Legislature Returns to Albany Amid Focus on Scandals

The State Legislature is returning to Albany today with nine weeks scheduled before adjournment on June 19th.  How much is accomplished in the coming weeks is very uncertain even though a number of key issues that Governor Cuomo included in his budget proposal such as the Dream Act, campaign financing reform and education tax cuts were separated from the budget for later action.  Also, the cloud of possible further scandals hangs over the Capitol with the New York Times reporting last week that Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and his son are being investigated by prosecutor Preet Bharrara for assisting businesses with interests before the state.  The Times also ran a major story today about some private financial dealings of new Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.

There are a number of bills of interest to senior and health advocates that may be acted on in the next two months.  These include;

A3870/S3004 Assemblywoman Nolan and Senator Addabo are sponsors of the bill Paid Family Leave.  This bill passed the Assembly in March and the Senate Independent Caucus also supports it but had a different proposal in the budget that was not enacted.  The Senate Labor Committee led by Senator Jack Martins held a hearing on the issue on March 21st.
A1323-a/S676 Assemblywoman Rosenthal and Senator Hannon are sponsors of the CARE ACT pushed by AARP which requires hospitals to allow patients to designate and train a caregiver if post hospital assistance is required of them
 A4036/S2809 Assemblyman Quart and Senator Lanza are sponsors of this bill which enables pharmacies to synchronize prescriptions for the same day of the month  for patients
Other legislation to protect consumers access to prescription drugs such as restricting “step therapy” are part of the focus of an Rx lobby day next week.  Another bill of interest who strengthen efforts against financial abuse of the elderly requiring reporting of suspicious activity.  Details on these and other bills will be reported soon.

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I have been a senior advocate for most of my career. I was Executive Director of the New York StateWide Senior Action Council and the New York State Alliance for Retired Americans. In 2007-2010 I was the Director of the New York State Office for the Aging

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