Legislative update from Lobbyist Peter Meringolo

PAC News
April 4, 2022

The legislators had gone home for the weekend and were to hold conferences throughout the weekend on budget items. They were supposed to be headed back to Albany on Sunday and it is anticipated that they will complete the budget by Thursday this week.


The sticking points are still with bail reform.  The Governor earlier in March proposed a 10-point "public safety Package" which would reverse elements of New York's landmark 2019 bail reform law, 2019discovery reform law, and 2017 Raise the Age law, among other statutes.


While the Governor may not get everything she wants it is anticipated she will get most of it.  She was more concerned with getting bail reform than she was with an on-time budget because she had committed to bail reform.  What we need to be watching for is that no items are inserted into the budget that would be detrimental to public employees. Now is when the so-called "horse-trading goes on"  The Senate will be asking for items in return for giving the Governor what she wants. While there is much conversation around why is she inserting money for a new Buffalo Bills Stadium, she needs that as well if she is going to win Erie County.


As of this email, I can once again report that the budget will most likely not address any tier equity issues, That as I stated will hopefully be done during the remainder of the legislative session.  I will continue to monitor the situation as it unfolds this year.  There continue to be some off-the-wall proposals by legislators in the Assembly who are opposed to any bail reform.  They want no changes at all and are making ridiculous proposals.


Update on our legislation, and the bills we are most interested in are as follows;


A6634  Tier 6 Uniformed Courts Retirement: Relates to age and service eligibility requirements for ordinary retirement for members of the unified court system; restores 55/30 for all members; reduces the retirement age from 63 to 62.

             1/12/22 Reintroduced  by Assemblyman Peter Abbate

             2/15/22 Reported out of Assembly Governmental Employees and referred to Ways &Means.

S5630   1/5/22    Reintroduced by Senator Andrew Gounardes

                           Currently in Civil Service & Pensions Committee


A6365  Relates to accidental disability retirement for uniformed court officers and peace officers employed in the unified court system.

             1/12/22  Reintroduced by Assemblyman Peter Abbate

              2/15/22 Reported out of Assembly Governmental Employees and referred to Ways &Means 

S8399   2/23/22  Introduced by Senator Robert Jackson

                          Currently in Civil Service & Pensions Committee


A9401 Consolidation of the Unified Court System.       

            3/1/22   Introduced and referred to Committee on Assembly by Judiciary Assemblyman Charles Lavine

            3/7/22    Sent to Attorney General for Opinion

S8424  2/28/22  Introduced and referred to Committee on Senate Judiciary by Senator Brad Hoylman

**  As previously stated as of now both bills do not have companions.  Usually, each bill would have the same as in the opposite house.

     While both bills seem to do the same I find it interesting that they are not linked together.  The Lavine bill states it was submitted at the request of the Chief Judge while the Hoylman bill does not say that.


We need to take this bill seriously and assume that the Chief Judge wants this done.  No doubt the Chief Judge is going all out to achieve this goal. We need to send our letter again to all members of the Judicial Committee as we did in 2019. I will work on it and send it to all Presidents’ to obtain all your signatures. 

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