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Legislative Bulletin: Assembly and Senate Housing Hearings Underway

Assembly and Senate Housing Hearings Underway

On Thursday, May 9, the New York State Senate and Assembly each held public hearings regarding affordable housing. The Assembly Standing Committee on Housing’s hearing was held in Albany and focused on “Rental Housing and Tenant Protections.” Commissioner of New York State Homes and Community Renewal, RuthAnne Visnauskas, testified at length about existing tenant protection laws and further protections that could be enacted. Many of the Assembly Members and witnesses focused on strengthening rent control and stabilization laws and discussed a bill that would allow localities throughout the state to opt-in to the rent control system. Assembly Members and witnesses also discussed the possible enactment of a good cause eviction bill that would strengthen tenant protections at the expiration of their lease period and in the case of a change in ownership of their property. The Assembly held its third, and final, hearing on rental housing in Rochester today.

Yesterday evening, the New York State Senate held a hearing on “Rent Regulation and Tenant Protection Legislation” in Syracuse, New York. The proposal of a good cause eviction bill was discussed at length by the Senators and witnesses as a potential means of empowering tenants to request repairs or contact Code Enforcement without fear of retaliation by their landlords. The Senate will be holding three additional hearings on tenant protection legislation on May 16th in Brooklyn, May 22nd in Albany, and May 23rd in Newburgh. Oral testimony at these hearings is by invitation only.

 

Rally Recap - Senior Housing NOW

Over 1,000 advocates from across the country joined together on the west lawn of the U.S. Capital on Wednesday to rally for the preservation and expansion of affordable housing for older adults. The hour-long rally was packed with energizing speeches from members of Congress and industry leaders. The rally stressed the importance of providing safe, affordable housing to the growing aging population.

Congressman William Lacy Clay of Missouri, Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, and Congresswoman Katie Hill of California all spoke at the rally, offering their support. Congresswoman Hill spoke of her experience working as a policy advocate for People Assisting the Homeless (PATH), a non-profit organization developing affordable and supportive services for the homeless in California. She explained that while the rate of homelessness overall has decreased, the rate of homelessness among the Senior population is undoubtedly on the rise, and that without investment in affordable senior housing the issue will only get worse.    

Although the rally sent a strong message to Congress, our work here is not yet done. We need to keep the pressure on if we want to see more funding for new senior housing. Please visit LeadingAge’s action alert page where you can call or email your members of Congress and ask for Senior Housing NOW!

 

Assembly Health Committee Announces Hearing on Rural Health Care

This week, the Assembly Standing Committee on Health announced that they will be holding a public hearing to gather information and input on rural health care and its unique challenges such as workforce recruitment and retention, emergency and non-emergency transportation and rate adequacy. The hearing is an opportunity for rural healthcare providers and stakeholders to voice their concerns and will be held on Friday, May 31st at 10 AM in Hearing Room C of the Legislative Office Building in Albany. LeadingAge New York plans to provide both oral and written testimony.

 

TBI-DD Bill Moves on to Senate Finance Committee

The Senate Health Committee reviewed and approved the TBI-DD Integration bill on Tuesday, reporting the bill out to the Senate Finance committee. The LeadingAge New York priority bill S.4805 (Ranzenhofer) would enable individuals with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) sustained after the age of 21 to access developmental disabilities (DD) services.

Click here to urge your Senator and other lawmakers to pass the TBI-DD Integration bill! If your Senator is a member of the Senate Finance Committee, be sure to let them know that you support TBI-DD Integration!

 

With Just 19 Session Days Left, Help Build Support for Key Priorities

As the end of session rapidly approaches, LeadingAge New York continues to push our legislative priorities and asks that you keep encouraging your lawmakers. Below, you will find a list of those priority bills and advocacy action tools that you can use to inform your legislators of our position:

  • CCRC Revitalization Act: S.1803 (Rivera) would reform CCRC laws and regulatory oversight, eliminating many of the current barriers to developing, expanding, and efficiently operating CCRCs in New York State. To contact your lawmakers through email and social media, please click here.
  • SSI Increase for ACFs:  S.2601 (Serino) would increase the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) reimbursement rate for adult care facilities (ACFs) by $20 per day per resident over five years, beginning April 1, 2019. Click here to send your lawmakers a pre-written letter or tweet urging their support.
  • Role of the Nurse in ACFs: S.1788 (Rivera) would allow all ACFs and assisted living providers that employ nurses the option to provide nursing services directly. Click here to engage with your legislators on this bill through email and social media.
  • Affordable Independent Senior Housing Assistance Program: A.4358 (Cymbrowitz)/S.4538 (Kavanagh) would establish an Affordable Independent Senior Housing Assistance Program to complement the State’s historic commitment of $125 million for senior housing capital and create a cost-effective model for seniors to age in place. Click here to encourage your lawmakers to co-sponsor this important legislation.
  • Prevailing Wage: A.1261 (Bronson)/S.1947 (Ramos) would impose public works “prevailing wage” requirements on most types of private sector projects receiving any level of financial support from state or local entities, increasing overall construction project costs by 15-20%. Click here to urge your legislators to exempt senior services providers from the legislation.

 

Join LeadingAge NY at Our Upcoming Annual Conference & Exposition!

Finally, if you have not already, there is still time to register for LeadingAge New York’s upcoming Annual Conference & Exposition! The conference, to be held at the Saratoga Hilton and Saratoga Springs City Center from Monday, May 20th to Wednesday, May 23rd, is packed with informative sessions and opportunities to network with like-minded peers. The conference is built to serve members of all service lines and will inspire fresh ideas, winning strategies and innovative improvements you can quickly implement in your organization.

Among the wide selection of sessions, attendees will have the opportunity to attend a full-day pre-conference intensive on Workforce and ask questions at the Legislative and Budget Update delivered by Dan Heim and Ami Schnauber of LeadingAge New York.

Click here to register today!

 

Ami Schnauber, aschnauber@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8854

Sarah Daly, sdaly@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8845