Policy and Advocacy
2021 NYSPHA State Budgetary and Legislative Goals
NYSPHA is the New York State affiliate of the American Public Health Association and serves as a statewide organization representing members from all disciplines of public health. NYSPHA’s mission is to promote and protect the public’s health through networking, professional development, advocacy and education.
NYSACHO represents the collective voice of local health departments in New York State. NYSACHO’s mission is to support, advocate for, and empower local health departments in their work to promote health and wellness to prevent disease, disability and injury throughout New York State.
NYSPHA State Budgetary Goals
In past years, NYSPHA’s budget recommendations to the Governor have included detailed recommendations for funding specific components of the public health infrastructure including topics such as supporting local health departments, chronic disease prevention, tobacco control, public water supply protection, and other issues of public health importance. Our comments have focused on the fact that public health has been underfunded traditionally, even before the current circumstances, and that opportunities to prevent disease have gone unaddressed.
However, this year the challenges presented by the COVID19 pandemic will require an innovative approach to budgeting. Therefore, NYSPHA’s budget recommendations to the Governor for his proposed 2021 Executive Budget focus on our recommendations to raise the revenue necessary to support the public health infrastructure in general, including support for the state and local health and mental health departments, and to avoid any funding reductions for health and public health programs.
NYSPHA recommended three possible sources of new revenue to avoid public health budget cuts: 1. Increase the cigarette and other tobacco taxes by $1 per pack equivalent, 2. Institute a “billionaires’ tax”, and 3. Institute a Sugar Sweetened Beverage (SSB) tax. NYSPHA has also separately endorsed the idea of a stock transfer tax.
Unfortunately, the proposed NYS Executive Budget for 2021-2022 did not incorporate any of these new sources of revenue and numerous public health lines in the State Department of Health’s budget were reduced by as much as 100% for some programs. The Article 6 General Public Health Work Program reimbursement rate for New York City for expenditures over the base grant was reduced by 50%, a loss of over $17 million for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Read PDF here.
NYSPHA has joined a coalition of public health organizations in New York State to call upon the state legislature to restore these cuts to public health programs. See the attached sign on letter
NYSPHA State Legislative and Policy Priorities
1. NYSPHA 2021 Legislative Priorities
Legislative Priority #1: NYSPHA supports and will work to advance A3499/S84 (Bichotte Hermelyn/Hoylman), an act to amend the public health law in relation to prohibiting the retail sale of flavored tobacco products and accessories. (Ban menthol-flavored cigarettes).
Legislative Priority #2: NYSPHA supports and will work to advance A8199/S5788/A.8199 Glick/Stavisky), an act to amend the public health law in relation requiring smoke-free college campuses (outdoors) in New York.
Legislative Priority #3: NYSPHA supports and will work to advance A3648/S601 (Rosenthal/Benjamin), an act to amend the public health law in relation to the definition of an indoor area; and to repeal certain provisions of such law relating thereto. (Closing loop holes in the state’s Clean Indoor Air Law).
Legislative Priority #4: NYSPHA supports and will work to advance A6476/S4807 Hynman/Stavisky, an act to amend the public health law in relation to authorizing pharmacists to administer all ACIP-recommended adult vaccinations.
Legislative Priority #5: NYSPHA supports and will work to advance A279/S75 Gottfried/Hoylman, an act to amend the public health law in relation to mandating reporting of adult vaccinations to the NYS state and city immunization registries (NYSIIS and CIR).
Legislative Priority #6: NYSPHA supports and will work to advance A5682/S4644 Gottfried/Biaggi), an act to amend the public health law in relation to healthy food service guidelines. Link to NYSPHA Memorandum of Support.
Legislative Priority #7: NYSPHA support and will work to advance A3475/S15 De La Rosa/Holylman, an act to amend the executive law to make people in prison aged 55 or older who have served at least 15 years eligible for individualized parole consideration (Elder Parole). Link to NYSPHA Memorandum of Support.
Legislative Priority #8: NYSPHA supports and will work to advance A4231/S1415 Weprin/Rivera, an act to amend the executive law in relation to providing more meaningful parole reviews for incarcerated people who are already parole eligible by changing the standard of parole to center release determinations not on the original crime but on the person’s rehabilitation while incarcerated and their current risk of violating the law (Fair and Timely Parole Act). Link to NYSPHA Memorandum of Support.
Legislative Priority # 9. NYSPHA supports and will work to advance the Clinician Preceptor Tax Credit A.3704 Gunther / S.4033A Stavisky: An act to amend the tax law, in relation to establishing a personal income tax credit to preceptor clinicians who provide preceptor instruction.
2. NYSPHA 2021 Policy priorities
Policy Priority #1: Develop a series of NYSPHA Policy Statements establishing the Association’s position on important public health policy issues of today.
Social Justice and Health Equity
Policy Priority #2: Monitor implementation of the state Public Health Corps initiative to assure full integration with existing public health programs
Policy Priority #3: Monitor implementation of Adult-use cannabis. Reinforce with Governor/DOH and new cannabis authority the need for public health funding and measures to study and mitigate the impact.
Policy Priority #4: Support the recommendations of the report Tobacco Control Enforcement for Racial Equity: Decriminalizing Commercial Tobacco Addressing Systemic Racism in the Enforcement of Commercial Tobacco Control. Oct 2020, co-authored by PAC member Sean Haley. Available at: https://sph.cuny.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Tobacco-Control-Enforcement-for-Racial-Equity_FINAL_20201007.pdf
Policy Priority #5. Develop pain management recommendations and policies for nursing home and long term care facilities in New York State.
3. NYSPHA also supports the following NYSACHO 2021 Legislative Priorities
NYSACHO Legislative Priority #3: NYSACHO supports and will work with bill sponsors to amend/enhance AB6961/S4249 (Dinowitz/Skoufis), which would require that any child attending an overnight, summer day, travelling summer day or children’s non-regulated camp be up to date on their vaccinations; excluding those with a compromising medical condition.
NYSACHO Legislative Priority #5: NYSACHO supports and will work to advance A5339/S5560 (Paulin/Reichlin-Melnick), an act to amend the public health law, in relation to funding early intervention services; and to repeal certain provisions of the public health law and the insurance law relating thereto.
NYSACHO Legislative Priority #6: Introduce and support language to amend public health law around rabies PEP third-party reimbursement which would require health providers to accept payments by the county health authority for human post exposure treatment at a rate set by the commissioner of health; provided that such reimbursement shall be no less than the Medicaid rate.
NYSACHO Legislative Priority #7: Track, assess and influence legislation related to primary prevention/lead exposure in children. Support when possible, advocate for additional resources needed to implement locally for effective implementation.
The NYSPHA Policy and Advocacy Committee will continue to update the 2021 State Budgetary and Legislative Goals as new issues arise. The current version of the full 2021 NYSPHA State Budgetary and Legislative Goals can be viewed here.
Read NYSPHA's 2021 budget recommendations letter to Governor Cuomo here.