This Week in Albany

Week ending December 20, 2019

Federal Update

Congress avoided a government shutdown this week by passing a $1.4 trillion spending plan that will keep the government funded through the fiscal year ending September 30, 2020.

The deal  includes some major policy provisions, including a permanent repeal of the so-called “Cadillac Tax.” The Cadillac tax was a 40 percent tax on high-value health benefits that would have drastically increased health insurance costs for many union members. The tax was initially slated to go into effect in 2020 but had been delayed multiple times. CSEA thanks Senator Chuck Schumer and the entire New York Congressional delegation for advocating for the repeal of the tax.

Legislative Update 

The following bills have been acted on by the Governor:

  • S.183B – Serrano / A.7675A – Burke (Support): This bill requires The Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to issue a report justifying the permanent closure of any property at least 6 months before the proposed closure. Chapter 585
  • S.1665 – Brooks / A.5406 – Darling (Support): This legislation transfers the Freeport Armory to the Village of Freeport. The Village intends to use the Armory for a new DPW facility. Chapter 618
  • S.5291 – Gounardes / A.7248 – Abbate (CSEA priority bill): This bill would have provided Section 80 rights to all labor class and non-competitive employees. Veto #222
  • S.5941 – Carlucci / A.7611 – Gunther (CSEA priority bill): This legislation would have required OMH to continue to provide monthly reports. Veto #188
  • S.5315 – Carlucci / A.7199 – Gunther (CSEA priority bill): This legislation would have required OPWDD to give 90 days notice prior to “suspending” services at a state-operated IRA. Veto #223 The State is still required to provide 90 days notice prior to the closure or transfer of an IRA.
  • S.1720 – Ramos / A.6157 – Titus (CSEA priority bill): This bill would have expanded the current law that requires public employers to develop and implements workplace violence programs to all public schools. Veto #209
  • S.6048 – Breslin / A.5459 – Bronson (Support): This legislation would have required a cost-benefit review before a state agency uses consulting services instead of state employees. Veto #230

For a summary of what happened with CSEA’s priority bills in 2019, visit our website.

2020 State of the State 

Governor Cuomo announced that the 2020 State of the State address will be held on Wednesday, January 8, the same date as the first day of the 2020 legislative session.

Senate GOP Retirements Continue

Two more Republican state senators announced that they will not run in 2020, joining the growing list of Republicans in the senate that have announced they will not seek re-election. At least eight seats held by Republicans in 2019 will be open seats for the 2020 elections.

Rochester-area State Senators Joe Robach (R-Greece) and Rich Funke (R-Perinton) each announced that they will not run next year. Each Senator has a long track record of supporting CSEA members. We thank them for their service and wish them the best of luck in retirement.

Census Fact of the Week 

It is estimated that only 69% of New Yorkers were counted during the 2010 Census. The national average was 76%. We must do better in 2020!