John G. Musante, a former long-time chief professional officer of the United Way of Northeastern New York (now the Greater Capital Region) passed away at age 83 recently after a long illness. John retired in 1993. Those who worked with John may wish to send their condolences. Click here for the link to his obituary.
Pushed by suits in NYS by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and other state AG’s, a predatory payday lender has announced it will cease its lending operations. But more needs to be done as this NY Times editorial lays out. Opposition to predatory payday lending is included in UWNYS policy agenda under Economic Security.
Governor Cuomo has announced the availability of $15 million to support 30 schools under the Community Schools initiative, first announced in the Governor’s State of the State speech. The $15 million in funding was included in the current state budget.
The community schools concept includes offering community based supportive services to children and their families through local schools in order to achieve stronger educational outcomes.
Applications are due September 15. The guidelines are provided through a link in the press release (see above).
The State Education Department will review applications and recommend the schools for funding of $500,000 per year for three years. The press release implies that the Governor’s Council on Children and Families will also have a role in this review.
This program is a significant opportunity for United Ways and their non-profit partners to work within the schools to achieve better educational outcomes.
Rick Karlin writing a front page story in today’s Times Union describes a new report from the State Comptroller on continuing delays – 4 out of 5 contracts in state payments to nonprofits. The payment delays prompted Senators Michael Ranzenhofer and Carl Marcellino to write Budget Director Robert Megna to express their concerns In addition, Karlin reports that legislative staff confirmed that they continue to get reports of payment delays from nonprofits.
Karlin also reports on a new contracting system by the Administration designed to reduce these delays. However one Capital area nonprofit director reports that “the devil is in the details” and the new program isn’t yet achieving its goal.
It has been 24 years since the Legislature passed a bipartisan prompt contracting bill (although the first law took until 1992 to happen).
Governor Cuomo has issued a news release reminding health and human services providers of the availability of $200 million in funding to reimburse for storm losses as well as to provide services going forward. The list of eligible services and a link to the application are included in the release.
United Ways and other groups that find the list of services eligible for reimbursement to be incomplete should plan to meet with their state and Congressional representatives to advocate for expansion to include other needed services.
The NYS Department of Health has announced the the state’s health care exchange, to be known as “NY State of Health”, unveiled the list of insurance providers for medical as well as dental benefits to individuals and small businesses, and a web site for more information.
The exchange will begin on October 1 (for clients to enroll) and benefits become effective January 2014. There is also a link in the release to a web site to calculate tax credits.
This is very important information to be shared with those being served by non profits who may be uninsured. There are penalties under the federal law for continuing to be uninsured after the exchange becomes available.
The New York State Senate has announced hearings between early September and early October seeking input on ways to reform the state’s tax policies. The hearings will be led by Senate Finance Chair John DeFrancisco of Syracuse and Senator Carl Marcellino of LI, chair of the Committee on Investigations and Government Operations. The hearings will take place in Albany, Buffalo, Syracuse, New York City and Long Island.
United Ways and other groups that support expansion of the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit could use these hearings as a venue to advocate for the value of the current credit and for the benefits of expansion.