Friday, March 22, 2013


State Budget Not Yet Finalized

Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders announced a “conceptual agreement” on the state budget, but as of now specific details are lacking. Bill printing has begun for some issues, and it is expected that the budget will be finished next week.

There are several issues that are said to be finalized, but we have yet to see specific language. They include a broad agreement on tax cuts, an increase in the minimum wage, and an extension of the “Millionaire’s Tax” for another three years.

Most CSEA priority issues are still being discussed. These include:

•        Mental Health closures, consolidations, and downsizing;

•        OPWDD provider cuts;

•        Expansion of the ‘Close to Home’ Initiative within OCFS;

•        SUNY Downstate;

•        Subsidy to SUNY teaching hospitals;

•        Workers compensation and Unemployment Insurance reform;

•        Education distribution;

From the bills that have been printed, we know that Bayview Correctional and Beacon Correctional DOCCS facilities will be closed with 60 days notice.

Federal News

Congress avoided a potential government shut down but locked in harmful sequester cuts this week by voting on a new “Continuing Resolution” that funds the federal government until September 30th. The resolution was set to expire on March 27th.

In addition, the House of Representatives passed Rep. Paul Ryan’s devastating budget plan this week before leaving for a two-week recess. Mr. Ryan’s budget would end Medicare and Medicaid as we know them, force deep cuts to Social Security, and give new tax breaks to Wall Street and the wealthiest 2% of Americans.

In the Senate, where Senator Patty Murray has put forward an alternative budget that will prioritize jobs and make wealthy Americans and corporations pay their fair share, the Ryan plan was brought to a vote and failed to pass. It is expected that the Senate will soon vote on Ms. Murray’s budget resolution.

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