LeadingAge New York Adviser Adviser LeadingAge NewYork Spring 2019 final - Page 34

One Voice Historic Session Poses Challenges T he November 2018 elections resulted in the Democrats sweeping many statewide races and winning control of the State Senate for the first time since 2010. Of the 63 Senate seats, Democrats now hold 40 and Republicans hold 23, and 18 of these members are brand new to state government. The State Assembly also welcomed 24 new members. The 2019 Legislative Session subsequently proved to be challenging, since there were so many new legislators that knew very little about the long term care sector. Ami Schnauber Much of our work included educating legislators about long term care generally and the providers we represent. In fact, my team and I traveled the state to meet with lawmakers in their district offices along with our members. Inevitably, the bulk of our advocacy work centered on stopping or seeking amendments to bad bills rather than pursuing our legislative initiatives such as thne expansion of the role of the nurse in the Adult Care Facility (ACF), medication technicians in nursing homes and funding for housing with services. With that said, we can celebrate some successes this year. We were successful in getting several important bills passed in both houses, which will go to the Governor over the coming months for consideration. They include: CCRC Revitalization Bill: A.8193 (Schimminger)/S.1803-A (Rivera) aims to consolidate authority for establishment and operational oversight of Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) into the Department of Health (DOH) and eliminate barriers to the development, expansion and efficient operation of CCRCs in New York. In-Service Registry: A.7854 (Gottfried)/S.5605 (Rivera) adds the record of each home care worker’s required annual in-service training to the Home Care Worker Registry, helping to expedite the hiring process of new home care workers. We expect to see a large push for Prevailing Wage and Nurse Staffing Ratios. We will need to take the summer and fall months to educate lawmakers on the impact that these bills would have on long term care and aging services providers. There were a handful of bills that we were concerned about, but we were successful in getting critical amendments included to protect our members’ interests. They include: HIPPA Security Breach: A.5635-B (DenDekker)/S.5575-B (Thomas) broadens the scope of information covered under the notification law, updates the notification requirements when there has been a breach of data and broadens the definition of a data breach to include an unauthorized person gaining access to information. Rent Reform Package: A.8281 (Heastie)/S.6458 (Stewart- Cousins) the “Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019” extends and makes certain provisions of law permanent relating to rent control and rent stabilization. As was anticipated, the package of bills includes a provision on security deposits, but the final provision included our proposed language exempting certain housing and services providers from increased security deposit regulations. Specifically, it exempts CCRCs, assisted living providers, ACFs, senior residential communities and not-for-profit independent retirement communities. Finally, we were successful at getting several problematic bills stalled this year, including: Prevailing Wage: A.1261 (Bronson)/S.1947 (Ramos) would impose public works “prevailing wage” requirements on most types of private sector projects receiving any level (See Historic Session on page 34) 33 Adviser a publication of LeadingAge New York | Spring 2019