ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Nurses from across New York City are joining together to call for a new state law mandating minimum staffing levels at hospitals.

Some 15,000 nurses from 13 health care facilities in the city plan to participate in what the New York State Nurses Association is calling a day of protest Wednesday to support legislation that would require hospitals to meet nurse-to-patient ratios.

They note that nurses filed thousands of formal protests alleging understaffing at hospitals last year.

Hospital executives say the requirement would add billions of dollars to health care costs and undermine their flexibility to set their own staffing levels by imposing top-down requirements.

The proposal has been debated in the Legislature for years. It has bipartisan support but it has not been scheduled for a vote.