This Week in Albany

Week ending April 28, 2017

Federal Update

President Trump Releases Tax Plan

The Trump administration released its tax reform proposal this week.

Most important to all New Yorkers is the proposed elimination of the state and local income and property tax deduction that taxpayers can take on their federal taxes. It is estimated that the elimination of this deduction would cost the average New York family $4,500.

Other provisions include reducing the number of tax brackets to three (10, 25, and 35 percent), doubling the standard deduction, eliminating the estate tax, and eliminating the 3.8% tax on investment income.

The proposal would also significantly reduce taxes for businesses and large corporations by cutting their tax rate from 35 to 15 percent. That 15 percent rate would also apply to hedge funds, large partnerships, and some real estate businesses, which currently pay a rate up to 39.6%.

It is estimated that the President’s tax plan would increase the deficit by $3-7 trillion over the next decade.

Health Care

The American Health Care Act, President Trump’s replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), resurfaced this week as Congressional leaders sought to find the votes needed to pass the bill after a new amendment was released.

The proposed amendment would allow states to opt out of requiring plans to cover the essential health benefits required by the ACA. The ten essential benefits that must currently be provided are outpatient care, emergency services, hospitalization, maternity care, mental health and substance abuse services, prescription drugs, rehabilitative services, laboratory services, preventative and wellness services, and pediatric services. The amendment would also allow states to partially waive requirements that prohibit insurers from charging higher premiums based on enrollees’ health status.

By adding this amendment, the House Freedom Caucus removed its opposition to the larger bill, moving the House closer to a potential vote.

Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.

Spending Bill

With funding for the federal government set to expire at midnight on Friday, Congress passed a short-term funding bill to keep the government funded until May 5. This gives lawmakers an extra week to come to an agreement on a larger spending bill to fund the government through September 30, the end of the fiscal year.

At a Glance

The state legislature will be in session for three days next week. There are 23 session days remaining in the 2017 session. Please visit the Legislative & Political Action Department’s webpage for updates on CSEA’s end of session priorities as they become available.