This Week in Albany

Week ending March 30, 2018

State Budget Update

The legislature is currently passing the final portions of the state budget and is expected to finish sometime Friday night.

At the time of this email, the legislature has not yet finalized the budget, including many areas of importance to CSEA members. While we are still reviewing all details, and will continue to do so as they become finalized, the following is a brief summary based on the information we have available to us at this time.

The budget:

  • Expands from 45 to 90 days the length of time that the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities must give prior to closing an Individualized Residential Alternative facility.
  • Rejects the Executive’s proposal to overhaul the disciplinary process for DOCCS employees.
  • Provides $50 million for enhanced safety-net hospitals. This funding will target hospitals that serve patients that are primarily on Medicaid or are uninsured, and hospitals that are either a critical access hospital or a sole community hospital.
  • Provides $12 million more than the Executive proposal for operating assistance to SUNY community colleges. This is a slight reduction over 2017-18 levels, but restores almost all of the proposed reduction caused by a decrease in enrollment.
  • Extends for three years the county-wide shared service panels instead of the permanent extender proposed in the Executive Budget and expands the ability of towns to share town justices. Rejects the Executive proposal to allow a county to take over local planning and zoning functions.
  • Flat-funds Aid and Incentives to Municipalities (AIM) at $715 million. This funding has been held flat since 2011-12.
  • Includes $100 million for expenses to local governments, including probation departments, related to the costs of raising the age of criminal responsibility.
  • Includes an additional $136 million in child care funding, mostly due to increased federal assistance. Of this funding, $80 million must be used to comply with various health and safety requirements contained in federal law, $10 million must be given to counties who expand access to subsidized child care, and the remainder may be used to increase rates paid to providers.
  • The budget includes a $100 million payment from the opioid industry in order to fund treatment programs.

Visit our website for more information on the budget when it becomes available.

There will be a full summary included in next week’s “This Week in Albany.”

Never Quit Fact of the Week

According to the Economic Policy Institute, wages in “Right-to-Work” states are 3.1% lower than in non-“Right-to-Work” states.