(Albany, NY) While the legislature continues to pass budget bills to meet the April 1st deadline for the state budget, Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts is pleased to note continued progress for women and girls and thanks Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie for their unwavering commitment to bettering the future for all New Yorkers and providing a strong framework of support.
Statement from Robin Chappelle-Golston, President & CEO, Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts:
"New York's 2019 budget process shows that we all win with progressive public policies that provide strong support for healthcare access and democracy. Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie should be commended for their commitment to the health and well-being of all New Yorkers as well as the legislative members who stand with the people of our state. While the federal administration embraces a policy of division and diminishment, New York State leads with our shared vision to better the lives of all New Yorkers."
While budget reviews are just beginning, Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts is pleased to see a $125k addition to the base funding for the Family Planning Grant, an essential program that supports the delivery of high-quality, patient-centered, preventive reproductive and sexual health care for low-income, under-insured and uninsured individuals who may otherwise lack access to care. Core services provided include: wellness exams, cervical and breast cancer screenings, birth control, contraception education, and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and HIV testing
Also notable this year is an additional $500,000 in funding for women’s health programs to be allocated by the President of the Senate. Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts looks forward to working with the Senate to see these funds used to support New Yorkers' reproductive and sexual health care.
Additional progress made for women's health and well-being include the following which Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts supported and advocated for:
- Maternal Mortality: New New York State currently ranks 30th in the country for maternal mortality which is unacceptable. The budget contains $8 million in funding over two years to support the implementation of the Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Review Board, develop an implicit racial bias training program, support community health care workers and building a data warehouse to analyze outcomes and support quality improvement.
- CCCA: Strengthens contraception coverage through insurance which includes vasectomy coverage.
- Codifying ACA provisions in NYS Law: The budget codifies many ACA coverage provisions and the health marketplace (exchange) structure.
- In-vitro Fertilization Coverage: Requires insurance coverage for in-vitro fertilization and egg-freezing.
- Campaign Finance Reform: Finances shouldn't preclude people from running for public office. A commission will be established to implement public campaign financing for both statewide and legislative offices.
- Voting Reforms: Barriers to voting hurt democracy. Now Upstate voting hours will be expanded, paid leave can be used for voting, online voter registration established, funding established for e-poll books and $10 million for early voting.