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Civil service exam fees waived by state

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(The Center Square) – Fees for state civil service exams will be waived through late 2025 by New York in an effort to promote “equitable access in careers.”

To offset the fee waivers, $2.5 million was added to the department’s General Fund for the 2024 fiscal year state budget, according to Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office. Exam application fees can vary between $25 to $45, determined by the type of exam.

“These fees can serve as a barrier to entering public service, particularly for candidates from traditionally marginalized communities,” Hochul’s office told The Center Square.

Previously, veterans, unemployed and individuals receiving public assistance were exempt from fees, while most test-takers didn’t qualify for the waivers.

Supporters of the initiative say the new waivers will “help modernize” the state’s workforce. Hochul’s office says the waiver is one of many actions included in the budget to boost the public workforce as well as refine government operations.

“By waiving these fees, my administration is standing by its commitment to modernizing New York’s workforce and lowering barriers to ensure that our civil servants reflect the rich diversity of our state,” said the governor.

In addition to the fee waivers, New York will be offering civil service exams at 12 state-operated testing centers on a continual basis. The state will also amplify the current 55-B hiring program to expand job opportunities for people with disabilities.

“At the Department of Civil Service, we are making improvements to eliminate barriers to entry for civil service jobs and transforming the state’s approach to meeting our workforce needs to help recruit and retain a diverse and talented workforce that will serve all New Yorkers,” Department of Civil Service Commissioner Timothy Hogues.

The waiver comes on the heels of the governor’s announcement of thousands of openings available for immediate hiring within the health and human services sector of 10 state agencies. The openings are a part of the Hiring for Emergency Limited Placement Program, which aims to address a workforce shortage in the state in the areas of health and public safety.

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