2017 Legislative Updates

This page is your home for updates on CSEA’s legislative priorities that passed both houses of the legislature during the 2017 state legislative session. More information on other topics from 2017 can be found below:

State Budget and CSEA’s Budget Memos

2017 Legislative Memos


2017 Bills – Passed Both Houses

CSEA successfully advocated the passage of many good bills this year. These included:

Contract Bills

S.6818 – Amedore / A.8540 – Abbate
Chapter 165

This bill is enacting legislation for CSEA’s contract with New York State.

S.6561 – Bonacic / A.8102A – Weinstein
Chapter 164

This bill is enacting legislation for CSEA’s contract with the Unified Court System.

 

Retirees

S.4324 – Tedisco / A. 5210 – Abinanti
Veto #194
Support Memo
Letter to Governor

This legislation would require local governments to give retirees 45 days notice prior to changing health insurance benefits for retirees. Current law does not require any notice be given.

 

OPWDD/OMH

S.5681 – Ortt / A.7399A – Gunther
Chapter 491
Support Memo
Letter to Governor

This legislation would codify care pilots within the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). These programs offer community based care staffed by state employees. Codifying these programs will lead to more predictable funding and will expand available services to families in need.


S.2836 – Ortt / A.2229 – Gunther
Veto #218
Support Memo
Letter to Governor

This legislation would require that notices of closure of Office of Mental Health (OMH) facilities expire after one year and one month of being issued. Currently, the state can issue a one year notice of closure or downsizing and not close a facility during that year. The notice of closure then stays in effect in perpetuity, creating uncertainty for employees and patients.


S.4630 – Gallivan / A.6505 – Kearns
Veto #195
Support Memo

This legislation would stop the relocation of Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center.

 

OCFS, Social Services, and Child Care

S.4574A – Marchione / A.6903A – Brindisi
Veto #211
Support Memo
Letter to Governor

This legislation would require an annual study from the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) to report on the ratio of non-administrative staff to residents at OCFS facilities, the total number of workers who are on workers’ compensation leave, and the number of staff involved in any incident involving the alleged misconduct of a resident.


S.3146 – Golden / A.4049 – Lupardo
Veto #220
Support Memo

This legislation would cap the number of cases that child protective services workers can have at any one time to 15 cases per month.

S.5929A – Avella / A.7726A – Jaffee
Chapter 493
Support Memo

This legislation would establish a Child Care Availability Taskforce to evaluate the cost, accessibility, availability, quality, and impact of childcare subsidies.

Corrections, Probation, and DMNA


S.1850 – Ortt / A.6277 – Abbate
Veto #172
Support Memo

This legislation would allow county correctional officers, or deputy sheriffs who are performing correction officer duties, to retire after 20 years with a fifty percent final average salary pension. This plan would be optional for counties to opt-in to.


A.473 – Paulin / S.2516 – Gallivan
Veto #185
Support Memo

This legislation would allow county probation officers the ability to receive 100% of their salary if they are unable to work due to an on the job injury. This plan would be optional for counties to opt-in to.


A.8326 – Abbate / S.6529 – Murphy
Veto #246
Support Memo

Letter to Governor

This legislation would grant firefighters employed by the Division of Military and Naval Affairs (DMNA) a performance of duty disability retirement.

Local Issues


S.6447 – Gallivan / A.8064 – Zebrowski

Chapter 97

This legislation would return overnight and weekend calls to Child Protective Services in Erie County rather than to a not-for-profit organization.

A.7135 – Abbate / S.7223 – Phillips
Veto #198
Support Memo

This legislation would allow for a performance of duty retirement for various ambulance medical technician titles within Nassau County

A.7891 – Hooper / S.6788 – Rules
Veto #243
Support Memo

Letter to Governor

This legislation would allow employees in Nassau County to receive a step increase if a wage freeze is ordered by the Nassau Interim Finance Authority.

A.7127 – Abbate / S.5705 – Phillips
Veto #199

This legislation would allow for a performance of duty retirement for various fire marshal titles within Nassau County who are injured in the line of duty


For bills that have been vetoed, CSEA will evaluate the bills and veto messages and determine how we can move forward on this legislation next year.


This Week in Albany

Week ending July 28, 2017

Obamacare Repeal Falls Short

Over the course of several days and hours of floor debate, the United States Senate voted against three separate bills to repeal and/or replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare/ACA) this week.

On Tuesday, Republicans voted to allow debate on repealing and replacing the ACA by the smallest of margins. Vice President Mike Pence cast the tie breaking vote to allow the motion to proceed by a vote of 51-50. Later that day, the Senate took up debate on the Better Care Reconciliation Act, Republicans’ ACA replacement bill that included eliminating Medicaid expansion and other substantial Medicaid cuts. This version of the bill was subject to a 60-vote threshold because of Senate budget rules. The bill was sharply defeated by a vote of 43-57.

On Wednesday the Senate voted on the Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act, a straight repeal of the ACA without a replacement. This bill needed 51 votes but failed by a vote of 45-55.

Early on Friday morning, the chamber rejected the Health Care Freedom Act, commonly referred to as “skinny repeal.” This bill, which would have repealed only parts of the ACA, was a last ditch effort to pass something to keep the repeal effort alive. As the bill was released late Thursday night, several senators stated that they would not vote for the legislation without a promise that it wouldn’t be signed into law. Instead, the goal of this bill was to start the process of a conference committee between the Senate and House of Representatives to discuss broader reforms. In the end, three Republican senators – Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), and John McCain (Arizona) – joined with all Democrats and two independents to defeat the legislation by a vote of 49-51.

At this point, it is not clear whether Senate Republicans will continue to search for ways to repeal the ACA or if they will move on to other issues. For now, the ACA and the Medicaid funding that CSEA members depend on every day remain the law of the land.

 

35th Anniversary of the Triborough Amendment

On July 29, 1982, New York Governor Hugh Carey signed into law the Triborough Amendment to the Taylor Law.

The Triborough Amendment provides that all terms and conditions of an expired public employee contract remain in effect until a new contract is approved. If the expired contract contains conditions for automatic step increases, such increases continue without a new contract.

This fundamental protection has come under attack in recent years from pundits who unfairly target public employees for the fiscal problems that the state and local governments have faced. In reality, by helping public employees avoid hardship when their employers refuse to negotiate in good faith while also prohibiting strikes, the Triborough Amendment has served the best interests of labor, management, and the people of New York for over thirty years.

 

Con Con Fact

In past conventions, elected officials, including state legislators, have served as delegates at the convention and have “double-dipped” by collecting two salaries and extra pension credit.


Renegades outing set for Aug. 28

Our annual outing to a Hudson Valley Renegades game is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 28 at the 7:05 p.m. game versus the Tri-City Valley Cats. We have two ticket options this year: a $27 per person ticket, with an all-you-can-eat barbecue; and a $12 option, which includes a general admission seat, $5 food voucher and a Renegades ball cap.

Please click here to download a flyer with more information.

Reserve tickets by calling the Southern Region Office at 845-831-1000 by Aug. 18. Checks (made payable to CSEA Region 3) should then be mailed to our office at 568 State Route 52, Beacon, NY 12508.

Health & safety training planned for early August

This training, which will feature Brian Pomeroy (CSEA safety and health specialist) and Vincent Rossillo (managing partner, Fine, Olin & Anderman law firm), will be held at the CSEA Dutchess County Local Office in Poughkeepsie. Please RSVP to 845-831-1000 to ensure we have an accurate head count for the training.

 

csea health and safety 2017

Congrats Metro Region Scholarship Winners!

Congratulations to the three outstanding CSEA Metropolitan Region recipients of the Irving Flaumenbaum Memorial Scholarship: Althea Lawrence (Parent, Pat Dixon-Lawrence); Umar Rehman (Parent, Nury Rivadeneira); and Maxwell Preudhomme (Parent, Eugene Preudhomme). Umar and Althea were presented with the award and a certificate during a ceremony at the CSEA Metropolitan office attended by CSEA Metro Region President Lester Crockett, Regional Secretary Delphne Moultrie, Regional 2nd Vice President Donald Bryant and Regional Office Manager Jessie McQueen.

Request Member Benefits at Your CSEA Event

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Are you planning a CSEA membership meeting or event in the near future?

Would you like to request our Member Benefits Department and family of vendors to attend your event? It’s as easy as submitting an email– just follow these instructions. Here is a simple checklist to guarantee a successful event.

In an effort to streamline the process, all requests should be made via email to CSEA’s Member Benefit Department at member.benefits@cseainc.org

In order to increase the chance that the various vendors will be able to attend, or that there is enough time for shipping, please provide a minimum of four weeks notice and include the following event details in your email:

*Local/Unit Name

*Event type – meeting, picnic, lunch & learn, etc

*Date (Date of the event)

*Location including meeting room and full address:  (Where event is being held)

Is an internet connection available? (Yes or No)

Are electrical outlets available?(Yes or No)

Event start and end time for members (Start and End Time)

*Vendor start and end time – (Vendor Start and End Time).

*Number of people expected

*Is the Event Open to all Vendors:  (Yes or No) (If no is picked ask user to enter who they want to attend)

*RSVP contact name, email, Ph# and RSVP Date.

Mailing address where vendor items can be shipped if one is available:

*Is security Clearance required pre- event? (Yes or No)

 

Email to Member.Benefits@CSEAinc.org.

 

SAMPLE

SUNY Albany Local 691 Membership Meeting

September 30, 2016

11 AM- 2PM

Patroon Room, Campus Center, University at Albany uptown campus, 1200 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY

Vendors set-up by 10:45 until lunch at 12:30 PM

175 members

ALL VENDORS

RSVP by 9/21 to Sharon Burns at sburns@sunyalbany.edu or call 442-7814

Your event will be posted on CSEA’s vendor calendar for CSEA vendors (member benefits, health benefits, etc)

Any questions, contact Latonya Brown at 518-257-1359; the Member Benefits department at 518-257-1359 or above email

 

UPDATED: Initial state contract info meetings scheduled

CSEA local leaders are in the process of setting up informational meetings for their members on the tentative memorandum of agreement for state CSEA workers.

More information will be added as it becomes available. Please contact your local leadership for more info.

  • July 7th — Hudson Valley DDSO Local — 12 to 2 p.m. — 42 Rykowski Lane, Middletown
  • July 10th — Wallkill/Shawangunk CF Locals — 4 p.m. — Wallkill/Shawangunk QWL Building
  • July 11th — Hudson Valley DDSO Local — 12 to 2 p.m. — 10 Wilbur Road, Thiells
  • July 11th — Orange County DOT Local — 4:30 p.m. — CANCELLED
  • July 12th — Palisades Parks Local — 5:30 p.m. — Fort Montgomery Battle Site
  • July 13th — Rockland Psych Center Local — 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. — RPC campus, Building 57
  • July 14th — Hudson Valley DDSO Local — 12 to 2 p.m. — 220 White Plains Road, Tarrytown
  • July 14th — Sing Sing CF Local — 4:30 p.m. — Sing Sing QWL Building
  • July 18th — Eastern/Ulster CF Locals — 4 p.m. — Eastern/Ulster Unity Hall
  • July 19th — Mid Hudson State Employees Local 009 — 6 p.m. — Sir John’s Restaurant, White Plains
  • July 20th — Mid Hudson State Employees Local 009 — 6 p.m. — Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse, Fishkill
  • July 24th — Helen Hayes Hospital Local — 12 to 1 p.m. and 3 to 4 p.m.
  • July 25th — Taconic Parks Local — Coppola’s Restaurant, Hyde Park
  • July 26th — Fishkill/Downstate/Green Haven CF Locals — 4:15 p.m. — Fishkill QWL Building
  • July 27th — Department of Transportation Local 507 — 6 p.m. — CSEA Region 3 Office
  • Aug. 1st — Taconic DDSO Local 426 — 12 to 1 p.m. and 5 to 6 p.m. meetings, CSEA office at 21 Davis Ave., Poughkeepsie

This Week in Albany

Week ending July 21, 2017

Tax Cap

Comptroller DiNapoli announced that local governments will face a property tax cap of 1.84% next year, the highest allowable growth since 2013. While often referenced as a 2% cap, the allowable growth has never hit 2% under the program.

After two years of growth limited to less than one percent, local governments are struggling to provide the services that our communities depend on. An increased growth cap is a small step in the right direction.

 

Federal Aid Impact On Local Governments

A recent report by Comptroller DiNapoli highlighted the reliance of local governments on federal aid.

In 2015, local governments and school districts outside of New York City received $4.7 billion in direct federal aid, while New York City received an additional $7 billion. This aid made up a huge chunk of local government revenues, ranging from 11.2% for counties to around 3% for towns and villages.

Among other things, federal aid provides significant funds for social services, education, and transportation aid.

 

Federal Health Care Update

The ongoing attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) took yet another turn this week as four Senate Republicans announced their opposition to the latest Senate proposal. With all Senate Democrats and independents committed to voting against the bill, Republicans could only lose two votes and still bring the bill to the floor. With Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) away from Washington for health reasons, the margin had gotten even smaller.

As the replacement plan failed, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and President Trump announced their support for a straight repeal of the ACA. That effort also faced quick opposition as three Senators announced that they would oppose such a bill.

At this time, it is unclear what the future holds for health reform. Despite the apparent lack of votes, McConnell has said that the Senate will proceed with a motion to bring a bill to the floor next week.

Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.

 

Con Con Fact

Public employee pensions are currently protected by the New York State constitution, but a constitutional convention could remove those protections. In fact, public opinion shows that a majority of Americans would prefer reducing pension benefits.

According to a survey by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, 59% of Americans favor shifting current public employees from guaranteed pensions to 401(k)-style accounts, while 76% of Americans say that pension reform should be a priority.


This Week in Albany

Week Ending July 14, 2017

Federal Update

Health Care

This week the U.S. Senate released a new version of their health care reform legislation. Before the July 4th holiday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had to pull the bill from consideration after it became clear that he did not have enough votes to pass it.

The new bill is still a disaster for New York State. The legislation would convert Medicaid payments to a “per cap” system, which means that each state would get a set amount per individual on Medicaid. These changes would cost New York State billions of dollars annually, which would have drastic effects on state hospitals, the Offices of Mental Health (OMH) and People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), and many health programs operated by local governments.

In addition, the proposal would phase out the Medicaid expansion program over a three year period starting in 2021. This change would result in fewer low-income New Yorkers qualifying for health insurance.

At this time, the fate of this legislation is uncertain. Two Republican Senators have come out in opposition to this legislation – Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Susan Collins (R-ME). If one more Republican Senator opposes this proposal it would be unable to pass the Senate.

We are continuing to review and analyze this legislation to determine its impact on the CSEA workforce throughout the State.

Social Security / Medicare

The Social Security Administration released their annual report on the fiscal health of Social Security and Medicare this week.

The report found that Medicare will remain fully solvent through 2028, which is one year longer than last year’s report.

In addition, the report stated that Social Security will continue to be able to make full payments to recipients until at least 2034, which is unchanged from last year. The report also stated that Social Security recipients can expect to receive a 2.2 percent increase in their monthly payment next year. This will equal about $28 a month for the average recipient.

CSEA has long advocated for policies that increase the solvency of the Social Security program, including increasing the income limit on Social Security taxes. Currently taxpayers stop paying Social Security taxes after $127,200 in income. Increasing this limit would ensure that the Social Security Trust Fund is solvent for future generations.

Tax Reform

According to a report from Comptroller DiNapoli this week, the Trump administration’s proposed tax reforms would hit New York especially hard. While the details of the tax reform proposal are still limited, President Trump did propose eliminating a deduction that would impact New Yorkers more than others.

Under the President’s tax plan, the federal deduction for state and local taxes paid would be eliminated. New Yorkers account for 13.5% of all state and local tax deductions in the United States, and could lose more than $67 billion if such deductions are eliminated as proposed. This includes local property taxes and state taxes.

As of 2014, these itemized deductions averaged about $36,000 per New Yorker, more than any other state.

Con Con Fact

Election rights, religious freedoms, and our court system are all laid out in our state constitution.


This Week in Albany

Week ending July 7, 2017

Legislative Update

A total of 518 bills passed both houses of the legislature and have not yet been sent to the Governor, including the vast majority of CSEA’s priority bills.

Stay tuned for updates on these bills as they become available over the summer and fall.

 

Federal Health Care Update

While Congress was on recess for the July 4th holiday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) continued to work on finding the 50 votes needed to pass a health care reform bill, now being called the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA).

A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis showed that the version of the legislation being discussed prior to the recess would result in 20 million fewer Americans receiving health care coverage while severely cutting back on Medicaid funding. The bill has received opposition from both the right and left sides of the political spectrum, with some Senators arguing that the bill does not go far enough to repeal the Affordable Care Act while others argue that the Medicaid cuts would be devastating to states and local governments.

It was reported this week that the Senate has sent two amended versions of the legislation to the CBO for a new “score.” Senate leadership maintains that it wants a vote on the bill before the August recess.

 

Con Con Fact

New York State already has a legislative process to amend the state constitution that doesn’t cost taxpayers anything. A recent example is legalizing casino gaming in 2013.

 

Register to Vote

The deadline to register to vote in the September 12 Primary is August 18

Download a voter registration form here.