Health care industry waiting to see if Hochul signs nurses bills
Kate Lisa reports at New York State of Politics that the end of the year is the time special interests worry that the governor won't sign the bill they got through the legislature earlier in the year. Nurses, for instance, are not worrying about how Gov. Kathy Hochul has yet to sign three bills regulating their industry. The bills that would limit the number of consecutive hours New York nurses can work, impose a fine for employers who violate the mandatory overtime restrictions, and expand rules to include homecare nurses. Currently, health care workers work 12-hour shifts, but can be made to work an additional overtime shift. "It's very hard to think that, for over year now, you'll show up for work and not know when you're going to be able to go home," said Pat Kane, the executive director of the New York State Nurses Association. Membership in the nurses union has dropped nine percent since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The health care industry does not want more money going to nurses, and does not want Hochul to sign the bills. "They're going to be forced by this legislation to either mandate overtime and incur penalties, or abandon the patients, which they won't do," Karen Lipson, executive vice president of Leading Age NY said. "So the penalties will be inevitable." Hochul won't say what she will do before new year's. “We are reviewing this legislation," said Justin Mason, a governor's spokesperson. "And the governor looks forward to working with the Legislature during the upcoming session." Read more about this story at New York State of Politics.