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March 2015 Work Force

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Federal Issues Report

AFSCME Legislative Weekly Report
Week Ending March 27, 2015

Headlines include:

  • House and Senate Pass Austerity Budgets; Fail to Reverse Automatic Spending Cuts
  • House Committee Approves Repeal of Estate Tax
  • House Passes Package to Block Medicare Physician Payment Cuts and Extend Children’s Health Insurance Programs
  • Paycheck Fairness Act Re-Introduced
  • Nurse Staffing and Advocacy Bill Introduced

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This Week in Albany

Week ending March 27, 2015

Headlines include:

  • State Budget News
  • Pushback Against Anti-Worker Laws
  • Reid Won’t Run

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This Week in Albany

Week ending March 27, 2015

State Budget News

Budget negotiations are entering their final stages as lawmakers try to reach an agreement with the Governor over the weekend.

Governor Cuomo has repeatedly stated that ethics and education reforms are his top priorities in this budget, and those two issues were still being negotiated as of this writing. It is expected that many other contentious policy proposals will be removed from the final budget. Issues such as raising the age of criminal responsibility, the DREAM Act, and the education tax credit have reportedly been taken off of the table so that a budget can be passed before the new fiscal year begins on April 1. However, nothing is set in stone until a final agreement has been reached.

Final bills are tentatively expected to be introduced on Saturday. Check the Legislative and Political Action Department’s webpage for updates as they become available.

Pushback Against Anti-Worker Laws

Pushback against Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner’s radical, anti-labor proposals ramped up this week as Attorney General Lisa Madigan issued formal opinions stating that two of the Governor’s proposals, including one that would allow for the creation of local right-to-work “zones,” would be illegal.

Illinois is just one of several states where big money interests are pushing for the adoption of radical legislation aimed at deconstructing unions and the working class.

Reid Won’t Run

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) announced that he will not seek re-election in 2016.

Reid endorsed New York Senator Chuck Schumer to replace him as the leader of the Senate Democratic conference.

CSEA objects to misleading media report on developmental disabilities workers

CSEA is taking strong exception to an Associated Press story published Thursday that used an isolated case of a health care worker accused of sleeping on the job to make unfair generalizations about workers who care for people with developmental disabilities.

The article misled readers by lumping together “substantiated” cases of sleeping on the job in the state of Ohio together with “alleged” cases in New York. Furthermore, the article failed to acknowledge the fact that excessive mandatory overtime is likely a contributing factor leading to worker fatigue.

“When good, dedicated people are forced to work excessive mandatory overtime, it increases the likelihood that mistakes will be made,” said CSEA President Danny Donohue. “CSEA represents close to 20,000 workers who care for people with developmental disabilities and only a tiny fraction of those employees have ever been brought up on disciplinary charges of any nature, let alone sleeping on the job.

State Negotiations Preparations Underway

State negotiations are around the corner in 2016! CSEA President Danny Donohue will be appointing the Negotiating Team later this spring. If you are interested in participating, please reach out to your CSEA region office for more information. We should all be prepared for another difficult negotiation so it is more important than ever to let your VOICE be heard.

You can do this by:
1. Going online to https://cseany.org/state-contract-update (this page) and completing the contract survey form that will be available in May.

2. Attending a meeting with the Negotiating Team this summer to discuss your concerns and issues.

3. Joining a contract communications network now that will help spread the word about what is happening in negotiations. Visit My CSEA to verify your information and register.

Federal Issues Report

Week ending March 20, 2015
AFSCME Legislative Weekly Report

Headlines include:

  • GOP Budget Double Header Strikes Out
  • Overall Cuts
  • Congress Holds Several Sessions on Immigration
  • Congress Developing Package to Repeal Medicare Physician Cuts

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This Week in Albany

Week ending March 20, 2015

Budget Update

Negotiations and joint budget conference committees took place this week as the legislature and Governor work towards a three-way agreement on a final budget. Ethics reform dominated headlines as the Governor and Assembly announced a two-way agreement over a package of reforms. Details are still in flux as the Senate has not yet agreed to any of the proposals.

In addition to ethics, major outstanding issues include education funding and reform, economic development, infrastructure spending, raising the age of criminal responsibility, and health care funding.

Please click here for more budget information and CSEA’s budget memos.

At a Glance

The legislature is scheduled to be in Albany for four days next week. According to the joint legislative budget schedule released by the Senate and Assembly, voting on final budget legislation is scheduled to take place next week but it is unclear if that timeline will hold true. The new State Fiscal Year begins on Wednesday, April 1.

Congressional Republicans Release Proposed Budget

This week Congressional Republicans released their proposed budget for next fiscal year. The plan would increase poverty and would decrease key investments that promote opportunity and foster economic growth. It would:

  • Balance the budget in ten years through massive cuts to entitlement and domestic programs, with no new revenue;
  • Hit programs for low and moderate-income Americans exceptionally hard, with about two-thirds of its budget cuts likely coming from programs for the less fortunate, thereby exacerbating poverty and inequality;
  • Repeal health reform and cut Medicaid deeply, likely causing tens of millions of people to become uninsured or underinsured;
  • Cut funding below the already-damaging sequestration levels in the years after 2016 for non-defense programs like education, job training, early intervention programs for children, basic scientific and medical research, and transportation.

As we review the budget further, specifically on how it will impact New York State, we will report additional details.

This Week in Albany

Week ending March 20, 2015

Headlines include:

  • Budget Update
  • At a Glance
  • Congressional Republicans Release Proposed Budget

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