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Proposed NYS Executive Budget 2018-19 – PEF Analysis

Proposed NYS Executive Budget 2018-19 – PEF Analysis

Sent on behalf of President Spence:

UPDATED on February 6, 2018

PEF Members:

Attached are agency specific: (CIVIL SERVICEA&M, ABC, AG, AGINGAPA, ARTS, CSCOCDCJS, DHCR, DHR, DHSES, DMVDTADVADED, DFS, DOCCS,DOLDOH,DOSDOTELECTENCONGAMINGHESCITSJUSTICEOASASOCFS,
OGSOMIGOPDVOSCOTDAOMH, OPWDD, OVSPSCS.POLICESED, SFSSUNYTAX and WCB) budget spreadsheets and analysis, that the PEF Research Department examined, for the major provisions of the proposed New York State Executive Budget for State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2018-19. I want to thank Directors Kevin Jones and Greg Amorosi and their staff, for the long weekend hours in order to keep the budget information flowing.

The PEF Executive Council and Statewide Political Action Committee will be meeting in the coming days to identify PEF budget priorities and you will be receiving further information outlining PEF’s budget concerns, regional lobby days and legislative actions.

We must always remain vigilant in advocating for the continuity of employment for our members and to protect the services they provide to New Yorkers. Your role in engaging our members will be critical in our advocacy and budget “fight back” strategies, which will involve not only engaging our members, but also joining with other unions and community groups to ensure our budget priorities are achieved.

Also attached are The Workforce Impact Summary (All Funds), i.e. FTE changes and Consulting Service ContractsAdditionally, please find investigative positons that were recently upgraded.  This was done in response to a challenge filed by PEF to the 2016 reclassification of investigator titles statewide.

The 2018-19 Executive Budget proposals include:
• Public Protection and General Government—Part W
OITS Term Appointments

This bill would authorize up to 300 Information Technology (IT) term appointments for up to 60 months without initial Civil Service examination.  Appointments can be extended for an additional 36 months, pending certification of promotional lists.

The proposal circumvents Civil Service Law and prevents promotional opportunities.

• Public Protection and General Government—Part Z
Freeze on Medicare Part B Reimbursement

This bill would amend section 167-a of the Civil Service Law to provide that, effective April 1, 2017, State reimbursement to eligible retirees and their dependents for the Medicare Part B standard premium shall be not exceed $134 per month.  While this represents an increase for some, the language provides that any future increases would be subject to negotiations in the state budget, meaning they are far less likely to happen.

• Public Protection and General Government—Part AA
End Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts (IRMAA) Reimbursement

Effective January 1, 2018, the State would stop the automatic reimbursement of the Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts (IRMAA) for Medicare premiums incurred on or after January 1, 2018 for higher income State retirees. Higher-income retirees currently receive a greater subsidy for New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP) than the amounts received by lower and middle-income retirees. Impacted retirees stand to lose anywhere from $642 to $3,535 per year.

• Transportation, Economic Development and Environmental Conservation—Part R
Design-Build Expansion

This bill would expand the provisions of current law to enable the Dormitory Authority, the Urban Development Corporation, the Office of General Services, the Department of Health and the Olympic Regional Development Authority to award a contract to a single entity for both the design and construction (design-build) aspects of a project. The types of capital projects for which design-build contracts can be used would be amended to also included buildings and appurtenant structures.  In addition, the $10 million dollar minimum cost of a design-build project is only included for OGS and DOH.

Design-build allows for privatization of public work that has been traditionally performed by state employees. Important capital projects should be performed by state workers since they focus on the safety and well being of our taxpayers instead of corporate profits.

• Health and Mental Hygiene—Part W and S.7500/A.9500 P. 475
Voluntary Jail-based Restoration to Competency Programs

This proposal would amend Section 730.10 of the Criminal Procedure Law (CPL) to authorize the establishment of jail-based restoration to competency programs, for felony defendants pending judicial hearings, within locally-operated jails and State prisons operated by the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS), subject to the facility’s consent.

The proposal calls for the creation of residential mental health units within local jails and state correctional facilities.  Correctional facilities are not the appropriate locations to rehabilitate individuals requiring mental health services.  State mental health facilities or other well-equipped hospitals or centers are where these individuals should be restored to competency.

• Good Government and Ethics Reform—Part G
Comprehensive FOIL Reform

This bill would comprehensively reform the State’s Freedom of Information Law.  One of the proposed changes would require that the terms of a collective bargaining agreement be made available to the public at the same time it is sent to union members for ratification.

• SUNY Hospitals Funding

The Governor has proposed removing the State subsidy for SUNY Hospitals and replacing it with $78.6 million in capital funding.

This is problematic as it will leave our SUNY Hospitals dramatically underfunded.

In Unity,
Wayne Spence
PEF President
#WeAreStrongerTogether!