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Statement on the Assembly and Senate One-House Budget Bills

NEWS FROM THE HOME CARE ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK STATE (HCA)
For immediate Release: March 14, 2016
Contact: Roger Noyes, (518) 275-6961 (cell), or (518) 810-0665 (office)
Download official release at: http://hca-nys.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/PROneHouseBudgets031416.pdf

Statement from Home Care Association of New York State (HCA) President Joanne Cunningham on the Assembly and Senate One-House Budget Bills

While we await the availability of each house’s budget resolutions, thus far we see elements in the Assembly and Senate budget bills that are a step in the right direction, and we thank the Legislature for their ear and support. However, given the mammoth issues at stake in this budget, there remain a lot of moving pieces that need to fall into place for a full picture of home care’s status.

The Senate bill opposes the Governor’s minimum wage proposal. Though negotiations are ongoing, we appreciate the Senate’s recognition of the wage impact on home care and other sectors, and we urge its continued recognition of this impact in the next stages of negotiations.

While the Assembly includes a version of the Governor’s minimum wage proposal, it provides partial funding appropriations of $200 million. It is unclear, at present, how those appropriations would be disbursed across the entire range of affected entities, especially when our analysis finds that home care alone would have a $1.1 billion minimum wage cost impact in the first two years. [To learn more about the minimum wage impact on home care, see our March 1 press release “Get the Facts: Minimum Wage Hike” at http://hca-nys.org/press-releases/get-the-facts-minimum-wage-hike-and-its-2-19-billion-impact-for-home-care.]

The Assembly budget includes some major, responsive provisions proposed by HCA, to provide for home care-managed care rate adequacy to cover labor and other costs critical to the transition of the health care system in New York State. Both the Senate and Assembly also include elements of a much-needed investment pool for the community health care infrastructure.

These are significant steps, but again these pieces all need to be understood in a combined whole once the reconciliation process begins with the next phase of budget negotiations.

 

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