Speaking Up for All Public Employees

By: Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato

And back to Albany I go! With the start of the 2023 New York State Legislative session, I am honored to have your trust and the continued ability to be your voice in our State. After being seated, Speaker Carl Heastie appointed me Chair of the New York State Committee on Governmental Employees which is the leading legislative authority on public employees throughout all of New York, including retirees. It is an honor to serve not only as the Assemblywoman for the people of the 23rd District, but to also speak up for all of our public employees who work for the State, City, towns or municipalities.

With this Chair comes a lot of responsibility, and to quote my daughter, "what does this committee do?” This role allows me to be the biggest advocate for public employees in our State – whether you're a sanitation worker in the City, a Deputy Sheriff in Plattsburgh or a public nurse in Buffalo, this role allows me to push and work towards implementing legislation and policies that will benefit public employees. One example happened last week when I hosted a Governmental Employees Committee meeting and we unanimously voted out of the Committee bills that expand retirement benefits for members of the State's park and university police, with the other bill expanding disability coverage to court officers. This vote was a major step in providing some of our public employees, from right here in Rockaway to upstate, support and fair protections under the law.

The other part of being Chair comes during the ongoing and busy budget negotiations. Through my Committee, we will advocate and negotiate for increased funding to expand civil service opportunities so we can have more frequent civil service exams and cut the turnaround time that a civil service exam is graded so we can fill the vacant positions sooner.I’m also working on increasing the amount of recruiting classes for the State Police (which would hire about 400 new State police officers), the State Parks Dept. (which would hire about 230 new Park Police Officers) and increase staffing at the DMV to improve customer-oriented service (which would hire about 117 new staffers). All of that, combined with expanding medical coverage for 9/11 first responders, defending and encouraging pension expansion, and fixing Tier 6 which 50% of our State workforce is under, makes this a busy Committee – and I love it because I am helping you, your neighbor and everyone in our great State.

Of course, none of that has taken away from my commitment to the people of the 23rd District. In fact, in less than two months of 2023 my office has resolved over 120 constituent cases, with more solutions coming. And for those who have called and asked for it, we’re gearing up for a paper shredding event soon!

As always, do not hesitate to contact my office by phone at 718-945-9550 or by email at amatos@nyassembly.gov. It is a pleasure to serve you and I look forward to representing you for many more years to come