spring... a time of optimism and renewal.
read on to learn about the NYS budget, NYS legislation
affecting children and families, and updates about the NYS
AAP and the national AAP.
Laraque, MD, FAAP
NYS AAP, District II
The New York State Budget
The New York State budget was completed mostly on time,
April 1st and we were pleased that vital children's programs
were spared major cuts. Some programs we supported, such as,
Universal Pre-K, after-school programs, and family support
programs saw slight to major increases. All children's
health and mental health programs were funded at least at
level funding and some saw increases that will be initiated
with the implementation of reform and redesign initiatives.
The legislature is in session through June 17th. The
legislative session will provide an opportunity to advocate
for policy and legislation that improves the lives of the
children and families we care for and about. The NYS
AAP has several key policy issues and legislative priorities
that really need strong advocacy to move forward.
As many of you know, important family support issues,
such as, Raising the Minimum Wage,
Raising the Age of Criminal Responsibility and Paid
Family Leave all fell out of budget negotiations.
They are now part of the legislative process. The children
and families of New York need you to contact your state
legislators, both your Senator and your Assembly member, and
let them know that raising the minimum wage, passing Paid
Family Leave and Raising the Age for criminal responsibility
to 18 years are all very important to ongoing efforts to
improve the health and well-being of the children in your
community. You can find more information on these and other
key issues for children and pediatricians here.
Legislatively, we are supporting a broad spectrum of
initiatives that have the potential to truly improve the
quality and safety of children's lives in New York. Our
Legislative Agenda includes supporting legislation on safe
storage of guns, prohibiting sexual
orientation change therapy, and removing
known toxins from children toys, clothing and accessories.
We are also supporting several bills that offer the
potential to improve and strengthen pediatric practice. You
can get a list of our priorities and more information on the
specific legislation by viewing our Legislative
Please take a moment to review our Legislative Agenda
and pick one or two bills that you would like to champion.
Then call, e-mail or visit your Senator or Assembly member
and let them know that you would like them to support the
legislation and tell them why. You will need to give the
bill number, which is included in our Agenda, and a brief
description. I assure you, if you make the call or e-mail,
you will make a difference. We need your voice for children,
families and pediatricians to help us make the positive
changes that can make a difference.
Our legislative priority list grows throughout the session
as new legislation we support and new legislation that we
may oppose is brought forward. Visiting the NYS AAP website
and opening and responding to our Advocacy Update and Alerts
will keep you current as we move toward the most active
weeks of the New York State Legislative Session. You can
find out who your Assembly member is at www.assembly.state.ny.us
and your Senator at www.nysenate.gov
All you need is your zip code.
The NYS AAP Moves
The NYS AAP is also moving with optimism toward renewal this
spring. We have emerged from all the legal and financial
concerns created by the difficulties encountered through
criminal acts of our former Executive Director. Despite
these challenges, the NYS AAP continued to work effectively
with NYS in the past year on issues of mutual concern, such
as, children's behavioral health, children's health homes,
school-based health care, Medicaid Redesign Team reforms,
medical home development, improving immunization rates and
compliance and many other issues. In the upcoming year, we
look forward to project partnerships with the NY State
Department of Health.
The past year has also been marked by work on behalf
of AAP NY Chapters 2 & 3, and when appropriate, the NYS
AAP, with the city of New York. We are also moving forward
in partnership with several units of the city administration
on issues relevant to improving the lives of children and
families in the five boroughs.
At this time of optimism and renewal, the NYS AAP in
partnership with the AAP NY Chapters, is exploring new ways
of working together. The world of health care delivery is
changing with practice transformation at all levels.
Pediatrics in New York is in transition. Relationships with
and between hospitals and insurers are changing. Payment
options and formulae are becoming more complex. Technology
is becoming more central to the practice of medicine and to
practice administration. All these challenges afford an
opportunity for the NYS AAP and the AAP NY Chapters to
examine their past and current relationships, and to explore
options for future structures. This process is at its very
beginning. The NYS AAP and your AAP NY Chapter leadership
will keep you informed as we move deliberately and with
focus on these efforts.
Working Together for Children
As always, the NYS AAP is looking forward to working with
you and for you and for the children and families you serve.
We can make a difference. Our history over the last several
years has shown that when we raise our voices, work with our
partners both public and private, and focus on our goals, we
can and do make positive change for the children and
families in New York.
It's spring....let's renew, re-energize and raise our
voices for children and for pediatricians.