Advocacy Update: Governor Cuomo Acts on 132 Bills

December 5, 2016

On Monday, immediately following the Thanksgiving holiday, Governor Cuomo took action on 132 bills that had been delivered signing 60 and vetoing the remaining 72. This was a mixed bag for NYSSBA, as we achieved some of our goals and will have to keep working on others. A summary of the Governor's vetoes on key bills as well as some of NYSSBA's advocacy work is below:

Veto Number 235: S.4737 (Carlucci) / A.6823 (Jaffee)

This bill would have made it the duty of the town receiver of taxes to collect school taxes on behalf of the school district unless "the school board advises the town's receiver of taxes in writing by certified mail, return receipt requested, by no later than February first of each year that it collects its own taxes." This would have effectively allowed a school district to unilaterally decide to collect its own taxes. The school district would have no longer needed the town to agree to such decision.

NYSSBA supported this legislation.

Veto Number 251: S.7120 (Golden)/ A.9715 (Abbate)

This bill would have prohibited the Department of Civil Service from restricting the ability of a school districts and Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) that participate in the New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP) from offering a health insurance buyout option to employees that have spouses employed by another participating employer.

NYSSBA supported this legislation.  

Veto Number 265: S.2448-A (Farley) / A.639-A (Abinanti)

This bill would have required local governments, including school districts, to inform retirees of changes to health insurance contracts at least 90 days prior to approval or authorization of the change. If the change affects employees that are part of a collective bargaining unit, notice must be provided at the time the change becomes binding.

NYSSBA opposed this legislation.

Veto Number 268: S.3344-B (Lanza) / A.3880-B (Nolan)

This bill would have required the State Education Department to create a procedure for public school districts to report their compliance with physical education requirements for elementary grades. If any school in the district is not in compliance the superintendent must prepare a corrective action plan to be reviewed and approved by the board of education at a public meeting. Districts that fail to comply with the reporting requirements would be listed on the Department's website.

NYSSBA opposed this legislation.

Veto Number 298: A.8019-C (O'Donnell) /S.5984-C (Golden)

This bill would have established three new provisions of law relating to private transportation carriers contracting with public school districts; establish labor protections for employees of private transportation carriers (similar to those offered to public employees) in New York City; exempt school buses and related equipment and materials from sales taxes statewide; and introduces the use of a specific Employment Cost Index (ECI) to determine the cap on year-to-year increases for district transportation contract renewals (also on a statewide basis).

NYSSBA opposed this legislation.

In addition, the Governor signed the following bill:

Chapter 476: S.4842-A (Martins) / A.6140-A (Lavine)

This bill authorizes school districts to grant the alternative veterans property tax exemption to individuals who served as reservists and were activated by President Richard Nixon under Operation Graphic Hand to sort and deliver bulk mail in New York City in response to a United States Postal Service strike in March 1970. This bill treats temporary postal workers the same as combat veterans. It is NYSSBA's position that any new property tax exemption enacted by the state should be funded by the state, instead of the local taxpayer.

NYSSBA opposed this legislation.


ECB School Finance Paper

On Thursday December 1st the ECB released their annual school finance paper. This paper contains the coalition's request for $2 billion in additional funding in 2017-18. Read the full paper below.

Municipal Consolidation and Efficiency Grants

Governor Cuomo has announced the Municipal Consolidation and Efficiency Competition (MCEC), inviting local governments to build consortiums and compete for a $20 million award. Under the program, teams of two or more local governments can submit plans demonstrating how government consolidations and innovative restructuring initiatives will yield reductions in property taxes. A panel selected by New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado will pick the winning consortium and plan.   

To learn more about this program, local government officials are strongly encouraged to participate in one of their webinars scheduled on December 7, 2016 from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM or December 8 from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM. 

Links to these events are listed here:

For more information contact the Department of State at (518) 473-3355 or visit the website at

NYSSBA's 2017 Preview Webinar

Reminder that the Governmental Relations team on December 7th is hosting a 2017 Preview Webinar. Please register ASAP.

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.

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