Senator Velmanette Montgomery, Senator Jamaal Bailey, Senator Brian A. Benjamin, Senator John Brooks, Senator Leroy Comrie, Senator Martin M. Dilan, Senator Brad Hoylman, Senator Brian P. Kavanaugh, Senator Kevin Parker, Senator Roxanne Persaud, Senator Gustavo Rivera, Senator James Sanders Jr., Assemblyman Charles Barron, Assemblywoman Inez Dickens, Assemblyman Walter Mosley, Assemblywoman Kimberly Jean-Pierre, Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon, Assemblyman Al Taylor, Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda and Assemblywoman Tremaine Wright call on Senator Majority Leader Senator John Flanagan, Democratic Conference Leader Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Independent Conference Leader Jeffrey D. Klein and Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie to include an additional $4 million in funds for School Based Health Centers in the 2018-19 State Budget.
We the undersigned legislators are writing to you on behalf of School Based Health Centers (SBHCs) and the children they sene across the Stale to respectfully request that you include an additional $4,0l8,874 in funds for SBHCs in the 2018-19 Budget. This amount would restore revenue to 16 SBHC sponsors whose non-Medicaid grant funds were severely reduced last year by a combination of a 20% State Budget cut and an administrative action taken by the State Department of Health (DOH) to change the methodology for the distribution of these funds.
We are happy to see that cuts to SBHCs were not in the proposed executive budget for the 20 18- 2019 State Fiscal Year. However, School-Based Health Centers are in linancial crisis. On July 1, 2017 the DOH announced a new redistribution of non-Medicaid funding which resulted in extraordinary and unsustainable cuts to SBHCs in some of the most medically underserved and low-income areas of the State such as Buffalo, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and other high-need neighborhoods. The new allocation methodology resulted in cuts ranging from 26% to 70%. with many in the 45% to 66% range. It severely negatively impacted 13 New York City SBHCs with total reductions of $3,603,030 and three Upstate providers with a total loss of $415,844.
These administrative cuts come on the heels of the largest State Budget reductions in the 39-year history of the SBHC program- a 25% reduction in funds for direct health, mental health and preventive care, and reproductive health services to children and adolescents. The 2017-18 State Budget resulted in a 20% cut for SBHCs. In the 2013-14 State Budget, SBHCs were cut by 5%. In both cases, the proposal to include SBHCs in a public health consolidation and reduction plan originated in the proposed Executive Budget.
There are School Based Health Centers serving children in 46 Senate Districts and 78 Assembly Districts. The State’s 255 SBHCs provide services to over 200,000 children including primary, dental, mental, and reproductive health care services, as well as preventive, chronic and other types of care to underserved populations on-site in schools.
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