State Announces Further Budget Cuts Related to COVID Response

On Saturday, the NYS Division of Budget announced an additional $10.1 billion in pending cuts from the levels proposed in the SFY 2020-21 State Budget passed on April 1st.

The New York State Division of the Budget announced the FY 2021 Enacted State Budget Financial Plan, which projects a $13.3 billion shortfall, or 14%, in revenue from the Executive Budget Forecast released in January and estimates a $61 billion decline through FY 2024 as a direct consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, in the absence of federal assistance, initial budget control actions outlined in the Financial Plan will reduce spending by $10.1 billion from the Executive Budget. This represents a $7.3 billion reduction in state spending from FY 2020 levels.

Released with the Financial Plan is an assessment of the pandemic’s impact on the New York State economy developed by Boston Consulting Group at the State’s request. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, New York State’s economy is projected to lose $243 billion over the course of the full recovery, the equivalent of 14% of the State’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The COVID-19 recession will be deeper and the recovery longer than the 2008 Great Recession and the recession that followed the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

New York State Budget Director Robert Mujica said that the state must balance its budget and in the absence of federal assistance, we will have to make deep cuts which could impact a broad range of services. New York reflects 8% of U.S. GDP, and without federal support our ability to help lead the nation to economic recovery will be weakened.

The $10.1 billion in spending reductions from the levels proposed in the Executive Budget include an $8.2 billion reduction in “aid-to-localities,” a broad spending category that includes funding for health care, K-12 schools, and higher education as well as support for local governments, public transit systems, and the State’s not-for-profit partners who deliver critical services to the most vulnerable New Yorkers. State agency operations will be reduced by 10%, along with other savings.

HCP is working to determine the impact of these further cuts on the home care industry.

Governor Cuomo Announces Expanded Antibody Testing

Today, Governor Cuomo announced the results of phase two of the state's antibody testing survey. The preliminary results show 14.9 percent of the population have COVID-19 antibodies. The phase one results of the state's antibody testing survey showed 13.9 percent of the population have COVID-19 antibodies.

The Governor also announced the state is expanding its antibody testing survey starting today to further determine the spread of infections among frontline workers and first responders. The state is testing today 1,000 New York City Fire Department officers and 1,000 New York City Police Department officers from across all five boroughs, and this week will test 3,000 health care workers and 1,000 transit workers for antibodies.

The Governor also announced the state is opening five new drive-through testing facilities in Monroe, Erie, Broome, Niagara and Oneida counties. On Saturday, the state expanded diagnostic testing criteria to include all first responders, health care workers and essential employees even if they aren't symptomatic. These individuals will be able to get tested for COVID-19 at these new drive-through facilities. Residents who would like to be tested at these facilities must make an appointment by calling 888-364-3065 or online at www.covid19screening.health.ny.gov.

Amid a large surge in demand at food banks across the state, the Governor also announced the state is providing $25 million from the state's special public health emergency fund for food banks and providers most impacted by COVID-19.

The Governor also announced the launch of the Nourish New York Initiative to purchase food and products from Upstate farms and direct it to food banks across the state. The state will also be partnering with the state's dairy producers to process excess milk into products like yogurt, cheese, sour cream and cream cheese, that will be distributed to food banks and those in need.

The Governor also announced that two million bottles of NYS Clean hand sanitizer have been distributed across all 62 counties to date. The hand sanitizer has been distributed to hospitals, nursing homes, food banks, food handlers, Red Cross, first responders, schools and colleges, healthcare workers, homeless organizations, law enforcement, unions, transportation systems and faith-based organizations

"If you look back in history, sometimes it takes a crisis to wake people up, and when it comes to re-opening the state we have to use this moment to re-imagine a new New York and be smart and grow from this experience," Governor Cuomo said. "The NYS on PAUSE regulations are set to expire statewide on May 15th and some regions may be ready to begin re-opening at that time, but we have to be smart about it and make sure each industry and business is putting the necessary precautions in place so the infection rate doesn't go back up. Antibody and diagnostic testing will be a key component of our phased re-opening because it tells us the people who were infected and have now resolved, as well as the overall infection rate across the state."

Governor Cuomo Outlines Phased Plan to Re-open New York Starting with Construction and Manufacturing

Over the weekend, the Governor outlined a phased plan to re-open New York and re-imagine a new normal for the state starting with construction and manufacturing. The plan will be implemented in phases and will be based on regional analysis and determinations. Based on CDC recommendations, once a region experiences a 14-day decline in the hospitalization rate they may begin a phased re-opening. The State is closely monitoring the hospitalization rate, the infection rate and the number of positive antibody tests, as well as the overall public health impact, and will make adjustments to the plan and other decisions based on these indicators.

  • Phase one will include opening construction and manufacturing functions with low risk.
  • Phase two will open certain industries based on priority and risk level. Businesses considered "more essential" with inherent low risks of infection in the workplace and to customers will be prioritized, followed by other businesses considered "less essential" or those that present a higher risk of infection spread.
  • As the infection rate declines, the pace of reopening businesses will be increased.
  • The region must not open attractions or businesses that would draw a large number of visitors from outside the local area.
  • There will be two weeks in between each phase to monitor the effects of the re-opening and ensure hospitalization and infection rates are not increasing.
  • This plan will be implemented with multi-state coordination, especially in downstate New York. The plan will also coordinate the opening of transportation systems, parks, schools, beaches and businesses with special attention on summer activities for downstate, public housing and low-income communities, food banks and child care.
  • The phased re-opening will also be based on individual business and industry plans that include new measures to protect employees and consumers, make the physical work space safer and implement processes that lower risk of infection in the business. The state is consulting with local leaders in each region and industry to formulate these plans.

New Employee Leave Laws Update Webinar

Webinar | Thursday, April 30, 3:15 pm – 4:15 pm

Employers continue to struggle with the employee leave and absence rules and regulations that, seemingly, appear to change and evolve week by week. Join us Thursday, April 30, for a new update on State and Federal Leave laws, both COVID and non-COVID related that apply to your agency. We will discuss some commonly asked questions and suggestions on how to best address specific home care leave scenarios. This webinar will be presented by leading home care industry attorney, Emina Poricanin.

This is a free webinar. Please register to receive log in information.

Click here to register