The New York State Executive Budget has a statutory Cost of Living
Adjustment (COLA) every year in Human Services for over the last decade.
Last year was the first year in the last dozen years where this language
was not eliminated in the Governor’s proposed Executive Budget. We hope
with that this will remain the trend for years to come.
Withholding this funding over the last twelve years has resulted in close
to a billion dollars lost to the mental health system alone. Imagine how
our community funding would be enhanced with that money—people would have
access to service, housing would be available, no waiting lists for
services, diminished self-harm and overdoses and a workforce that would be
paid equitable wages.
Unfortunately that has not happened but this coming year is different. We
have the combined precedent of last year’s COLA and a new Governor in
place. The COLA for human services based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI)
is 5.4%. We will be working with our colleagues across the human services
sector to fight to include that in the Governor’s Proposed Executive Budget.
Tonight I am on Capitol Tonight with Susan Arbetter discussing the
workforce as well as mental health education in schools.
We must raises our voices on a 5.4% increase. *‘The State cannot ignore 5.4”*