August 16, 2010
NYSUT: no endorsement for governor
Last Thursday New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), the PSC’s state affiliate, decided to make “no endorsement at this time” in the race for governor. NYSUT also decided not to endorse a number of state legislators who had received the union’s endorsement in the past.
NYSUT delegates, including representatives from the PSC, cited positions Andrew Cuomo has staked out in the current campaign – such as opposing a more progressive income tax, backing privatization of CUNY and SUNY funding, and attacking public employee unions. A number of incumbent State Senators, both Republicans and Democrats, were not endorsed for re-election because of similar differences over key issues, – among them, privatization of CUNY and SUNY funding.
More on NYSUT’s endorsement actions on the PSC and NYSUT websites.
Final approval for education jobs bill
Last week saw final passage of a $10 billion federal education jobs bill that could save 8,200 education jobs in New York schools, and provide $608 million in education funding for New York State. President Obama signed the bill into law after the Senate approved the measure last week.
The House also gave final approval to $16 billion for Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (FMAP). Without this additional FMAP assistance, New York and other states would have been forced to make severe cuts to healthcare and other public services. If the New York State Legislature reconvenes to adjust the budget in light of this funding, the PSC will continue to push for restoration of funds cut from the CUNY budget.
Acceding to demands by conservative Democrats that the federal measures not add to the deficit, the costs were partly covered by cutting tax loopholes used by multinational corporations, and partly by accelerating a planned phaseout of some food stamp benefits. “The cutbacks in food stamps in the bill are plain wrong," said Rep. David Obey, chair of the House Appropriations Committee. He and others said this part of the bill must be changed before it takes effect in 2014.