NEW YORK STATE BUDGET
OVERVIEW & ADVOCACY PLAN
Governor Andrew Cuomo's 2015-2016 Executive Budget, released on January 21st, contains proposals with both positive and negative impacts on domestic violence victims and victim service providers, which we have summarized below. We will be sending out position statements about many of these budget items and their impact on domestic violence victims and services providers in the days to come. This update includes an action plan to communicate with the legislature over throughout the budget process.
Key Elements of the Executive Budget Proposal Include:
As in past years, the TANF funding for non-residential domestic violence service providers has been eliminated. NYSCADV is strongly opposing this elimination and pushing for $6 million in TANF funding for non-residential services. Click here for the Memorandum of Strong Opposition, and don't forget to call your legislators!
The Title XX funding, earmarked for adult protective and domestic violence services, remains intact at $66 million.
The Hoyt Children's Trust Fund, allocated through an RFP process and used for a number of preventative services including domestic violence and elder abuse prevention, remains the same at $621,850.
The Flexible Fund for Family Services (FFFS) contains TANF money that can be used flexibly and with local discretion. Counties can use FFFS for a broad range of TANF related programs, including domestic violence screening and non-residential services. The 2015-2016 budget proposed a slight decrease from the 2014-2015 budget.
Civil legal services funding - we are working with our allies to make sure the funding is maintained or increased.
Domestic violence survivors were included in the list of eligible populations for a new $116 million statewide supportive housing program that will create 5,000 new supportive housing units.
The Governor has proposed a $50 million Nonprofit Infrastructure Capital Investment Program to make targeted investments in capital projects, with the goal of improving the quality, efficiency, and accessibility of eligible nonprofit human services organizations that provide direct services to New Yorkers.
The Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence saw a continuation in funding for the state domestic and sexual violence hotline, research, evaluation, training, technical assistance, and demonstration projects.
The budget proposes increased funding for the Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program (HPNAP) by $4.5 million.
The Governor proposes another increase of the minimum wage to $11.50 in New York City and $10.50 in the remainder of the state, effective December 31, 2016.
The Governor proposed a Statewide Campus Prevention and Response Policy for all colleges and universities. The policy requires that all public and private colleges and universities in New York State institute the sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking prevention and response policy newly adopted by the SUNY system. NYSCADV is currently reviewing the proposal and will be releasing a position statement soon.
The mandatory arrest law was extended to 2017.
The Executive Budget includes a proposal requiring police departments to report the number of arrests made for misdemeanors and non-criminal violations.
The Governor has also proposed limiting immunity from prosecution in exchange for testimony before a grand jury. We are working with our allies to analyze the potential effects such a bill might have on domestic violence victims involved in the criminal justice system.
It is important for us to hear from you directly about your thoughts on the budget, so please do not hesitate to contact us at 518-482-5465 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Schedule an In-District Meeting or Event - Week of February 16, 2015
The legislature is not in session the week of February 16th. Schedule an appointment to meet with your legislators in their district office or, better yet, invite them to visit your non-residential program or administrative office so they can see firsthand the amazing services offered by local domestic violence service providers. Need help coming up with ideas for an event like this? Contact us by phone at 518-482-5465 or email email@example.com.
Submit, Watch or Review the Testimony Provided at Public Hearings - February 4th, 5th & 26th
The Legislature is holding joint public hearings to learn more about the impact that the budget has on constituents. Follow this link to find the contact information for submitting written testimony. NYSCADV will be submitting testimony regarding our positions on the budget. If you are interested in submitting written testimony, it must be submitted within 5 days before or 7 days after the public hearing. Contact NYSCADV if you would like tips for drafting testimony. The following three are relevant to victims of domestic violence and local domestic violence service providers:
Human Services - Wednesday, February 4, 2015, 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM. This is the hearing regarding TANF Non-Res funding. (Deadline for submitting written testimony: February 11, 2015)
Housing - Thursday, February 5, 2015, 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM (Deadline for submitting written testimony: February 12, 2015)
Public Protection - Thursday, February 26, 2015, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM (Deadline for submitting written testimony - March 5, 2015)
Update on Budget Advocacy Day - Make the Budget Count for Survivors! - March 3rd, 2015
NYSCADV's Budget Advocacy Day was originally scheduled for February 10th. Due to changes in leadership within the New York State Assembly, we have re-scheduled the day in early March.
On March 3rd, we will be hosting a mobile statewide budget advocacy day - an opportunity for staff members of domestic violence service providers from across the state to call, fax, and email legislators letting them know about the specific needs of domestic violence victims in our state. We will also be using social media to spread the message, and ask programs to join us in this effort. Also, we encourage survivors to contact their elected officials to let them know how important these issues are. We will be sending out detailed information about the campaign in the days to come. This will include sample call dialogues, emails, letters and social media posts. NYSCADV staff and board members will be scheduling in person meetings with key legislators and officials within the Executive Chamber that same day. Our hope is that the legislature and Governor's Office hear a resounding message from every domestic violence program in New York State - that they must make the budget count for survivors of domestic violence!