2010-2011 Executive Budget – Briefing Book
- Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance
- Office of Children and Family Services
- Department of Labor
- Division of Housing and Community Renewal
- Division of Human Rights
- Office of National and Community Service
- Office of the Welfare Inspector General
New York’s human services programs promote the safety and well-being of the State’s most vulnerable citizens.
Programs funded through the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) and the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) include cash assistance to elderly and disabled persons who are unable to work, supportive services to public assistance recipients while they secure employment, child support enforcement, child care subsidies to assist low-income working parents, and various child protective and adult protective programs.
Programs funded through the Department of Labor (DOL) protect workers, promote workforce development, and operate the State’s Unemployment Insurance System.
Programs funded through the Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) preserve and create affordable housing.
Programs funded through the Division of Human Rights protect civil rights in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodations, education, and credit.
Programs funded through the Office of National and Community Service (NCS) support community service grants that provide youth education, assistance to individuals with disabilities, public health services, and disaster preparedness.
The Office of the Welfare Inspector General (OWIG) investigates and prosecutes welfare fraud, waste, abuse and illegal acts involving social services programs at both the State and local levels.
Between the August 1996 enactment of landmark Federal welfare reform and September 2008, the State’s public assistance caseload declined by approximately one million recipients. However, since the third quarter of calendar year 2008, the number of people receiving public assistance has increased by nearly 44,000 to the current level of approximately 545,000 recipients, due to national and State economic conditions. As a result, gross public assistance expenditures are expected to be more than $2.5 billion — or six percent higher — in 2010-11 than in 2009-10.
New York’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program provides State-funded benefits to low-income elderly, blind, and disabled persons that supplement individual Federal SSI benefits. Expenditures for the State supplements have increased from $624 million in 2004- 05 to approximately $700 million in 2009-10. The 2010-11 Executive Budget maintains full funding for these benefits.
New York State’s child welfare programs are monitored by OCFS and administered by 58 local social services districts (LSSDs), which are responsible for conducting direct investigations of alleged child abuse, as well as providing preventive services to at-risk youth and families. The Child Welfare Services program supports approximately 160,000 child protective services investigations and 49,000 mandated preventive services cases. This program is financed 64 percent by the State and 36 percent by the LSSDs, net of available Federal funding. This open-ended funding stream, authorized in 2002-03 through Child Welfare Financing Reform, provides an incentive to use preventive care services to keep families safely intact and to avoid unnecessary foster care placements. There is evidence that this front-end investment is paying dividends, as the foster care caseload has dropped by 30 percent since 2002-03 — from 34,900 to 24,600 in 2009-10.
OCFS youth facilities currently operate at approximately 70 percent capacity (1,389 beds with a population of 977). After reforms proposed in the 2010-11 Executive Budget, these facilities would operate at 81 percent capacity (1,209 beds, with a population of 977).
III. Proposed 2010-11 Budget Actions
The 2010-11 Executive Budget protects critical human services expenditures, including public assistance payments and supplemental SSI payments; protects local governments that are the front-line service providers for human services programs; makes critical investments in State-operated juvenile justice facilities; and reduces spending for programs that are not central to agency core priorities. After these proposed changes, the Executive Budget would provide $9.7 billion for human services programs.
IV. Summary of Spending (All Funds)
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V. Major Initiatives
Gap Closing Actions
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|Delay Full Implementation of the Public Assistance Grant Increase
|Discontinue Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Funding of Certain Programs
|Utilize TANF Contingency Funds
|Align Adult and Family Shelter Program Financing
|Shift General Fund Costs to Earned Revenue
|Authorize State to Administer SSI Supplementation Program
|Invest in Juvenile Justice Programs
|Rightsize Residential Juvenile Justice System
|Utilize Federal Funds to support the Adult Protective/Domestic Violence Program
|Cap Safe Harbour Funding
|Implement Child Welfare Performance Initiative
|Collect Past Due Local Reimbursement for State Juvenile Justice System Costs
|Reduce Local Assistance Funding
|Consolidate State Housing Administrative and Program Operations
|Eliminate State Operating Subsidy for the New York City Housing Authority
|Merge State Employment Relations Board into Public Employment Relations Board
|State Operations and Other Miscellaneous Actions
- Delay Full Implementation of the Public Assistance Grant Increase. The Executive Budget reduces from ten percent to five percent the statutory July 2010 public assistance grant increase and provides a five percent increase for three consecutive years, thereafter. If approved, the overall 30 percent grant increase enacted in 2009 would be implemented by July 2013 rather than July 2011. The State would be responsible for the local share of the grant increase through State Fiscal Year 2013-14. (2010-11 Savings: $14 million; 2011-12 Savings: $36 million)
- Discontinue Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Funding of Certain Programs. Due to the rising public assistance caseload and its associated costs, initiatives historically financed with Federal dollars from the $2.4 billion Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant are not funded. Such initiatives include the Summer Youth Employment program, Supportive Housing for Families, the Emergency Homeless program, Non-Residential Domestic Violence, CUNY/SUNY Child Care, Community Solutions to Transportation, and the Wage Subsidy program. (2010-11 Savings: $69 million; 2011-12 Savings: $69 million)
- Utilize TANF Contingency Funds. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) emergency contingency funds would be used to mitigate the State’s escalating public assistance costs. These funds were made available on a one-time basis through the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to states with increased spending in public assistance benefits, emergency public assistance payments or other qualifying expenditures. (2010-11 Savings: $261 million; 2011-12 Savings: $0 million)
- Align Adult and Family Shelter Program Financing. The Executive Budget aligns funding for the adult homeless shelter system with the family shelter system to encourage local social services districts to conduct public assistance eligibility determinations for all individuals seeking placement in temporary shelter settings, including homeless shelters for adults. (2010-11 Savings: $36 million; 2011-12 Savings: $36 million)
- Shift General Fund Costs to Earned Revenue. The Executive Budget shifts the State share of the Automated Finger Imaging System (AFIS) and Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) System from the General Fund to a Special Revenue account to be funded using agency earned revenue. (2010-11 Savings: $8 million; 2011-12 Savings: $8 million)
- Authorize State to Administer SSI Supplementation Program. The Federal Social Security Administration (SSA) administers New York’s SSI supplementation program and charges a fee for each check issued on the State’s behalf. The fee is currently set at $10.45 and total administrative costs are projected to be $84 million in 2010-11. The Executive Budget authorizes the State to assume responsibility for the administration of the supplementation program, achieving over $60 million in annual savings when fully implemented. (2010-11 Investment: $574,000; 2011-12 Investment: $11 million)
- Invest in Juvenile Justice Programs. The Executive Budget includes $18.2 million to increase staff-to-youth ratios and to provide improved medical and mental health services for youth in State-operated juvenile justice facilities in order to improve conditions in the facilities and outcomes when youth return to their home communities. This action would result in an increase of 169 staff in the youth facility program. This investment would begin to address deficiencies identified by Governor Paterson’s Task Force on Transforming Juvenile Justice. (2010-11 Investment: $9 million; 2011-12 Investment: $45 million)
- Rightsize Residential Juvenile Justice System. By consolidating and reducing capacity in line with population trends, the State would lower costs and improve the efficiency of the OCFS residential juvenile justice system. The Annsville and Taberg residential facilities located in Taberg, Oneida County would be consolidated into the Taberg facility. Additionally, two other facilities would be downsized to reduce excess capacity, including the Tryon Boys facility in Johnstown, Fulton County (eliminating the limited-secure program for boys) and the non-secure residential center for girls in Lansing, Tompkins County. These actions, which would take place in January 2011 in accordance with one-year statutory notification requirements, would reduce facility-wide vacancy rates from 30 percent to 19 percent and result in reduced staffing needs of 251 positions. After this action, OCFS would continue to operate 23 residential facilities with 1,209 beds and five day placement centers that have sufficient excess capacity to accommodate any upturn in the number of youth placed in State facilities by the Family or Criminal Courts. (2010- 11 Savings: $3 million; 2011-12 Savings: $15 million)
- Utilize Federal Funds to Support the Adult Protective/Domestic Violence Program. Currently, local social services districts are allocated $103 million annually in Federal Title XX funding. The State requires that $66 million of this total be used to offset State and local Adult Protective and Domestic Violence (AP/DV) costs. The Executive Budget would shift the remaining $37 million in Title XX funds, which are currently allocated to the districts for local discretionary services, to the AP/DV program in order to reduce State and local costs. In doing this, the State would generate $18 million in savings and the direct cost to local social services districts of providing mandated AP/DV services would be reduced by $19 million. (2010-11 Savings: $18 million; 2011-12 Savings: $18 million)
- Cap Safe Harbour Funding. The Executive Budget recommends capping the appropriation for a long-term safe house for sexually exploited youth at $3 million. (2010-11 Savings: $7 million; 2011-12 Savings: $7 million)
- Implement Child Welfare Performance Initiative. The Executive Budget reflects efficiencies in the child welfare system associated with local social services districts developing and reporting on performance measures to improve outcomes for youth and families. (2010-11 Savings: $5 million; 2011-12 Savings: $5 million)
- Collect Past Due Local Reimbursement for State Juvenile Justice System Costs. The Executive Budget includes Article VII legislation that would allow OCFS to intercept payments to local social services districts for programs such as child welfare, foster care, adoption, and detention in cases where districts are deficient in paying their share (50 percent) of costs associated with operating youth facilities. (2010-11 Savings: $27 million; 2011-12 Savings: $9 million)
- Reduce Local Assistance Funding. The Executive Budget reduces funding for a variety of initiatives that are directly administered by OCFS, OTDA, DHCR and DOL. Examples include neighborhood and rural preservation, alternatives to detention and residential placement, and special needs housing programs. These programs are less central to other core priorities, such as providing public assistance benefits and child welfare programs. The Executive Budget would reduce funding between 10 percent and 33 percent from adjusted 2009-10 levels. $176 million would remain available for these programs in 2010-11. (2010-11 Savings: $8 million; 2011-12 Savings: $11 million)
- Consolidate State Housing Administrative and Program Operations. Consistent with the Administration’s effort to streamline the government services delivery structure, the Executive Budget would achieve $3.5 million in cost savings through the consolidation of administrative and program operations of the Division of Housing and Community Renewal and “nyhomes” – the family of public benefit corporations that implement State housing finance programs. (2010-11 Savings: $3.5 million; 2011- 12 Savings: $3.5 million)
- Eliminate State Operating Subsidy for the New York City Housing Authority. The Executive Budget eliminates the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) operating subsidy and requires the authority to manage the impact within its $2.8 billion operating budget. NYCHA is the only local housing authority to receive an annual State operating subsidy. (2010-11 Savings: $3 million; 2011-12 Savings: $3 million)
- Merge State Employment Relations Board into Public Employment Relations Board. The Executive Budget recommends eliminating the State Employment Relations Board (SERB) and transferring its functions to the Public Employment Relations Board. This proposal would abolish ten positions including five SERB board positions. The remaining five SERB staff positions would be absorbed within other Department of Labor programs. (2010-11 Savings: $1.3 million; 2011-12 Savings: $1.3 million)
- State Operations and Other Miscellaneous Actions. The Executive Budget recommends an additional $23 million reduction to agency operations. The reductions would be managed through various personal service and non-personal service actions, including not filling non-health and safety positions that become vacant through attrition, and reducing costs associated with supplies, travel, equipment, and contractual services. (2010-11 Savings:$23 million; 2011-12 Savings: $18 million)
Other Budget Actions
- Improve the Quality of Child Care. In October 2009, the State reached agreements with the Civil Service Employees Association and the United Federation of Teachers, the unions that represent home-based child care providers. The Executive Budget provides $6 million pursuant to the agreements for quality improvement grants and a professional development fund for home-based child care providers. In addition, $8 million of funding is included in the Department of Health budget for health insurance costs associated with the agreements.
- Prevent Adverse Human Services Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA). Under current law, a negative 2.1 percent cost of living adjustment would occur for human services providers – including foster and adoptive parents – due to Consumer Price Index deflation. The budget includes legislation that would avoid a decrease that would otherwise occur.