Home » Media Center » The Communicator » eCOMMUNICATOR – Legislative Update – March 2017
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Legislative-Update
Office of the State Comptroller
BUREAU OF STATE PAYROLL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION
PAYROLL CALENDAR APRIL 1, 2016 – APRIL 30, 2017 LAG –
Click here to view

 Sent on behalf of PEF President Wayne Spence:  

RE: Legislative Budget Fightback 2017 –
One-House Budget Bills

Dear PEF Leaders,

I am happy to announce that our legislative budget fightback strategies are 2/3 of the way to being extremely successful for 2017. The New York State Senate and Assembly have rejected many of the budget proposals that PEF opposes and has also included language that would prevent the closure of Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center.

This is great news and proves that our membership engagement has once again paid dividends. The message that our members sent with their phone calls, emails and letter writing to the legislative branch members were heard loud and clear.

The Senate and Assembly have done what we asked from them on the following issues:

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  • Rejected the OITS Term Appointment SE scheme
  • Rejected Design Build Permanence
  • Rejected the Ceasing of Medicare Part B Reimbursement for our Retirees
  • Rejected Retiree Health Care Differential Premiums
  • Restored SUNY Hospital Funding

Please see full Budget Analysis information below. The last stage of the budget battle now rests with the Executive branch.

Thank you to all that have assisted in this great group effort,

Wayne Spence
PEF President

PEF One-House Budget Bill Analyzation 2017

Public Protection and General Government (S.2005/A.3005)—Part Q

OITS Term Appointments
This bill would authorize up to 250 information technology (IT) term appointments for up to 60 months without initial Civil Service examination.

The proposal circumvents Civil Service Law and prevents promotional opportunities.

Ø  ASSEMBLY ACTION: REJECTED

Ø  SENATE ACTION: REJECTED

Transportation, Economic Development and Environmental Conservation (S.3008/A.2008)—Part P

Design-Build
This bill would expand the provisions of current law to enable all State agencies and public authorities, as well as counties outside of New York City, to award a contract to a single entity for both the design and construction (design-build) aspects of a project. The types of capital projects for which design-build contracts can be used would be amended to be consistent with the existing definition of “capital asset” in State Finance Law.  The Act is currently set to expire in 2017; this bill would make it permanent.

Design-build allows for privatization of public work that has been traditionally performed by state employees. State workers have the best interest of the public in mind, not corporate profits when they do their jobs.

Ø  ASSEMBLY ACTION: REJECTED

Ø  SENATE ACTION: REJECTED

Health and Mental Hygiene (S.2007/A.3007) —Part O

Voluntary Jail-based Restoration to Competency Programs
This proposal would amend Section 730.10 of the Criminal Procedure Law (CPL) to authorize the establishment of jail-based restoration to competency programs, for felony defendants pending judicial hearings, within locally-operated jails and State prisons operated by the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS), subject to the facility’s consent.

The proposal calls for the creation of residential mental health pod units within local jails and state correctional facilities.  Correctional facilities are not the appropriate locations to rehabilitate individuals requiring mental health services.  State mental health facilities or other well-equipped hospitals or centers are the appropriate places for restoration to competency.

Ø  ASSEMBLY ACTION: REJECTED

Ø  SENATE ACTION: REJECTED

Public Protection and General Government (S.2005/A.3005)—Part S

Cap on Medicare Part B Reimbursement/ End IRMAA Reimbursement
This bill would amend section 167-a of the Civil Service Law to provide that, effective May 1, 2017, State reimbursement to eligible retirees and their dependents for the Medicare Part B standard premium shall not exceed: i) $104.90 per month for those who enrolled in Medicare on or before December 31, 2015; or ii) the lesser of $121.80 per month or the currently applicable standard Medicare premium charge for those who enrolled in Medicare on or after January 1, 2016.

Additionally, effective January 1, 2017, the State would cease reimbursement of the IRMAA for premiums incurred on or after January 1, 2017.

Ø  ASSEMBLY ACTION: REJECTED

Ø  SENATE ACTION: REJECTED

Public Protection and General Government (S.2005/A.3005)—Part T

Retiree Health Care Differential Premiums
Under this bill, State employees retiring on or after October 1, 2017 with less than 30 years of service would pay additional health care premiums, on a graduated scale based on years of service.

This proposal is unchanged from last year’s Executive Budget.  It was rejected by the Legislature.

Ø  ASSEMBLY ACTION: REJECTED

Ø  SENATE ACTION: REJECTED

Education, Labor and Family Assistance (S.2006/A.3006)—Part U

Administrative Hearings Consolidation
This legislation creates a new Division of Central Administrative Hearings within the Executive Department, led by a Chief Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) who will be appointed by the Governor. The Chief ALJ is authorized to reorganize and consolidate administrative hearing functions within all Executive agencies.

This proposal lacks detail and provides one individual with a tremendous amount of power to influence administrative hearings throughout the state. Furthermore, in an effort to consolidate, ALJs who are currently specialists in their respective fields will be forced to become generalists and hear matters outside their expertise.

Ø  ASSEMBLY ACTION: REJECTED

Ø  SENATE ACTION: REJECTED

Public Protection and General Government (S.2005/A.3005)—Part E

Correction Reform Bill
The Correction Reform Bill would allow the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) Commissioner to set conditions of parole in many instances, would establish earned reductions during post-release supervision and would change non-violent State Prison sentences.

This bill, which vests too much power with the Commissioner of DOCCS, will shorten periods of incarceration, decrease necessary periods of post-release supervision and reduce the number of Parole Officers.  Furthermore, the bill dramatically reduces the authority of the Parole Board and removes the checks and balances that were put in place when the Department of Correctional Services merged with the Division of Parole. Increasing the power of the DOCCS Commissioner at the expense of the independent Parole Board will jeopardize public safety.

Ø  ASSEMBLY ACTION: ACCEPTED

Ø  SENATE ACTION: REJECTED

 Public Protection and General Government (S.2005/A.3005)—Part Z; Section 9

SUNY Hospitals Funding
This bill would authorize the Comptroller, at the request of the Director of DOB, to transfer up to $69.264 million from the General Fund to the State University Income Fund, State University Hospitals Income Reimbursement Account.

This represents a $18.6 Million reduction from last year’s enacted budget.

Ø  ASSEMBLY ACTION: RESTORED

Ø  SENATE ACTION: RESTORED

Transportation, Economic Development and Environmental Conservation (S.2008/A.3008)—Part LL

Authorizes Shared Service Agreements between the Power Authority of the State of New York, Canal Corporation and Department of Transportation
This bill would authorize the sharing of employees, services and resources through shared service agreements between DOT, NYPA and the Canal Corporation to (i) address an emergency situation, (ii) address extreme weather conditions, and (iii) provide services and assistance to support the operation and maintenance of the Canal System and related infrastructure.

The proposal blurs the lines of functions and responsibilities of state agencies and public authorities.  Additionally, the proposal lacks specific details and further reduces transparency, accountability and oversight.

Ø  ASSEMBLY ACTION: REJECTED

Ø  SENATE ACTION: REJECTED

Good Government and Ethics Reform (S.2010/A.3010)—Part E

Comprehensive FOIL Reform
This bill would comprehensively reform the State’s Freedom of Information Law. It would include making proposed terms of a collective bargaining agreement available to the public when it is sent to union members for ratification.

Ø  ASSEMBLY ACTION: REJECTED

Ø  SENATE ACTION: REJECTED

OTHER ITEMS OF NOTE: Both houses have agreed to prevent the closure of the Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center (WNYCPC).

In addition, the Senate has rejected the idea of the New York State Design and Construct Corporation Act, which authorized the Dormitory Authority to use design-build on for projects in excess of $50 Million.

THeCOMMUNICATOR – March 2017 Contents – PDF

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