I just returned from Albany after 5 days up there.
I am sure you know that the Single Payer Legislation died in both houses and I can tell you it died because of the pressure we mounted on all the legislators.
All of those legislators that were pushing it were told that there was much pressure from the Public Employees to not do it.
The DiNapoli letter I sent you regarding the single payer legislation was a huge help for us.
It is not over because they will try it again next year. This will be a topic of discussion at our Conference.
Unfortunately our two Court bills did not go.
S5964 Gounardes Allows continuous service for peace officers of the unified court system who were laid off for economy reasons.
I met with counsels from both houses and their reason for not doing it was that they have never done a bill to allow employees to buy back time that they did not work.
The only exception was veterans buy back bills. They asked me if I could site one case where that was allowed and I had many people checking and we could not come up with any.
S5630 Gounardes Relates to age and service eligibility requirements for ordinary retirement for members of the unified court system.
It passed the Assembly 148 votes yes to 1 vote no
Was not able to get it passed through the Senate.
Their reason to me was it has been vetoed many times in the past and the Governor would most likely veto it again.
We were fortunate to get many COVID related bills passed which does effect your members. I will be compiling a list of all those bills.
Suffice it to say it was a difficult year and everything points to all going back to normal next year.
The other important success was getting the Senate and the Assembly to take out of the Governors budget the doing away with the reimbursement of Medicare & IRMMA which is extremely important to your retires.
We were successful in getting the Senate and the Assembly to put it in their one house budgets thereby recognizing the importance of this benefit and they agreed to absorb the cost of this important benefit
I had received many calls on the Single Payer and the Medicare reimbursement from retirees and active members.
Unfortunately, as long as Cuomo is Governor pension and disability bills in most cases will be vetoed.
Peter D. Meringolo