senate Bill S4476

Establishes a government employee benefit fee for state employees

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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  • 06 / Apr / 2011
    • REFERRED TO FINANCE
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO FINANCE

Summary

Establishes a government employee benefit fee for state employees; establishes a state government employee benefit fund.

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Bill Details

Versions:
S4476
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Senate Finance
Law Section:
State Finance Law
Laws Affected:
Add §92-o, St Fin L; add Art 13-A §190, Civ Serv L

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S4476

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the state finance
law and
the civil service law,
in relation to government employee benefit payments

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
This bill requires the state of New
York (by means of implementation of the president of the civil
service commission), to establish and collect a non wage benefit
contribution fee, from all their government employees, equal to 5% of
an employee's salary. The proceeds of such fee would be deposited
into a state fund, under the joint custody of the comptroller and the
president of civil service. Disbursements from the fund would be paid
at the direction of the governing body of the municipal corporation,
or the president of civil service for the state, for any non wage
benefit cost incurred by such government.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1 - Legislative findings and declarations.

Section 2 - Adds §92-o to the State Finance Law creating the
Government employee benefit fund and the special accounts of New York
State and all local government entities that choose to opt-in to the
use of the fund by implementing the Government Employment benefit
fee. Directs the powers of the State Comptroller and President of
Civil Service over the fund.

Section 3 - Adds Article 13-A to the Civil Service Law §190 creating
the Government employment benefit fee for employees of the State of
New York. Non-wage benefits are defined to include health care,
insurance, pension, parking, day care, educational and other benefits
up to 5% of the employee's gross wages per pay period. Provides that
the fees collected shall be deposited into the government employee
benefit fund, presided over by the State Comptroller. Directs the
powers of the State Comptroller and President of Civil Service over
the fund.

Section 4- Sets the enacting date.

JUSTIFICATION:
Real Property Taxes in New York State are too high, and the burden
they place upon citizens, homeowners and businesses, is making it
difficult for New York State to thrive, prosper and succeed. The only
way to realistically reduce the real property tax burden upon our
citizens, homeowners and businesses, is to place a comprehensive
approach in State law which controls costs and spending for local
governments, and provides significant mandate relief with respect to
their fiscal obligations. Real property tax relief and local
government mandate reform must be achieved by establishing a
comprehensive approach to reduce real property taxes across the
state, the controlling government costs, and providing significant
mandate relief to local governments.


Health insurance costs have been one of the fastest growing components
of municipal budgets. For example, between 2002 and 2008, health
insurance expenses for cities and villages grew by 40% and 61%,
respectively.
Additionally, in many municipalities, the cost of retiree health
insurance exceeds the cost of health insurance for active employees.
In fact, a recent report of the Empire Center for New York State
Policy estimates that the total unfunded retiree health care
liability for New York's local governments and school districts
(including New York City) is $130.4 billion.

Municipalities are currently facing increases ranging from 25% to 40%
in pension contributions for 2011 and 2012, and the predictions for
2013 and beyond are just as ominous. According to a survey conducted
by the New York State Conference of Mayors (NYCOM), total pension
costs for cities are projected to rise from $203 million in 2010 to
$457 in 2015. A recent report by the Empire Center for New York State
Policy estimates that state and local employer contributions will
more than double over the next five years, adding nearly $4 billion
to annual taxpayer costs.

Public employers can no longer foot the bill for generous pension and
health insurance benefits. This legislation would provide a mechanism
to protect taxpayers by ensuring that all public employees contribute
toward the cost of their non-wage benefits, thereby giving municipal
employers the ability to fund essential public services.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
This is a new bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None to the State.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect immediately.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  4476

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              April 6, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen. MARTINS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Finance

AN ACT to amend the state finance law and  the  civil  service  law,  in
  relation to government employee benefit payments

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1.  Legislative findings and declarations.    The  legislature
hereby  finds  and determines that real property taxes in New York state
are too high, and that the burden that they  place  upon  our  citizens,
homeowners  and businesses, is making it difficult for New York state to
thrive, prosper and succeed.
  The legislature further finds and determines  that  the  only  way  to
realistically  reduce  the  real  property tax burden upon our citizens,
homeowners and businesses, is to place a comprehensive approach in state
law which  controls  costs  and  spending  for  local  governments,  and
provides  significant  mandate relief with respect to their fiscal obli-
gations.
  The legislature additionally finds and determines that a comprehensive
approach of capping property taxes,  controlling  governmental  employee
benefit costs, and providing significant mandate relief to local govern-
ments  will  promote  the controlling of the cost and spending for local
governments, as well as helping to provide  significant  mandate  relief
with respect to their future fiscal obligations.
  The legislature finally finds and determines that this act seeks to be
a  part of a comprehensive approach to reduce real property taxes across
the state by controlling of governmental employee benefit costs and  the
provision of significant mandate relief to local governments.
  S  2. The state finance law is amended by adding a new section 92-o to
read as follows:
  S 92-O. STATE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE BENEFIT FUND. 1.   THERE  IS  HEREBY
CREATED  IN THE JOINT CUSTODY OF THE STATE COMPTROLLER AND THE PRESIDENT

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD10712-01-1

S. 4476                             2

OF THE STATE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, A STATE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE BENE-
FIT FUND.
  2. SUCH FUND SHALL CONSIST OF THE REVENUES DERIVED FROM THE GOVERNMENT
EMPLOYEE  BENEFIT  FEE  COLLECTED  BY  THE STATE OF NEW YORK PURSUANT TO
ARTICLE THIRTEEN-A OF THE CIVIL SERVICE LAW, TOGETHER  WITH  SUCH  ADDI-
TIONAL  VOLUNTARY  PAYMENTS  MADE  TO THE FUND PURSUANT TO ARTICLE THIR-
TEEN-A OF THE CIVIL SERVICE LAW.
  3. FOLLOWING THE APPROPRIATION OF THE  LEGISLATURE,  MONIES  FROM  THE
FUND SHALL BE USED, UPON CERTIFICATION BY THE STATE COMPTROLLER, FOR THE
PAYMENT  OF  ANY  PUBLIC EMPLOYEE BENEFIT EXPENSE INCURRED BY THE STATE.
FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION,  AN  EMPLOYEE  BENEFIT  EXPENSE  SHALL
INCLUDE  ANY EXPENSE DERIVED FROM THE PROVISION OF ANY NON-WAGE BENEFIT,
INCLUDING HEALTH CARE BENEFITS, INSURANCE  BENEFITS,  PENSION  BENEFITS,
PARKING  BENEFITS,  DAY CARE BENEFITS, EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS OR ANY OTHER
BENEFIT PROVIDED TO A PUBLIC EMPLOYEE AS RECOGNIZED BY THE PRESIDENT  OF
THE  STATE  CIVIL  SERVICE COMMISSION PURSUANT TO REGULATION. PAYMENT OF
THE MONIES OF THE FUND SHALL BE MADE BY THE STATE COMPTROLLER,  DIRECTLY
TO  THE  STATE,  PURSUANT  TO DIRECTION OF THE APPROPRIATION MADE BY THE
LEGISLATURE. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE STATE COMPTROLLER  MAKE  ANY  PAYMENT
FROM  THE  FUND, IF THE MONIES CONTAINED IN SUCH FUND, DO NOT EXCEED THE
AMOUNT OF THE PAYMENT OR PAYMENTS TO BE MADE TO THE PROVIDER OR  PROVID-
ERS OF THE EMPLOYEE BENEFITS.
  S  3. The civil service law is amended by adding a new article 13-A to
read as follows:
                              ARTICLE 13-A
                  GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE BENEFIT PAYMENTS
SECTION 190. GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE BENEFIT FEE.
  S 190. GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE BENEFIT FEE. 1. THE STATE OF NEW YORK SHALL
HEREBY ESTABLISH A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE BENEFIT FEE. SUCH FEE  IS  TO  BE
DEDUCTED  FROM  EACH  EMPLOYEE  OF THE STATE GOVERNMENT WHO RECEIVES ANY
NON-WAGE BENEFIT FROM THEIR EMPLOYMENT. FOR PURPOSES  OF  THIS  SECTION,
THE  TERM  "NON-WAGE BENEFIT" SHALL INCLUDE HEALTH CARE BENEFITS, INSUR-
ANCE BENEFITS, PENSION BENEFITS, PARKING BENEFITS,  DAY  CARE  BENEFITS,
EDUCATIONAL  BENEFITS  OR  ANY  OTHER  BENEFIT  PROVIDED  TO SUCH PUBLIC
EMPLOYEE AS RECOGNIZED BY THE PRESIDENT PURSUANT TO  REGULATION.    SUCH
FEE, WHICH SHALL BE IN ADDITION TO ANY OTHER DEDUCTIONS OR FEES CURRENT-
LY  ALLOWED  BY  LAW,  SHALL BE DETERMINED PURSUANT TO REGULATION ESTAB-
LISHED BY THE PRESIDENT. SUCH FEE SHALL NOT BE IN EXCESS OF FIVE PERCENT
OF THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE'S GROSS WAGES, AND SHALL BE DEDUCTED IN EQUAL
AMOUNTS PER PAY PERIOD.
  2. UPON THE ISSUANCE OF THE REGULATION OF  THE  PRESIDENT  DETERMINING
THE  AMOUNT  OF THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE BENEFIT FEE, THE PRESIDENT SHALL
NOTIFY THE STATE COMPTROLLER, IN WRITING, OF THE ESTABLISHMENT  OF  SUCH
FEE.  UPON  THE  ESTABLISHMENT  OF  SUCH FEE, COMMENCING ON THE FIRST OF
JANUARY AFTER THE ESTABLISHMENT OF SUCH FEE, AND THEN EVERY NINETY  DAYS
THEREAFTER, THE STATE COMPTROLLER SHALL PROVIDE FOR THE QUARTERLY TRANS-
FER  OF  ALL  MONIES  COLLECTED  FROM  SUCH FEE, TO THE STATE GOVERNMENT
EMPLOYEE BENEFIT FUND FOR DEPOSIT  IN  THE  SPECIAL  STATE  ACCOUNT  FOR
DEPOSIT  WITHIN SUCH FUND. THE STATE, UPON APPROPRIATION BY THE LEGISLA-
TURE, MAY ALSO TRANSFER ADDITIONAL  MONIES,  IN  EXCESS  OF  THE  MONIES
COLLECTED  FROM  THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE BENEFIT FEE, TO THE STATE COMP-
TROLLER, FOR DEPOSIT IN THE STATE'S SPECIAL  ACCOUNT  WITHIN  THE  STATE
GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE BENEFIT FUND.
  3.  THE PRESIDENT MAY, IN WRITING, DIRECT THE STATE COMPTROLLER TO PAY
SPECIFIED EMPLOYEE BENEFIT COSTS INCURRED BY THE STATE, FROM THE STATE'S
SPECIAL ACCOUNT WITHIN THE STATE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE  BENEFIT  FUND,  TO

S. 4476                             3

THE  PROVIDER  OR PROVIDERS OF SUCH NON-WAGE BENEFITS. IN NO EVENT SHALL
THE STATE COMPTROLLER MAKE ANY PAYMENT FROM THE SPECIAL ACCOUNT, IF  THE
MONIES  CONTAINED  WITHIN SUCH SPECIAL ACCOUNT, DO NOT EXCEED THE AMOUNT
OF  THE  PAYMENT  OR PAYMENTS TO BE MADE BY THE STATE COMPTROLLER TO THE
PROVIDER OR PROVIDERS OF THE EMPLOYEE BENEFITS.
  4. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW  TO  THE  CONTRARY,  ANY
GOVERNMENT  EMPLOYEE  BENEFIT  FEE ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION,
AND ANY COLLECTION OF SUCH FEE BY THE STATE,  SHALL  NOT  BE  DEEMED  TO
CONSTITUTE,  BE SUBJECT TO, OR BE IN VIOLATION OF, ANY TERM OR CONDITION
OF EMPLOYMENT, WITH RESPECT TO ARTICLE FOURTEEN OF THIS CHAPTER.
  S 4. This act shall take effect immediately.

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