NYS Seal For Immediate Release:
Update: December 27, 2002

NYS Assembly Significant Legislation 2002



Assisted Living This bill would provide state oversight of assisted living residences and certain consumer protections for residents. The protections residents would receive under the legislation include full disclosure of the services to be provided and at what price; a binding, written residency agreement; procedures for when the residence can no longer serve the needs of the resident; and a special proceeding if there is a dispute with regard to an involuntary discharge. (A.9266-B; Passed Assembly)

Senior Citizen Real Property Tax Exemption Program This bill would grant local governments the option to increase the maximum income eligibility limit for a 50 percent senior citizen real property tax exemption from $20,500 to $21,500. (A.2741/S.1682; Chapter 202)

Alzheimer's Disease Tax Check-Off This bill would require the state annually to match the funding generated by the State Income Tax Check-Off for the Alzheimer's Disease Assistance Fund. (A.9659/S.5769-A; Chapter 359)

Helping Seniors Cash Government Checks This bill would require banks to cash state and federal checks for senior citizens with proper identification. The measure would benefit seniors who have insufficient funds to maintain minimum deposit levels that banking institutions require, an inconvenience to many elderly New Yorkers who are on fixed incomes. (A.274-A; Passed Assembly)

Social Security Check Cashing This bill would allow senior citizens who may not have the financial assets to maintain a bank account to cash their Social Security check at any bank in the state upon the presentation of sufficient identification, even though they are not a depositor. (A.202; Passed Assembly/S.91; Banks)


Dangerous Dog Registry This bill would require the commissioner of the Agriculture and Markets Department to establish a dangerous dog registry and an advisory board to determine what steps the state should initiate to protect the public from vicious canines. The bill addresses an increasing number of reported dog attack incidents by requiring the state to begin tracking animals that have demonstrated violent behavior so that if these dogs are involved in an additional incident, the state can intervene, remove the dog and protect the public. (A.5113; Passed Assembly/S.2635; Agriculture)

Agriculture Revolving Loan Fund This bill would create a microbusiness revolving loan fund to stimulate business enterprises that add economic value to New York home-grown products. Under the bill, loans would be made for start-up funds, working capital and the acquisition of machinery and equipment. (A.5800; Passed Assembly/S.3067; Corporations)

Cattle Health Assurance Program The bill provides for the establishment and maintenance of the New York State cattle health assurance program. The measure would establish a voluntary, on-farm, integrated disease prevention program directed at improving animal health and promoting a safe and wholesome food supply. (A.8597-A/S.4142-A; Chapter 141)

Agricultural District Status This bill reduces the size of the parcels of land used in agricultural production to enable small farm operations to qualify for agricultural district status. (A.10307-B/S.6401-B; Chapter 445)

Slaughter Of Domesticated Dogs And Cats This bill prohibits the slaughter of domesticated dogs and cats for human consumption and the selling of the animal skin, hair, or fur. (A.4945-C/S.2591-C; Chapter 573)


Insurance Coverage Substance Abuse This bill would mandate that substance abuse treatment be granted parity with other types of health insurance coverage. (A.60-A; Passed Assembly/S.2512-B; Rules)

Indigent Care Pool This bill would create an indigent care pool to pay for uncompensated care for substance abuse treatment given by non-profit health-care providers to indigents. The measure would allow not-for-profit diagnostic treatment centers to be compensated for these services. Currently, the law only allows primary medical care facilities to have access to indigent care funding. (A.7360; Passed Assembly)


Predatory Lending This bill would regulate high-cost home loans by curtailing those that involve predatory practices such as balloon payments and "loan flipping." The bill would also require first-time homebuyers receive notification on the availability of credit counseling. (A.11856; Chapter 626)

ATMs For The Disabled This bill would require automated teller machines (ATM) to provide audio and visual messages as a way to improve disabled New Yorkers' access to banking services. The bill is part of the Assembly's legislative agenda to meet the needs of the disabled. (A.5797-A; Passed Assembly)

ATM Facilities Equipment This bill would require banks operating ATM facilities to equip facilities with 911 or E-911 emergency access buttons. (A.1615-B; Passed Assembly/S.6096-A; Rules)


Child Welfare Financing Reform This bill would improve the state's child welfare system by moving preventive, independent living, after-care, adoption and child protective services out of the child welfare block grant. Under terms of the legislation, counties would be reimbursed by the state for costs associated with these programs at a rate of 65 percent. The bill also establishes the statewide Commission on the Quality of Foster Care. (A.9760-B/S.6258-B; Chapter 83)

Coordinating Care for Children This bill would establish a coordinated system of care for children with emotional and behavior disorders, and their families. It would address situations involving children who require assistance from multiple agency systems. The measure seeks to, where appropriate, to keep a child with their family, in the community and in the local school. (A.11338-A/S.7516-A; Chapter 247)

Out-of-Home Placement for Disabled Children This bill would provide that a parent seeking an out-of-home placement for a severely disabled child is not required to relinquish custody of the child to the county. (A.10112-A; Passed Assembly/S.7514; Rules)

Disaster Emergency Outreach This bill creates a disaster emergency outreach registry to assess the impact of the September 11th attack and other disasters on children who lost a parent in such attack or other disaster and to compile information relating to resources and services that are available to these children. (A.11586-A; Passed Assembly)


Revenue Sharing Under this budget bill, municipalities throughout the state would receive increases in revenue-sharing aid and supplemental aid would be advanced to help cities balance their budgets. The measure would enact automatic increases in general purpose aid to municipalities of four, three and three percent in fiscal years 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06, respectively. It would also "spin up" supplemental municipal aid this year to the cities of Amsterdam, Auburn, Buffalo, Corning, Lackawanna, Long Beach, New York City, Rensselaer, Rochester, Syracuse, Watertown, White Plains and Yonkers, allowing them to use the funds in budget calculations for the current fiscal year. (A.11808-A; Passed Assembly)

Emergency Financial Aid This bill would extend for one year, until July 10, 2003 the payment of emergency financial aid to the cities of Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany. The aid is calculated on a formula based on, among other factors, assessed value of real property. (A.9740/S.6158; Chapter 117)


Fingerprinting Security Industry Employees This bill would require the fingerprinting and criminal history reviews for all employees of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation system (NASDAQ), American Stock Exchange (AMEX) and national securities associations registered with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission. (A.11791/S.6741-A; Chapter 453)

Flight School Background Checks This bill would require fingerprints and background checks for people attending flight training schools in New York State before they are allowed to receive instruction. (A.11863; Passed Assembly)

Airport Safety This bill would enhance public safety by requiring current and prospective employees with access to secure areas at the state's 20 largest airports to be fingerprinted for the purpose of conducting criminal background checks and of disqualifying from employment those deemed a security risk. (A.11861; Passed Assembly)

Amber Plan This bill would allow law enforcement agencies to alert communities immediately to child abductions through a rapid response network made up of media outlets that volunteer to disseminate missing child bulletins. This bill seeks to increase the opportunities for successfully recovering missing children quickly and returning them safely to their families. The Amber Plan is used by communities across the country and is named after nine-year-old Amber Hagerman of North Texas who was abducted and murdered in 1996. (A.1794 / S.7172; Chapter 357)

Improving Megan's Law This bill would increase public safety by expanding the list of crimes for which convicted felons must register with local authorities and increase the duration of sex offender registration, requiring lifetime registration for many offenders. (A.10367/S.6263-A; Chapter 11)


Identity Theft This bill creates the crime of identity theft and establishes penalties for those who obtain another individual's personal information and use their identity to commit fraud or other unlawful acts. Under the bill, individuals who commit a new crime of identity theft would be eligible for up to seven years in prison for the most serious form of the crime. The measure also makes victims of identity theft who incur costs or losses due to adverse information being transmitted to a credit reporting agency eligible for restitution for financial losses. In addition, victims will be able to pursue damages in a civil action. (A.4939-E/S.7697-A; Chapter 619)

Children's Clothing There have been numerous reports of injury and death due to drawstrings getting caught in automobiles, playground toys and cribs. This bill seeks to protect children's safety by restricting the use of drawstrings on certain children's clothing. (A.1854/S.6835; Chapter 530)

Debit Card Privacy This bill provides enhanced security to debit and credit card transactions by prohibiting the printing of the debit or credit card number on transaction forms. The measure also affords the same protections to debit cards as exist for credit card transactions. (A.5973-B/S.4697-C; Chapter 479)

Unsolicited E-mail This bill gives consumers the right to notify senders of unsolicited electronic-mail advertisements that they should stop sending such advertisements. Under the bill, unsolicited e-mail would be prohibited unless the sender clearly indicates its identity, postal address and electronic-mail address or telephone number and the means to notify the sender to discontinue transmitting the unsolicited electronic-mail advertisements. (A.8330-A; Passed Assembly/S.5302-A; Rules)

Rental Auto Insurance This bill would remove the current $100 cap on driver liability for loss or damage to a rental vehicle. The bill would allow rental vehicle companies to offer renters "optional vehicle protection" to insure against loss or damage to a rental automobile. (A.7742-A/S.1894-A; Chapter 656)

Effective Sunscreen Because sunscreen effectiveness can diminish over time, this bill would require sunscreen products sold in New York State to be labeled with expiration dates. (A.1988; Passed Assembly)

"Box Cutter" Knife Sale Restrictions This bill would prohibit the sale or giveaway of utility knives, otherwise known as "box cutters," to individuals under the age of 18. The bill is designed to prevent the use of these knives as weapons. Under the bill, individuals convicted of selling or giving a "box cutter" to a minor would face a fine of up to $500. (A.174-A; Passed Assembly/S.92-A;Rules)

Laser Pointer Sales Prohibition The bill that would prohibit the sale of laser pointers to individuals under the age of 18. The bill aims to prevent minors from causing eye damage to themselves or others and from frightening others by the misuse of laser pointers, a device useful to lecturers for visual presentations. (A.287; Passed Assembly)

Price Gouging Crack Down The bill would give individuals who have been charged excessive prices for goods or services during an emergency a private right of action, enabling them to seek restitution from those who engage in price gouging. Under the measure, violators would face a minimum penalty of $1,000 and a maximum of $5,000. (A.4110; Passed Assembly)

Credit-Card Payoff Penalty Ban The bill would prohibit credit-card companies from charging consumers a penalty fee for failing to carry a monthly credit-card balance or for paying off balances before the grace period ends. The bill aims to prevent consumers from being penalized for meeting their financial obligations or from being encouraged to carry debt, even though they are able to pay it off. (A.1870-A; Passed Assembly/S.1059-A; Consumer Protection)

Ephedra Sales Limitations This bill would ban the sale of certain dietary supplements containing ephedra to minors. Ephedra is promoted for weight control and enhanced energy and is also marketed as a form of "herbal amphetamine" as an alternative to street drugs. Ephedra is capable of raising blood pressure and using abnormal cardiac rhythms, stroke and death. (A.9796; Passed Assembly/S.6470; Rules)


EZ Pass This bill would ensure that information gathered electronically by methods such as EZ Pass and Metro Card remain confidential. This legislation would provide exceptions in specific limited circumstances that include investigations into criminal matters involving a search warrant or subpoena, toll collection cases and truancy violations in the New York City public school system. (A.852-A; Passed Assembly)

Metrocard This bill would require the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to refund to purchasers the unused portion of electronic fare cards (Metrocard). (A.1667; Passed Assembly)

Metrocard Refunds This bill would establish a procedure for the MTA to refund moneys when a vending machine fails to dispense a ticket, token or Metrocard. (A.2197; Passed Assembly)

MTA Conversion Of Diesel Bus Fleet This bill would require the MTA to submit a long-range plan detailing their activity and strategy for the conversion of their diesel bus fleet to alternative fuel vehicles. (A.4301-A; Passed Assembly)

MTA Citizen's Advisory Committee This bill would establish a permanent citizen's advisory committee to the MTA. The bill also would provide this committee with the authority to examine and make suggestions regarding MTA's Capital Plan. (A.4534; Passed Assembly/S.6549; Transportation)

Subway Station Closings This bill would require the New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) to hold public hearings prior to the total or partial closing of a passenger train station or public access to such facilities for periods that exceed six months. This bill also would grant any city resident the right to bring suit against the NYCTA if no such hearings are held to discuss local concerns. (A.7204; Passed Assembly)

PSC Advanced Telecommunications In Rural Areas Report The bill would direct the Public Service Commission to prepare report on access of rural customers to advanced telecommunications services. (A.9936/S.1087-A; Chapter 132)

Public Authority Oversight The bill would provide for increased public and governmental oversight into the operation of certain public authorities. This bill would mandate specific budget reports, restrict transfer functions and guarantee civil service status of employees. (A.10258-B; Passed Assembly/S.7259-A;Rules)

Age Requirements For MTA Police The bill would set an age requirement for new appointees to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority police department of ages 21 to 35 with a special exception for applicants with prior military service. (A.11094/S.5672; Chapter 586)

Financing Of Court And Municipal Health Facilities The bill relates to increasing the bond cap to allow for continued construction or reconstruction of court facilities and municipal health facilities. (A.11332/S.4322-B: Chapter 95)

Nassau County Interim Finance Authority Bonds(NCIFA) The bill would authorize the NCIFA to issue an additional $790 million in bonds to finance tax certiorari judgements. (A.11699-A/S.7636-A; Chapter 528)


Rockefeller Drug Laws This bill would enact the Drug Reform, Drug Treatment and Crime Reduction Act of 2002. The comprehensive bill seeks to revamp certain drug laws in an effort to reduce crime - allowing judges to send some non-violent, lower level offenders to effective treatment programs as a potential alternative to prison. The measure also seeks to improve the delivery of drug treatment services in the state's correctional facilities, provides the resources to make drug-law reform work, targets drug traffickers and drug dealers who prey on children and increases penalties for those who mix drugs and guns. (A.8888-B; Passed Assembly)


UDC Regional Venture Program This bill would create a regional venture capital fund, administered by the Urban Development Corporation, to provide access to capital for small-and medium-sized companies. (A.5172; Passed Assembly/S.2877; Corporations, Authorities and Commissions)

Small Business Preference This bill would require the state Department of Economic Development, Job Development Authority, NYSTAR and Urban Development Corporation to provide preferences to small businesses and entrepreneurs in the administration of economic-development assistance programs. The bill aims to ensure that small-business funding needs are not undermined by larger, higher-profile capital projects, for which the state economic development agencies have shown a preference. (A.1960; Passed Assembly)

Appearance Enhancement This bill would prohibit owners and operators of appearance-enhancement businesses, such as nail salons, from knowingly selling, using or applying to any person a substance containing monomeric methyl methacrylate ("MMA"). MMA is known to be a dangerous chemical and to pose a threat to public health. This bill also would prohibit owners and operators from knowingly directing their employees to sell, use or apply MMA. (A.9428/S.5783; Chapter 264)

Managing Programs That Aid The Manufacturing Industry This bill would establish the strategic network partnerships program to organize, integrate and coordinate state programs designed to assist manufacturing industries in becoming more competitive and productive. (A.1005; Passed Assembly/S.751; Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business)

Hi-Tech Working Capital Loan Guarantees This bill would authorize the New York State Urban Development Corporation to establish a loan guarantee program in conjunction with regional technology development organizations to decentralize loan guarantees for working capital loans to high technology businesses. (A.869; Passed Assembly)

Skills Training Program This bill creates within the Department of Economic Development the strategic training alliance program to provide industry-specific incumbent worker training to enhance business productivity and profitability. (A.1002; Passed Assembly)

Matching Funds To Eligible Applicants To Regional Marketing Programs This bill would implement Regional Marketing Programs which would promote regional attractions including the natural resources, unique products, skilled workforce and highly developed infrastructure to advocate for the location and development of new businesses throughout the state. (A.1003; Passed Assembly/S.752;Rules)

Performance Plans and Evaluations Under this bill, the commissioner of economic development would be required to evaluate existing financial and business assistance programs. The measure would also establish a private industry review council to review existing economic development programs and report as to the delivery of services. (A.1004-B; Passed Assembly)

High-Technology Incubator Program This bill would establish a statewide program of assistance to high-technology incubator facilities to encourage the growth of small, young high-technology companies. The incubators would provide low-cost space, technical assistance, and support services to emerging high-tech companies. (A.3124; Passed Assembly/ S.3200; Energy and Telecommunications)

Statewide Patent Fair This bill authorizes the Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research and the Science and Technology Law Center to sponsor an annual statewide patent fair for the purpose of promoting and marketing for commercialization new technology developed at New York State universities. (A.11131; Passed Assembly/S.7326; Rules)

Bar Or Tavern Advertising This bill prohibits the progressive pricing of alcoholic beverages by a bar or tavern. Progressive pricing is used to encourage patrons to drink alcohol in large quantities over a short period of time by advertising a low initial price of a certain beverage and then increasing the price by an increment (such as $0.25) every hour. (A.9798/S.6032; Chapter 289)


School Aid Increase This provision in the final budget provides a $440 million increase in school aid. The increase includes funding for universal pre-K, class size reduction, full-day kindergarten and teacher training. It also restores education programs cut by the governor, including funds for BOCES, special education and minor maintenance and repair of school buildings. (A.9755-C/S.6255-C; Chapter 53)

NYC School Governance Reform The law authorizes the mayor of New York City to have sole power to appoint the city school chancellor, who will head a 13-member board of education. The law allows the mayor to appoint seven members to the board. Under the bill, five additional members will be appointed by the borough president and must be parents with children in the city school system.

While the plan eliminates the city's 32 community school boards, the parent representation on the board provides a process for gaining the input of parents and communities to ensure their involvement and participation in the development of a new governance system at the community level.

Because resources play such a vital role in education, a key provision of the law requires that the city may not reduce its contribution to the education budget from one year to the next, except if the city budget revenues decline. (A.11627/S.7456-B; Chapter 91)

Defibrillators In Public Schools This law requires the state's public schools to have at least one cardiac automated external defibrillator and trained personnel available to respond to emergencies at school functions (A.8779-A/S.6122; Chapter 60 .10577/S.6851; Chapter 61)

Dignity For All Students This bill would enact the "Dignity For All Students Act" that would prohibit harassment or discrimination of a student on school grounds based on a persons actual or perceived race, national origin, ethnic group, religion, disability, sexual orientation or gender. (A.2634-A; Passed Assembly/S.1628; Education)

Charter Schools This bill would amend the existing law relating to the applications, admissions, financing and regulation of charter schools. The major changes proposed in this bill are: (A.11752; Passed Assembly)

  • Prohibit for-profit businesses and corporate entities from applying to establish a charter school in New York State;
  • Authorize a school district to pay a charter school 90 percent of the approved operating expense per pupil for each student enrolled in grades kindergarten through 8th grade, while current law requires 100 percent;
  • Authorize a school district to receive an apportionment of state aid for a certain portion of the amount a school district must pay a charter school based on the wealth of the school district;
  • Exclude payments to charter schools when districts calculate the maximum increase in a contingency budget;
  • Prohibit charter school enrollment from exceeding five percent of the total public school enrollment of such school district, unless approved by the board of education;
  • Establishes a 3-year moratorium on approval of new charter schools;
  • Require that charter school employees of the local school district for the purpose of providing retirement benefits and health insurance benefits.
  • Charter school employees would also be covered under the school district's collective bargaining agreement; and,
  • Require a school district to hold a public hearing in order to solicit comments from the community when an application for a charter school has been proposed within the school district. This last provision was also advanced as a separate bill, .9179-A,, and has passed the Assembly and the Senate.

Interagency Council For Services To The Deaf This bill creates a New York State interagency council for services to persons who are deaf, deaf-blind or hard of hearing. The measure also promotes a comprehensive service system for this population. (A.7536-A; Passed Assembly)


Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2002 This bill would provide candidates in statewide and state legislative races with the option of accepting public campaign funds. Under the bill, participating candidates would be required to adhere to campaign spending limits and newly established contribution limits. The bill also would restrict amounts that can be donated to candidates and political committees and ban soft money contributions to political parties' housekeeping accounts.

In addition, the bill would ban fundraising events by state legislators and statewide candidates within a 40-mile radius of Albany during the legislative session; improve campaign finance reporting procedures; close loopholes that allow corporations to avoid campaign contribution limits by funneling donations through subsidiary companies; require clear identification of the funding source for communication materials circulated in support of or against candidates; and empower local governments to enact public financing programs for local campaigns. (A.8524-A; Passed Assembly)

Municipal Lobbying This bill would enhance the review of lobbying practices at the municipal level. The comprehensive lobbying reform act of 1999 established an advisory council on lobbying by local governments. The council, which was to review municipal lobbying reporting requirements, expired in October 2001. The bill would revive the council and require it to submit a report by the end of this year. (A.10395/S.6460; Chapter 19)

Excessive Contributor Penalties This bill would penalize corporations that exceed election law contribution limits. Under the bill, corporations would be fined for contributing more than the $5,000 the current law allows. (A.1460; Passed Assembly/S.101; Elections)

Bipartisan Ballot Information The bill would require that the information provided to voters on ballot propositions be prepared in a nonpartisan way by the State Board of Elections and mailed to voters across the state. It would require the preparation and distribution of pamphlets explaining how to register, vote and obtain absentee ballots. (A.243-B; Passed Assembly/S.1256-A; Elections)

E-Filing Financial Records This bill would allow counties to require local candidate's campaigns and political committees that raise or spend $1,000 to file their financial disclosure forms electronically. Under the bill, financial disclosure forms would be filed with the board of elections using computer software. (A.5746-B; Passed Assembly)

Inaugural Committee Reform This bill would require that gubernatorial inaugural committees be subject to all campaign finance contribution laws that apply to candidates. Under the bill, inaugural committees would have to abide by the same expenditures and contribution reporting requirements that apply to candidates for public office. (A.123-A; Passed Assembly/S.979-A; Elections).


Power For Jobs Program This bill would provide low cost power for economic development under phase five of the Power for Jobs Program. The bill would continue to make 183 megawatts of power available to eligible employers under Phases Two and Three of the Power For Jobs Program. Since its inception in 1997, the Power for Jobs program has helped to create or retain approximately 300,000 jobs throughout New York State. (A.11806/S.6425-A; Chapter 226)

Power Plant Siting Rules This bill would change the siting process for major electric generating facilities in New York State in order to provide more opportunities for local input and to better gauge the impact of facilities on communities - without lengthening the existing application review period. The bill would set forth changes in the reauthorization of the relevant parts of state law, including Article X of the Public Service Law that governs siting of such facilities and Article VI of the Energy Law that addresses energy planning. (A.11755-A; Passed Assembly)

Alternative Fuel Refueling Stations This bill would increase the use and ease of operating alternative fuel vehicles by requiring the New York State Thruway Authority to provide refueling stations every 120 miles. Under the bill, the Thruway Authority would be required to accommodate vehicles fueled by electricity, propane, hydrogen and ethanol. (A.9116-A; Passed Assembly)

Nuclear Plant Whistleblower Protection This bill would establish a program to encourage and protect employees of nuclear power plants who communicate concerns regarding safety problems. (A.528-A; Passed Assembly/S.521-A; Energy and Telecommunications)

Power Authority Compliance With State Environmental Laws This bill would require the Power Authority of New York State to abide by the same state environmental laws with which other electric utilities must comply, especially in light of recent changes to the Freshwater Wetlands and Tidal Wetlands Act and the state Environmental Quality Review Act. (A.1187; Passed Assembly)

Hearings On Utility Rate Hikes This bill would protect consumers from unnecessary and excessive utility rate hikes by requiring notices to be included in monthly bills regarding public hearings on requests to increase utility rates. (A.1292; Passed Assembly/S.1046; Rules)

PSC Oversight This bill would require increased oversight by the Public Service Commission (PSC) regarding the types of costs that are recovered through automatic adjustments to gas and electric rates. The bill would require the PSC to examine the effect of higher prices that are passed on to consumers through these automatic adjustments on customer bills and to ensure that utilities are providing reasonable rates to retail consumers. (A.8980; Passed Assembly)

Natural Gas Safety And Reliability Service This bill would require natural gas corporations to continue to respond to customer service calls involving safety and reliability and to perform certain minor services and repairs. The bill aims to ensure that basic customer services provided by natural gas utilities are not diminished. (A.1270-B; Passed Assembly/S.579-A; Rules)

Energy Consumer Protection Act The bill would extend existing protections to residential consumers who choose alternate energy suppliers and prohibit "slamming," which are unauthorized changes in suppliers of natural gas or electric service. (A.8978-B/S.6778-B; Chapter 686)

Net Energy Metering This bill provides for the inclusion of wind and hybrid-wind-solar electric generating equipment with net metering for solar or wind electric generating systems. The bill would ensure that electric customers who also derive their power needs from wind and solar energy generating devices are only charged for the power they draw from a utility. (A. 11280-A; Passed Assembly/S.6825-B; Rules)

Agency Energy Conservation Action Plan This bill would require the state Office of General Services in coordination with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the Public Service Commission to prepare an integrated energy conservation action plan. Under the bill, the plan would have to specify the measures that state departments and agencies will take to reduce energy costs by 10 percent in 2003 and 24 percent in 2010. (A.8981; Passed Assembly)


Superfund Refinancing This bill would establish a comprehensive, 10-year plan that calls for bonding $200 million annually to provide desperately needed funds for New York State's highly successful Superfund program. The bill would dramatically expedite cleanups of hazardous sites, resulting in a safer and cleaner environment for all New Yorkers. (A.11048; Passed Assembly)

Lower Manhattan Air Quality This bill would protect Lower Manhattan residents, students, workers and tourists from the harmful effects of diesel engine emissions in the aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks. The measure would mandate the use of low-sulfur fuel in diesel trucks and equipment in downtown Manhattan as rebuilding efforts continue. (A.10130; Passed Assembly)

Curbing Air Pollution This bill, commonly referred to as the "four-pollutant bill," would direct the DEC to establish emission standards for mercury, nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide. These standards will help reduce dangerous contaminant emissions and protect the environment and public health. (A.5577-C; Passed Assembly)

Low-Sulfur Fuel Requirements This bill would require the use of low-sulfur fuel. Under the bill, the DEC would be required to adopt regulations prohibiting any person from manufacturing, selling, or offering for sale gasoline, diesel fuel and home heating fuel that does not meet requirements for reduced sulfur content. (A.11027-A; Passed Assembly/S.7533; Rules)

Mercury Emissions Reduction This bill would establish standards for a state mercury emissions reduction program. The bill aims to reduce mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants and incinerators by 90-percent before January 2007. Mercury's toxicity has been known to impair the human nervous system, kidney and heart functions and cause other public health problems. (A.5203; Passed Assembly)

Clean Indoor Air This bill would protect restaurant customers from second-hand smoke by restricting smoking to a restaurant's bar, providing it is separated from the dining area by at least a six foot space or a floor to ceiling partition. Under the bill, establishments without a bar could allow smoking, but only in an enclosed, self contained and well-ventilated area separate from other restaurant patrons. (A.228-D; Passed Assembly/S.4989-B; Rules)

Public Playgrounds This bill would prohibit the use of chromated copper arsenate (CCA) pressure treated lumber in the construction of structures on public playgrounds and require the maintenance of existing structures to limit exposure to CCA, a known carcinogen which is particularly dangerous to children. The bill also would require the DEC to publish warnings about the dangers that this lumber poses to public health and the environment and include information about alternative materials to pressure treated lumber. (A.10221-A/S.7167-A; Chapter 521)

Lead Fishing Sinkers This bill would phase out the sale of small sized lead sinkers (one-half ounce or less) in New York State because of the lead toxicity hazard to humans and waterfowl. (A.8683-C/S.4786-D; Chapter 59)

Bird Conservation Area This bill would expand the Natural Heritage Area to include conservation management on critical habitats and it would extend the Bird Conservation Area (BCA) to other state-owned land throughout New York. Under the bill, the BCA would be increased from the current 18 locations to all state land. (A.10385-A/S.5551-A; Chapter 214)

Pine Barrens Penalties This bill would establish civil penalties of up to $10,000 for violations of the provisions of the Long Island Pine Barrens Maritime Reserve Act. (A.11744; Passed Assembly/S.7683; Rules)

Recycling Electronic Equipment This bill would direct the Commissioner of Environmental Conservation to develop rules and regulations providing for recycling, reuse, and re-manufacturing of electronic equipment. (A.10147; Passed Assembly/S.7091-A; Rules)

The Private Environmental Law Enforcement Act This bill grants private citizens broad authorization to commence civil judicial actions under the environmental conservation law. Under the bill, private citizens would be able to initiate civil enforcement actions against polluters. The bill requires prior notice to the alleged violator, the Commissioner of Environmental Conservation and the Attorney General as a condition before commencing a citizen suit. (A.455; Passed Assembly/S.4825; Environmental Conservation)

Environmental Justice This bill would establish guidelines for siting of facilities with environmental impacts in people of color and economically distressed communities. The bill would require the Department of Environmental Conservation to develop an equitable and fair siting process to ensure that a disproportionate number of facilities are not located in these neighborhoods. (A.471; Passed Assembly)

Reusing Reclaimed Wastewater This bill would encourage water conservation by requiring the DEC to promulgate regulations regarding the use of reclaimed wastewater and gray water. (A.11028-A; Passed Assembly/S.7116-A; Water Resources)

Exotic Aquatic Species This bill would require signs to be posted in water ways to alert boaters to the presence of harmful exotic aquatic species and the existence of non-infested areas. Under the bill, the DEC would be required to identify and list those bodies of water that are contaminated with these aquatic pests. Under the bill, posted signs would identify the presence of aquatic pests so boaters can protect their water craft. In addition, boaters also could take steps to ensure their boats are pest free before entering uncontaminated water. (A.11437; Passed Assembly/S.7407; Rules)

Deer Management The bill would provide the DEC with additional management capabilities and hunting opportunities that will result in increased deer harvest and greater deer population regulation. (A.11166/S.6567; Chapter 154)

Open Waste Burning Ban This bill would prohibit the open burning of solid waste that can result in serious air-quality problems. The bill would address the findings of a number of studies that found that burning three to 11 pounds of household waste in a barrel or similar open container is equivalent to burning 200 tons of household waste in a modern, well-constructed incinerator. (A.7202; Passed Assembly/ S.3772-A; Rules)

Cancer Mapping Bill This bill would require that the DEC and the state Department of Health (DOH) combine data to develop a comprehensive map of the state that details incidences of cancer and the proximity of these sites to facilities that may involve materials responsible for producing these incidences. (A.404-B; Passed Assembly/S.4834-A; Environmental Conservation)

Banning Insect Repellents with High Concentrations of DEET This bill would ban the sale of insect repellents with high concentrations of chemical DEET. Under the bill, products designed for human use would be banned if they have a DEET concentration of more than 30 percent. (A.439; Passed Assembly)


Civil Service Pay Equity This bill would require state civil service laws to implement a salary policy that equally compensates state employees for work of comparable value by eliminating wage inequality in job titles. The measure aims to remove current wage inequalities in state workforce job titles and classifications, which are based on segregating employees by sex, race or national origin. The bill is part of the Assembly pay equity legislative initiative. (A.236; Passed Assembly)

Pay Discrimination Prevention This bill would prohibit public employers from compensating employees of different sexes differently for work that is of comparable worth. Under the bill, employers would measure the worth of various jobs by measuring the skill, effort and responsibility normally required in the performance of work and the conditions under which the work is normally performed. (A.7012; Passed Assembly/S.483; Civil Service and Pensions.)

Early Retirement Incentive This bill would implement an early retirement incentive for state and local employees. The bill would offer a 55/25 year temporary incentive benefit for certain public employees in order to reduce the work force while also minimizing layoffs during the state's current financial difficulties. Under the bill, if an employer elects to offer an early retirement incentive, an employee could be eligible for an additional service credit of one month for each year of service, up to a 36-month maximum. (A.11420/S.7431; Chapter 69)

Public Employment Relations Board This bill would clarify the jurisdiction of the Public Employment Relations Board and its ability to examine cases involving alleged violations of collective bargaining agreements. (A.11323; Passed Assembly/S.7242-A Civil Service)

Retention of NYC Police and Fire This bill would allow New York City police and firefighters to collect variable supplemental fund benefits after 20 years of service while continuing to serve in the NYPD or the FDNY. As a result of the tragic personnel losses both departments suffered in the attack on the World Trade Center and a large number of retiring senior officers, this bill is intended to give veteran police officers and firefighters an incentive to remain on duty. (A.10373-B/ S.5852-C; Chapter 216)

Public Employee Representation This bill would give employees the right to be represented during employer questioning whenever it appears there is a potential for disciplinary action. Under the bill, public employees would have the same representation rights as employees in the private sector. (A.10288-A/S.5259-B; Veto Memo 23)

Agency Shop This bill would make an agency shop fee deduction permanent in all public employee units within the state, since the employee organizations representing those units are responsible for the costs of representing both members and non-members. This bill would continue to provide a system for agency shop fee deductions for employee organizations, which offers rebates based on a percentage of dues used for political and ideological purposes. (A.10360; Passed Assembly/S.3068-A; Rules)


September 11 Remembrance Day This bill would allow for an annual day of remembrance and recognition for casualties of the World Trade Center attack and the heroes who came to their rescue by making September 11 a state holiday. (A.10348; Passed Assembly)

Religious Freedom This bill protects the rights of employees to practice and express their religious faith by extending current state protections to a wide range of religious beliefs, guaranteeing an employee's right to comply with religious practices and use leave time for religious observance. (A.7340-A/S.7605-A; Chapter 539)

Challenging Pay Discrimination This bill would make it easier to challenge pay discrimination by allowing complaints to the state Division of Human Rights to be filed as class actions (A.97; Passed Assembly/S.2068; Investigations and Government Operations)

Crime Victims Board This bill would require a health-care professional who is experienced in treating and counseling crime victims to be included as a member of the state Crime Victims Board (CVB). The measure aims to ensure that members of the CVB have the expertise necessary to evaluate properly the medical care crime victims may need in order to recover from their injuries. (A.5420;Passed Assembly/S.4801; Environmental Conservation)

Crime Victims Rights This bill would require police officers and district attorneys to inform victims about their rights and the availability of support services provided by the CVB. The bill is designed to make the victims better aware of their rights and the services that are available to them. (A.1721;Passed Assembly)

Sexual Discrimination Banned The bill that would prohibit discrimination based on an individual's sexual preference. Under the bill, sexual preferences discrimination would be banned in the workplace, education, housing and on financial credit applications. The bill would continue society's vigorous pursuit for equal treatment of all and also would dispel the climate of fear in which some New Yorkers are forced to live. (A.1971; Passed Assembly/S.720;Rules)

Disability Accommodation Bill The bill would require public and government facilities to make reasonable modifications to accommodate the disabled. The bill is part of the Assembly's legislative agenda to meet the needs of the disabled. (A.4707; Passed Assembly)

New Assembly and Senate Districts This bill would re-draw Assembly and Senate district lines as required by the state Constitution, using the latest federal census data and in compliance with the U.S. Justice Department. (A.11014/S.6796; Chapter 35)

New State Congressional Lines This bill would re-draw the district lines of New York State's Congressional representatives, using the latest federal census data and in compliance with the state Constitution and the U.S. Justice Department. Under the bill, the state's representation in Congress would be reduced by two members to 29 in order to reflect the loss of population in the upstate region. (A.11570/S.7536; Chapter 86)

Gifts To Gubernatorial Nominees This bill would extend state ethics law's provisions, imposing restrictions on gifts to gubernatorial nominees whose nominations are pending Senate confirmation. (A.11610/S.3920; Chapter 355)


Health Care Workforce Recruitment and Retention Act (HCRA) This bill would provide a comprehensive plan to help hospitals, nursing homes and clinics throughout the state recruit and retain a highly trained workforce. The bill also would allow disabled individuals to access health care by "buying into" Medicaid - a remedy long sought by the Assembly Majority.

Other components of the bill include an expansion of Medicaid breast and cervical cancer coverage, and the streamlining of the enrollment process for Child Health Plus, Family Health Plus and Medicaid, so that more low-income New Yorkers will have access to available health care.

The HCRA expansion is funded by $1 billion from the proceeds from the conversion of Empire Blue Cross-Blue Shield to a for-profit corporation, a 39-cent tax increase in the state sales tax on a pack of cigarettes, revenues generated from the Tobacco Settlement Fund and an anticipated increase in federal support for Medicaid. (A.9610/S.6084; Chapter 1)

Nursing Home Assessment Averted This bill would provide $75 million on a annual basis to exempt Medicare revenues from the 6 percent nursing home assessment. Under the bill, nursing homes would be exempt from paying an assessment on their revenues to the Medicare system. (A.9759-B/S.6257; Chapter 82)

Nursing Care Quality Protection Act This bill would require hospitals in the state to disclose the number of registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) on their staffs and the ratio of nurses providing direct care to patients. The bill would also prohibit non-nurse medical personnel from representing themselves as RNs or LPNs. (A.2581; Passed Assembly/S.510;Health)

Office-Based Surgery Reporting This bill would require health-care practitioners who perform medical surgery in an office setting to report to the DOH incidents of patient complications, mortalities and emergency transfers to hospitals. Under the bill, DOH would use this information to compile a report and make recommendations to the Legislature and the governor regarding regulations to ensure patient safety. (A.5549-B; Passed Assembly/S.6311;Rules)

Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment This bill would extend Medicaid coverage for breast and cervical cancer treatment for women under 65 who have been screened under the Center for Disease Control and Prevention program and do not have health insurance coverage. The bill also would extend coverage to women 65 and over and who are eligible for Medicare. Under the bill, coverage is limited to the period during which care is necessary. (A.5547; Passed Assembly/S.4465; Health)

Breast Cancer Grants This bill would authorize DOH to award grants for community-based breast cancer detection, counseling, outreach and education programs. The bill also would require community-based organizations accepting these grants to have breast cancer survivors in decision-making positions and to provide a range of cancer education support services free of charge. (A.4036-B; Passed Assembly)

Breast Cancer Advocate The bill would expand the number of breast cancer survivors or sufferers on the state Health Research Science Board from one non-voting person appointed by the board to 10 voting persons who have first-hand experience with disease. Under the bill, the board's membership would be increased to 21, and the additional members would be appointed by the Legislature and the governor. (A.5681; Passed Assembly)

Obstacles To Enrollment This bill would remove the obstacles to enrollment and eligibility recertification for the Child Health Plus, Prenatal Care Assistance and Medicaid and Family Health Plus programs. The bill would ensure that these state health-care programs are free of obstacles that may inadvertently discourage eligible New Yorkers from participating. (A.7909-A; Passed Assembly)

Coordinating Services for the Disabled This bill would create a council to develop and oversee the implementation and coordination of a comprehensive statewide plan for providing services to individuals with disabilities. Under the bill, the council would be comprised of representatives from state agencies that provide services to the disabled. (A.9913-B/S.7342-A; Chapter 551)

Health-Care Organization Accountability This bill would hold health-care organizations accountable for any delay, failure or refusal to approve, provide, arrange or timely pay for certain health care services. The bill would ensure that health-care organizations are held accountable in the same way as health-care professionals have been held responsible for the consequences of their decisions. (A.8318; Passed Assembly/S.4013; Judiciary)

Refinancing Of Not-For-Profit Hospitals This bill would allow financially distressed, not-for-profit hospitals to refinance outstanding indebtedness in order to improve or maintain the hospitals financial condition. (A.11292-C/S.6939-A; Chapter 590)

Children Hospice Care Coverage This bill would require hospice services for children to be covered by the Family Health Plus and Child Health Plus programs. (A.11503/S.7470; Chapter 526)

Tattoo and Body-Piercing Parlor Regulation Fund This bill would create a special fund to regulate tattoo and body-piercing establishments. Under the bill, fines collected from violators of the state health laws would be used by the DOH to fund enforcement activities aimed at protecting a growing number of "body-art" consumers from potential health hazards, among them AIDS and hepatitis. (A.11496A/S.6076A; Chapter 607)


World Trade Center Memorial Scholarship Program This bill would establish the World Trade Center Memorial Scholarship Program. The bill would provide scholarships to children, spouses and financial dependents of innocent victims who have died or have been severely and permanently disabled as a direct result of 9/11. Under the bill, the scholarship award would be equal to the SUNY-CUNY tuition for state residents. (A.11812/S.7792; Chapter 176)

Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) Restored This bill would provide $212 million to the Tuition Assistance Program in order to restore fully the executive's TAP budget cuts. (A.9755-C/ S.6255-C; Chapter 53)

Higher Education Funds Increased This bill would provide a $27 million increase to fund the state's community colleges, provide for additional full-time faculty at four-year colleges, and restore higher education opportunity programs cut by the governor's budget. (A.9755-C / S.6255-C; Chapter 53)


Loft Law Legislation The bill would extend the state's Loft Law to May 31, 2004. The law expired on May 31, 2002. The Loft Law was approved in 1982, creating the "interim multiple dwelling" status that permits landlords to collect rents on residential lofts, most of which were created in vacant commercial buildings. (A.9762-B/S.6260-B; Chapter 85)

Extending Rent Regulations With the state's rent regulation system set to expire in June, 2003, this bill would extend the protections it provides renters until 2008.

In addition, this bill would eliminate "high rent" vacancy decontrol - which allows landlords to remove apartments permanently from state rent regulations. (A.11011; Passed Assembly/S.7118; Housing, Construction and Community Development)

Loft Law Protections This bill would expand loft law protections to residents living in lofts that have not yet been designated as a "interim multiple dwellings." The bill would provide protections to New York City renters who moved into abandoned industrial buildings during the 1980's and 1990's. This bill would include buildings and structures occupied for residential purposes from January 1, 2000 to January 1, 2001 as interim multiple dwellings. (A.5580-B; Passed Assembly / S.6734; Housing, Construction and Community Development)


Women's Health and Wellness Act This bill would expand access to critical health care services for millions of women across New York State by expanding insurance coverage for prevention, early detection and treatment of breast and cervical cancer, osteoporosis and contraceptives for all women. In addition, the bill would call for funding to be set aside through the Healthy Women Partnership Program to be used for individuals who cannot meet deductible or co-pay obligations for breast or cervical cancer screenings. (A.11723/S.7657; Chapter 554)

Infertility Insurance This bill would require health insurance companies to cover prescription drugs and certain surgical procedures necessary to treat infertility. The bill also would provide a $10 million grant program to help defray the costs associated with in-vitro fertilization and gamete intrafallopian tube transfers. Under the bill, the state health commissioner will oversee the grant program, which will be administered from of the state's leading infertility treatment centers. (A.9759-B/S.6257-B; Chapter 82)

Fighting Insurance Discrimination This bill seeks to end "redlining" by prohibiting insurance carriers from denying consumers seeking to buy either homeowners or auto insurance coverage based solely on geographic location of the property and the age of the structure or vehicle to be insured. (A.6919-B; Passed Assembly)

No-Fault Reform This bill would enact the Omnibus No-Fault Insurance Fraud Prevention Act. The bill aims to combat fraud in the auto insurance market by targeting the growing number of individuals and professionals involved in exploiting the state's no-fault system. The bill also would authorize county district attorneys to appoint a special fraud prosecutor, provide greater oversight of medical benefits and increase penalties for rip-off artists. Under the bill, violators would face up to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 or double the amount of the criminal gain. (A.8654-E; Passed Assembly)

Breast Cancer Prevention The bill would require insurers to provide coverage for annual mammography screenings for all women more than 40 years old. The measure would provide significant protections against breast cancer since several studies have shown that mamographies performed on women less than 50 years of age reduce cancer deaths by 30 percent. (A.2004; Passed Assembly /S.1132; Insurance)

Mental Health Insurance Parity This legislation would not allow insurance companies to differentiate between the types of coverage they provide to patients who suffer from mental illness and those who suffer from other medical conditions. Currently, the law allows health insurance contracts to limit the health insurance coverage for medical procedures that treat mental disorders. (A.4506; Passed Assembly)

Health Insurance Hikes This bill would require the state Insurance Department (SID) to review health-insurance premium increases of more than 5 percent. The bill is in response to the alarming growth in increases ranging from 10 to 40 percent. To ensure consumers are not strapped with unaffordable insurance premiums, the bill would require SID to conduct public hearings on rate-hike applications. (A.1084-B; Passed Assembly /S.748-B; Insurance)

Managed Care Consumer Assistance Program This bill would establish a Managed Care Consumer Assistance Program (MCCAP) to help health-care consumers understand their rights and how to use them. The MCCAP would create one state and several regional managed care consumer assistance centers that would provide a toll-free consumer assistance information number, walk-in counseling, education on managed care plans, health care dispute resolution and assistance on how to challenge coverage decisions by managed care organizations. (A.4411-A; Passed Assembly)

Sole Proprietors This bill would require health insurers and HMOs that offer group coverage that via chambers of commerce or associations to offer the same policies to sole proprietors and sole employees of not-for-profit organizations. The bill aims to help small businesses by making health insurance more affordable for companies that are owned and operated by one person. (A.7413-D/S.7360; Chapter 557)


September 11th Victims and Families Relief Act This bill would help victims of the World Trade Center attacks and their families access financial assistance. The bill also calls for domestic partners of those killed in the attacks to be eligible for assistance. (A.11290/S.7356; Chapter 73)

Assigned Counsel Rates Increased This bill would increase compensation rates for attorneys assigned by the courts to represent individuals who are unable to afford legal representation. Under the bill, a $75 hourly rate would apply for felony and appellate cases and cases in Family Court, and a $60 an hour rate for misdemeanor cases. The bill also would develop a revenue stream to establish the Indigent Defense Services Fund in order to assist local governments in funding assigned counsel services. This would be the first fee increase for "18-B attorneys," as they are known under the law, in 15 years. (A.11862; Passed Assembly)

Pay Equity This bill would amend Article I of the state Constitution to require equal pay for equal work of comparable skill under similar working conditions. The bill aims to correct wage disparity and provide pay equity for all people who perform work of comparable skill, effort and responsibility. The measure addresses the current men to women pay disparity, a condition that discriminates against New York State women who receive only 73 cents for every dollar earned by men. The bill is part of the Assembly pay equity legislative initiative. (A.290; Passed Assembly)

Harriet Tubman Day This bill would designate March 10 as a public holiday to be known as Harriet Tubman Day. The bill aims to recognize the lifetime achievements of Harriet Tubman who in the mid-19 century established the "Underground Railroad" to secure the freedom of blacks escaping slavery. Tubman's network of safe houses throughout the United States included dwelling in a central New York City that Auburn, which became her base for delivering several hundred slaves to freedom. (A.4090; Passed Assembly/S.2203; Judiciary)

Medical Support For Children This bill would ensure children who are involved in all supreme court and family court child support orders are provided health care coverage by their parents. Under the bill, parents would be required to maintain an insured child's health-care coverage. If the mother or father are uninsured, parents would be mandated to enroll their child in Child Health Insurance Plus (CHIP) or Medicaid. (A.11197-A/S.5131-C; Chapter 624)


Minimum Wage Increase This bill would increase the state's hourly minimum wage from $5.15 to $6.75 as of January 1, 2003. The bill would provide for annual increases thereafter based on the state average wage. The bill aims to ensure that the wages of working families keep pace with rising inflation costs and boost the earning ability of the many individuals who depend on minimum-wage jobs. (A.5132-B Passed Assembly/S.4749-A;Rules)

State Average Wage This bill would raise the minimum wage to $6.00 in January 1, 2003 and to $6.75 in January 1, 2004. This bill would require the state Labor Department to study indexing the minimum wage to a cost of living indicator or an average cost of the state weekly wage in order to protect the minimum wage's value from being eroded by inflation.

To determine the state average wage, the bill also would require the commissioner of labor to study indexing the minimum wage to other economic measures in order to protect it from the economy's inflationary forces. (A.11805; Passed Assembly/S.7825; Rules)

Unemployment Insurance Extender This bill would allow unemployment insurance recipients to get an additional 13 weeks of benefits. The extension is necessary to help New Yorkers recover from the economic impact of September 11. The bill aims to assist people financially for a short time period so that they can return to the workforce as quickly as possible. (A.11624; Passed Assembly/S.7593; Rules)

Labor Neutrality This bill would ensure that state funds are not utilized to encourage or deter union organizing drives. The bill would prevent public funds from being misdirected for either purpose. (A.11784-A/ S.7822; Chapter 601)

State Procurement Practices This bill would require the Department of Labor to establish a registry of apparel manufacturers and contractors that were adversely impacted by the September 11 World Trade Centers attacks. Under the bill, registry companies would be the preferred source to purchase apparel for all public entities, including agencies, departments, authorities, SUNY and CUNY. (A.11831-A/S.7791-A; Chapter 350)

Fair Pay Act Under this bill, employers would be specifically prohibited from paying women of any racial or ethnic background less money than men for work of equal or comparable worth. (A.6691-A; Passed Assembly/S.6859; Labor)

Workplace Smoking This bill seeks to ensure that non-smokers are not subjected to tobacco smoke in the workplace by requiring employers to restrict all smoking to separately ventilated break rooms. (A.7743-B; Passed Assembly/S.3993-B; Rules)

Health-Care Whistle-Blower Protection The bill would provide protections to workers of health-care facilities who report violations of the law to the news media. Under the bill, employers would be barred from firing an employee who provides information to the media about the practices and policies of a health-care facility that create a risk to the public's health or safety. (A.9454/S.5813; Chapter 24)

Comparable Worth Pay Protection The bill would protect individuals from being paid less than their fellow employees who are performing comparable work. The bill aims to reverse work place conditions that pay workers less than other employees even though their job performance, skills and qualifications are similar. The bill is part of the Assembly's pay equity legislative initiative. (A.7432; Passed Assembly/S.486; Labor)

Nursing Mothers This bill would require employers to allow employees who are breast feeding young infants to take paid or unpaid leave time to express breast milk to feed their children at a later time. Under the bill, reasonable leave time must be given for up to one year following childbirth. The bill would require employers to provide a room or other private location in close proximity to the work areas for mothers. The bill also prohibits employers from discriminating against mothers who wish to express breast milk while at work. (A.7200; Passed Assembly)

Summer Youth Employment This bill would establish a summer employment program for young New Yorkers between the ages of 14 and 21, with an emphasis on targeting 14 and 15 year olds. The bill requires the state labor commissioner to develop a statewide summer youth employment program. The program would be administered by local governments to fill employment positions in municipal parks, recreational facilities and other community projects. (A.8372-A; Passed Assembly /S.5254-A; Labor)


County Cell Phone Tax This bill, at the request of the county, would authorize specific counties to establish a wireless surcharge fee of up to 30-cents. Under the bill, the counties would be allowed to collect the surcharge in order to fund the design, construction, operation, maintenance and administration of a county public safety communication network.

Counties requesting cell phone surcharge authorization are:

  • Cattaraugus (A.11741/S.7656; Chapter 396);
  • Cayuga (A.11700;;/S. 7633; Chapter 389);
  • Cortland (A.11683/S. 7613; Chapter 387);
  • Dutchess (A.11729/S. 7647; Chapter 392);
  • Herkimer (A.11689/S.7612-A; Chapter 386);
  • Livingston (A.11722/S.7634; Chapter 390);
  • Montgomery (A.11854;;/S.7866; Chapter 424);
  • Nassau (A.11669/S.7591; Chapter 276);
  • Ontario (A.11737/S.7662; Chapter 399)
  • Putnam (A.11759/S.7651; Chapter 395);
  • Rensselaer (A.11810/S.7668; Chapter 400);
  • Schuyler (A.11718/S.7648 Chapter 393);
  • Seneca (A.11738/S.7660; Chapter 397);
  • Tompkins (A.11682 / S.7614; Chapter 388);
  • Ulster (A.11719/S.7639; Chapter 391);
  • Wayne (A.11739/S. 7661; Chapter 398);
  • Westchester (A.11746 / S.7782; Chapter 489); and
  • Yates (A.11720/S.7649; Chapter 394.).

Industrial Development Authority This bill would extend provisions of current law that allow IDA's to finance civic facilities. It also would restrict the financing of retail projects and projects that merely relocate companies from one area of the state to another. (A.11736/S.7691 Chapter 112)

Service Award Program For Volunteer Firefighters This bill broadens the service award program for volunteer firefighters to include teaching fire prevention classes. (A.2281/S.1422; Chapter 559)

Notification Of Wild Animals This bill requires persons owning, possessing or harboring wild animals to notify their clerk of the city, town, or village, who shall transmit this information to emergency services personnel. (A.4433-B/S.2558-B; Chapter 680)

Disaster Relief Volunteer Leave This bill would provide paid leave for public officers and employees of school districts who volunteer in disaster relief operations. (A.9557-A/S.6024-A; Chapter 505)

Preserving Records In The Digital Age This bill will add a period of probable usefulness for the preservation of records in a digital format. (A.9844/S.6281; Chapter 368)

Collection of Water Fees This bill allows municipalities that must collect special assessments, water and sewer user fees, to contract with banks or trust companies for the collection of the fees. (A.10463/S.6046; Chapter 217)

Helping Fire Districts Improve Effectiveness This bill allows the commissioners of a fire district to appoint a director of purchasing to handle the purchasing duties of the district. The purchasing duties of fire districts are becoming increasingly complex as districts find themselves purchasing materials for use in hazardous materials response and medical emergencies. This bill will better enable fire districts to employ individuals with the expertise to perform the increasingly complex task. (A.10464/S.6051; Chapter 670)

Municipal Self-Funded Employee Health Benefits This bill addresses the delegation of certain functions in connection with municipal self-funded employees health benefit plan. It would allow these plans to enter into contract with administrators of other service providers. (A.10465-B/S.6048-B; Chapter 681)

Private Activity Bond Allocation This bill would continue to provide for an orderly and efficient private activity bond allocation process for state and local issuers of private activity bonds by extending the current allocation system for an additional year. (A.11023/S.6149; Chapter 97)

Removal of Volunteer Firefighter This bill would require that a hearing for the removal of a volunteer firefighter be held within 90 days of the filing of charges against the firefighter. (A.11299/S.5114-A; Chapter 591)

Nassau County Legislative Package: Nassau County, under the review of a financial review board, was forced to take extraordinary measures to address a dire financial situation. The following bills were passed to help Nassau County transition while seeking a more solid financial foundation.

  • E911 Local Surcharge This bill would authorize the legislative body of the County of Nassau to establish a wireless surcharge. (A.11669-A/S.7591-A; Chapter 276)

  • Star Senior Real Property Tax Exemption This bill would authorize counties that are special assessing units to grant partial abatement of general county tax to persons eligible for enhanced STAR exemption. (A.11634-A/S.7532-A; Chapter 383)

  • Traffic and Parking Violations Agency This bill would establish the Nassau County Traffic and Parking Violations Agency to replace the traffic prosecutor selection and oversight panel. (A.11633-A/S.7518-A; Chapter 527)

  • Nassau Interim Finance Authority Bonds This bill would authorize Nassau County Interim Finance Authority to issue an additional $790,000,000 of bonds to pay certain costs. (A.11699-A/S.7636-A; Chapter 528)

  • Assessment Review Commission This bill would provide for real property assessment, preparation of tax roles, changes in assessments and review of assessments in Nassau County. (A.11748/S.7698; Chapter 401)


Health Care Decisions Act For Persons With Mental Retardation This bill would allow the legally appointed guardians of mentally retarded individuals to have the authority to make medical decisions on behalf of such persons, including decisions dealing with the withdrawal or withholding of life-sustaining treatment. (A.8466-D/S.4622-B; Chapter 500)

Community Mental Health and Workforce Reinvestment This bill would capture funds resulting from the downsizing of the state-operated inpatient psychiatric system to provide funding for workforce recruitment, retention and training, as well as community-based programs. (A.11604-A/S.7560; Veto 38)

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT): The Assembly approved legislation to ensure adequate safeguards for individuals receiving ECT, a procedure used to treat certain mental illnesses that involves passing an electrical current into a patient's brain. The multiple bill package was proposed and passed following Assembly hearings conducted earlier in the year to examine concerns that ECT was being administered to patients against their will.

  • Regulation of Electroconvulsive Therapy This bill would provide for the oversight and regulation of the administration of electroconvulsive therapy. (A.9081-C; Passed Assembly)

  • Advisory Council on Electroconvulsive Therapy This bill would establish a temporary advisory council on electroconvulsive therapy practices to make recommendations on rules and regulations governing these practices. (A.9082-D; Passed Assembly)

  • Administering Electroconvulsive Therapy This bill would require facilities administering electroconvulsive therapy to report to the state Office of Mental Health on a quarterly basis. (A.9083-B; Passed Assembly)

  • Emergency Treatment For Electroconvulsive Therapy This bill would require facilities administering electroconvulsive therapy to have access to emergency medical treatment and in-patient psychiatric units. (A.9084; Passed Assembly)

Inter-Office Coordinating Council This bill would establish the Inter-Office Coordinating Council within the state Department of Mental Hygiene to promote cooperation among the department's various offices. (A.11616; Passed Assembly)

Discharge Planning Process This bill would expand the department's inpatient treatment planning requirements to all residential and community programs, and require residential programs to consider the post-discharge needs of their residents. (A.3094:: Passed Assembly)


Pari-Mutuel Wagering and Breeding Law This bill would extend certain provisions of the state's racing, pari-mutuel wagering and breeding law until June 30, 2007. (A.11765/S.7712; Chapter 113)

Quick Draw This bill would extend the state-operated, Quick Draw, a 10-number computerized game that has a drawing every five minutes, until May 31, 2004. (A.9762-B / S.6260-B; Chapter 85)

Problem Gambling This bill would create the Problem and Compulsive Gambling Education Prevention Treatment Fund and provide for its funding from certain lottery, tribal-state and wagering revenues. (A.10644-B; Passed Assembly/S.6631-B; Rules)

Video Lottery Terminal (VLT) and NYRA Franchise Extention This law was enacted as part of the Fiscal Year 2002-03 for New York State. Under the legislation, the VLT experiment will be expanded from three to five years in order to allow vendors additional time to recoup the capital costs to install the video terminals. VLT vendors will also be allowed to negotiate a lower purse payout with their recognized horsemen's group during the initial three years of the experiment. The law also would provide an incentive to the New York Racing Association (NYRA) to install VLTs by April 1, 2003 with a five-year franchise extension to December 31, 2012. (A.9762 / S.6260-B; Chapter 85)


Fee For Real Property Tax Forms This bill would align New York City reporting requirements with the rest of the state regarding the recording of conveyances of real property. It also would impose a filing fee on real property sales forms. (A.4683-A/S.7681; Chapter 259)

Real Property Assessment Review An Assembly hearing held earlier this year on the allegations of corruption against 18 current and former assessors in New York City, raised concerns over the real property tax assessment review process. This bill would provide further disclosure of the real property assessment process in cities of one million or more by imposing requirements that additional information, such as assessing methods and capitalization rates to be disclosed. (A.11404; Passed Assembly)

State Aid Under recent practices of the governor's Division of the Budget, the City of New York has been deprived of substantial state resources to maintain updated assessments. This bill would provide that appropriations may not reduce the amount of state aid to which a city of one million or more is entitled for improved real property tax administration. (A.11405; Passed Assembly)

Training For Assessors This bill would establish training and certification requirements for assessors of real property and others having professional appraisal duties for cities of 5 million or more. (A.11406; Passed Assembly)

Financial Disclosure This bill would require all assessors to file a statement of financial disclosure as provided for in the General Municipal Law. (A.11407; Passed Assembly)

Single-Room Occupancy This bill would extend for five years provisions pertaining to tax exemptions for the rehabilitation of certain multiple dwellings used for single-room occupancy in New York City. (A.9952/S.6342; Chapter 330)

Private Dwelling This bill would provide the term "private dwelling" should include certain structures where construction is commenced between July 1, 2002, and July 1, 2006, and completed before July 1, 2008. The bill aims to help the City of New York continue its efforts to provide affordable housing for its residents. (A.11103/S.6908; Chapter 160)

Upgrading Of Multiple Dwellings This bill would extend until June 1, 2007, the deadline for local legislative action to provide tax incentives for the rehabilitation and upgrading of multiple dwellings. The bill would extend the popular "J-51" housing program operated by the City of New York. (A.11693/S.7616; Chapter 418)

Exemption for Multiple Dwellings This bill would extend the exemption of new multiple dwellings from local taxation to projects commenced before December 31, 2007. The bill would help the City of New York continue its efforts to provide affordable rental apartments for its residents. (A.11695/S.7615; Chapter 349)

Railroad Real Property Tax Exemptions This bill would provide for railroad real property tax exemptions and the calculation of railroad ceilings for new construction projects. The bill also would provide for assistance to municipalities, including school districts. (A.11680/S.7602; Passed Both Houses)

School Tax Relief (STAR) The 2002-2003 New York State budget included changes to the School Tax Relief (STAR) program that provides a partial exemption from school property taxes for owner-occupied, primary residences, such as homes, condominiums, cooperative apartments, mobile homes and farm homes. The following measures expand eligibility and make the application process simpler.

  • Modest STAR Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) for Seniors The law would provide a modest STAR exemption increase to seniors. Under the bill, beginning with the 2003-04 school year, income eligibility for the "enhanced" STAR exemption (currently $60,000) will be moderately increased annually based on the annual Social Security cost-of-living adjustment. This law would allow seniors, with incomes near the income threshold, to maintain their STAR eligibility even though their incomes increased because of a Social Security cost-of-living adjustments. (A.9760-B/S.6258-B: Chapter 83)

  • STAR For Mitchell-Lamas Beginning in state fiscal year 2003-04 Mitchell-Lama cooperative owners would receive a STAR benefit equal to 33 percent of the benefit that non-Mitchell-Lamas cooperative shareholders' currently receive. (A.9760-B/S.6258-B: Chapter 83)

  • Simplified Application Renewal for Seniors In 2003, seniors eligible for STAR can elect to have their income verified automatically as of 2004 and thereafter. Seniors that consent to have their income eligibility for the "enhanced" exemption verified by the state Department of Taxation and Finance would no longer be required to file an annual renewal application. Seniors would be sent an annual notice and asked to notify their local assessor should circumstances related to their eligibility change from one year to the next. (A.9760-B/S.6258-B: Chapter 83)

  • Late Applications - Hardship Cases This law would allow applicants an extension until grievance day to file for STAR due to hardship. Hardship is defined as circumstances resulting from death or illness of an immediate family member. (A.9760-B/S.6258-B: Chapter 83)


Business Outreach Center Network Assistance Program This bill creates the Business Outreach Center Network Assistance Program to assist small businesses, especially micro-enterprises of ten or fewer employees. The bill would help small business operators access economic development programs that provide low interest loans, capital funds and technical assistance. (A.2789-A; Passed Assembly/S.122-A; Commerce)

Entrepreneurial Assistance This bill would provide entrepreneurial assistance to new businesses started by minorities, women and persons with disabilities to help them master the fundamentals of operating a business, including marketing, financing and management. (A.8735/S.6017; Chapter 485)

Excelsior Linked Deposit Program This bill would authorize credit unions to participate in the Excelsior Linked Deposit. The Excelsior program provides incentives to banking institutions to make low interest loans available to small businesses in exchange for receiving state deposits. (A.9809-B; Passed Assembly/S.4945-C; Rules)


Basic Education for Public Assistance Recipients This bill would enhance availability of basic language literacy and high school equivalency educational opportunities for public assistance recipients. (A.7933-B/S.7696; Veto 41)

Threshold of Non-recurring Lump Sums on Public Assistance This bill would allow up to $15,000 of a non-recurring lump sum received by a public assistance recipient to be disregarded if the amount is applied to certain resources already determined to be exempt. These purposes include applying the lump sum toward the resources that a person first applying for public assistance would be allowed to keep, or to pay expenses for education or job training to attend an approved post-secondary institution. (A.10213-A; Passed Assembly/S.7136; Rules)

Simplifying Food Stamp Applications This bill would address the needs of people seeking food stamps by require the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance to develop a simplified application for persons seeking food stamps only. (A.10216-A/S 7135-B; Chapter 333)

Helping Lower-Income Families Help Themselves This bill would allow the income earned by a dependent child who is a full time or part time student to be disregarded as earned income when determining a family's eligibility for public assistance. (A.11607/S.7515; Chapter 246)


Boxing Package: As a sport, boxing has come under intense scrutiny. Recognizing the history of the sport in New York State and seeking to ensure the integrity of the sport, the Assembly Committee on Tourism, Art and Sports Development advanced a series of measures aimed at maintaining its viability and legitimacy as a generator of tourism revenues.

  • Referees and Judges for Boxing This bill would require that a fight being promoted in New York State have judges appointed by the New York State Athletic Commission. It would also allow the commission to establish a fee schedule for judges and referees assigned to boxing, sparring and wrestling matches. (A.4370-A; Passed Assembly)

  • Official Weight Measurement This bill would require State Athletic Commission to conduct an official weight measurement of boxers not more than 12 hours prior to their bout. (A.4371-A; Passed Assembly)

  • Unsportsmanlike Practices This bill would require certain penalties for engaging in prohibited, unsportsmanlike practices during a boxing match, especially biting. (A.4912-B; Passed Assembly)

  • Composition of State Athletic Commission This bill would reconstitute the composition of the State Athletic Commission to include three additional members. (A.5400-A; Passed Assembly)

  • Penalties for Violations This bill would relate to the imposition of penalties for violations committed during a boxing match. (A.7426-A/S.439-A; Chapter 483)

  • Professional Wrestling Health and Safety Act This bill enacts the Professional Wrestling Health and Safety Act. (A.8476-B/S.5094-B; Chapter 437)

  • Scoring System This bill would establish a consensus 10 point scoring system for the winner of each round of a boxing match. (A.8534; Passed Assembly/S.5184; Rules)

  • Promoter Insurance This bill increases the amount of insurance a promoter is required to carry for licensed boxers and wrestlers. (A.10645-A; Passed Assembly)

Scenic Byways And Wine Trails Tourism continues to have the potential for becoming a major driving force in New York State's economic engine. The potential economic development impact is particularly great in the upstate region where historical and scenic trails and byways beckon. The Assembly Committee on Tourism has sought the enactment of legislation aimed at boosting New York's tourism industry. Additionally, the growing recognition of New York State wines in the international marketplace provides a significant opportunity to promote this rapidly developing industry.

  • Scenic Byways System This bill would add a portion of road located in Orange, Sullivan and Delaware counties to the state Scenic Byways System. (A.10047-A/S.6319; Chapter 296)

  • Cayuga Lake Byway This bill creates the Cayuga Lake Byway (A.10076/S.6438; Chapter 447)

  • Niagara Wine Trail This law designates a portion of the state highway system as the "Niagara Wine Trail." (A.11018/S.6781; Chapter 77)

State Official Ban from Media Advertising This bill would prohibit statewide elected officials from appearing in television, radio, Internet or print public-service announcements paid for by taxpayers. Under the bill, the likeness, picture or voice of a state elected official or a member of the official's family would be prohibited from appearing in public-service announcements produced or distributed by the state. In addition, the bill also would require state agencies to submit a 12-month advertising inventory to the governor, Assembly and Senate that fully discloses a public-service announcement's content, cost and distribution. (A.3132A; Passed Assembly)


Graduated Licensing This bill aims to improve road safety by instituting a graduated licensing system for drivers under the age of 18. Young drivers would be subject to various new rules, including a required number of supervised hours learning to drive and before a six-month permit holding period qualifying for a junior license that would limit the occasions they could be behind the wheel, passenger limitations, special suspension and revocation rules and mandatory seat-belt use by all their passengers. (A.3513B/S.7714; Chapter 644).

Cracking Down on Drunk Drivers:

  • DWI Repeat Offenders This bill would impose additional penalties upon persons convicted of multiple driving while intoxicated (DWI) offenses within five years. (A.8775; Passed Assembly)

  • Lowering New York's Blood Alcohol Level This bill would crack down on drunk driving by lowering the threshold blood-alcohol level used to determine legal intoxication from .10 percent to .08 percent. (A.8429; Passed Assembly)

  • Prompt Suspension This bill, also known as "Sean's Law," would remove teenage drivers charged with DWI or driving while ability impaired from the road by allowing a judge to suspend the permit or junior license of the driver at the next regularly scheduled court session. The bill would also require the court to notify parents or guardians of their child's court appearance on DWI or (DWAI) charges. "Sean's Law" is named after 17-year-old Sean French of Columbia County who was killed New Year's Day, 2002 by a teenage drunk driver already awaiting arraignment on a December 13, 2001 DWAI charge. (A.9712A/S.7291; Chapter 571)

Passing a Stopped School Bus This bill would increase the penalties for a repeat offense of overtaking or passing a stopped school bus. Under the bill, violators could face a fine of up to $1,000 from the current $850 maximum. (A.614-A/S.1115-A; Chapter 254)

Booster Seats This bill would enact provisions requiring passengers aged four, five and six years to be restrained in child safety restraints which are appropriate to their size. (A.1262-A; Passed Assembly/S.419-A; Rules)

Child Safety Seats and Seat Belts This bill would mandate the Governor's Traffic Safety Commission and other state agencies to conduct a public outreach program to educate motorists about child safety seats and seat belts and their proper use and installation. (A.4202/S.6795; Chapter 531)

Pedestrian Safety This bill would require drivers to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians in a crosswalk, where traffic signals are not installed or not in operation, regardless of which side of the roadway a pedestrian is on. (A.11500/S.6814; Chapter 159)

Work Zone Safety This bill would require the inclusion of work zone driving safety education in mandatory pre-licensing courses and in point-insurance reduction courses. (A.10667/S. 6951; Chapter 585)

Non-Driver ID Social Security Numbers This bill would require applicants for a non-driver identification card to provide their Social Security number to the state Department of Motor Vehicles. (A.11333/S.7029; Chapter 235)

Disabled Parking Aisle Width This bill would require the access aisles for disabled parking spaces to be at least 8-feet wide and clearly marked. The bill would increase the width of disabled parking aisles in order to provide for the operation of vehicles equipped with wheelchair lifts. Under the bill, the ability of disabled drivers and passengers to enter and exit their vehicles would be improved. (A.4625-A; Passed Assembly)


Temporary State Commission This bill would provide for the establishment of a temporary state commission to memorialize the 50th anniversary of the Korean War. (A.6065-A;Passed Assembly)

Temporary State Commission on Veterans Employment This bill would create a temporary state commission on veterans employment. (A.7063-A/S.4739-A; Veto Memo 14)

Impact on Small Business This bill would provide financial assistance to small-and medium-sized businesses that have been adversely affected by the loss of an owner, manager or key employee who has been called up on active military duty. (A.9630-A; Passed Assembly)

Limitation for Phenoxy Herbicide This law extends the statute of limitation for lawsuits relating to exposure to phenoxy herbicide by armed forces personnel who served in Indo-China for two years. (A.9917/S.6315; Chapter 88)

Purple Heart Recipients This bill would give priority to Purple Heart recipients in the employment by the state of disabled veterans and certify disabled but capable veterans. (A.11268; Passed Assembly)

Annuity for Blind Veterans This bill would provide for annual adjustments in the annuity payable to blind veterans and to surviving spouses of decease blind veterans. (A.5133-B; Passed Assembly/S.4132-C; Rules)

Eligibility Requirements for Veterans Nursing Homes This bill would change the eligibility requirements for admission to the New York State veterans nursing homes to include those military personnel who served between times of war. (A.11639/S.6839; Chapter 455)

New York State Assembly
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