NYS Legislative Session Update – 3.23.2020

The Governor held his daily press briefing this morning, and he announced that he would be issuing an executive order that will mandate hospitals to increase their bed capacity by 50% with the goal of each facility increasing capacity by 100%. 

In his briefing, the Governor also talked about the New York State budget, which is due by April 1.  He indicated that he laid out many policy initiatives in his proposed budget from January and that he will pursue those initiatives for inclusion in a final enacted budget.  He also stated that bail reform has to be done as part of the budget.

We know that budget negotiations were happening over the weekend.  At this point, it appears that there are no deals on any of the major issues. Also, it appears that the healthcare issues still need to be addressed.  As you’ll recall, the Governor implemented the Medicaid Redesign Team II (MRT II) to find cost savings in Medicaid.  The MRT II issued their final recommendations last week.  There is uncertainty over how these proposals will be implemented and what these cost savings could mean to the facilities that are now at the heart of the fight against the Coronavirus.

The goal is to have the budget negotiated and done as quickly as possible.  While there is hope to have a final budget agreement in place by this weekend, it is more likely that we will be closer to the April 1 deadline.  There are still some logistical issues that need to be addressed as well.  Reports suggest that the Assembly is looking into remote voting options for its members for when a budget vote is needed.

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