Weekly Wire Week Ending December 9, 2016

Weekly Wire: State Laws, County Issues, more
NYSAC Presents
people_at_conference.jpgUnlock the Power of Learning at the NYSAC Legislative Conference
Registration is open for the NYSAC 2017 Legislative Conference, which will be held January 30, 31 and February 1, 2017 at the Desmond Hotel and Conference Center in Albany.

County officials will attend a series of informative and timely workshops, standing committee meetings, conference-wide presentations, and networking opportunities.
To register and for more information, visit our website at
State Update
Special Session May Take Place This Week
Legislative Leaders have indicated that they may convene in Albany this week for a Special Session, but there have been no confirmed details regarding the agenda lawmakers will take up or what day they may return. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said Assembly majority members would hold session if there are important time sensitive agenda items they can agree upon. The Senate Republicans have not indicated whether they will return.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has urged the Legislature return to Albany to free up more funds promised to combat homelessness. Included with combating homelessness the Legislature would most likely vote on Legislative pay raises as well.
On Thursday, December 8 the 2017 Legislative Calendar was released, the calendar can be viewed at:
State Announces Regional Economic Development Awards 
On Thursday, December 8, Governor Cuomo announced the sixth round of the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) Awards. During Round VI, members from the 10 Regional Councils traveled to Albany to make in-person presentations of their proposals to the Strategic Implementation Assessment Team (SIAT).
More than $700 million in economic and community development funding has been awarded to the following regions.
  • Western New York: Regional Council Awardee - $62 million supporting 105 projects
  • Finger Lakes: Top Performer Awardee - $80.5 million supporting 97 projects
  • Southern Tier: Regional Council Awardee - $60.4 million supporting 63 projects
  • Central New York: Regional Council Awardee - $62.2 million supporting 77 projects
  • Mohawk Valley: Top Performer Awardee -  $81.9 million supporting 88 projects
  • North Country: Regional Council Awardee - $61.4 million supporting 77 projects
  • Capital Region: Top Performer Awardee - $83.1 million supporting 116 projects
  • Mid-Hudson: Top Performer Awardee - $83.3 million supporting 105 projects
  • New York City: Top Performer Awardee - $80.2 million supporting 121 projects
  • Long Island: Regional Council Awardee - $62 million supporting 101 projects
In addition, the Governor awarded 10 communities $10 million for the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI). The DRI is a $100 million effort to improve the urban vitality of city centers across New York State. The initiative will invest $10 million in each of 10 communities, designed to transform downtown neighborhoods into more vibrant communities. The DRI communities are:
Capital Region - Glens Falls 
Central New York - Oswego 
Finger Lakes - Geneva 
Long Island - Westbury
Mid-Hudson - Middletown
Mohawk Valley - Oneonta
New York City - Jamaica
North Country - Plattsburgh
Southern Tier - Elmira
Western New York - Jamestown
many-waving-flags.jpgFederal Update
Congress Passes 21st Century Cures Act
Last week Congress passed a package of legislation related to health care, mental health and medical research. Originally, this legislation included the Family First Prevention Services Act, which would have reduced funding for New York's foster care programs, but those sections were removed from the final version of the bill after objections from several states including New York.
The Cures Act reauthorizes the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA), which is intended to help decrease mental illness in jails through a variety of initiatives like mental health courts, transitional services, jail diversion programs and in-jail services. The bill also reauthorizes the Community Mental Health Services (CMHS) and Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (SAPT) block grants, and includes provisions to help strengthen the behavioral health workforce.
Some of the provisions will help counties across the county by:
  • Reducing the number of people with mental illness in jails: By reauthorizing the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA), the bill will support local efforts to decrease mental illness in jails through a broad range of activities, including jail diversion programs, mental health courts, in-jail treatments and transitional services and crisis intervention training. Through the Stepping Up Initiative, counties are already working to reduce the estimated 2 million individuals with serious mental illnesses who are admitted to 3,100 local jails each year. 
  • Providing community-based behavioral health services: By reauthorizing the Community Mental Health Services (CMHS) and Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (SAPT) block grants, the bill will continue to allow counties, through 750 behavioral health authorities and community providers, to deliver direct behavioral health services to those with mental health conditions and substance abuse disorders. While provisions to reform the mental health system are weaker than in previous stand-alone bills, the legislation still contains some county priorities for behavioral health reform, including strengthening the behavioral health workforce and enhancing the implementation of mental health parity. 
  • Combatting the opioid epidemic: By authorizing $1 billion over two years for state grants to supplement opioid abuse prevention and treatment activities, lawmakers have taken a significant step in efforts to end the opioid epidemic. The new federal funding is intended to be distributed to states based on the incidence and severity of the opioid abuse epidemic sweeping many parts of the country. While the new spending authorized in the Cures Act must still be appropriated, the first half of the opioid abuse funding ($500 million) was included in the 2017 federal fiscal year Continuing Resolution passed by the House last week (the Senate is expected to follow suit). 
A concern in the bill is that it redirects future funding increases for the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF), which provides funds to many county public health departments across the nation, as a way to pay for new spending in the bill. NYSAC and NACo will continue to work with congressional leaders to reverse or mitigate some of these public health funding cuts.
2nd Quarter GDP Increases Nationwide, But By-Passes New York
According to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis last week, 41 states experienced growth in their state GDP in the second quarter of 2016. Eight states struggled with negative growth, and one came in at zero percent growth - each of these states rely heavily on mining and oil extraction. New York State fell into the same low and negative growth category as these other struggling states with .1 percent growth. In the 2nd quarter New York experienced negative growth in a few key segments that detracted from overall state GDP including construction, durable goods manufacturing, retail trade, information technology and finance and insurance. Agriculture, utilities, transportation and warehousing performed better in the second quarter helping to keep the state in positive territory.   
The low growth for New York in the 2nd quarter of 2016 is consistent with a pattern where New York lags the rest of the nation. For all of 2015, New York's GDP growth ranked 41st.     
Grant Opportunities
State Extends 2016 Statewide Interoperable Communication Grants
Due to technical issues with their website, the NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, Office of Interoperable and Emergency Communications extended the due date for the 2016 SICG Formula Program until Monday, December 12, 2016 at 5PM. 
The SIC grants are intended to help counties make necessary improvements and provide for sustainment of Land Mobile Radio Systems (LMR), maintenance of components supporting interoperability, continuous training and exercise, sustainment and further development of governance structure.

There is a total of $45 million in funding available from the Statewide Public Safety Communications Account. The deadline has been extended to this afternoon.
All Documents for this RFA may be found at

Frequently Asked Questions are located at
For more information, contact the grant administrator at