your chance.

11                 Kate Breslin --

12                 (Laughter.)

13                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  I get mean at the 

14          end of the day.  I'm sorry, folks.

15                 Hello, lovely Kate Breslin from the 

16          Schuyler Center.  Come and testify.  Thank 

17          you.

18                 MS. BRESLIN:  Hi, there.  Thank you.  

19          Thank you all for sticking it out.  

20                 I'm Kate Breslin, from the Schuyler 

21          Center for Analysis and Advocacy, and with me 

22          is our senior policy person, Kari Siddiqui.

23                 And because we were just talking about 

24          it and I was going to mention it anyway, I 


 1          just want to support what Gerry Wallace just 

 2          said about kinship care.  And I think it 

 3          sometimes gets left out because, as Gerry 

 4          says, it really is part of what we think of 

 5          as our child welfare system, but we don't 

 6          think about it in our child welfare system, 

 7          and all the problems that Gerry talked about 

 8          are things that we hear too.  

 9                 And I know that several of you have 

10          asked questions during the day about the 

11          opiate epidemic and things like that, and I 

12          think it would not surprise me if we continue 

13          to rely on kinship caregiver arrangements 

14          even more in that context.  And we just don't 

15          know, we don't know what the numbers are, we 

16          just know they're big.   

17                 So I want to just call out that over 

18          the last several years, particularly in the 

19          areas of funding for programs for children 

20          and families, we really haven't seen a lot of 

21          attention to those things from the Governor, 

22          and we're very concerned about it.  

23                 So our testimony -- I won't get into a 

24          lot of detail -- I do know, I've been here a 


 1          lot of today and I know that they've been 

 2          touched upon.  But I want to support your 

 3          interest and what I heard from many of our 

 4          advocate friends around increasing funding 

 5          for childcare for all the reasons -- both, 

 6          you know, for parents, for kids, and for 

 7          economic development.

 8                 I also want to call out that we've 

 9          been coordinating a maternal/infant early 

10          childhood home visiting workgroup for 

11          probably 10 years, and the reason we've been 

12          doing that is because the benefits of those 

13          programs are very clear.  In New York State 

14          we fund them in different ways.  We fund them 

15          out of different agencies, and so there's 

16          always a lot of confusion.  So we felt 

17          like -- we felt as though there was a reason 

18          to bring people together to try and come up 

19          with some unity around articulating the 

20          benefits and advocating for cohesive funding.

21                 So we are, together with many of our 

22          friends, advocating for some thought put into 

23          where there is need.  Many of you asked 

24          questions about to what extent do those 


 1          programs meet demand.  Not at all.  We worked 

 2          with the Council on Children and Families and 

 3          developed some great maps that kind of show 

 4          need and then capacity, and it's pretty clear 

 5          that there are some pockets in the state that 

 6          have great home visiting programs and then 

 7          huge swaths of the state that really don't 

 8          have any.  And we know that they have 

 9          benefits, they've been proven over years.

10                 In child welfare, it's a massive 

11          system and it's really complicated, and I 

12          know that people have touched on parts of it 

13          today.  We're one of the folks, you know, 

14          we're one of the folks who come here not 

15          asking for funding for our agencies.  We're a 

16          nonprofit organization that is funded with 

17          private philanthropic dollars.  

18                 We think that we need to pay attention 

19          to preventive services so New York does 

20          invest in what we call preventive services.  

21          However, those are only available once a case 

22          is opened.  So when we had a convening that 

23          brought together families and parents, young 

24          people and service providers, they called 


 1          that -- at that point, you're five minutes to 

 2          foster care.  So once you are able to access 

 3          these preventive dollars, those so-called 

 4          preventive dollars, you're kind of already, 

 5          you know, tipping and on the way in.  

 6                 So we are advocating that we as a 

 7          state should -- two things.  We should be 

 8          investing in real prevention and 

 9          community-based prevention that can be used 

10          before cases are opened, and also a closer 

11          look at the effectiveness of how the 

12          preventive dollars are spent.

13                 We have no idea.  So we do know that 

14          foster care numbers have gone down in the 

15          last decade or more.  We do know that we have 

16          preventive programs.  We have zero 

17          measurements in New York about whether those 

18          preventive dollars are doing anything.  I'm 

19          not suggesting that they're not.  We don't 

20          know.

21                 We want to support the addition of the 

22          $1.5 million that you all put in to get young 

23          people in foster care or who had been in 

24          foster care to go college.  And that's 


 1          been -- from what we have heard, it's been a 

 2          success.  And we urge you to add to that.  

 3          The Governor put money in this year, which is 

 4          great.  We urge you to increase that funding 

 5          to support kids going to college.

 6                 We also want to call out the 

 7          importance of -- there's a housing subsidy 

 8          for young people in care or who have aged out 

 9          from foster care.  You won't see this in our 

10          testimony, simply because we neglected to put 

11          it in.  But we urge you to increase the 

12          housing subsidy.  We'd hoped to kind of grab 

13          on to all the excitement about housing and 

14          the rest of the budget.  And we are very 

15          appreciative, we know Assemblyman Hevesi's 

16          supportive of this.  But we think it's 

17          important.

18                 The subsidy right now is $300 

19          throughout the state, and a young person 

20          essentially can't have a roommate and has to 

21          prove that that $300 will stabilize their 

22          housing.  So we need to increase it.  And 

23          just as a side note, 1,300 young people age 

24          out of care every year.  And so when we're 


 1          talking -- and we know that many of them are 

 2          likely -- you know, we have some statistics 

 3          nationally and in the state -- but many of 

 4          them are likely to become homeless, either  

 5          officially homeless or couch surfing.  So 

 6          there's great reasons to put some more money 

 7          into that.

 8                 Let's see.  We talked about kinship 

 9          care, so I will skip our piece on that.  And 

10          then we support raising the age again this 

11          year.  

12                 And then finally, at the end of our 

13          testimony, we look at issues relating to 

14          family economic security.  While those may 

15          not be in the OCFS or OTDA budgets, many of 

16          the programs and services upon which families 

17          rely, especially at-risk families, they rely 

18          on them because they're living in poverty.  

19          And they wouldn't be at risk of being in the 

20          child welfare system or in any of these 

21          systems if they had economic stability.  

22                 So that's why you'll see that we call 

23          attention to the importance of raising the 

24          minimum wage and funding it for human 


 1          services, of paid family leave, and of an 

 2          increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit for 

 3          low-income families.

 4                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.

 5                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.  

 6                 Any Senator questions?  Assembly 

 7          questions?

 8                 I just have one.  So you talked about 

 9          the money for post-foster care rental 

10          assistance.  It's only $300 dollars a month, 

11          and they can't have a roommate.  Why would we 

12          have a rule like that?

13                 MS. BRESLIN:  It doesn't officially 

14          say they can't have a roommate, but it's so 

15          administratively -- it's administratively 

16          burdensome if you do have a roommate.  So 

17          there are efforts underway to try and 

18          streamline that.  And it would take -- it 

19          would take a change in statute.

20                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  So, I mean, the $300 

21          amount is absurd to start with, but we --

22                 MS. BRESLIN:  And then the strings -- 

23          so it's both.

24                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Yes, then to 


 1          actually say, So you've aged out of foster 

 2          care, you've got nobody else out there in the 

 3          world, and guess what -- don't you dare find 

 4          somebody to help you with --

 5                 MS. BRESLIN:  To share rent with.

 6                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  -- board and 

 7          housing.

 8                 MS. BRESLIN:  You're right.

 9                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  So, you know, some 

10          strange devil wrote that statute.  We should 

11          look into that also.

12                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Somebody from the 

13          1940s.

14                 (Laughter.)

15                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  But wait.  You've 

16          been here since the 1870s --

17                 (Laughter.)

18                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  I remember my 

19          amendments.

20                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  We went down this 

21          road, Denny.

22                 I'm sorry, we're all a little, you 

23          know -- we spend too much time together in 

24          this room.


 1                 MS. BRESLIN:  We are too.

 2                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you very much, 

 3          both of you, for your testimony.  

 4                 And our next testifier, and I see her 

 5          there, Susan Antos from the Empire Justice 

 6          Center.  

 7                 And, for those tracking, followed by 

 8          Advocates for Children, Randi Levine, 

 9          followed by Center for Children's 

10          Initiatives, Betty Holcomb.

11                 Hello, Susan.

12                 MS. ANTOS:  Good evening.

13                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Good evening.

14                 MS. ANTOS:  Thank you for staying.  

15          And thank you for your interest in these 

16          very, very important issues.  The work you do 

17          is so important to us.  Thank you so much.

18                 Since it's late in the day and my 

19          remarks are in writing, I'm just going to 

20          highlight a few points that are in our 

21          testimony.  

22                 As you know, the Empire Justice Center 

23          is a multi-issue organization.  And on page 2 

24          of our testimony we list the seven areas that 


 1          are in our testimony, including increasing 

 2          funding for a managed-care consumer 

 3          assistance program; continued investment in 

 4          the disability advocacy program; expanded 

 5          categorical eligibility of SNAP benefits -- 

 6          which the Governor has recommended and we 

 7          support; increased fuel and shelter 

 8          allowances; elimination of asset tests; and 

 9          two childcare items.

10                 I am only going to talk about the last 

11          four items.  I don't believe, although I 

12          didn't listen to everyone -- but I don't 

13          believe that anyone has spoken about the fuel 

14          and shelter allowances, and I think that's an 

15          important piece of the homelessness puzzle.  

16                 We are thrilled with the homelessness 

17          initiatives that people are talking about, 

18          and we're glad that there is this interest in 

19          increased investment in homelessness.  But we 

20          can't be sheltering people on one side and 

21          pushing them off the cliff on the other.

22                 And that's what's happening in the 

23          public assistance system.  On page 6 of our 

24          testimony there's a box highlighted in green 


 1          about a woman who came to our office a short 

 2          time ago.  She's 58 years old, and she has an 

 3          apartment that costs $575 a month.  A 

 4          bargain, right?  Except she's a single 

 5          individual, and that shelter allowance for a 

 6          single individual in Albany County is 

 7          under -- well, if you were -- I'm sorry, if 

 8          you're a family of three, it's $309.  I 

 9          believe it's about $190 if you're a single 

10          individual.  So with her living allowance -- 

11          her total shelter allowance and living 

12          allowance does not even total what her rent 

13          is.

14                 So her landlord for a while let her 

15          stay because she kept looking for work, she'd 

16          find a job.  She had a very difficult time, 

17          and she's facing eviction.  She's going to be 

18          in a shelter soon, I'm sure.  Because the 

19          total of her grant, living and shelter 

20          allowance, was only $425 a month.

21                 The shelter allowance for a family of 

22          three in New York City is $400 a month.  So 

23          as you're sheltering people on one side -- 

24          when a family's in crisis, giving them $400 


 1          to pay for rent in New York City is not going 

 2          to find them a house.  I think you all know 

 3          that.  

 4                 The upstate -- the family of three in 

 5          Albany is $309, in Erie County it's $301.  

 6          It's really between $300 to $400 just about 

 7          in every county of the state.  

 8                 So we have a proposal.  We've written 

 9          a report called "Turn up the Heat," and some 

10          of that is available on our website.  What we 

11          are proposing is that we use the fair market 

12          rent as a standard by which to set our 

13          shelter allowance.  

14                 We have a modest request that right 

15          now shelter allowances be set at 50 percent 

16          of the fair market rent.  Right now, you can 

17          see that the one-bedroom fair market rent 

18          rates are much, much lower.  So we'd like you 

19          to consider that, as well as an increase in 

20          the fuel allowance.  

21                 Part of the public assistance grant 

22          for people who pay for their own heat is an 

23          allowance to pay for fuel.  It varies 

24          depending on whether or not you pay for 


 1          electric or whether or not you pay for your 

 2          heat by oil.  But our recommendation is that 

 3          these allowances be raised.  They have not 

 4          been raised since 1987.  

 5                 And so what I wanted to -- so that's 

 6          over 30 years ago, and since that time the 

 7          cost of heating oil -- even though it's come 

 8          down, the cost of heating oil is four times 

 9          what it was in 1987.  And the cost of natural 

10          gas is double what it was in 1987.

11                 So families who pay for their own heat 

12          outside of New York City -- that's a 

13          substantial number of people -- are really 

14          squeezed by very inadequate shelter 

15          allowances.  We believe that the low shelter 

16          allowance and the cost of fuel -- I'm sorry, 

17          the low rental allowance -- are pushing 

18          people into homelessness.

19                 Our other recommendation has to do 

20          with the asset test.  Another recommendation.  

21          We're in a minority of states now that have a 

22          very low asset limit for automobiles.  If in 

23          fact we are what we say we are, which is a 

24          temporary assistance program, we need to do 


 1          everything we can to make sure that families 

 2          that need to rely on public assistance can 

 3          get out and can get to work.  And one way 

 4          they can do that is with a reliable car.  

 5                 There are only 11 other states in the 

 6          country that do not exempt a car totally.  

 7          And we need to not be in the forefront in 

 8          this area.  

 9                 Additionally, our rental allowance 

10          discriminates against people with 

11          disabilities, because we have a higher 

12          resource level for people who are able to 

13          work and a lower resource level for people 

14          who are not able to work.  

15                 Finally -- and I know I'm out of time 

16          here, I'm just going to walk you through -- I 

17          know you've had a lot of people testify about 

18          childcare today.  We join everyone with the 

19          ask for $190 million.  I want to let you know 

20          what resources are in our testimony for you.

21                 If you want a detailed explanation of 

22          what's required by the federal law, if you 

23          start on page 12 of our testimony we've given 

24          you a breakdown, including all the federal 


 1          and statutory and regulatory citations, 

 2          including the citations to the New York State 

 3          plan to the federal government which explains 

 4          in detail the new requirement for a 12-month 

 5          eligibility period regardless of income 

 6          unless the income goes over 85 percent of 

 7          state median income.  

 8                 The requirement for a graduated 

 9          phase-out of childcare subsidy assistance as 

10          long as the family is under 85 percent of 

11          state median income.  

12                 A requirement that childcare subsidies 

13          be portable across counties -- this is huge 

14          for us upstate, and we're so glad to see it, 

15          but there needs to be money to pay for it.  

16                 We're also thrilled that there's a 

17          greater emphasis on serving homeless 

18          families.  Under the plan, the draft plan 

19          that OCFS proposes to file with the feds, 

20          there is a priority given to homeless 

21          families, which we're thrilled about, but 

22          that means that we need to protect low-income 

23          working families as well who have subsidies, 

24          so we're not taking subsidies from low-income 


 1          working families to pay for subsidies to 

 2          homeless families.  

 3                 The federal law also requires that 

 4          absences be paid for, just like those of us 

 5          who have paid for childcare had to pay for 

 6          absences.  They'll be on a footing with other 

 7          people in the private marketplace.  There are 

 8          provisions for fluctuations in earning.   

 9          There are priorities for special-needs 

10          children.  

11                 And just to add into the mix, our 

12          market rate is up for readjustment in June.  

13          We want to keep it at a rate that keeps 

14          providers whole, not see providers lose money 

15          to pay for these federally mandated changes 

16          that don't come with a lot of money behind 

17          them.

18                 So I hope you find this a resource.  

19          I'm happy to answer any questions.  Thank you 

20          for hanging in; I know it's been a long day.

21                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.

22                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you very much,  

23          Susan.  I believe we have a question from --

24                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  We do.


 1                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  -- Assemblymember 

 2          Hevesi.

 3                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  We do.  I will go 

 4          quick.

 5                 First, Susan, hi.

 6                 MS. ANTOS:  Hi.  

 7                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  A thank you to 

 8          you and Christopher for all of your work.  

 9          And I think my guys reached out to you, I 

10          actually need you tomorrow, so thank you.  

11                 Okay.  So I just want to drill down on 

12          one thing, the shelter allowance.  Okay, so 

13          once we get a sense of an issue, we can be 

14          relatively aggressive, and that's what we're 

15          here to do.  The shelter allowance we have 

16          sort of not been aggressive about, because -- 

17          I may be under some false impression, but 

18          maybe you could help it with me.  It's my 

19          understanding that there's a legal case 

20          against the state regarding the shelter 

21          allowance right now because it hasn't been 

22          raised since 1987.  And that case was 

23          brought, what, like a month ago, or two?  Is 

24          that right?


 1                 MS. ANTOS:  I believe it's just in 

 2          New York City.

 3                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Oh, okay.

 4                 MS. ANTOS:  And it only involves 

 5          families with children.  Because there's a 

 6          statute that says that the shelter allowance 

 7          has to be adequate to allow children to 

 8          remain in their homes.  And so that's why 

 9          people like Ms. V, who's in our testimony, 

10          have a much lower shelter allowance because 

11          when the first shelter allowance case, which 

12          was caused Jiggetts, was litigated and 

13          settled, that applied to families with 

14          children.  

15                 Those shelter allowances went up, the 

16          shelter allowances for singles stayed much 

17          lower.  That's why it's virtually impossible 

18          for a single individual to find a place to 

19          live on the current shelter allowance.

20                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Right.  So I 

21          agree with you that the shelter allowance or 

22          FEPS or any rental subsidy should be 

23          somewhere close to the fair market rate.  

24          That's the only logical way to do it.  So I 


 1          agree with your proposal.  

 2                 The reason that I have not been 

 3          advocating or going full force for the 

 4          shelter allowance at this point is because my 

 5          understanding is that if you introduce a bill 

 6          or go after it budgetarily while there's 

 7          litigation, the judge can actually -- if that 

 8          doesn't pass, if your bill doesn't pass or 

 9          your budget ask doesn't pass, the judge in 

10          the case can actually say no, we're not going 

11          to rule on this because the Legislature 

12          didn't pass it, and therefore it's out of the 

13          jurisdiction of the courts.  It only goes 

14          back to the Legislature.  

15                 So I didn't -- part of the hesitation 

16          for me is the legality of it.  I don't want 

17          to go for it, possibly not get it, and then 

18          screw up a court case.  Does that make sense?

19                 MS. ANTOS:  Well, let me talk to my 

20          colleagues in New York City.

21                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Okay.  Please.  

22          Because otherwise, to be honest with you, I 

23          agree the shelter allowance, 1987 -- it's 

24          ridiculous.  And we would go after it 


 1          wholeheartedly; I'm just afraid going after 

 2          it and losing affects not only losing in the 

 3          legislative and executive branch, but would 

 4          cause a loss in the judicial branch as well.  

 5          And I don't want that.  So if you could let 

 6          me know.

 7                 MS. ANTOS:  I will.

 8                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  I could be 

 9          completely misinformed.

10                 MS. ANTOS:  I'll talk to my colleagues 

11          and get back to you.

12                 ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Thank you very 

13          much.

14                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.

15                 Although I just want -- Susan, you're 

16          free to go -- I want to also thank you from 

17          the Empire Justice Center for everything you 

18          do, and the testimony is extremely detailed 

19          and complete.

20                 One thing that you, I think, didn't 

21          have a chance to go over, but it ties into 

22          earlier testimony -- and I was actually 

23          speaking to the chair when someone else was 

24          testifying.  So we are making people put 


 1          their children in infant care slots so they 

 2          can go work somewhere that pays them far less 

 3          than $14,000 a year, and we are paying 

 4          $14,000 a year for an infant care slot -- or 

 5          you had charts actually showing the range.  

 6          That's crazy in its own perspective.  

 7                 But your point that you didn't have a 

 8          chance to make tonight, but I just wanted to 

 9          highlight for us, if we stopped mandating 

10          that women on public assistance leave their 

11          children in infant care slots, which 

12          government pays for to the tune of 10,000 to 

13          14,000 a year, to seek out work experience or 

14          jobs that don't even pay them what we're 

15          paying for childcare slots, they could stay 

16          home providing better care for their infants.  

17          And as you pointed out in your testimony, we 

18          could turn that money into up to three times 

19          as many subsidized slots for older children 

20          for working mothers.  

21                 So I think that is such a critical 

22          sort of tie-in for this legislative body to 

23          grasp.  So I wanted to highlight that.

24                 MS. ANTOS:  Thank you for raising 


 1          that.  That is the last section of our 

 2          testimony.  And we do have detailed charts 

 3          calculating the savings so that for each 

 4          infant slot that's freed up, over three slots 

 5          are freed up for working families.  

 6                 Because remember, families on public 

 7          assistance don't have a copayment.  Working 

 8          families actually do have a copayment, so the 

 9          cost of their slot is less.  

10                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.  

11                 MS. ANTOS:  Thank you.  

12                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  And as the chair 

13          returns, our next testifier is Advocates for 

14          Children, Randi Levine.

15                 MS. LEVINE:  Good afternoon.  

16                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Welcome.

17                 MS. LEVINE:  I think I'm last.  Betty 

18          Holcomb is not here.

19                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  We've added some.

20                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  There are 

21          actually -- right, there are three remaining 

22          people.  

23                 MS. LEVINE:  Okay.

24                 Thank you for the opportunity to speak 


 1          with you today.  My name is Randi Levine, and 

 2          I am the policy coordinator at Advocates for 

 3          Children of New York.  

 4                 For more than 40 years, Advocates for 

 5          Children has worked to promote access to the 

 6          best education New York can provide for all 

 7          students, especially students from low-income 

 8          backgrounds.  Every year we help thousands of 

 9          New York parents navigate the education 

10          system, and we use our on-the-ground 

11          experience to identify barriers to education 

12          and to work to pursue systemic change.

13                 We support increased funding for 

14          several of the programs that have been 

15          mentioned throughout the day, including home 

16          visiting programs.  But I want to focus today 

17          on childcare.

18                 As an education advocacy organization, 

19          we know that the first five years of 

20          children's lives have a profound impact on 

21          their education and future.  Long-term 

22          research shows that children from low-income 

23          backgrounds who are left out of high-quality 

24          early childhood education programs are more 


 1          likely to be retained a grade, to be placed 

 2          in special education classes, and to drop out 

 3          of school than children who have access to 

 4          such programs.  And leading economists have 

 5          found substantial savings by participating in 

 6          early childhood education programs.  

 7                 For many families with low incomes, 

 8          subsidized childcare provides the only 

 9          opportunity to access early childhood 

10          education for their children.  And of course 

11          it also helps families to work.  However, due 

12          to limited funding, only 22 percent of 

13          income-eligible children have access to 

14          subsidized childcare in New York State.

15                 As you heard today, the recent 

16          reauthorization of the federal childcare law, 

17          the Child Care and Development Block Grant, 

18          or CCDBG, brings significant opportunities as 

19          well as significant challenges.  We are 

20          pleased with a lot of the changes in the law; 

21          however, we understand that these changes 

22          have substantial financial costs.  

23                 Unfortunately, the Executive Budget 

24          includes a mere $10 million in additional 


 1          funding for childcare.  This funding falls 

 2          far short of the investment we need to 

 3          prevent children from losing access to 

 4          subsidized childcare.

 5                 And that's why we're joining with the 

 6          many others who have spoken today in calling 

 7          on the Legislature to increase childcare 

 8          funding by at least $190 million.  As you've 

 9          heard, the state has estimated that it will 

10          cost at least $90 million to implement only 

11          the health and safety new requirements of the 

12          law -- the inspections, the background 

13          checks, the training on health and safety.

14                 Additional funding is needed because 

15          the market rate will take effect, the new 

16          market rate will take effect based on the 

17          state's market survey in June 2016, and we 

18          want to ensure that childcare providers are 

19          paid an adequate rate.

20                 We also want to note that in its draft 

21          childcare plan, OCFS mentioned that it is 

22          assessing the market rate that it pays for 

23          children with special needs.  And we think 

24          that this is an important area to address as 


 1          well, to make sure that childcare providers 

 2          can serve all children regardless of ability 

 3          and disability.

 4                 And Susan Antos mentioned a number of 

 5          the other changes that are being made because 

 6          of requirements in the federal law.  I'll 

 7          just highlight one.  The federal law has 

 8          several new provisions aimed at providing 

 9          increased access to children who are 

10          homeless.  Currently, in New York State, 

11          children who are homeless are eligible for 

12          subsidized childcare only if their parents 

13          fall into an existing category of 

14          eligibility, such as receiving public 

15          assistance or meeting certain work and income 

16          requirements.  

17                 We have received calls from families 

18          who are experiencing homelessness and are 

19          desperate for childcare for their young 

20          children but do not meet the current 

21          eligibility criteria.  We are very pleased 

22          that the draft childcare plan released by 

23          OCFS included the state's intent to make 

24          children who are homeless categorically 


 1          eligible for childcare, in line with the new 

 2          federal priority in serving children who are 

 3          homeless.  

 4                 This change would have a significant 

 5          impact on the lives of young children 

 6          experiencing homelessness.  Childcare is 

 7          critical for these children.  It provides 

 8          them with a safe, developmentally appropriate 

 9          place to learn and prepare for kindergarten, 

10          and it allows their parents to be able to 

11          look for housing and jobs.  

12                 Furthermore, a disproportionate number 

13          of children who are homeless experience 

14          delays in their development.  Connecting 

15          these children to high-quality childcare 

16          programs not only helps them prepare for 

17          kindergarten, but also allows educators to 

18          monitor their development and connect them 

19          with services when appropriate.  

20                 But we must ensure that there is 

21          adequate funding for children who are 

22          homeless to access childcare subsidies, along 

23          with making these additional required 

24          changes.  Therefore, we are asking 


 1          legislators to invest at least $190 million 

 2          in new funding for childcare.  Given the 

 3          significant unmet needs that already exist, 

 4          we want to ensure that the state does not 

 5          fund these new requirements by decreasing the 

 6          number of children who have access to 

 7          childcare.  Rather, we need new funding.  

 8                 We look forward to working with you as 

 9          the budget season progresses.  Thank you for 

10          the opportunity to testify, and I'd be happy 

11          to answer any questions that you have.

12                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.  

13                 Any Assembly?  Any Senate?

14                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.

15                 MS. LEVINE:  Thank you.

16                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you very much 

17          for your testimony.  It's not lack of 

18          interest, it's the time.  

19                 And our next testifier, Betty Holcomb, 

20          Center for Children's Initiatives.  And there 

21          was no testimony submitted, so it's possible 

22          she wasn't here?  Correct, she wasn't here.

23                 And then we have one additional 

24          cancellation, so I believe our next and last 


 1          testifier is Melanie Blow -- I'm probably 

 2          reading it completely wrong -- chief 

 3          operating officer of the Stop Abuse Campaign.  

 4                 Blow?  Well, you're going to cover it 

 5          here, and you're going to tell me your name 

 6          if I've done it wrong.

 7                 MS. BLOW:  No, it's Blow.

 8                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.

 9                 MS. BLOW:  It's very logical and it 

10          confuses people all the time, so take no 

11          offense.

12                 Thank you so much for hearing me 

13          today.  My name is Melanie Blow.  I'm the COO 

14          for Stop Abuse Campaign.  We protect children 

15          by preventing trauma, particularly 

16          life-altering traumas such as child abuse, 

17          neglect and maltreatment.  

18                 Everybody knows that child abuse is 

19          bad.  The Centers for Disease Control 

20          conducted the Adverse Childhood Experience 

21          study in the '90s, which proved that it was a 

22          lot worse than we thought it was.  It proved 

23          that any and all child abuse, neglect, and 

24          maltreatment harms a child for their entire 


 1          life.  We had known for a long time that 

 2          abused, neglected, and maltreated children 

 3          were more likely to be criminals, suffer 

 4          mental illness, suffer drug addiction.  We 

 5          didn't realize that they're also more likely 

 6          to die from cancer, heart disease, diabetes, 

 7          things like that.  Which means prevention is 

 8          absolutely, positively the most important 

 9          thing.  

10                 And I completely -- introducing 

11          myself, I completely forgot to start off with 

12          our ask, our one and only ask, which is that 

13          you kindly invest at least 4.5 million new 

14          dollars in maternal home visiting throughout 

15          the state.  

16                 Okay.  So adverse childhood 

17          experiences harm children for the rest of 

18          their lives.  Flint, Michigan, did something 

19          similar that everybody in this room has heard 

20          about; they made a decision that very 

21          predictably was going to expose children to 

22          lead.  Lead functions much like an adverse 

23          childhood experience.  Lead causes short-term 

24          physical harm to children, long-term physical 


 1          harm to children, cognitive issues to 

 2          children, educational disabilities to 

 3          children, and makes them more likely to be 

 4          arrested as adults.  So do adverse childhood 

 5          experiences.  

 6                 With Flint, there was the word 

 7          "poisoning," so people got very excited about 

 8          that and really, Hey, somebody's purposefully 

 9          doing something bad to children, we've got to 

10          stop that.  When we don't invest in maternal 

11          home visiting, we've actually harmed many 

12          more children than Flint has, in 20 years, by 

13          not investing in these programs the way we 

14          need to invest in them.  But that's 

15          considered business as usual.  

16                 We always say we can't afford to 

17          invest in maternal home visiting.  We don't 

18          like spending money on CPS, but we do it.  

19          CPS costs more.  We don't like spending money 

20          on special education, but we do it.  That 

21          costs more.  Right now, something I've heard 

22          us talk about quite a bit today, we don't 

23          like spending money on treating opiate 

24          addiction right now.  That costs a lot more.  


 1          All of those things are preventable by 

 2          maternal home visiting.

 3                 It costs about $1 million to 

 4          investigate a murder in New York State.  

 5          There are about 250 children who die directly 

 6          from abuse, neglect, or maltreatment.  Two 

 7          hundred fifty million dollars would enroll 

 8          about 81,000 children in -- in one of the -- 

 9          average price of the maternal home visiting 

10          services.  That would not quite provide 

11          universal access, but it would come awfully 

12          close.  And this is money we already spend.  

13                 In October I went to the funeral for 

14          Vernay-lah Laventure, who was a 

15          four-month-old baby beaten to death by her 

16          mother.  They had to bury her with this 

17          little white cap that masked how her skull 

18          was broken.  Her mother was desperate.  We 

19          know how to keep mothers from being 

20          desperate, and maternal home visiting 

21          services do that.

22                 In January I met with a bunch of women 

23          who were enrolled in one of the programs.  

24          One of them told me about how her baby was 


 1          born with serious complications.  This woman 

 2          is an abuse survivor, she was a recovering 

 3          drug addict, she didn't know what to do.  

 4          This was her first baby.  She had no idea how 

 5          to parent him.  

 6                 One of the home visitors told her to 

 7          read to him, so she did.  She read to him in 

 8          the NICU.  Three other babies were born with 

 9          similar complications in the NICU that day; 

10          hers is the only one that lived.

11                 And this is -- to me, those two 

12          stories represent the choice New York is at 

13          right now.  We can invest in preventing 

14          abuse, or we can invest in mopping up its 

15          consequences.  Preventing it is a lot cheaper 

16          and yields much better results, and it's the 

17          compassionate thing to do.  

18                 I guess that's why we're asking for an 

19          investment of at least 4.5 million new 

20          dollars in maternal home visiting, which has 

21          been flat-funded for the last decade.  

22                 Thank you very much.  Nine seconds.

23                 (Laughter.)

24                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Any questions?


 1                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you. 

 2                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  No questions?

 3                 Well, thank you so much for 

 4          participating today.  And we certainly 

 5          appreciate everyone who took the time to 

 6          educate us about the impact of the Executive 

 7          Budget on human services.

 8                 So that concludes our hearing.  And 

 9          there is just one more that needs to be set 

10          up regarding the MTA, but other than that, we 

11          have achieved a lot of the work through the 

12          hearing process.  

13                 So I want to thank all of my 

14          colleagues for their patience, for their hard 

15          work and participation, and look forward to 

16          continuing onward through the state budget 

17          process for this year.  Thank you.  

18                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.

19                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.  

20                 (Whereupon, the budget hearing 

21          concluded at 5:45 p.m.)






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