Governor Cuomo Unveils State of the State Agenda

Lauren Pollow in Legislative

This afternoon Governor Andrew M. Cuomo unveiled his 2018 State of the State agenda to begin the Legislative Session. Governor Cuomo’s agenda contains a long list of policies including efforts to mitigate the impact of federal tax reform, manage ongoing infrastructure issues, combat sexual harassment, continue economic development, and remain a “beacon for social progress”. While the budget gap exceeds $4 billion with an additional $2 billion cut in Federal aid, the Governor has laid out an ambitious agenda during the final State of the State of his second term.

While few detailed proposals are unveiled during the State of the State, the Governor briefly discussed a commitment to preserve Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). “In New York, healthcare is not just for the rich, it’s a human right” and later indicating “we’re going to protect it.” Only one health care initiative was mentioned in the presentation, joined by two additional proposals outlined in the briefing book as follows:

Vital Brooklyn Initiative: The Executive proposes $1.4 billion to transform Central Brooklyn and serve as a national model for high-need communities. This initiative will target and invest in eight integrated areas to improve chronic health disparities and address social determinants of health. This will be accomplished by increasing access to health food, preventative care, and affordable housing in Brooklyn, New York.

Expanding Telehealth Services: The Governor has proposed expanding access to telemedicine, citing challenges for rural New Yorkers and ongoing provider shortages. The Governor seeks to modernize telehealth by ensuring telehealth services are covered in more settings under Medicaid. Under the Governor’s proposal, qualifying individuals will be able to receive telehealth services wherever they are located, including their own home. His proposal includes a pilot program to address rural resource constraints that prevent appropriate IT investment for providers.

Community Paramedicine: The Governor proposes to address issues facing rural emergency medical technicians (EMT) agencies through recruitment, retention, and strengthening of the system across New York State. In the proposal, the Department of Health (DOH) will launch a coordinated media and educational campaign to heighten awareness of EMS employment opportunities. Additionally, DOH will be proposing a Community Paramedicine collaborative to expand the scope of services carried out by emergency medical technicians (EMTs).

With respect to the Republican tax legislation, the Governor referred to the bill as “an assault on New York” and will be filing a lawsuit to challenge the legality of the law on an equal protection basis. The Governor proposes to change the State’s income and payroll tax system, include new opportunities for charitable contributions, and is contemplating an end to the carried interest loophole.

The Governor’s Executive Budget Proposal is due by January 17th and NYSHFA/NYSCAL will be sending out detailed information on the proposals impacting the delivery of long-term care as they become available.

NYSHFA/NYSCAL CONTACT:

Lauren E. Pollow
Director of Government Affairs
518-462-4800 x25