Last Thursday, Gov. Cuomo submitted his 30-day budget amendments to the Legislature.

The high-profile issues addressed in the amendments include a response to federal Medicaid changes, requiring some gas stations to have backup power in case of a major outage, and reducing the cost of hunting and fishing licenses.

Medicaid

The Governor said that the federal government is making changes to how it will reimburse the state for the care of people with developmental disabilities.  This will cause a $500 million shortfall in the state budget, which the Governor proposes addressing through a $120 million cut in the budget of the Office for People with Development Disabilities, and an additional $380 million from Medicaid programs.

The unfortunate, perhaps untold story of this cut is that the voluntary providers in our communities – those that are not run by the state – are going to bear the burden of state facilities overbilling the federal government.  In essence, let’s harm those that have followed the rules instead of those that broke the rules.  Sounds familiar doesn’t it?

Unfortunately, this proposal only addresses the issue in the upcoming fiscal year.  The changes to the federal reimbursement system are expected to have long-term impacts in terms of the state’s Medicaid program.

Gas Station Generator Backup

Gov. Cuomo announced a budget proposal that would require more than one third of New York gas stations have backup power in case of a major power outage. Covered gas stations would be required to wire their businesses so that they could have a generator available within 24 hours of a major outage. The state would reimburse up to $10,000 for the wiring cost through federal aid.

The measure arose out Superstorm Sandy, which caused a shortage of gasoline in the New York City area in part because gas stations lacked electricity.

Hunting and Fishing Licenses

The Governor also announced “NY Open for Fishing and Hunting,” a plan to streamline hunting and fishing licenses and reduce fishing and hunting license fees.