Please read an important legislative update from the New York State Association of PBAs Legislative Chairman, Nassau County PBA 1st Vice President Pete Paterson. SOA 1st Vice President Lou Dini is a member of the Legislative Committee and is working diligently with the committee on all of the statewide issues that affect our membership.
To All Members:
First and foremost I hope all of you, your families, and your members are healthy and OK during this crisis. That is more important than anything else! Our members are on the front line and they deserve all the assistance and prayers we can give. We will eventually get through this, but I want to thank all of you for being there for police officers and first responders throughout the state.
As a result of the current situation, the Capitol and Legislative Office Building are closed to us, with legislators and staff now working remotely from their Albany and respective district offices.
Your Legislative Committee has been monitoring the legislative situation, and communicating electronically with legislators and staff as necessary. Needless to say, very little is being done legislatively that is not related to the crisis situation. The latest information we have is that the legislators may convene again early next week to complete the budget, but that is predicated on the assumption that a budget agreement is in place by then. The governor has indicated he still wants the budget done by the April 1 deadline, and he still is intent on including certain policy issues in the final document. As a result of the national exposure he is getting, his ratings have increased and a consequence of that is his negotiating position as it relates to the senate and the assembly is strengthened. The status of any changes to the bail/discovery aspects of current law is uncertain; however, we do know that the governor has indicated he wants to make some changes.
Two bills were enacted on Wednesday resulting from the current crisis. One deals with gathering of signatures for the primary election. The other one can affect our members directly, as it deals with paid sick leave during the corona virus pandemic. The law addresses any employee who is subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation issued by the state of New York, the department of health, local board of health, or any governmental entity duly authorized to issue such order due to COVID-19. Such an employee shall be provided with at least 14 days of paid sick leave during any mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation. It further states that under these conditions such leave shall be provided without loss of an officer or employee's accrued sick leave. Please ensure that your department’s procedures are updated with respect to how your members are impacted by this.
Senator Monica Martinez has draft legislation to be introduced providing a presumption for Corona-19 victims who become sick and disabled as a result. This will allow the member to have a presumption for a line of duty Corona-related illness. I will keep you updated on the status of this issue.
Chairman, NYSAP Legislative Committee