This Week in Albany

Legislative Update

Governor Cuomo signed a package of veterans-related bills into law, including:

  • S.2911A – Croci / A.3198A – PaulinThis bill allows state employees who are combat veterans to take time off to receive health care services related to their service. CSEA strongly supported this legislation;
  • A.7006 – Gottfried / S.569 – Savino: This bill adds post-traumatic stress disorder as an eligible condition for a medical marijuana prescription; and
  • S.946A – Croci / A.1105-B – Hunter: This bill waives civil service examination fees for honorably discharged veterans.

The Governor vetoed legislation (S.1850 – Ortt / A.6277 – Abbate) that would have allowed counties to allow county correctional officers or deputy sheriffs performing correction officer duties to retire after 20 years with a fifty percent final average salary pension.


Pension Fund

Comptroller DiNapoli announced that the New York State Common Retirement Fund had a value of over $200 billion as of September 30 after posting a 3.67% rate of return for the second quarter of 2017-18. As of that date, the Fund had an estimated value of $201.3 billion.

New York continues to have one of the best managed and most well-funded pension systems in the country thanks to Comptroller DiNapoli’s leadership.

 

Federal Tax Reform

The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to overhaul the nation’s tax code this week. The Senate is expected to pass their plan, which differs from the house bill, after the Thanksgiving recess.

Both bills would provide massive tax cuts to corporations and the wealthy while providing few, if any, benefits to middle class taxpayers. According to an AFSCME analysis, nearly 3 in 10 people with incomes between $54,000 and $154,000 would pay an average of $680 to $2,090 more in taxes by the tenth year of the House bill. Further, each proposal would increase the federal deficit by $1.5 trillion over ten years.

The two bills would reduce the corporate tax rate from 35% to 20% without eliminating loopholes that allow corporations to drastically reduce the taxes they pay. This cut alone will cost $1.5 trillion over a decade. Further, while the cuts to individual tax rates would expire under these plans, the corporate tax rate cuts would be made permanent.

The most important difference between the House and Senate bills is over the issue of state and local tax (SALT) deductions. Currently, New Yorkers can deduct the state and local income, sales, and property taxes they pay from their federal taxes. Under the House proposal, the deduction for sales and income taxes would be eliminated, and the property tax deduction would be limited to $10,000. Under the Senate’s proposal, state and local tax deductions would be eliminated entirely. Under either plan, New Yorkers lose.

Eliminating SALT deductions would be especially harmful to workers in states like New York. CSEA joined with AFSCME, the AFL-CIO, and other groups in impressing upon the New York Congressional delegation the importance of maintaining these deductions that workers in New York depend on. Because of the severe impact of eliminating SALT deductions, several New York Republicans voted against the bill in the House, including Lee Zeldin (NY1), Peter King (NY2), Dan Donovan (NY11), John Faso (NY19) and Elise Stefanik (NY21). Claudia Tenney (NY22), Tom Reed (NY23), John Katko (NY24), and Chris Collins (NY27) all voted for the bill. All Democrats in the House voted against the bill.

Once the Senate passes a bill, the two houses will have to work together to reach a consensus on the legislation. Republican leaders have said that they plan on agreeing to a final bill before the end of the year.

 

We’ll Be Back In December

“This Week in Albany” will take a week off for the Thanksgiving holiday and return on Friday, December 1. Have a safe and happy holiday.


    This Week in Albany

    Election Update

     

    Constitutional Convention

    CSEA members won a major victory on Tuesday when the constitutional convention ballot proposal was defeated by an unprecedented margin.

    This victory was a culmination of over a year of continuous efforts of CSEA members and activists to educate members and the general public and turn out the vote against the proposal.

    When the Siena College Research Institute released its first poll of voters’ feelings on the constitutional convention in April, 63% of voters supported the idea of holding a constitutional convention. By November, polling showed that support was down to 25%. By election night, opposition to a constitutional convention reached an all time high. Unofficial election night totals from the State Board of Elections showed that the proposal was defeated by a margin of 83% to 17%. Not a single county voted in favor of the constitutional convention.

    “Without CSEA and our allies voting NO on the constitutional convention, there’s a good chance we’d all be on the hook for a very expensive and dangerous ride. When it comes down to it, this is just another example of how important labor is in protecting our rights, and the rights of our families and friends everywhere. This is a very proud day for CSEA,” President Danny Donohue said.

    The overwhelming “no” vote shows how strong unions can be when we stand together. Thank you for all that you did to earn this victory.


    Other Ballot Questions

    The other two proposals on the ballot statewide both passed.

    Proposal #2 – Pension Forfeiture: This measure will allow a court to reduce or revoke the public pension of a public officer who is convicted of a felony relating to their office. When originally proposed, CSEA members would have been subject to any potential pension forfeiture law. CSEA worked hard to focus this constitutional amendment on elected officials and high ranking appointees and managers. CSEA did not take a position on Proposal #2 as it appeared on the ballot. It passed by a vote of about 73% to 27%.

    Proposal #3 – Adirondacks Land Use: This measure will create a land account with up to 250 acres of forest preserve land eligible for use by towns, villages, and counties that have no viable alternative to using forest preserve land to address specific public health and safety concerns. The land removed from the forest preserve would have to be replaced by another 250 acres. CSEA did not take a position on Proposal #3. It passed narrowly, by a vote of about 52% to 48%.

     

    Westchester County

    CSEA-endorsed candidate George Latimer (D) handily defeated incumbent County Executive Rob Astorino. In addition, Democrats flipped the county legislature and now have a strong majority.

     

    Nassau County

    CSEA-endorsed candidate Jack Martins (R) was defeated by Democrat Laura Curran in the race for Nassau County Executive.

     

    New York City

    New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) easily won re-election.

    State Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh (D) won a Special Election to fill a vacancy in the 26th Senate District caused by the resignation of Senator Daniel Squadron (D).

    There were also two Special Elections held for vacant Assembly seats. Al Taylor (D) won the seat vacated by the retirement of Assemblyman Denny Farrell (D) in the 71st District, while Dan Rosenthal (D) won the 27th District that became vacant upon the death of Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz.

     

    Other Races

    In Rockland County, incumbent County Executive Ed Day (R) defeated CSEA-endorsed challenger Maureen Porette.

    CSEA endorsed Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus (R) for his re-election bid. Neuhaus easily defeated his challenger for a second term.

    In Syracuse, independent Ben Walsh pulled off a victory for the mayor’s seat, defeating Democratic candidate Juanita Perez-Williams. It is the first time in over 100 years that the city will have an independent mayor.

    In the Town of Massena, CSEA-endorsed candidate Steve O’Shaughnessy (D) defeated the incumbent Town Supervisor. The election of a new Town Supervisor may help fight back efforts to privatize the public hospital.

    In Erie County, CSEA-endorsed candidate John Bruso (D) defeated Republican incumbent Ted Morton to help the Democrats retake the County Legislature. Additionally, endorsed candidate Mickey Kearns (R) won his election for Erie County Clerk.

     

    Impact on the State Legislature

    Several sitting state legislators won election to local government positions this week. The vacancies caused by these elections will lead to multiple Special Elections in 2018, including:

     

    State Senate

    • SD 32: Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr. (D) won election to the New York City Council.
    • SD 37: Senator George Latimer (D) won the race for Westchester County Executive.

     

    State Assembly

    • AD 5: Assemblyman Al Graf (R) won the race for District Court Judge in the 5th District.
    • AD 10: Assemblyman Chad Lupinacci (R) won the race for Huntington Town Supervisor.
    • AD 17: Assemblyman Tom McKevitt (R) won election to the Nassau County Legislature.
    • AD 39: Assemblyman Francisco Moya (D) won election to the New York City Council.
    • AD 80: Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj (D) won election to the New York City Council.
    • AD 107: Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R) won the race for Rensselaer County Executive.
    • AD 142: Assemblyman Mickey Kearns (D) won the race for Erie County clerk.

     

    Veterans Day

    CSEA thanks the men and women who risk their lives as a duty to our nation. They deserve our recognition and respect.


      This Week in Albany

      Week ending November 3, 2017

       

      Federal Tax Reform

      U.S. House Republicans revealed their long-awaited proposal to overhaul the federal tax code this week.

      The proposal would limit the ability of New Yorkers to deduct state and local taxes from their federal taxes. The plan would eliminate the federal deduction for state and local income and sales taxes, while limiting the property tax deduction to $10,000. The plan would also put limitations on the mortgage interest deduction, though existing homeowners would be able to keep their deduction.

      The plan would reduce the number of tax brackets from seven to four. Taxpayers earning up to $24,000 will pay no income tax, while the rates for married taxpayers filing jointly would be – 12% for those earning up to $90,000, 25% for those earning up to $260,000, 35% for those earning up to $1 million, and 39.6% for everyone earning over $1 million.

      Other parts of the plan include almost doubling the standard deduction, cutting corporate taxes from 35% to 20%, and the eventual elimination of the Estate Tax. Lawmakers had discussed the possibility of limiting contributions to 401(k)s and other retirement plans, but the proposal does not touch retirement plans.

      Stay tuned for more details on the plan once they become available.

       

      Election Day is Tuesday

      Tuesday is Election Day, and your vote is especially important this year.

      By standing together and VOTING NO on the Constitutional Convention , we can protect our pensions, collective bargaining rights, public education, the environment, and all of the other protections and rights guaranteed in the New York State constitution.

      So, what is your plan for voting?

      Where is your polling place?

      Not sure? Find your polling place on the Board of Elections’ website.

      What time are you going to vote?

      All polls are open from 6AM – 9PM.

       

      Election Spotlight – Constitutional Convention

      Click here to learn more about the constitutional convention ballot question and why you should VOTE NO on Tuesday.

        This Week in Albany

        Week ending October 27, 2017


        Legislative Update

        Governor Cuomo acted on 84 bills this week, signing 69 bills and vetoing 15.

        Among the bills signed into law was S.1411B – Griffo / A.711B – Gunther, that would provide additional health benefits to volunteer firefighters. Under the new law, volunteer firefighters who contract certain cancers will be eligible for enhanced disability and death benefits effective January 1, 2019.

        There are still 185 bills that passed both houses but have not been sent to the Governor’s office, including many of CSEA’s priority bills. Stay tuned for updates on important legislation as they become available.

         

        Federal Budget / Taxes

        On Thursday, the House of Representatives passed the Senate’s 2018 budget resolution, setting up a fight over Republicans’ efforts to rewrite the tax code.

        By passing the resolution, the House allows the Senate to use the process of reconciliation to pass tax reform with only 51 votes instead of the normally required 60 votes. The reconciliation process will also allow the Republican tax plan to increase the deficit by up to $1.5 trillion over the next decade. The tax plan is expected to contain a provision that would eliminate the ability for homeowners to deduct state and local tax payments, including property taxes. If this measure is included, it would raise taxes on every New Yorker who pays property taxes. According to a report by Comptroller DiNapoli, New York taxpayers could lose $72 billion in deductions if this plan moves forward.

        Every New York Republican voted no on the measure except for Tom Reed (NY-23) and Chris Collins (NY-27). Had Reed and Collins voted no, the measure would have failed. Instead, the measure passed by a vote of 216-212.

        Federal funding is set to expire on December 8th. Legislators will need to reach a spending agreement before then to avoid a government shutdown.

         

        Social Security COLA

        The Social Security Administration announced that Social Security recipients will receive a two percent increase in their benefits next year. While this is the largest increase since 2012, the average beneficiary will see only a $25 increase per month.

        Roughly one-in-five Americans are impacted by the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).

         

        Election Spotlight – Nassau County

        CSEA has endorsed Republican Jack Martins for Nassau County Executive. Click here to learn more about the race and the two candidates vying for an open seat.

         

        Con Con Fact

        Unlike the New York State constitution, the United States constitution does not clearly protect against the diminishment of pensions. A New York State constitutional convention could remove the clear and unambiguous protections that go above and beyond those provided for by the federal government.


          This Week in Albany

          Week ending October 20, 2017

          Shared Services Plans

          County-wide shared service plans were finalized this week and presented to the public. Thirty-four counties submitted a plan this year, while 23 counties will wait until next year to submit a plan.

          Thanks to the hard work and advocacy of CSEA members, the potential negative impacts of this new shared services program were severely blunted in the 2017-18 state budget and throughout the process of developing the plans. As it stands, local services and jobs will be largely protected from misguided attempts to save a few dollars on the backs of workers and the services they provide.

           

          Special Session? Not so Fast

          Assembly Democrats were in Albany this week to conference and discuss several outstanding legislative issues.

          After the conference, Speaker Carl Heastie cast doubt on the need for a special session this year barring a major policy action by the federal government. Governor Cuomo has been pushing for a special session in recent weeks to address a variety of outstanding issues, from federal healthcare funds to local water infrastructure.

          Speaker Heastie also reiterated his opposition to holding a constitutional convention.

           

          Federal Health Care

          CSEA President Danny Donohue wrote a letter to the New York Congressional Delegation calling on members of Congress to protect New York patients and providers from damaging health care cuts.

          Specifically, President Donohue asked the Congressional delegation to restore reductions to Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payment reductions, fund Affordable Care Act cost-sharing reduction payments, and reauthorize the Health Centers Fund.

          The full letter can be found on our website.

          Due to the federal DSH cuts, public hospitals throughout the state face significant cuts:

          • Westchester Medical Center is facing a cut of $74 million;
          • Nassau University Medical Center is facing a cut of $56 million;
          • Erie County Medical Center is facing a cut of $29 million; and
          • SUNY hospitals are facing a cut of $174 million.

          Congress must work to restore these devastating cuts to public hospital services.

           

          Elections

          For a full list of CSEA’s endorsements, visit our website.

          To find out how you can help this election season, please contact your region’s Political Action Coordinator:

           

          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:

          Josh Schick (315) 433 – 0050


          Western Region 6:

          Chris Rackl (716) 691 – 6555

           

          Election Spotlight – Westchester County

          CSEA has endorsed George Latimer for Westchester County Executive. Click here to learn more about that race and the candidates involved.

           

          Con Con Fact

          The last constitutional convention wasted millions of dollars and resulted in voters rejecting all proposed amendments.


            This Week in Albany

            Week ending October 13, 2017

            State Agencies Directed to Hold Budgets Flat in 2018-19

            In a letter to state agency commissioners made public this week, State Budget Director Robert Mujica directed agencies to submit zero-growth budgets for Fiscal Year 2018-19. This directive continues a multi-year pattern of holding agency budgets flat.

            The 2018-19 Executive Budget proposal will be released in early January. It is also possible that the legislature is called back to Albany before January to attempt to address funding shortfalls resulting from federal actions, or the lack thereof.

             

            DiNapoli: Local Governments Needs Billions to Repair Bridges

            Comptroller DiNapoli released a report that estimates that local governments need approximately $27.4 billion for needed repairs on bridges they own and maintain.

            While local governments own 8,834 of the 17,462 bridges in the state, State support for local bridge maintenance is crucial to ensuring their safety. The pressing needs of our local roads and bridges is yet another reason why spending hundreds of millions of state dollars on a constitutional convention is a waste of taxpayer money.

             

            Con Con Fact

            Corporations and other special interests could spend millions of dollars to have their lobbyists elected as delegates to a constitutional convention.

             

            Elections

            To find out how you can help get out the vote this election day, please contact your region’s Political Action Coordinator:

             

            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:

            Josh Schick (315) 433 – 0050


            Western Region 6:

            Chris Rackl (716) 691 – 6555

             

            President Trump Goes After Obamacare

            After multiple bills to “repeal and replace” Obamacare failed in the US Senate, President Trump decided to go after the health care law on his own this week.

            The President issued an executive order aimed at “saving the American people from the nightmare of Obamacare.” The main component of the order is allowing trade association health plans to operate across state lines. This could lead younger, healthier policyholders to leave their current plans for bare-bones plans operated under the jurisdiction of states with the least stringent health insurance regulations. If that were to happen, older and sicker policyholders could see their costs skyrocket. In a state like New York, where state insurance regulations have strong protections, the impact could be felt especially hard.

            In addition to the executive order, the administration announced that it will immediately discontinue subsidies to health insurance companies that help pay out-of-pocket costs to low-income people. The President had threatened to stop these payments before, but continued them after being warned that the loss of these subsidies could quickly unravel insurance markets.

            While the actual impact of these two actions remains to be seen, they undoubtedly inject more uncertainty into the health care system and into New York’s financial outlook.


              This Week in Albany

              Week ending October 6, 2017

              Poll: Support for Con Con Dropping, But Still Would Pass

              The latest Siena College Poll shows that while support for a constitutional convention has dropped, registered voters still say that they would vote in favor of holding a constitutional convention by a margin of 44% to 39%.

              Support for the convention has dropped significantly since February, when 63% said they would vote yes, while those who said they would vote no has increased from 24% in February.

              CSEA members can learn more about what a constitutional convention would mean on our website.

               

              Cuomo Raises Possibility of Special Session

              Governor Cuomo has said that he would consider calling a special state legislative session to address funding cuts to two important health care programs – the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) and Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments if Congress does not act to restore funding. Congress is discussing a bill that would extend funding for CHIP and delay, by one year, the scheduled DSH funding cuts but nothing has been passed at this time.

              CHIP funding authority lapsed after Congress failed to reauthorize the program before its September 30 expiration. CHIP covers nine million children across the country, including 330,000 low-income children in New York. According to the Governor, New York would lose $1.1 billion in funding if Congress does not act to reauthorize the program.

              Hospitals around the state would lose an additional $1.1 billion over the next 18 months if nothing is done to address the cuts to DSH payments, which reimburse hospitals for providing uncompensated care to low income and uninsured New Yorkers. This funding is especially important for public hospitals, including the three SUNY hospitals.

              Cuomo has raised the possibility of a special session in December to address these cuts. The 2017-18 State Budget gave the Governor extraordinary powers to address significant federal funding cuts.

              Report Shows How Much New York Provides to Federal Government

              Comptroller DiNapoli released a report this week that showed that New York sent an estimated $40.9 billion more in tax payments to Washington than it received back in federal spending in 2016. That gap has grown over the past three years, and only three states had a more negative balance of payments.

              These numbers are especially staggering as Congress considers amendments to the tax code that would disproportionately harm New Yorkers. If the proposed elimination of the state and local tax deduction is approved, New Yorkers would owe an additional $17.5 billion in federal taxes.

              Supreme Court Will Hear Janus v. AFSCME

              The US Supreme Court has announced that it will hear the case of Janus v. AFSCME during its current term.

              The case is effectively a re-hearing of Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, on which the court deadlocked in a 4-4 decision following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

              At issue in the case is the ability of public sector labor unions to collect fair share fees. When a union is named the bargaining agent for a group of workers, it has the duty to fairly represent all workers – even if they choose not to join the union. Workers are not required to join the union, but if they choose not to, they must pay a “fair share” fee to cover their share of the costs of collective bargaining. This money cannot be used for political activity by the union.

              If the Court rules in favor of Janus in this case, it would overturn 40 years of precedent that has upheld the legality of fair share fees in the public sector. If this happens, it would essentially make “right-to-work” the law of the land nationwide and would allow free riders to enjoy the benefits of a union without contributing their fair share. The case is the latest attempt by big-business backed extremists to decimate the ability of working class people to organize to improve their conditions.

              Arguments in the case are expected to be heard this fall, with a decision expected in the spring of 2018. Stay tuned for more information on this case over the coming weeks and months.

               

              Con Con Fact

              Voting rights are protected in the state constitution.

               

              Don’t Forget to Register

              If you are not registered to vote, you have until Friday, October 13 to register. You can register on the DMV’s website or download a registration here.


                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.


                  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.


                    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.