CPC Statement on the NYS FY 22-23 Enacted Budget
***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE***
Press Contacts: Wayne Ho, President & CEO (email@example.com) | 212-941-0920 x 143
CPC STATEMENT ON THE NYS FY 22-23 ENACTED BUDGET
New York, NY – The Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC) is disappointed by the passage of a $220 billion budget that missed the opportunity to make deep, transformative investments in a just recovery for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, communities of color, immigrants, and low-income New Yorkers, despite some key smaller investments in critical programs.
“In a year where the State was in a more stable fiscal position, we expected that the State would be investing in universal childcare, ending the home care crisis, raising worker wages and supporting those who lost employment, and expanding health insurance, not spending public dollars on a football stadium or criminalizing people. While we were thrilled to see critical investments like a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for human services workers and an expanded Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Equity Fund, overall this budget represented a missed opportunity to ensure that the communities hit hardest by the pandemic are supported and invest in a just economic recovery,” said Wayne Ho, President & CEO of the Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC).
CPC’s 125,000 community members have been hit hard by the pandemic, with 70% losing jobs or income, as social services have struggled to meet growing community needs with less funding. Over the past year, CPC staff and community members have been aggressively advocating on the frontlines to ensure that our most vulnerable communities are not left behind by this budget, including calling on the Governor to fully fund the Fair Pay for Home Care Act to ensure that home care workers are compensated with liveable wages for their tireless services, fighting for Coverage for All to be included in the budget, and pushing for human services workers to receive a COLA and living wage through their contracts. CPC will continue to advocate for a budget that not only meets the most urgent needs of our community, but prioritizes the needs of the most marginalized above all. Thank you to elected and government partners and allied organizations for advocating alongside us.
Below is a short summary of the wins and shortcomings for Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders, communities of color, immigrants, and low-income New Yorkers.
- Critical funding for a $20 million AAPI Equity Budget was included, which is an important investment made to address the horrific surge in AAPI hate crimes, the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19, and the historic underfunding of AAPI communities through funding vaccine and COVID-19 support, establishing a K-12 education curriculum, and funding hundreds of community based organizations across the state to implement recovery programming.
- We were thrilled to see an inclusion of a 5.4% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for over 800,000 essential human services workers delivering critical services through State contracts. This statutory COLA had been deferred for years under the previous administration, and this investment represents an important first step towards ensuring that State contracted human services receive just wages. We must also ensure that in implementing this critical COLA it is extended to all human services workers, including prevention services program staff.
- A critical $20 million investment was made into immigrant legal services and expanding the language access plan.
- The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) was replenished at $800 million, which will begin to address the 183,000 applications for rental assistance from the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to fight to secure funding for all who need ERAP support and pass Good Cause Eviction legislation.
- The Excluded Workers Fund was not replenished, leaving thousands of immigrant New Yorkers unable to receive the benefits they deserve to support their families during the recovery process of the COVID-19 pandemic, representing a huge blow to immigrant New Yorkers. We will continue pushing for a robust unemployment support and safety net system for all New Yorkers.
- While the budget increased wages for home care workers $2/hour in the coming fiscal year, it did not do nearly enough to raise home care worker wages, and also decoupled them from Medicaid reimbursement rates, which means that it will be in the hands of managed care plans to ensure that workers actually receive these increases. Anything less than the full 150% of the minimum wage coupled to Medicaid rates is insufficient to systematically address the home care crisis. Additionally, the State neglected to support and fund replacing 24-hour shifts with 12-hour split shifts. Our home care workers deserve better and we will continue to fight for Fair Pay for Home Care and the discontinuation of the 24-hour rule.
- The budget expanded postpartum Medicaid coverage for up to twelve months for all people regardless of immigration status, and removed the citizenship requirement for Medicaid for those 65 or older. While a good step, much more needs to be done to ensure healthcare access for all New Yorkers, including passing the full Coverage for All bill and the New York Health Act.
- While the budget included funding to expand childcare subsidies up to 300% of the Federal Poverty Line, it excluded undocumented children specifically, and failed to fund a universal child care system, which would create continuous high quality, free child care where every child has access to care from birth to age 13. We will continue advocating for a true universal childcare system.
- The budget did not restore the Child Welfare Financing structure (authorizing open-ended investment for the counties on child welfare services including prevention, child protective services, and more) to the statutorily mandated 65%, instead leaving it at 62%.
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