As part of my community engagement platform, I promised to provide a regular weekly update on what’s happening up in Albany. This is an update from week twelve.
You can always email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any other questions, ideas, or want more information about what’s happening in Albany or the district.
*Session Week 12*
This past week we celebrated the 200th anniversary of Greek Independence Day. As a proud 4th-generation Greek-American, I was excited to join with my fellow Greek-American colleagues in sponsoring a resolution proclaiming March 2021 as Greek History Month in New York State. We also hosted a state-wide Greek Independence Day Celebration, and downtown Albany was beautifully lit with the colors of the Greek flag.
Civil Service and Pensions
I convened our fourth Civil Service and Pensions Committee meeting of this session. Bills reported out of the committee included:
- S4897, which allows the Triborough bridge and Tunnel Authority Superior Officer Benevolent Association to use binding arbitration to resolve disputes.
- S4961 allows certain employees who participated in the World Trade Center rescue, recovery and cleanup operations to be eligible for certain benefits if they hadn’t joined a retirement system at the time of the cleanup.
- S1754 allows all NYSTRS retirees to change their retirement plan beneficiary to a spouse at any time before or after retirement.
- S3099 allows retired police officers to earn up to $65,000 working as school resource officers without a diminution of their pension benefits.
- S5096 allows public employees to transfer their own sick time to other employees.
I voted to pass 7 bills through the Judiciary Committee last week.
- S738 which bans liquidated damages related to sexual harassment or other unlawful discriminations. I co-sponsor this legislation.
- S719 waives the biennial attorney registration fee for attorneys who meet the federal public service loan forgiveness program qualifications.
- S720 allows disqualification of a surviving spouse for purposes of estates post-death in certain circumstances.
- S3666 prohibits landlords from requiring “unreasonable” fees for making copies of keys.
- S4248 requires the court to consider the best interest of a pet when awarding possession in a case of separation.
- S5177 allows the state to hold health care facilities, administrators, and executive accountable for harm and damages incurred within facilities
- S4377 requires the translation of nursing home patient rights into certain languages and makes information on the ombudsman program accessible.
- I am a cosponsor on S4866 which increases penalties relating to endangered and special species.
- S355 prohibits waste water from hydrofracking which may contain harmful contaminants from being used in highway construction.
- S4092 increases rebates to municipalities for the costs of eligible projects which support the development of clean vehicles.
- S4371B establishes and enforces standards for the emissions of toxic air contaminants.
I cosponsored 3 major bills in an effort to make insurance accessible:
- S1413 reduces the cap on cost sharing for insulin to $30 per insulin a month.
- S3483 expands eligibility for the elderly pharmaceutical insurance coverage program (EPIC).
- S2008 requires medical insurance notices to explicitly state whether a claim or bill has been partially approved or entirely denied.
Other Noteworthy Bills
- I also cosponsored S5162A which requires local social services districts to offer to pay childcare providers via direct deposit.
- S2998A makes certain peer advocates eligible for reimbursement.
- S3866 requires airports to provide private lactation spaces.
- S3974 helps school districts purchase local agricultural products for their food services.
- S4201A prohibits employers from penalizing employees for any absences related to COVID-19.
You can see all the bills the Senate has passed so far this year here
Thanks for reading! As always, you can email me directly at email@example.com or call my office as 718–238–6044.