PEF statement on State Senate's budget proposal

ALBANY, N.Y. (03/12/2024) (readMedia)-- PEF President Wayne Spence issued the following statement on March 12, 2024, in reaction to the budget proposal released by the New York State Senate:

"Under the leadership of Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the New York State Senate Majority's budget proposal greatly improves upon the Executive Budget proposal submitted in January. The New York State Senate Majority provides the support necessary to ensure that the critical services provided by SUNY Downstate Medical Center remain available to the residents of Central Brooklyn while also establishing a working group of stakeholders to develop a sustainability plan for continued long-term operation of the facility as a state-owned and operated entity. The Senate also advances responsible and affordable improvements to the Tier 6 pension plan designed to increase public sector hiring and retention and reduce the more than $1 billion the state currently spends on overtime compensation due to low staffing. In addition to those top two PEF priorities, the Senate's proposal includes:

  • A recurring revenue stream for the Department of Labor to enforce violations in order to protect workers and businesses that abide by the state's labor laws;
  • Expansion of the Governor's work to improve mental health services by providing a new student loan forgiveness program for mental health professionals;
  • A more transparent and fairer approach to right-sizing the state's correctional facilities;
  • Protection of patients by rejecting the Interstate Nurse Licensure Compact ,which would lower standards for out-of-state nurses working in New York;
  • Significant steps to regulate the use of artificial intelligence in state agencies in order to protect against implicit biases and to protect the data of New Yorkers.

PEF looks forward to working with the Governor and the Senate to enact these sensible proposals into law."