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New York State Fire Service Alliance Legislative Issues for the 2022 Legislative Session

The members of the NYS Fire Service Alliance met in Troy, NY on December 4th to determine the 2022 Issues of United Concern.  These are the legislative priorities that were decided upon:

  1. Fair Play Cost Recovery for Fire Departments – Empowers the authority having jurisdiction which provides emergency medical services to have the option of establishing fees and charges for services. During the 2021 session, this bill passed the Senate. It moved from the Assembly Local Governments committee to the Assembly Ways and Means Committee where it will start for the 2022 session.  [S.7186 Brooks/A.534A Jones]
  2. Recruitment and Retention Task Force – Make a chapter amendment to the legislation which created the Recruitment and Retention Task Force to move the date a report is due on its findings to December 31st, 2022, rather than the now unattainable date of April 1st, 2022. [S.7589-B Gaughran/A.9779-A Thiele original legislation; S.864 Gaughran/ A.968 Thiele already passed chapter amendment]
  3. Reckless Endangerment of an Emergency Service Person – Amend the penal law by adding a new section creating the crime of reckless endangerment of an emergency service person in the second degree. A person is guilty when they knowingly alter or convert a building that impedes egress, and an emergency service person is injured or dies as a result. This would be classified as a class D felony.[S3741 Gaughran/A6087 Zebrowski]
  4. Timely Adoption of Updated State Fire and Building Prevention Code – Would require that a new building code as published by ICC would be adopted by the NYS Codes Council within two code cycles (6 years). [S.6210-A Skoufis/A.3559-A Hunter provides a framework to accomplish; support amendments to extending the timeline of enactment from 12 months to 72 months]
  5. Restoration of Dedicated Code Enforcement Funding – The funds in Section 54g of State Finance Law provide state assistance to local governments for support of activities related to fire prevention and building codes. This money has been swept into the General Fund and not used for its intended purpose for 29 years. [S.6970 Kavanagh]
  6. Pre-Budget ad hoc committee efforts to:

A.) Return local control for use of the cellular 911 communications fees to the counties

B.) Provide state-based funding for books used by the students of the basic fire education courses, specifically BFO & IFO courses and

C.) Provide state funding to offset the cost of the NYS Firefighter’s Cancer Benefit Program to the AHJ paying the premiums

  1. If The Family & Firefighter Protection Act, which prohibits the sale of mattresses or upholstered furniture that contain intentionally added identified flame retardant chemicals to individuals or households for personal use in residential spaces, gets vetoed this year, the Alliance organizations will reintroduce the measure for the 2022 session. [S.4630-B Kaminsky/Harckham/A.5418-B Englebright]

As these measures work through the legislative process, the Fire Service Alliance will reconvene to strategize and/or identify additional measures to be considered by the Legislature.