senate Bill S4515

2011-2012 Legislative Session

Prohibits public employers from diminishing the health insurance benefits and contributions of retired public employees

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 04, 2012 referred to insurance
Apr 08, 2011 referred to insurance

Co-Sponsors

S4515 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A6536
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Insurance
Versions Introduced in 2011-2012 Legislative Session:
A6536

S4515 - Bill Texts

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Prohibits public employers from diminishing the health insurance benefits and contributions of retired public employees in the New York state and local employees' retirement system.

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BILL NUMBER:S4515

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
prohibiting public employers from diminishing the health insurance
benefits and contributions of retired public employees in the New York
state and local employees' retirement system

PURPOSE OF BILL:
To protect the health insurance benefits of State and
local public government retirees and their dependents.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS OF BILL:

This bill would provide that governmental employers would be
prohibited from providing retired members of the New York State and
Local Employee Retirement System and their dependents a diminished
level of health insurance benefits than the level of such benefits
provided to corresponding active public employees. The bill would
apply only to retired members of the New York State and Local
Employees' Retirement System and their dependents. Collective
bargaining agreements would take precedence over this prohibition and
there would be no requirement that governmental entities offer health
insurance benefits if they are not currently provided.

EXISTING LAW:

Chapter 729 of the Laws of 1994 contained a similar prohibition
against diminishing the health insurance benefits of school district
retirees below the level of benefits provided to active district
employees. Chapter 729 originally was a temporary measure renewed
annually, but was made permanent by Chapter 504 of the Laws of 2009
(Part B, ยง 15).

JUSTIFICATION:

Health insurance coverage is of tremendous importance to retirees and
their dependents.
This bill creates a uniform standard of protection which applies to
both active and retired employees and their dependents, unless
covered by a union contract. Retirees have no other protection as
they have no ability, once retired, to bargain for benefits they were
promised when they were hired.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

Similar bills have been introduced since 1996. They have been passed
by the Legislature and vetoed from 1999 through 2008. In 2008, the
proposal was joined with the creation of a Legislative Task Force
(S.6457-A; Veto
113). On February 20, 2009, Governor Paterson
established a Task Force on Public Employee Retirement Health Care
Benefits (Executive Order
15).

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:


Minimal since the existing level of benefits
would be continued.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
Immediately upon enactment.

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

                                  4515

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              April 8, 2011
                               ___________

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

AN ACT prohibiting public employers from diminishing the  health  insur-
  ance benefits and contributions of retired public employees in the New
  York state and local employees' retirement system

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

  Section 1. On and after the effective  date  of  this  act,  a  public
employer shall be prohibited from diminishing the health insurance bene-
fits  provided  to  public employee retirees and their dependents or the
contributions such employer makes for  such  health  insurance  coverage
below the level of such benefits or contributions made on behalf of such
retirees  and  their  dependents by such employer unless a corresponding
diminution of benefits or contributions is effected from  the  level  of
benefits  or  contributions  provided to a corresponding group of active
employees for such retirees.
  S 2. For purposes of this act, "public  employee  retirees  and  their
dependents"  shall  mean  retired members and dependents of the New York
state and local employees' retirement system.
  S 3. For purposes of  this  act,  "public  employer"  shall  mean  the
following:  (i)  the  state; (ii) a county, city, town or village; (iii)
any governmental entity operating a college or university; (iv) a public
improvement or special district; (v) a public authority,  commission  or
public  benefit corporation; or (vi) any other public corporation, agen-
cy, instrumentality or unit of government which  exercises  governmental
power under the laws of this state.
  S  4.  Nothing  contained  in this act shall supersede or diminish the
terms of a collective bargaining agreement.
  S 5. Nothing contained in this act shall  require  a  public  employer
which  does  not provide health insurance benefits to retirees and their
dependents as of the effective date of this act to offer such benefits.
  S 6. This act shall take effect immediately.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD10282-01-1

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