Advocacy Alert: Final Action on Many NYSSBA Supported Bills
December 20, 2017
Monday night, Governor Cuomo vetoed a number of NYSSBA supported bills. A listing of the bills is below. NYSSBA's Governmental Relations team was disappointed by these vetoes especially given their broad support. Despite being disapproved by the Executive, NYSSBA knows that these are issues of importance to our members, and will work to address the concerns raised in the veto messages and seek alternative solutions that will allow us to meet our goals.
Veto 209 (S.4283 (Murphy)/A.5965 (Galef)): This bill would have made a technical adjustment to the property tax cap by clarifying that a school district's costs related to BOCES capital be treated in the same manner as the district's own capital costs, which are excluded from the tax cap calculation. Such an adjustment would have removed the disincentive for school districts to invest in updating and expanding BOCES facilities. This bill was similar to language first enacted in 2015, which permitted the state Department of Taxation and Finance to make this adjustment administratively. This bill would have removed the permissive nature of the 2015 version and required the adjustment to be made.
Veto 208 (S.2122-A (O'Mara)/A.1841-A (Morelle)): This bill would have made a technical adjustment to the property tax cap by clarifying that properties under payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) agreements are to be included in a district's tax base growth factor, as part of the tax cap calculation. This bill is similar to language first enacted in 2015, which permitted the state Department of Taxation and Finance to make this adjustment administratively. This bill would have removed the permissive nature of the 2015 version and required the adjustment to be made. Because the tax base growth factor can never be below 1.0, this bill would have only served to help districts in such scenarios.
The Governor indicated that he was vetoing these bills because they run contrary to the property tax cap, and in the case of BOCES capital, because there is not direct voter approval of BOCES capital projects.
Veto 248 (S.6599 (Larkin)/A.881-A (Gunther)): This bill would have authorized school boards to adopt a resolution that would allow voters within the district to decide if they want to create voting wards for boards of education.
The governor indicated that the bill does not provide adequate protections to guard against disenfranchisement or discrimination against citizens or groups of citizens. However, he further indicated that he is working with the legislature to attempt to address those concerns, though a final deal has not been reached at this time.
Veto 235 (S.6012 (Seward)/A.7866 (Gottfried)): This bill would have permanently carved-out School-Based Health Centers (SBHC) from the State's Medicaid Managed Care (MMC) program. Since 1985, School-Based Health Centers have been "carved-out" of the Medicaid Managed Care program, enabling them to receive reimbursement directly from NYS DOH on a fee-for-service basis.
However, the Governor has directed NYS DOH to maintain the carve out until January of 2021.
Veto 223 (S.4723-A (Carlucci)/A.4587-A (Jaffee)): This bill would have authorized school districts to collect their own taxes without consent of the town. Current law allows towns to collect the taxes on behalf of school districts without school district consent.
The Governor indicated that he vetoed this bill because he is still not satisfied by the notice provisions (a similar bill was vetoed last year over concerns with the notice provisions) and because it runs counter to his efforts to streamline government services and promote efficiencies.
Veto 231 (S.5719 (Jacobs)/A.7125 (Simotas)): This bill would have required state agencies, including the Board of Regents, to include an assessment of the minimum amount of time necessary for local governments and school districts to be compliant with regulations they are developing. The bill would have also required state agencies to actively solicit input from local governments and school districts during the regulatory and rulemaking process.
The Governor indicated that current administrative requirements already provide for adequate input by stakeholders, but that he will call for a review of current procedures to ensure that stakeholders are given the appropriate consideration.
Tax Reform Update
Yesterday, Congress voted on the conference report for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1).
This bill was just repassed by the House this afternoon because of three provisions that would have reportedly violated the "Byrd Rule" in the Senate, including one that would allow tax credits for homeschooling.
These provisions were removed from the conference report, requiring the House to vote on this bill again, which they have done. The "Byrd Rule" prohibits legislation that would increase the deficit after a certain time period. Barring additional technical issues, this should complete the votes on the bill, and allow it to advance.
NYSSBA's Governmental Relations team will keep you up to date on these and other issues.
For more information, visit our Key Issues Page, and be sure to follow NYSSBA on Facebook and Twitter.