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.

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2019 Legislation


  • This Week in Albany

    Week ending July 12, 2019

    Taxpayer Funded Political Campaigns – Update

    The 2019-20 state budget called for the establishment of a nine member commission to establish a system of taxpayer-financed political campaigns for legislative and statewide offices.

    The members of the commission were announced last week. Governor Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie each had two appointments, while Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan and Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb each received one. The Governor, Majority Leader, and Speaker jointly selected the final member.

    Now that the commission is formed, it has until December 1 to determine the specifics of the public financing program. The commission is authorized to spend up to $100 million annually in public funds to match private campaign contributions. Once its report is submitted, it will be binding unless the legislature acts before December 22.

    The commission will be holding public hearings, the details of which will be shared when available. CSEA strongly opposes the creation of a public financing system.

    Legislative Update

    This year, 935 bills passed both houses of the state legislature, a significant increase over the 606 that passed during the first year of the prior legislative session in 2017.

    CSEA successfully advocated for a number of these bills. From now until the end of December, bills will be sent to the Governor for his signature or veto. Keep track of the progress of CSEA’s legislative priorities on our website.


    • This Week in Albany

      Week ending June 28, 2019

      Primary Elections

      State and local government primary elections were held throughout the state this week. CSEA endorsed candidates in several races and were successful in most.

      Of particular interest, current CSEA members and activists Michael Sheehan (Wappinger Highway Superintendent) and Stephen Bedetti (New Windsor Town Council) were both victorious in their races.

      Other races of note include:

      In Western New York, Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello won the Republican Primary for the 57th State Senate District, which was vacated by Senator Catharine Young earlier this year. Borrello will face Democrat Austin Morgan in November.

      In Rockland County, Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski (D-New City) lost his primary for Rockland District Attorney to Thomas Walsh.

      In Queens, public defender Tiffany Cabán appeared to defeat Queens Borough President Melinda Katz in the race for district attorney. Cabán declared victory, but there are still outstanding ballots to be counted.

      Democratic Presidential Debate

      The first debate between Democratic candidates for president took place this week in Miami. With 20 candidates having qualified, the debate was held over two nights with 10 candidates each night.

      Two New Yorkers – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio are among the candidates vying for the chance to face off against President Trump, who has declared that he is running for re-election.

      Looking Ahead

      Try not to panic when you don’t see “This Week in Albany” in your inbox next Friday.

      We are moving to our summer schedule, which will bring you our email every other week instead of every Friday. We will continue to provide updates on important legislative and political developments, just on a more relaxed schedule.

      Thank you for your activism and engagement during the 2019 state legislative session, and for your continued support of “This Week in Albany.”


      • This Week in Albany

        Week ending June 21, 2019

        Legislative Update

        The 2019 legislative session came to and end this week. Many important pieces of legislation passed both houses, including the majority of CSEA’s priority bills. The bills that passed included:

        • S.5291 – Gounardes / A.7248 – Abbate: This bill would create a statewide standard for bumping, retreating, and rehiring rights for non-competitive and labor class employees in the state and local governments.
        • A.7199 – Gunther / S.5315 – Carlucci: This bill would require the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) to give 90-days notice prior to suspending services at a State-operated individualized residential alternative (IRA).
        • A.7611 – Gunther / S.5941 – Carlucci: This bill would require the Office of Mental Health (OMH) to provide monthly reports of community based service investments and the impact on OMH hospital inpatient census.
        • S.5705 – Mayer / A.7538A – Benedetto: This bill would require school bus drivers and monitors to be included in district-wide and building-level school safety teams.
        • S.1720 – Ramos / A.6157 – Titus: This bill would include public schools within the definition of employers required to develop and implement programs to prevent workplace violence. Currently, public schools are exempt from this requirement.
        • A.1093B – Paulin / S.5285A – Brooks: This bill would grant local government employees that are combat veterans with additional leave time for health services relating to their military service. State employees received this benefit in April 2019.
        • A.8419 – Nolan / S.6578 – Ramos: This bill provides fair labor practices for farm workers including the right to collectively bargain, mandated rest time, overtime compensation, and unemployment insurance.
        • A.7476 – Magnarelli / S.5445 – Skoufis: This bill would expand the oversight authority of the Office of the State Comptroller to include private organizations controlled by local government entities. This would increase transparency and accountability for entities like local development corporations (LDCs) that local governments are increasingly using to finance their day-to-day operations.
        • S.4915A – Akshar / A.7696A – Friend: This bill would name a portion of the state highway system as the “Dennis ‘Matt’ Howe Memorial Highway.” Matt Howe was a CSEA-represented Department of Transportation (DOT) worker that lost his life from injuries sustained when a vehicle collided with a DOT truck in an active work zone. While this legislation can’t ease the pain of Matt’s loss to his family, loved ones, and co-workers, it provides recognition of his dedication to public service. It will help make sure that he is not forgotten, and help raise awareness of the need to protect all our transportation workers who put their lives at risk just by doing their jobs.
        • A.264B – Cahill / S.3171A – Krueger: This bill would establish protections against excessive hospital emergency charges.
        • Additional funding over what was included in the 2019-20 state budget, including an additional $65 million for local roads and bridges through the CHIPS program for winter recovery and an additional $20 million in library construction aid.

        What Didn’t Get Done

        • S.5205 – Gounardes / A.7624 – Abbate: This bill would require the appointment of an independent hearing officer in Section 75 disciplinary actions. Passed Senate / Died on Assembly Floor
        • Legalizing recreational marijuana
        • Expanding the definition of public works

        Additionally, CSEA-supported legislation to improve work zone safety, establish caseload standards for child protective service workers, and bills to improve pension benefits were not able to pass this session. CSEA will continue to advocate for these bills and will re-up our efforts in 2020.

        Primary Elections

        New York State enacted a series of Election Law reforms earlier this year which included moving the Primary election date from its traditional date in September to June 25th. CSEA has endorsed in several primary races throughout the state. Call your Region Office to find out about races in your community that CSEA have made endorsements in and how you can help Get Out The Vote (GOTV).

        Be advised, In New York City and the counties of Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Putnam, Dutchess, and Erie, POLLS OPEN at 6 AM and CLOSE at 9 PM. In all other counties, POLLS OPEN at 12 NOON and CLOSE at 9 PM. Visit www.elections.ny.gov for more information.

        • This Week in Albany

          Week ending June 14, 2019

          Legislative Update

          The legislature reached an agreement on a major outstanding issue this week as the Senate and Assembly agreed to changes to the state’s rent control laws. Facing a deadline of June 15, legislators agreed to a deal to make the rent regulation system permanent, allow municipalities across the state that meet statutory requirements to opt into the system, and increase tenant protections. This agreement clears a major hurdle for the end of session.

          Additionally, the Assembly and Senate passed legislation to address immunization requirements in light of the current measles epidemic in New York. The bill, which was immediately signed into law by Governor Cuomo, repealed exemptions for children whose parents had non-medical objections to immunizations. As a result, all children must be vaccinated in order to attend school or day care unless a physician certifies that immunization would be detrimental to the child’s health.

          The legislative session is scheduled to end next Wednesday, June 19. Outstanding issues that may or may not be addressed before the legislature leaves Albany include legalizing recreational marijuana, allowing undocumented New Yorkers to receive driver licenses, and legalizing mobile sports gambling.

          In the meantime, CSEA continues to focus on legislation that will benefit our members, including:

          • S.5291 – Gounardes / A.7248 – Abbate: This bill would create a statewide standard for bumping, retreating, and rehiring rights for non-competitive and labor class employees in the state and local governments. Passed Both Houses
          • S.5705 – Mayer / A.7538A – Benedetto: This bill would require school bus drivers and monitors to be included in district-wide and building-level school safety teams. Passed Senate / In Assembly Education Committee
          • A.7199 – Gunther / S.5315 – Carlucci: This bill would require the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) to give 90-days notice prior to suspending services at a State-operated individualized residential alternative (IRA). On Assembly Floor / Passed Senate
          • A.7611 – Gunther / S.5941 – Carlucci: This bill would require the Office of Mental Health (OMH) to provide monthly reports of community based service investments and the impact on OMH hospital inpatient census. Passed Senate / On Assembly Floor
          • S.5205 – Gounardes / A.7624A – Abbate: This bill would require the appointment of an independent hearing officer in Section 75 disciplinary actions. Moved Out of Assembly Governmental Employees Committee to the Rules Committee / On Senate Floor
          • A.5324 – Abbate / S.5133 – Kaplan: 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. Moved out of the Assembly Governmental Employees Committee to the Ways & Means Committee / On Senate Floor
          • A.7476 – Magnarelli / S.5445 – Skoufis: This bill would expand the oversight authority of the Office of the State Comptroller to include private organizations controlled by local government entities. This would increase transparency and accountability for entities like local development corporations (LDCs) that local governments are increasingly using to finance their day-to-day operations. Moved out of the Assembly Ways & Means Committee to the Rules Committee / Passed Senate

          • This Week in Albany

            Week ending June 7, 2019

            Legislative Update

            Priority Bill Update

            CSEA’s priority bills continue to advance through the legislature. Support memos for these bills can be found by clicking on the bill number or by visiting our website.

            • A.264B – Cahill / S.3171A – Krueger: This bill would establish protections against excessive hospital emergency charges. Passed Assembly / In Senate Insurance Committee
            • A.2232 – Paulin / S.1929 – Gallivan: This bill would allow counties the option of providing probation officers with Section 207-c disability coverage. Reported out of the Assembly Ways & Means Committee to the Rules Committee / In Senate Local Government Committee
            • A.7199 – Gunther / S.5315 – Carlucci: This bill would require the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) to give 90-days notice prior to suspending services at a State-operated individualized residential alternative (IRA). Reported out of the Assembly Mental Health Committee to the Rules Committee / On Senate Floor
            • A.7476 – Magnarelli / S.5445 – Skoufis: This bill would expand the oversight authority of the Office of the State Comptroller to include private organizations controlled by local government entities. This would increase transparency and accountability for entities like local development corporations (LDCs) that local governments are increasingly using to finance their day-to-day operations. Reported out of the Assembly Ways & Means Committee to the Rules Committee / Passed Senate
            • A.1093B – Paulin / S.5285A – Brooks: This bill would grant local government employees that are combat veterans with additional leave time for health services relating to their military service. State employees received this benefit in April 2019. Reported out of the Assembly Ways & Means Committee to the Rules Committee / On Senate Floor

            School and School Bus Safety

            This week, CSEA joined with our brothers and sisters from the New York State United Teachers and the New York State AFL-CIO at a rally at the capitol to support legislation to improve school safety and security. Among the legislation being advanced includes:

            • S.1720 – Ramos / A.6157 – Titus: This bill would include public schools within the definition of employers required to develop and implement programs to prevent workplace violence. Currently, public schools are exempt from this requirement.
            • S.5172 – Kennedy: This bill would require a school bus attendant on every bus transporting children in grades K-6.
            • S.5205 – Gounardes / A.7624 – Abbate: This bill would require the appointment of an independent hearing officer in Section 75 disciplinary actions. While this bill would cover all employees covered by Section 75, its impact on school employees was highlighted at the rally.

            Additionally, CSEA is advocating for legislation (S.5705 – Mayer / A.7538A – Benedetto) to require that school bus drivers and monitors be included on district-wide and building level school safety teams to ensure that the expertise and experience of school bus personnel is considered in developing school safety plans.

            At a Glance

            The legislature will be in session for four days next week. There are 7 scheduled days remaining in the 2019 state legislative session.