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This Week in Albany

Week ending September 29, 2017

 

New Workers’ Compensation Proposals Would Harm Workers

The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board has proposed new guidelines and regulations relating to compensation for workers injured on the job.

These new regulations would disadvantage injured workers by adding roadblocks and making it less likely that they would receive adequate compensation for on the job injuries. The changes would limit the ability of injured workers to offer evidence, allow injured workers to be interrogated outside the presence of their attorney, and would reduce awards for workers that lose the use of a body part.

CSEA has submitted comments to the Board opposing these new guidelines. Additionally, the New York State Assembly Committee on Labor held a public hearing this week where the New York State AFL-CIO raised similar concerns with legislators.

 

Another Health Care Bill Abandoned

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) announced this week that the Senate would not move forward with a vote on the latest effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act after the bill failed to garner the needed support among Republican lawmakers.

The bill was  officially scrapped  after several Republican senators, including John McCain (R-Arizona), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) declared their opposition. Republicans could only afford to lose two votes among their conference and still get a bill passed. The failure of this latest bill is good news for New Yorkers, as this proposal would have had a disproportionately negative impact on our state.

 

Tax Code Overhaul

President Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans are shifting their focus to tax reform after their latest health care bill collapsed. This new tax reform proposal would severely reduce rates for both businesses and wealthy individuals, and would hurt the average New Yorker.

The tax overhaul plan being pushed by the White House and Congressional leaders would slash tax rates for corporations, repeal the Estate Tax, reduce the number of tax brackets, increase the rate for the lowest bracket, and double the standard deduction.

Of special importance to New Yorkers is the proposed elimination of the federal deduction for state and local taxes, including property taxes. New Yorkers account for 13.5% of all state and local tax deductions in the United States, and stand to lose billions of dollars if such deductions are eliminated. A report from Governor Cuomo estimates that the loss of these deductions would cost New Yorkers an average of $5,300 per year.

 

Con Con Fact

The Government Law Center at Albany Law School and the Rockefeller Institute of Government released a report this week titled One Hundred and Six Ideas for Constitutional Change: What Commentators, Scholars, Politicians, the Media, and Pundits Have Suggested Might Merit Consideration if New York State Holds a Constitutional Convention.

Some of the ideas that “might merit consideration” are the following:

91. Evaluate constitutional protection for public-employee pensions.

92. Examine whether pensions for State and local personnel should be capped based upon the base salary.


Southern Region endorsements for November election

The Southern Region Political Action Committee has endorsed the following candidates in the Nov. 7, 2017 election:

Dutchess:

Jim Coughlan – Dutchess County Comptroller

Pamela Kingsley – Dutchess County Legislature, District 5

Rebecca Edwards – Dutchess County Legislature, District 6

Joel Tyner – Dutchess County Legislature, District 11

Laurette Giardino – Dutchess County Legislature, District 12

John Forman – Dutchess County Legislature, District 16

Jerry Landisi – Dutchess County Legislature, District 18

 

Orange:

Steve Neuhaus – Orange County Executive

David Hoovler – Orange County District Attorney

Deborah Mulqueen – Orange County Clerk

Patricia McMillan – Orange County Legislature, District 3

Anthony Tarsio – Orange County Legislature, District 4

Stephen Hunter – Orange County Legislature, District 5

Myrna Kemnitz – Orange County Legislature, District 7

Janette McKay – Orange County Legislature, District 11

Kevin Hines – Orange County Legislature, District 12

Laurie Tautel – Orange County Legislature, District 14

Sylvia Santiago – Orange County Legislature, District 15

Mike Anagnostakis – Orange County Legislature, District 17

Roseanne Sullivan – Orange County Legislature, District 18

Michael Paduch – Orange County Legislature, District 19

James O’Donnell – Orange County Legislature, District 21

Andrew Green – Middletown Common Council, Ward 2

Sparrow Tobin – Middletown Common Council, Ward 4

Rod Winchell – Montgomery Town Supervisor

Tara Stickles – Montgomery Town Clerk

Susan Cockburn – Montgomery Town Board

David Stoudnour – Montgomery Town Board

 

Putnam:

Anthony Williams – Putnam County Legislature, District 2

Toni Addonizio – Putnam County Legislature, District 3

 

Rockland:

Maureen Porette – Rockland County Executive

Paul Piperato – Rockland County Clerk

Michael Sullivan – Clarkstown Town Supervisor

Justin Sweet – Clarkstown Town Clerk

Frank DiZenzo – Clarkstown Highway Superintendent

Frank Borelli – Clarkstown Town Board, Ward 1

Daniel Caprara – Clarkstown Town Board, Ward 2

Donald Franchino – Clarkstown Town Board, Ward 3

Patrick Carroll – Clarkstown Town Board, Ward 4

Thom Kleiner – Orangtown Town Supervisor

Dennis Troy – Orangetown Town Board

Tom Diviny – Orangetown Town Board

Michael Specht – Ramapo Town Supervisor

Yitzchok Ullman – Ramapo Town Council

David Wanounou – Ramapo Town Council

Fred Brinn – Ramapo Highway Superintendent

Alan Simon – Spring Valley Mayor

Mark Gomes – Suffern Village Council

Peter Bellin – Suffern Village Council

 

Sullivan:

Nancy Buck – Sullivan County Treasurer

Jim Farrell – Sullivan County District Attorney

Michael Schiff – Sullivan County Sheriff

 

Ulster:

Teryl Mickens – Kingston Common Council, Ward 5

Patrick O’Reilly – Kingston Common Council, Ward 7

James Rodden – Kingston Common Council, Ward 8

Deb Brown – Kingston Common Council, Ward 9

Paul Hansut – Lloyd Town Supervisor

 

Westchester:

George Latimer – Westchester County Executive

Tim Idoni – Westchester County Clerk

Nancy Vann – Westchester County Legislature, District 1

Kitley Covill – Westchester County Legislature, District 2

Daren Tolz – Westchester County Legislature, District 3

Ben Boykin – Westchester County Legislature, District 5

Nancy Barr – Westchester County Legislature, District 6

Catherine Parker – Westchester County Legislature, District 7

Alfreda Williams – Westchester County Legislature, District 8

Catherine Borgia – Westchester County Legislature, District 9

Damon Maher – Westchester County Legislature, District 10

Mary Jane Shimsky – Westchester County Legislature, District 12

London Williams – Westchester County Legislature, District 13

Gwen Dean – Westchester County Legislature, District 14

Ruth Walters – Westchester County Legislature, District 15

Mike Khader – Yonkers City Council President

Anthony Pagano – Yonkers City Council, Ward 6

Corazon Pineda – Yonkers City Council, Ward 2

Maeve Scott – Yonkers City Council, Ward 4

Dave Pagnelli – Yorktown Highway Superintendent

Veterans Day ceremony

Join the Long Island Region Veterans Committee at their annual Veterans Day ceremony on November 11. Take the time to honor those that have sacrificed so much for our freedom.

 

Veterans Day Ceremony 2017

This Week in Albany

Week ending September 22, 2017

Obamacare Repeal Resurrected

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) has indicated that he will put a new health care overhaul bill up for a vote before the end of the month.

The new bill, sponsored by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana) would potentially be even more devastating to New York than any of the other health care proposals put forward by this Congress.

The bill would dismantle most of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare/ACA) and turn large portions of health care funding into block grants to states while significantly reducing funding levels. Part of the changes to federal funding would be a redistribution of funds currently going to states that expanded Medicaid under the ACA to states that didn’t. This would hit New York especially hard, with the state expected to lose $45 billion in funding between 2020 and 2026, a 10% cut.

The bill would also allow states to significantly change what benefits must be provided on the individual marketplace and could allow states to opt out of the requirement that people with pre-existing conditions be covered.

CSEA has joined with a coalition of health care providers, unions, and others urging the New York Congressional delegation to reject this potentially devastating legislation.

 

Con Con Fact

While ballots will vary from municipality to municipality on November 7th, the constitutional convention ballot question will be Proposition Number One on the back of everyone’s ballot.

When you turn your ballot over, you will see:

“Shall there be a convention to revise the constitution and amend the same?”

 

Absentee Ballots

If you have a child in college, or will yourself be away from home on election day, don’t forget to apply for an absentee ballot so that your vote can be counted on Election Day.

October 31 is the last day to mail an application for an absentee ballot, or you can apply in person until November 6. Ballots must be postmarked by November 6.

Click here to download an absentee ballot application from the State Board of Elections.


“Freezin’ for a Reason” with the CSEA Crazies

It’s that time again! CSEA is preparing for another polar plunge at Cedar Beach, Mount Sinai. All proceeds from this annual event go to Special Olympics athletes. Even if you don’t want to plunge, you can always donate.

Cedar Beach polar plunge 2017

This Week in Albany

Week ending September 15, 2017

Legislative Update

Governor Cuomo signed 59 bills into law this week, but the vast majority of CSEA’s priority legislation has not yet been sent to the Governor. There are still 271 bills that passed both houses but have not been sent to the Governor.

 

Election Update

Primary elections for local government races were held throughout the state this week.

There may be multiple openings in the state legislature after several legislators won their Primaries, though none have resigned from their state legislative seats at this time. The list of possible vacancies includes:

  • Senate District 32, where Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr. won a Democratic Primary for the New York City Council;
  • Senate District 37, where Senator George Latimer won a Democratic Primary for Westchester County Executive;
  • Assembly District 39, where Assemblyman Francisco Moya won a Democratic Primary for the New York City Council;
  • Assembly District 80, where Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj won a Democratic Primary for the New York City Council; and
  • Assembly District 107, where Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin won a Republican Primary for Rensselaer County Executive.

Additionally, Senator Phil Boyle (R-Suffolk County) and Assemblymembers Felix Ortiz (D-Brooklyn) and Robert Rodriguez (D-Manhattan) ran in local races but appear to have been defeated.

The deadline to register to vote in the November 7th General Election is October 13.

 

Con Con Fact

The state constitution protects injured workers through the Worker’s compensation system. A constitutional convention could put worker protections at risk.


Hurricane Relief Concert

CSEA’s Long Beach unit is working in conjunction with the City of Long Beach to hold a hurricane relief concert on Sunday, September 24, 2017. Join them as they raise money for people that have been effected by the most recent weather events.

 

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This Week in Albany

Week Ending September 8, 2017

Employer Pension Contribution Rates to Decline in 2018

Comptroller DiNapoli announced that employer contribution rates to the New York State and Local Retirement System will decline in the 2018-19 fiscal year thanks to a 11.48% investment return for 2017.

The average contribution rate for the Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) will decrease from 15.3% of payroll to 14.9% of payroll.

When contribution rates rose in the midst of the Great Recession, hostility towards public employee pensions rose along with them. Thanks to years of strong management from Comptroller DiNapoli, contribution rates have stabilized and New York has one of the strongest pension plans in the country.


Federal Update

After President Trump surprisingly announced an agreement with Democratic Congressional leaders Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Nancy Pelosi (D-California), Congress is poised to pass a three-month extension of federal funding and the debt ceiling along with billions in disaster aid for hurricane relief.

The agreement sets December 8th as the next deadline for agreements on spending and a debt ceiling increase.


Con Con Fact

In an August 24th article, the Albany Times Union highlighted how past constitutional conventions proved to be major wastes of taxpayer dollars. According to the article,

“1967: The Constitutional Convention, slightly more than a month away from adjournment, met for 35 minutes in the stately Assembly Chamber of the Capitol and then about 30 delegates retired for the rest of the day to Saratoga Race Track for lunch and betting. Meeting early in the morning, the delegates were reminded to rest up for the hard weeks ahead. Of the 186 delegates, 100 were marked present by the clerk. Only 75, however, were heard answering the roll call personally. Of those, 30 made the pilgrimage to support the Sport of Kings.”


Don’t Forget to Vote!

Primary Elections will be held next Tuesday, September 12.

In New York City and the counties of Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Putnam, and Erie, polls open at 6AM and close at 9PM. In all other counties, polls open at noon and close at 9PM.

If you are not sure where your polling place is, you can look it up here.

Please contact your region Political Action Coordinator for more information and information on candidates that CSEA is supporting.

Long Island Region 1
Sue Castle: (631) 462-0030

Metropolitan Region 2
Matthew D’Amico: (212) 406-2156

Southern Region 3
Chris Ludlow: (845) 831-1000

Capital Region 4
Bill Gustafson: (518) 782-4400

Central Region 5
Joshua Schick: (315) 433-0050

Western Region 6
Chris Rackl: (716) 691-6555

The 8th Annual Region One Golf Outing

Join us on October 13, 2017 for the 8th Annual Region One Golf Outing. Registration and payment must be submitted to the Region One office by September 22, 2017.

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