Legislature Passes Historic $212B Budget
Although a week late, the Senate and Assembly have passed the 2021-21 State Budget that makes historic investments in education, the environment, and economic recovery. The spending plan, which is roughly 10% higher than last year’s budget thanks to federal relief, has resolved to be a light at the end of the tunnel for New York, after months of detrimental budget cuts caused by the COVID-induced $15B budget gap. The Governor has until 4/19 to sign the budget, although it is anticipated that that he will sign much sooner.
NY Budget – Nursing Home Reform
In this year’s State budget, the Health and Mental Hygiene bill includes a requirement that residential health care facilities reinvest a majority of their revenue back to direct care.
Specifically, the provision establishes a 5% cap on nursing home profits and a minimum spending mandate that requires nursing homes to spend 70% of revenue on “direct resident care” and of that, spend at least 40% for hiring nurses, certified nurse aides, and other staff who work directly with residents. Additionally, there is a $64 million allocation for nursing homes to utilize for staffing expenses.
Need a Vaccine Appointment?
Eligibility: In New York, all residents 16+ are eligible to receive the COVID vaccine.
Getting an Appointment Online:
- Vax4NYC – Streamlined, easy-to-use website listing appointments at city-run vaccine hubs in the five boroughs.
- AmIEligible – Appointments for all state-run vaccine sites.
- NYC Vaccine List – Shows what locations have appointments available and when. You still have to go to their respective websites to sign up.
- TurboVax – This website was created to automatically show when new appointments are available, using a bot to trawl city- and state-run vaccine websites.
- NYC COVID Vaccine Finder – This site is an aggregator that lists all the nearby vaccine hubs based on your zip code, including pharmacies, health care providers, and city- and state-run sites.
- GoodRx – Lists nearby pharmacies offering the vaccine, based on your zipcode. It will still direct you to the pharmacy website to sign up.
Getting an Appointment by Phone:
- NYS Vaccine Hotline: 1-833-NYS-4VAX (1-833-697-4829) – Hotline to schedule appointments at state-run vaccine sites, including those in the five boroughs.
- NYC Vaccine Hotline: 1-877-VAX-4NYC (1-877-829-4692) – Hotline to schedule appointments at vaccine sites across the city.