Legislative Alert: January 13, 2023
2023 State of the State is a Positive Message for Workers
Governor Hochul’s State of the State message on January 10th outlined several important initiatives which will be included in this year’s state budget proposal and as part of her legislative agenda. The state budget and details on these and many other issues will be released in the final days of January, but the Governor’s preview gives reason for optimism for unions and working families.
We applaud Governor Hochul for recognizing how critically important it is to index the minimum wage. This is an opportunity for New York to break the cycle of infrequent increases that lead to the minimum wage being insufficient. Indexing the minimum wage to inflation will allow workers and employers to have predictable and reliable increases in the future. We look forward to working with the governor and the legislature to pass legislation that will allow more New Yorkers to be paid wages they can live on.
Governor Hochul also outlined several environmental and climate policy initiatives in the State of the State address that have the potential to help meet the state's emission reduction goals. If done correctly, cap and invest will reduce emissions while preserving industries and jobs.
Similarly, the revenue generated by cap and invest could be used to fund new clean energy projects that are manufactured, constructed, operated, and maintained by union workers.
The Governor has set an ambitious goal of creating 800,000 new affordable housing units across the state, something that working families need. It will be a priority of the NYS AFL-CIO to ensure that all construction is performed in accordance with the public works law and labor standards. Working families that work in around newly constructed housing should be able to afford to live in that housing. Only strong labor standards will make that happen.
The Governor also raised proposals to address funding and policies in health care, education, higher education, and transportation as well as proposals to tackle the staffing shortages in state and local governments. We look forward to working with our affiliates, the legislature, and the Governor on each of these issues. We will be following up soon with our own legislative agenda for 2023.
Mario Cilento, President
LABOR LOBBYISTS MEETING
Monday, January 23, 2023, 1:00 p.m.