The Legislative Action Committee advocates on behalf of members at both the State and Federal Levels.

Legislative Action Committee March 2017 Meeting

The Legislative Action Committee, March 2017 Executive Meeting, Syracuse, New York

The 2018-19 COLA has been published by NYSTRS, and will be 1.0% this year

Visit nystrs.org for detailed information.

State Agenda 2018

Minimum Pension Bump Up

This bill would extend the minimum retirement allowance provided to long standing retired members of the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System who retired prior to July 1, 1980 and increase the minimum retirement allowance for all such retirees to $550 per year of NYS service up to a maximum of $19,250.

A.06603A  Brindisi                                                  S.5329A  Tedisco

 Improve Pension COLA

NYSRTA supports making improvements to COLA legislation by raising the base benefit amount upon which the COLA is computed from $18,000 to $21,000. This change is long overdue.

A.06045A  Steck                                                     S.03306A  Ritchie

We would like to have a discussion on the following items:

 Term limits and term lengths for legislators.

 Term limits and term lengths for legislative leadership positions.

 The New York Health Act.

State Agenda 2017

Minimum Pension Bump Up

This bill would extend the minimum retirement allowance provided to long standing retired members of the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System who retired prior to July 1, 1980 and increase the minimum retirement allowance for all such retirees to $550 per year of NYS service up to a maximum of $19,250.

A.06603 Brindisi                                                           S.5329  Tedisco

Improve Pension COLA

NYSRTA supports making improvements to COLA legislation by raising the base benefit amount upon which the COLA is computed from $18,000 to $25,000. This change is long overdue.

A.06045  Steck                                                                   S.03306 Ritchie

Over the years, we have had the pleasure of meeting with our local legislators, advocating for many issues.  We have found them to be honest and ethical. We ask these same legislators to enact ethic reform bills that would remove and punish any colleagues whose actions jeopardize the trust and respect earned by the majority of our elected representatives.

NYSRTA supports meaningful ethics reform through the passage of legislation and referendum process.

State Agenda 2016

Minimum Pension Bump Up

This bill would extend the minimum retirement allowance provided to long standing retired members of the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System who retired prior to July 1, 1980 and increase the minimum retirement allowance for all such retirees to $550 per year of NYS service up to a maximum of $19,250.

A.06867-A Abbate                                                            S.06746  Farley

Improve Pension COLA

Provides a cost-of-living adjustment for members of retirement systems.

A.09496  Steck                                                                   S.06282 Ritchie

Education

Establishes the community schools act; authorizes the commissioner to award grants for

Community schools programing; appropriates funds therefore.

A.06791 Peoples-Stokes                                                   S.05447 Stewart-Cousins

NYSRTA rallies against any effort to diminish public education including any legislation that promotes public tax dollars to Charter Schools/tax credits to private schools/vouchers.  Whereas such legislation diverts resources from public schools at a time when they are expected to raise standards and reach higher expectations.

State Agenda 2015

Minimum Pension Bump Up This bill would extend the minimum retirement allowance provided to long standing retired members of the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System who retired prior to July 1, 1980 and increase the minimum retirement allowance for all such retirees to $550 per year of NYS service up to a maximum of $19,250.

A.06867 Abbate S.04117 Libous

Improve Pension COLA: Improve COLA law to more accurately account for increases in inflation by raising the base amount or by allowing for higher CPI percentage to be applied (RPEA statement).

Elder Abuse:

This proposed legislation would expand the limited definition of caregivers in Penal Law 260.31 to include anyone who “voluntarily assumes responsibility for providing care for a vulnerable elderly person, or an incompetent or physically disabled person”. This change would make it possible to hold all abusive caregivers accountable.

A.3891 Morelle S.641 Valesky

It is time to remove the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) from the school aid formula and allow school districts to begin the reduction recovery process so that our students have access to all programs necessary for a quality education

(related legislation: A02271A Woerner S 02743A Gallivan)

2014 Fall Legislative Action Committee

Legislative Action Committee 2014


Legislative Action Spring 2014

Mary Johnson, Vice President for Legislative Action

Mary-high-resAs the long-awaited and well-deserved spring finally arrives, the Legislative Action Committee is gearing up for visits with NYS Assembly and Senate representatives in their home offices. The Committee has developed a State Campaign Card with the excellent research by Janice Mullins providing bills to match the NYSRTA Resolutions along with current educational issues. After the talking points are approved at the March meeting, Kathi Bassett will be sending out packets to the Zone Chairs and their local advocates. We will be thanking those who helped pass the Elder Abuse Bill which the Governor signed on 11.13.2013.This bill directs the Office of the Aging to produce training materials to be used with professionals and volunteers who work with the elderly in social adult day services programs. This year we will support a bill to widen that training and supervision to include home health care providers.

Speaking of our advocates reminds me that we can always use more people. I encourage you to ask others to go beyond just their local units, join at the state level and get involved with advocacy. The Legislative Advocacy members are always happy to welcome new members to our local advocacy teams. Our scheduled visits include at least two or three advocates. We provide training and support to help you have a successful and enjoyable experience. I hope you will consider joining us in this worthy effort. Just call your local LAC zone chair and tell them of your interest.

Following is the 2014 State Legislative Priorities:

Minimum Pension Bump Up

Extends minimum retirement benefits for retirees of NYSTRS retired prior to 06/01/1980, and receive a pension equal to or less than $550.00 per year of service (to a maximum of thirty five years of service or $19,250). A•04981-A Abbate/S•4496-A Libous

Pharmacy Reimbursement

To Clarify and strengthen provisions in current law to ensure that consumers have the option to access every covered medication from a participating local network pharmacy and are not forced into mandatory mail order. A•05723-A Heastie/S•03995-A Maziarz

Elder Abuse

To expand the definition of caregiver to a person who voluntarily, or otherwise by operation of law, assumes responsibility for providing care for a vulnerable elderly person, or an incompetent or physically disabled person. A•02781 Morelle/S•02951 Valesky

Tier I Reinstatement

Relates to certain members who re-enter public service; extends tier
reinstatement provisions to a retiree of a public retirement system who was an active member of a public retirement system on or after January1, 1989. A•07490 Gunther/S•05165 Seward

2013 Lobby Day

2013 Lobby Day

The New York State Retired Teachers’ Association, Inc. supports efforts underway to improve the implementation of the Common Core State Standards.  We believe this is in the best interest of all students.

It is time to remove the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) from the school aid formula and allow school districts to begin the reduction recovery process so that our students have access to all programs necessary for a quality education (related legislation: A•08295 Corwin/S•05452-A Flanagan).

Federal Legislative Priorities-2015, Legislative Action Committee

Social Security Act -2100

To protect our Social Security System and improve benefits for current and future generations.

S.731 Sanders   H.R. 1391 Larson


Observation vs. inpatient for coverage under Medicare

To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to count a period of receipt of outpatient observation services in a hospital toward satisfying the 3-day inpatient hospital requirement for coverage of skilled nursing facility services under Medicare.
S.843  Brown | H.R -1571 Courtney


Student Testing Improvement and Accountability Act

To amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to clarify when certain academic assessments shall be administered.

S.1025 Tester | H.R.452 Gibson

NYSRTA is opposed to any reduction to Social Security COLA or Social Security benefits.

We are opposed to any attempt to privatize Social Security.

NYSRTA supports legislation that:

  • Strengthens principal and teacher preparation programs.
  • Maintains and enhances school based programs in literacy education, vocational preparation, technical training, art and music.
  • Protects our youth in elementary and secondary schools from any and all bullying, harassment and violence.

2014 NYSRTA Federal Agenda

Observation vs. inpatient for coverage under Medicare

To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to count a period of receipt of outpatient observation services in a hospital toward satisfying the 3-day inpatient hospital requirement for coverage of skilled nursing facility services under Medicare.

S•569 Brown | H.R.•1179 Courtney


Accessing Hearing Health Services – Medicare

To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide Medicare beneficiaries coordinated care and greater choice with regard to accessing hearing health services and benefits.

S•2046 Brown | H.R.•4035 McDermott

Great schools have strong leaders who create learning environments where the best educators want to stay (Teaching Matters, 2010). Great schools serve all students, not just those who are college bound (Morse, 2014). Great schools keep students safe.

NYSRTA supports legislation that:

  • Strengthens principal and teacher preparation programs
  • Maintains and enhances school based programs in literacy, education, vocational preparation, technical training, art and music
  • Protects our youth in elementary and secondary schools from any and all bullying, harassment, and violence.
NYS Teacher’s Retirement System Update , David Keefe, Board Member

The TRS Board, in April, passed a resolution which would allow school districts to opt in to pay a lesser TRS cost over the next several years with the understanding that, at some point over the next few years, they would make up the difference with interest.

We hired an outside actuarial firm to look at the proposal.  Their decision was that it would have no substantial effect on the solidity of the fund; while it could have a significant positive effect, in the short term, on school districts that opt to take it.

Welcome to NYSRTA’s Legislative Advocacy Service

The State and Federal Legislation Committee of NYSRTA, also known as Legislative Action, is headed by a Vice President elected statewide whose task it is to provide coordination and leadership for the NYSRTA Legislative Action Committee. These individuals chair committees in which each zone has a voting representative for legislative action. The Legislative Action Committee may also include non-voting advisory posts, often occupied by previous Vice Presidents for legislation. Also on the State Legislation Committee the Executive Office Manager and Legislation and Technical Services Coordinator serve as eyes and ears for the State Office.

In recent years, in order to add strength to advocacy efforts, the committee has sought to work in affiliation or coalition with other retiree groups such as the New York State Retired Public Employees Association, School Administrators Association of New York State, and AARP.

Members of NYSRTA also utilize a 200+ Local Advocate network to visit NY State Senators and Assembly persons in their home offices. Additionally a spring Advocate Day, usually held in May, brings NYSRTA devoted advocates to Albany for Legislative Action Day.

Click here to locate your local NYS Senator

Click here to locate your local Assemblyman

Local Advocate Training

Tips for Writing Letters to the Editor: Public Pensions

The Third Party Notification Bill is now law.

The Bill has been signed! It is now Chapter 49 of the Laws of 2010.It requires third-party notification prior to termination of long-term care and health insurance for persons 65 years and older. Congratulations to the Coalition of Retiree Groups that made the passage of this bill a reality. NYSRTA, AARP, NYSUT, SAANYS, RPEA, and the Alliance all supported this bill.

Congratulations also go to The NYSRTA State Legislation Committee on another success! Those members are Angelo Grande (VP State Legislation) and Zone Chairs Tom Parsnick (CZ), Jack & Elaine Leasure (CWZ), Frank C. Mayer (EZ), Kathryn Grande(LIZ), Richard Bushnell (NCZ), Robert LaFontaine (NEZ), Roxann Finley (NZ), MaryJohnson (SZ), Judy Klug (WZ), Leon Harrold (SEZ), and Carlyle Campany (NYSRTA President).

Permanent Health Insurance Protection Passed December 2009!

We now have Permanent Health Insurance Protections! This is something that we have sought for 15 years, and that our State Legislation Activists have worked for since the temporary one-year protections began with the signing of Chapter 729 of 1994. How did this happen? It was a part of the legislative “Sausage Making” that went into the new Tier V Retirement Legislation which was signed into law by the Governor in December of 2009. What this means for you is that you no longer have the worry and the uncertainty of annual Legislative renewals of this critical Health Insurance Protection. What this means for our Legislative Activists is that they can now focus on the rest of the agenda of “to do” that we still need to get done as your Legislative Advocates.

Did we do this alone? Of course not! Other Educational Retiree groups advocated for this, other active teacher and administrator groups, such as our friends in SAANYS, supported it, and yes, NYSUT did play an important role in the final negotiations. However, NYSRTA also contributed heavily through 15-years of activism and persistence in keeping this issue in the forefront of Legislator’s minds, on the legislative agenda of the active unions, and in making it an annual priority for our members. When you next see one of your Zone’s State Legislation Activists at your Unit or Zone Meeting, or just on the street, thank and congratulate them for their hard work and persistence on this critical issue,now successfully concluded.

RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE RESOLUTIONS COMMITTEE

Bylaws:  ARTICLE X, Section 15 and ARTICLE XV

Chair – Appointed by the President

The Committee consists of a chair and the ten zone Resolutions Committee Chairs.  The Chair of the Bylaws Committee and the Vice President for Legislative Action serve as non-voting advisors.

The function of the committee is to solicit, check for compliance and to recommend or not recommend the resolutions which have been submitted for consideration. The chair will then present resolutions which have been recommended for adoption at the Annual Meeting. According to Webster’s New World College Dictionary, 4th ed., a resolution is a formal statement or determination adopted by an assembly or other formal group.

The committee meets prior to the July Executive Board Meeting. An additional meeting may be held between the July meeting and the Annual Meeting if an emergency resolution comes before the committee.

Any member of NYSRTA may submit a resolution to his or her zone for consideration.  The resolution should be practical, reasonable, and financially feasible.  The Zone Approval Statement and the name and address of the person submitting the resolution must be affixed. The correct format for a resolution appears below.

After the proposed resolution has been prepared by the zone Resolutions Committee and approved by the zone governing body, a signed hard copy and an e-mail formatted copy shall be sent to the NYSRTA Resolutions Committee Chair.  To ensure proper review of resolutions, copies must be mailed at least thirty (30) days prior to the July Executive Board meeting. (Required by NYSRTA Bylaws Art XV, Sect 1.)

When the committee meets in July, all resolutions are reviewed and classified as recommended or not recommended.  All submitted resolutions shall be printed in the fall issue of YORK STATE along with the recommendations of the committee.

The recommended resolutions are presented at the Annual Meeting for acceptance or rejection by the delegates to the Annual Meeting.  Resolutions not recommended by the committee may be brought up for action by a 2/3 vote of the delegates

EXAMPLE OF A RESOLUTION

HEALTH INSURANCE

WHEREAS, The various HMOs and other health insurance plans

change their coverage, and WHEREAS, We need legislation that protects our rights when seeking

health care, Therefore, BE IT RESOLVED, That we urge The New York State Retired Teachers’ Association to support (patient’s) Bill of Rights legislation.

Resolutions may include a cost factor, a recommended date for implementation, and a referral for action.

GUIDELINES FOR RESOLUTIONS

  1. All NYSRTA members are eligible to send in resolutions to their zones for approval by their governing bodies.
  1. Resolutions should be practical, reasonable, and financially feasible.
  1. Resolutions must be legal and must not duplicate any resolution already adopted and included in the Master File.
  1. While ARTICLE X, Section 15, and ARTICLE XV cover resolutions, the objectives of the Association are enumerated in ARTICLE II of the Bylaws.  Each proposed resolution must comply with at least one of the objectives in ARTICLE II.
  1. The zone Resolutions Committee must see that each of its proposed resolutions is printed in the proper format, including the following Zone Approval Statement, which is to appear above the title of the original resolution.

The following resolution was approved by the   (name of zone or out-of-state region)  on (date)  and is signed by the zone President (or the out-of-state region President) as meeting the criteria for resolutions as stated in the Guidelines For Resolutions, item number 4.

__________________________, President    _____________

 (signature)                                                                             (date)

  1. The name of the contact person, with the address and phone number, and e-mail address (if available) should be on each resolution.
  1. Each zone is limited to three (3) resolutions.
  1. A signed hard copy, along with an e-mail formatted copy, of each proposed resolution is to be submitted to the NYSRTA Resolutions Committee Chair.
  1. Resolutions must be mailed and e-mailed to the NYSRTA Resolutions Committee Chair at least thirty (30) days prior to the July Executive Board Meeting.  The Chair will transmit copies of the submitted resolutions to the Resolutions Committee members and to the Chair of the Bylaws Committee and the Vice President for Legislative Action in a timely manner.

10. The Chair of the NYSRTA Resolutions Committee will mail or e-mail copies of the proposed resolutions, noting action taken, within ten (10) days following the July Executive Board Meeting to zone presidents and out-of-state region presidents.

Revised October 2013

Constitutional Convention 2017

Constitutional Convention 2017

The cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for September 2016 through August 2017 benefit payments is 1.0% read more
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