Wednesday, January 2, 2019
ASBO scored two legislative successes at the end of December as the Legislature sent over to the Governor the last batch of bills to be acted upon before the end of the year.
First, the Governor signed legislation (S.8995 Seward/A.11014 Cook) that would allow school districts with 51-100 employees to remain in their health insurance consortiums. The bill proposed a 5-year extender, but the Governor's office would not agree to that so the Legislature will pass a Chapter Amendment early this year to reduce it to a 2-year extender until 2021 (will know for sure when we see Chapter Amendment language). A Chapter Amendment is an agreement between the Governor and the Legislature to change bill language to avoid a veto and starting over from the beginning. ASBO worked very hard on this bill with Terri Crowley of Hinman Straub, the lobbying firm retained by the BOCES.
Second, the Governor vetoed legislation (S.6686 Ranzenhofer/A.7945 Kim) that would have allowed contractors to sue school districts (and other local governments) for unreasonable delays in construction projects caused by the public entity. ASBO vigorously lobbied against this bill and other pro-contractor bills during the Legislative Session.
As expected, the Governor also vetoed two bills impacting BOCES. The first bill (S.7730 Murphy/A.9825 Galef) would have exempted school district share of BOCES capital projects from the tax cap and the second bill (S.3203 DeFrancisco/A.2112 Nolan) would have raised the salary cap for BOCES superintendents.
Also in the Legislature, we have two new chairs of the Education Committees, Senator Shelly Mayer (D-Yonkers) and Assembly member Michael Benedetto (D-Bronx). We look forward to working with both new chairs as we advance our 2019-20 School Aid Proposal and 2019 Legislative Priorities.