Government Relations Update
Over the last week, SAANYS members have made inquiries as to the status of the salary cap waiver for retirees, an early retirement incentive, and APPR. As these are very current issues, it is likely that more members have similar questions and the following is the status on each of these issues.
Salary Cap Waiver
This provision was placed in Article VII (Education, Labor and Family Assistance (S8006-C/A9006-C) which enacts components of the state budget. Governor Hochul signed this legislation on April 9, 2022. The salary cap waiver allows retired persons to return to work in schools without penalty to their pension. The $35,000 salary cap earnings for retirees is waived for one year and expires on June 30, 2023.
Early Retirement Incentives
Several factors lead SAANYS to be of the opinion that an early retirement incentive will not be entertained during the remaining part to this legislative session. A prevailing factor is that funding for state aid to schools was increased substantially in this year’s budget and legislators and the governor were very pleased with this outcome. The other side of this good news is that it is unlikely that additional funding for educational initiatives will be forthcoming.
Secondly, offering a retirement incentive, when there is a significant teacher and administrator shortage, does not seem legislatively feasible. SAANYS will continue to advocate for an incentive and acknowledge the importance to members, however, in the current context of shortages, we are not expecting this to be a part of the end of session legislation.
8276/A.9600 is the legislation that would give school districts the discretion to conduct annual professional evaluations for the 2021-22 school year and ensure that funding is not withheld. The bill has passed in the Senate, but has only been introduced in the Assembly Education Committee. We have had several conversations with Assemblyman Benedetto (chair of the Assembly Education Committee) urging the timely passage of this bill. Now that the budget has passed, both houses will turn their attention to pending legislation and we are hopeful that the Assembly will take action when they come back from their break. We also speak frequently to Commissioner Rosa on APPR and are confident that passage of APPR is high priority, and we all wish that it had been passed earlier in the session.