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Hearings are underway at the state legislature as they review Gov. Kathy Hochul’s executive budget proposal. Stakeholders like PEF were allowed to testify virtually before one committee and PEF chose a joint hearing on Workforce Development. Vice President Randi DiAntonio delivered PEF’s testimony on Jan. 31 and answered questions from lawmakers. You can watch her complete testimony and Q&A here. She begins at about 3:45 in the video.

The follow-up questions from lawmakers and the panelists’ answers are worth watching as well. In particular: Assemblymember Ra asks about telecommuting, Sen. Harckham asks about bed closures and outsourcing, and Sen. Ramos asks about decreases in the OCFS budget and cuts to psychiatric beds.   Each of those questions allowed for expanded testimony by both PEF and CSEA.

Prior to PEF testifying, the commissioners from the Department of Labor and Civil Service, as well as GOER Director Michael Volforte gave testimony and then were asked questions by various lawmakers.   PEF made legislators aware of our priority issues in advance and some were able to ask questions that pertained to those issues.  To watch the entire Workforce Development hearing, please click here. Here are some timecodes to direct you to the most relevant exchanges given PEF’s budget priorities

  • Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon begins at 12:00 minutes in.
    • She is asked a question by Sen. Ramos concerning Unemployment Insurance during COVID @ 13:33
  • Acting Commissioner for Civil Service Rebecca Corso begins testifying at about 1:56:30.
    • Sen. Jackson asks about retention of state employees and Tier 6 adjustment @ 2:05:18
    • Sen. Jackson asks a question about hiring more parole officers to decrease caseloads @ 2:06:53
    • Sen. Jackson asks about investing in the state workforce @ 2:10:30
    • Sen. Savino asks about succession planning with the state workforce @ 2:18:04
    • Assemblywoman Reyes asks about SUNY Nurse staffing shortages @ 2:31:23
    • Sen. Jackson asks about increasing state nurses salary grades @ 2:35:29

Additionally, PEF has submitted the following written testimonies to budget committees so far:

Here, also, is an 11 minute highlight reel of commissioners Reardon and Corso and GOER director Volforte answering questions about PEF issues.

We are commencing letter-writing campaigns focused on PEF’s budget priorities this month and will keep members informed about how you can participate.