January 25, 2024

Governor Hochul's Proposed Budget Prioritizes Independence for People With Developmental Disabilities

Governor Hochul's Proposed Budget Prioritizes Independence for People With Developmental Disabilities

Governor Hochul has released her Fiscal Year 2025 Budget proposal which is the first step in the New York State Budget process. The Governor and the Legislature will begin negotiations and reach an agreement on a final enacted New York State Budget. The final Budget deadline outlined in the New York State Constitution is April 1. 

The Governor’s Executive Budget proposal shows her continued support for people with developmental disabilities as she calls for growing State spending on OPWDD programs by $230 million to more than $5 billion – an increase of 4.8 percent.

2025 Budget Highlight - Grows State spending by $230 million - more than $5 billion in fiscal year 2025

For the third consecutive year, Governor Hochul’s Executive Budget proposal provides a Cost-of-Living Adjustment to service providers. The budget proposes that these programs receive a 1.5% increase, which would build on the 5.4% increase in FY 2023 and the 4.0% increase in FY 2024, for a cumulative increase of nearly $1 Billion to OPWDD provider agencies. The proposed budget also provides $79 million to recalculate provider reimbursement rates. The proposed 1.5% COLA and required rate action would provide an increase of more than $480 million for the provider network when fully implemented. These increases would provide fiscal relief to providers and allow them to offer more competitive wages to staff.

2025 Budget Highlight- Another 1.5 percent for cost-of-living adjustments for nonprofit providers, a total increase of nearly $1 billion over three years; 2025 Budget Highlight- $6.7 million for OPWDD to lead New York's Employment First Initiative

Supporting Independence for People with Developmental Disabilities

The proposed Executive Budget includes $6.7 million to support New York’s commitment to becoming an Employment First State and further the state’s employment goals by providing more New Yorkers with disabilities the opportunity to seek employment.

Nursing Tasks to Support Independent Living
The Governor’s proposed Executive Budget offers more opportunities for people with developmental disabilities to live with greater independence by proposing legislation that would allow direct support staff to perform certain nursing tasks in private apartments, homes, or in the community.

Direct Support Staff would take on nursing tasks in private homes, improving opportunities for independence

Funding New Services
The 2025 Executive Budget again proposes to invest in new service opportunities to meet the needs of people coming into our system for the first time and people who may need a change in their existing services. It calls for investments in new State resources, which when leveraged by federal resources, would add up to $120 million.

The proposed Budget would continue the annual $15 million capital investment in community-based housing. With this additional funding, the State will have invested a total of $140 million in capital resources for people with developmental disabilities as part of the state's Integrated Supportive Housing (ISH) program.

Home Enabling Supports
The Executive Budget proposal includes more than $3 million to establish Home Enabling Supports as an Assistive Technology, which would provide alternative services, equipment or supplies not provided through Medicaid.

Olmstead Plan
The proposed Executive Budget provides $250,000 for New York’s Most Integrated Setting Coordinating Council (MISCC) to issue an updated Olmstead Plan, describing New York’s commitment to supporting people in the most integrated settings appropriate to their needs.

Special Olympics New York
The Executive Budget also calls for a $1 million annual funding increase for the Special Olympics of New York (SONY). The funding would support SONY's programs which include sports training, skill building and competition, and free health screening and health education to people with developmental disabilities.