We have just completed the 2013 legislative session in Albany. I have prepared a summary of my priorities and my primary-sponsored Assembly bills that successfully passed both houses. I feel that it is important that I inform you of the many issues that we deal with each legislative year.
Sometimes, only a few get the media's attention and the rest are given short-shrift or not spoken of at all.
So, here are the pieces of legislation that were my priorities and specific to the 129th legislative district for your review.
Larger/Statewide Issues/Priorities passed into law
- A.3007-D Raising the minimum wage for hardworking men and women
- A.6692-C Restoring cuts to programs for the developmentally disabled
- A.8086 Financial Restructuring Board/Binding arbitration process
- A.8113 START-UP NY, creating tax-free zones on college campuses
City of Syracuse specific:
- A.4772-C authorizes a second phase of Syracuse City School District renovations, including 20 projects totaling $300 million, through a newly constituted joint schools construction board (JSCB)
- A.5743 re-authorizes the City of Syracuse to give property tax exemptions to those who renovate distressed homes to be more environmentally friendly and meet LEED standards
- A.587 supplies veterans with web-site resources to assist treating mental health or substance abuse, and information on suicide prevention and peer outreach (This bill has already been signed by the Governor)
- A.526-B allows New York State to license perfusionists. This legislation was introduced on behalf of Upstate Medical Center, among other hospital and medical societies in NYS
- A.6124-A creates a 3-year extension of the licensing provision to avoid a major shortage of clinical laboratory technicians. This bill was introduced on behalf of the Greater NY Hospital Association and the CNY Chapter of the NYS Clinical Laboratory Management Association
- A.392-A volunteer fire companies would be able to receive restitution of out-of-pocket losses when the courts deem an incident an arson
- A.400 allows volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers who are hurt responding to an out-of-jurisdiction call to receive benefits, even if the officer-in-command hasn't arrived yet
- A.481 requires the state insurance program to be more transparent and provide quarterly updates to participating employers - including local municipalities, so they can better estimate future health insurance costs
- A.7099 allows local governments to spread the cost of certain judgments over several years to have less impact on current year's budget
- A.472 allows local legislatures to display legislation electronically, thus reducing printing costs
- A.487-A state agencies will be required to provide a more detailed cost benefit analysis when considering new regulations
- A.1856 requires that when surplus State land is sold the municipality where the land is located is given the first opportunity to purchase it for fair value.
- A.5549, A.5550, A.5551 a package of program bills from the State Comptroller's Office designed to provide municipalities impacted by Hurricane Sandy financial flexibility to pay for the costs of recovery.
In an effort to ensure women have equal rights in all aspects of their lives, the Women's Equality Act (A.8070), passed the Assembly this session. The act contains 10 sweeping reforms to bring fairness to the women of New York, some of which include women's health and reproductive rights, equal pay, stronger penalties for human trafficking, and increased protections for victims of domestic violence. This vital piece of legislation now awaits Senate action.