powered by LeadingAge New York

Legislative Bulletin: What to Expect in the Final Days of Session

After an action-packed week at the capitol, several high-profile issues still stand to be resolved before the legislators return to their districts. The legislature will spend the weekend preparing for what’s expected to be the three final days of the legislative session.

 

CCRC Revitalization Bill Reported Out of Assembly Health Committee

As the June 19th end date for the 2019 Legislative Session quickly approaches, lawmakers in Albany have been racing to introduce last-minute legislation and wrap up outstanding issues. Fortunately, LeadingAge New York priority legislation A.8193 (Schimminger)S.1803-A (Rivera) is gaining traction in the Assembly and the Senate. The bill aims to consolidate authority for establishment and operational oversight of CCRCs into the Department of Health and eliminate barriers to the development, expansion, and efficient operation of CCRCs in New York.

The CCRC Revitalization Bill was in the Assembly Health Committee on Thursday where it was unanimously passed and referred to Assembly Ways and Means. This was a big win for the legislation, however, now it is vital that the bill be added to the Ways and Means agenda as soon as possible. At this point in session, the only way that we can ensure our bill is taken up in committee and ultimately on the floor is to demand that action from our lawmakers. Your grassroots advocacy will be an integral factor in getting this bill on the Assembly Floor Calendar before the end of 2019 session. Please call your Assembly Member and neighboring Democrats TODAY and tell them to pass the CCRC Revitalization Bill A.8193 (Schimminger). Ask your Assembly Member to sign on to the bill as a co-sponsor and be an advocate for innovative models of aging services. Assembly Member contact information can be found here.  Additionally, you can find out if your Assembly Member is on the Ways and Means Committee by clicking here. We recommend calling the Albany Office first, but the district office can be called as well if you’d like to send a strong message.

On Monday, the Senate’s CCRC companion bill S.1803 (Rivera) was amended to match the Assembly version. Right now, the goal in the Senate is to educate our lawmakers on the new version of the bill and ask that they pass the CCRC Revitalization Bill before the end of session. They should be reminded that this legislation is a paired down version of its previous iterations which have passed in the Senate in years past. The bill has no known opposition and our LeadingAge members should explain what the streamlined, centralized oversight could mean for the development of aging services in the state of New York. Please call your Senator and neighboring Democrats TODAY and tell them to pass the CCRC Revitalization Bill S.1803-A (Rivera). Ask your Senator to sign on to the bill as a co-sponsor and be an advocate for innovative models of aging services in New York State. Senate contact information can be found here. We recommend calling the Albany Office first, but the district office can be called as well if you’d like to send a strong message.

We encourage you to get your friends, family, board members and residents involved in the advocacy over the weekend!

 

A Deal is Reached on Rent Reform

The New York State Assembly and Senate reached a two-way agreement on rent control, rent reform, and tenant protection measures. Governor Andrew Cuomo had previously stated that he would sign whatever package of bills the Assembly and Senate agreed to on these matters, so we expect that these bills will be codified into law.

In a great victory for LeadingAge New York and its members, the bill, S.6458/A.8281, includes our proposed language exempting certain housing and services providers from increased security deposit regulations. Specifically, it exempts:

  • Continuing Care Retirement Communities licensed pursuant to Article 46 or 46-a of the Public Health Law;
  • Assisted Living Providers licensed pursuant to Article 46-b of the Public Health Law;
  • Adult Care Facilities licensed pursuant to Article 7 of the Social Services Law;
  • Senior Residential Communities that have submitted an offering plan to the Attorney General; or
  • Not-for-Profit Independent Retirement Communities that offer personal emergency response, housekeeping, transportation, and meals to their residents.

More broadly, the package of bills makes rent regulation permanent, meaning that the Legislature will not need to renegotiate the law every few years. It also gives localities that previously were not covered by rent regulation the option to opt-in to rent regulation measures if they meet certain conditions, including a housing emergency, which means that the amount of vacant housing is at 5% or less.

We expect the bill to pass both houses by Friday and be signed by the governor.

Thank you for your advocacy on this issue and please reach out to any legislators who supported us in this effort.

 

Nurse Staffing Ratios Bill Moves in Assembly

This week, the Assembly Codes Committee took up A.2954, by Gunther, which would enact the "safe staffing for quality care act" mandating nurse staffing rations and reported it to the Assembly Ways and Means Committee. We encourage you to reach out to your legislators and share your concerns and tell them how this bill will impact your organization. Remind them that the 2019-2020 SFY Final Budget requires DOH to conduct a study to examine how nursing staffing enhancements and other initiatives could improve patient safety and health care quality in nursing homes. Insist that no legislation should advance or be passed in the Assembly until that study is concluded and published.

Here are resources to assist in your advocacy:

  1. Memo of Opposition
  2. Staffing Ratio Issue Brief – “One Size Does Not Fit All”
  3. Staffing Ratio Cost Template – If you fill in the required fields, the template will demonstrate the fiscal impact of the legislation on your organization.

 

Prevailing Wage Negotiations Begin

After several weeks of little movement, the legislature and executive had their first “three-way” meeting to discuss prevailing wage legislation. We are continuing to push for an exemption from prevailing wage requirements for non-profit long-term care providers and affordable housing, as well as tax-exempt bonds and tax credits. We seem to be gaining some momentum on our advocacy, but it is essential that your lawmakers here from you. Please let them know about any projects you are undertaking and the impact a 20% increase in costs would have on its viability.

 

What to Expect in the Final Days of the 2019 Legislative Session

After an action-packed week at the capitol, several high-profile issues still stand to be resolved before the legislators return to their districts. While consensus was reached yesterday on a highly contested vaccination bill, action on marijuana legalization, climate change mitigation, prevailing wage and other legislation has yet to be seen. The legislative session is scheduled to conclude on Wednesday, June 19th and the next few days will determine whether Democrats will be able to achieve this year’s legislative priorities.

As you might imagine, the brief time left of session means we need your advocacy now more than ever if we want to ensure that the bills we oppose do not move forward! Use your voice and tell your legislators your opinion on the following issues today:

Your continued advocacy and communications to lawmakers is vital in our success this legislative session. While LeadingAge New York connects with legislators in Albany we need the support of our members - the constituents - to keep the pressure on and finish the 2019 session strong!

  

Help LeadingAge Capitalize on our Advocate Network

Please help LeadingAge gauge the reach of our advocate network. Through this brief questionnaire, you can provide information on the issues that are important to you, the stakeholders within your network and the level of advocacy you can help us with in our campaigns. Your participation will make a tremendous difference.  There is no right or wrong answer to any of the questions, we simply ask for your honest feedback.  Some questions will ask if you personally know certain elected officials representing you at the state or federal level. Please do not feel that there is an expectation that you do, as most people will not.     

We greatly appreciate your time and participation. Policymakers are currently considering legislation and regulations that will impact aging services in the coming years. This information will help us capitalize on the relationships and resources available in our LeadingAge network of advocates. Click here to begin your questionnaire!

 

 Action Alert: New Housing Credit Bills to Strengthen the LIHTC Program

The Low Income Housing Tax credit (LIHTC) program is an important source of funding for affordable housing for older adults. More than 26% of LIHTC homes include someone 63 years old or older. Meanwhile, only 1 of every 3 older adults eligible for housing assistance actually receive it because existing programs are too small to meet the need. There are new bills in the Senate and House that would expand and strengthen the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program, and we need your advocacy to advance this legislation!

The Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (AHCIA) of 2019 bills are sponsored by Senators Maria Cantwell (DWA), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Todd Young (R-IN), and Representatives Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Kenny Marchant (R-TX), Don Beyer (D-VA) and Jackie Walorski (R-IN).

The identical Senate and House bills, S. 1703 and H.R. 3077, would expand state LIHTC allocations by 50%, establish a 4% minimum credit floor for credits used to finance acquisitions and Housing Bond-financed developments, address some issues related to “right of first refusal,” allow basis boosts to communities serving more than 20% extremely low income households (up to a 50% boost) or communities in rural areas (up to a 30% boost), among other provisions that will help preserve and expand LIHTC homes.

Please urge your representative and senators to:

  • Enact the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2019 as quickly as possible to help preserve and expand affordable housing for older adults.
  • Co-sponsor the S. 1703 and H.R. 3077.
  • Thank Senators Cantwell, Isakson, Wyden, and Young, and Representatives DelBene, Marchant, Beyer, and Walorski for their leadership on the LIHTC program.

Click here to email your lawmakers today! Share the link with the residents in your community and suggest that they email as well. The proposed changes will directly impact them.

Please also encourage your board members and colleagues to get involved withal advocacy efforts. There is power in numbers!

 

 

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

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