Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Social Services Committee Chair Andrew Hevesi and Children and Families Committee Chair Donna Lupardo today announced the approved SFY 2016-17 Budget includes increased funding to help improve the lives of individuals and families across the state and promote financial independence.
"Providing New York families with the resources they need for the brightest future possible remains our top priority," said Heastie. "The final budget reflects our continued commitment to ensuring that all New York families have the fundamental necessities they need to help them excel and climb the economic ladder."
"Our role is to ensure that New Yorkers have programs that create strong communities and the funding in the budget to support those programs," said Hevesi. "This budget provides families and individuals with the resources they need to get on the path to financial security and self-sufficiency."
"The funding in the 2016-17 budget includes critical investments in important programs such as Advantage Afterschool and Kinship Care," said Assemblywoman Lupardo. "The Assembly will continue to work to ensure that the state is providing the support our children and families need to succeed."
To ensure New York families have the resources they need, the approved SFY 2016-2017 budget provides funding to support human services programs to be allocated as follows:
The Assembly also worked tirelessly to provide better geographic representation of the state's poverty issues by adding more municipalities to the Governor's Statewide Anti-poverty Initiative. The task forces in the initiatives will work to identify the factors that contribute to poverty and also to alleviate those factors. To ensure sufficient funding, the final budget includes specific funding levels relative to the number of individuals living in poverty.
To help those who are working toward achieving self-sufficiency secure reliable transportation to get to work, the Assembly fought to increase the value of the vehicle an individual can have while remaining eligible for public assistance.
The Assembly also worked to ensure that individuals with disabilities are evaluated fairly when applying for public assistance. In circumstances in which the individual's evaluation for disabilities by a local social services district referred physician differs from the evaluation of his or her treating physician, the district referred physician will be required to state the reason for the difference. This common sense change will help to ensure that individuals who may need reasonable accommodations in order to be provided public assistance are not denied them arbitrarily.