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NYSPHA Policy and Advocacy 

Welcome to the New York State Public Health Association's Policy and Advocacy Page. We appreciate your interest in health policy and hope that  you will join us as we strive to make New York State the healthiest state in the country. NYSPHA's policy and advocacy agenda is developed and led by the Policy and Advocacy Committee (PAC).  For more information or to get involved contact advocacy@nyspha.org.

What We're Doing

See how we're working towards a healthier New York in our 2021 State Budgetary and Legislative Goals!

2021 Budgetary and Legislative Goals

Get Involved! 

Find ways to be an advocate in you community.


Advocacy Resource Guide

What We've Done

See what NYSPHA and its members have advocated for and accomplished in the past 

Previous Years' NYSPHA PAC Priorities

Current NYSPHA New York State Policy, Advocacy Actions and Alerts

2/1/2021 NYSPHA Joined a Coalition to Call Upon the State Legislature to Restore the Proposed Executive Budget Cuts to Public Health Programs

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. Read the signed letter here.

12/8/2020 NYSPHA is supporting "LET'S GET IMMUNIZED NY"

The “Let’s Get Immunized NY” campaign was launched on December 8, 2020, is lead by the NYS Academy of Family Physicians and involves over 25 partner organizations in New York State, including NYSPHA. LGI-NY strives to provide all New Yorkers reliable and trustworthy information on immunization and to encourage New Yorkers to get recommended vaccines. Additionally, we advocate for policies that protect and improve access to immunization, increase awareness of the public health benefits of vaccination, and address health disparities with vaccine access, especially in medically underserved areas and communities with low immunization rates.

As we deal with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic we must be more vigilant than ever about our health. With so many of our health care resources being used to treat patients with COVID-19, immunizations reduce your chances of catching preventable diseases and needing to seek medical attention for it. This is how we can all do our part to conserve these already limited resources. It is absolutely essential that we protect ourselves, our families, and our communities through safe and effective immunization.

For more information, see the Let’s Get Immunized NY website at: https://www.letsgetimmunizedny.org/

Visit the Let's Get Immunized NY COVID-19 Vaccine Resources page in English and Spanish.

12/15/2020 New York State Tobacco Tax Increase in the Proposed Executive Budget

NYSPHA has signed on to a letter from public health partner organizations in New York State urging the governor to increase the tobacco tax in the proposed executive budget. 

Read the public health partner letter on the tobacco tax increase here

12/11/2020 NYSPHA Supports the Regional Transportation and Climate Initiative 

NYSPHA has signed on to a letter to Governor Cuomo supporting the regional Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) program. Under the proposed TCI “cap-and-invest” program, New York and neighboring states would limit and reduce carbon pollution from transportation fuels and invest in our communities to provide better, cleaner, and safer transportation options. Read the full letter here

10/27/2020 NYSPHA 2021 Budget Recommendations letter to Governor Cuomo

Read the NYSPHA 2021 Budget Recommendation letter to Governor Cuomo here

10/20/2020 Action Alert: Contact your state legislators to support a tobacco tax increase

Smoking still causes nearly 23,000 deaths in NY each year. Our lawmakers have the power to change this grim statistic. How? By increasing the tax on tobacco products.  NYSPHA is partnering with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network to send emails to our state legislators urging them to add their names as sponsors to the bills in both houses of the legislature that would raise the cigarette tax.

Please click here to communicate with your legislators

7/30/2020 New York Tobacco Tax Increase 

NYSPHA signed on to a New York State-wide advocacy effort to increase the tobacco tax to help alleviate the COVID-19-related state budget shortfall.

Click Here for more info!

Current Federal Policy, Advocacy Actions and Alerts

02/12/2021 NYSPHA signed a Letter in Support of Sustained Investment in Public Health Infrastructure and Workforce

It is vital to strengthen the public health system for the immediate response as well as the long-term. Which is why NYSPHA signed a letter from the Trust for America's Health (TFAH) in support of sustained investment in public health infrastructure and workforce for $4.5 billion. Read the signed letter here. 

02/01/2021 NYSPHA Endorsed This Report from the Trust for America's Health: The Improving Social Determinants of Health Act (s.104) was introduced by Senators Tina Smith (MN) and Chris Murphy (CT)

A fact sheet to the bill, which includes a list of endorsing organizations, can be found here.

12/01/2020 Speak for health: support public health funding in Fiscal Year 2021

Click here to contact your members of Congress and urge them to prioritize public health funding as they work to finalize the fiscal year 2021 appropiations process and in any future legislation to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. 

10/7/2020 NYSPHA Endorsed This Report by the Trust for America's Health: A Blueprint for the 2021 Administration and Congress: The Promise of Good Health for All: Transforming Public Health in America

The nation’s public health system is dangerously inadequate and needs sustained attention and investment. This report provides an action plan for the administration and Congress taking office in 2021.

Click here to read the report.

10/3/2020 NYSPHA has endorsed "Decriminalizing Commercial Tobacco Addressing Systemic Racism in the Enforcement of Commercial Tobacco Control"

This joint statement by a consortium of public health organizations was written by a team led by NYSPHA member Sean J. Haley. 
Click here to read the statement. 

10/1/2020 Public Health Infrastructure Saves Lives Act

NYSPHA supported the introduction of the Public Health Infrastructure Saves Lives Act (PHISLA) in the U.S. Senate. The legislation would establish a new core public health infrastructure program with $4.5 billion in annual funding to bolster the nation’s efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, and strengthen its ability to respond to other public health challenges going forward.

Click here to read the press release by Senator Murray of the Public Health Infrastructure Saves Lives Act. 
Click here to read a summary of the Public Health Infrastructure Saves Lives Act. 
Click here to read the letter of support signed in 7/2/2020.

9/25/2020 Public Health Experts and Professionals on How the Supreme Court Fight Could Thrust America’s Health Care System Into Chaos

NYSPHA signed on to a letter to President Trump requesting that the 2020 (new) elected president would select the next Supreme Court Justice, instead of selecting themselves one to fill the vacancy after the death of Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

Click here to read the signed letter.  

9/3/2020 National Concerns About CDC Change in Testing Guidelines for Covid-19

NYSPHA signed on to a national letter to Vice President Pence expressing concern about the recently announced change in the testing guidelines for Covid-19 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Click here to read the signed letter.

7/1/2020 Support CDC Mission 

NYSPHA signed on to a national effort by a broad spectrum of public health and medical advocacy groups to support the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the nations public health agency responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 Click Here to read full letter.

Past NYSPHA New York State Policy, Advocacy Actions and Alerts

7/1/2020 Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids Action Alert forwarded by NYSPHA  

There has never been a more important time to help tobacco users quit! We’ve seen that COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted African Americans, other communities of color, low income communities and those vulnerable to health disparities. And, health experts are warning that smoking and vaping can make the virus even more dangerous.

That’s why we strongly support legislation introduced in Congress this week to make sure Medicaid enrollees have access to the help they need to quit smoking.


4/29/2020: Continue Funding for Medicaid and Public Health Programs in New York State

We know these are uncertain times in New York, but the future could soon look even worse for those who rely on state programs/funding for public health programs and to prevent and treat cancer. This week, the Governor is considering cuts in the budget to these critical public health programs. This means fewer screenings for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer. Less funding to prevent kids from smoking and help adults quit. Reduced access to healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity. Less coverage for low income New Yorkers under Medicaid. We can’t let this happen.

Please send Governor Cuomo a message TODAY urging him to make the health and wellbeing of all New Yorkers, including cancer patients and survivors, a priority by continuing to fund the state’s vital public health programs and Medicaid. 

Read our join letter to Governor Cuomo here.

04/24/2020  Letter to the Governor and Legislative Leaders on Pharmacist Vaccinations.
In the 2019 - 2020 New York State Budget, the Legislature extended the existing authorization for pharmacists to provide some adult immunizations for two years but did not expand the allowed vaccine types to all vaccines recommended by the CDC's ACIP for routine use in adults. NYSPHA continues to advocate for the passage of bills allowing pharmacists to vaccinate adults with all vaccines recommended for adults, and also to make the ability of pharmacists to provide immunizations permanent. 

Find more on New York's pharmacist vaccination law in our letter to Governor Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Heastie, and Senate Majority Leader Cousins.

Past Federal Policy, Advocacy Actions and Alerts

5/11/2020: Letter to federal government calling for certain considerations as they contemplate further expanding relief funding

Federal letter with partners

4/14/2020 Increase Funding for Federal Public Health Preparedness Programs in FY2021

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the neglected state of the public health system in the United States. NYSPHA and several other organizations have cosigned a letter urging the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies to include at least $824,000,000 for the CDC's Public Health Emergency Preparedness Cooperative Agreement and at least $474,000,000 for ASPR's Hospital Preparedness Program in the FY2021 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill. These modest increases will have a profound impact on the ability of this country to adequately prepare for the next public health emergency. 

Find more information on this issue in our joint letter to the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies.

4/05/2020 Data Modernization Initiative

NYSPHA has joined 71 other organizations representing patients and consumers, public health professionals, health information technology developers, health care providers, and scientists to call for increased funding for Public Health Data/IT Systems Modernization within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in FY2021. The Data Modernization Initiative has asked representatives to appropriate $100 million in funding for the modernization process. Doing so would allow CDC, state, local tribal, and territorial health departments to replaced outdated data collection systems to more advanced systems. 

Find more information on this issue in the Data Modernization Initiative's letter to Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Chair DeLauro and Ranking Member Cole. 

4/01/2020 Funding is Needed in the FY2021 Budget for Research in Gun Violence Prevention

NYSPHA has joined a list of 200 national, state, and local medical, public health, and research organizations to ask Congress to provide $50 million in funding for research in firearm morbidity and mortality prevention. This money, which would be a $25 million increase from the previous budget, would be split evenly between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health. Funding this research is critical to protecting the health and safety of millions of Americans across the country. 

Find more information on this issue in our joint letters to the House of Representatives and the Senate

3/21/2020 Speak for Health: Support Public Health Funding in FY 2021

Adequate funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the Prevention and Public Health Fund and other programs that address ongoing public health needs is critical to support a strong public health system. As the U.S. works to combat the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak, a strong public health system is more important than ever.

Take the time to contact your members of Congress and urge them to prioritize public health funding in fiscal year 2021 and in any future legislation to address the current COVID-19 outbreak. 

3/21/2020 Tell the USDA: Stop Weakening School Nutrition

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is launching another attack on the nutritional health of children. The latest proposal would allow students to choose pizza, French fries, and cookies regularly in place of a healthier school lunch. It would allow more French fries in place of carrots in school lunch, more fried hash browns in breakfast, and less fruit in some school breakfasts.

Tell the Trump administration: stop harming kids’ health. Please join CSPI and our public health partners in urging USDA not to weaken nutrition for school children. Fill out this form to make your voice heard! 

Read NYSPHA's letter of support here.

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