PEF countering bad budget proposals
By SHERRY HALBROOK
The state of New York is facing a $6 billion shortfall and the governor’s 2020-2021 Executive New York State Budget proposal calls for a net loss of more than 1,000 state positions and authorization for the governor to close state prisons with only 90 days prior notice. The budget also continues to encourage the state’s reliance on the private sector to provide public services.
“I want all members to have the information they need to evaluate how these budget proposals might affect their agency and the work they do,” said PEF President Wayne Spence. “PEF is advocating for you and the vital state services you provide, and that effort will be more effective when you review that information and join your regional PEF political action committee and our legislative office in speaking out on these issues. That’s why we are providing information below on our top budgetary concerns, as identified by our statewide political action committee and legislative staff. We are also providing links here to more information on these priorities, our budget testimony and the Executive Budget documents with agency-specific provisions.”
PEF’s top state budget priorities;
• Oppose fast track closure of state facilities;
• Oppose continued underutilization of state engineers, and expanded use of design-build for state projects;
• Oppose continued funding cuts for SUNY’s three teaching hospitals and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Institute;
• Oppose moving mentally ill and sex offenders into more “cost-effective” settings that do not provide appropriate level of care;
• Oppose harmful proposals that affect retirees; and
• Oppose giving away state jobs.
2020-21 Budget Priorities
Legislative Joint Budget Hearing - Workforce Development
Consulting Service Contracts FY21 Budget
Workforce Impact Summary FY2021
2020-21 PEF Budget Priorities: Letters to Legislators
Further Expansion of the Costly Design-Build Program:
The Executive budget seeks to expand the flawed design-build program with the inclusion of six new agencies/authorities. It would also allow for building to be built with design-build and make the program permanent.
Downsizing within State Agencies:
The budget has a decrease of 1,007 State employees. While some agencies have small increases, this does not make up for the thousands of FTEs cut by the State budget over the last decade. Many agencies have experienced 10% to 30% reductions during this time period.
Providing less care to the mentally ill and sex offenders:
The proposed budget allows for county jails to create special units to restore those charged with crimes back to mental competency in order to face charges against them. It would also treat sex offenders as residential patients, instead of providing inpatient care. This individuals should be provided the best care, not the cheapest.
OITS Contracting Out:
The Governor is seeking permission to allow for OITS to use comprehensive technology service contracts. These contracts will exacerbate the growing problem of using expensive consultants instead of skilled state workers to perform the IT work of state agencies.
Fast Track Closure of State Prisons:
This proposal would allow for the closure of an undetermined number of State correctional facilities with only 90 days’ notice, not the 12 months notice as required by current law.
Retirement Health Care Costs for State Retirees:
These proposals call for an end to the Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts (IRMAA), a cap on Medicare Part B reimbursements and a sliding scale of retiree health care costs for new State workers. The first two measures impact current retirees and the last one harms recruitment and retention of current employees.
Funding for SUNY Hospitals:
The budget proposal does not include any subsidy for the three SUNY hospitals. This puts them in a financial bind without the traditional $87 million cash payment they typically receive.
Closure of the Sgt. Henry Johnson Youth Leadership Academy, Delaware County:
The Governor plans to shutter this 25-bed OCFS facility, which is one of only four Division of Juvenile Justice limited secure facilities in the state for males.
Division/Department Analysis and Program Details
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