2019 Issues of United Concern Legislative Agenda
The Issues of United Concern is presented by the New York State Fire Service Alliance, which consists of the Association of Fire Districts of the State of New York, County Fire Coordinators’ Association of the State of New York, Firemen’s Association of the State of New York, New York State Association of Fire Chiefs, New York State Fire Marshals and Inspectors Association, and the Volunteer Fire Police Association of the State of New York.
2019 New York State Fire Service Alliance – Issues of United Concern
- Chapter amendments to GML 205cc, clarifying or modifying as appropriate the verification requirements so that benefits may be extended to intended firefighters with five years of interior service to their respective departments.
- Emergency medical cost recovery, allowing fire departments and districts currently unable to recover the cost of providing pre-hospital EMS service from insurers, Medicare, and Medicaid in a similar manner as for-profit, not-for-profit, and municipal providers are able to recover costs.
- Seek an increase in VFBL/VAWBL benefits for partial permanent disability and seek parity with workers’ compensation benefits for volunteer firefighters and volunteer ambulance workers in the event they are injured in the line of duty.
- Pursue legislative and administrative actions for building owners who perform modifications or conversions without obtaining the prescribed permits for single- or multi-family occupancies, which endangers the welfare of the occupants and fire or emergency responders in the pursuit of their duties.
- Establish a prohibition on the sale of upholstered furniture that employs the use of carcinogenic flame-retardant chemicals.
Additional legislative initiatives endorsed by the members of the Fire Service Alliance:
- Work to prevent the removal of residential sprinkler protection from the building codes adopted by the state.
- Insure increased transparency for the process of conducting annual fire inspections for public and private schools.
- Endorse legislation for the creation of career and technical education opportunities for both fire and EMS disciplines.
- Support the increase of the maximum annual contribution under defined contribution LOSAP plans from the current $700 to $2,100.
- Support legislation to enable authorities having jurisdiction the option to create, form, consolidate, or otherwise merge fire companies or departments on a countywide, regional, or cross-jurisdictional level to “right-size” provision of services across a broader tax base, geographical area, and/or population contingent upon the development and approval of a master plan by the residents affected.
State budget proposals endorsed by members of the Fire Service Alliance:
- Advocate for the increase of an annual tax exemption from the current $400 helping to incentivize becoming a member of the volunteer fire service.
- Advocate for a sales tax exemption on smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers to incentivize the purchase of these safety related items.
- Monitor the 2019 budget negotiations to ensure adequate and consistent funding levels are maintained for emergency services.
Download the 2019 Issues of United Concern Agenda