The 2019 legislative session is up and running
With the start of the 2019 New York Legislative session,
state Democrats control the Assembly, Senate, and the offices of the
governor, attorney general and comptroller. Here is a breakdown of some of
the notable Assembly and Senate committee members:
Sen. Neil D. Breslin, D-44, returns as chair of
the Senate Insurance Committee after a nine-year hiatus;
Assemblyman Kevin A. Cahill, D-103, has returned
as the chair of the Assembly Insurance Committee;
Sen. James L. Seward, R-51, is now the ranking
member of Senate Finance Committee;
Assemblyman Will Barclay, R-120, is the ranking
member of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee;
Sen. Michael H. Ranzenhofer, R-61, is the new
ranking member of the smaller 11-member Senate Insurance Committee; and
Assemblyman Andrew R. Garbarino, R-7, is the
ranking member of the Assembly Insurance Committee.
The Democrats hold a 39-seat majority in the Senate (to
23 Republicans and one Democrat who has not been permitted to join the
Senate majority). Sen. Andrea Stewart Cousins, D-35, made history as the
first female and first African-American female majority leader. In the
Assembly, the Democrats hold a 107-seat majority, which includes one
independent, and the Assembly minority has 43 seats. Speaker Carl E.
Heastie, D-83, heads up that house; and Crystal Peoples-Stokes, D-141, is
the new majority leader.
Both houses did not waste time in passing voting reform
and discrimination protection in their first few days of session. Gov.
Andrew M. Cuomo gave a combined budget presentation and State of the State
on Jan. 15, during which he presented an ambitious third term as governor
and what he has dubbed as the “Justice” agenda. This agenda includes
legalizing marijuana and passing the Childs Victim Act, legislation that
would revive causes of actions for victims of child sexual abuse, along
with extended civil and criminal statute of limitations.
Also, the governor has announced that he will nominate
his chief of staff, Linda Lacewell, as the new superintendent of insurance.
The Senate is expected to confirm her appointment.
Governor takes action in December. At the end of
last year, Cuomo signed into law legislation that permits distance learning
for agent licensing requirements (PIWA supported), but he vetoed
legislation that would have allowed for continuing-education credits for
active participation in agent and broker organizations—PIWA included. PIWA
also backed this measure, and the association will work with the other
organizations and bill sponsors to come up with a version that the governor
New 2019 introductions
Sen. Breslin quickly introduced a number of bills of
interest to the wholesale community at the start of the legislative
session, including the following:
(Cahill), would remove the requirement that excess-line brokers receive a
declination by the medical malpractice residual market. Both bills were
referred to their respective insurance committees.
(Breslin), would remove the declination requirements for commercial
insurance for wholesale brokers under certain circumstances. ELANY is
proposing this legislation. The bill was referred to the Senate Insurance
(Breslin), would allow for punitive damage insurance coverage. The bill was
referred to the Senate Insurance Committee.
Watch your upcoming issues of the PIWA eBulletin
for updates on how these bills fair this legislative session.
The PIWA Fall Cocktail Reception
More than 70 insurance professionals gathered for the
PIWA Fall Cocktail Reception, Nov. 1, 2018, at Sanctuary Hotel’s Haven
Rooftop in Midtown Manhattan.
Company representatives and wholesale agents gathered on
the restaurant’s rooftop for an enjoyable evening of networking.
For more information about the event, including photos,
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What’s next …
PIWA is planning its events for 2019, including its
Spring Reception Thursday, May 16, 2019, at the Standard Biergarten,
New York, N.Y. See the next issue of the PIWA eBulletin in April for