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11/9/18 CP News

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11/8/18 CP NEWS                                                              

Volume #24 – Issue #7

 

2018 ELECTION DAY RECAP

National:  Democrats Take House and Republicans Expand Hold in US Senate

In national mid-term elections, the Democrats obtained control of the House of Representatives while Republicans extended their control of the U.S. Senate.  While there are still a few races yet to be officially decided, it appears that the Democrats will hold at least 225 seats (218 are needed for control) and in the Senate, the Republicans are likely to control 55 of the 100 seats.  While there had been some who expected to see a “blue wave,” the results nationally were much more balanced than was predicted.  For health, disability and related issues, Democratic control of the House makes it is much less likely that cuts to Medicaid and moves to dismantle the Affordable Care Act will pass.  However, as the lost revenues of last year’s tax cut continue to increase the national debt, there is a likelihood/expectation that Senate Majority Leader McConnell will once again propose cuts to entitlement spending such as Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and other programs.

Democrats pick up three seats in the House

In three congressional districts, largely in rural areas, Antonio Delgado ousted Representative John J. Faso in the Hudson Valley, Anthony Brindisi led Representative Claudia Tenney in the Mohawk Valley and in New York City, Democrat Max Rose ousted Staten Island Republican Representative Dan Donovan.

Democrats now hold 21 of the 27 congressional districts in New York State.

Both Anthony Brindisi (Mohawk Valley) and Joseph Morelle (Rochester) were Assembly Democrats who were very supportive of their local CP of NYS Affiliate and champions for issues of concern to people with disabilities, their families and everyone who supports them.  We look forward to continue working with them, in Washington, D.C., as they join the NY House Delegation.

 New York State:  Democrats sweep statewide offices, take control of the NYS Senate and increase their majority in the Assembly.

In statewide elections, Democrat Andrew Cuomo defeated challenger Marc Molinaro, NYC Public Advocate, and Tish James becoming the first female Attorney General following her win over Republican Keith Wofford; Comptroller Tom DiNapoli also won reelection.  Incumbent United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand defeated Republican challenger Chele Farley to win her second full term.

 

New York State Senate – Senate Democrats Win Majority

 Long Island

While Democrats made modest gains across the country, the suburbs of New York City voted “blue.”  While votes are still being counted in some races, Democrats said they expect to have a strong majority of the Senate chamber’s 63 seats thanks to big wins on Long Island.

According to unofficial results, as many as four seats on the Island were flipped.  Democrat Monica R. Martinez defeated Republican Dean Murray, the local assemblyman, in the 3rd Senate District; James Gaughran beat veteran Republican Carl Marcellino in the 5th Senate District; Democrat Kevin Thomas beat Senate Health Committee Chairman Kemp Hannon in the 6th District; and Democrat Anna Kaplan defeated Republican Elaine Phillips in the 7th District. Democratic Senator John Brooks of Seaford also won a second term in the 8th District against Republican Jeffrey Pravato.

New York City

To the west, in New York City, Democratic challenger Andrew Gounardes declared victory over Republican Senator Marty Golden (22nd District) in a race that is as of now too close to call. Democrats won the day in New York City defending all of their seats.

Hudson Valley

Moving north, Hudson Valley Assemblyman James Skoufis defeated Republican Tom Basile in a contest to replace long-time Republican Senator Bill Larkin in the 39th District near West Point. Republican Senator Sue Serino, of the 41st District, held her seat in a victory over newcomer Karen Smyth. Democratic candidate Jen Metzger, a Rosendale Councilwoman, defeated former Assemblywoman Annie Rabbitt in a contest to replace retiring Republican Senator John Bonacic in the 42nd Senate District.  One Westchester County-based district is still too close to call because as of this writing 4 percent of districts have not yet closed down the vote count.  GOP incumbent Senator Terrence Murphy (40th District) was 2,100 votes behind Democrat Peter Harckman.

Capital District – Saratoga

In the Capital District and surrounding areas, incumbent Republican Senators George Amedore (46th District), Jim Seward (51st District), Jim Tedisco (49th District) and Betty Little (45th District) successfully defended their seats along with Democratic Senator Neil Breslin (44th District).  Republican Daphne Jordan defeated Democrat Aaron Gladd in the 43rd Senate District in the Saratoga region.  She will replace retiring Republican Sen. Kathy Marchione.

Central New York

In Central New York, Republican Bob Antonacci declared victory over Democrat John Mannion to replace retiring Senator John DeFrancisco (50th District) in a race that is deemed too close to call.  Antonacci is leading by over two-thousand votes though Mannion is not conceding until absentee ballots are counted.  Political newcomer Rachel May, a Syracuse Democrat, defeated Republican Janet Berl Burman in the campaign for the 53rd Senate District. May previously defeated incumbent Democratic Senator Dave Valesky in the September primary.

Rochester – Finger Lakes

Moving further west to Rochester, all three Republican incumbents successfully defended their seats.  In the 55th District, Senator Rich Funke defeated challenger Jen Lunsford, in the 54th District, Senator Pam Helming won over challenger Kenan Baldridge, and Senator Joe Robach (56th District) defeated challenger Jeremy Cooney. To the South of Rochester, Southern Tier Republican Tom O’Mara (58th District) soundly defeated challenger Amanda Kirchgessner.

Western New York

In the Buffalo region, Republican Senators Cathy Young (57th District), Chris Jacobs (60th District), Mike Ranzenhofer (61st District) and Rob Ortt (62nd District) defended their seats along with Democratic Senator Tim Kennedy (63rd District).

 

A number of our legislative champions will not return in January, either because of retirement or defeat, but Senator Kemp Hannon will be particularly missed.  Senator Hannon’s institutional knowledge and expertise on health care, managed care and disability issues will be greatly missed.  Senator Hannon has always been a wonderful friend and champion for CP of NYS Affiliates as well as all families, staff and providers of supports and services for people with developmental disabilities.

CP of NYS looks forward to working with all of the new members and Chairs of the New York State Senate and establishing new champions for those with developmental disabilities, their families and those who support them.

HERE is a chart of the NYS Senate races and outcomes.

 

New York State Assembly – Speaker Heastie maintains overwhelming majority

Long Island

Incumbents largely won the day in Assembly races across the state with a few exceptions, growing the Assembly Democratic Majority unofficially to 107 Democrats and 43 Republicans. The parties swapped two Assembly seats on Long Island. Republican Michael LiPetri ousted Christine Pellegrino, and Democrat Judy Griffin defeated Brian Curran.  Republican candidate Joseph De Stafano defeated Democrat Clyde Parker in a bid to replace Assemblyman Dean Murray. Democrat Taylor Raynor coasted to victory in Hempstead following her victory over longtime Assemblywoman Earlene Hooper in the September primary. Democratic challenger Judy Griffin defeated incumbent Republican Brain Curran in southern Nassau County.

New York City

In Queens, newcomer Catalina Cruz was elected to the 39th District following her primary victory over Assemblywoman Ari Espinal.  In Brooklyn Democrat Mathylde Frontus defeated Republican Steven Saperstein to fill the seat left vacant by Pamela Harris following her resignation, and former mayoral staffer Simcha Eichenstein will replace retired Assemblyman Dov Hikind after an uncontested election.  On Staten Island, Democrat Charles Fall won the election to replace Surrogate Judge-elect Matt Titone, while Republican Michael Reilly won his race to replace Assemblyman Ron Castorina who lost the Surrogate Judge contest.  In the Bronx, Democrat Karines Reyes will replace Luis Sepulveda who became a State Senator following a special election last spring.

Hudson Valley

In the Hudson Valley, Democrat Nader Sayegh won over challenger Joe Pinion in a bid to replace Shelley Mayer who also became a State Senator following a spring special election. Republicans flipped a seat in the 99th District after Colin Schmitt defeated challenger Matthew Rettig in a bid to replace Senator-elect Jim Skoufis.  The race for the state’s 104th Assembly District in Newburgh ended with Democrat Jonathan Jacobson capturing the seat, defeating Republican rival Scott Manley in a bid to replace the late Assemblyman Frank Skartados.

Capital Region – Saratoga – North Country – Mohawk Valley

All incumbents, Democrat and Republican, successfully defended their seats in the Capital Region and Saratoga.  In the Mohawk Valley, Republican Robert Smullen won over Democrat Keith Rubino to succeed retiring Assemblyman Marc Butler while Democrat Marianne Buttenschon won in her effort to fill the seat vacated by Congressman-elect Anthony Brindisi.  In the North Country, incumbent Addie Jenne lost her election to Republican Mark Walczyk in the 116th District.

Central New York – Finger Lakes – Rochester

In the Finger Lakes, Republican John Salka defeated incumbent Bill Magee to represent the 121st district, and Republican Brian Manktelow will replace retiring Assemblyman Bob Oaks. In the Rochester region, Republican Marjorie Byrnes will replace Assemblyman Joe Errigo following her primary victory over the Assemblyman. Rochester Democrat Jamie Romeo will replace Congressman-elect Joe Morelle following an uncontested election.

Western New York

In Western New York, Democrat Patrick Burke defeated incumbent Erik Bohen in a rematch of their April special election to fill the 142nd District left vacant by Mickey Kearns.  Democrats took the 146th District in Erie County following a win by Karen McMahon over incumbent Republican Ray Walter.

HERE is a chart of the Assembly races and outcomes.

Barbara Crosier

 

#bFair2DirectCare

The #bFair2DirectCare Coalition has begun the advocacy campaign to have the next phases of the living wage funding added to the 2018-2019 State Budget.  This advocacy includes:

The Provider/Agency #bFair2DirectCare Survey

CP of NYS sent a reminder for all Affiliates to fill out the survey.  If your Affiliate has not already done so, please be sure to complete and submit the 2018 turnover and vacancy survey by no later than Friday, November 9th.

As we work to obtain the 3rd and 4th years of funding in our 6-year campaign to obtain funding to support a living wage, we need to have the most accurate data that we can for our advocacy efforts with OPWDD and the New York State Division of the Budget.  Unfortunately, the survey response rate to date is well below previous years, and we need to get at least to the level of participation we had so that our data truly is comparable to previous years’ data.  Your organization’s information is critical to our success, so please complete and submit your survey response HERE.

Remember that the #bFair2DirectCare funding is in addition to any funding to meet the minimum wage requirement – we thank you on behalf of our Bfair2DirectCare Coalition!

Tool Kit

The updated #bFair2DirectCare tool kit with draft letters, press releases, etc., will be available in the next week or so.

Barbara Crosier

 

DOB CALL LETTER TO STATE AGENCIES

The Governor’s Division of the Budget (DOB) issued the FY2020 “Budget Call Letter” to all NYS Agencies on October 5th. This “Call Letter” signals the official start of the State fiscal year FY2020 (4-1-19 to 3-31-20) Budget process.  DOB indicates the FY2020 Executive Budget will again hold overall state spending growth to two percent.  State Agencies, like OPWDD, are directed to submit budget requests for FY2020 for both State (Agency) Operations (SO) and Aid to Localities (ATL) (OPWDD Medicaid, etc.) that assume zero growth from FY2019 cash ceilings.  It is because of the “Call Letter’s” direction to OPWDD for zero spending growth that the #bFair2DirectCare survey and advocacy is so important.  Please fill out the survey and join in local and statewide #bFair2DirectCare advocacy activities.

Barbara Crosier

 

#OurKidsAreYourKids

CP of NYS and our COPA colleagues sent a letter to the Chancellors, Regents and Commissioner Elia to stress that the 4410 and 853 crisis is increasingly leaving children without services and this must be addressed.

Additionally, we met with Jamie Frank, Deputy Education Secretary to the Governor, the Assembly Education Committee staff, central staff and SED.  We will be meeting with the Division of Budget and the Senate in the upcoming weeks on the letter, these issues and some immediate ways that the crisis can begin to be addressed, including:

  • Authorizing (either administratively or statutorily) that growth be added every year to the interim rates.
  • Adding an additional $14 million, in the 2019-2020 State Budget, to the 4410 and 853 teacher recruitment and retention funding to narrow the gap between our special education schools and public school salaries to what it was prior to the years of 0% growth.
  • Authorizing 4410 schools, in addition to 853 schools and public schools, outside of NYC, to use OLAS to recruit teaching staff for schools.

Barbara Crosier

 

FEDERAL PRIORITIES

Electronic Visit Verification (EVV)

CMS held a national call on Wednesday, November 7, 2018 to solicit stakeholder feedback on Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) implementation.  This was in keeping with the sense of Congress language in H.R. 6042/the bill that delays EVV implementation from 1-1-19 to 1-1-20, indicating that CMS should “convene at least one public meeting in 2018 for the purpose of soliciting ongoing feedback from Medicaid stakeholders on guidance issued May 16, 2018 regarding electronic visit verification.”

During the call, CMS addressed information submitted in advance through the previously established EVV mailbox (EVV@cms.hhs.gov) and provided an opportunity for individuals to offer additional feedback at that time as well. Additional questions can be sent to the EVV mailbox.

Please click HERE for a number of resources, including the statutory language requiring EVV usage, and implementation materials issued by CMS to-date based on that statute.

The Kaiser Family Foundation’s (KFF) Medicaid State Survey

The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) released its 18th Annual Medicaid State Survey (summary HERE, full report HERE) on October 25.  Highlights include:  a focus on workforce and direct care workforce; 24 states had wage increase in FY 2019 and 15 states had wage increase in FY 2018; 32 states reported rate increases in FY 2018 and 31 in FY 2019; and there is a trend of States moving to managed care and cutting adult dental services.

On September 27, the KFF updated their collection of state Medicaid fact sheets which summarize Medicaid coverage and spending nationally and in each state. The fact sheets for each state are accessible via an interactive map of the U.S. and display a wide range of data, including:

  • The share of the state population covered by Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), including the number covered by the Medicaid expansion in the 33 expansion states.
  • Medicaid eligibility levels and Medicaid’s role for low-income adults, children, nursing home residents and individuals with disabilities.
  • Program spending.

Also available on the KFF website are the  State Health Facts database with state-level data about Medicaid spending, enrollment, eligibility levels and more.

National Council on Disability Releases Two Reports

On October 16, the National Council on Disability (NCD) released a report titled “National Disability Employment Policy, From the New Deal to the Real Deal: Joining the Industries of the Future.”  This report follows a report released by the NCD in 2012 that called for a phase out of the special minimum wage allowed under Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act.  This report again calls for a phase out of Section 14(c) as well as amending the Javits Wagner O’Day Act to make changes to the AbilityOne system.  To read the report, go HERE.

On October 31, the NCD released its annual progress report on national disability policy titled, “Has the Promise Been Kept? Federal Enforcement of Disability Rights Laws.”  Each year, NCD submits a report to the White House and Congress to report on the progress of national policy on behalf of people with disabilities and to offer recommendations on continuing, new, and emerging issues that affect their lives.  Click HERE to read the full report.

Barbara Crosier

 

OPWDD OFFERING PUBLIC FORUMS ON MANAGED CARE FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES AND THEIR FAMILIES

The NYS Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) has scheduled a series of forums for families and people with disabilities on managed care that will be held at multiple sites across the State for people with disabilities and their families to receive information and ask questions regarding the state’s transition to managed care. This is also an opportunity for you to tell officials what matters most to you when it comes to services. OPWDD Regional Directors will be involved in these meetings, so they may be a resource if you have any questions about the event.

Please click HERE for a list of scheduled forums with dates, times and locations.

To register for the forum nearest to you, please call or e-mail the regional office staff by three business days before the event.  Along with your reservation, please indicate if you need special accommodations, including language translation.

 Al Shibley

 

ELKS HOME SERVICE UPDATE

CP of NYS Home Service Directors were joined by some Affiliate public relations and development directors for the fall meeting with the NYS ELKS at the CP of NYS Annual Conference October 15 in Saratoga Springs. There was discussion about the future of Home Service and how advocacy and community involvement would continue to be cornerstones of the program despite ongoing changes in how supports and services are provided by our organizations.

There was also much discussion about the interaction between the NYS ELKS Association, individual lodges and the various Affiliates. We encourage Affiliates to reach out to and interact with local lodge personnel regarding special events. We want to continually emphasize, however, that the first and primary goal of the ELKS Major Projects Corporation is to support the Home Service program.

Attendees were also encouraged to support local lodges’ Major Projects fundraising events and the Home Service Program.  The ELKS are also always encouraged to be aware of and, when possible, to support their local CP of NYS Affiliates.

Jamie Peace, NYS ELKS Major Projects Corporation Board Chairman, and Jan Pashley, Major Projects Committee Chair, discussed several topics at the meeting. Mr. Pashley’s term as Chair will expire in the spring and he will help transition Dave and Vicki Brown into the position over the next several months. Jan has done a terrific job during his time as Chair and he will be missed, but the Browns are very knowledgeable about the program and have been very involved in the process at the local, regional and state levels.

Mr. Peace also mentioned that the current Ambassador Families’ term expire next May and we are asking for Affiliates to consider nominating a family receiving services from them to serve in the role. We are seeking 2 or 3 families from different regions of the state to reduce the amount of travel. A description of the Ambassador Family role has been emailed to all Home Service Directors.

It was also announced that three Affiliates had accepted the annual $10,000 grants to help with the purchase cost of replacement vehicles for their Home Service programs. CP of Nassau County, Upstate Cerebral Palsy and E. John Gavras Center all accepted grants for new vehicles.

The NYS ELKS also awarded 10 CP of NYS Affiliates grants of varying amounts to support special projects including a music program, augmentative communications and a fitness program. The Affiliates receiving grants this year:

  • AccessCNY $2,500
  • Adapt Community Network $3,250
  • Aspire of WNY $1,000
  • CP Nassau $2,000
  • CP Rochester $2,000
  • Empower $3,250
  • Happiness House $1,050
  • HCA $2,000
  • Prospect Center $3,000
  • UCP of Long Island $5,000

 

Cheryl Smith from HCA receives a $2,000 check from Jamie Peace to support a fitness program.

 Al Shibley

 

ANNUAL CONFERENCE A SUCCESS

Thanks to outstanding support from our Affiliates and a broad array of sponsors, the 2018 Annual Conference drew more than 700 people from all over the state who heard an excellent mix of speakers and were able to engage with colleagues at other Affiliates.  The nearly 50 workshops, educational sessions, and meetings on issues that are important to people with disabilities, their families and CP Affiliates were highly reviewed in the initial conference evaluations.

The conference officially began with a keynote presentation by Elaine Angelo at Noon on October 15 in the Saratoga City Center. Her humorous yet informative talk provided results of research and practical tips on the environment of the multi-generational workplace in America. Ms. Angelo encouraged attendees to embrace generational diversity in their organizations and provided examples of cultural and attitudinal differences between generations and how to accept and manage those differences.

The afternoon schedule included a presentation from Kerry Delaney, Acting Commissioner of the NYS Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). Acting Commissioner Delaney discussed the future of supports and services for people with developmental disabilities in New York State.

World-renowned fashion photographer Rick Guidotti kicked off the second day with a Keynote presentation that was extensively covered by local news.  Mr. Guidotti’s highly engaging session told his story of working in the fashion industry and the creating a not-for-profit called Positive Exposure. What started with photographs has grown into a variety of programs to empower people living with difference, and to educate the world around them. His inspiring talk discussed how he is working to change perceptions of people everywhere.

Following the Keynote we presented a panel discussion on advocacy and government engagement conducted by NYS Assemblymembers Melissa Miller and Angelo Santabarbara and News 10 ABC Anchor Christina Arangio.  The panelists discussed the importance of family advocacy as it relates to educating government officials and the media on the issues important to the health and well-being of people with disabilities and their families. All three panelists are parents of children with developmental disabilities.

Conference highlights also included a presentation by fitness expert Eric Chessen on the importance of physical fitness for people with autism and a two-hour training on civilian response to an active shooter event conducted by Ronald Messen of the Albany County Sheriff’s Office.  Session attendees received practical information about what to expect during an incident, what to expect from law enforcement, and how to respond to law enforcement.

Once again, our celebration of staff at the Tuesday evening awards dinner provided a chance for everyone to relax and have a good time as they celebrate the accomplishments of 75 employees from Affiliates across the state.

Next year’s conference will be held once again in Saratoga, so be sure to save the dates for 2019:  October 28-30.   Planning the 2019 conference will begin in January and we want your input.  All our evaluation forms are now on line at the links below. Please click on the links, take just a few minutes to tell us what you did and did not like about the conference and what we might do better in the future.

·        MONDAY SESSION EVALUATIONS

·        TUESDAY SESSION EVALUATIONS

·        OVERALL CONFERENCE EVALUATION

We would like to once again thank our CP of NYS Annual Conference sponsors:  Irwin Siegel Agency; The Beacon Group; BDO USA, LLP; Focused Wealth Management and Total Care RX/Worlds Fair Pharmacy. For more information on the conference and speakers, please visit the CP of NYS website.  Or view coverage of the event HERE.

Al Shibley

 

NYS HEALTH FUNDING OPPORTUNITY 

Sponsoring Conference Participation in Support of Healthy Communities, Consumer Empowerment, and Veterans’ Health

Funding is now available through a New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth) Request for Proposals (RFP): Sponsoring Conference Participation in Support of Healthy Communities, Consumer Empowerment, and Veterans’ Health. Many organizations across the State are doing smart, innovative work that is relevant to NYSHealth’s priority areas of building healthy communities and empowering health care consumers and its focus on veterans’ health. Organizations should be informing key stakeholders at conferences and other events in New York and nationally. Because of a lack of resources, they are often unable to do so.

Through this RFP, NYSHealth will sponsor community-based organizations, health departments, and other low-resource organizations to attend and present at local, State, and national conferences related to these funding areas. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.

Find out more, including how to respond to the RFP HERE.

Al Shibley

 

SSA ANNOUNCES COST OF LIVING INCREASES FOR 2019

The Social Security Administration announced a 2.8% cost-of-living adjustment (https://www.ssa.gov/cola/) for Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits in 2019.  The Social Security Act provides for annual COLA increases based on inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers.  According to SSA, the average monthly Social Security benefit for a retired worker will increase by $39, from $1,422 in 2018 to $1,461 in 2019.  The average monthly benefit for a Social Security disabled worker beneficiary will increase by $34, from $1,222 in 2018 to $1,256 in 2019.  In addition, the SSI Federal Payment Standard will increase from $750 per month in 2018 to $771 per month in 2019.

Barbara Crosier