2017-2018 Executive Budget Proposal

This is an initial breakdown of the 2017-18 Executive Budget Proposal. We will continue updating this as affiliates request inclusion of additional information. This is a $152 billion spending plan.

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Taxes, Fees and Revenue

Millionaire’s Tax – The Governor extends the tax through December 31, 2020 the top tax rate of 8.82% (up from 6.85%) on high income earners.  NYS AFL-CIO supports.

Child and Dependent Care Credit – The Governor proposes to double the child and dependent care tax credit for families earning between $60,000 and $150,000 a year. NYS AFL-CIO is reviewing.

Start-Up New York Changes – The Governor proposes to rename the Start-Up New York Program and lower the number of jobs that need to be created in order to qualify. NYS AFL-CIO opposes.

Sales Tax on Internet Purchases – The Governor proposes to require online retailers to charge sales tax even if they are not physically located in New York State. NYS AFL-CIO is reviewing.

 

Buy American

The Governor includes a very strong Buy American proposal in the budget.   The bill would require all state agencies and public authorities to purchase products made in the USA for all contracts and procurement over $100,000. This would include not only structural and component parts of public works projects but rolling stock, building systems and other commodities. Electricity, fuel and various software products are excluded and exclusions for emergency contracting and lack of product availability are also included. NYS AFL-CIO supports.

Design-Build

Current design-build authority for five state agencies is set to expire this year. The Governor proposes to make the law permanent and expand design-build authority to all state agencies, public authorities, SUNY and CUNY and each county, but excludes New York City.   The proposal also removes limitations on the type of projects that could be covered.   There is no project labor agreement requirements or protections for public services, public employees or public oversight. NYS AFL-CIO opposes.

State Laboratory Consolidation – The budget proposes to consolidate the five Department of Health laboratories into one, new laboratory.  The construction would be financed through DASNY and the proposal would authorize the use of alternative contracting methods for construction, including; design-build, construction manager-build and construction manager-at-risk methods. The proposal requires a project labor agreement if a study makes that determination as required by current Labor Law. NYS AFL-CIO opposes.

Partial Unemployment Proposal

This proposal will change how unemployment benefits are reduced if a claimant finds work while collecting benefits. Currently, a claimant’s benefit is reduced by 25% for each day of work, without regard to how much the claimant earns. The new proposal will tie the reduction in benefits to earnings. In many cases this will result in a lower benefit payment out of the trust fund, yet more income for the claimant when the reduced benefit is added to their earnings.

The formula would disregard 40% of the individuals’ earnings or $100.00 of earnings, whichever is higher. The benefit would then be the difference between the individuals’ normal benefit and those earnings that are above the disregard. Individuals that work only one day during the week would receive the greater of this formula or 75% of the employee’s normal benefit. Individuals that work only two days in the week would receive the greater of the formula described above or 50% of the employee’s normal benefit.

Employees that have earnings above the maximum unemployment benefit they are entitled to would not be eligible for the partial benefit. NYS AFL-CIO supports.

Wage Theft Enforcement

This proposal expands the authority of the NYS Labor Commissioner with respect to enforcing wage theft laws as they apply to domestic or foreign business corporations or limited lability companies.  Specifically, the bill allows the commissioner to order these employers to identify the top 10 shareholders of those entities, to serve written notice to the top 10 shareholders on behalf of the employees and to toll the time period prescribed by the applicable sections of law while DOL investigates the wage theft complaints. Furthermore, the proposal authorizes the commissioner to name the top 10 shareholders in any order or judgement as well as hold those members jointly and severally liable for all wages, pay and compensation. NYS AFL-CIO supports.

Economic Development / Energy

  • Empire Film and Tax Credit – The proposal would extend the credit for 3 years, through 2022. NYS AFL-CIO supports.
  • Clean Water Infrastructure Act – The budget proposes $2 billion for municipal drinking water and waste water infrastructure projects. NYS AFL-CIO is reviewing.
  • Renewable Energy Projects – The proposal includes $360 million for 11 renewable energy projects across the state. NYS AFL-CIO is reviewing.

 

Public Employees

State Employees

  • There is a net loss of 600 positions in the Office of Mental Health due to services cuts.
  • Medicare Part B – The proposal caps Medicare Part B reimbursement for NYSHIP enrollees that are retired or will retire on or before December 31, 2016 and will end state reimbursement for those that retire on or after January 1, 2017. NYS AFL-CIO opposes.
  • Retiree Health Insurance Premium Differential – This bill will increase state retiree health insurance premiums based on years of service and salary grade at retirement.  NYS AFL-CIO opposes.

Local Government Employees

 

  • Merger / Consolidation Proposal – The budget proposes to require each county in the state to submit a plan to the voters in November of 2017 that will achieve recurring property tax savings by merging, consolidating, abolishing or sharing services with the municipalities within the county. The bill sets up a process for the county executive or supervisor in each county to work with the municipalities to develop the plan and would require a second vote in 2018 if the first vote fails. There are no service or employee protections included in this plan. NYS AFL-CIO opposes.

 


 

Transportation

 

  • Ride Sharing – The Governor’s proposal would authorize transportation network companies (TNC’s) such as Uber or Lyft to operate outside of NYC and establish the necessary insurance and regulatory structure to implement. The bill does not include language from previous bills that would have codified that drivers are independent contractors and the bill establishes an injury compensation fund for drivers, similar to the Black Care Driver Injury fund. NYS AFL-CIO is reviewing.

 


 

Education

  • The Governor’s proposal includes a $1 billion (4%) increase in school aid with $428 million in foundation aid, $150 million for the creation of community schools, $333 million in expense based aid and the rest for other programs. NYS AFL-CIO is reviewing.
  • The proposal would eliminate the Foundation Aid formula moving forward and allow for impoundment of school aid funds in the event of revenue shortfalls. NYS AFL-CIO opposes.
  • The proposal would unfreeze the New York City charter school tuition rate and remove restrictions on regional caps for charter schools, but maintains the statewide cap of 460. NYS AFL-CIO opposes.
  • A 3-year extension of Mayoral control in New York City schools is proposed. NYS AFL-CIO is reviewing.

 

Higher Education

  • SUNY/CUNY Free Tuition – The proposal phases in a plan to make tuition free for students of families making less than $125,000 a year. NYS AFL-CIO is reviewing.
  • State funding for SUNY and CUNY is flat at $726 million and $543 million respectively. NYS AFL-CIO is reviewing.
  • There is an $18.6 million cut in state funding for SUNY hospitals. NYS AFL-CIO opposes.
  • DREAM Act – This will make undocumented immigrants eligible for tuition assistance programs. NYS AFL-CIO supports.

 

Health Care

 

  • Health Care Facility Transformation – The budget proposes $500 million in capital funding for the continuation of this program. NYS AFL-CIO is reviewing.
  • HCRA Extender – The budget proposes to extend the HCRA hospitals and provider financing mechanism for 3 years. NYS AFL-CIO is reviewing.

 

 

Miscellaneous Labor Issues

  • Minimum Wage Implementation – $284.6 million is included to assist not-for-profits with paying their employees the increased minimum wage enacted last year. NYS AFL-CIO supports.
  • Expansion of Tax Credits for Incumbent Worker Training – This will allow business to be eligible for Excelsior Jobs Tax Credits if they train incumbent workers as part of expansion as opposed to only for creating new jobs. NYS AFL-CIO is reviewing.
  • NY Tech Workforce Training Fund – $5 million for training is proposed in the budget. NYS AFL-CIO is reviewing.
  • Proposes Privatization Plan for NYRA – NYS AFL-CIO has no position.
  • State Insurance Fund Investments – The proposal would allow SIF broad discretion in the types and grades of securities that it is authorized to invest in. NYS AFL-CIO opposes.
  • State Insurance Fund Audit Compliance – This would authorize SIF to cancel the policy of an employer that fails to comply with payroll and record audits and increase penalties for failure to keep accurate payroll records. NYS AFL-CIO opposes.
  • Raise the Age – Juvenile jurisdiction would be moved from 16 to 18. NYS AFL-CIO is reviewing.
  • Child Care – Funding for child care facilitated enrollment was not proposed by the executive. It will need to be restored.  The proposal doubles the child care tax credit for families earning between $60,000 and $150,000 a year.
  • Workforce Development Institute, Cornell Workers Institute, Leadership Program and Domestic Violence Program – Each of these programs will need to be added by the legislature.

 

Election Law Changes & Ethics Proposals

  • Automatic voter registration when receiving a New York state driver’s license.
  • Creates an early voting process to allow voting to take place 12 days prior to Election Day.
  • Includes a statewide public campaign finance system.
  • Closes the LLC Loophole that allows multiple and unlimited donations to elected officials.
  • Limits outside income of elected officials.
  • Creates a chief procurement officer.
  • Creates State Education Department and Port Authority Inspector Generals.