*5/28/2020 UPDATE - The bill was passed by both houses - we now just need the Governor's signature for it to become law*
The bill that would amend the General Municipal Law to address LOSAP points during the COVID-19 pandemic has been amended and appears poised to make progress through the legislature.
The amended bill, A10438A / S8251B, can be downloaded here:
Here is what you need to know about the current version of the bill:
We are thankful that the legislature took the time to consider this bill and include some language that will greatly increase the effectiveness of this legislation.
As we mentioned in a previous blog post, we had some concerns about the previously proposed subparagraph (q). Since that proposed subparagraph has been eliminated, in one sense our concerns are satisfied. That said, we still believe it is time for the firefighter statute to be amended to allow an alternative approach to earning points under the department responses category. Perhaps that can be addressed in a future session.
This bill is on the May 26, 2020 agenda of the Local Government committees of both the Senate and Assembly. Therefore, it seems likely these bills will progress and possibly be passed by both houses in the near future. Of course, even if it passes both houses it would then have to be signed into law by the Governor.
Given the progress these bills have made over the last week, we anticipate it becoming law. This will give local governments a reasonable option to address the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic will have on the ability of volunteer firefighters to earn points in 2020.