Garza - Budget Amendment for HHS (Concept 1.03)

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Delia Garza
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Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2015 9:20 am

Garza - Budget Amendment for HHS (Concept 1.03)

Post by Delia Garza » Mon Sep 07, 2015 4:21 pm

Colleagues,

I will be posting another message board post regarding other items I’d like to consider on Tuesday.

Given our critical need for health and human services, the complexity of this proposal, and the number of hours my office has put into working with staff and stakeholders to reach a compromise, I thought it best to include this item as a separate post.

Health and Human Services has been historically underfunded and this has led to critical unmet needs in the community, which I believe is a factor in Austin’s recent ranking as the most economically segregated City in the country. This circumstance was the impetus which led to an extensive stakeholder process that included One Voice, representing 85 local service providers, and city staff. Their work resulted in Resolution 20141211114 (concept item 1.03). The goal of this resolution was to close the funding gap over a long term period with the first step being investing at least 6.7 million the first year.

Two significant goals outlined in the resolution included expanding funding for existing social service contracts and expanding funding for the Health and Human Services Department. Extensive work went into the calculations for the funding gaps based entirely on local data and local need, and additional funding was broken down as approximately 55% for social service contracts and 45% for the Health and Human Services Department.

The 2014 RFA process took City staff about two years to develop and implement, and required significant resources for nonprofits to participate in the bidding process. The City received over $30 million in responsive requests but only had about $16 million in funding available at that time. We are in a unique position to utilize existing bids that were not funded as method for expanding social service contracts this year, saving both City staff and nonprofits precious resources and time that can instead be put toward direct services. These bids will no longer be valid after this year, and I believe we should take advantage of this opportunity while we have the chance.

The Concept Budget currently allocates $2 million in one-time funds for concept menu item 1.03. This is problematic because the entire purpose of the resolution was to begin closing the funding gap over the long term, and using one-time funds rather than general fund dollars does not help us reach that goal. I believe it’s critical that whatever funds we allocate for this item should come from the General Fund.

Given that it’s one time funds and no FTEs are included, it also appears that this money goes entirely to social service contracts and has no allocation for our Health and Human Services Department.

We have worked with HHSD Staff to ensure that for each proposed scenario below, dollars would be allocated to the highest area of need. We have a detailed budget spreadsheet from HHSD for allocated dollars and FTEs for each scenario below that we can share with Council on Tuesday since the message board does not allow attachments.

I propose that we consider amending the funding allocated for concept menu item 1.03 to utilize General Fund dollars and consider options for $6.7 million, $5.5 million, $4.5 million, and $3 million in funding. I suggest we begin the discussion for Health and Human Services with this proposal and work from there.

Option 1: $6.7 million from the General Fund ($3 million for HHSD, $3.7 million for social service contracts).
The $3 million for HHSD would be consistent with their outlined critical unmet needs in eight issue areas including Chronic Disease, Communicable Disease, Epidemiology and Disease, Health Equity, Infrastructure, Social Service Support, Neighborhood Services, and Maternal Child and Adolescent Services (provided as backup for concept menu on 9/1).

The $3.7 million in social service contracts would be allocated as follows: $2,475,000 for 2014 RFA contracts (top recommendation from Staff), $1,050,000 for programs aimed at decreasing health inequities (concept menu 1.25), $175,000 for support of the Rundberg community’s efforts to minimize health issues (concept menu 1.38).

Option 2: $5.55 million from the General Fund ($2.5 million for HHSD, $3.05 for social service contracts)
The $2.5 million for HHSD would fully fund the needs listed in option 1, but would be based on 9 months funding for FTEs instead of 12 months.

The $3.05 million in social service contracts would be allocated as follows: $1,825,000 for 2014 RFA contracts (top recommendation from Staff), $1,050,000 for programs aimed at decreasing health inequities (concept menu 1.25), $175,000 for support of the Rundberg community’s efforts to minimize health issues (concept menu 1.38).

Option 3: $4.55 from the General Fund ($2.05 million for HHSD, $2.5 million for social service contracts)
The $2.05 million for HHSD would include 9 months of funding for all FTEs included and would reduce the staff proposal as follows: no FTEs would be included for Chronic Disease (5 FTEs in original proposal), Health Equity would be reduced from 3 FTEs to 2 FTEs, Social Service Support would be reduced from 3 FTEs to 2 FTEs, Neighborhood Centers would be reduced from 5 FTEs to 3 FTEs, Maternal Child and Adolescent Services would be reduced from 3 FTEs to 2 FTEs (focus would shift entirely to teen pregnancy prevention, expansion of graffiti crew for at-risk youth focusing on achievement of educational and employment goals would be eliminated).

The $2.5 million in social service contracts would be allocated as follows: $1,275,000 for 2014 RFA contracts (top recommendation from Staff), $1,050,000 for programs aimed at decreasing health inequities (concept menu 1.25), $175,000 for support of the Rundberg community’s efforts to minimize health issues (concept menu 1.38).

Option 4: $3 million from the General Fund ($1.35 for HHSD, $1.65 for social service contracts)
The $1.35 million for HHSD would include 9 moths of funding for all FTEs included and would reduce the as follows: no FTEs would be included for Chronic Disease (5 FTEs in original proposal), Communicable Disease would be reduced from 5 FTEs to 2 FTEs, Health Equity would be reduced from 3 FTEs to 2 FTEs, Infrastructure would be reduced from 5 FTEs to 3 FTEs, Social Service Support would be reduced from 3 FTEs to 1 FTE, Neighborhood Centers would be reduced from 5 FTEs to 3 FTEs, and Maternal Child and Adolescent Services would be reduced from 3 FTEs to 1 FTE.

The $1.65 million in social service contracts would be allocated as follows: $1.65 for 2014 RFA contracts. With this option, we would request that the funding for concept menu items 1.25 and 1.38 be included separately as one-time funds. Concept menu item 1.25 can be reduced to 1,050,000 as the staff support for HHSD is included in the departmental funding.

Thank you for your consideration,

Delia Garza
Mayor Pro Tem, District 2