ACL Legislative Advocacy Alert: CALL TO ACTION! We NEED your help!

NYAPRS Note: As we approach the end of this year’s NYS budget negotiations it is essential that we make our voices heard around issues including the $15 per hour minimum wage hike. If state contracts are carved out of the minimum wage increase we will be unable to attract and retain the highest quality employees, and we cannot allow that. See Toni Lasicki’s (of ACL) call for action below to make sure your voice is heard on this issue!

Hello Everyone-

We need your help on an urgent issue. As the conversation about minimum wage has evolved, the nonprofit sector has done a great job explaining that state contracts MUST be increased if the state minimum wage is increased. Our elected officials are responding to this with the idea that they might carve state contracts out of the state minimum wage increase, along with small businesses and farmers. That will surely relegate us to a position of being sub-par employers and we will no longer have any way to recruit and retain staff. This is an idea that must be stopped. Please take part in a virtual lobby day by CLICKING HEREand sending the pre-populated message that we have provided (see message below). The title of this action is "Call to Action on 2016-17 Budget," and is listed under thekey issues section of our Legislative Action Center. This is simple to do – once you enter your name and address, the pre-populated message will be viewable and can be automatically sent to your legislator and the leadership that we have chosen. You are able to edit the message at that point if you wish to, but only 1800 characters are allowed.

Thank you for participating! -Toni

ACL's pre-populated message language:

The fate of the Community Mental Health system is at risk! We have heard that a carve out of the minimum wage increase for state contracts is being considered. If this happens we will be relegated to a position of being sub-par employers with no ability to recruit and retain staff for these very difficult jobs.Our workforce will deteriorate beyond repair, and we will lose VITAL employees to higher paying, less challenging positions in other industries. A minimum wage increase MUST INCLUDE nonprofits who rely primarily on state contracts for funding.

Increases to the minimum wage MUST include state contracts but MUST also include necessary increases so we can continue to attract and retain a quality workforce. Human Service agencies are barely surviving unsustainably low funding levels, and now we face a potential workforce loss that is sure to collapse the entire industry.

OMH sponsored housing programs serve people with the most serious psychiatric disabilities but have had limited increases over time. They have never had a trend, were never re-based, have no rate appeal process and are NOT cost-based. THESE PROGRAMS HAVE PROVEN TO REDUCE EMERGENCY ROOM, PRISON, JAIL, NURSING HOME AND HOSPITAL USE. Programs have suffered cuts of MORE THAN 43% since 1990, while expected to serve much more challenging populations, manage the health and mental health for people with co-occurring conditions, and manage complicated medication regimens.

WE URGE THE LEGISLATURE TO REJECT A MINIMUM WAGE CARVE OUT FOR STATE CONTRACTS AND RECONSIDER A GREATER INVESTMENT INTO THE COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEM, PARTICULARLY HOUSING .

Contact ACL's Executive Director, Toni Lasicki, for supporting documentation at toni@aclnys.org and 518-688-1682 ext. 225.