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
Delivered 11/17

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
Not Yet Delivered

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
Not Yet Delivered

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
Not Yet Delivered

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
Not Yet Delivered

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
Not Yet Delivered

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
Not Yet Delivered

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

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
Delivered 11/17

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
Not Yet Delivered

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
Delivered 11/17

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
Not Yet Delivered

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
Delivered 11/17

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


    2017 Legislative Memos

    SUPPORTWorker Safety Issues

    A.1532 – Gunther / S.3330 – Hannon: This bill would improve the quality of care in healthcare facilities by establishing basic staffing ratios for nurses and other direct care staff employed in acute care facilities, including all public and private hospitals, mental health facilities, nursing homes and correctional facilities.

    S.1023 – Funke / A.1207 – Zebrowski: This bill would increase penalties for passing a stopped school bus.

    Civil Service Bills

    S.2516 – Gallivan / A.473 – Paulin: This bill would allow all counties the option of providing full pay and benefits for county probation officers who are injured on the job.

    S.1850 – Ortt / A.6277 – Abbate: This bill would allow counties the option of providing employees who are engaged in correction officer duties a special 20 year retirement plan which would provide a benefit of one-half of final average salary upon retirement.  Counties could also elect to provide an additional benefit of one sixtieth of final average salary for each year of service in excess of 20 years, not to exceed 15 such years.

    S.5593 – Golden / A.7602 – Abbate: This bill would eliminate the lifetime reduction of a pension payment when an outstanding loan is repaid in full.

    State Workforce Bills

    A.7396A – Gunther / S.5680 – Ortt: This bill would prohibit a state agency from decreasing full time equivalent (FTE) positions if more than 25% of their employees worked overtime the previous year.

    Office of Mental Health (OMH) and
    Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPDWD) Bills

    S.4630 – Gallivan / A.6505 – Kearns: This bill would maintain the Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center as a separate and distinct entity that cannot be collocated with another Office of Mental Health facility.

    S.5681 – Ortt / A.7399A – Gunther: This bill would codify CSEA’s community-based care pilot programs that are operated by OPWDD.

    A.2229 – Gunther / S.2836 – Ortt: This bill would limit the length of time that a notice of closure or significant service reduction is in effect. Currently law requires OMH to give 12 months notice, but there is no maximum amount of time that the notice can be in effect.

    S.3027 – Ranzenhofer / A.3027 – Kearns: This bill would prohibit sex offenders from residing in a community residence operated or licensed by OMH or OPWDD.

    Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) Bills

    S.4574 – Marchione / A.6309 – Brindisi: This legislation would require OCFS to annually report the ratio of non-administrative staff to facility residents. In addition, this report must detail the number of employees who are out of work on workers’ compensation.

    S.2728 – Griffo / A.2136 – Brindisi: This bill would make the assault of an OCFS secure or limited secure residential facility a class D felony.

    Health Care Bills

    A.3126 – Gottfried / S.2546 – Hannon: This bill would ensure that SUNY hospitals continue to receive Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) funding.

    S.4536 – Helming / A.6234 – Skartados: This bill would increase payments to critical access hospitals.

    S.5661B – Little / A.7763 – Gottfried: This bill would create the enhanced safety-net hospital program.

    A.934A – Glick / S.1596A – LaValle: This bill would clarify that the State University Health Science Centers are included in the SUNY maintenance of effort provision.

    Social Service Bills

    S.3146 – Golden / A.4049 – Lupardo: This bill would establish caseload standards for child protective services (CPS) workers.

    Child Care Bills

    A.7726A – Jaffee / S.5929 – Avella: This bill would establish a Child Care Availability Taskforce. This taskforce will evaluate the cost, accessibility, availability, quality, and impact of childcare subsidies.

    Corrections Bills

    S.2949A – Ritchie / A.4064B – Jones: This bill would require the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) to develop a staffing plan to ensure that all correctional facilities are adequately staffed.

    Local Government Bills

    S.3632 – Phillips / A.4117 – Lentol: This bill would grant peace officer status to Nassau County Police Department Ambulance Medical Technicians (AMTs).

    S.5704 – Phillips / A.7135 – Abbate: This bill would provide for a performance of duty disability retirement benefit for ambulance medical technician supervisors, ambulance medical technician coordinators, and ambulance medical technicians (AMTs) employed by Nassau County.

    S.5778 – Alcantara / A.7601 – Abbate: This bill would codify and streamline existing practices regarding membership in public sector labor unions.

    Retiree Bills

    S.4324 – Tedisco / A.5210 – Abinanti: This bill would require municipalities to notify retirees at least 45 days prior to changing their health benefits.

    Education / Library Bills

    S.3021 – Ritchie / A.5811 – Quart: This bill would enable public libraries to access Employment Preparation Education (EPE) funds to provide adult literacy instruction.

    Veteran Bills

    A.3198A – Paulin / S.2911A – Croci: This bill would authorize paid time off for state employees that are combat veterans in order to obtain health care services related to their military service.

    A.6416A – Abbate / S.5877A – Golden: This bill would allow all honorably discharged veterans to be eligible for civil service credits for appointments and promotions. Current law provides that only veterans who are disabled or who served on active duty during specific times or in specific theatres of war may receive civil service credits for their service.

    Other Bills

    S.3990 – Ranzenhofer / A.1311 – Rosenthal: This bill would expand the scope of public authority contracts subject to State Comptroller approval.

    S.3984 – DeFrancisco / A.6355 – Peoples-Stokes: This bill would improve transparency and accountability in the State’s procurement process.

    S.4827 – Marchione / A.3047 – Magnarelli: This bill would grant the State Comptroller statutory authority to audit local development corporations (LDCs).

    A.7427 – Schimminger: This legislation would restore and expand reporting requirements for the START-UP NY program.

    A.4083 – Abinanti: This legislation would ensure that the meetings of the Design and Construction Corporation within the Dormitory Authority are subject to the open meetings law.

     


    OPPOSE

    OMH/OPWDD Bills

    S.4736A – Lanza / A.6830 – Weprin: This bill would require all mandated reporters covered by the Justice Center to call 911, the local county district attorney’s office, and the Justice Center to report all reportable incidents. CSEA does not defend the current operations of the Justice Center but this legislation would only make a bad situation worse and could lead to diminished oversight and protections for those with a developmental disability.

    A.745 – Gunther / S.2941 – Hamilton: This bill would require all OPWDD facilities to install cameras at each of their entrances and exits. This is an unfunded mandate and would undermine residents’ privacy protections under HIPAA.

    Insurance Bills

    S.3484 – Golden / A.4786 – Joyner: This bill would prohibit prescription benefit plans from requiring that certain prescriptions be filled by a network mail order pharmacy.

    Other Bills

    A.1656 – Mosley: This bill would prohibit smoking on SUNY property. CSEA opposes this bill because smoking bans are a mandatory subject of negotiation for public employees.

    S.2308 – Brooks: This legislation would require that a state monitor be appointed in the Town of Oyster Bay that would be authorized to unilaterally reject the implementation of collective bargaining agreements.

      End of Session Summary

      CSEA was successful in advancing numerous priority bills that passed both houses of the legislature at the end of the 2016 state legislative session. Among these bills were:

      S. 7160 Larkin / A. 9531 – Paulin (Chapter 41 of the Laws of 2016): This bill allows all honorably discharged military veterans who are public employees to purchase up to 3 years of additional pension credit.

      S.2691 – Golden / A.10506 – Lupardo: This bill would establish workload standards for child protective services (CPS) workers.

      S.426B – Marcellino / A.7763B – DenDekker: This bill would add vehicles operated by sanitation and recycling workers in the performance of their duties to the state’s “Move Over” law and/or require drivers to slow to an appropriate speed when passing such a vehicle.

      S.7627 – Ortt / A.10557 – Gunther:  This bill would provide that a notice of closure or service reduction at state-operated psychiatric centers expires after 13 months so that employees and communities are not left wondering whether services will continue to be available.

      S.6916C – Ortt / A.9620 – Gunther: This bill would require the Commissioner of the Office of Mental Health to provide the legislature with a quarterly report on the number of assaults on any staff member or patient in the state’s four forensic facilities.

      S.7677A – Ortt / A.10409 – Gunther: This bill would require that the Commissioner of Health and the Commissioner of OPWDD develop and issue a report identifying the causes of the increasingly high vacancy and turnover rates for direct support professionals (DSPs) working with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

      A.10614 – Abbate / S.8071 – Murphy: This bill would create a performance of duty disability retirement for airport firefighters employed by the Division of Military and Naval Affairs who contract various ailments of the heart, lung or cancer and can no longer perform their duty.

      S.6948A – Hannon / A.9476A – Gottfried: This bill would increase Medicaid payments to “enhanced safety-net hospitals.” These hospitals are ones that care for a disproportionate share of Medicaid and uninsured patients but could also include rural hospitals.

      S.7120 – Golden / A.9715 – Abbate: This legislation would prevent the president of the New York State Civil Service Commission from denying or interfering with collectively bargained rights regarding health insurance buyouts.

      A.9515 – Brennan / S.7112 – Golden: This bill would increase transparency and accountability within the $700 million Kings County Health Care Facility Demonstration Program. It would include requirements that DOH publicize how grants will be distributed and what metrics they would use.

      Stay tuned for updates on these important bills as they become available.

      Other Issues

      Among the other issues that were addressed at the end of session were:

      Pension Forfeiture

      After an overly-broad constitutional amendment to strip public employees of their pensions was put forward last year, CSEA worked to ensure that public employees and their families weren’t made to suffer the loss of a constitutional right and their financial well-being in an effort to send a message about ethics reform for elected officials.

      This year, each house passed a more narrow version of a pension forfeiture amendment that will focus only on elected officials, Executive appointees, managers, judges, and employees considered to be policy makers. The resolution will have to be passed by both houses again next year or in 2018 and then must be put on the ballot to be voted on by citizens before it can take effect.

      Election Reforms

      Legislation was passed to limit the coordination between candidates, political action committees, and independent expenditure committees. Furthermore, new provisions were put in place regarding the disposition of campaign funds when a candidate or officeholder dies, increased disclosure for lobbyists, and increased disclosure for 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) entities.

      Heroin/Opioid Abuse

      The legislature passed a package of bills to address the growing heroin and opioid abuse crisis in New York State. Among other things, the legislation will make it harder for insurance companies to deny coverage for required treatments and increase training for doctors and other professionals prescribing opioids.

      NYC Mayoral Control

      Mayoral control over New York City schools was extended for only one year. Additionally, the City will be required to publish a report on the funding allocated to each community school district twice per year.

      Daily Fantasy Sports

      The legislature agreed to legalize and regulate daily fantasy sports, which had been determined to be a form of illegal gambling earlier this year. Companies offering daily fantasy sports games will be taxed at 15%, with the funds dedicated to an education fund.

      Liquor Law Reform

      Under these reforms, restaurants will be allowed to sell alcohol at 10AM on Sundays (currently restaurants can’t serve before noon), and would allow restaurants outside of New York City to apply for permits to sell from 8AM-10AM up to 12 times per year.


        2016 Oppose Memos

        OPPOSE

        Worker Issues

        Triborough Legislation: These bills would repeal or weaken the Triborough Amendment to the Taylor Law that provides that provisions of an expired public employee contract remain in effect until a new contract is approved.

        Revenue Issues

        Education Tax Credit: This legislation would add to the ballooning list of damaging tax expenditures in New York State by creating a tax credit program for individuals and corporations to donate to public and private education-related entities.

        Privatization Issues

        S. 7448 – Amedore / A.9854 – Lopez: This bill calls for a commission to study the public ownership of outdoor recreation facilities.

         

         

          2015 Oppose Memos

          OPPOSE

          Pension Forfeiture

          S.4611 – Budget / A.6722 – Buchwald: This legislation would subject public employees and elected officials to pension forfeiture if convicted of a felony relating to public office.

          Education Tax Credit

          Governor’s Program Bill #2: Would establish an education tax credit and tuition tax credit.

          A.2551 – Cusick and S.1976 – Golden: Would establish the education tax credit.

          Health Care Issues

          S.4790 – Hannon: Would allow up to ten for-profit business corporations to operate an unlimited number of hospitals in NY.

          Unemployment Insurance Issues

          S.4847 – Martins: Would exclude certain individuals from the definition of the term employment in the Unemployment Insurance Law when providing temporary services to the state or a political subdivision in connection with a recovery from a disaster emergency.

          Local Issues

          S.5306 – Kennedy / A.7574 – Peoples-Stokes: Would authorize the City of Buffalo to adopt a residential parking system.

           


            2015 Support Memos

            SUPPORT

            Worker Protection Issues

            S.1291 – Espaillat / A.4762 – Nolan: Provides farm workers with protections under New York State law.

            A.1548 – Gottfried / S.782 – Hannon: Establishes basic staffing ratios for nurses and other direct care staff.

            A.2480 – Brindisi / S.3913 – Griffo: Provides that a Class D felony would be imposed against anyone in an Article 10 secure treatment facility who assaults another person.

            S.1974 – Griffo / A.2401 – Brindisi: Provides that a Class D felony would be imposed against anyone who assaults an employee of OCFS secure and limited secure residential facilities in the performance of his or her duties.

            S.3621 – Funke / A.1034 – Gunther: Would include the assault of non-nursing direct care staff within the offense of assault in the second degree.

            A.7721 – Peoples-Stokes / S.5130 – Martins: Would require not-for-profit corporations who receive at least fifty percent of their budget from government sources to address the alarming problem of violence in the workplace.

            OMH and OPWDD Issues

            S.4094 – Libous / A.7332 – Lupardo: CSEA introduced this legislation to compel OPWDD to show a true commitment to individuals with developmental disabilities by requiring a list of options that must include state-operated services in all areas of the state.

            A. 3860 – Brennan / S.5272 – Ortt: This bill would require the commissioner of mental health to ensure the development of comprehensive plans, programs, and services to meet the mental health and treatment needs of children and adolescents in need of appropriate services.

            Healthcare Issues

            A.6390 – Simon / S.2472 – Parker: This legislation would require a study of the impact that the closure of a long-term care facility would have on the residents and their families.

            Transparency/Accountability Issues

            S.2054 – Flanagan / A.4729 – Colton: Forbids a public benefit corporation from establishing a subsidiary corporation without prior approval from the State Legislature.

            A.5935 – Pichardo / S,5215 – Savino: This legislation would require state contractors to annually report the average weekly wage paid to employees.

            A.7056 – Magnarelli / S.5690 – Marchione: Gives the State Comptroller statutory authority to audit local development corporations (LDCs).

            A.7915 – Magnarelli / S.5867 – Marchione: Allows for increased oversight and effectiveness of Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs) throughout the state.

            Child Care Issues

            A.6568 – Lupardo / S.5009 – Felder:  This legislation would require that local social services districts reimburse child care providers for at least 12 absences every six months for children in subsidized care.

            Child Protective Services Issues

            S.2691 – Golden / A.4613 – Clark: This legislation would require OCFS to promulgate regulations relating to workload standards for CPS workers.

            S.3226 – Golden / A.7459 – Persaud: This legislation would grant non-supervisory child protective service employees five days of paid time off and be offered counseling or psychological assistance immediately after a child suspected of being abused or maltreated dies.

            SUNY Issues

            S.5246 – Martins / A.7243 – Abbate: Would require that the SUNY Research Foundation adhere to Civil Service Law and that all future employees be placed in appropriate civil service classifications.

            Veteran/Military Issues

            A.8174 – Paulin / S.5937 – Larkin: Allows public employees to purchase up to three years of pension credit for military duty by removing all existing requirements that such military service be performed during certain war periods, during certain hostilities while in theater of operations, or upon the receipt of an expeditionary medal.

            A.6453 – Magnarelli / S.4546 Croci: Would allow public employees who are military veterans of the war in Afghanistan to buy up to three years of additional pension credit.

            A.7824 – Abbate / S.4852 – Croci: Would allow all members of the military who miss the application deadline for a scheduled competitive civil service examination to be eligible for a special military make-up examination.


              City & State Magazine Focus on Labor

              In its latest issue, City & State Magazine published interviews with Assemblyman Peter Abbate and Senator Jack Martins regarding the budget’s impact on union members and upcoming contract negotiations.

              Senator Martins, a Republican from Long Island, highlighted the importance of public employees.

              “The attitude towards public employees should be one of respect and appreciation; they should never be treated as the enemy. They provide valuable services and it’s important to remember that they are New Yorkers; they live in our communities, they pay taxes and they support our economy.”

              The full interviews can be viewed here.


                Veterans Temporary Hiring Program

                Thanks to the passage of the Veterans’ Employment Act (Chapter 557 of 2013), the Department of Civil Service is required to develop and utilize a list of eligible discharged veterans for the temporary staffing needs of state agencies before going to a temporary staffing company.

                In order to be eligible to participate in the program, an individual must have served on active duty in the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard or the Reserve Components of the Armed Forces of the United States or served in active military service of the United States as a member of the Army National Guard, Air National Guard, New York Guard or New York Naval Militia, and have been released from such service other than by dishonorable discharge after September 11, 2001.

                Visit the Department of Civil Service’s online portal to sign up for the program and to see a list of titles with the most temporary opportunities.


                  CSEA Submits Testimony on Mental Health Services in Correctional Settings

                  CSEA submitted testimony to a joint public hearing with the Assembly Standing Committee on Corrections and Assembly Standing Committee on Mental Health on the subject of mental health services in correctional settings.

                  The testimony urged lawmakers to ensure that the state provides desperately needed mental health services in our communities instead of allowing prisons and jails taking over as de facto treatment centers.

                  Next year’s state budget presents opportunities for negotiations and for all of our elected officials to take a stand for their communities. This is not the time to walk away from our commitments to our most vulnerable populations. The people of New York would be far better served by a state that does not shirk its responsibility and provides an actual plan detailing how service gaps will be addressed in the communities. To allow a decrease of these services without a definitive plan in place is irresponsible in light of past promises made but not kept.

                  Read the full testimony here.


                    CSEA Endorsements

                    Click the following links to view CSEA’s 2014 political endorsements by region.

                    Long Island Region 1
                    Metropolitan Region 2
                    Southern Region 3
                    Capital Region 4
                    Central Region 5
                    Western Region 6

                    Not sure what district you live in? Click here to find out.