March 14, 2024

Good morning and thank you to everyone who participated in the call this morning.

As promised I have lined out talking points for your consideration as you make phone calls and send texts to your legislative representatives to influence ongoing COLA negotiations.  See below.  We will be updating the letter re: COLA on our Website shortly.

If I can help you as you continue to educate your Assembly and Senate reps, please don’t hesitate to call me at your convenience at (518) 461-8200.


COLA Talking Points/Suggested Action

1) First, thank your lawmaker for prioritizing our requested 3.2% COLA in their one-house bill.  (Both the Assembly and the Senate support the enactment of a 3.2% budget in the new state budget due April 1).

2) Next, note that the COLA proposals in both the Assembly and Senate one-house bills restrict your use of these funds for wages/salaries exclusively.

3)  Describe your need for flexibility when it comes to use of COLA funds.  COLA must feed many mouths — you must be able to use these funds for wages/salaries AND for keeping the lights on and paying for the myriad (inflationary) expenses you incur that are associated with operating these programs (heat, electricity, health insurance, mandatory insurances, maintenance, supplies, food, etc.)

4)  OASAS, OMH and OPWDD all collect excruciatingly detailed information through an attestation process that ensures providers are utilizing the COLA funds as required, and only as required.

5)  REQUEST OF LAWMAKER: Thank you again for supporting our agency. Please push for a clean COLA provision in the final enacted budget that does not tie the hands of eligible agencies.