Week ending January 27, 2017
CSEA Director of Legislative and Political Action Fran Turner testified before the Joint Legislative Budget Hearing on Workforce Development this week.
CSEA’s testimony focused on lack of state investments in state agencies, including the continued attrition of necessary positions, understaffing, and closing of beds that have led to extreme overtime for many workers, especially in the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and the Office of Mental Health (OMH).
The testimony also raised concern over the Executive Budget’s proposal to force local governments to share services and/or consolidate, and stressed that CSEA will continue to oppose increasing health insurance premiums for retirees and future retirees.
The legislature also held a budget hearing to discuss higher education issues this week. This hearing largely focused on the Governor’s free tuition proposal for SUNY/CUNY schools.
CPS Bill Passes Senate
A bill to establish caseload standards for Child Protective Service (CPS) workers (S.3146 – Golden) that is strongly supported by CSEA passed the Senate this week.
Governor Cuomo vetoed this legislation last year after it passed both houses, but CSEA will continue to push this legislation and work with the Executive and legislature to accomplish its goals in the budget process.
Peralta Joins IDC
Queens Democratic Senator Jose Peralta became the eighth member of the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) this week, strengthening the Republican/IDC majority coalition in that chamber.
At a Glance
The legislature will be in session for two days next week and will hold budget hearings on local governments, public protection, and economic development.