December 22, 2015

Legislative Update - December 22, 2015

Police Retirement Legislation – After 15 years and three vetoes, Governor Cuomo approved legislation – Chapter 561 -  permitting the SUNY police officers the option of joining the Police and Firefighters Retirement System as an alternative to ERS.  SUNY’s police officers were the only police officers in New York State who were not afforded this retirement option. Enactment of this legislation is seen as minimizing the transfer of current officers to local and municipal police departments while improving recruitment efforts across the state. Governor Cuomos’s approval message #21 is provided here. Officers will have to choose to change retirement systems by the end of the year – 12/31/15. 

Maintenance of Effort Legislation – As expected, Governor Cuomo vetoed the MOE legislation, as seen in Veto 280

2015 Chapter/Veto Summary – Below is an updated summary of legislation impacting SUNY and higher education that was approved by the Legislature and acted upon by the Governor.

New Appointments – MaryBeth Labate will be joining SUNY System Administration following her tenure as Budget Director for the State. Replacing her as Budget Director will be Robert Mujica who is currently Chief of Staff and Secretary to the Senate Majority Finance Committee. 

Senate Higher Education Committee – Franklin Esson has departed as Director of the Senate Higher Education Committee. Kelly Hendricken is the new committee director and an alumna of SUNY Geneseo.

Assembly Higher Education Committee Hearing – Chancellor Zimpher recently presented testimony at Assemblymember Glick’s public hearing “The changing demographics of students in higher education and educational opportunity programs”

Special Elections – Governor Cuomo has announced that a special election will be held on April 19, 2016 to fill several legislative vacancies. Currently  AD 59 (Persaud) and AD 65 (Silver) have been announced. SD 9 (Skelos) and  AD 62 (Borelli) are pending.

Chapter Laws  |  Vetoes  |  Pending Action 


Chapter Laws of 2015

Chapter 9 - Geologist Fees
S.1313 Marcellino – A.874 Englebright
Amends Chapter 475 of 2014 relating to fees for and licensing of the profession of geology to clarify that the geologists must pay a fee of $220 to the State Education Department for an initial license.

Chapter 10 - Massage Therapy
S.1318 Little – A.871 Lupardo
Relates to the profession of massage therapy and the authority of massage therapists licensed in other jurisdictions to conduct teaching demonstrations for continuing education programs.

Chapter 50 – State Operations Budget
S.2000-C Budget – A.3000-C Budget
Enacts the state operations budget which includes state support for SUNY’s state-operated campuses.

Chapter 53 – Aid to Localities Budget
A.3003-C Budget – S.2003-C BUDGET BILL
Enacts the aid to localities budget which includes state support for community colleges.

Chapter 54 – Capital Projects Budget
S.2004-C Budget – A.3004-C Budget
Enacts the capital projects budget which includes the SUNY Construction Fund.

Chapter 56 – Education Budget Article VII
S.2006-B Budget – A.3006-B Budget
Enacts major components of legislation which are necessary to implement the education, labor and family assistance budget.

Chapter 76 - Sexual Assault Prevention
S.5965 LaValle – A.8244 Glick
Relates to the implementation by colleges and universities of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking prevention and response policies and procedures.

Chapter 120 - Proprietary School Licensure
A.6901 Glick – S.5037 LaValle
Extends for an additional three years, the provision that allows proprietary schools to operate under a candidacy status for a period of one year.

Chapter 143 - Acupuncture Licensure
S.1515 Nozzolio – A.875 Glick
Amends Chapter 504 of the Laws of 2014 to make clear that acupuncturists who are licensed in another state or country and who wish to practice acupuncture in New York State in certain limited settings must be in good-standing and are subject to the personal and subject matter jurisdiction and disciplinary and regulatory
authority of the Board of Regents.

Chapter 210 - Instructional Materials
S.5604 Lanza – A.8030 Cusick
Extends Chapter 219 of 2003 related to publishers or manufacturers providing printed instructional materials for college students with disabilities.

Chapter 220 - SARA
S.5607-A LaValle – A.8240 Glick
Relates to authorizing the state education department to enter into interstate reciprocity agreements and/or regional compacts for post-secondary distance education programs and to charge a fee to participating in-state institutions and non-participating out-of-state institutions that offer distance education, and relates to establishing an interstate reciprocity post-secondary distance education account.

Chapter 264 - Proprietary School Fees
A.6973-A Pichardo – S.5769 LaValle
Extends current provisions that allows the State Education Department to move assessments collected into the Bureau of Proprietary School Supervisions account to assist in funding SED's oversight of proprietary schools.

Chapter 298 - Cooperative Extension
S.4240-A Ritchie – A.6425-A Magee
County L Relates to community and economic vitality, environment and energy, nutrition and healthy families and youth development updating the law to reflect the mission of Cornell Cooperative Extension in community betterment and youth development.

Chapter 374 - Psychological Testing
A.3563-C Lavine – S.1865-B Valesky
Would allow non-doctoral testing technicians to administer and score standardized objective psychological or neuropsychological tests which involve specific predetermined and manualized procedures.

Chapter 376 - Nurse Practice Act Clarifications
A.4140 Gottfried – S.2300 Hannon
Would  conform various sections of law with the 2014 Nurse Practice Act legislation in relation to nurse practitioner (NP) written collaboration or practice agreements related to the scope of practice of nurse practitioners.

Chapter 388 - Not-For-Profit Revitalization Act of 2013
A.7641 Brennan – S.5738 Ranzenhofer
Relates to the effectiveness of provisions of law relating to prohibiting employees of a not-for-profit corporation from serving as chair of the board changing the effective date from January 1, 2016 to January 1, 2017.

Chapter 401 - Meningitis Immunization
S.4324-A Hannon – A.791-C Gunther
Relates to meningococcal immunizations and requires certain parents ensure the immunization of their children in 7th and 12th grade against meningococcal disease.

Chapter 414 - Veterans Home Eligibility
A.7229-A DenDekker – S.305-A Espaillat
Clarifies eligibility requirements for admission to the New York state veterans' home to include Bosnia and Herzegovina, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Chapter 418 - Sexual Assault Counseling
A.86 Paulin – S.3486 Lanza
Would allow the Department of Health to promote the availability of individual, family, and group counseling programs, education programs and advocacy services provided at no cost for victims of sexual offenses and child pornography promotion or possession.

Chapter 431 - GED Testing
A.3838-B Aubry – S.979-B Montgomery
Would require the Department of Correctional Services to establish academic programs to prepare inmates to complete the General Equivalency Diploma (GED) and provides inmates with an opportunity to complete a GED prior to release on parole, conditional release, post release supervision or presumptive release.

Chapter 437 - Non-Resident On-Line Tuition
A.5962-A Glick – S.220-A LaValle
Provides that the trustees of SUNY and CUNY may authorize the establishment of a new category of tuition for non-resident students enrolled in distance learning courses.

Chapter 459 - Electronic Books
A.7626-A Abinanti – S.5718 Farley
Directs the department of education to develop a plan for increasing access to and lending of electronic books across state libraries.

Chapter 461 - Student Insurance
A.7725-C Stirpe – S.5925-A Seward
Relates to authorizing the issuance of certain accident and health insurance policies to an institution of higher education to clarify that an "intercollegiate sports injury" accident insurance policy should be considered primary coverage and any "student accident and health policy" issued to a college or university should be considered secondary to such intercollegiate sports injury coverage.

Chapter 470 - Occupational Therapy
S.1567-A LaValle – A.1798-A Gunther
Regulates occupational therapy assistants; adds one licensed occupational therapy assistant to the state board for occupational therapy; establishes license requirements and exceptions.

Chapter 508 - ORP Clarification
S.5632-A Golden – A.8252 Abbate
Clarifies current law by explicitly providing that each participating employer of any employee who elects to participate in the SUNY optional retirement program in lieu of joining the public retirement system, shall "pick-up" required employee contributions to the program so that such contributions shall be treated as employer contributions pursuant to Section 414(h)(2) of the Code.

Chapter 519 - Meeting Streaming
A.1233-A Paulin – S.76-A Gallivan
Authorizes broadcasting of open meetings of an agency or department in real time and be posted on the agency's website.

Chapter 535 - Stony Brook Hotel Lease
A.7748 Englebright – S.5614 Flanagan
Extends the aggregate term of a 1989 ground lease with the Stony Brook Foundation Realty and the 2009 sublease with Harbor Financial Management, thereby fulfilling the original intent of Chapter 830 which is to provide a private developer -  Harbor Financial Management, the operator of the Hilton Garden Inn on the campus of Stony Brook University - with a sixty year ground lease.

Chapter 537 - Crime Reporting
S.1316 Marchione – A.873 Braunstein
Amends the Campus Safety Act of 2014 to provide for greater specificity in regards to a victim of a campus sexual assault having the option whether or not to report the offense to local law enforcement agencies.

Chapter 548 - Prompt Payment
S.4929 DeFrancisco – A.7579 Peoples-Stokes
Amends the prompt payment law by allowing the accrual of interest for a period of time a payment is delayed due to the fund or sub-fund from which the payment is to be made having insufficient cash.

Chapter 561 - Police Retirement
S.3221 Robach – A.4519 Abbate
Permits State University police officers to transfer to the New York State and Local Police and Fire Retirement System to participate in a special plan with a twenty-five year half pay retirement benefit.

Chapter 568 - Prompt Payment
A.6902-B Blake – S.5283-A Martins
Requires state agencies to pay small businesses within fifteen days of receipt of an invoice.

Chapter 569 - Procurement Encouragement
A.7580 Bichotte – S.4856 Croci
Authorizes state agencies to use discretionary purchasing authority for procurements from service-disabled veteran-owned businesses.

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Vetoes of 2015

Veto 188 - Blood Drives
A.375 Gottfried – S.3804 Parker
Authorizes the commissioner of health to make grants to not-for-profit organizations and elementary, secondary and postsecondary schools to be used to help pay for the costs of conducting local blood drives.

Veto 201 - Binding Arbitration
A.7485 Abbate – S.5391 Golden
Relates to providing for binding arbitration in negotiations involving all members of the collective negotiating units designated as security services or security supervisors including non-police personnel who provide security services in SUNY.

Veto 213 - Lymphedema Research
S.1058 Golden – A.230 Rosenthal
Creates the lymphedema and lymphatic diseases research grants program and provides such grants, not to exceed $50,000, be awarded on a competitive basis to biomedical research institutions conducting direct research related to lymphedema and lymphatic disease.

Veto 255 - Missing Persons
S.3790 Sanders – A.7468 Barron
Requires police agencies to take reports of missing adults whenever the adult is reported to be missing.

Veto 261 - Hospital Collections
S.4404-B DeFrancisco – A.7252-B Magnarelli
Relates to the reimbursement of tuition, fees and hospital charges to state university health care facilities of debt that is collected by the Office of the Attorney General.

Veto 267 - 5 Year Capital Plan
S.5217 LaValle – A.7388 Glick
Requires a five-year capital plans for SUNY and CUNY be include in the Governor’s Executive Budget.

Veto 274 - FOIL Appeals
A.114 Buchwald – S.1531 Ranzenhofer
Requires an appeal to be filed within 30 days after a court judgment on a FOIL lawsuit, and abandons the request to appeal when an agency fails to serve and file a brief within sixty days after the date of the notice of appeal.

Veto 275 - Construction Payments
A.796 Braunstein – A.2931 Libous
Prohibits the retention of any amount of payment due and owing for materials delivered for a public or private construction project.

Veto 276 - STEM Grants
A.968 Rosenthal – S.1960 Robach
Provides science, technology, engineering and mathematics grants for the encouragement of women and minorities to pursue careers in technology.

Veto 278 - Attorneys’ Fees
A.1438-B Paulin – S.533-B Gallivan
To require the court to issue reasonable attorneys' fees when an agency denies access to freedom of information requests in material violation of the law and with no reasonable basis.

Veto 280 - Maintenance of Effort
A.5370-A Glick – S.281-A LaValle
Clarifies the SUNY/CUNY maintenance of effort provisions to SUNY hospitals, collective bargaining costs, salary increments, fringe benefits and other non-personal services costs such as utility costs, and other inflationary expenses.

Veto 294 - Bidding Information
S.3450-C Funke – A.2029-D Hevesi
Requires state agencies to provide unsuccessful bidders with reasons why the winning bid was selected and provide advice or guidance on methods for improving future bids during the debriefing process.

Veto 295 - Orientation Specialists
S.4467-C Griffo – A.5451-C Lupardo
Provides for the licensing of licensed orientation and mobility specialists and vision rehabilitation therapists.

Veto 303 - Procurement Process
S.5713-B DeFrancisco – A.7513-C Peoples-Stokes
Office of State Comptroller proposal to increase the transparency, accountability, efficiency and flexibility of the procurement process and to make technical corrections and clarifications relating to certain procurements.

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Pending Final Action by the Governor

Whistleblower Protections
A.7951 Abbate – S.4628 Lanza
Enacts the "public employee whistleblower protection act" and removes the requirement that public employee whistleblowers first notify their supervisors of the improper activity, in order to protect employees where it is the supervisors themselves who are engaged in the improper activity which the whistleblower seeks to report.
Status:  Delivered to the Governor 12/16/15

Government Relations