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

    Legislative Update

    Legislation strongly supported by CSEA continues to work its way through the legislature. Among bills that moved this week were:

    Click on the bill numbers to CSEA’s memo in support of the bill

    • 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 Senate
    • A.264B – Cahill / S.3171A – Krueger: This bill would establish protections against excessive hospital emergency charges. Reported out of the Assembly Insurance Committee to the Codes Committee
    • A.1093A – Paulin / S.5285A – Brooks: This bill would grant local government employees that are veterans with additional leave time for health services relating to their service. State employees received this benefit in April 2019. Reported out of the Assembly Governmental Operations Committee to the Ways & Means Committee 
    • 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 Codes Committee to the Ways & Means Committee / Reported out of the Senate Local Government Committee to the Floor
    • S.5772 – Carlucci: This bill would require a written report to the legislature one year prior to closing an OMH, OPWDD, or OCFS facility. Reported out of the Senate Mental Health Committee to the Senate Floor.

    School District Elections

    Schools throughout the state held votes on their annual budgets and elected candidates to their school boards this week. Across the state, roughly 98% of the 576 school district budgets on the ballot passed. Eight of the ten budgets that were defeated sought to override the property tax cap.

    While easily overlooked, these elections impact tens of thousands of CSEA members who work in our schools. Working through their CSEA Political Action Committees, many school district locals/units endorsed school board candidates and budgets they felt would best serve their interests. With your support and votes, CSEA-endorsed candidates were very successful on Tuesday.

    Thank you to all CSEA members that voted in these important elections.

    At a Glance

    The legislature will be in session for only two days next week following the Memorial Day holiday. There are only 13 scheduled session days remaining in the 2019 legislative session.

    CSEA will be testifying at a joint hearing of the Senate and Assembly Health committees on a proposal to establish a single-payer healthcare system in New York on May 28th. CSEA opposes this proposal. Our testimony will be made available in next week’s “This Week in Albany.”

    Memorial Day

    While Memorial Day weekend signals the unofficial start of the summer season for many, it is important that we remember the significance of Memorial Day. CSEA recognizes the memory of those who sacrificed their lives in service of our country so that we may enjoy our freedoms.

    Enjoy a safe and happy holiday weekend.


    • This Week in Albany

      Week ending May 17, 2019

      Legislative Update

      Several of CSEA’s priority bills advanced in the legislature this week. These bills include:
      (click on the bill # to see CSEA’s support memo)

      • 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. Moved to the Floor in the Senate and Assembly
      • S.4524B – Kennedy / A.4950B – Magnarelli: This bill would establish a statewide demonstration program to allow for the use of school bus safety cameras to capture vehicles that illegally pass stopped school buses and establish penalties for drivers that do so.  Passed Both Houses
      • S.5315 – Carlucci / A.7199 – Gunther: 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). Moved to the Floor in the Senate
      • S.5162 – Stavisky: This bill would allow pharmacy technicians in a hospital setting to assist a licensed pharmacist in the preparation and dispensing of drugs. This bill will allow pharmacy technicians to continue to do work they have done for years after a Department of Education decision called this ability into question. Moved to the Floor in the Senate 

      NYS Common Retirement Fund Growth

      New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli announced that the New York State Common Retirement Fund grew in Fiscal Year 2019 to a value of $210.2 billion. It continues to be one of the best funded and best managed systems in the country.


      School Elections

      May 21st is an important, though often overlooked Election Day. On Tuesday, voters will be able to vote on their school district budgets and on candidates for school board. Voting hours vary by district, so check with your region’s Political Action Coordinator for more information and to see if CSEA endorsed any candidates in your local school board races.


      At a Glance

      The legislature will be in session for three days next week. There are 16 scheduled session days remaining in the 2019 legislative session.


      • This Week in Albany

        Week ending May 10, 2019

        Legislative Update – School Bus Safety

        It was announced this week that the Senate, Assembly, and Governor Cuomo reached an agreement on a demonstration program allowing for school bus safety cameras.

        Under the proposal, school districts could enter into agreements with participating municipalities (counties, cities, towns, villages) to establish a program for the use of cameras to capture vehicles that illegally pass a stopped school bus. Violators would be fined $250 for a first violation, up to $300 for a third violation within 18 months.

        This bill is a common-sense solution that will have an out-sized impact on the safety of children, school bus drivers and monitors, and the general public. The bill is expected to be passed by the legislature as soon as next week.

        Click here to read CSEA’s memo in support of this legislation.

        Additionally, CSEA is strongly advocating for legislation (A.7538 – Benedetto) that will require school bus drivers and monitors to be included in district-wide and building level school safety teams. This bill would ensure that drivers and monitors have their voices heard in the development of school safety plans.


        Single Payer Public Hearing

        On May 28, the Senate and Assembly Health Committees will be holding a public hearing on the “New York Health Act,” which would establish a single-payer healthcare system in New York. CSEA will be testifying in opposition to this proposal.

        CSEA has supported universal healthcare for decades, and continues to believe that every person in our country should have access to quality health care services without fear of going bankrupt or being denied access to critical services. However this legislation leaves too many questions unanswered, especially how much employees would have to pay. Under this legislation, employees would be responsible for 20% of a payroll tax to fund the program. However, the total cost of the program is unknown. Estimates range anywhere from $92 billion to $226 billion.

        Stay tuned for more information on CSEA’s testimony.


        At a Glance

        The legislature will be in session for three days next week. There are 19 scheduled session days remaining in the 2019 legislative session.

        The deadline to register to vote in the June 25 Primary Election is May 31. You can register to vote or update your registration at the Department of Motor Vehicles website.


        • This Week in Albany

          Week ending May 3, 2019

          CSEA Submits Divestment Testimony

          This week, the Senate Finance Committee conducted a public hearing on the issue of requiring the NYS Common Retirement Fund to divest its assets from fossil fuels. CSEA submitted testimony in opposition to this proposal.

          CSEA will actively oppose any legislation that would require the divestment of holdings in the Common Retirement Fund from any company or industry. The retirement security of over one million New Yorkers should not be based on the political trade winds in Albany.

          Read CSEA’s full testimony here.

          Ulster County Executive Special Election

          CSEA-endorsed candidate Pat Ryan won a Special Election this week to become Ulster County Executive. Ryan, a West Point graduate and veteran, showed a positive vision to create better opportunities for all working people in Ulster County throughout his campaign.

          The Executive position was vacated when former Executive Mike Hein took a position in the Cuomo administration.

          At a Glance

          The legislature will be in session for three days. There are 22 scheduled session days remaining in the 2019 legislative session.


          • This Week in Albany

            Week ending April 26, 2019

            Legislative Update

            State legislators return to Albany next week after spending two weeks in their home districts.

            On Tuesday, CSEA will be submitting testimony to a Senate Finance Committee public hearing on the issue of requiring the NYS Common Retirement Fund to divest its assets from fossil fuels. CSEA opposes this proposal.

            Additionally, CSEA has a number of bills that we will be strongly advocating for over the next two months, so stay tuned in the coming weeks for more information on our legislative priorities.

            Social Security and Medicare Status Update

            This week, the Social Security Board of Trustees released its annual report on the current and projected financial status of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) and Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Funds.

            The combined funds are projected to become depleted in 2035, one year later than projected last year, with 80 percent of benefits payable at that time. The DI Trust Fund is estimated to become depleted in 2052, extended 20 years from last year’s estimate of 2032, with 91 percent of benefits still payable.

            The report found that the Medicare HI Trust Fund will be able to pay full benefits until 2026, the same as last year’s report.

            At a Glance

            The state legislature returns to Albany next week, and will be in session for three days. There are 25 scheduled session days remaining in the 2019 legislative session.