October 18, 2023
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Signs Legislation Permitting Medicaid Reimbursement for Violence Prevention Programs

Governor Hochul Signs Legislation Permitting Medicaid Reimbursement for Violence Prevention Programs

Legislation S.580A/A.2893A Allows Low-Income New Yorkers Impacted by Community Violence to Receive Violence Prevention Services from Qualified Specialists

Governor Kathy Hochul signed important legislation to permit Medicaid reimbursement for violence prevention programs serving survivors of community violence. Legislation S.580A/A.2893A directs the New York State Department of Health to apply to the federal government to make community violence prevention available to qualifying Medicaid beneficiaries, as well as determine rates for program service providers.

“Violence has a wide range of consequences, impacting not only victims, but communities as a whole,” Governor Hochul said. “This legislation recognizes that New York’s community-based programs are best positioned to support survivors of violence, and that training more violence prevention specialists is key when it comes to keeping our neighborhoods safe.”

Violence Specialists will be required to complete at least six months training in providing prevention services or youth development services; complete a training and certification program through the New York State Department of Health in violence prevention; and complete four hours of continuing education annually.

Director of the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention Stefanie Feldman said, “The White House applauds this major step towards expanding lifesaving resources and investing in community violence intervention efforts in the state of New York. It is bold steps like this that will continue to create a Safer America for communities suffering most from the urgent public health crisis of gun violence in America.”

State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal said, “Gun violence is a public health crisis. I’m extremely grateful to Governor Hochul for signing our legislation to allow New York State to tap federal Medicaid funding for hospital and community-based violence prevention programs that are data-proven to reduce gun violence. This initiative, which is supported by the Biden White House, will provide individuals impacted by gun violence with follow-up care and intervention and help end the cycles of fear and retribution that are all too common in many of our communities. I greatly appreciate the support of Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, Assembly Member González-Rojas, and the stellar line-up of gun safety organizations that supported our legislation, including Everytown for Gun Safety, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, Giffords Law Center, Brady United, The Health Alliance for Violence Intervention, and Community Justice Action Fund.”

Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas said, “Public safety is the number one responsibility of government. After receiving numerous calls from my local precinct about gun shootings in my community, I was so proud to work with Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal and advocacy groups, including New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, Everytown for Gun Safety, and many more to get this bill passed in the legislature. Gun violence is a public health crisis. Allowing for services to be billed by Medicaid allows us to address it as such and to ensure gun violence response services are connected to a more sustainable source of funding therefore reducing the possibility of reinjury. I’m grateful to Speaker Heastie, Congress Members Ocasio-Cortez, and Bowman for their support, and to Governor Hochul for signing it into law.”

Giffords' State Legislative Director Sean Holihan said, “With the signing of this legislation, New York has answered the call from President Biden to fund evidence-based violence prevention services for gun violence patients enrolled in Medicaid. We thank Governor Hochul for signing this life saving legislation and applaud Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal and Assembly Member Jessica González-Rojas for their incredible leadership and work to make New York a safer place for all.”

Executive Director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence Rebecca Fischer said, “We know that community and hospital-based violence intervention programs work to interrupt cycles of violence and trauma and provide effective support services to New Yorkers who are most impacted by shootings. New York’s Medicaid reimbursement law now will increase accessibility of violence prevention services to those who need these resources the most and is an effective tool to help address the gun violence crisis plaguing our communities. We are grateful for Senator Hoylman-Sigal and Assemblymember Gonzalez-Rojas's leadership and applaud Governor Hochul for signing this life-saving bill into law."

President of Brady Kris Brown said, “To end gun violence, we need to break the cycles that are holding communities prisoner to this deadly epidemic. Affected communities and individuals should be afforded specialized care to treat the scars and wounds – both physical and mental – inflicted by this crisis. Systemic income inequality has long inhibited these services from reaching vulnerable communities, but Governor Hochul’s measure to permit Medicaid reimbursement is crucial to breaking down these barriers and bringing healing to New Yorkers. Brady applauds the governor for signing this legislation which will interrupt violence and bring New York communities one step closer to being freed from gun violence.”

Volunteer with the New York Chapter of Moms Demand Action Deb Antoniades said, “Today is a win for New Yorkers. With gun violence continuing to devastate communities nationwide, this legislation exemplifies New York's longstanding commitment to combating this crisis. It's a critical step towards breaking the vicious cycle of gun violence and securing sustainable funding for life-saving programs. We thank Governor Hochul for her steadfast commitment to public safety and look forward to continuing to partner with gun sense champions in Albany. Together, we will continue to position New York as a national leader in the fight against gun violence.”

Executive Director & Founder of Not Another Child Oresa Napper-Williams said, “It is an honor to stand in support of this bill. As both a survivor of violence and a service provider, our organization consistently witnesses the unfortunate reality of limited access to vital services that aid survivors on their path to healing. Today, we are proud to join Governor Hochul and our partners as this bill is enacted into law. We look forward to continuing working with leaders to protect New York families and survivors from gun violence.”

The Health Alliance for Violence Intervention, Executive Director, Fatimah Loren Dreier said, "The HAVI applauds Governor Hochul for signing the Medicaid bill (S.580A/A.2893A) into law, providing a stable and sustainable source of funding for violence prevention programs. We are proud to have worked closely with our coalition partners to advance funding for community violence intervention and decrease gun violence in New York. We will continue to work with all stakeholders in the state to ensure that these efforts center the voices of those disproportionately impacted by violence."

Contact the Governor's Press Office

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