Governor Cuomo introduced 30-day amendments to the Executive Budget
Among the measures introduced by Governor Cuomo having a direct effect on public employees of the State are the following:
1. Implement teacher evaluation system in New York City. Under the Governor’s leadership, the state passed a comprehensive teacher evaluation system for every district across New York State. Though 99 percent of districts were able to reach an agreement on a plan with their local teacher unions, submit it to the state, and have their plan approved by the State Education Department before their January deadline, New York City failed to so. As a result, it lost $240 million in state aid and is in danger of losing additional funds if an evaluation system is not in place this year.
In the event the City and its collective bargaining units fail to reach agreement on a teacher evaluation system by the end of May, an expedited arbitration process, led by the Commissioner of Education, will occur. Following hearings and a review of evidence, the Commissioner, by June 1st, will make a final, written determination on the structure of a teacher evaluation system for New York City schools. This legislation will ensure that New York City students and educators will not see another school year go by without the timely feedback, professional development, and accountability that a robust teacher evaluation plan will provide.
2. Expand availability of the Stable Pension option. The stable pension contribution rate for local governments and schools, submitted as part of the Executive Budget, will provide a new tool for local governments to access the long-term savings from Tier VI and have greater predictability in their fiscal planning. Given the positive response to this proposal from sectors who asked to take advantage of the program but were not initially included, the Governor would expand eligibility to include BOCES and three local public hospitals – Nassau University Medical Center, Westchester Medical Center, and Erie County Medical Center. The county sponsors of the three hospitals included in this amendment, as well as their taxpayers, have a direct interest in financial condition of these institutions and, therefore, the stable pension option is a viable approach to meeting local fiscal demands.
3. Provide retraining funds for state employees. The Executive Budget included a $5 million appropriation to be used to retrain State employees impacted by 2012-13 and 2013-14 facility closures at OMH, OPWDD, DOCCS and OCFS. Funding would be available to retrain employees for which comparable State positions could not be found nearby their current work location. This amendment reduces the radius to 25 miles, allowing the funds to be used to help a larger number of impacted employees.
The entire list of 30-day amendments is available at http://budget.ny.gov
The Governor said that his 2013-14 Executive Budget and Management Plan builds on two years of balanced, fiscally responsible budgeting and invests in economic development, education reform, rebuilding after Superstorm Sandy, provides support to local governments and school districts, and includes no new taxes or fees. The budget is required to be passed by April 1.