During the 2019 legislative session that ended in late June, the state Assembly and Senate passed many bills that are important to CSEA members. As this edition went to press, the following passed bills were still awaiting delivery to the governor:

Civil service and employee benefits
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.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.

State agencies
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.

Schools
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.
S.4950B – Magnarelli / A.4524B – Kennedy: This bill would establish a demonstration program for the use of school bus safety cameras to capture drivers that illegally pass a stopped school bus.

Local governments
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.

Other issues
S.4915A – Akshar / A.7696A – Friend: This bill would name a portion of the state highway system as the “Dennis ‘Matt’ Howe Memorial Highway.” Howe, a CSEA member employed at the state Department of Transportation (DOT), died in March from injuries sustained when a vehicle collided with a DOT truck in an active work zone. This bill recognizes Howe’s dedication to public service, ensures he is not forgotten and raises awareness of the need to protect all our transportation workers who put their lives at risk just by doing their jobs.
A.8419 – Nolan / S.6578 – Ramos: This bill provides fair labor practices for farmworkers, including the right to collectively bargain, mandated rest time, overtime compensation and unemployment insurance.
A.264B – Cahill / S.3171A – Krueger: This bill would establish protections against excessive hospital emergency charges.

Lawmakers approved 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.

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.

Visit our website at cseany.org for updates.

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