Sneak Peak: New York Chapter's 2015 Advocacy Agenda
The New York Chapter's Advocacy & Government Affairs Committee met in New York City on Thursday, September 25 for its annual strategic planning meeting. The Committee worked with March of Dimes volunteers and staff to identify pressing maternal and infant health issues and recommend policy solutions. The Advocacy & Government Affairs Committee then developed the advocacy agenda, paying particular attention to issues most critical to helping New York's moms have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies.
The New York Chapter's 2015 Advocacy Agenda includes:
Securing $4 million in new funds for Nurse-Family Partnership.
Mandating employers make reasonable accommodations for pregnancy related conditions.
Expanding the definition of "smoking" under New York's Indoor Clean Air Act to include electronic cigarettes.
Requiring children be vaccinated against Meningococcal Meningitis.
Harold Iselin, an outstanding advocate for women and children in New York State, is this year's recipient of the Distinguished Service Award! Join us at the NENY Division's Signature Chefs Auction on Tuesday, October 21 at the Canfield Casino in Saratoga Springs to celebrate Harold's accomplishments.
Issue Highlight: Children's Health Insurance Program
The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is a bipartisan, joint federal-state health insurance program that covers children whose families earn too much to be eligible for Medicaid but cannot afford private insurance. New York works with the federal government to manage and fund its Child Health Plus program, which provides access to health care services to approximately 500,000 children in New York State.
CHIP helps to ensure low-income, uninsured children get a healthy start in life by improving their health outcomes and access to services. CHIP offers services uniquely tailored to meet the needs of children, including dental and vision care, hospitalizations, and hearing and habilitative services. It also limits out-of-pocket costs for families to no more than 5% of family income.
Unfortunately, federal funding for the CHIP block grant will end in September 2015 if Congress does not act. The loss of federal CHIP funding would be extremely difficult for New York State to overcome and creates the very real possibility that New York's Child Health Plus would be eliminated in its entirety.
March of Dimes remains committed to advocating for the continued federal funding of CHIP. New York Chapter staff and volunteers have met with Governor Cuomo's staff as well as New York's congressional delegation.
2015 - 2016 Budget Timeline:
The Division of the Budget sends Agency Call Letter to all agency heads. Agency heads submit budget requests that comply with instructions in the Agency Call Letter to the Division of the Budget.
- Director of the Budget Robert Megna issued his annual agency call letter to all agency heads on October 1. Agency heads were directed to submit budget requests for 2015-2016 State Operations and Aid to Localities that assume zero growth from 2014-2015 cash ceilings to the Division of the Budget by October 21.
Next Step - Governor presents Executive Budget proposal to legislature.
Next Step - New York State Senate and Assembly finalize negotiations and pass budget bills.
Next Step - Governor reviews budget bills passed by the New York State Legislature - may use line item veto.
Next Step - Enacted Budget.
Join the March of Dimes advocacy network to receive occasional emails about key legislation important to moms and babies. The advocacy network is made up of volunteers and staff who promote the March of Dimes mission by contacting the governor and state legislators in response to New York Chapter action alerts. We need your help - every voice makes a difference!
Do you know who represents you in the U.S. Senate or the New York State Assembly? Find out by joining the March of Dimes advocacy network!
Visit http://www.marchofdimes.org/advocacy/actioncenter.html to register!
Did you know...
- Advocacy Day 2015 will be held on Tuesday, June 2. Mark your calendars!
- The draft DSRIP project plan application materials are available for public review and comment. Visit the Department of Health's DSRIP website for more information.
- Premature birth places a multibillion-dollar burden on business, with employers billed more than $12 billion annually in excess health care costs.