*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:

Download File

Here is what you need to know about the current version of the bill:

  • A political subdivision that sponsors a program may now award up to five (5) points per month. This is a change from the first version that authorized a sponsor to provide a full five (5) points. This is a good change in our opinion, as it gives sponsors flexibility.
  • It states specifically that to award these additional points, the political subdivision must adopt a resolution by April 30, 2021 stating the number of additional points per month (not to exceed five) that will be awarded. This is an improvement as it adds clarity to the adoption process and gives local governments time to assess the impact of COVID-19 on the ability of firefighters to earn points, making it easier to decide how many additional points are appropriate.
  • Clarifies that these additional points are just that – in addition to any points that may have been earned during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • It eliminates the previously proposed subparagraph (q) that would have allowed a political subdivision the ability to change how points are awarded under the department responses category. 
  • Provides that the new sub-paragraphs (which includes amendments to the volunteer ambulance worker statutes) will expire on December 31, 2022.

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.



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