NYSNA Online Exclusive
NYS Nurses: Pataki Vetoes Defy Logic
Latham, NY, April 13, 2006 — The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) today sharply criticized Gov. George Pataki for his indiscriminate vetoes of vital healthcare funding in the state budget.
“What was he thinking?” said Lola Fehr, RN, NYSNA executive director. “At a time when nurse staffing in hospitals and nursing homes is already dangerously low, we simply cannot afford to cut Medicaid reimbursements.”
Fehr pointed out that the governor also vetoed $500,000 allocated by the State Senate for a “safe patient handling” demonstration project. Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno announced the funding just last week at NYSNA’s Lobby Day, which was attended by more than 1,200 nurses and nursing students.
“The governor signed the legislation last year to create this program, which will help prevent injuries to both nurses and patients,” Fehr said. “Yet, he didn’t include funding for the program in his executive budget and cut it from the budget passed by the Legislature."
“This action defies logic. Why create a program, which is designed to improve nurses’ health, add to patient safety, and reduce workers compensation costs – and then refuse to fund it?” Fehr asked.
NYSNA called on the State Legislature to override the Governor’s vetoes.
With more than 34,000 members, NYSNA is the oldest and largest state nurses’ association in the nation. It is an influential union for RNs, representing nurses in New York and New Jersey. Offering a wide range of services to its members, NYSNA fosters high standards of nursing education and practice and works to advance the profession through legislative activity. It is a constituent of the American Nurses Association and of the United American Nurses, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO.