PEF Members: Great News! As you can see below in the one-house updates, the PEF Legislative Department, SWPAC and PEF leadership has been actively engaged with our 2018 budget priorities. Each budget priority we requested of the Senate and Assembly has been acted on in our favor-so far. Keep in mind that the Governor makes the final decision, but so far the Assembly and Senate has heard our messages loud and clear.
Thousands of PEF members have completed and returned our fightback letters and/or made local legislative visits and the results speak volumes for our engagement activities.
We still have approximately two (2) weeks until the budget deadline. I would ask that you continue to encourage members to take the time to visit their legislators with the information they have received and make this a team effort in stopping the damaging portions of the 2018 budget proposals.
If additional information or assistance is needed, please feel free to contact our legislative department director, Greg Amorosi at GRO.F1550696814EP@is1550696814oromA1550696814G1550696814
PEF SFY 2018-2019 BUDGET PRIORITIES – One-House Budget Resolutions:
- OITS Term Appointments
Public Protection and General Government (A.9505/S.7505)—Part W
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.
PEF Request: Reject A.9505/S.7505 Part W
Assembly Action: Rejected A.9505 Part W
Senate Action: Rejected S.7505 Part W
- Freeze on Medicare Part B Reimbursement
Public Protection and General Government (A.9505/S.7505)—Part Z
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.
PEF Request: Reject A.9505/S.7505 Part Z
Assembly Action: Rejected A.9505 Part Z
Senate Action: Rejected S.7505 Part Z
- End Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts (IRMAA) Reimbursement
Public Protection and General Government (A.9505/S.7505)—Part AA
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.
PEF Request: Reject A.9505/S.7505 Part AA
Assembly Action: Rejected A.9505 Part AA
Senate Action: Rejected S.7505 Part AA
- Design-Build Expansion
Transportation, Economic Development and Environmental Conservation (A.9508/S.7508)—Part R
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 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.
PEF Request: Reject A.9508/S.7508 Part R
Assembly Action: Rejected A.9508 Part R
Senate Action: Rejected S.7508 Part
- Voluntary Jail-based Restoration to Competency Programs
Health and Mental Hygiene—(A.9507/S.7507) Part W and S.7500/A.9500 P. 475
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.
PEF Request: Reject A.9507/S.7507 Part W & A.9500/S.7500 P. 475
Assembly Action: Rejected A.9507 Part W & A.9500 P. 475
Senate Action: Rejected S.7507 Part W & S.7500 P. 475
- SUNY Hospitals Funding
Capital Projects (A.9504/S.7504)—P. 447
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.
PEF Request: Restore the traditional subsidy for SUNY Hospitals
Assembly Action: Restored the subsidy of $78.6 Million (A.9500-B; P. 660)
Senate Action: Restored the subsidy of $78.6 Million (S.7500-B P. 648)
- Ella McQueen Closure
Education, Labor and Family Assistance (A.9506/S.7506)—Part H
This proposal would allow for the closure of the Ella McQueen Reception Center for Boys and Girls provided that 30 days’ notice is provided.
Currently, state law required 12 months’ notice for such closure. Closing this facility before seeing what impact the new Raise the Age law has on the system is premature.
PEF Request: Reject A.9506/S.7506 Part H
Assembly Action: Rejected A.9506 Part H
Senate Action: Rejected S. 7506 Part H
- DOCCS Expansion of Commissioner’s Powers/Loss of Union Rights
Public Protection and General Government (A.9505-A/S.7505-A)—Part KK
This proposal would give discretion to the DOCCS Commissioner when it comes to nearly all phases of employment within the Department. The power is based on many undefined, vague terms.
The bill would also explicitly remove the collectively bargained hearing procedure for anyone accused of serious misconduct and replace it with the Department’s own internal process, which can include questioning an employee without union representation.
PEF Request: Reject A.9505-A/S.7505-A Part KK
Assembly Action: Rejected A.9505-A Part KK
Senate Action: Rejected S.7505-A Part KK