The NYGFOA Legal and Legislative Committee identify and follow legislation before the State Legislature which could potentially impact government finance. Listed below is legislation which was considered during the 2019 Legislative Session. Although the State Legislature is not currently in session, please check back regularly for the status of legislation which has been approved by the State Legislature but has not been delivered to the Governor for consideration. 

For more detailed information on any of the bills listed below such as bill text, sponsors memos, and prior legislative history, click the link for the New York State Senate or New York State Assembly web site below.

New York State Senate

New York State Assembly

Note:  For information on legislation followed by NYGFOA and acted on in 2018, please CLICK HERE

 

2019 Legislative Watch

Legislation of Interest (as of 11/20/19)

Cash Management

A. 3262-A (Zebrowski)/S. 6079-A (Sanders) -- Status: Assembly Ways and Means Committee/Senate Banking Committee

DEPOSITS WITH CREDIT UNIONS AND SAVINGS BANKS: Beginning January 1, 2020, credit unions, savings banks, savings and loans and federal savings associations would be authorized to accept deposits from municipal corporations (with limitations).  Currently, only commercial banks (with limited exceptions) can accept deposits from municipal corporations.  The provisions of this bill would expire on December 31, 2025. 

 

A. 3875 (McDonald)  --  Status: Assembly Judiciary Committee

RATE OF INTEREST ON JUDGMENTS AND CLAIMS: The interest rate on judgments and accrued claims, currently set in statute at 9%, would be changed to a market-rate of interest.

 

DEBT MANAGEMENT/LOCAL FINANCE LAW

S. 5886-A (Gaughan)  --  Status:  PASSED BOTH HOUSES

ELECTRONIC OPEN AUCTION BOND SALE PILOT PROGRAM: The NYS Local Finance Law is amended to establish a 2-year electronic open auction bond sale pilot program to permit municipalities the option to sell municipal bonds in an open electronic auction format instead of by a closed electronic bid format.  This pilot program will be used to assess the financial and administrative advantages of selling bonds via an open auction format. 

The program will be administered by the municipality's chief fiscal officer, who will subsequently evaluate its favorability over the method previously utilized by the municipality.  The municipality's chief fiscal officer will also be responsible for reviewing the program to ensure its functionality and profitability.  The legislation provides certain procedures and requirements for the program's evaluation. If signed into law, this legislation would go into effect on January 1, 2020 and expire in 2 years.

 

 

A. 74 (Cahill)  --  Status:  Assembly Local Government Committee

EXTENSION OF BAN ROLLOVERS FROM 2009 AND 2010: This legislation extends the rollover period for bond anticipation notes (BANs) issued during 2009 and 2010 to not more than 7 years beyond the original date of issue. 

 

HUMAN RESOURCES

A. 762 (Rosenthal) -- Status:  Assembly Ways and Means Committee

SETTING SALARIES BASED ON COMPARABILITY OF WORK: Seeks to comply with the Federal Equal Pay Act of 1963 by implementing a state policy of compensating employees in state service equally for work of comparable value by eliminating wage inequality in job titles having been segregated by sex, race or national origin.  The bill would also require the President of the Civil Service Commission to report annually to the legislature and the governor on those segregated titles for which wage disparity exists.  The Governor would be mandated to appropriate monies to ensure wage disparities are corrected.

 

S. 838-A (Montgomery)  --  Status:  Senate Rules Committee

SETTING SALARIES BASED ON COMPARABILITY OF WORK: Seeks to comply with the Federal Equal Pay Act of 1963 by establishing a state policy of compensating employees in state service equally for work of comparable value by eliminating wage inequality in job titles having been segregated by sex, race or national origin.

 

A. 467 (Paulin)/S. 2434 (Robach)  --  Status:  Assembly Local Government Committee/Senate Local Government Committee

POLICE CHIEF PAY INCREASES: This legislation would require that a police chief receive an immediate increase to their salary if their direct subordinate receives a salary increase.  The increase would be in the same dollar amount as received by the direct subordinate.  This practice was repealed in 2011.

 

A. 587-A (Rozic)/S. 2595-A (Biaggi)  --  Status:  Assembly Third Reading/Senate Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Committee

GENDER BALANCE IN CERTAIN APPOINTED POSITIONS: Several state statutes would be amended to require that appointments of members to state and local public authorities, industrial development agencies and local development corporations be gender balanced. 

 

A. 3460 (Abinanti)/S. 3152 (Addabbo)  --  Status:  Assembly Ways and Means Committee/Senate Finance Committee

CANCER SCREENING LEAVE: The NYS Civil Service Law would be amended to permit any municipal employee up to 8 hours of paid leave annually for cancer screening.  The employee would not be required to charge the leave against other available and/or existing accrued leave.

 

A. 4203 (Weprin)/S. 3854 (Lanza)  --  Status:  Assembly Ways and Means Committee/Senate Rules Committee

PROHIBITION ON DIMINISHING HEALTH INSURANCE BENEFITS AND CONTRIBUTIONS OF RETIRED PUBLIC EMPLOYEES: Local governments would be prohibited from reducing the health insurance benefits or increasing health insurance contributions of their current or future retirees from the level in existence on the date this act were to become law (if enacted).  

 

A. 117-A (Buchwald)  --  Status:  PASSED BOTH HOUSES

PROHIBITION ON TELEMARKETING DURING A STATE OF EMERGENCY: The NYS General Business Law would be amended to prohibit any telemarketer from knowingly making any unsolicited sales calls to any person during a State declaration of disaster emergency or local state of emergency. 

 

S. 6524 (Gounardes)  --  Status:  PASSED BOTH HOUSES

FIRE CHIEF TRAINING REQUIREMENTS: Volunteer firefighters interested in becoming the Fire Chief in a combination fire department (with 6 or more paid firefighters) would be required to meet the same training requirements as a paid Fire Chief.

 

Infrastructure

A. 4880 (Rozic)  --  Status:  VETOED (MEMO 140) 11/20/19

ESTABLISHMENT OF A STATE TRANSPORTATION PLAN: The NYS Finance Law would have been amended to require the NYS Commissioner of Transportation to develop a 20-year intermodal, long-range transportation plan and a five-year capital program for New York State.

 

A. 6316 (Otis)/S. 4520 (Harckman)  --  Status:  Assembly Ways and Means Committee/Passed Senate

EXPANSION OF LONG-TERM FINANCING THROUGH NYS EFC FOR CWSRF PROJECTS: This bill would extend, from 30 to 40 years, the term for financing a clean water project through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) administered by the NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation.  The expanded term would match that already established for financing drinking water projects.  

 

A. 2568 (Rodriguez)  --  Status:  Assembly Ways and Means Committee

ESTABLISHMENT OF INFRASTRUCTURE FINANCING DISTRICTS: This bill would establish Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts (EIFDs), enabling municipalities to utilize a more flexible method of tax increment financing (TIF) for certain municipal infrastructure projects.

 

A. 3695 (Palmesano)/S. 1592 (Gallivan)  --  Status:  Assembly Transportation Committee/Senate Transportation Committee

BIDDING ON INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS FUNDED BY CHIPS FUNDS: Increases, from $250,000 to $500,000, the threshold under which a project funded by CHIPS (Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program) funds do not need to be competitively bid.

 

S. 4048-A (Kennedy)  --  Status:  VETOED (MEMO 146) 11/20/19

INCREASING REIMBURSEMENT RATES FOR REPAIR OF STATE ARTERIAL HIGHWAYS IN CITIES:  Would have amended NYS Highway Law by increasing the rate used by the State when reimbursing municipalities for maintenance of the state highway system within city borders.  The rate would have been increased to $1.87 from $0.85 per square yard of the pavement area that is included in the state highway system.  The rate would also have been increased from $0.10 to $0.20 per square yard of pavement area where the pavement is located on any elevated bridge.  This rate would have been adjusted annually to inflation.  

InSURANCE

A. 310-B (Steck)  -- Status:  Assembly Insurance Committee

S. 1408-A (Breslin)  --  Status:  Senate Rules Committee

AUTHORIZATION TO JOIN SELF-FUNDED OR SELF-INSURED HEALTH PLANS: A public entity, with consent of the county and governing body of the public entity, would have the authority to join a county self-funded or self-insured health plan in the county in which the public entity is located (in whole or part).  

 

A. 513 (Lifton)/S. 3622 (Breslin) --  Status:  Assembly Insurance Committee/Senate Local Government Committee

PARTICIPANT EXPANSION IN MUNICIPAL COOPERATIVE HEALTH BENEFIT PLANS: Public libraries, urban renewal agencies and other quasi-governmental organizations, created by and receiving fifty percent or more of their funding from a local government, would be authorized to participate in municipal cooperative health benefit plans.   

LOCAL GOVERNMENT Finance (REVENUES AND GRANTS)

A. 381 (Lifton)  --  Status:  Assembly Ways and Means Committee

STATE AID TO MUNICIPALITIES FOR PUBLIC SAFETY SERVICES AT SUNY FACILITIES:  State aid would be provided to municipalities which host 4-year SUNY residential institutions to help offset the costs of providing public safety services to student populations. 

 

A. 1820 (Magnarelli)/S. 4175 (Gaughran)  --  Status:  Assembly Real Property Taxation Committee/Passed Senate

TREATMENT OF UNPAID BUILDING AND FIRE CODE FINES: The real property tax law would be amended to authorize local governments to adopt a local law or resolution allowing for adjudicated fines for building or fire code violations to be deemed delinquent taxes and included in the tax levy of the affected property(ies).

 

A. 1528 (Magnarelli)/S. 3153 (Jordan) --  Status:  Assembly Local Government Committee/Senate Local Government Committee

LEASING OF NAMING RIGHTS ON GOVERNMENT-OWNED PROPERTY:  This bill allows municipalities the option to lease naming rights for governmentally-owned properties and facilities (examples include but are not limited to waterfront property, parks, rail-trails, railroad tracks, city buses and stadiums). 

 

A. 6140 (Galef)/S. 359 (Tedisco) --  Status:  Assembly Governmental Operations Committee/Senate Finance Committee

PAPER USE REDUCTION GRANTS:  Local governments would be able to competitively bid, through the NYS Department of State, for grants up to $10,000 per municipality to employ initiatives to use less paper via digital means.  To qualify, local governments would have to match 25% of the total grant.

 

A. 4903 (Miller) -- Status:  Assembly Mental Health Committee

REIMBURSEMENT FOR COMMUNITY RESIDENTIAL FACILITIES:  NYS Mental Hygiene Law would be amended to require the State to reimburse local governments for the loss of real property tax revenue that results when a residential facility for the disabled is established in their communities. 

 

A. 1778-A (Jones)/S. 3685-B (Brooks) -- Status:  Assembly Local Government Committee/Passed Senate

FIRE DEPARTMENT CHARGES FOR EMERGENCY AND AMBULANCE SERVICES:  Volunteer fire departments and districts would have the ability to charge for emergency medical and ambulance services.  Although municipalities and paid fire departments are allowed to bill for these services, volunteer fire departments and districts are prohibited from doing so.  Also, the bill contains language to ensure that advanced life support services are compensated for services rendered.

 

PROCUREMENT // prevailing wage

S. 2394 (Breslin)  --  Status:  PASSED BOTH HOUSES

AMENDMENT TO RETAINAGE REQUIREMENTS ON PUBLIC WORKS CONTRACTS:  This bill would establish a new comprehensive definition of 'substantial completion' for public construction projects pertaining specifically to the payment of retainage under State Finance Law and General Municipal Law.  The definition of 'substantial completion' with regard to the payment of retainage to a contractor would be amended to be when the work required to be performed by the contractor with the public owner is sufficiently completed (rather than completed) so that the public owner may occupy or utilize the work for its intended use.  

 

 

S. 5933-A (Comrie)  --  Status:  PASSED BOTH HOUSES

RECOVERY FOR DAMAGES TO CONTRACTORS UNDER STATE CONTRACTS: This bill would require State Agency and State Authority public works contracts to include a clause authorizing contractors to recover reasonable damages for delays under limited circumstances. 

 

A. 1261 (Bronson)/S. 1947 (Ramos)  --  Status:  Assembly Third Reading/Senate Labor Committee

PREVAILING WAGE ON PUBLIC WORKS CONTRACTS:  All public entities would be required to pay prevailing wage on labor performed for all public works contracts paid for, in full or part, with public funds.

 

A. 1633 (Santabarbara)  --  Status:  Assembly Local Government Committee

EXPANSION OF MUNICIPAL 'PIGGYBACKING' ON OTHER MUNICIPAL PURCHASE CONTRACTS:  Expands the ability of local governments to not only make purchases from county contracts but from contracts awarded by competitive bidding by any other local government in New York State.

 

A. 1831 (Magnarelli)  --  Status:  Assembly Labor Committee

LOCAL GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT MODERNIZATION AND TRANSPARENCY ACT:  Allows political subdivisions to provide notice of requests for bids by posting the requests on the New York state contract reporter website. 

 

A. 3297 (Pichardo)/S. 1031 (Rivera)  --  Status:  Assembly Local Government Committee/Senate Local Government Committee

MUNICIPAL COMPETITIVE BIDDING ENFORCEMENT ACT:  Creates a new General Municipal Law ยง 103-h, which, among numerous provisions, provides for the State Comptroller to issue an opinion as to the legality of a political subdivision's proposed procurement action.  The bill also permits the State Attorney General to enjoin an illegal procurement action and allows a good faith bidder (who should have won a contract) to sue for damages.

PUBLIC AUTHORITIES

CHAPTER 181, Laws of 2019 (A. 220, Paulin)

PUBLIC AUTHORITY REPORTING:  This law authorizes the NY Authorities Budget Office (ABO) to suspend local authority board members and chief executive officers for up to 90 days who knowingly fail or neglect to file required reports mandated under the Public Authorities Law 36 months or more after their due date.  

Reports are due 90 days after the end of the authority's fiscal year.  Previously, the ABO was only authorized to make recommendations and issue a public censure letter.  This new law applies to the financial disclosure reporting mandated for public authorities under the Public Authorities Law (PARIS system). 

EFFECTIVE DATE:  November 19, 2019

 

CHAPTER 185, Laws of 2019 (A. 3002, Solanges)

LIVESTREAMING AND RECORDING OF INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY (IDA) MEETINGS:  The NYS General Municipal Law and Public Authorities Law are amended to require each industrial development agency (IDA) to live stream all open meetings and public hearings as well as make the recordings of those meetings available on the IDA's website. Recordings must be posted on the IDA's website within 5 business days of the meeting or hearing and be available for no less than 5 years.

EFFECTIVE DATE:  January 1, 2020

 

Real Property Tax LAW // Levy Cap

A. 8201 (Rosenthal)/S. 6511 (Parker)  --  Status:  Assembly Real Property Taxation Committee/Passed Senate

TAXATION OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT: Certain telecommunications equipment would be removed from the definition of real property for real property taxation purposes.

 

A. 3418 (Zebrowski)  --  Status:  Assembly Local Government Committee

SUPERMAJORITY APPROVALS BY LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARDS TO OVERRIDE THE TAX CAP: This bill would require a supermajority vote to override the tax cap when 60% of the voting power equals a simple majority of a governing board. 

 

A. 146 (D'Urso/S. 1914 (Gaughran)  --  Status:  Assembly Real Property Taxation Committee/Senate Rules Committee

PILOT PAYMENTS TO LOCAL GOVERNMENTS/SCHOOL DISTRICTS DUE TO REDUCTION IN ASSESSMENT: The Real Property Tax Law would be amended to require that for any reduction in the payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) by an entity due to a successful assessment grievance, that the negative impact on local government and/or school revenues be phased in over 10 years.  This would only be applicable if  the impact on revenues is 5 percent or greater.

 

A. 1716 (Abinanti)/S. 4307 (Harckham)  --  Status:  Assembly Real Property Taxation Committee/Senate Local Government Committee

REASSESSMENT COSTS EXCLUDED FROM THE TAX LEVY CAP: All costs associated with real property revaluations or reassesments would be excluded from the calculation of the real property tax levy limit for a local government.

 

A. 1842 (Zebrowski)  --  Status:  Assembly Aging Committee

EXEMPTING CERTAIN SENIOR CITIZENS FROM REAL PROPERTY TAXATION: Municipalities would have the option to grant senior citizens at least 75 years of age, have resided in the same school district for at least 30 years and have no children attending the district's schools, a 100% exemption from real property school taxes. 

 

A. 1875 (Crouch)  --  Status:  Assembly Local Government Committee

TAX CAP EXCLUSION FOR EMERGENCY SERVICES: The NYS General Municipal Law and Education Law would be amended to exempt the cost of providing emergency services from the real property tax levy cap calculation.

 

A. 2041 (Englebright)  --  Status:  Assembly Real Property Taxation Committee

TAX STABILIZATION RESERVE FUND FOR SCHOOL DISTRICTS: School districts would be able to establish a Tax Stabilization Reserve Fund to offset restrctions under the real property tax levy cap.

 

A. 368 (Steck)  --  Status:  Assembly Education Committee

SCHOOL DISTRICT TAX CAP OVERRIDES: School districts would be able override the tax cap by a supermajority vote of the governing board plus a qualified majority of voters in the district affirming the override (instead of the current 60% approval vote).

Retirement

S. 1866-B (Breslin)  --  Status:  PASSED BOTH HOUSES

INCREASE IN RETIREES EARNING CAP: The cap on earnings, which New York State public employee retirees (under the age of 65) can earn without a reduction in pension benefits, would be increased from $30,000 to $35,000 per year beginning in 2020.  The $30,000 cap has not been increased since 2007.

 

 

School District Finance

CHAPTER 59, Laws of 2019 (S. 1509-C - BUDGET)

RETIREMENT CONTRIBUTION RESERVE FUND: This law, part of the enacted 2020 State Budget, amends Section 6-r of the General Municipal Law to provide certain eligible participating employers in the NYS Teachers Retirement System the option to establish a retirement contribution reserve sub-fund. The purpose of the reserve sub-fund is to permit those employers to set aside funds in one year to defray the required employer contribution payable to NYSTRS under Education Law Section 521 in another year. EFFECTIVE DATE:  April 1, 2019  

 

A. 114-A (Buchwald)/S. 2067-B (Jordan) -- Status:  Assembly Education Committee/Senate Local Government Committee

EXPANSION OF USE OF INSURANCE RESERVE FUNDS: School districts would have the ability to create and/or utilize their existing insurance reserve fund (authorized under Section 6-n of the NYS General Municipal Law) to finance their own self-insured health insurance program.  

 

A. 3356 (Buchwald)  --  Status:  Assembly Local Government Committee

EXPANSION OF USE OF 'EBALR' RESERVE FUNDS: School districts would have the ability to withdraw up to 50% of funds held in their Employee Benefit Accrued Liability Reserve Fund (EBALR), or 100% of the excess of such monies (whichever is greater).  The funds could only be used to mitigate an anticipated increase in school property taxes and/or restore anticipated or actual staff level reductions.

State Mandates

S. 707 (Gallivan) -- Status:  Senate Judiciary Committee

AMENDING THE SCAFFOLD LAW:  This bill would amend the Scaffold Law by holding an employee who directly contributes to their injury liable for their own apportionment of fault.  The standard would only apply in limited circumstances where criminal activity, drug or alcohol use and failure to comply with employer-provided safety instructions or safe-work practices contributed to the injury.  Current law holds contractors, employers and property owners absolutely liable for gravity-related injuries, even if the worker is negligent.

 

S. 2017-A (Griffo)  --  Status:  Senate Local Government Committee

STATE FUNDING OF MANDATES ON LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND SCHOOL DISTRICTS: Requires that the state fund any program which imposes a mandate upon municipal corporations or school districts and establishes criteria for any exemption from such law if such mandate is ordered by the judiciary, pursuant to an executive order or requested by the locality.  The bill would also create the  New York State Mandate Review Council. 

 

A. 3319 (Zebrowski)/S. 4908 (Skoufis)  --  Status:  Assembly Local Government Committee/Senate Local Government Committee

ESTABLISHMENT OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT WEBSITES: All counties, cities, towns and villages in the State of New York would be required to maintain an official website. 

 

A. 3428 (Zebrowski)  --  Status:  Assembly Local Government Committee

MANDATORY SUBMISSION OF MULTI-YEAR FINANCIAL PLANS: All counties, cities, towns and villages in the State of New York with budgets over $10 million would be required to annually prepare and submit to the State Comptroller a multi-year financial plan (unless already required to do so). 

 

S. 4245 (Skoufis)  --  Status:  Senate Finance Committee

MUNICIPAL EXEMPTION FROM THE MTA MOBILITY TAX: This bill would exempt local governments outside of New York City located within the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District from paying the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation (MTA) Mobility Tax.