2021 FASNY Legislative Agenda
The Firemen’s Association of the State of New York’s grassroots legislative program is a time-honored process. FASNY members have gathered for more than 87 years, region by region, to determine their proactive legislative program. The legislative proposals you see in summary form came from every area of the State and have been approved by voice vote of FASNY’s membership to be brought to the Legislature for consideration. As the bills are introduced, they are entered on FASNY’s Legislative Agenda (Scorecard), which is circulated weekly, so the membership may mark their progress and write to the sponsors in support. Sponsors of the bills are recognized in all communications from FASNY to its members.
- VFBL/VAWBL INCREASE – Increase benefits for partial permanent disability benefits levels based on the cost of living after the effective date of the legislation.
Corresponding legislation: S.4631 (Gaughran) / A.5896 (Magnarelli) INCREASE TO $650
Introduced in 2011. Currently an Issue of United Concern. In 2019, sponsorship was assumed by Senator Gaughran of the Democratic Conference, who is Chair of the Local Government committee. It was reported out of the committee, as well as the Finance and Rules Committee. It was ordered to the floor and passed the Senate. It did not move out of the Assembly Local Governments Committee.
- AMENDING LOSAP POINT SYSTEM – Legislation that addresses the need to adjust how LOSAP points are earned to ensure firefighters can still receive these benefits.
Corresponding legislation: S.8863 (Kaminsky) / A.10928 (Thiele)
ASA has been working with the Senate sponsor’s office to fine tune this bill’s language and an amended version is forthcoming.
- THE FAIR PLAY AMBULANCE COST RECOVERY FOR FIRE DEPARTMENTS – Allows fire departments to bill for ambulance services to even the playing field with all other ambulance providers across the state.
Corresponding legislation: S.3685-B (Brooks) / A.1778-A (Jones)
Introduced in 2011. Currently an Issue of United Concern. In 2019 and 2020, this bill passed the Senate, but failed to move out of Local Governments in the Assembly.
- HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE FIRE SAFETY STANDARDS – Relates to the regulation of chemicals in upholstered furniture, mattresses and electronic enclosures; bans the use of certain flame retardant chemicals in furniture, juvenile products, and mattresses; bans the use of certain flame retardant chemicals in electronic casings.
Corresponding legislation: S.8214 (Kaminsky)
Previous legislation addressing this issue (S.6512 (Harckham)/A.6260-A (Gunther)) was introduced in 2013. Currently an Issue of United Concern. In 2019, the bill was amended to remove the open flame standard, and Senator Harckham and Assemblywoman Gunther assumed sponsorship. Recently, Senator Kaminsky, Environmental Conservation Chair, has taken command of this issue and put in stringent new language that would serve as a national standard. FASNY is working with a broad coalition on this heading into 2021.
- AMEND PENAL CODE TO ADD ENDANGERING THE WELFARE OF A FIRE AND EMERGENCY PERSONNEL – Make it a crime to illegally circumvent uniform code by making illegal conversions a charge of “Endangering the welfare of a fire and emergency personnel.” Landlords make conversions so they can make more money off the properties without obtaining proper permits. The conversions may not have proper egress and could create an extremely dangerous situation for firefighters.
Corresponding legislation: S.6264 (Carlucci) / A.1797 (Zebrowski)
Introduced in 2014. Currently an Issue of United Concern. Failed to advance out of the Codes Committee in both houses in the past 4 years.
The following issues will be pursued during the budget process, but will not appear on the FASNY Scorecard.
SALES TAX EXEMPTION FOR HOME LIFE SAFETY PRODUCTS – Advocate for an exemption of sales tax on sprinkler installation, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers as an incentive for purchasing these household items. (If unsuccessful with full exemption, allow a sales tax moratorium in October as part of Fire Prevention Month.)
MONITORING – Monitor 2021-22 Budget negotiations to:
- Ensure adequate/consistent funding levels are met for 911 coordination purposes
- A tiered increase to the volunteer income tax credit
- Emergency Services Low-Interest Revolving Loans
- Training Funding under the OFPC
- Recovery of 54-G funding to support code enforcement efforts
- Including funding for training books
Issues Regarding Codes
FASNY has always been a leader in the enforcement of housing and building codes. As such, the Association supports the package of legislation that the New York State Senate Committee on Investigations and Government Operations produced concerning Code Enforcement. This package of bills fortifies penalties, strengthens reforms and establishes adequate remedies for non-compliance.
Recommendation to Building Codes Council
FASNY supports the adoption of the current International Residential Code in its entirety with no New York State enhancements.