Summer 2014 Front Page – Legislative Action Committee Update
by Frank Lysiak, CMCA, AMS; Executive Director, New York State LAC
The New York State 2014 Legislative Session came to a close on June 20, 2014 and unless there is an item of importance to the legislators or Governor Cuomo, it is likely that the next session will not reconvene until January, 2015.
The CAI-WNY Chapter is represented by Ronald Shubert, Esq. and Jean Kough, CMCA, AMS who serve as delegates; Mary Fildes, CMCA, AMS, treasurer; and Carole Riehlman, secretary; and James Andruschat, CMCA, AMS, delegate at large. Frank Lysiak, CMCA, AMS serves as the executive director of the statewide committee.
There are also several other members who represent chapters from Long Island, Hudson Valley, and New York City. Conference call meetings are held six to eight times during the year based on the legislative activity and/or key legislation. CAI-National and various New York State chapters provide important tracking of key bills being considered by the NYS Senate and Assembly that could have an impact on homeowner associations, condomini- ums, and cooperative.
The NYS Legislative Action Committee is aware that while several bills are drafted and presented to the members of the
Senate and Assembly, the process for approval is very slow. A former long-time NYS legislative employee has commented, “[While] lots of people have the power to stop legislation, very few have the power to make it happen.” This system works for CAI-WNY – pro and con – since it provides a stoppage in legislation that we would prefer not to pass; however it requires active participation to pass desirable legislation.
An example of a bill we would like to see passed, with some minor revisions, is Senate Bill # 184A and Assembly Bill # 2110A, sponsored by Senator Daniel Squadron and Assemblyman Brian Kavanaugh. It requires residential property and community managers to be licensed by the Secretary of State. We experienced difficulty scheduling a meeting with Senator Squadron and Assemblyman Kavanaugh, so
our approach has been to meet with legislative assistants and committee personnel, since the bill has been referred to the Housing Committee.
Another example of the “con” is Senate Bill # 1001, sponsored by Senator Elizabeth Little, which would change 339Y and require “market based” assessments on real property owned or leased by a condominium or a cooperative corporation constructed or converted after January 1, 2016. This legislation, which would have a signifi- cant negative impact on condominium owners in Western New York, has languished in the Legislature for a number of years. While it has been assigned to the Local Government Committee for its input, there appears to be more energy on possible pas- sage based on the support of local assessors as well as the “grandfathering” of those condominiums or cooperatives built prior to 2016 (or another mutually agreeable date).
As a benchmark of our progress, both bills are in stage three of the nine-stage process that concludes with a bill, once signed by the Governor, that becomes law. See the sidebar below which describes how a bill becomes law in New York State.