Issues of United Concern
New York State Fire Service Alliance
2023 Legislative Agenda
ON December 3, 2022, the NYS Fire Service Alliance met for the purpose of developing the list of legislative priorities for the 2023 legislative session. All of the major fire service organizations were represented, and the following is a list of agreed upon priority initiatives:
Issues of United Concern
NYS 2023 FIRE ALLIANCE ISSUES OF UNITED CONCERNS
ENSURE VFBL PARITY WITH WORKERS COMPENSATIONCorresponding legislation: S.1340 (Brooks) / A.3597 (McMahon) (2021-2022 Session)
Bring the volunteer firefighters benefit law pay equal to worker’s compensation/what career firefighters receive when injured in the line of duty.
DESIGNATE EMS AS AN ESSENTIAL SERVICE AND EXPAND THE BENEFITS AVAILABLE TO EMS PERSONNEL AND SET STANDARDS FOR EMSRecognizes EMS as an essential service, establishes a special district for the financing and operation of general ambulance services, expands access to health insurance and retirement benefits available to EMS providers.
Corresponding legislation: S.8432-A (Mayer) / A.9509-A (Otis) (2021-2022 Session)
ANALYZE FINDINGS FROM THE NYS DHSES RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION TASK FORCE
IMPLEMENT RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE LEGISLATURE ON: (1) RECRUITMENT EFFORTS
(2) RETENTION EFFORTS
PUBLIC SAFETY AND BUILDING CODE COMPLIANCE ISSUES
Corresponding legislation: S.3741 (Gaughran) / A.6087 (Zebrowski) (2021-2022 Session)
- AMEND PENAL CODE TO ADD ENDANGERING THE WELFARE OF OCCUPANTS AND FIRST RESPONDERS
Corresponding legislation: S.6970-A (Kavanagh) / A.8802-A (Zebrowski) (2021-2022 Session)
- RECOVERY OF 54-G FUNDING TO SUPPORT CODE ENFORCEMENT EFFORTSEnsure
state funds collected through dedicated fees on each fire policy written in the state go to support local code enforcement activities and not continue to be swept into State General Fund.
Corresponding legislation: S.6210-A (Skoufis) / A.3559-A (Hunter) (2021-2022 Session) provides a framework to accomplish; support amendments to extending the timeline of enactment from 12 months.
- TIMELY ADOPTION OF UPDATED STATE FIRE AND BUILDING PREVENTION CODEWould
require that a new building code as published by ICC would be adopted by the NYS Codes Council within specified time frame.
Corresponding legislation: To be determined.
- ACCESSORY DWELLING UNITS – Ensure the Executive and Legislative prioritization of provision of affordable housing stock through legalization of more residential space is executed in a manner that prioritizes occupant safety and the safety of first responders in emergencies. Ensure a focus on legalizing existing units as well as create new units; advocate for increasing access to housing for first responders as a recruitment and retention tool.
Ensure proper registration/permitting, research and standard development, repairing and regulation of products containing lithium-ion batteries, work with stakeholders to raise public awareness around best fire safety practices, and examine solutions proposed from decisionmakers and opine as a trusted public safety voice.
- LITHIUM-ION BATTERY SAFETY STANDARDS
CONTINUE TO IMPROVE TAX BENEFITS FOR VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERSPush to allow volunteer firefighters to receive both real property tax exemptions and income tax credit, while continuing to advocate for an income tax credit increase (has been at $200 since its inception in 2006.) This credit would step increase tied to qualifying years of service up to $2,500 for 10 or more consecutive qualifying years of service.
Corresponding legislation: S.3989-A (Reichlin Melnick) / A.1320-A (Zebrowski) (2021-2022 Session)
CANCER COVERAGE COST RELIEFPursue data collection to enable establishment of a funding stream to alleviate fiscal burden on districts/departments providing the coverage.
As these measures work through the legislative process, the Fire Service Alliance will reconvene to strategize and/or identify additional measures to be considered by the Legislature.
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