Following RPEA’s testimony before the Legislature’s Joint Fiscal Committees Budget Hearing in February, RPEA contacted…
On Friday evening, December 16, Governor Hochul vetoed our bill to provide Empire Plan retirees with the same benefit regarding access to skilled nursing facility (SNF) care as is available to active enrollees. Our bill was grouped with 18 other bills in the same veto. Hochul vetoed all these “enhancements to retirement or disability benefits” because they did not have a funding source. The merits of our bill were not addressed.
While the veto is undoubtedly disappointing, we are not giving up. Both sponsors, Senator Neil Breslin and Assemblyman John McDonald have indicated their support to pursue this issue next session and to get funding in next year’s state budget. Ideally, it would be great if Governor Hochul realizes the merits of the proposal, and puts it in her Executive Budget. Either way, RPEA is committed to having this item in next year’s budget.
Thank you to everyone who contacted the Governor and your legislators. Getting this passed unanimously in each house was an extraordinary achievement. Now, we have to take that extra step to accomplish the mission.