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Legislative Bulletin: Spring into Action! Connect with Lawmakers Over April Recess

Looking Ahead to the Remainder of 2019 Session

While we can indulge in a brief sigh of relief that the budget is behind us, our work for the 2019 legislative session is far from over. Session typically concludes in late June, and over the next 2 and a half months, lawmakers will be taking up new (and old) initiatives and zeroing in on some of the issues that were not addressed in the final spending plan.

With the completion of the budget, it is time to re-focus and make the legislature aware of our post-budget, legislative issues. There are several bills that LeadingAge New York will be focusing on over the next few months. 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.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Medication Technicians: LeadingAge is in the process of drafting a new bill that would establish a state-wide demonstration program authorizing CNAs who receive advanced training to administer medications in nursing homes. We will be seeking new sponsors, so if you have an upcoming meeting with your democratic lawmaker, please raise this issue.
  • WIN4Seniors: Workforce will be an ongoing topic of conversation in all advocacy. Drawing attention to our WIN4Seniors campaign and the clear data that shows the looming crisis that has already begun will further strengthen other workforce related initiatives such as Role of the Nurse and Med Techs.


Spring into Action! Connect with lawmakers over April recess

We need your continued advocacy to support good policies and oppose those which may negatively affect seniors and long term care providers.  The April recess is a two-week long break from session, during which most legislators continue their work in the district. This is a valuable opportunity to thank them for their support during the budget process, voice concerns about proposals not addressed in the final agreement and educate them on our other priority issues.

From April 15th through April 26th, the legislators are in your neighborhood, and we encourage you to connect with them to the best of your ability. At this point in the process, it may be difficult to get a formal meeting, but many legislators are likely hosting fundraisers or other events that are open to the public. Find your legislators’ contact information here and give them a call to find out how you can connect over April recess.


Security Deposit Update

The SFY 2019-2020 Executive Budget included a proposal that would limit security deposits to “an amount or value not in excess of two months’ rent, including the first month’s rent”. The proposal mainly intended to address rent regulations for individuals and families combatting rising living costs in New York City, but could have some unintended consequences for seniors living in retirement communities.

Security deposit language was not included in the final budget and there is no drafted legislation, however, we understand this to be an issue of interest for the legislature. The Assembly Housing Committee is hosting a series of public hearings on the topic and we will be keeping a close watch for potential legislation limiting security deposits, fees and charges for rental agreements.


Connecting with Congress

The congressional April recess has arrived and now is a great time to connect with your federal representatives. With New York well represented in the House, it is important that lawmakers understand our federal issues. At this point in the process, it may be difficult to schedule a formal gathering, but it is always worthwhile to reach out to the congressional district office and request a meeting for this month or further down the road. The House Session Calendar and the Senate Session Calendar are great tools for planning an in-district meeting or event with lawmakers. 

There are big issues up for debate at the federal level such as HUD funding and the CNA training lockout. Click here to contact your lawmakers now and ask for their support!


HUD Invests $50 million for New Housing for the Elderly

In a Thursday, April 4th announcement, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) granted 30 awards ranging from $50,000 to $5 million each for the Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly program. The funding amounts to a $50 million investment in the program, which hasn’t seen funding for new 202 housing since 2010. Organizations have until August 28th to apply for the pool of funds.

Over the past year, LeadingAge staff, members and Section 202 residents made thousands of contacts with elected officials in support of additional resources for the Section 202 program. “With demand far exceeding the current supply, this financial support is incredibly welcome news,” LeadingAge President and CEO Katie Smith Sloan said in a statement.


Join Us for the Senior Housing NOW Rally in D.C.!

Please join LeadingAge and other housing advocates like you on Capitol Hill to rally around one simple goal: expand and preserve affordable housing for older adults. The Senior Housing NOW Rally will take place on Wednesday, May 8th from 1-2pm and will feature several speakers on the West Lawn of the United States Capitol Grounds. LeadingAge has provided a Senior Housing NOW FAQ sheet as well as a link to register.

The trip to Washington also poses a great opportunity to schedule meetings with your representatives. When constituents show up to rally and advocate for the issues that matter most, congress takes notice. We hope that you will be able to join us on May 8th!


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

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