2017 Legislative Agenda Taking Shape

2017 Legislative Agenda Takes Shape

Six weeks into the legislative session, nearly all of our agenda has been introduced in each house. For the three bills that show as introduced in only one house, we have sponsors to introduce them in the other house. It’s just a matter of processing the introductions. Since this is a new legislature, all prior year bills have to be re-introduced and receive a new bill number. To see the agenda with the new bill numbers for this session click here.

Additionally, we are receiving positive feedback from legislators in opposition to Governor Cuomo’s onerous proposals to cut Medicare reimbursement and eliminate IRMAA payments for retirees in the New York State Health Insurance Plan. If you have not yet reached out to your legislator on these budget issues, please do so. For a sample letter or talking point, Click Here. To obtain contact information for your legislator click here.

As reported previously, Kevin Cleary has been retained as our lobbyist for the 2017 session. Kevin will be collaborating with colleagues Tim Sheridan and David Langdon on our issues. Both have extensive legislative experience in the capitol. All three attended our recent Board of Directors meeting, and we look forward to a successful session.

RPEA in the News

The Albany Times Union recently published two Letters to the Editor submitted by RPEA. To see the letters Click Here and Here.

RPEA is the only organization whose sole purpose is to represent retired public employees. When the opportunity is right, and the situation so warrants, we also speak out on behalf of all retirees.

Constitutional Convention Opposition Grows

At our fall Annual Meeting, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli was the first statewide elected official to come out in opposition to convening a convention to amend the state constitution. Now, he has been joined by the two legislative leaders, as Senator John Flanagan and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie have come out against having a convention.

On the ballot this Novembers, voters will be asked if they want to convene a convention to amend the state constitution. This ballot question is required to be asked every 20 years.

Two very important provisions are contained in the existing constitution: (1) our pension cannot be reduced; (2) our pension is exempt from New York State income tax. If a convention were to be convened, it could take up any issue it decided to. Accordingly, RPEA opposes the convening of a convention, and urges everyone to vote “NO”.