Volume #21 – Issue #4
CP OF NYS END OF SESSION PRIORITY BILLS
The New York State 2015 Legislative Session is scheduled to end on June 17. Because of the indictments of the Assembly Speaker and the Senate Majority Leader, who have both been replaced, and nervousness that any end of session horse trading could be interpreted as “pay to play,” the Legislature is expected to adjourn on June 17 or no later than June 19. There are a number of high profile issues that are currently being negotiated, such as New York City rent control laws and 421-A property tax abatement, tax credits for parents whose children go to private or parochial schools, an extension of the 2% tax cap, as well as a few others. It has been rumored that short term extenders (a few months to a year) are being negotiated for the laws that expire and that no other major laws will be negotiated so that the Legislature can end session on, or as close to, June 17 as is possible.
CP of NYS is following many bills during these last two weeks of session. We are advocating with the Legislature and the Governor’s office to pass our priority bills and we are educating them on the negative impact and flaws of what we consider “bad” bills. Below are a few of the CP of NYS priority bills that we are currently working on.
- DD Managed Care Supports by Nonprofit Providers – S.3638-A (Ortt)/A. 7200 (Gunther) – CP of NYS strongly supports this bill, which would require managed care entities to only contract with nonprofit providers of OPWDD long term care supports and services. This bill has passed the Senate and is scheduled to pass the Assembly.
- Repeal of MRT #26 Cut for Article 16 Clinics – S.4974 (Ortt)/A.7327 (Gunther) – CP of NYS strongly supports this bill which would repeal the cut to Article 16 clinics that serve patients that require more than the average number of therapies. This current cut clearly discriminates against individuals with developmental disabilities and is a violation of Olmstead, the ADA and individuals’ civil rights. The bills are currently in the Senate Finance and Assembly Ways & Means Committees.
- School Psychologists in 4410 and Early Intervention – S.5445 (LaValle)/A.5325 (Glick) – This bill would authorize school psychologists to provide evaluations and services for 4410 children. We are working with the sponsors and our colleagues to have this bill amended to include Early Intervention and include more appropriate language on employment. The bill is currently on the Assembly Floor and can be passed once amendments are agreed to and the Senate bill is in the Education Committee.
- ABLE Act Implementation – S.4472-A (Carlucci) and A.6516 (Gunther) – These bills, which need to be amended so that they are the “same as” in each House, will provide state authorization to establish the New York State Achieving Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, which is like a 529 college savings account but the ABLE Act is for expenses of individuals who were diagnosed with a disability prior to the age of 26. CP of NYS strongly supports these bills and the inclusion of additional consumer protections in a final version that will be the same in both Houses.
- Minimum Wage Increase and Reimbursement – S. 5838 (Ortt)/A. (Gunther) – Both Senator Ortt and Assemblymember Gunther have agreed to introduce the legislation, at the request of CP of NYS, to amend the Labor Law to require that, in the event the Commissioner of the NYS Department of Labor orders an increase in the minimum wage for a certain industry, the Commissioner must also recommend a necessary adjustment to State reimbursement rates paid to State funded Human Services providers to enable them to manage resulting recruitment and retention issues. CP of NYS strongly supports this legislation and we are working with our colleagues on a multi-faceted approach to address the Governor’s proposal to have the Wage Board recommend a minimum wage increase for the food service industry. The bills are in process and we will provide the bill numbers as soon as they become available.
- Complex Rehab in Managed Care – S.3651-C (Ortt)/A.5074-B (McDonald) preserves current fee for service Medicaid guidelines and practices for those who require high cost, individually configured equipment, once they are in Medicaid managed care. CP of NYS strongly supports this bill which is ready to be voted on in the Senate and is in the Assembly Ways & Means Committee.
- Employment First Choice Act – S.3893-B (Young)/A.5959 (Gunther) would provide individuals with the right to remain in a work center until the State has developed sufficient capacity and supports for them to find employment in the community. CP of NYS strongly supports this bill which is currently in the Senate Finance and Assembly Ways & Means Committees.
- Delay TBI and NHTD Waiver into Managed Care – S.5535 (Hannon)/A.7598 (Gottfried) would delay the transition of the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Nursing Home Transition and Diversion (NHTD) waiver populations into managed care until at least April 1, 2017. CP of NYS strongly supports this bill which is currently in the Senate Finance and Assembly Ways & Means Committees.
- “Bad Bills” – There are a number of bills that CP of NYS opposed and has been working to educate the Legislature and the Governor’s office on their negative impact. These bad bills include S.5213 (Savino)/A.7437 (Ryan) which would require not-for profits licensed by OPWDD, OMH or DOH to comply with the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) and the Open Meetings Law (OML), and A. 424-A (Abinanti) which creates a Family Bill of Rights which unfortunately impedes on the rights of individuals with developmental disabilities. This is poorly drafted, includes requirements that are impossible to comply with and enumerates rights that already exist. CP of NYS has spoken with the bill sponsors and legislative staff and we are comfortable that these bills, that would have a negative impact, will not pass both Houses of the Legislature at this time.
- S.4542-A (Klein)/A.2553-A (Benedetto) would allow the New York City Planning Commission and Community Boards to prevent the establishment or continued operation of multiple residence or center operated by the state, the city, or a not-for-profit organization, which provides housing accommodations and support services to ten or more residents, or fifty or more non-resident clients per day who have mental illness, trauma, abuse, chemical dependency and/or chronic illness, and shelters for the homeless, or abused women and children. This bill passed the Senate and is in the Assembly Cities Committee which is chaired by Assemblymember Benedetto who is the bill sponsor. CP of NYS is working with other advocacy groups to strongly oppose this bill. Although only for New York City, and not explicitly for OPWDD supports, this bill sets a terrible precedent and would seem to be unconstitutional so that the Governor would have to veto the bill if it were to pass both Houses.
CP of NYS is working on many other bills, but the above are some highlights. Please contact Barbara Crosier of the Affiliate Services Office if you have any questions about any of these or other legislation.
As mentioned above, CP of NYS has been working on the issue of the minimum wage and Governor Cuomo’s proposal to have the Wage Board recommend an increased minimum wage for food service industry workers. We are working with the Legislature on a bill (above) and are urging the Wage Board to take into consideration the impact a minimum wage increase for one sector has on other sectors, and include us in any minimum wage increase recommendations they may submit to the Governor.
Senator Ortt (R-Niagara) and Assemblymember Gunther (D-Sullivan), each of whom is the Chair of their House’s Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee, have agreed to introduce the legislation. We will send you the bill numbers as soon as they are available. The bill amends the Labor Law to require that, in the event the Commissioner of the NYS Department of Labor orders an increase in the minimum wage for a certain industry, the Commissioner must also recommend a necessary adjustment to State reimbursement rates paid to State funded Human Services providers to enable them to manage resulting recruitment and retention issues.
CP of NYS has also been working with our colleagues on a joint letter to the Wage Board and on expanding the coalition of human service providers who would be interested in joining our efforts. Additionally, the Wage Board put out a press releaseand is scheduled to hold public hearings on the increase for food service workers.
CP of NYS will be writing testimony, which we will send shortly and we encourage all Affiliates to provide testimony either in person or in writing. The tentative hearing schedule is:
- Week of 6/8 in New York City
- Week of 6/15 in Long Island
- Week of 6/22 in Albany
The Wage Board will consider all testimony, oral or written, that is received by the Wage Board by June 26, 2015. They state that written testimony is highly encouraged and can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to:
New York State Department of Labor
ATTN: Wage Board
Bldg. 12, Room 586
Harriman State Office Campus
Albany, NY 12240
We will provide you with further updates and information as soon as it is available.
Please do not hesitate to contact Mike Alvaro or Barbara Crosier at the Affiliate Services Office with any questions.
MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD ON THE PROPOSED WIOA REGULATIONS
ACCSES, CP of NYS’ partner in Washington, D.C., has identified 7 major areas of concern within the Department of Education’s proposed rules regarding State Vocational Rehabilitation Programs, State Supported Employment Programs and Limitations on Use of Subminimum Wage. It is time to make your voice heard to the Secretary of Education. Tell him how these proposed rules would directly affect your ability to provide services to people with disabilities, including those with the most significant disabilities.
Also, share the template letter with your consumers and their family members and ask them to also write to the Secretary of Education and tell him how these regulations would negatively impact their lives and their ability to continue to grow and succeed.
Please see the following three documents to assist you in understanding the areas of concern and a template letter to send to the Secretary of Education from your organization, and from your consumers/family members:
- ACCSES summary of 7 major areas of concern
- Template comment letter for providers, consumers, and family members
- ACCSES DRAFT comment letter to the Secretary of Education
To comment follow these easy steps:
- Go to www.regulations.gov
- Insert ED-2015-OSERS-0001 into the search bar
- Click Comment Now button
Copy and paste your comments and upload your letter following their directions.
CP OF NYS, NYSARC HOST ANNUAL CORPORATE COMPLIANCE CONFERENCE
Almost 200 attendees heard updates and critical new information from experts in their fields at Quality & Compliance Challenges 2015, the 8th Annual Corporate Compliance Conference for Providers Serving People with Disabilities, Tuesday, May 12 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Troy.
Susan Constantino, President & CEO of Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State, began the day with a welcome and thank you to all who attended the full-day conference. The conference continued with an early-morning session on compliance and quality issues, followed by a session on social media policies and procedures.
The afternoon began with two concurrent breakout sessions. Session #1 provided information on corporate compliance issues faced by clinics, and session #2 focused on how to reduce emergency room visits.
The final panel discussion offered best practices and insights to incident management and investigations in agencies providing disability services.
Click on the link below for more information on the conference and to access conference PowerPoint presentations.
HOME SERVICE DIRECTORS GATHER FOR ANNUAL SPRING MEETING
Home Service Directors representing CP of NYS Affiliates from around the state gathered in Cooperstown, April 23-24 for their annual spring meeting.
The spring meeting is an opportunity for an exchange of ideas and information between Home Service Directors, representatives from CP of NYS, and the New York State Elks Association (NYSEA) Major Projects Corporation.
James Peace, CEO of the Major Projects Corporation, and Irene Pashley, Chair of Major Projects, and her husband Jan, also attended the meeting to update attendees on fundraising efforts by the Elks and their support of the CP of NYS Home Service Program. The Elks contribute nearly $500,000 annually to support the Home Service Program. In addition, they provide three $10,000 grants to help selected Affiliates purchase vehicles to be used by Home Service Directors. The Elks have also recently increased the amount of money available to support worthy projects that benefit communities around the state. The NYSEA now offers two $5,000 grants each year to support innovative community programs. Several Affiliates represented at the spring meeting indicated that they will be applying for grants that will benefit communities in their regions.
The Home Service Directors also heard a presentation from CP of NYS Consultant Jim Moran on the current status of programs directed by the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). He touched on many topics, including the changes in Medicaid Service Coordination and the latest on Managed Care and Rate Rationalization.
The Home Service Directors and representatives from the NYSEA will meet again at the CP of NYS Annual Conference, October 26-28 at the Hilton Hotel in Saratoga Springs.
CAPLAN FOUNDATION FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD OFFERS GRANTS
The Caplan Foundation provides grants for innovative, creative projects and programs that will significantly enhance the development, health, safety, education or quality of life of children from infancy through five years of age. The Foundation provides funding in the following areas: Early Childhood Welfare, Early Childhood Education and Play, and Parenting Education.
The Caplan Foundation for Early Childhood has a two-step funding application process that includes both a letter of inquiry (LOI) and a full proposal. They invite full proposals only after reviewing letters of inquiry and only fund programs that fit their program guidelines.
Applicants must submit letters of inquiry online to the Foundation’s email address. The letter should contain facts and figures about the organization, describe its mission and explain the purpose of the funding request. Once a letter of inquiry is received by the Foundation, the Trustees will determine if the proposed program fits the Foundation’s funding guidelines. The Trustees will respond to letters of inquiry within 60 days. Successful applicants will be invited via email to submit full proposals.
Each letter of inquiry should include the following information:
- The organization’s official name, website address and contact information;
- A brief (250 word maximum) summary of the organization’s mission and recent program history;
- The organization’s 501(c)(3) Tax Exempt Status letter from IRS and its Federal Tax ID#;
- The total amount of the organization’s annual budget;
- The total amount of the proposed program budget;
- An indication of the amount and type of support being requested from all sources;
- A narrative description (1,000 words or less) of the issue(s) or need(s) to be addressed by the proposal, the work to be performed and the anticipated outcome; and
- A description of how the proposal fits the Foundation’s program guidelines.
CONGRATULATIONS TO PATTI CUNNINGHAM, CP ROCHESTER/HAPPINESS HOUSE!
Mary Boatfield (left), President & CEO, congratulates Patti Cunningham, Chief Administrative Officer and CFO, for CP Rochester, Happiness House, and Rochester Rehabilitation, for winning the 2015 Financial Executive of the Year award presented by the Rochester Business Journal.