Bill Text: NY A06020 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Introduced

Bill Title: Establishes a temporary task force on the variable supplements fund program to make findings and recommendations.

Spectrum: Bipartisan Bill

Status: (Introduced) 2019-02-26 - referred to governmental employees [A06020 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-A06020-Introduced.html

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    February 26, 2019
        Introduced  by  M.  of A. GUNTHER, GARBARINO, ZEBROWSKI, THIELE, JAFFEE,
          Sponsored by -- M. of A. FITZPATRICK, HAWLEY, HEVESI,  KOLB,  LUPARDO,
          MORINELLO,  RA  --  read once and referred to the Committee on Govern-
          mental Employees
        AN ACT establishing a temporary task force on variable supplements fund
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section  1.  Legislative  intent.  The variable supplements fund (VSF)
     2  program was enacted in 1970 to provide supplementation to the retirement
     3  allowance of New York city police and fire  retirement  system  members.
     4  Since  the  enactment  of  the legislation establishing the VSF program,
     5  much controversy has been generated by the exclusion of disability reti-
     6  rees from eligibility for the benefit. Although a small  number  of  New
     7  York city disability retirees were permitted to receive VSF supplementa-
     8  tion  benefits  as a result of technical correction legislation approved
     9  during previous years, the lack of clarity in defining  VSF  eligibility
    10  and  the  continued exclusion of most disabled firefighters from receipt
    11  of this benefit has been a cause of much frustration and  confusion  for
    12  disability pensioners.
    13    While  it  is  recognized  that  any amendment to the VSF will require
    14  careful study and consideration of the  issues  involved,  the  legisla-
    15  ture's  interest  in  ensuring  fairness  and equity demand such review.
    16  Because the legislature does not accept this responsibility lightly,  it
    17  hereby  declares that the establishment of a temporary task force, to be
    18  known as the temporary task force on the variable supplements  fund,  is
    19  both warranted and required.
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 6020                             2
     1    §  2.  1.  A  temporary  task force, to be known as the temporary task
     2  force on the variable supplements fund, is hereby created to examine and
     3  investigate such issues as are related to the  exclusion  of  disability
     4  pensioners from the VSF.
     5    2. The temporary task force shall have the power to:
     6    (a)  conduct  public hearings in furtherance of the performance of its
     7  duties under this act;
     8    (b) issue subpoenas for and to compel attendance of witnesses and  the
     9  production of books, records, documents and other relevant evidence; and
    10    (c)  to  recommend  legislation  consistent  with the purposes of this
    11  section.
    12    3. The task force shall consist of  seven  members  appointed  by  the
    13  governor as follows:
    14    (a) one member appointed on the recommendation of the temporary presi-
    15  dent of the senate;
    16    (b)  one  member appointed on the recommendation of the speaker of the
    17  assembly;
    18    (c) one member appointed on the recommendation of the minority  leader
    19  of the senate;
    20    (d)  one member appointed on the recommendation of the minority leader
    21  of the assembly;
    22    (e) one member appointed on the recommendation of  the  mayor  of  the
    23  city of New York;
    24    (f)  one  member  appointed  on  the recommendation of the state comp-
    25  troller; and
    26    (g) one member who shall represent the interest of the affected  disa-
    27  bility retirees and who shall be designated by the chair.
    28    From among such seven members, the governor shall designate the chair.
    29  In addition to such seven voting members, the president of the uniformed
    30  firefighters  association of greater New York or his or her designee and
    31  the comptroller of the city of New York or his  or  her  designee  shall
    32  serve  as  non-voting members. Four voting members of the temporary task
    33  force shall, at all times, constitute a quorum. Members shall receive no
    34  compensation for their services; members (including non-voting  members)
    35  who are not governmental employees shall be reimbursed for their reason-
    36  able expenses incurred during the performance of their duties.  Notwith-
    37  standing  any  inconsistent  provision  of any general, special or local
    38  law, no officer or employee of the state or of any political subdivision
    39  thereof shall forfeit his or her  office  or  employment  by  reason  of
    40  acceptance of appointment to the temporary task force.
    41    4.  Within  one  year of the effective date of this act, the temporary
    42  task force shall issue a report containing such findings and recommenda-
    43  tions regarding the eligibility of disability  pensioners  of  New  York
    44  city to receive supplemental payments from the VSF and any other matters
    45  relating  thereto. Such report shall be transmitted to the governor, the
    46  comptroller, the chair of the Senate civil service and pensions  commit-
    47  tee and the chair of the assembly governmental employees committee.
    48    § 3. This act shall take effect immediately.