Legislative and Political Action

PEOPLE StickerLegislation and politics affect us every day. Our salaries, benefits, job security, and even our jobs themselves depend on budgets and legislation passed in Washington, Albany, and in our home towns.

On this page you will find the most recent news relating to legislative and political action. Please visit the links to the right for more detailed information.

Sign up for “This Week in Albany”

2019 Legislation

  • This Week in Albany

    Week ending November 1, 2019


    Mary Sullivan Sworn in as CSEA President

    For the first time in more than 25 years, CSEA has a new President at its helm.

    Following the retirement of longtime CSEA President Danny Donohue on Thursday, October 31, 2019, former Executive Vice President Mary E. Sullivan was sworn-in as president on Friday, November 1, to serve out the remainder of Donohue’s seventh elected term, which expires on February 29, 2020.

    Sullivan has been a union activist for more than 35 years, starting her career as an employee of the Herkimer County Department of Social Services, and advancing through the union ranks, serving at the local, regional, and statewide levels. She is the first CSEA President to come from the local government division.

    Please join us in congratulating our new President.


    Election Day is Tuesday

    This coming Tuesday, November 5, is Election Day. Polls will be open from 6am – 9pm across the state. Additionally, don’t forget that early voting is still available through this weekend.

    There are many local government races throughout the state that you can have a direct impact on with your vote. For a list of all CSEA endorsed candidates and information on early voting, visit cseany.org/vote.


    Election Spotlight – Monroe County

    Office: County Executive
    Municipality: Monroe County
    # of CSEA Members: 5,824

    CSEA has endorsed Adam Bello for Monroe County Executive. Adam has worked as a partner to CSEA since his time as Irondequoit Supervisor and as County Clerk. In the aftermath of the Janus Supreme Court case, current Supervisor Dinolfo sent an email to employees encouraging them to quit their union, while Adam did the opposite by sitting down with CSEA and encouraged members to stay union, stay strong.

    In his own words, Adam has said, “Labor is not a commodity but something to be protected and respected.” That kind of leadership is why CSEA members have worked tirelessly to get the vote out for Adam Bello. He has pledged to fight the opioid epidemic, improve our local economy and maintain our roads in bridges. To move Monroe County forward, Adam will need your support on Election Day!

    To join other CSEA volunteers helping with his campaign, contact Region 6 Political Coordinator Chris Rackl at (716) 691-6555.

    • This Week in Albany

      Week ending October 25, 2019

      State Agency Budgets to Remain Flat Once Again

      In a letter to state agency heads this week, State Budget Director Robert Mujica directed State agencies to once again hold their budgets to zero percent growth for State Fiscal Year 2020-21. School aid, Medicaid, and federal funds are exempted from this cap, while state agency budgets have been held flat for years.

      The 2020-21 state budget will be Governor Cuomo’s 10th budget as Governor. He is expected to release his proposal in January.

      2019 Legislative Summary

      At this week’s Annual Delegates Meeting, the Legislative & Political Action Department distributed copies of our 2019 legislative summary.

      You can view an electronic version of “This Year in Albany – 2019” here.

      Election Spotlight – Dutchess County

      Office: County Executive
      Municipality: Dutchess County
      # of CSEA Members: 5,626

      CSEA has endorsed Marc Molinaro for Dutchess County Executive. Marc has worked with CSEA throughout his two terms as County Executive by maintaining an opening door policy and respecting the services our county employees provide. Marc negotiated a four-year contract, with wage and longevity increases that was overwhelmingly approved by the CSEA workforce. He has always been a strong advocate for increases in local aid to support programs and services that impact the quality of life for Dutchess County residents. We need allies like Marc leading Dutchess County forward, and to do that, Marc is going to need your support on Election Day!

      To join other CSEA volunteers helping with his campaign, contact Region 3 Political Coordinator Chris Ludlow at (845) 831-1000.

      Don’t forget that early voting starts tomorrow (Saturday, October 26). For a list of all CSEA endorsed candidates and information on early voting, visit cseany.org/vote.

      • This Week in Albany

        Week ending October 18, 2019

        Legislative Update

        This week, Governor signed into law legislation to establish protections against hospital emergency charges.

        Since 2015, out-of-network disputes over excessuve emergency room bills by physicians have been subject to the Independent Dispute Resolution (IDR) process to determine whether there is a gross disparity between the physician charges and a number of commonly used reimbursement benchmarks. This legislation extends that law to also apply IDR to emergency hospital services. This new law will go into effect on January 1.

        Make sure to stay tuned for more legislative updates. You can also check our website for updates on important legislation.

        Campaign Finance Reform Commission Update

        The Campaign Finance Reform Commission will release its report on establishing a system of publicly financed elections on the day before Thanksgiving, it was reported this week. The timing of the planned release has drawn critics on both sides of the aisle.

        The Commission’s findings are due by December 1, and will be binding unless modified by the legislature within 20 days.

        Election Spotlight – Onondaga County

        Office: County Executive
        Municipality: Onondaga County
        # of CSEA Members: 7,694

        CSEA has endorsed Ryan McMahon for Onondaga County Executive. Since being appointed Executive last year, after Joanie Mahoney resigned, McMahon has worked side by side with CSEA to improve the morale of the county workforce. This is a vast difference from the battles CSEA endured with the Mahoney administration. For example, shortly after taking office McMahon signed an order to protect the personal information of county employees in the face of the Janis decision. Moreover, McMahon proudly walked with CSEA during this year’s Labor Day Parade at the New York State Fairgrounds. We need to continue this strong relationship and to do so McMahon needs your support on Election Day! To join other CSEA volunteers helping with his campaign, contact Region 5 Political Coordinator Josh Schick at (315) 433-0060.

        For a list of all CSEA endorsed candidates and information on Early Voting, visit cseany.org/vote.

        • This Week in Albany

          Week ending October 11, 2019

          Legislative Update

          The state legislature has released its calendar for the 2020 legislative session.

          As expected, the session is scheduled to end earlier than previous years due to a change in the primary election schedule. The Congressional, state, and local primaries will all be held on June 23, 2020. Previously, state and local primaries were held in September. The Presidential Primary will be held on April 28.

          The legislature is scheduled to be in session in Albany for 57 days in 2020, four fewer days than in 2019. The session is scheduled to begin on January 8 and end on June 2.

          Congresswoman Nita Lowey Won’t Run

          Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY17) announced this week that she will not seek re-election . Lowey, who has served in Congress since 1989, is currently the Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee. She is expected to serve out the remainder of her term.

          Social Security COLA

          The Social Security Administration announced this week that Social Security and Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries will receive a 1.6% cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) for 2020. This increase equals an increase of about $23 per month for the average recipient. The increase is lower than those of the previous two years.

          Election Spotlight – Town of Hempstead

          Office: Town Supervisor
          Municipality: Town of Hempstead
          # of CSEA Members: 11,989

          CSEA has endorsed Donald Clavin for Town of Hempstead Supervisor. As the Tax Receiver since 2001, Don has earned the trust and respect of the employees that work directly with him. Don publicly stood with members when Supervisor Gillen sued CSEA over a no-layoff agreement with the previous administration. Don will fight for CSEA members if elected supervisor, but he needs your support. To join other CSEA volunteers helping with his campaign, contact Region 1 Political Coordinator Sue Castle at (631) 462-0030.

          For a list of all CSEA endorsed candidates and information on Early Voting, visit cseany.org/vote.

          • This Week in Albany

            Week ending October 4, 2019

            Legislature Holding Another Hearing on “Single Payer”

            The Senate and Assembly Health Committees will be holding a public hearing in Rochester next week to discuss the New York Health Act (NYHA). The NYHA is a proposal to establish a single-payer healthcare system in New York.

            CSEA testified in opposition to this proposal at a public hearing in Albany in May. You can read CSEA’s testimony and reasons for concern on our website.

            “Raise the Age” Enters Phase Two

            On October 1, the state’s “Raise the Age” law went into full effect by removing 17-year-olds from the adult criminal justice system. On October 1 of last year, 16-year-olds were removed from the adult system.

            The new system promotes diversion and community-based services for 16- and 17-year-old offenders, including the expanded use of probation services. Youths sentenced to detention are housed in special secure detention facilities instead of in adult jails.

            CSEA has successfully advocated over the past two budget cycles for State funding to local governments to cover the costs of the program. The continued availability of this funding is vital to the success of “Raise the Age.”

            Congressman Chris Collins Pleads Guilty, Resigns

            Fourth-term Congressman Chris Collins (R-NY27) resigned his seat in Congress this week prior to pleading guilty to felony charges relating to securities fraud and lying to federal investigators.

            Governor Cuomo indicated that he is looking at calling a special election to fill the vacated seat. The day of the Presidential Primary in New York, April 28, 2020, appears to be the likeliest date for such an election, though no date has been announced yet. State Senators Chris Jacobs (R-SD60) and Rob Ortt (R-SD62) had previously announced their candidacy for the seat.

            Election Update

            Friday, October 11th is the last day to register to vote in the November elections. You can register at the DMV’s website or download this form to send to your local board of elections.

            Visit www.cseany.org/vote for more information including a list of CSEA endorsed candidates and information about early voting, which begins on Oct. 26th.