March 2018 Government Affairs Update Archive

Government Affairs Update for March 29, 2018

State budget negotiations continue
As of Thursday, March 29, final state budget negotiations were still in progress. A final deal has yet to be made on issues such as: additional funding for the NYC Housing Authority; new state sexual harassment measures; ride-sharing fees and congestion pricing; $1 billion in proposed new taxes; adjusting the state’s tax code to work around federal tax reform changes; and a pay raise for state lawmakers.

NYSAR submits comment in opposition to cease and desist zone in Rockland County
NYSAR submitted written public comment in opposition to a recent rule proposal by the New York State Department of State to create a new cease and desist zone for the Village of Chestnut Ridge in Rockland County. The public comment period is open until April 16, 2018. If approved, the new rule is scheduled to go into effect July 1, 2018. A copy of NYSAR’s public comment can be found here.

Morelle announces Congressional run
Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle announced his candidacy for the 25th Congressional seat, which is vacant following the death of Louise Slaughter. Morelle was joined by the late Congresswoman’s daughter and son-in-law, as well as local and state elected officials as he announced his candidacy. Read more here.

Study: New York ranks in top three most moved-out-of states for 7th year in a row
According to United Van Lines, New York ranked as the third most moved-out-of state in 2017 and has been in the top three for the last seven years, resulted in a population decline. Last March, U.S. Census data found that 73,000 New Yorkers moved out of the state between July 2015 and July 2016. Some of the largest percentage declines measured at that time were in Chautauqua County, in western New York, Jefferson County in the North Country and Broome County in the Southern Tier. The decline in population resulted in New York losing two congressional seats after the 2010 census. Read more here.
Federal tax reform little help to New Yorkers
According to a WalletHub study, New York ranks 49th among the 50 states (and District of Columbia) that benefit most from the changes to the federal tax law that took effect this year. Residents making $150,000 a year get the second-smallest benefit among their peers nationwide, the ranking shows. Read more here.

Westchester Senate race spending surpass $2 million
Democratic Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer and Republican Julie Killian along with their supporters have already spent more than $2 million on the April 24 special election to fill a vacant state Senate seat in Westchester. Read more about the race and candidates here.

Government Affairs Update for March 23, 2018

REALTORS make their voices heard in Albany during NYSAR’s Lobby Day
NYSAR’s 2018 Lobby Day drew nearly 300 REALTORS from across the state to Albany to speak with their state lawmakers on REALTOR legislative priorities. State Assemblyman Charles Lavine, author of NYSAR-supported coop transparency legislation, provided opening remarks in the morning followed by a legislative overview provided by NYSAR staff. NYSAR President CJ DelVecchio and the leadership team held meetings with Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, Senate Coalition Leader Jeff Klein, Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Assembly Minority Leader Brain Kolb.

NYSAR Lobby Day is an opportunity for lawmakers to hear REALTOR concerns directly from you. It is a powerful and effective way to make sure Albany is listening and acting in the interest of home buyers and home sellers in New York State. Photos of the day are posted on the NYSAR Facebook page here. Send any receipts or reimbursement forms back to or fax to 518-462-5474.

State budget negotiations continue
New York State’s 2018-19 budget continues to be negotiated between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature. A number of tax and spending and issues remain unresolved including the governor’s proposal to increase taxes by $1 billion, which Senate Republicans have expressed opposition. Unrelated legislative issues, such as state tax code changes, bolstering mass transit in New York City and criminal justice reforms also continue to be negotiated. According to observers, the budget is expected to be taken up before the March 30 deadline, however, no agreements have been announced yet. Read more here.

NAR supports housing provisions in $1.3 trillion congressional spending bill
With government funding set to run out this weekend, congressional leaders agreed on a $1.3 trillion spending bill on Wednesday that would fund the government through September, which President Donald Trump signed on Friday. NAR urged passage of the spending bill, which contains important provisions related to housing that real estate professionals have been fighting for including alleviating the weakening of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit from the new tax law and extending the National Flood Insurance Program through at least mid-summer. Read more here.
Assemblyman Morelle and Senator Robach weighing run for Rep. Louise Slaughter's seat
Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle and state Sen. Joseph Robach are among those considering a run to succeed the late Rep. Louise Slaughter in Congress. Slaughter, a Fairport Democrat, held a seat in the House of Representatives for more than 30 years. Designating petitions have to be filed by April 12 for the June 26 federal primary. Read more here.

Federal Reserve raises interest rates for first time in 2018
Citing the strength of the economy, the Federal Open Market Committee voted to increase the target range for the federal funds rate to between 1.5% and 1.75%. Previously, the target range was 1.25% to 1.5%. In addition to expecting this rate increase, observers also predicted that the Fed will increase rates two more times this year. Read more here.

Government Affairs Update for March 16, 2018

Attend NYSAR’s annual Lobby Day in Albany: March 20, 2018
NYSAR’s annual Lobby Day will be held Tuesday, March 20, in Albany. Registration opens at 8 a.m. with opening remarks beginning at 9 a.m. in Meeting Rooms 1-5 in the Concourse of the Empire State Plaza.  Assemblyman Charles Lavine, who is the author of co-op transparency legislation in the Assembly, will be the morning keynote speaker. NYSAR will be advocating for and against multiple bills including opposition to a new proposal in the Assembly budget resolution to impose increased real estate transfer taxes, and a new “flip” tax of up to 15 percent on the sale of residential housing in New York City. The full list of NYSAR’s Lobby Day priorities can found here.

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter passes
On Friday, March 16, 2018, New York Congresswoman Louise Slaughter passed away at the age of 88.  Slaughter served 31 years in Congress, and was most recently the ranking Democrat on the House Rules Committee. More here on the life and passing of Louise Slaughter.

Senate and Assembly pass budget resolutions
This week, both houses of the Legislature outlined their budget priorities by introducing and passing their own budget resolutions, which can be found here and here. Over the next two weeks, the governor and legislative leaders from both houses will negotiate the components of the state budget with the goal of completion before the April 1 budget deadline. Of note, the Assembly budget resolution contains an increase in the real estate transfer tax and a new “flip” tax imposed on the sale of residential buildings in New York City. NYSAR will be strongly opposing these proposals and working to make sure they are not included in the final budget agreement.
Joseph Percoco found guilty
Joseph Percoco, a former aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, was found guilty this week on three counts of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud and solicitation of bribes and gratuities. He will be sentenced on June 11. More on this story can be found here.

Government Affairs Update for March 9, 2018

NYSAR leadership team lobbies in D.C.
This week, NYSAR’s leadership team conducted a one-day Capitol Hill visit to discuss REALTOR priorities with New York’s Congressional delegation. NYSAR President CJ DelVecchio and the leadership team discussed with members of Congress issues including: extension and changes to the National Flood Insurance Program; GSE reform; preservation of federal mortgage finance programs such as FHA; and the American Disability Act lawsuit reform. To read more about these and other federal REALTOR legislative and regulatory priorities, click here.

NYSAR meets with co-op board representatives to discuss legislation
NYSAR staff, along with its New York City lobbyists from the Parkside Group, met with representatives from the Council of New York Cooperative and Condominiums to discuss advancement of NYSAR-supported legislation that would provide transparency to the process of considering the sale of co-op units in New York State by establishing a timeline for co-op boards to act on applications. Co-op legislation has been introduced by New York State Senator Kemp Hannon and will be a top priority for NYSAR’s upcoming Lobby Day in Albany on March 20, 2018.

Attend NYSAR’s annual Lobby Day in Albany: March 20, 2018
NYSAR’s annual Lobby Day is Tuesday, March 20, 2018 in the Empire State Plaza (Meeting Rooms 1-5) in Albany, starting at 8 a.m. Assemblyman Charles Lavine, who is the author of co-op transparency legislation in the Assembly, will be the morning keynote speaker. Breakfast, lunch, lobbying orientation and lobbying materials will be provided. NYSAR will reimburse individual members up to $150 for travel and lodging expenses. Please call Jared Burns at 518-463-0300 ext. 235 or Leanne Little at ext. 217 with any questions. 

Preview of New York's 2018 Congressional races
City & State reviews competitive Congressional races throughout New York, comparing candidates’ and incumbents’ campaign money and projected voter turnout. Rep. Joe Crowley recently raised $900,000 for 12 House candidates, including three New York candidates: Anthony Brindisi (challenging Rep. Claudia Tenney), Max Rose (challenging Rep. Dan Donovan) and Kate Browning (challenging Rep. Lee Zeldin). Read more here.

Molinaro picks up endorsements from GOP County Chairs for governor run
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro has yet to declare his official candidacy to run for governor, however, he’s picked up endorsements from nine GOP county chairs so far including: Erie, Suffolk, Dutchess, Essex, Monroe, Rockland, Schoharie, Chemung and Steuben. State Sen. John DeFrancisco remains the other viable Republican in the race, but support in recent days has flowed to Molinaro.
NYC Rent Board begins meetings to consider rent increases for rent-stabilized apartments
Members of the New York City Rent Guidelines Board convened for its first meeting in the months-long process to set the allowable rent increases for the city’s roughly 1 million rent-stabilized apartments for the coming year. Last year, after having frozen rents on one-year leases for two years in a row, the board voted to allow modest rent increases, up to 1.25 percent for one-year leases, and 2 percent for two-year leases. Read more here.

Government Affairs Update for March 2, 2018

REALTOR-supported Co-op Transparency Bill to become law in Rockland County
As a result of many efforts by the Hudson Gateway Association of REALTORS, Rockland County Executive Ed Day announced that he would leave a recently passed co-op purchase reform bill unsigned in order to become law, and has requested the County Legislature go further and enact an additional provision that would require cooperative boards provide a reason for an applicant’s denial. By leaving the bill unsigned, the bill will become law 90 days after it is filed with the New York Secretary of State. You can read more here.

Attend NYSAR’s annual Lobby Day in Albany: March 20, 2018
NYSAR’s annual Lobby Day is Tuesday, March 20, 2018 in the Empire State Plaza (Meeting Rooms 1-5) in Albany, starting at 8 a.m. Assemblyman Charles Lavine, who is the author of co-op transparency legislation in the Assembly, will be the morning keynote speaker. Breakfast, lunch, lobbying orientation and lobbying materials will be provided. NYSAR will reimburse individual members up to $150 for travel and lodging expenses. Please call Jared Burns at 518-463-0300 ext. 235 or Leanne Little at ext. 217 with any questions. 

NYSAR meets with Albany lawmakers
NYSAR staff met with Assembly Judiciary Committee staff this week to discuss a number of legislative priorities in that committee, including advancing a “Team” definition bill and Scaffold Law reform, as well as expressing our opposition to legislation expanding cease and desist zones in Queens, doubling maximum fines for violations of real estate license law, and proposals to require a broker signature and license number on every document in a real estate transaction. NYSAR staff also continues its work with Assemblyman Zebrowski and the Department of State to introduce legislation that will provide for the registration and licensure of Appraisal Management Companies (AMCs) in New York before the August 2018 federal deadline. You can find NYSAR’s 2018 Legislative Priority list here.

State Primary Election Day moved to Thursday, Sept. 13
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation this afternoon that will move this year's state and local primaries to Thursday, Sept. 13, rather than Tuesday, Sept. 11.
State GOP backs Chele Farley for U.S. Senate
State Republicans designated Chele Farley as their candidate to run for U.S. Senate against Democratic incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand this November. 

NAR efforts to provide clarity on assistance animals
NAR and the Institute for Real Estate Management are working with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and disability rights organizations to provide some clarity regarding assistance animals and fair housing requirements for reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities. Specifically, NAR is looking for guidance on the types of documentation used to support a request for an assistance animal as well as determining a reasonable number or type of animal(s) in a unit. NAR will provide updates as they develop.
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