This Week in Albany

Week ending March 24, 2017

Budget Update

State budget negotiations have started to heat up as lawmakers approach the April 1 deadline. This week, joint legislative conference committees met to discuss areas of agreement and disagreement across all areas of the budget. The legislative leaders and the Governor have also started three-way negotiations.

The legislature will be in session all next week as lawmakers and the Governor work towards a final budget agreement. As these negotiations continue, CSEA will continue to advocate for our budget priorities, including increased support for state agencies, especially the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities and the Office of Mental Health, and protections for municipalities against threats of consolidation and cuts.

Visit the Legislative & Political Action Department’s website for more information on CSEA’s budget priorities.  

Health Care Reform

CSEA members have been contacting their members of Congress asking them to oppose the American Health Care Act. This legislation would cut $6.9 billion in funding to New York State over the next four years, and an additional $2.4 billion annually starting in 2020. These cuts would affect all CSEA members, not just those that work in health care. The loss of funding would force the state and local governments to cut services and layoff employees. Its a bad policy for New York State.

The House of Representatives was scheduled to take a vote on this legislation Friday afternoon but suddenly pulled the legislation because they did not have enough votes to pass it. Please stay tuned for more information.

Gorsuch Hearings Begin

The confirmation process for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch began this week with Gorsuch testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Once approved by the Judiciary Committee he will need to be approved by the full Senate, where it is unclear if he will have the 60 votes needed for confirmation. Without 60 votes, Judge Gorsuch could still be confirmed if the Senate rules are changed to allow for a simple majority vote.

106th Anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

In 1911, a fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory killed 126 workers who were unable to escape due to unsafe working conditions. While tragic, the incident lead to increased awareness of workplace safety issues and led to many crucial reforms.