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RPEA’s Legislative Update

The FY 2021 State Budget was enacted on April 3, 2020. RPEA prevailed regarding the two budget issues which would have reduced benefits for those retirees who receive health insurance through the New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP).

The Legislature rejected the Governor’s proposals to:

  • Cap Medicare reimbursement, and
  • Eliminate IRMAA reimbursement.

RPEA was also successful regarding two of our priority items:

  • The Legislature did not take action on bills which would have diminished the fiduciary responsibility of the State Comptroller as the SOLE TRUSTEE of the pension fund.
  • Nor did they pass the New York Health Act (also known as single payer/Medicare for All).

Because of the uncertainty in estimating state revenues due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Governor is authorized to cut state spending on a quarterly basis, subject to a 10 day notice to the Legislature. The Legislature is also authorized to adopt its own spending plan. Additionally, the Dormitory Authority and the Urban Development Corporation are authorized to issue up to $11 billion in bonds to cover the revenue shortfall resulting from moving the tax payment deadline from April 15 to July, and other financial needs.

COVID-19 has put the remainder of the session on hold, for now. Legislation was passed to authorize “remote voting,” which was used to adopt the budget. The legislative leaders have stated that there remains “unfinished business,” but there are currently no plans for the Legislature to re-convene.

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