Education & Human Services News February 25, 2019
Governor Cuomo Releases 30 Day Budget Amendments
On February 15, Governor Cuomo released formal amendments to the 2019-20 Executive Budget, referred to as “30-day amendments”. As a result of a decline in Personal Income Tax receipts in December and January, the State financial plan was revised in early February to reflect a $2.3 billion decline in revenue. The Governor acknowledged that the amendments would include revisions to adjust and realign finances to reflect updated impacts to the State financial plan.
The most significant adjustments made to the Executive Budget will impact the healthcare industry. Notably, a substantial cut to Medicaid has been proposed. The amendments require the Commissioner of Health to reduce state share Medicaid spending by $190.2 million for fiscal year 2019-2020 and fiscal year 2020-2021. The Governor indicated that this will result in an across-the-board reduction in Medicaid provider reimbursement by approximately 0.8%. This results in a gross reduction of $380.4 million in overall Medicaid spending. Comparable to previous years across the board Medicaid cuts, while the language mandates a uniform reduction in Medicaid rates, it also authorizes the Commissioner to implement an alternative reduction methodology in his or her discretion and after consultation with the health care industry. The mandated spending reduction exempts reductions that would violate federal law, such as payments required under Medicare; direct payments pursuant to Article 16, 31 and 32 of the Mental Hygiene Law; court ordered payments and judgments; payments for which the non-federal share does not reflect state funding; and payments which would result in a lower FMAP percentage should they be applied.
The 30-day amendments also include additional proposals that will impact the healthcare industry as well proposals that grant broad Executive powers to manage the State budget during the Fiscal Year (“FY”) 2020. For more details on these proposals, please contact us.
The 2019-20 fiscal year starts on April 1, 2019.
State Education Department (SED) Re-Launches Application for Degree-Granting Authority
The State Education Department’s Office of College & University Evaluation recently re-launched its website and is now accepting applications from institutions seeking degree-granting authority in New York State. As part of this re-launch, SED will be using new application materials and will be considering applicants under a more structured two-tiered review process. The overarching application criteria (e.g., demonstrated compliance with Part 52 program standards) remains the same as before, but the application itself has been heavily revised, is much more in-depth, and must be accompanied by various supplemental materials. The new website can be accessed here.
Applications Now Available for the NYS Child Welfare Worker Loan Forgiveness Incentive Program and the NYS Child Welfare Worker Incentive Scholarship Program
Two years ago, the Legislature created two new higher education opportunity programs aimed at helping voluntary not-for-profit child welfare agencies across New York State recruit and retain workers: the NYS Child Welfare Worker Loan Forgiveness Incentive Program and the NYS Child Welfare Worker Incentive Scholarship Program.
The New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) recently adopted emergency regulations pertaining to each of these programs. In addition, last week, the Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) announced the availability of applications. We have provided a summary for each of these programs below as well as a link to the application.
This program offers loan forgiveness awards to individuals who provide direct care services at a New York State-licensed child welfare agency. Recipients can receive up to $10,000 per year for up to 5 years, or the actual amount of the recipient’s student loan debt, whichever is less. In order to apply, students must meet eligibility requirements, including:
- be a NYS resident and have resided in NYS for 12 continuous months prior to applying for this Program;
- be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen;
- have obtained his/her undergraduate or graduate degree from a NYS college or university;
- have an outstanding balance on eligible student loan debt from obtaining such degree;
- apply within two years after college graduation;
- execute a Service Contract agreeing to work full-time as a child welfare worker providing direct care services in an OCFS-licensed voluntary not-for-profit child welfare agency in NYS for five years;
- be in a non-default status on a student loan made under any NYS or federal education loan program or repayment of any NYS award; and
- be in compliance with the terms of any service condition imposed by a NYS award.
This program provides individuals who are currently employed at a New York State-licensed child welfare agency with scholarship awards to pursue an Associate’s, Bachelor’s or Master’s degree that will enhance their ability to work as a child welfare worker. In order to apply, students must meet eligibility requirements, including:
- be a resident of NYS and have resided in NYS for 12 continuous months prior to the beginning of the term;
- be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen;
- be currently employed at a voluntary not-for-profit child welfare agency in NYS licensed by the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) with at least two years of full-time or part-time experience providing either (a) direct-care services to children and families or (b) non-direct care services, such as administrative and operational support services;
- be enrolled full time or part time in one of the following eligible undergraduate or graduate degree programs at a college or university located in NYS:
- Criminal Justice
- Human Services
- Mental Health Counseling
- Public Health
- Social Services
- Social Work
- be in a non-default status on a student loan made under any NYS or federal education loan program or on the repayment of any NYS award;
- be in compliance with the terms of the service condition(s) imposed by any previously received NYS award; and
- execute a Service Contract agreeing to work full-time as a child welfare worker providing direct care services in a NYS OCFS-licensed voluntary not-for-profit child welfare agency, and reside in NYS, for five years. View the terms and conditions of the service contract.
New York State Register
Voluntary Foster Care Agency Health Facility Licensure
The Department of Health (DOH) has issued a notice of adoption to license Voluntary Foster Care Agencies to provide limited health-related services. The proposed regulations were posted last year, and the Department did not receive any public comment.
Standards for Providers Who Wish to Become Licensed Children’s Mental Health Rehabilitation Programs
The Office of Mental Health (OMH) has issued a notice of proposed rule making to establish standards for providers who wish to become licensed Children’s Mental Health Rehabilitation programs to implement new State Plan services for children with mental health needs.
As a part of the Children’s Medicaid Redesign efforts, a new array of children’s behavioral health services was designed to better meet the needs of children and their families. The Children’s Mental Health Rehabilitation Program (CMHRS) is a vehicle for the implementation of the new State Plan services for children with mental health needs. Providers who become licensed as a CMHRS program will be responsible for the provision and coordination of five of the new State Plan services, including: Other Licensed Practitioner, Community Psychiatric Supports and Treatment, Psychosocial Rehabilitation, Family Peer Support, Services, and Youth Peer Support and Training. This regulation provides a new licensure category for existing children’s mental health providers or other interested service providers to become a CMHRS program. In addition, it establishes standard expectations and oversight parameters for all CMHRS program providers. Public comment will be received for 60 days.
Enhanced Tuition Awards Program
The Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) has issued a notice of emergency rule making to implement the Enhanced Tuition Awards Program so that awards can be processed for eligible scholarship applicants. The statute provides for tuition benefits to college-going students pursuing their undergraduate studies at a New York State private institution of higher education. Decisions on applications for this Program are made prior to the beginning of the term. Therefore, it is critical that the terms of the Program as provided in the regulation be effective immediately in order for HESC to process scholarship applications in a timely manner.
The Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) has issued a notice of emergency rule making to implement the Excelsior Scholarship so that awards can be processed for eligible scholarship applicants. The statute provides for full tuition benefits to college-going students pursuing their undergraduate studies at a New York State public institution of higher education. Decisions on applications for this Program are made prior to the beginning of the term. Therefore, it is critical that the terms of the Program as provided in the regulation be effective immediately in order for HESC to process scholarship applications in a timely manner.
New York State Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Incentive Program
The Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) has issued a notice of emergency rule making to implement the New York State Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Incentive Program so that awards can be processed for eligible scholarship applicants. The statute provides for tuition benefits to college-going students who, beginning in August, pursue an undergraduate program of study in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics at a New York State institution of higher education. High school students entering college in August must inform the institution of their intent to enroll no later than May 1. Therefore, it is critical that the terms of the program as provided in the regulation be available immediately in order for HESC to process scholarship applications so that students can make informed choices.
Outreach, Homeless Services Plans and Outcome Reporting
The Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) has issued a notice of emergency rule making to require each social services district to prepare a comprehensive homeless services plan, and to submit the homeless services plan for OTDA approval. Homelessness has reached crisis proportions in New York State. OTDA asserts that proposing this rule only as a “regular rule making” pursuant to the State Administrative Procedure Act should not be required, because to do so would be detrimental to the health, safety, and general welfare of individuals and families experiencing homelessness, while simultaneously preventing a new mechanism to help ensure State funds are expended effectively and with accountability. Accordingly, OTDA is promulgating this measure as an emergency rule.
Child Victims Act Signed into Law
On February 14, Governor Cuomo signed into law the Child Victims Act, which revises procedural requirements for certain types of lawsuits in order to provide victims of child sexual abuse with greater access to justice later in life.
The Child Victims Act has impacts on New York’s legal procedures that will be of interest to various government organizations – including State entities, cities, counties, towns, villages, fire districts, school districts, boards of education, boards of cooperative educational services, State-supported schools for deaf & blind students (4201 schools), and other municipal entities – as well as to private non-government organizations, such as private schools (including 853 schools), foster care agencies, religious organizations, child care organizations, and other private entities that work closely with children.
Procedures for both criminal prosecution and civil lawsuits are affected by the Child Victims Act. The changes to criminal prosecution procedures allow greater opportunities for criminal charges to be filed against individuals for certain crimes against children. The changes to civil lawsuit procedures allow greater opportunities for victims to file civil claims against certain public and private entities, and also eliminate certain procedural requirements (e.g., notice of claim) normally required to bring civil claims against many public entities. For more information on this new law, please contact us.
State Education Department (SED)
The New York State Pathways in Technology Early College High School (NYS P-TECH) Program will prepare thousands of New York students for high-skills jobs of the future in technology, manufacturing, healthcare and finance. The model incorporates a six-year program that combines high school, college, and career training and will be targeted to academically and economically at-risk students. The project seeks to fund regional partnerships that respond to the greatest need for enhanced access to post-secondary opportunity for students and the potential to build a local talent pipeline for industries with a favorable job outlook. Each partnership will include K-12, higher education, and business/employer partners. A New York State public school district or a BOCES must serve as the fiscal agent/applicant for each application.
Due April 10, 2019
Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD)
Three Developmental Disabilities Regional Offices are pleased to announce the availability of funding to provide supports and services to families that care for a family member with a developmental disability living at home. The goal of family support services is to assist families to remain intact for as long as they desire and avoid unnecessary out of home placement.
Finger Lakes – Due March 6, 2019
Long Island – Due March 27, 2019
Western New York – Due March 6, 2019
Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS)
The Division of Juvenile Justice and Opportunities for Youth (DJJOY) is seeking proposals to provide education, occupational skills training, and employment services to disadvantaged youth in their communities while also providing them with opportunities to perform meaningful work and service to their communities. Services will be based on the “Pay for Success” (PFS) program model. One of the most important characteristics of PFS is its grounding in performance and articulation of specific measurable outcomes that define success. Proposed metrics should allow for midcourse corrections, and outcome targets should be ambitious, yet achievable. Targets should be chosen to reflect meaningful outcome impacts for beneficiaries and, if possible, correspond to savings for the government.
Due March 15, 2019
State Education Department (SED)
The New York State Education Department is seeking proposals to maintain two pupil transportation database projects for the Department’s Pupil Transportation Report System. The first database project pertains to the School Bus Driver, Monitor, and Attendant Training Database, and would require the vendor to collect and tabulate information related to pupil transportation safety training course completions by school bus drivers serving public and non-public schools and by bus monitors and attendants. The second database project pertains to the School Bus Accident and Fatality Database, and would require the vendor to collect, tabulate, and analyze reports and information related to school bus accidents in New York State. Bidders are required to submit a proposal that addresses both database projects. The Department will award one contract for a five year period, anticipated to begin July 1, 2019.
Due February 28, 2019
Office of Children & Family Services
This Request for Proposals (RFP) includes funding from both the New York State William B. Hoyt Memorial Children and Family Trust Fund (Trust Fund) and the federal Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP) program. Together, these initiatives are designed to support community-based programs with the goal of preventing abuse/maltreatment and/or preventing the recurrence of abuse/maltreatment; and improving outcomes for families at risk of or experiencing child abuse, and family violence in all its forms. The Office is seeking proposals that will demonstrate how the proposed program will impact outcomes and improve the safety, permanency and well-being for children and families throughout New York State (NYS). Due to the complex issues facing families, better aligning public and private resources to support effective neighborhood-based interventions can create a continuum of care to improve outcomes for all community residents.
Due March 13, 2019
U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Violence Against Women
The Office of Violence Against Women (OVW) will be issuing awards in the range of $300,000 – $750,000 to institutions of higher education, or consortia of two or more institutions, for the purposes of providing training, data collection, personnel, technical assistance, and other equipment for the increased apprehension, investigation, and adjudication of persons committing sexual assault, stalking, dating violence, and domestic violence on campus; developing, strengthening, and implementing campus policies, protocols, and services that more effectively identify and respond to these crimes; training campus administrators, security personnel, and disciplinary panel members on campus policies, protocols, and services; developing, enlarging, and strengthening victim services programs and population-specific services on campuses, including legal, medical, and psychological counseling services; and other related priorities. Eligibility is limited to public and non-profit institutions of higher education that award associate’s degrees, baccalaureate degrees, graduate degrees, or professional degrees. The award period will begin October 1, 2019, and will last for a duration of 36 months.
Due March 14, 2019
Office of Mental Health
The Office invites eligible applicants to submit proposals for a dedicated training and technical assistance center. The Center would focus on assisting New York State’s children’s behavioral health providers working across the service continuum of care to enhance the quality of services within strong organizational and business models.
Due March 20, 2019
Department of Economic Development
To encourage greater collaboration between industry and New York’s research universities, ESD anticipates designating up to two Centers for Advanced Technology (CAT) under this RFP. The CAT Program is designed to spur technology-based applied research and economic growth in New York; encourage applied research collaboration and innovation with industry; promote workforce development; better leverage State funds with investments from the Federal government, industry, foundations, and not-for-profit economic development organizations; and increase the competitiveness of New York State Companies over the Center’s ten year designation period.
Due March 29, 2019
The NYS Board of Regents will meet on March 11 – 12, 2019.
The Senate Standing Committee on Banks and the Senate Standing Committee on Consumer Protection will hold a public hearing on the proposed Student Loan Consumer Assistance Program (SLCAP). Oral testimony will be by invitation only.