Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (8th Senate District), a member of the Senate’s Labor Committee, announced today that the Senate passed legislation he sponsored that would help increase job opportunities and reduce the number of people on welfare or unemployment. Senator Fuschillo's legislation would create a uniform, statewide policy to allow people who are unemployed or receiving public assistance to be exempt from the filing fees for civil service examinations.
"The benefits of this legislation are twofold," said Senator Fuschillo. "It helps people to get off of public assistance and get back on their feet by creating more opportunities to find a government job. Also, by reducing the number of people on welfare and unemployment, we will lower the costs for these programs, saving money for both taxpayers and businesses."
Individuals who wish to apply for government jobs are often required to take a civil service exam. Most of these exams require the applicant to pay a fee before taking the exam, which generally ranges from $15 to $100.
Current law only exempts people who are unemployed and responsible for the support of a household from State civil service exam fees. The state Department of Civil Service has voluntarily chosen to extend this exemption to people who receive public assistance, but it is not bound by law to do so. Municipalities and local governments are not currently required to waive these fees, but have the option of granting similar exemptions.
Senator Fuschillo’s legislation would make these exemptions permanent for individuals who are receiving public assistance or those who are unemployed and responsible for supporting a household. Municipalities and local governments would also be required to offer these exemptions. By eliminating the financial barriers, these individuals would have increased opportunities to find a government job and be able to support themselves without the need for public assistance.
The Senate has already passed this legislation, which has now been referred to the Assembly’s Ways and Means Committee.
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