This Week in Albany

Week ending January 4, 2019

Legislative Update

All bills that passed both houses of the legislature in 2018 have now been acted on by the Governor. Of importance to CSEA members:

  • S.5593A – Golden / A.7602A – Abbate: This bill would eliminate the lifetime reduction of a pension payment when an outstanding loan is repaid in full. Chapter 426
  • A.9563A – Gunther / S.7207 – Ortt: This bill would limit the length of time that a notice of closure or significant service reduction in the Office of Mental Health is in effect to twenty-four months. Veto #318
  • S.8200 – Marcellino / A.10442 – Gunther: This bill would prohibit the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities from privatizing any existing state-operated Individualized Residential Alternative. Veto #323
  • S.6464A – Addabbo / A.4933B – Weprin: This bill would require state agencies to develop action plans to reduce the occurrence of workforce injuries. Veto #315
  • S.8284 – Phillips / A.10721 – Abbate: 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 employed by Nassau County. Veto #324
  • S.8633 – Ortt / A.10951 – Lentol: This bill would require that 85% of proceeds from the sale of property owned by the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) be reinvested into state-operated OPWDD services. Veto #374
  • S.8118 – Tedisco / A.10337 – Abinanti: This legislation would require municipalities to notify retirees at least 30 days prior to making substantial changes to their health benefits. Veto #367
  • S.7259A – LaValle / A.10620 – Glick: This bill would include SUNY hospitals in the SUNY maintenance of effort provisions and require the state to provide General Fund support to cover all mandatory costs of collective bargaining agreements for SUNY. Veto #356
  • S.7730 – Murphy / A.9825 – Galef: This bill would exempt BOCES capital expenditures from a school district’s tax cap. Veto #359 
  • S.8293 – Phillips / A.10695 – Abbate: This bill would create a performance of duty disability for Nassau County fire marshalls. Veto #371
  • S.8380A – Funke / A.10639A – Morelle: This bill would grant paid family leave for bereavement. Veto #372
  • S.8066 – Golden / A.10415 – Abbate: This bill would allow employers to provide an accidental disability benefit of 3/4 of final average salary for deputy sheriffs. Veto #366

Federal Shutdown Carries Over to New Year

On December 22, about one-quarter of the federal government shutdown after Congress failed to pass a spending plan to continue funding to multiple agencies. An apparent agreement was blown up when President Trump announced that he would veto any agreement that did not include $5 billion to fund a wall on the U.S. – Mexico border.

The shutdown has carried over to the new year, with no end in sight at the time of this email.

New Congress

The 116th U.S. Congress was seated on Thursday.

With the new Congress, Democrats have the majority in the House of Representatives for the first time in eight years, while Republicans continue to hold the majority in the Senate.

In the House, Nancy Pelosi (D-California) was elected Speaker while Kevin McCarthy (R-California) was elected Minority Leader, replacing the retired Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) as the leader of the Republican conference. Senate leadership remained the same, with Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) continuing as Majority Leader, and Chuck Schumer (D-New York) continuing as Minority Leader.

As their first order of business, the House passed a bill to reopen the government. However, the bill has no funding for a border wall and President Trump has said that he would veto the bill if it is passed by the Senate.

At a Glance

The 2019 New York state legislative session begins on Wednesday, January 9.

The first day of session is traditionally when the Governor holds his “State of the State” speech, but Governor Cuomo has indicated that he will be combining that speech with his Executive Budget address at some point this month. No date has been set for that speech yet.