The scheduled 2022 state legislative session has concluded, and I am pleased to report that our strong effort to defeat the “New York Health act” – commonly referred to as single-payer –prevailed.
Thanks to all who submitted Memos in Opposition to this nefarious proposed legislation; it was clearly important for the legislators to hear from NYSPEC member units. Notwithstanding this, presumably this issue will be back in 2023, so we anticipate seeking new (and more!) opposition memos next year.
It is never too often to reiterate the importance of a presence in Albany during the final days of session. The legislators need to know that we are there watching all that is going on, as too often in the past bills were advanced in the middle of the night with little regard for our support or opposition.
I am pleased to report that the following bills that NYSPEC was involved with passed both houses; we will be meeting with governor's staff counsel to encourage positive gubernatorial action on these measures because they are important for NYSPEC member units:
· COVID-19 Death Benefit Extender – S9119 Gounardes / A10022 Abbate
· WTC Workers’ Comp Board Corrective Legislation – S9370 Jackson / A9922-A Abbate
· Line-of-Duty Death Benefit COLA Extender – S9056 Gounardes / A10190 Joyner
· Line-of-Duty COLA Benefit to Certain Parents – S9085 Savino / A10466 Cusick
· 9/11 Filing Deadline Extender -- S9294-A Gounardes / A10416 Niou
· Certain Enhanced Protections to Retiree Health Insurance – S9347 Jackson / A10425 Abbate
The tier equity issues included in the state budget did not impact all public employees. It is unfortunate, despite our strong efforts in the final weeks of the legislative session, that we were unable to move the needle further in tier equity.
Absent unforeseen circumstances, tier equity will be our number one priority going forward, and it will be “topic one” at our annual meeting / convention in December, where we will be formulating a comprehensive plan of action. Tier equity will be our chief legislative priority in 2023.
Peter D. Meringolo