Below is a summary of the four bills that were on this year's Nassau COBA Legislative Agenda. It is important to realize that while we have taken a tremendous step forward in getting these bills passed through the Senate and Assembly, as of this date only two of these bills have been signed into law by Governor Cuomo. We are still hopeful that the Governor will sign and pass into law the remaining two so that all four of these bills which help protect and safeguard Correction Officers are put into effect.
3/ 4's Bill - Amending Section 607-c Bill to Include Actions of a Civilian or Visitor. This bill would amend section 607-c of the Retirement and Social Security Law in relation to disability retirement benefits for Sheriffs, Deputy Sheriffs, Undersheriffs and Correction Officers. Currently, for a Correction Officer to qualify for a 75% disability benefit he or she must be permanently disabled as a result of an act of an inmate or any person confined in an institution. While this current law is a necessary protection for Correction Officers inside the facility, it does not protect the Correction Officers who are assigned to outside security details at the Correctional Center and deal directly with civilians and visitors (i.e. Gate House and Patrol posts, Visiting Unit or outside hospital security posts). In the past several years, there have been numerous incidents where Correction Officers were assaulted by civilians or visitors at the Correctional Center and received serious injuries. When this bill is signed by the Governor, those Officers who are dealing with the public and are permanently disabled by a reckless or intentional act of a civilian or visitor would now also be protected by a 75% disability benefit.
Seniority Bill-Amending Section 80 of the Civil Service Law. This bill would amend Civil Service Law, Section 80 so that sworn members of the Nassau County Sheriff's Department- Division of Correction who, because of the economy, are abolished or reduced in rank or salary grade, the reduction shall be predicted upon original appointment on a permanent basis in the grade or title in the service of the Nassau County Sheriff's Department-Division of Corrections. When this bill is signed by the Governor, it will change the method of determining demotions or layoffs to being based solely on your seniority time as a Correction Officer or Correction Supervisor in Nassau County. This bill is still awaiting the Governor's signature before it will become law. Gun Bill- Exempting Retired Qualified Law Enforcement Officers. This bill amended the penal law, in relation to exempting qualified retired law enforcement officers from certain limitations related to the possession of firearms. This bill created an exemption to allow qualified retired New York and federal law enforcement officers to possess large capacity ammunition feeding devices issued to or purchased by such officer in the course of his or her official duties, provided he or she has been qualified by their agency on the use of the weapon utilizing such feeding device within 12 months of retirement. This bill was signed into law by Governor Cuomo on July 5, 2013, and went into effect on that date.
Throwing of Toilet Water by an Inmate - Amending Section 240.32 of the Penal Law. This bill amended Section 240.32 of the penal law, in relation to aggravated harassment of an employee by an inmate. It prohibits the throwing, tossing, or expelling the contents of a toilet bowl at or on an employee of a correctional facility. Currently only blood, urine, seminal fluid or feces are covered under Section 240.32. This bill was signed into law by Governor Cuomo on July 31, 2013. This bill goes into effect on November 1, 2013, which means it is a Class E felony after that date for an inmate to throw the contents of a toilet bowl on a Correction Officer or employee of a correctional institution.