New York Senate Education Committee Chair Shelley Mayer against Medicaid cost-shift

New York Senate Education Committee Chair Shelley Mayer against Medicaid cost-shift

There is a New York state budgetary issue that has emerged only recently that could have a significant impact on education in the state: The governor’s budget would shift Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) funds in the Medicaid program from county governments that administer Medicaid to the state.

When asked about the cost-shift earlier this week, Gov. Kathy Hochul pointed to the billions of additional dollars sent to school districts this year. School taxes are one of the primary costs facing counties. 

“School districts can meet their needs, but also, this is an opportunity for them to cut their school taxes,” Gov. Hochul said.

But the chair of the state Senate Education Committee, Shelley Mayer, isn’t supportive of Hochul’s cost shift, or her proposed fix.

“This effort to cost-shift on to the counties is really a serious burden on them, that they ought not to have and I’m strongly opposed to that,” Mayer told Capital Tonight. “And the counties don’t set the school taxes. School districts set the school taxes. And secondly, many districts have used the fact that they did get substantial state and federal money to not raise taxes above the cap this year.”

The governor’s budget includes $34.5 billion for school aid, which is indeed a record amount, but Mayer said the aid is one of the reasons why schools have been able to minimize the burden on taxpayers. 

“I think that was a misguided statement on (Hochul’s) part,” Mayer said. “I hope that we do not follow down that path.”

Source link

New York Senate Education Committee Chair Shelley Mayer against Medicaid cost-shift

SUNY union head warns of structural deficits and misplaced burdens

Next week, New York state lawmakers will hear testimony on the higher education portion of the Gov. Kathy Hochul’s proposed budget. While education advocates like Frederick Kowal, of United University Professions, cheers on the second consecutive year of proposed increases in the governor’s budget, Kowal warns more funding is needed to address structural deficits at SUNY campuses and hospitals.

Included in the budget proposal was a provision that would allow the state’s four research colleges — Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo and Stony Brook — to raise tuition by 30% over the next five years. Kowal argues this further places the burden on students, whether or not they can afford it, and argues that this could be seen as a “privatization of a public good” and adds the “state must commit public funds to these public institutions.”

After many years as the chair of the state Assembly Higher Education Committee, Manhattan Democrat Deborah Glick has shifted over to the Environmental Conservation Committee. Succeeding Glick at the top of the Higher Education Committee is Assemblymember Pat Fahy. Kowal said he is “really looking forward to working with” Fahy and says the Albany Democrat has had conversations with UUP and knows the issues facing SUNY.

The legislative budget hearing on the higher education funding is being held on Monday, Feb. 27 in Albany. A budget agreement is due on April 1.

Source link