Advocacy Alert: 2016 Session Comes to a Close
June 18, 2016
Early this morning (5:00 am in the Assembly, 4:00 am for the Senate) the legislature gaveled out for what was the close of the 2016 legislative session.
NYSSBA’s Governmental Relations team was there until the end as we saw action on a number of significant issues for school districts across New York. Over the next several days, we will conduct a thorough analysis of the actions of the legislature, but highlights of some key issues are below:
APPR: The final end of session deal passed by both houses included language that delays the deadline for approved APPR plans under section 3012-d until December 31, 2016. NYSSBA has sought changes that would allow districts to operate under either an approved 3012-c or 3012-d plan. Unfortunately that change was not enacted, but, NYSSBA’s advocacy helped keep this issue on the table and provide districts with additional time to reach agreement. (S.8159, Flanagan/A.10741, Rules (Farrell))
Lead Testing: A Governor’s program bill was approved by both houses that would require school districts to periodically test the drinking water in their occupied buildings for lead contamination. The final bill includes funding for testing and remediation; and authorizes the inclusion of these tests in the already required building condition surveys conducted every five years. NYSSBA worked closely with sponsors and legislative leadership to ensure that districts were provided the resources they need to ensure the health and safety of their students and staff. (S.8158, O'Mara/A.10740 Rules (Lupardo))
Property Tax Cap: NYSSBA fought hard to achieve common sense amendments to the property tax cap this year. Last night, the Senate passed legislation that would have accomplished three of them: mandating that BOCES capital expenditures be exempted from the cap, including new PILOT properties in the tax base growth factor, and altering the budget ballot to allow voter propositions to be considered by the voters separately from the district budget and allowing the budget to be approved with a simple majority if the proposal was tax cap compliant. Unfortunately this bill was not acted on in the Assembly. (S.8049, Rules)
Veterans’ Property Tax Exemption: Both houses of the legislature approved legislation that would authorize school districts to offer property tax exemptions to veterans who served during the Cold War. NYSSBA shares the desire to honor our veterans, but will continue to push the state to provide funding for this type of program to ensure that the property tax burden is not shifted to others, who may be ill positioned to afford it. (S.2210-B, Larkin/A.3379-A, Cusick)
New York City Mayoral Control: Legislation was approved last night that would extend Mayoral Control of the New York City School District for one year. This legislation also includes some additional reporting requirements on the school district. NYSSBA was successful in fighting off a last minute effort to include expansive, building level district reporting requirements for all districts statewide. (S.8159, Flanagan/A.10741, Rules (Farrell))
Senate Bullet Aid Resolution: Last night the Senate took action on a resolution to allocate bullet aid to a number of school districts and other entities. A full list of the allocations can be viewed below.
Registration for End of Session Wrap Up Webinar is Open
Now that the legislative session has ended, join NYSSBA Governmental Relations staff to hear what did, and did not happen in the final days. NYSSBA will host a webinar on Thursday June 23. Register today!
NYSSBA’s Governmental Relations team will continue to update you on these and other issues.
For more information, visit our Key Issues Page, and be sure to follow NYSSBA on Facebook and Twitter.