President's Message

Legislative Update: COVID Bills Signed Into Law By The Governor

March 16, 2021

Dear COBA Members;

Nassau COBA is a founding Member of the Downstate Correction Coalition, an organization consisting of Unions that represent Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, New York City and New York State Corrections Unions.

This organization has taken a very proactive approach to legislation in Albany through our lobbying efforts, to monitor and oppose any anti-Corrections legislation as well as lobbying to have bills enacted to assist our members and their families.

Since the onset of the pandemic, we have worked hard to provide protections and benefits for our members while we all face this deadly disease. This past week two more bills were enacted into law that provide important benefits to our members and their beneficiaries.

The following bills were signed into law on March 12th by the Governor:

** Senate Bill 2588/Assembly Bill B3354B, sponsored by Senator Gounardes and Assemblyman Fall, grants up to four hours of excused time, per each dose if applicable, to our members who are scheduled to receive a Covid-19 Vaccination during work hours. Such leave shall not be charged against any other leave. This law pertains to any vaccinations going forward, not retroactively.

** Senate Bill 4681/Assembly Bill 3988, sponsored by Senator Gounardes and Assemblyman Abbate establishes a COVID-19 public employee death benefit.

This law establishes a full Line of Duty death benefit for a member’s family if a member passes away as a result of Covid-19 related disease. The member would have had to report to work on or after March 1st ,2020 and died on or before December 31st, 2022. The member would have had to die within 45 days of last reporting to work. This law did not create a presumption to the existing death benefit. It creats a Line of Duty monetary amount paid automatically to the beneficiaries if he/she fits the requirements of the Bill.

The State Legislature passed, and the governor signed into law similar legislation in 2020 that expired December 31 st, 2020.

The Governor has since extended the law past the December 31st, 2020 deadline by issuing monthly Executive orders.

The current law that was signed this past week extends the time period to December 31, 2022.

In Unity;

Brian Sullivan, COBA President

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