Extender budget in play; PEF furthers its legislative fight
The state Legislature was prompted to pass a pair of emergency spending bills April 3, called an extender budget, as it failed to come to an agreement and pass the 2017-18 state budget.
Passage of these bills (S.5491/A.7067 and S.5492/A.7068) ensures the continued functioning of state government and related services until May 31, 2017.
PEF is still analyzing the 2,000 pages of the combined bills and identified two items that were not part of the 2016-17 budget, but were included in the governor’s 2017-18 extender budget proposals.
One is the reduction of 100 state Office of Mental Health beds. The other authorizes direct support of staff at the state Office for People With Developmental Disabilities to perform nurse-like functions providing they are performed “under the supervision, training and periodic inspection of a registered professional nurse.” PEF was disappointed not to see items such as protecting the Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center in the extender legislation.
PEF will continue to fight throughout the budget process on relevant member issues and to advance its priorities. Visit the official PEF website and Facebook page for updates.
— Deborah A. Miles