Federal Issues Update

AFSCME Legislative Weekly Report
Week ending February 26, 2016

Headlines include:

  • Supreme Court Vacancy
  • Senators Work to Provide Aid to Alleviate Flint Water Crisis
  • Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Process Slows Down
  • Two Congressional Hearings Address Puerto Rico Fiscal Crises
  • Undocumented Immigrants Contribute to State and Local Governments’ Revenues

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This Week in Albany

Week ending February 26, 2016

Headlines include:

  • Budget Update
  • Assemblywoman Barbara Clark
  • At a Glance

Continue reading…


This Week in Albany

Week ending February 26, 2016

Budget Update

This week, the Senate and Assembly each released their economic and revenue reports for the 2016-17 budget year.

The Assembly projects that all funds revenues will be $552 million higher than the Executive Budget forecast, while the Senate expects $498 million over the Executive’s proposal.

A consensus agreement determining the total value of the budget is expected to be released by early next week. This is an important first step in negotiations towards a final budget agreement.

Assemblywoman Barbara Clark

Assemblywoman Barbara Clark (D-Queens) has passed away at the age of 76.

The Assembly will not convene on Monday to allow members to attend services for the long-time member, who had served in Albany since 1986.

At a Glance

The Senate will be in session for three days next week, while the Assembly will be in for two. One-house budgets are expected to be released around March 14.

Never Quit on CSEA

The Never Quit campaign has just begun sweeping across our state, starting in Long Island. The focus of the campaign is to educate members about the latest threats to our jobs and our union.

Look forward to the campaign coming to your local.

Visit the Never Quit Facebook page to stay updated on the latest news.

https://www.facebook.com/cseaneverquit/?fref=ts

 

Ana Soraino and Marta Menocal pledge their loyalty to their CSEA family by signing a never quit campaign card.

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Relays Save Lives

Join Relay For Life as they raise money to fight cancer.
Relay For Life is an organized, overnight fundraising walk consisting of teams whose members take turns walking around a track. There is food, games and activities to help participants stay entertained during the event.
Relay For Life has raised almost 5 billion dollars to fight cancer.

relay 4 life

CSEA takes the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics!

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Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney with Southern Region President Billy Riccaldo.

Over 40 CSEA members and friends jumped into the freezing cold water at Sharpe Reservation on Sunday, Feb. 21, raising money that will go directly to help the athletes of Special Olympics New York. You can still make a tax-deductible donation online on the CSEA Team page.

We were thrilled to have a special guest jumping with CSEA team members this year — Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney! Cheered on by CSEA members and other spectators, Congressman Maloney showed his support for athletes with developmental disabilities by taking the exhilarating jump into the chilly waters of Fishkill Creek!

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CSEA members from the Beacon School District take the plunge.

You can view photos from the event on our public Facebook album. Also, mark your calendars for another Special Olympics fundraiser — CSEA members are organizing a fun dance party at Mahoney’s Irish Pub in Poughkeepsie on April 1st.

This Week in Albany

Week ending February 19, 2016

Headlines include:

  • Spending Priorities
  • Supreme Court Vacancy
  • At a Glance

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This Week in Albany

Week ending February 19, 2016

Spending Priorities

It was revealed this week that the state will spend nearly $47 million to develop an outlet mall on Staten Island. Furthermore, the Executive Budget proposes $66.5 million in spending to advertise the START-UP NY program.

At the same time, the state is failing to invest in OPWDD services and plans to cut 400 beds in OMH, as well as shifting $3 million in healthcare costs to future state retirees by making them contribute more for their health insurance premiums.

Where are the state’s priorities? Rather than putting up shopping malls and advertising flawed programs, the state should be ensuring that it is meeting its basic duty and responsibility of caring for its citizens.

Supreme Court Vacancy

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died on February 13, creating the first vacancy on the Court since 2010. At the time of his death, Justice Scalia was the longest serving Justice on the Court, having served since 1986.

President Obama has indicated that he will nominate a replacement, but at this time it is not known what the Republican-led Senate will do with this nomination.

At a Glance

The legislature returns to Albany next week and will be in session for two days. One house budgets are expected to be released in mid-March, with a final budget due before April 1.

Federal Issues Update

AFSCME Legislative Weekly Report
Week ending February 12, 2016

Headlines include:

  • Details of President Obama’s Budget Proposal
  • Forum Sheds Light on Flint Water Crisis; House Passes Related Bill
  • Bill Would Add $25 Billion for Child Care
  • House Committee Passes FAA Reform That Privatizes Air Traffic Control

Continue reading…


This Week in Albany

Week ending February 12, 2016

State Agency Overtime Sets New Record (Again)

According to a report released by State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, overtime at state agencies hit a new record in 2015 after rising for the sixth straight year.

State employees worked a record 16.8 million hours of overtime last year, with the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS), and the Office of Mental Health (OMH) accounting for the majority (65.3%) of those hours.
The report also found that the state’s workforce has declined from 180,564 employees in 2007 to 156,986 last year, excluding SUNY/CUNY employees, a drop of 13.1%.

Years of artificial limitations on state agency spending have clearly taken their toll on the way state agencies operate. At some point, there needs to be recognition by state leaders that workers can no longer do more with less. The state has a duty to provide many essential services to its citizens and cannot continue to try to skate by with as few employees and as little investment in them as possible.

At a Glance

The legislature is on break until February 24.

All joint legislative budget hearings have been completed, and each house is expected to release their one-house budget proposal sometime around March 15. The 2016-17 State Fiscal Year begins on April 1.