A00902 Summary:

COSPNSRBrindisi, Jaffee, Titone, Colton, Raia, Benedetto, Clark, Fahy, Kearns, Skoufis
MLTSPNSRAbinanti, Ceretto, DenDekker, Galef, Giglio, Graf, Gunther, Lavine, Markey, Mayer, McDonough, Montesano, Perry, Ra, Rivera, Saladino, Schimel, Skartados, Thiele, Weisenberg, Zebrowski
Prohibits the diminution of health insurance benefits of public employee retirees and their dependents or reducing the employer's contributions for such insurance; defines employers to include the state, municipalities, school districts, and public authorities and commissions.
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A00902 Actions:

01/09/2013referred to governmental employees
01/08/2014referred to governmental employees
05/13/2014held for consideration in governmental employees
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A00902 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
SPONSOR: Weprin (MS)
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to prohibit public employers from diminishing the health insurance benefits and contributions of certain retired public employees   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill would prohibit state and local governments from diminishing the health insurance benefits of retirees below the level of benefits that are in place 30 days after this act shall become law.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1: Prohibits the State and local governments from diminishing the health insurance benefits of retirees and their dependents, as well as the employer contribution toward such health insurance, below the level of benefits in place 30 days after this act shall take effect. This bill does not apply to school districts and BOCES because they have been recently covered under the current law. Section 2: Grants precedence to collective bargaining agreements. Section 3: Provides for future retirees from positions not subject to a collective bargaining agreement. Section 4: Ensures that a public employer which does not now offer health insurance benefits to retirees is not required to do so under this bill.   EXISTING LAW: Chapter 729 of the laws of 1994, as amended by Chapter 22 of the Laws of 2007 and the laws of 2009, prohibits school districts and BOCES from diminishing retiree health insurance benefits, unless there is a parallel diminution affecting active employees. Article XI of the Civil Service Law provides that retires from the State and partic- ipating agencies in the New York State Health Insurance Plan (NYSHIP) shall receive the same health insurance benefits as negotiated with active employees. There is no existing law protecting health insurance benefits of retirees from local governments.   JUSTIFICATION: Given the increasing costs of health care, health insurance coverage is of tremendous importance to retirees and their dependents. Although there have been a number of attempts to protect retiree health coverage, there is no consistent standard for all retirees. Education retirees are now protected by a law. Some workers have retired under union contracts with stronger protections. Many retirees, however, have no protection. This bill creates a uniform standard of protection which applies to all retirees and their dependents, unless covered by a more favorable union contract.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: A.7060-A held for consideration by ways and means in 2010 S.6029B in 2007 01/12/11 referred to governmental employees 01/04/12 referred to governmental employees 05/01/12 reported referred to ways and means   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None. This bill merely requires the State to continue the level of benefits which it is now providing.   EFFECTIVE DATE: 30 days after it shall have become law.
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