Advocacy Update: State Budget Update

April 1, 2021

Midnight passed last night with no state budget deal in place. Negotiations continue and much work still remains to be done. As of this email, just three of ten budget bills have been printed and just one of those three bills has been passed by both the Senate and Assembly. None of those three bills have much relevance to school districts specifically or education in general.

At this point, full passage of the state budget prior to this weekend seems unlikely. Negotiations and passage of budget bills extending into next week certainly seems possible. NYSSBA continues to engage on a number of budget priorities and will do so until the final budget bills are printed. We also encourage you to continue to participate in our Budget Priorities Take Action campaign and share your districts' needs and concerns with your local legislators.

School Vote and Election Update

Yesterday, the Assembly passed A.6475 (Bronson), which would include COVID-19 within the definition of "illness" for school district absentee ballot purposes. The Senate passed the companion bill, S.5545 (Mayer), on Tuesday.

NYSSBA has worked closely with legislators, and our partners at NYSCOSS, in hopes of actively avoiding the challenges and difficulties associated with last year's budget vote and board election process. This legislation would effectively maintain in-person voting, while providing voters with the option to obtain an absentee ballot, due to COVID-19. The absentee ballot allowance would be upon application only, following the traditional absentee ballot process, and matching with all other current non-school district elections in the state. The legislation would only be in effect for the 2021 calendar year.

The bill must still be delivered to the Governor for his review, but we are hopeful that will occur soon. The Governor's Office has previously expressed support for this issue.

NYSSBA's Governmental Relations team will continue to report on these and other issues.  For more information, visit our Key Issues Page

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