For those of you who read what we sent over the weekend in regard to Human Services COLA. I want to apologize for any confusing messaging.The Assembly and Senate introduced their one house bills over the weekend. We have put together the highlights as it relates to the COLA and Retention Bonuses
COLA and Retention Bonuses
Governor’s Executive Budget:
In this year’s proposed Executive Budget, Governor Hochul added 5.4% to the Human Services sector for the COLA. This reflected the Consumer Price Index at the time of the release of the proposal. This was a huge victory for, not only our members, but the entire human services sector. They also added a retention bonus to direct care staff of up to $3000.
Assembly One House Budget Bill:
This past Saturday, the State Assembly, introduced their version of the COLA
They proposed more than doubling the COLA to make it 11%. They also expanded the list of entities that would qualify for the COLA. They also proposed making it permanent by adding the CPI every year.
The Assembly proposed the elimination of retention bonuses (up to $3000) for non-State employees
Senate One House Budget Bill:
On Sunday, the Senate supported the Executive Proposal of 5.4%. They did not add any additional funding for this year. However, hey did add 5.4% for the 2023-24 proposed budget. They left in the $3000 retention bonus for all direct care staff including non-State employees.
There are other areas that we will continue to highlight from our priorities including proposed additional funding for the Dwyer Project, the acceptance of the Executive’s 988 funding with added metrics, acceptance of the Executive’s funding for housing, a Senate one year extender for Kendra’s Law and an Assembly three year extender.
The Senate and Assembly will negotiate the budget with the Governor over the next ten days. The bottom line is the 5.4% COLA has been accepted by both houses. Our job is to work with the three parties to raise the Human Service COLA even higher than the 5.4%.