Legislature Concludes 2021 Session
The legislature wrapped up their scheduled 2021 session during the overnight hours, as the Assembly adjourned their work shortly after 4am. The Senate had previously concluded their work for the season at about 9:30pm last night.
Following a productive state budget with record levels of education funding for most school districts, the end of the legislative session was somewhat light on issues that affect school districts, school boards and K-12 public education.
As a reminder, you can view our enacted state budget analysis here:
Lead Testing in School Drinking Water
Of note, both the Senate and Assembly passed a bill this week that makes adjustments to the existing lead in school potable water testing program, originally enacted in 2016. The bill lowers the acceptable level of lead from 0.015 milligrams per liter (mg/L) to 0.005 mg/L. Remediation costs would be newly supported by state environmental clean water infrastructure funds. NYSSBA Governmental Relations staff, along with our partners at NYSCOSS, ASBO-NY, NYSSFA and the BOCES Educational Consortium, worked diligently to ensure that the final version of the bill was as realistic and practical for school districts as possible. The bill has not yet been delivered to the Governor for his review.
Both the Senate and Assembly also allocated their "bullet aid" funding this week. Bullet aid is non-formula based grant funding that is distributed to school districts, libraries and other non-profits across the state directly by the legislature. There is no formal application process. It is political in nature and districts are not guaranteed to receive bullet aid.
NYSSBA Governmental Relations staff is in the process of drafting a comprehensive summary of legislation that NYSSBA supported or opposed, and other notable bills, from this session. We expect to email that summary out next week.
NYSSBA's Governmental Relations team will continue to report on these and other issues. For more information, visit our Key Issues Page.