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News Release
Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 2, 2018

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Plan Makes Significant Investments in the Homelessness Pilot Program
To Prevent and Reduce Homelessness


Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie today announced that the enacted SFY 2018-19 Budget will include funding to combat and prevent homelessness, provide families with much-needed services and resources, address the heroin and opioid crisis and deliver veterans the vital services and resources they need.

"For the Assembly Majority, putting families first means ensuring that they have access to affordable housing, child care and other day-to-day necessities," said Speaker Heastie. "This budget restores funding for these critical programs and invests in innovative ideas for tackling some of our state's greatest challenges."

"There are over 150,000 homeless children in New York State and another 80,000 families on the brink of homelessness," said Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi, chair of the Social Services Committee. "The pilot program funded in this year's budget will enable families to escape homelessness, and prevent homelessness for those who are struggling on the brink in today's tough housing market."

"The Assembly Majority is committed to improving the lives of children and families across New York State," said Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee, chair of the Committee on Children and Families. "This budget is a positive step forward in ensuring families have access to the safe, high-quality, affordable child care they deserve and that communities have the resources, services, and programs they need to support our most vulnerable children and youth, our caregivers and families, as well as those dedicated individuals who work on the front lines."

"Substance use disorder has tragically taken the lives of tens of thousands of New Yorkers," said Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, chair of the Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Committee. "This budget makes a commitment to begin aggressively funding comprehensive prevention, treatment and recovery programs in the state. This budget reflects the beginning, and not the end of that commitment." "Despite their selfless act of service to our country, veterans often face many challenges when they transition back to civilian life," said Assemblymember Michael DenDekker, chair of the Veterans' Affairs Committee. "The funding in this budget for vital veterans' services and programs helps ensure that they have access to the support they and their families need to ease the transition to civilian life."

Social Services

The approved budget includes funding for a homelessness pilot program to provide a rent supplement for individuals and families on public assistance who are homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless and reside in New York City or the City of Rochester. The $15 million program would provide shelter supplements up to 100 percent of federal fair market rent for four years. The program will conclude with a study to evaluate its effectiveness.

An additional $15 million is included to support minimum wage costs for human services workers not previously covered.

The enacted budget also provides $18.97 million in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funding, including restoration for the following programs:

The proposal also includes a restoration of $1.5 million for the Disability Advocacy Program.

The budget also allocates $2 million for refugee resettlement agencies, as well as $350,000 in assistance for nonprofits resettling people from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Children and Families

The approved budget also includes a plan for anticipated federal funds for child care between $105 million and $128 million that the state will receive. Up to $80 million of the funding will be earmarked for federal Child Care and Development Block Grant Act compliance, including:

At least $10 million of the anticipated federal funding will be allocated to supplement local funding for subsidized child care slots. The remainder will be applied to funding for the new child care market rate that will become effective on October 1, 2018.

The enacted budget also includes $17 million to restore the proposed cap on the City of New York's Child Welfare Services funding stream, which is used to fund preventive services, child protective services, adoption subsidies and other programs that help keep children out of foster care and New York's families united.

The spending plan also includes funding for various local initiatives, including:

The Heroin and Opioid Crisis

The approved budget also establishes the Opioid Stewardship Fund to provide $100 million in funding for heroin and opioid treatment, prevention and recovery services. The program would require manufacturers and distributors licensed to sell or distribute opioids in the State of New York to deposit an amount of money based on their eligible opioid sales in the state into the Opioid Stewardship Fund and ensure that the cost is borne by the manufacturers and distributors, not the consumers.

The plan also restores $2 million to fund the Substance Abuse Prevention and Intervention Specialist (SAPIS) program in New York City through the Department of Education. An additional $1.5 million is allocated to establish a behavioral health ombudsman program to assist insured enrollees with coverage issues related to mental health or substance use disorders. The budget also includes $1.5 million for various programs related to substance use disorder treatment, prevention and recovery.

Veterans Services

The 2018-19 approved budget also provides $1.96 million in community initiatives for the Division of Veterans' Affairs, including: