This Week in Albany

Week ending December 8, 2017

Legislative Update

All of CSEA’s outstanding priority bills were sent to the Governor this week, along with a total of 98 bills sent to the Governor’s desk.

CSEA sent letters in support of several bills to the Governor’s office (links below).

There are now only seven bills that passed both houses and have not been sent to the Governor.

Among the bills sent were:

  • A.7891 – Hooper / S.6788 – Rules: This bill would allow employees of Nassau County to receive a step increase if a wage freeze is ordered by the Nassau Interim Finance Authority (NIFA).
  • S.5681 – Ortt / A.7399-A – Gunther: This bill would codify existing community based programs that are operated by the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD).
  • S.2836 – Ortt / A.2229 – Gunther: This bill would limit the length of time that a notice of closure or significant service reduction at state-operated hospitals operated by the Office of Mental Health (OMH) remains in effect.
  • S.3146 – Golden / A.4049 – Lupardo: This bill would require the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) to promulgate regulations relating to workload standards for child protective services (CPS) workers.
  • S.6529 – Murphy / A.8326 – Abbate: This bill would create a performance of duty disability retirement for airport firefighters employed by the Division of Military and Naval Affairs (DMNA) who contract various ailments of the heart, lung or cancer and can no longer perform their duty.
  • A.6903-A – Brindisi / S.4574A – Marchione: This bill would require OCFS to annually report the ratio of non-administrative staff to facility residents. In addition, this report must detail the number of employees who are out of work on workers’ compensation.
  • S.1596-A – LaValle / A.934A – Glick: This bill would clarify that the State University Health Science Centers are included in the SUNY maintenance of effort provision. It would also require the State to pay for all mandatory costs relating to collective bargaining agreements like it does for all other State agencies.
  • S.5661-B – Little / A.7763 – Gottfried: This bill would create a new category of safety-net hospitals to better focus payments on the hospitals that provide indigent care.
  • S.5929-A – Avella / A.7726A – Jaffee: The bill would establish a Child Care Availability Taskforce. This taskforce would evaluate the cost, accessibility, availability, quality, and impact of childcare subsidies.
  • A.8427-A – Morelle / S.6639A – Robach: This bill would require that all contracts over $1 million for construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, maintenance, or improvement of any surface roads or bridges contain a provision that iron and steel be produced or made in the United States.

The Governor has until the end of the day on December 18 to act on these bills.

State of the State

One year after foregoing the traditional “State of the State” address in Albany in favor of a series of regional speeches, Governor Cuomo has announced that he will return to the traditional one-speech format for 2018. The Governor’s address is scheduled for January 3, 2018 at 1:00pm. Governor Cuomo has not yet indicated any policy proposals that will be part of his 2018 agenda.

Federal Update

Taxes

By a vote of 51-49, the U.S. Senate passed its version of tax reform legislation late last week. Under the Senate’s bill, the richest 1% would get 62% of the tax breaks, while millions of working families would see their taxes go up. The Senate bill would also rollback deductions for state and local taxes and would cause 13 million people to lose their health insurance by eliminating the Affordable Care Act’s “individual mandate”. All Democrats voted against the bill, as did Republican Bob Corker (R-TN).

The Senate and House of Representatives will now attempt to reconcile the differences between their two bills through the conference committee process.

Government Shutdown Temporarily Averted

Congress has passed a short-term spending bill that will keep the federal government funded through December 22. Leaders and the White House now have a few weeks to negotiate a longer-term agreement to fund the government.


    This Week in Albany

    Week ending December 1, 2017

    Legislative Update

    The Governor signed 43 bills and vetoed 31 this week. Several bills strongly supported by CSEA were among those vetoed.

    Vetoed:

      • Veto #194: S.4324 – Tedisco / A.5210 – Abinanti: This bill would have required that retirees be given 45 days of notice prior to changes to their health insurance. The Governor also vetoed this bill in 2016. The Governor included this bill in a list of other bills vetoed because of their cost.
      • Veto #195: S.4630 – Gallivan / A.6505 – Kearns: This bill would have prohibited the re-location Western NY Children’s Psych Center. The Governor said that this bill would “have a negative impact on children and families in need of mental health services.”
      • Veto #196: S.5130 – Golden / A.7134 – Abbate: This bill would have allowed any sheriff, undersheriff, deputy sheriff or correction officer employed by Nassau County to be eligible for a performance of duty benefit due to the intentional or reckless act of a civilian visiting an institution under the jurisdiction of such county. The Governor included this bill in a list of other bills vetoed because of their cost.
      • Veto #198: A.7135 – Abbate / S.5704 – Phillips: This bill would have allowed for a performance of duty disability for Nassau County Ambulance Medical Technicians (AMTs). The Governor included this bill in a list of other bills vetoed because of their cost.
      • Veto #199: A.7127 – Abbate / S.5705 – Phillips: This bill would have allowed for a performance of duty disability for Nassau County fire marshals. The Governor included this bill in a list of other bills vetoed because of their cost.
      • Veto #185: A.473 – Paulin / S.2516 – Gallivan: This bill would have allowed for the establishment of an optional disability coverage for county probation officers. Counties would have to opt-in to providing this coverage. The Governor vetoed this bill both because of costs and a belief that benefits like this should be collectively bargained.
      • Veto #191: S.3670 – Golden / A.3332 – Abbate: This bill would have allowed any Tier 6 member who is a uniformed court officer or peace officer employed by the Unified Court System to retire without early age reduction upon attaining 30 year of creditable service and age 55. It would also reduce the normal retirement age from 63 to 62, and lessen the reductions in benefits for those who retire prior to normal retirement age. The Governor included this bill in a list of other bills vetoed because of their cost.
      • Veto #192: S.3671 – Golden / A.3503 – Abbate: This bill would have allowed for the establishment of an accidental disability retirement for uniformed court officers / peace officers within the Unified Court System. The Governor included this bill in a list of other bills vetoed because of their cost.

    CSEA will evaluate these bills and veto messages and determine how we can move forward on this legislation next year.

    Signed Into Law:

        • Chapter #420: A.7285 – Dinowitz / S.6007 – Ranzenhofer: This bill will require the New York Power Authority (NYPA) to report specific shared services between NYPA, the Canal Corporation, and the Department of Transportation. The 2017-18 State budget expanded such shared services.
        • Chapter #439; Approval #28: S.5811A – Squadron / A.7634A – Rozic: This bill will require a report on alternative work schedules within state agencies.

    We expect the majority of the remaining 105 bills that have passed both houses and have not yet been delivered to the Governor to be sent to the Governor’s desk next week. This includes several of CSEA’s priority bills.Updates on CSEA’s priority bills can be found on our website.


    Federal Tax Reform

    Republican efforts to pass a tax overhaul bill in the U.S. Senate stalled on Thursday as leaders rushed to rewrite parts of the bill to win over the votes needed for passage. The Senate bill would slash corporate taxes, completely eliminate state and local tax deductions (including the property tax deduction), and would add about $1.5 trillion to the deficit over a decade.

    Senators are expected to work through the day Friday to get the votes needed for the bill. The House of Representatives has already passed their version of the bill, so the two houses will need to go to conference committees once a Senate bill passes to iron out the differences between the two.

    The timeline on this legislation is still uncertain, so stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.


    State Senate Democrats Talk of Reunification

    State Senate Democrats appear to have reached a vague and uncertain agreement with the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) to reunify the two Democratic conferences in the Senate following next year’s special elections.

    The “reunification” plan was laid out by the State Democratic Party, which threatened to fully back challengers to the IDC in next year’s Primary elections if the conference did not agree to it.

    Under the proposed plan, the IDC and Senate Democrats would work together to win two special elections for vacant Senate seats in 2018. If Democrats win both seats, IDC leader Jeff Klein and Democratic conference leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins would become co-leaders of a new Democratic majority.

    The logistics of the arrangement and the reality of it coming to pass are still unclear. Currently, the Senate is made up of 31 Republicans, 21 Democrats, eight members of the IDC, two vacancies, and Brooklyn Senator Simcha Felder, who was elected on both Democratic and Republican lines and conferences with the Republicans. The IDC has formed a majority coalition with Republicans since the conference’s inception in 2011.

    Thirty-two votes are needed to pass any legislation in the Senate. If Democrats win the two vacant Senate seats, and can convince Senator Felder to join them, they would have exactly 32 votes.

    The reunification proposal adds more uncertainty as Albany gets ready for an Executive Budget proposal that must address a shortfall of up to $4 billion. Governor Cuomo has not yet indicated when he will call for Special Elections to fill vacant legislative seats.


    At a Glance

    The Senate and Assembly have released the 2018 State Legislative Session Calendar.

    The legislature is scheduled to be in session for 60 days between January and June, beginning on January 3.

      This Week in Albany

      Legislative Update

      Governor Cuomo signed a package of veterans-related bills into law, including:

      • S.2911A – Croci / A.3198A – PaulinThis bill allows state employees who are combat veterans to take time off to receive health care services related to their service. CSEA strongly supported this legislation;
      • A.7006 – Gottfried / S.569 – Savino: This bill adds post-traumatic stress disorder as an eligible condition for a medical marijuana prescription; and
      • S.946A – Croci / A.1105-B – Hunter: This bill waives civil service examination fees for honorably discharged veterans.

      The Governor vetoed legislation (S.1850 – Ortt / A.6277 – Abbate) that would have allowed counties to allow county correctional officers or deputy sheriffs performing correction officer duties to retire after 20 years with a fifty percent final average salary pension.


      Pension Fund

      Comptroller DiNapoli announced that the New York State Common Retirement Fund had a value of over $200 billion as of September 30 after posting a 3.67% rate of return for the second quarter of 2017-18. As of that date, the Fund had an estimated value of $201.3 billion.

      New York continues to have one of the best managed and most well-funded pension systems in the country thanks to Comptroller DiNapoli’s leadership.

       

      Federal Tax Reform

      The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to overhaul the nation’s tax code this week. The Senate is expected to pass their plan, which differs from the house bill, after the Thanksgiving recess.

      Both bills would provide massive tax cuts to corporations and the wealthy while providing few, if any, benefits to middle class taxpayers. According to an AFSCME analysis, nearly 3 in 10 people with incomes between $54,000 and $154,000 would pay an average of $680 to $2,090 more in taxes by the tenth year of the House bill. Further, each proposal would increase the federal deficit by $1.5 trillion over ten years.

      The two bills would reduce the corporate tax rate from 35% to 20% without eliminating loopholes that allow corporations to drastically reduce the taxes they pay. This cut alone will cost $1.5 trillion over a decade. Further, while the cuts to individual tax rates would expire under these plans, the corporate tax rate cuts would be made permanent.

      The most important difference between the House and Senate bills is over the issue of state and local tax (SALT) deductions. Currently, New Yorkers can deduct the state and local income, sales, and property taxes they pay from their federal taxes. Under the House proposal, the deduction for sales and income taxes would be eliminated, and the property tax deduction would be limited to $10,000. Under the Senate’s proposal, state and local tax deductions would be eliminated entirely. Under either plan, New Yorkers lose.

      Eliminating SALT deductions would be especially harmful to workers in states like New York. CSEA joined with AFSCME, the AFL-CIO, and other groups in impressing upon the New York Congressional delegation the importance of maintaining these deductions that workers in New York depend on. Because of the severe impact of eliminating SALT deductions, several New York Republicans voted against the bill in the House, including Lee Zeldin (NY1), Peter King (NY2), Dan Donovan (NY11), John Faso (NY19) and Elise Stefanik (NY21). Claudia Tenney (NY22), Tom Reed (NY23), John Katko (NY24), and Chris Collins (NY27) all voted for the bill. All Democrats in the House voted against the bill.

      Once the Senate passes a bill, the two houses will have to work together to reach a consensus on the legislation. Republican leaders have said that they plan on agreeing to a final bill before the end of the year.

       

      We’ll Be Back In December

      “This Week in Albany” will take a week off for the Thanksgiving holiday and return on Friday, December 1. Have a safe and happy holiday.


        This Week in Albany

        Election Update

         

        Constitutional Convention

        CSEA members won a major victory on Tuesday when the constitutional convention ballot proposal was defeated by an unprecedented margin.

        This victory was a culmination of over a year of continuous efforts of CSEA members and activists to educate members and the general public and turn out the vote against the proposal.

        When the Siena College Research Institute released its first poll of voters’ feelings on the constitutional convention in April, 63% of voters supported the idea of holding a constitutional convention. By November, polling showed that support was down to 25%. By election night, opposition to a constitutional convention reached an all time high. Unofficial election night totals from the State Board of Elections showed that the proposal was defeated by a margin of 83% to 17%. Not a single county voted in favor of the constitutional convention.

        “Without CSEA and our allies voting NO on the constitutional convention, there’s a good chance we’d all be on the hook for a very expensive and dangerous ride. When it comes down to it, this is just another example of how important labor is in protecting our rights, and the rights of our families and friends everywhere. This is a very proud day for CSEA,” President Danny Donohue said.

        The overwhelming “no” vote shows how strong unions can be when we stand together. Thank you for all that you did to earn this victory.


        Other Ballot Questions

        The other two proposals on the ballot statewide both passed.

        Proposal #2 – Pension Forfeiture: This measure will allow a court to reduce or revoke the public pension of a public officer who is convicted of a felony relating to their office. When originally proposed, CSEA members would have been subject to any potential pension forfeiture law. CSEA worked hard to focus this constitutional amendment on elected officials and high ranking appointees and managers. CSEA did not take a position on Proposal #2 as it appeared on the ballot. It passed by a vote of about 73% to 27%.

        Proposal #3 – Adirondacks Land Use: This measure will create a land account with up to 250 acres of forest preserve land eligible for use by towns, villages, and counties that have no viable alternative to using forest preserve land to address specific public health and safety concerns. The land removed from the forest preserve would have to be replaced by another 250 acres. CSEA did not take a position on Proposal #3. It passed narrowly, by a vote of about 52% to 48%.

         

        Westchester County

        CSEA-endorsed candidate George Latimer (D) handily defeated incumbent County Executive Rob Astorino. In addition, Democrats flipped the county legislature and now have a strong majority.

         

        Nassau County

        CSEA-endorsed candidate Jack Martins (R) was defeated by Democrat Laura Curran in the race for Nassau County Executive.

         

        New York City

        New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) easily won re-election.

        State Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh (D) won a Special Election to fill a vacancy in the 26th Senate District caused by the resignation of Senator Daniel Squadron (D).

        There were also two Special Elections held for vacant Assembly seats. Al Taylor (D) won the seat vacated by the retirement of Assemblyman Denny Farrell (D) in the 71st District, while Dan Rosenthal (D) won the 27th District that became vacant upon the death of Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz.

         

        Other Races

        In Rockland County, incumbent County Executive Ed Day (R) defeated CSEA-endorsed challenger Maureen Porette.

        CSEA endorsed Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus (R) for his re-election bid. Neuhaus easily defeated his challenger for a second term.

        In Syracuse, independent Ben Walsh pulled off a victory for the mayor’s seat, defeating Democratic candidate Juanita Perez-Williams. It is the first time in over 100 years that the city will have an independent mayor.

        In the Town of Massena, CSEA-endorsed candidate Steve O’Shaughnessy (D) defeated the incumbent Town Supervisor. The election of a new Town Supervisor may help fight back efforts to privatize the public hospital.

        In Erie County, CSEA-endorsed candidate John Bruso (D) defeated Republican incumbent Ted Morton to help the Democrats retake the County Legislature. Additionally, endorsed candidate Mickey Kearns (R) won his election for Erie County Clerk.

         

        Impact on the State Legislature

        Several sitting state legislators won election to local government positions this week. The vacancies caused by these elections will lead to multiple Special Elections in 2018, including:

         

        State Senate

        • SD 32: Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr. (D) won election to the New York City Council.
        • SD 37: Senator George Latimer (D) won the race for Westchester County Executive.

         

        State Assembly

        • AD 5: Assemblyman Al Graf (R) won the race for District Court Judge in the 5th District.
        • AD 10: Assemblyman Chad Lupinacci (R) won the race for Huntington Town Supervisor.
        • AD 17: Assemblyman Tom McKevitt (R) won election to the Nassau County Legislature.
        • AD 39: Assemblyman Francisco Moya (D) won election to the New York City Council.
        • AD 80: Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj (D) won election to the New York City Council.
        • AD 107: Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R) won the race for Rensselaer County Executive.
        • AD 142: Assemblyman Mickey Kearns (D) won the race for Erie County clerk.

         

        Veterans Day

        CSEA thanks the men and women who risk their lives as a duty to our nation. They deserve our recognition and respect.


          This Week in Albany

          Week ending November 3, 2017

           

          Federal Tax Reform

          U.S. House Republicans revealed their long-awaited proposal to overhaul the federal tax code this week.

          The proposal would limit the ability of New Yorkers to deduct state and local taxes from their federal taxes. The plan would eliminate the federal deduction for state and local income and sales taxes, while limiting the property tax deduction to $10,000. The plan would also put limitations on the mortgage interest deduction, though existing homeowners would be able to keep their deduction.

          The plan would reduce the number of tax brackets from seven to four. Taxpayers earning up to $24,000 will pay no income tax, while the rates for married taxpayers filing jointly would be – 12% for those earning up to $90,000, 25% for those earning up to $260,000, 35% for those earning up to $1 million, and 39.6% for everyone earning over $1 million.

          Other parts of the plan include almost doubling the standard deduction, cutting corporate taxes from 35% to 20%, and the eventual elimination of the Estate Tax. Lawmakers had discussed the possibility of limiting contributions to 401(k)s and other retirement plans, but the proposal does not touch retirement plans.

          Stay tuned for more details on the plan once they become available.

           

          Election Day is Tuesday

          Tuesday is Election Day, and your vote is especially important this year.

          By standing together and VOTING NO on the Constitutional Convention , we can protect our pensions, collective bargaining rights, public education, the environment, and all of the other protections and rights guaranteed in the New York State constitution.

          So, what is your plan for voting?

          Where is your polling place?

          Not sure? Find your polling place on the Board of Elections’ website.

          What time are you going to vote?

          All polls are open from 6AM – 9PM.

           

          Election Spotlight – Constitutional Convention

          Click here to learn more about the constitutional convention ballot question and why you should VOTE NO on Tuesday.

            This Week in Albany

            Week ending October 27, 2017


            Legislative Update

            Governor Cuomo acted on 84 bills this week, signing 69 bills and vetoing 15.

            Among the bills signed into law was S.1411B – Griffo / A.711B – Gunther, that would provide additional health benefits to volunteer firefighters. Under the new law, volunteer firefighters who contract certain cancers will be eligible for enhanced disability and death benefits effective January 1, 2019.

            There are still 185 bills that passed both houses but have not been sent to the Governor’s office, including many of CSEA’s priority bills. Stay tuned for updates on important legislation as they become available.

             

            Federal Budget / Taxes

            On Thursday, the House of Representatives passed the Senate’s 2018 budget resolution, setting up a fight over Republicans’ efforts to rewrite the tax code.

            By passing the resolution, the House allows the Senate to use the process of reconciliation to pass tax reform with only 51 votes instead of the normally required 60 votes. The reconciliation process will also allow the Republican tax plan to increase the deficit by up to $1.5 trillion over the next decade. The tax plan is expected to contain a provision that would eliminate the ability for homeowners to deduct state and local tax payments, including property taxes. If this measure is included, it would raise taxes on every New Yorker who pays property taxes. According to a report by Comptroller DiNapoli, New York taxpayers could lose $72 billion in deductions if this plan moves forward.

            Every New York Republican voted no on the measure except for Tom Reed (NY-23) and Chris Collins (NY-27). Had Reed and Collins voted no, the measure would have failed. Instead, the measure passed by a vote of 216-212.

            Federal funding is set to expire on December 8th. Legislators will need to reach a spending agreement before then to avoid a government shutdown.

             

            Social Security COLA

            The Social Security Administration announced that Social Security recipients will receive a two percent increase in their benefits next year. While this is the largest increase since 2012, the average beneficiary will see only a $25 increase per month.

            Roughly one-in-five Americans are impacted by the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).

             

            Election Spotlight – Nassau County

            CSEA has endorsed Republican Jack Martins for Nassau County Executive. Click here to learn more about the race and the two candidates vying for an open seat.

             

            Con Con Fact

            Unlike the New York State constitution, the United States constitution does not clearly protect against the diminishment of pensions. A New York State constitutional convention could remove the clear and unambiguous protections that go above and beyond those provided for by the federal government.


              This Week in Albany

              Week ending October 20, 2017

              Shared Services Plans

              County-wide shared service plans were finalized this week and presented to the public. Thirty-four counties submitted a plan this year, while 23 counties will wait until next year to submit a plan.

              Thanks to the hard work and advocacy of CSEA members, the potential negative impacts of this new shared services program were severely blunted in the 2017-18 state budget and throughout the process of developing the plans. As it stands, local services and jobs will be largely protected from misguided attempts to save a few dollars on the backs of workers and the services they provide.

               

              Special Session? Not so Fast

              Assembly Democrats were in Albany this week to conference and discuss several outstanding legislative issues.

              After the conference, Speaker Carl Heastie cast doubt on the need for a special session this year barring a major policy action by the federal government. Governor Cuomo has been pushing for a special session in recent weeks to address a variety of outstanding issues, from federal healthcare funds to local water infrastructure.

              Speaker Heastie also reiterated his opposition to holding a constitutional convention.

               

              Federal Health Care

              CSEA President Danny Donohue wrote a letter to the New York Congressional Delegation calling on members of Congress to protect New York patients and providers from damaging health care cuts.

              Specifically, President Donohue asked the Congressional delegation to restore reductions to Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payment reductions, fund Affordable Care Act cost-sharing reduction payments, and reauthorize the Health Centers Fund.

              The full letter can be found on our website.

              Due to the federal DSH cuts, public hospitals throughout the state face significant cuts:

              • Westchester Medical Center is facing a cut of $74 million;
              • Nassau University Medical Center is facing a cut of $56 million;
              • Erie County Medical Center is facing a cut of $29 million; and
              • SUNY hospitals are facing a cut of $174 million.

              Congress must work to restore these devastating cuts to public hospital services.

               

              Elections

              For a full list of CSEA’s endorsements, visit our website.

              To find out how you can help this election season, please contact your region’s Political Action Coordinator:

               

              Long Island Region 1:

              Sue Castle (631) 462 – 0030


              Metropolitan Region 2:

              Matthew D’Amico (212) 406 – 2156


              Southern Region 3:

              Chris Ludlow (845) 831 – 1000


              Capital Region 4:

              Bill Gustafson (518) 782 – 4400


              Central Region 5:

              Josh Schick (315) 433 – 0050


              Western Region 6:

              Chris Rackl (716) 691 – 6555

               

              Election Spotlight – Westchester County

              CSEA has endorsed George Latimer for Westchester County Executive. Click here to learn more about that race and the candidates involved.

               

              Con Con Fact

              The last constitutional convention wasted millions of dollars and resulted in voters rejecting all proposed amendments.


                2017 CSEA Endorsements

                REGIONCOUNTYJURISDICTIONPOSITION2017 CSEA Endorsement
                Region 1NassauNassau CountyExecutiveJack Martins
                Region 1NassauNassau CountyComptrollerSteve Labriola
                Region 1NassauNassau CountyClerkMaureen O'Connell
                Region 1NassauCounty Legislative District 1LegislatorKevan Abrahams
                Region 1NassauCounty Legislative District 2LegislatorSiela Bynoe
                Region 1NassauCounty Legislative District 4LegislatorDenise Ford
                Region 1NassauCounty Legislative District 5LegislatorDebra Mule
                Region 1NassauCounty Legislative District 6LegislatorC. William Gaylor
                Region 1NassauCounty Legislative District 7LegislatorHoward Kopel
                Region 1NassauCounty Legislative District 8LegislatorVincent Muscarella
                Region 1NassauCounty Legislative District 9LegislatorRichard Nicolello
                Region 1NassauCounty Legislative District 10LegislatorEllen Birnbaum
                Region 1NassauCounty Legislative District 11LegislatorDelia DeRiggi-Whitton
                Region 1NassauCounty Legislative District 12LegislatorJames D. Kenney
                Region 1NassauCounty Legislative District 13LegislatorThomas McKevitt
                Region 1NassauCounty Legislative District 14LegislatorLaura M. Schaefer
                Region 1NassauCounty Legislative District 15LegislatorJohn R. Ferretti II
                Region 1NassauCounty Legislative District 16LegislatorArnold Drucker
                Region 1NassauCounty Legislative District 17LegislatorRose Marie Walker
                Region 1NassauCounty Legislative District 18LegislatorJosh Lafazan
                Region 1NassauCounty Legislative District 19LegislatorSteven D. Rhoads
                Region 1NassauHempstead TownSupervisorAnthony Santino
                Region 1NassauHempstead Town1st District CouncilDorothy Goosby
                Region 1NassauHempstead Town4th District CouncilAnthony D'Esposito
                Region 1NassauHempstead Town6th DistrictDennis Dennue, Sr.
                Region 1NassauHempstead TownTown ClerkNasrin Ahmad
                Region 1NassauTown of Oyster BaySupervisorJoe Saladino
                Region 1NassauTown of Oyster BayCouncil MemberMichelle Johnson
                Region 1NassauTown of Oyster BayCouncil MemberLouis Imbroto
                Region 1NassauTown of Oyster BayCouncil MemberThomas Hand
                Region 1NassauTown of Oyster BayTown ClerkJames Altadonna
                Region 1NassauNorth Hempstead TownSupervisorJudi Bosworth
                Region 1NassauNorth Hempstead Town3rd District CouncilAngelo Ferrara
                Region 1NassauCity of Long BeachCity CouncilJohn Bendo
                Region 1NassauCity of Long BeachCity CouncilChumi Diamond
                Region 1NassauCity of Long BeachCity CouncilScott Mandel
                Region 1NassauNassau CountyCourt JudgeChristopher Quinn
                Region 1NassauNassau CountyCourt JudgeJerald S. Carter
                Region 1NassauSupreme CourtJusticeWilliam B. Rebolini
                Region 1NassauSupreme CourtJusticeRichard Hoffman
                Region 1NassauSupreme CourtJusticeArthur M. Diamond
                Region 1NassauSupreme CourtJusticeThomas Feinman
                Region 1Nassau6th District CourtJusticeVincent Martorana
                Region 1NassauDistrict Court 2nd DistrictJusticeAnthony Paradiso
                Region 1NassauDistrict Court 2nd DistrictJusticeGary F. Knobel
                Region 1NassauNassau County Family CourtJusticeLinda Mejias
                Region 1SuffolkSuffolk CountyDistrict AttorneyTim Sini
                Region 1SuffolkSuffolk CountySheriffPhil Boyle
                Region 1SuffolkCounty Legislative District 1LegislatorAl Krupski
                Region 1SuffolkCounty Legislative District 2LegislatorBridget Fleming
                Region 1SuffolkCounty Legislative District 3LegislatorRudy Sunderman
                Region 1SuffolkCounty Legislative District 4LegislatorThomas Muratore
                Region 1SuffolkCounty Legislative District 5LegislatorKara Hahn
                Region 1SuffolkCounty Legislative District 6LegislatorSarah Anker
                Region 1SuffolkCounty Legislative District 7LegislatorRob Calarco
                Region 1SuffolkCounty Legislative District 8LegislatorBill Lindsay, Jr.
                Region 1SuffolkCounty Legislative District 9LegislatorMonica Martinez
                Region 1SuffolkCounty Legislative District 10LegislatorThomas Cilmi
                Region 1SuffolkCounty Legislative District 11LegislatorJoe McDermott
                Region 1SuffolkCounty Legislative District 12LegislatorLeslie Kennedy
                Region 1SuffolkCounty Legislative District 13LegislatorColleen Maher
                Region 1SuffolkCounty Legislative District 14LegislatorClaire McKeon
                Region 1SuffolkCounty Legislative District 15LegislatorDuWayne Gregory
                Region 1SuffolkCounty Legislative District 16LegislatorSusan Berland
                Region 1SuffolkCounty Legislative District 17LegislatorTom Donnelly
                Region 1SuffolkCounty Legislative District 18LegislatorWilliam "Doc" Spencer
                Region 1SuffolkHuntington TownSupervisorTracey Edwards
                Region 1SuffolkHuntington TownCouncil MemberMark Cuthbertson
                Region 1SuffolkHuntington TownCouncil MemberEmily Rogan
                Region 1SuffolkBrookhaven TownSupervisorEd Romaine
                Region 1SuffolkBrookhaven Town1st District CouncilValerie Cartwright
                Region 1SuffolkBrookhaven Town2nd District CouncilJane Bonner
                Region 1SuffolkBrookhaven Town3rd District CouncilKevin LaValle
                Region 1SuffolkBrookhaven Town4th District CouncilMichael Loguercio
                Region 1SuffolkBrookhaven Town5th District CouncilNeil Foley
                Region 1SuffolkBrookhaven Town6th District CouncilDan Panico
                Region 1SuffolkBrookhaven TownClerkDonna Lent
                Region 1SuffolkBrookhaven TownHighway SuperintendentDan Losquadro
                Region 1SuffolkRiverhead TownSupervisorSean Walter
                Region 1SuffolkRiverhead TownCouncil MemberJudi Giglio
                Region 1SuffolkRiverhead TownCouncil MemberMichele Lynch
                Region 1SuffolkRiverhead TownTown AssessorLaverne Tennenberg
                Region 1SuffolkSouthampton TownSupervisorJay Schneiderman
                Region 1SuffolkSouthampton TownHighway SuperintendentLance Aldrich
                Region 1SuffolkSouthampton TownCouncilJulie Lofstad
                Region 1SuffolkSouthampton TownCouncilTommy John Schiavoni
                Region 2NYCNew York CityMayorBill De Blasio
                Region 3DutchessDutchess CountyComptrollerJim Coughlan
                Region 3DutchessCounty Legislative District 5LegislatorPamela Kingsley
                Region 3DutchessCounty Legislative District 6LegislatorRebecca Edwards
                Region 3DutchessCounty Legislative District 11LegislatorJoel Tyner
                Region 3DutchessCounty Legislative District 12LegislatorLaurette Giardino
                Region 3DutchessCounty Legislative District 16LegislatorJohn Forman
                Region 3DutchessCounty Legislative District 18LegislatorJerry Landisi
                Region 3OrangeOrange CountyExecutiveSteve Neuhaus
                Region 3OrangeOrange CountyDistrict AttorneyDavid Hoovler
                Region 3OrangeOrange CountyClerkDeborah Mulqueen
                Region 3OrangeCounty Legislative District 3LegislatorPatricia McMillan
                Region 3OrangeCounty Legislative District 4LegislatorAnthony Tarsio
                Region 3OrangeCounty Legislative District 5LegislatorStephen Hunter
                Region 3OrangeCounty Legislative District 7LegislatorMyrna Kemnitz
                Region 3OrangeCounty Legislative District 11LegislatorJanette McKay
                Region 3OrangeCounty Legislative District 12LegislatorKevin Hines
                Region 3OrangeCounty Legislative District 14LegislatorLaurie Tautel
                Region 3OrangeCounty Legislative District 15LegislatorSylvia Santiago
                Region 3OrangeCounty Legislative District 17LegislatorMike Anagnostakis
                Region 3OrangeCounty Legislative District 18LegislatorRoseanne Sullivan
                Region 3OrangeCounty Legislative District 19LegislatorMichael Paduch
                Region 3OrangeCounty Legislative District 21LegislatorJames O'Donnell
                Region 3OrangeMiddletown Council - Ward 2CouncilmemberAndrew Green
                Region 3OrangeMiddletown Council - Ward 4CouncilmemberSparrow Tobin
                Region 3OrangeMontgomeryTown SupervisorRod Winchell
                Region 3OrangeMontgomeryTown ClerkTara Stickles
                Region 3OrangeMontgomeryTown CouncilSusan Cockburn
                Region 3OrangeMontgomeryTown CouncilDavid Stoudnour
                Region 3PutnamCounty Legislative District 2LegislatorAnthony Williams
                Region 3PutnamCounty Legislative District 3LegislatorToni Addonizio
                Region 3RocklandRockland CountyExecutiveMaureen Porette
                Region 3RocklandRockland CountyClerkPaul Piperato
                Region 3RocklandClarkstownTown SupervisorMichael Sullivan
                Region 3RocklandClarkstownTown ClerkJustin Sweet
                Region 3RocklandClarkstownHighway SuperintendentFrank DiZenzo
                Region 3RocklandClarkstown Board Ward 1Town BoardFrank Borelli
                Region 3RocklandClarkstown Board Ward 2Town BoardDaniel Caprara
                Region 3RocklandClarkstown Board Ward 3Town BoardDonald Franchino
                Region 3RocklandClarkstown Board Ward 4Town BoardPatrick Carroll
                Region 3RocklandOrangetownTown SupervisorThom Kleiner
                Region 3RocklandOrangetownTown BoardDennis Troy
                Region 3RocklandOrangetownTown BoardTom Diviny
                Region 3RocklandRamapoTown SupervisorMichael Specht
                Region 3RocklandRamapoHighway SuperintendentFred Brinn
                Region 3RocklandRamapoTown CouncilYitzchok Ullman
                Region 3RocklandRamapoTown CouncilDavid Wanounou
                Region 3RocklandSpring ValleyMayorAlan Simon
                Region 3RocklandSuffernVillage CouncilMark Gomes
                Region 3RocklandSuffernVillage CouncilPeter Bellin
                Region 3SullivanSullivan CountyTreasurerNancy Buck
                Region 3SullivanSullivan CountyDistrict AttorneyJim Farrell
                Region 3SullivanSullivan CountySheriffMichael Schiff
                Region 3UlsterKingston Council - Ward 5CouncilmemberTeryl Mickens
                Region 3UlsterKingston Council - Ward 7CouncilmemberPatrick O'Reilly
                Region 3UlsterKingston Council - Ward 8CouncilmemberJames Rodden
                Region 3UlsterKingston Council - Ward 9CouncilmemberDeb Brown
                Region 3UlsterLloydTown SupervisorPaul Hansut
                Region 3WestchesterWestchester CountyExecutiveGeorge Latimer
                Region 3WestchesterWestchester CountyClerkTim Idoni
                Region 3WestchesterWestchester County - Dist. 1LegislatorNancy Vann
                Region 3WestchesterWestchester County - Dist. 2LegislatorKitley Covill
                Region 3WestchesterWestchester County - Dist. 3LegislatorDaren Tolz
                Region 3WestchesterWestchester County - Dist. 5LegislatorBen Boykin
                Region 3WestchesterWestchester County - Dist. 6LegislatorNancy Barr
                Region 3WestchesterWestchester County - Dist. 7LegislatorCatherine Parker
                Region 3WestchesterWestchester County - Dist. 8LegislatorAlfreda Williams
                Region 3WestchesterWestchester County - Dist. 9LegislatorCatherine Borgia
                Region 3WestchesterWestchester County - Dist. 10LegislatorDamon Maher
                Region 3WestchesterWestchester County - Dist. 12LegislatorMary Jane Shimsky
                Region 3WestchesterWestchester County - Dist. 13LegislatorLondon Williams
                Region 3WestchesterWestchester County - Dist. 14LegislatorGwen Dean
                Region 3WestchesterWestchester County - Dist. 15LegislatorRuth Walter
                Region 3WestchesterYonkersCity Council PresidentMike Khader
                Region 3WestchesterYonkersCity Council - Ward 6Anthony Pagano
                Region 3WestchesterYonkersCity Council - Ward 2Corazon Pineda
                Region 3WestchesterYonkersCity Council - Ward 4Maeve Scott
                Region 3WestchesterYonkersHighway SuperintendentDave Pagnelli
                Region 4AlbanyAlbany CountyClerkBruce Hidley
                Region 4AlbanyAlbany CityCouncil PresidentChris Higgins
                Region 4AlbanyAlbany City District 3CouncilmemberRon Bailey
                Region 4AlbanyBerneSupervisorSean Lyons
                Region 4AlbanyBerneTown BoardFrank Brady
                Region 4AlbanyBerneTown BoardDennis Palow
                Region 4AlbanyBerneTown ClerkBill Keal
                Region 4AlbanyBerneTax CollectorJoanne Brady
                Region 4AlbanyBerneHighway SuperintendentRandy Bashwinger
                Region 4AlbanyCoeymansHighway SuperintendentPete DeLuke
                Region 4AlbanyColonieSupervisorFrank Mauriello
                Region 4AlbanyColonieClerkJulie Gansle
                Region 4AlbanyColonieTown BoardMelissa Jeffers Van Dullen
                Region 4AlbanyColonieTown BoardMark Mitchell
                Region 4AlbanyColonieTown BoardDavid Green
                Region 4AlbanyWatervlietCity CouncilAndrew Williams
                Region 4ClintonClinton County - Dist. 10LegislatorRobert Hall
                Region 4ClintonClinton CountyTreasurerKimberly Davis
                Region 4SaratogaCity of Saratoga SpringsMayorMeg Kelly
                Region 4SchenectadyCounty Legislative District 1LegislatorKaren Johnson
                Region 4SchenectadyCounty Legislative District 2LegislatorPhil Fields
                Region 4SchenectadyCounty Legislative District 3LegislatorCathy Gatta
                Region 4SchenectadyCounty Legislative District 3LegislatorGrant Socha
                Region 4SchenectadyCounty Legislative District 3LegislatorRory Fluman
                Region 4SchenectadyCounty Legislative District 4LegislatorRandy Pascarella
                Region 4SchenectadyCounty Legislative District 4LegislatorHolly Vellano
                Region 4SchenectadySch'tady CityCouncilKaren Zalewski-Wildzunas
                Region 4SchenectadySch'tady CityCouncilMarion Porterfield
                Region 4SchenectadySch'tady CityCouncilJohn Mootooveren
                Region 4SchenectadyGlenvilleTown BoardMichael Aragosa
                Region 4SchenectadyGlenvilleTown BoardMichael Godlewski
                Region 4SchenectadyGlenvilleHighway SuperintendentRichard LeClair
                Region 4SchenectadyNiskayunaSupervisorJoe Landry
                Region 4SchenectadyNiskayunaTown BoardDenise Murphy McGraw
                Region 4SchenectadyNiskayunaTown BoardJohn Della Ratta
                Region 4SchenectadyRotterdamSupervisorSteven Tommasone
                Region 4SchenectadyRotterdamTown BoardStephen Signore
                Region 4SchenectadyRotterdamTown BoardRachel Rappazzo
                Region 5BroomeBinghamtonMayorTarik Abdelazim
                Region 5CayugaCounty Legislative District 11LegislatorElane Daly
                Region 5CayugaCounty Legislative District 13LegislatorTim Lattimore
                Region 5MadisonMadison CountyClerkAnn Jones
                Region 5MadisonMadison CountySheriffJohn Ball
                Region 5MadisonOneidaCity ChamberlainNancy Andrews
                Region 5MadisonOneida Common CouncilCouncilmemberMichael Bowe
                Region 5MadisonOneida Common CouncilCouncilmemberJim Chamberlain
                Region 5MadisonOneida Common CouncilCouncilmemberAlan Cohen
                Region 5MadisonOneida Common CouncilCouncilmemberDonald Moore
                Region 5MadisonOneidaMayorLeo Matzke
                Region 5OneidaCounty Legislative District 4LegislatorCynthia Rogers-Witt
                Region 5OneidaUtica Common CouncilCouncilmemberFrank DiBrango
                Region 5OneidaUtica Common CouncilCouncilmemberMichele Mandia
                Region 5OneidaUtica Common CouncilCouncilmemberJack LoMedico
                Region 5OnondagaCounty Legislative District 3LegislatorPete Ludden
                Region 5OnondagaCounty Legislative District 5LegislatorBryan Seamens
                Region 5OnondagaCounty Legislative District 6LegislatorMike Plochocki
                Region 5OnondagaCounty Legislative District 7LegislatorTom Buckel
                Region 5OnondagaCounty Legislative District 8LegislatorChris Ryan
                Region 5OnondagaCounty Legislative District 10LegislatorKevin Holmquist
                Region 5OnondagaSyracuseMayorJuanita Perez-Williams
                Region 5OnondagaSyracuse Common CouncilCouncil PresidentHelen Hudson
                Region 5OnondagaSyracuse Common CouncilCouncilmemberEric Graf
                Region 5OnondagaSyracuse Common CouncilCouncilmemberAndrea Wandersee
                Region 5OnondagaSyracuse Common CouncilCouncilmemberLatoya Allen
                Region 5OnondagaSyracuse Common CouncilCouncilmemberFrank Cetera
                Region 5OnondagaDewittTown CouncillorKerin Rigney
                Region 5OnondagaCamillusHighway SupervisorPatrick Virginia
                Region 5OnondagaOnondaga CountyLegislator District 14Stefanie Heath
                Region 5OswegoFultonCommon CouncilDennis Merlino
                Region 5St. LawrenceMassenaTown SupervisorSteve O'Shaughnessy
                Region 5St. LawrenceMassenaTown CouncillorSam Carbone Jr.
                Region 6ChautauquaChautauqua CountyExecutiveMike Ferguson
                Region 6ChautauquaChautauqua CountyClerkLee Ann Lazarony
                Region 6ChautauquaCounty Legislative District 2LegislatorBob Bankowski
                Region 6ChautauquaCounty Legislative District 3LegislatorBob Dando
                Region 6ChautauquaCounty Legislative District 5LegislatorTerry Niebel
                Region 6ChautauquaCounty Legislative District 12LegislatorDavid Reinhardt
                Region 6ChautauquaCounty Legislative District 19LegislatorLaurel Adams
                Region 6ChautauquaDunkirk Town Council District 1CouncilmemberDon Williams Jr.
                Region 6ErieErie CountyClerkMickey Kearns
                Region 6ErieErie CountyComptrollerVanessa Gushlevski
                Region 6ErieErie CountySheriffTim Howard
                Region 6ErieBuffalo CityMayorByron Brown
                Region 6ErieCounty Legislative District 2LegislatorApril Baskin
                Region 6ErieCounty Legislative District 3LegislatorPeter Savage
                Region 6ErieCounty Legislative District 7LegislatorPat Burke
                Region 6ErieCounty Legislative District 8LegislatorJohn Bruso
                Region 6ErieCounty Legislative District 9LegislatorMike Quinn
                Region 6ErieCounty Legislative District 10LegislatorMichelle Schoenenman
                Region 6ErieAmherstSupervisorBrian Kulpa
                Region 6ErieAmherstTown CouncilJacqui Berger
                Region 6ErieEvansTown CouncilMike Schraft
                Region 6ErieHamburgTown SupervisorJim Shaw
                Region 6ErieHamburgHighway SuperintendentTom Best
                Region 6ErieLancasterTown CouncilJohn Abraham Jr.
                Region 6ErieLancasterTown CouncilRon Ruffino
                Region 6ErieNorth CollinsTown CouncilJames Lint
                Region 6ErieNorth CollinsTown CouncilJohn Mrozek
                Region 6ErieTonawandaTown CouncilBill Conrad
                Region 6MonroeRochesterMayorJames Sheppard
                Region 6MonroeMonroe County - Dist. 10LegislatorHoward Maffucci
                Region 6NiagaraCounty Legislative District 2LegislatorRebecca Wydysh
                Region 6NiagaraCounty Legislative District 3LegislatorMark Grozio
                Region 6NiagaraCounty Legislative District 4LegislatorOwen Steed
                Region 6NiagaraCounty Legislative District 5LegislatorJason Zona
                Region 6NiagaraCounty Legislative District 6LegislatorDennis Virtuoso
                Region 6NiagaraCounty Legislative District 7LegislatorAdam Dickey
                Region 6NiagaraCounty Legislative District 8LegislatorDavid Fingerlow
                Region 6NiagaraCounty Legislative District 9LegislatorEd Smolinski
                Region 6NiagaraLockport - Ward 2AldermanAnita Mullane
                Region 6NiagaraLockport - Ward 4AldermanRoxanne Devine
                Region 6NiagaraNorth Tonawanda - At LargeAldermanAustin Tylec
                Region 6NiagaraNorth Tonawanda - Ward 3AldermanJoanne Dalporto
                Region 6OntarioGeneva Dist. 1 Ward 1 & 2City SupervisorDom Vedora
                Region 6OntarioGeneva Dist. 2 Ward 3 & 4City SupervisorLou Guard

                  This Week in Albany

                  Week ending October 13, 2017

                  State Agencies Directed to Hold Budgets Flat in 2018-19

                  In a letter to state agency commissioners made public this week, State Budget Director Robert Mujica directed agencies to submit zero-growth budgets for Fiscal Year 2018-19. This directive continues a multi-year pattern of holding agency budgets flat.

                  The 2018-19 Executive Budget proposal will be released in early January. It is also possible that the legislature is called back to Albany before January to attempt to address funding shortfalls resulting from federal actions, or the lack thereof.

                   

                  DiNapoli: Local Governments Needs Billions to Repair Bridges

                  Comptroller DiNapoli released a report that estimates that local governments need approximately $27.4 billion for needed repairs on bridges they own and maintain.

                  While local governments own 8,834 of the 17,462 bridges in the state, State support for local bridge maintenance is crucial to ensuring their safety. The pressing needs of our local roads and bridges is yet another reason why spending hundreds of millions of state dollars on a constitutional convention is a waste of taxpayer money.

                   

                  Con Con Fact

                  Corporations and other special interests could spend millions of dollars to have their lobbyists elected as delegates to a constitutional convention.

                   

                  Elections

                  To find out how you can help get out the vote this election day, please contact your region’s Political Action Coordinator:

                   

                  Long Island Region 1:

                  Sue Castle (631) 462 – 0030


                  Metropolitan Region 2:

                  Matthew D’Amico (212) 406 – 2156


                  Southern Region 3:

                  Chris Ludlow (845) 831 – 1000


                  Capital Region 4:

                  Bill Gustafson (518) 782 – 4400


                  Central Region 5:

                  Josh Schick (315) 433 – 0050


                  Western Region 6:

                  Chris Rackl (716) 691 – 6555

                   

                  President Trump Goes After Obamacare

                  After multiple bills to “repeal and replace” Obamacare failed in the US Senate, President Trump decided to go after the health care law on his own this week.

                  The President issued an executive order aimed at “saving the American people from the nightmare of Obamacare.” The main component of the order is allowing trade association health plans to operate across state lines. This could lead younger, healthier policyholders to leave their current plans for bare-bones plans operated under the jurisdiction of states with the least stringent health insurance regulations. If that were to happen, older and sicker policyholders could see their costs skyrocket. In a state like New York, where state insurance regulations have strong protections, the impact could be felt especially hard.

                  In addition to the executive order, the administration announced that it will immediately discontinue subsidies to health insurance companies that help pay out-of-pocket costs to low-income people. The President had threatened to stop these payments before, but continued them after being warned that the loss of these subsidies could quickly unravel insurance markets.

                  While the actual impact of these two actions remains to be seen, they undoubtedly inject more uncertainty into the health care system and into New York’s financial outlook.


                    This Week in Albany

                    Week ending October 6, 2017

                    Poll: Support for Con Con Dropping, But Still Would Pass

                    The latest Siena College Poll shows that while support for a constitutional convention has dropped, registered voters still say that they would vote in favor of holding a constitutional convention by a margin of 44% to 39%.

                    Support for the convention has dropped significantly since February, when 63% said they would vote yes, while those who said they would vote no has increased from 24% in February.

                    CSEA members can learn more about what a constitutional convention would mean on our website.

                     

                    Cuomo Raises Possibility of Special Session

                    Governor Cuomo has said that he would consider calling a special state legislative session to address funding cuts to two important health care programs – the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) and Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments if Congress does not act to restore funding. Congress is discussing a bill that would extend funding for CHIP and delay, by one year, the scheduled DSH funding cuts but nothing has been passed at this time.

                    CHIP funding authority lapsed after Congress failed to reauthorize the program before its September 30 expiration. CHIP covers nine million children across the country, including 330,000 low-income children in New York. According to the Governor, New York would lose $1.1 billion in funding if Congress does not act to reauthorize the program.

                    Hospitals around the state would lose an additional $1.1 billion over the next 18 months if nothing is done to address the cuts to DSH payments, which reimburse hospitals for providing uncompensated care to low income and uninsured New Yorkers. This funding is especially important for public hospitals, including the three SUNY hospitals.

                    Cuomo has raised the possibility of a special session in December to address these cuts. The 2017-18 State Budget gave the Governor extraordinary powers to address significant federal funding cuts.

                    Report Shows How Much New York Provides to Federal Government

                    Comptroller DiNapoli released a report this week that showed that New York sent an estimated $40.9 billion more in tax payments to Washington than it received back in federal spending in 2016. That gap has grown over the past three years, and only three states had a more negative balance of payments.

                    These numbers are especially staggering as Congress considers amendments to the tax code that would disproportionately harm New Yorkers. If the proposed elimination of the state and local tax deduction is approved, New Yorkers would owe an additional $17.5 billion in federal taxes.

                    Supreme Court Will Hear Janus v. AFSCME

                    The US Supreme Court has announced that it will hear the case of Janus v. AFSCME during its current term.

                    The case is effectively a re-hearing of Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, on which the court deadlocked in a 4-4 decision following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

                    At issue in the case is the ability of public sector labor unions to collect fair share fees. When a union is named the bargaining agent for a group of workers, it has the duty to fairly represent all workers – even if they choose not to join the union. Workers are not required to join the union, but if they choose not to, they must pay a “fair share” fee to cover their share of the costs of collective bargaining. This money cannot be used for political activity by the union.

                    If the Court rules in favor of Janus in this case, it would overturn 40 years of precedent that has upheld the legality of fair share fees in the public sector. If this happens, it would essentially make “right-to-work” the law of the land nationwide and would allow free riders to enjoy the benefits of a union without contributing their fair share. The case is the latest attempt by big-business backed extremists to decimate the ability of working class people to organize to improve their conditions.

                    Arguments in the case are expected to be heard this fall, with a decision expected in the spring of 2018. Stay tuned for more information on this case over the coming weeks and months.

                     

                    Con Con Fact

                    Voting rights are protected in the state constitution.

                     

                    Don’t Forget to Register

                    If you are not registered to vote, you have until Friday, October 13 to register. You can register on the DMV’s website or download a registration here.