Legislative Activity April 26, 2010

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    The New York State Senate Democratic Majority passed nine pieces of legislation today including emergency budget appropriations to protect vital services New Yorkers rely on.
     
    S7605 / S7606: These bills enact an emergency spending plan enabling various state agencies and departments to continue payments to preserve essential functions of government for the period April 1, 2010 through May 2, 2010.
     
    Appropriations include, but are not limited to:
    · $2.57 billion mandated payments to schools for General Aid Payments.
    · $2.5 billion for local providers of the Medical Assistance Program including:
    · $1.45 billion for payments to Medicaid providers including:

    • $900 million for medical services provided by State facilities operated by OMH, OMRDD and OASAS.
    • $311 million for nursing home services.
    • 261 million for managed care services.
    • $234 million for long term care services.
    • $172 million for hospital inpatient services.
    • $137 million for pharmacy services
    • $67 million for non-institutional and other spending.
    • $30 million for outpatient and emergency room services
    • $29 million for clinical services
    • $12 million for transportation services
    • $7 million for dental services

     

    · $105.4 million for indigent care funding to providers.
    · $38 million in Health Care Reform Act funding to offset Medicaid costs.
    · $22.7 million for Supplemental Medical Insurance, including Medicare part B premiums, physician services, outpatient services, medical equipment, supplies and other health service.
    · $202 million for Unemployment Insurance Benefits.
    · $162 million for state employees including troopers, guardsmen, corrections officers, nurses and social service workers who care for our veterans, homeless, and disabled.
    · $15.77 million for the Social Security Contribution Fund.
    · $80 million for capital contracts for transportation agencies funded through ARRA (continues the appropriation enacted in the previous emergency spending bills) including:

    • $40 million for contracts approved prior to April 1, 2010 where payments must be made during the period from April 1, 2010 to May 2, 2010.
    • $40 million for contracts approved in the period from April 1, 2010 to May 2, 2010 where payments must be made during the same period.


    · $40 million for transportation capital construction projects that are 100% federally funded and do not have any State share of funding (applies only to construction contracts approved prior to April 1, 2010 to allow payment of liabilities incurred through May 2, 2010 excluding liabilities funded by ARRA).
    · $10 million for emergency health and safety projects (same as previous 3 extenders) to ensure the safety of citizens across the state isn’t put in jeopardy by needless delays to capital improvements.


     
    S6720 (Stewart-Cousins) / A10060 (Pretlow): Allows the issuance of serial bonds or notes by the city of Yonkers. The authorization for Yonkers to negotiate the private sale of its bonds or notes is vital to improving the city's financial stability and independence. The City's bonding authority will expire on June 30, 2010 unless it is extended one year.
     
    S5172A (Dilan) / A4467A (Brodsky): Permits certain students enrolled in school, with parental consent, to serve as election inspectors or poll clerks at elections under the election or education law. Students who serve in this role during hours of school session will be recorded as in attendance. This legislation would help reduce the widespread election worker shortages while providing an excellent hands-on learning experience of democracy in action for our state's young adults.
     
    S6833 (Stachowski) / A9941 (Schimminger): Permits the county of Erie to market serial bonds at private sale through June 30, 2011. Recent swings in the stock market and confusion and uncertainty in the credit market mandate the need for greater flexibility in the marketing of bonds. The purpose of this legislation is to provide Erie County with sufficient flexibility in its bond sales to maximize its return on bonds sold.
     
    S6862 (Thompson) / A9951 (Schimminger): Extends authorization for private sale of bonds and notes of the city of Buffalo to include serial bonds or notes issued on or before June 30, 2011. The present law, which expires shortly, has given the City of Buffalo a valuable tool to provide expeditious funds for projects which require immediate attention. Since this law has already proven its usefulness, an extension of one year would provide the City with enough financial flexibility to encounter any further needs in that time frame. This bill incorporates, by reference, the newly created Buffalo Fiscal Stability Authority.
     
    S5266 (Montgomery) / A8418 (Scarborough): Relates to notification procedures for the transfer of a child from one foster home to another and permits transfer without prior notice in certain circumstances. The purpose of this bill is to ensure that the family court, the respondent's attorney and the respondent, and the child's attorney and the child, in any proceeding brought to the Family Court Act are given prior notice of any change in a child's foster care placement, so that, upon the court's own application or an application by the respondent parent/guardian or the child's attorney, the court can review the commissioner's decision.
     
    S6673 (Serrano) / A9545 (Cook): Authorizes the commissioner of economic development together with the commissioner of agriculture and markets to devise a program to promote and distribute statewide and regional guides to farms, farmers markets and other agriculturally significant tourist destinations. Farmers' markets, farm stands, farm tours, hay rides, harvest festivals and other agricultural enterprises are crucial to the economic survival of farming in many areas of the state. The purpose of this legislation is to promote farmers and farmers’ markets as part of the “I Love New York” tourism campaign.
     
    S5896C (Klein) / A9784B (Gianaris): This bill requires that all companies that offer distressed property consulting services as defined by law, must include a statement that alerts consumers that the services that they provide can often be provided for free through housing counselors funded by New York state. It also requires that these companies must provide the number of the New York state Banking Department as part of the consumer disclosure statement.