Restore A Living Wage For State Workers
Monday begins the 77th Legislative Session and the focus of AFSCME is to restore the cuts imposed on State Workers over the last four (4) years. AFSCME International has assigned Mark Murphy, Fiscal Policy Analyst to work with us on budget, and research issues. Mark is identifying questionable areas of the budget, revenue projections and proposed expenditures of the Governor’s proposed budget that impact State Workers. Keith Uriarte, AFSCME Local 4041 Chief of Staff, and Priscilla Maloney, AFSCME Local 4041 Labor Representative, are the Local’s full-time lobbyists. Tracy DuPree and Sheralynn Kern, are the Local’s Law & Legislative Committee’s lobbyists.
As we all know, “politics are local” and AFSCME will redefine the meaning of this during the Legislative Session. AFSCME members who live in targeted legislative districts will meet regularly with their legislators on the issues so important to them and their families. AFSCME members will inform their legislators about the important services they provide towards the safety and well being of all Nevadans. AFSCME leaders will be reaching out to AFSCME members who live in these legislative districts to participate in these important meetings. The most important actions during this legislative session will be the meeting with legislators in their districts, with their constituents’, State Workers/AFSCME members!
The time is now to restore cuts. Economic activity in the State is improving, and revenues are recovering. The Economic Forum revenue estimate improved by hundreds of millions of dollars from May 2012 to November 2012. There is likely to be additional revenue gains when the Economic Forum revises its estimates this coming May. The Governor’s budget extends some important revenue measures that otherwise would expire.
However we need to ensure continuation of other revenue measures. The Governor’s proposed modification of the Modified Business Tax exemption will cost the State $24 million. Ending the shift of Governmental Services Tax DMV revenue to the General Fund in FY 2015 will cost $25 million. And ending the use of Indigent Medical Assistance funds for the General Fund will cost $38 million. As you can see these reduction are significant and could impact the restoration of cuts to State workers.
We will also be scrutinizing the expansion of State services contracts. For example, General Ledger #7438, Professional Services – H, increased from $12,000 in FY 2011 to $63.9 million in FY 2012. The largest component in this budget line is Child Welfare Services. These components did not even exist in this General Ledger #7438 before FY 2012.
AFSCME is tracking bill drafts (BDR’s), bills and the budget on a daily basis. We are currently tracking 110 BDR’s, 22 pre-submitted bills. There are already bills that go after State workers.
This newsletter will be a weekly update during the legislative session. It will be distributed each Friday, giving you an update on what transpired during the week and notice what will be on the legislative agenda for the following week. Depending on what bills are being heard, we will be asking you to contact your legislator. We will also ask you for your assistance during the budget hearings to give us specific details relating to your department and/or agency.
Together we will restore a living wage for all State Workers!