CP State monitors hundreds of bills every year, some of which we support and advocate for, some of which we oppose and advocate against, and others we simply watch. This year we were very successful in getting our priority bills passed by both Houses and none of the bills we opposed passed both Houses – thanks to Affiliate and our colleagues’ advocacy!
Below are bills of interest that passed both Houses and have either been signed by the Governor or are awaiting action. We will keep you apprised of additional advocacy needed and the Governor’s action on these bills.
Supported Decision Making/OPWDD Program Bill #3 — S.7107-B (Mannion)/A.8586-B (Simon) identifies Supported Decision-Making as a less restrictive alternative to guardianship and to create additional support and autonomy to individuals needing assistance to make decisions for themselves. Creates obligations and corresponding immunity from liability for third parties to effectuate supported decisions made with a Supported Decision-Making Agreement. Allows regulations to be promulgated by state agencies serving a myriad of individuals who may benefit by less restrictive support, such as the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), Office of Children and Family Services and the Office for the Aging. The bill would be effective 90 days after being signed by the Governor.
24-7 OPWDD Hotline for Care Coordination Pilot — A.7357-A (Abinanti)/S.6274-B (Mannion) requires OPWDD to establish and administer a three-year pilot program establishing a 24-hour per day hotline where people with developmental disabilities and their families can get non-emergency, non-medical assistance to provide help, referral services, and counseling. Requires hotline employees to be knowledgeable. Hotline must be accessible for people with disabilities and for the six most common languages spoken in New York other than English. Requires a report to the legislature regarding the program’s effectiveness. Requires a report submitted to the Governor and legislature on or before the conclusion of the program evaluating its effectiveness. The law would be effective 90-days after being signed by the Governor.
Eligibility Determination Time Limit — S.8442 (Mannion)/A.9920 (Abinanti) requires OPWDD to process eligibility determinations within 120 days of receipt. Provides for an exception in cases where the application is not reasonably clear, omits required info, or when the application is potentially fraudulent. In cases where the application is not clear, OPWDD must request the missing info and notify in writing within 30 days of receipt of the application. Additionally requires OPWDD to report on a quarterly basis data on eligibility and service authorization applications to the DDAC, Governor, Chair of Senate and Assembly Disabilities Committee. This law shall take effect 180 days after the Governor’s signature.
Establishes an OPWDD Group Home Oversight Committee — S.7377 (Mayer)/A.9162 (Santabarbara) creates a workgroup of political appointees to oversee OPWDD group homes, hold hearings, and provide input to the OPWDD Commissioner. The workgroup includes legislative appointments, one ex-officio DDSO representative, and members residing in group homes and their family members. The OPWDD Commissioner is tasked with providing an appropriate and timely application process to facilitate membership selection. Requires annual hearings in each OPWDD DDSO area. Defines group home as a community residence serving people with DD. The workgroup must meet at least four times a year, and at least once in each calendar quarter. Additionally, one public regional meeting shall be held annually in each city, town, or village where a DDSO is located, to provide a forum for people residing in group homes and their families, advocates, and other members of the public. There is no compensation for members. A report is due by 1/30/23 and annually thereafter from the workgroup. Requires new information in the 5.07 plan. The law would be retroactive to when the 5.07 plan Chapter takes effect if signed by the Governor.
Directs Public Awareness Campaign — S.6300-C (Mannion)/A.7356-C (Woerner) requires the OPWDD Commissioner to consult with the OMH Commissioner to develop and implement a public awareness campaign that combats discrimination stigma and stereotyping of individuals with developmental disabilities. Requires the program to utilize public forums, social and mass media, the internet, radio, and print advertising. The program must be tailored to educate the general public about ID/DD and must highlight positive contributions of individuals with ID/DD to the state and their community. Requires OPWDD to consult with stakeholders. The law would be effective 60 days after being signed by the Governor and would sunset December 31, 2023.
Multi-Agency Study on Caregiver Workforce — S.5734-A (Ryan)/A.6202-A (Barrett) directs DOH, OPWDD, Office for the Aging, OCFS, and OMH to conduct a study regarding issues impacting the caregiver workforce in New York. The study would include information regarding the current workforce of paid caregivers, assessments of need by region for the next decade, a review of compensation, and an assessment of worker training programs, plus additional issues. The study would be due to the Governor and legislature one-year from being signed into law.
Requires OPWDD to Create an Employer Training and Certification Program — A.8915-B (Burdick)/S.7746-B (Mannion) requires OPWDD to establish a voluntary training and certification program for employers that have taken the EmployAbility Pledge to promote strategies that employers can implement to increase diversity in their workforce through hiring individuals with disabilities. Requires OPWDD to develop virtual training programs for employers including: sensitivity training on disability disclosure; providing reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities; tax credits for employers who employee individuals with disabilities; website accessibility; interviewing individuals with disabilities and appropriate job opening advertisements; workplace inclusion of individuals with disabilities; supply chain diversity; the role of job coaches in assisting employers; and corporate partnership training for employers for purposes of qualifying for preferred source procurement status. The law would be effective 30 days after being signed by the Governor.
Notification of State Operated IRA Closure or Transfer — S.7617 (Mannion)/A.9038 (Abinanti) extends for two years the requirement for OPWDD to notify the legislature and labor bargaining organizations of closures or transfers as soon as possible with a minimum of 45-day notice of any closures or transfer of a state operated individualized residential alternative. This was effective on 4/26/2022 when the Governor signed the law as Chapter 176 of 2022.
Clarification of the Developmental Disabilities Advisory Council Members — S.7848 (Mannion)/A.8752 (Abinanti) amends to Chapter 683 of the Laws of 2021 to clarify that the Office of Mental Health Commissioner and Conference of Local Mental Hygiene Directors will be included as appointments to the Developmental Disabilities Advisory Council. This law was signed on 2/24/2022 as Chapter 134 of the Laws of 2022 and was effective on 12/21/2021 which was the effective date of the original Chapter 71 of 2021.
Autism Advisory Board to Include Self-Advocates — S.8647 (Mannion)/A. 9921 (Santabarbara)
amends the Autism Spectrum Disorder Advisory Board to consist of twenty-four members. This will include fifteen appointed members and nine who will serve ex officio. Of the ten appointed members, the Governor, Temporary President of the Senate, Speaker of the Assembly, Minority Leader of the Senate, and Minority Leader of the Assembly shall each appoint three members. Of those three members, one member must possess the expertise of a professional in the field of autism, one member shall be a family advocate, and one member shall be a self-advocate in the community in which they reside. This law would go into effect upon the Governor’s signature.
Reconciliation After the Tuition Methodology Clarification for Special Education Schools & Programs — A.10191 (Benedetto)/S.9132 (Mannion) clarifies that the tuition methodology allows 853 schools, 4410 programs and Special Act School Districts, for the 2022-23 school year and annually thereafter, to retain funds prior to the reconciliation process. Allowable costs are defined by the reimbursable cost manual. This law would go into effect upon the Governor’s signature.
Interim Plus Rates — A.10192 (Benedetto)/S.9134 (Mannion) requires interim rates, or the tuition rate in place on July 1 at the beginning of the new school year, include the annual growth amount for such rates approved for the 2022-23 school year and annually thereafter. This law would apply to 853 schools, Special Act School Districts, July and August programs for students with disabilities, and 4410 programs and services shall include annual growth of the prospective rates. This law would take effect upon the Governor’s signature.
NOTE: We were very pleased that on June 2, SED received DOB approval to include an 11 percent trend factor when calculating 2022-23 school year interim tuition rates (interim plus rates) for all programs except 1:1 nurses, Certified Interpreters, and preschool multi-disciplinary evaluations. RSU is working to calculate interim plus rates, with the goal of issuing them by July 1, 2022.
Extends Ability to Continue Educational Services for Students with an IEP — A.8610-A (Abinanti)/S.7866-A (Harckham) provides that a school district may provide educational services in 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years to a student who turned 21 during the 2021-22 school year, was enrolled in the school district, and received special education services pursuant to an IEP. Such student may continue to receive educational services until the student completes the IEP or turns 23, whichever is sooner. This bill was signed by the Governor on June 13, 2022, as Chapter 213 of the Laws of 2022 and is effective and sunsets on June 30, 2024.
Parental Notification of Restraints — A.8540 (Burdick)/S.7548-A (Harckham) amends the education law to require each school district to develop a procedure to notify a student with disability’s parent or person in parental relation on the same day when a physical or mechanical restraint is used on the student, or the student is placed in a time out room. This law would go into effect upon the Governor’s signature.
School Psychologists in 4410s — S.8802 (Mayer)/A.9973 (Griffin) extends for two years provisions of law authorizing school psychologists to continue to be part of the multi-disciplinary evaluation team for the evaluation of children ages 3 to 5 years old for preschool special education services. This law would take effect upon the Governor’s signature.
OMIG Reforms — A.7889-A (Gottfried)/S.4486-B (Harckham) requires the OMIG to wait at least 60 days prior to recovery actions on over-payments, prohibits repeat examinations of the same documents unless there is new information or good cause, limits audits to only apply the laws, regulations, etc. that were in place at the time the claim for conduct occurred, limits recoveries to intended falsification or defrauding or lack of corrective action after 30 days, updates the procedures for implementing compliance programs and requires the use of only statistically reasonable extrapolation methods. This law would take effect upon the Governor’s signature.
Early Intervention Rate Study — S.5676 (Rivera)/A.6579 (Gottfried) requires the Department of Health to conduct a study and prepare a report on reimbursement rates in the early intervention program. The law would be effective upon the Governor’s signature and DOH would have one year from enactment to complete the work.
Restrictions on Step Therapy — S.5909 (Kaminsky)/A.3276 (Gunther) and S.8191 (Breslin)/ A.9267 (McDonald), which are protocols used by health plans that require patients to “fail first” on a less-costly medication before covering a more expensive treatment. The law would be effective upon the Governor’s signature.
Medically Fragile Children Coverage — A.289-C (Gottfried)/S.2121-C (Rivera) amends the public health law and the insurance law to ensure that medically fragile children receive appropriate care and treatment, and that health plans adopt policies and procedures tailored to the unique healthcare needs of this population. The law would be effective on January 1 after it is signed by the Governor.
Medicaid Coverage of Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) — A.299-B (Gottfried)/S.1578-B (Rivera) amends the social services law to include applied behavioral analysis under standard coverage for Medicaid recipients. This law takes effect on the 180th day after it is signed by the Governor with an immediate requirement that the DOH Commissioner shall make regulations and take other actions reasonably necessary to implement this act on that date.
Note: DOH has included ABA in Medicaid and the State 2022-2023 budget increased the Medicaid reimbursement rate from $29 to $76.31.
Physical Therapy Assistant Licensure— A.6727-A (Zebrowski)/S.8746 (Stavisky) updates the practice of physical therapist assistant from a credential to licensed professional. The law would be effective 18 months after it is signed by the Governor.
Physical Therapy Assistants in Home Care — A.9971 (Cook)/S.8843-A (Stavisky) extends for four years (through June 30, 2026) the authorization of physical therapy assistants to provide home care services without the physical presence of a supervising physical therapist, provided that such physical therapist: establishes a program of care for a patient, has an initial joint visit with the patient and the physical therapy assistant, periodically evaluates and treats such patient and provides a final evaluation to determine if the treatment plan should be terminated. The law would become effective upon the Governor’s signature.
Hospital Informed Consent — S.1172-C (Rivera)/A.9677 (Tapia) amends the public health law to include additional provisions to the hospital patient’s bill of rights which clearly state a patient’s right to receive certain information so that they can in turn consent. The law would be effective on January 1 after it is signed by the Governor.
Health Insurer Co-Pay Accumulator Ban — A.1741-A (Gottfried)/S.5299-A (Rivera) amends the insurance law to require insurance companies or pharmacy benefit managers to apply price reduction instruments for out-of-pocket expenses when calculating an insured individual’s cost-sharing requirement. This bill is necessary because some insurance plans with a deductible require that the patient pay up to a certain amount of out-of-pocket expenses before the plan pays for all the healthcare services. Many drug manufacturers, especially for high-cost drugs that treat rare diseases offer copay cards or other assistance to help pay for their prescription drugs. By not applying the discounts paid by the manufacturer; it takes the insured person longer to reach their deductible. This law will take effect on the first of January next succeeding the date on which it was signed by the Governor. SUDEP Information — S.67 (Hoylman)/A.3298 (Epstein) amends amend the public health law to require that certain information be provided to patients and health care practitioners regarding “Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy” (SUDEP) because medical professionals should fully inform people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families, and caregivers of known risks and preventive measures when discussing their healthcare, treatment, and options. This law will take effect on the ninetieth day after it was signed by the Governor.
Include Physician Assistants as Primary Care Practitioner — S.5956 (Rivera)/A.6056 (Gottfried) amends the social services law to allow physician assistants to be recognized as primary care providers for the purpose of providing access to care for Medicaid managed care beneficiaries.
The law would become effective upon the Governor’s signature.
Modernizes NYSID’s Rules to Enhance Integrated Employment — S.7578-C (Mannion)/
A.8549-C (Burdick) updates the New York Industry for the Disabled’s (NYSID) contracting rules. Modernizes multiple terms within the preferred source statute including references to “workshops” and “severely” disabled. Establishes a standard that 50% or more people fulfilling a preferred source contract must be performed by disabled, or otherwise qualified, persons to receive preferred source status. The threshold for discretionary spending is established at $100,000 without OGS approval. Requires NYSID to issue a report to the legislature. The law would become effective upon the Governor’s signature.
Penalizes Employers for Violating Rules Governing Consecutive Working Hours for Nurses —A.286-A (Gunther)/S.1997-A (Jackson) requires the Commissioner of Labor to assess the employer a civil penalty of up to $1000 for a first violation, $2000 for a second violation, and $3000 for a third violation. Entitles the nurse to receive an additional 15% of the overtime payment from the employer for each violation as damages. The law would be effective sixty days after being signed by the Governor.
Requires Employers to Disclose Compensation Range — S.9427 (Ramos)/A.10477 (Joyner)
requires employers to disclose the compensation range to job applicants and people seeking promotions. Provides employees’ protection against retaliation for using the information. Requires a DOL public outreach campaign. Contains definitions and enforcement provisions. The bill would become law 270 days after being signed by the Governor.
Requires Recognition of Workplace Safety Committees — S.9450 (Gianaris)/A.10492 (Reyes) requires employers to recognize the establishment of a workplace safety committee within five business days of its establishment. Requires a $50 civil penalty per day until the violation is remedied. The law would be effective upon the Governor’s signature.
Requires Employment Opportunities be Posted on Civil Service Website — S.7662-A (Hoylman)/A.8599-A (Epstein) would enhance access to civil service positions designated
under civil service law sections 55-b and 55-c for veterans and people with disabilities, who have historically had higher unemployment rates. The law would be effective upon the Governor’s signature.
Study of the Number of Children with I/DD in Foster Care — S.8046A (Mannion)/A.9080A (Hevesi) requires Commissioner of OCFS, in consultation with the Commissioner of OPWDD, to conduct a study to determine the number of children who have been placed in foster care and who have been diagnosed with a developmental disability. The study shall include an assessment of the demographics of such children, and evaluation of the current guidelines and regulations used to oversee the placement and treatment of such children, and an analysis of the extent to which such age-appropriate children are prepared for a transition from foster care to an independent living situation. The report to the Governor and legislative leaders of the Senate and Assembly is due no later than one year following the Governor’s signature.
Support Person During Hospitalization — A. 8751 (Pheffer Amato)/S.7884 (Addabbo) clarifies that an individual with a disability or the legal guardian for the individual shall be allowed to designate a single primary essential support person to assist with communicating medical needs and managing everyday needs during hospitalization and such essential support person shall be limited to such individual’s parent, spouse or caretaker for the duration of their hospitalization. This bill was signed by the Governor on 2/24/22 as Chapter 42 of the Laws of 2022 and was effective immediately.
Increasing the Senior Citizen and Persons with Disabilities Real Property Tax Exemption — S.3085-A (Stewart-Cousins)/A.3956-A (Abinanti) allows local governments the option to raise the maximum income eligibility limit for the Senior Citizen Real Property Tax Exemption program and the Persons with Disabilities Real Property Tax Exemption from the current $29,000 to $50,000, which is the current cap for NYC property tax exemption. The law would be effective upon the Governor’s signature.
Representative with a Disability on Transportation Authorities — S.3959-B (Kennedy)/A.7822-C (Rivera) requires the Niagara Frontier Transit Authority, Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority, the Capital District Transit Authority, the Central New York Regional Airport Authority to have one of their voting members to be an individual who relies on public transit as their main mode of transportation because the individual has a permanent or temporary disability. This law will take effect on the ninetieth day after it was signed by the Governor. Medical Indemnity Fund — S.8591-A (Krueger)/A.6442-C (Abinanti) would add and amend certain definitions and provisions of Title 4 of the Public Health Law, regarding the New York State Medical Indemnity Fund (MIF), to institute a new enrollee orientation, provide clarification of qualifying health care costs, improve reimbursement procedures, and make permanent the reimbursement rate established in 2016. This law will take effect on the thirtieth day after it was signed by the Governor. However, effective immediately, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective date are authorized to be made and completed on or before such effective date.