State legislation report 2013 – June 24, 2013

Bills that SEIU Local 200United supported that passed both the Senate and Assembly:

Developmental disabilities funding restored
A6692C/S4777D- Restores up to $90 million in funds for agencies that serve people with developmental disabilities. This is intended to insure that cuts adopted in the budget do not affect direct services and appropriates funds if the cost savings cannot be achieved by a plan to reduce administrative costs and audit Medicaid billings. So while it is a significant victory in our fight against budget cuts, there will still be efforts by the state to reduce spending through restraints on administrative costs in agencies.
Passed both Senate and Assembly

Casino Gaming
A8101/S5883- Authorizes the licensing of casinos in New York if an amendment to the constitution is approved by a referendum. It also implements the terms of recent agreements between New York State and three Native American tribes to resolve disputes about existing gaming operations. This bill was modified to include provisions that SEIU 200Uniited supported and that are intended to protect and assist the existing “racino” gaming operations at Batavia Downs and Finger Lakes Gaming. It also includes for the first time regulation of out of state advance deposit wagering operations that unfairly compete with New York State OTB betting.
Passed both Senate and Assembly

Minimum wage increased
A38- increases the minimum wage to $9.00 per hour.
Passed Assembly, still in Senate Labor committee.
However, an increase in the minimum wage was adopted as part of the state budget. Not all of the provisions of the original bill were adopted, so although the increase is a good thing, it is phased in over three years and there are some exclusions that we do not support. The minimum wage will increase as follows:
2014- $8.00 per hour
2015- $8.75 per hour
2016- $9.00 per hour

Other bills that SEIU Local 200United supported:
A7482A/S5338- requires that service workers employed by contractors of public utilities be paid a fair wage based on prevailing rates in that area.
Passed Assembly, still in Senate Labor Committee.

A1792A/1743B- Guarantees basic labor rights for farmworkers, including the right to collective bargaining and sanitary working conditions.
Passed Assembly, still in Senate Labor Committee.

A5958/S1491- Enacts the New York State Fair Pay act to prohibit discrimination in wages based on sex, race or national origin.
Passed Assembly, still in Senate Finance Committee.

S5830- Requires companies that run multistate advance deposit wagering and that do business in New York to register and be regulated by the state.
This bill was incorporated into the casino gaming bill A8101/S5883 and adopted as part of that bill.

A8076/S5835- Helps racino gaming operations in Western New York to cope with the impact of the recent agreement between New York State and the Seneca Nation by giving the racinos improved vendor fees, capitol allowances and marketing funds.
This bill was partially incorporated into the casino gaming bill and those parts of the bill were adopted as part of A8101/S5883.

Election law reform
SEIU Local 200United supports a reform of state election laws to reduce the unfair influence of big corporations and wealthy donors. The current system is undemocratic and leads to corruption. We support the establishment of a system where small contributions from actual people are matched from a public fund to allow average citizens make their voice heard. Various bills to accomplish these goals were introduced in 2013 but as of this date, none have passed both houses.

The scheduled session of the New York State legislature ended on June 22, 2013. It is possible that the legislature may return at some point later in the year, at which point further action could be taken on bills, but no session is currently scheduled. Bills that have passed both the Senate and Assembly do not become law until they are signed by the Governor. Bills will be delivered to the Governor over the next few months. He can sign or veto them once they are delivered to his office.

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