Prohibits the diminution of health insurance benefits of public employee retirees and their dependents or reducing the employer's contributions for such insurance from May 15, 2013 until May 15, 2014; defines public employers to include the state, municipalities, school districts, and public authorities and commissions.
BILL NUMBER:S1158 REVISED 1/8/13
TITLE OF BILL: An act in relation to affecting the health insurance benefits and contributions of certain retired public employees
PURPOSE: To protect all public employee retirees from decreases in health insurance benefits.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: The bill would prohibit a public employer from diminishing the health insurance benefits or contributions provided on behalf of retirees and their dependents unless there is a corresponding decrease for active employees during the period between May 15, 2013 and May 15, 2014. A public employer is defined as: (i) the state; (ii) a county, city, town, village; (iii) a school district, a board of cooperative educational services, vocational education and extension board or school district; (iv) any governmental entity operating a college or university; (v) a public improvement or special district; (vi) a public authority, commission or public benefit corporation; or, (vii) any other public corporation, agency, or unit of government which exercises governmental power.
JUSTIFICATION: Public retirees are not represented in the collective bargaining process. As a result, they have no control over a public employer's decision to decrease their health insurance benefits. The impact of such a unilateral decision can be devastating for a retired person living on a fixed income. The law already provides such protection to school district retirees. It is unfair to deny the same to all other public retirees.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011-12: S.916A Remained in the Senate Committee on Civil Service & Pension 2009-10: S.380 Remained in Senate Committee on Civil Service & Pensions 2007-08: S.720 Remained in Senate Committee on Civil Service & Pensions
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately and deemed to have been in full force and effect on and after May 15, 2013.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1158 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sens. BRESLIN, ADAMS, DILAN, HASSELL-THOMPSON, KLEIN, MONTGOMERY, PARKER, SAMPSON, SAVINO, SMITH, STAVISKY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Civil Service and Pensions AN ACT in relation to affecting the health insurance benefits and contributions of certain retired public employees THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. From on and after May 15, 2013 until May 15, 2014, a public employer shall be prohibited from diminishing the health insurance bene- fits provided to retirees and their dependents or the contributions such employer makes for such health insurance coverage below the level of such benefits or contributions made on behalf of such retirees and their dependents by such employer unless a corresponding diminution of bene- fits or contributions is effected from the appropriate level as of May 15, 2013 during this period by such employer from the corresponding group of active employees for such retirees. For the purpose of this act, "public employer" shall mean the following: (i) the state; (ii) a county, city, town or village; (iii) a school district, board of cooper- ative educational services, vocational education and extension board or a school district as enumerated in section 1 of chapter 566 of the laws of 1967, as amended; (iv) any governmental entity operating a college or university; (v) a public improvement or special district; (vi) a public authority, commission or public benefit corporation; or (vii) any other public corporation, agency, instrumentality or unit of government which exercises governmental power under the laws of this state. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately and shall be deemed to have been in full force and effect on and after May 15, 2013.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD01549-01-3