January 2019


The 2019 legislative session is up and running


With the start of the 2019 New York Legislative session, state Democrats control the Assembly, Senate, and the offices of the governor, attorney general and comptroller. Here is a breakdown of some of the notable Assembly and Senate committee members:


·         Sen. Neil D. Breslin, D-44, returns as chair of the Senate Insurance Committee after a nine-year hiatus;

·         Assemblyman Kevin A. Cahill, D-103, has returned as the chair of the Assembly Insurance Committee;

·         Sen. James L. Seward, R-51, is now the ranking member of Senate Finance Committee;

·         Assemblyman Will Barclay, R-120, is the ranking member of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee;

·         Sen. Michael H. Ranzenhofer, R-61, is the new ranking member of the smaller 11-member Senate Insurance Committee; and

·         Assemblyman Andrew R. Garbarino, R-7, is the ranking member of the Assembly Insurance Committee.


The Democrats hold a 39-seat majority in the Senate (to 23 Republicans and one Democrat who has not been permitted to join the Senate majority). Sen. Andrea Stewart Cousins, D-35, made history as the first female and first African-American female majority leader. In the Assembly, the Democrats hold a 107-seat majority, which includes one independent, and the Assembly minority has 43 seats. Speaker Carl E. Heastie, D-83, heads up that house; and Crystal Peoples-Stokes, D-141, is the new majority leader.


Both houses did not waste time in passing voting reform and discrimination protection in their first few days of session. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo gave a combined budget presentation and State of the State on Jan. 15, during which he presented an ambitious third term as governor and what he has dubbed as the “Justice” agenda. This agenda includes legalizing marijuana and passing the Childs Victim Act, legislation that would revive causes of actions for victims of child sexual abuse, along with extended civil and criminal statute of limitations.


Also, the governor has announced that he will nominate his chief of staff, Linda Lacewell, as the new superintendent of insurance. The Senate is expected to confirm her appointment.


Governor takes action in December. At the end of last year, Cuomo signed into law legislation that permits distance learning for agent licensing requirements (PIWA supported), but he vetoed legislation that would have allowed for continuing-education credits for active participation in agent and broker organizations—PIWA included. PIWA also backed this measure, and the association will work with the other organizations and bill sponsors to come up with a version that the governor can support.


New 2019 introductions


Sen. Breslin quickly introduced a number of bills of interest to the wholesale community at the start of the legislative session, including the following:


·         S.1603 (Breslin)/A.157 (Cahill), would remove the requirement that excess-line brokers receive a declination by the medical malpractice residual market. Both bills were referred to their respective insurance committees.


·         S.769 (Breslin), would remove the declination requirements for commercial insurance for wholesale brokers under certain circumstances. ELANY is proposing this legislation. The bill was referred to the Senate Insurance Committee.


·         S.1604 (Breslin), would allow for punitive damage insurance coverage. The bill was referred to the Senate Insurance Committee.


Watch your upcoming issues of the PIWA eBulletin for updates on how these bills fair this legislative session.


The PIWA Fall Cocktail Reception


More than 70 insurance professionals gathered for the PIWA Fall Cocktail Reception, Nov. 1, 2018, at Sanctuary Hotel’s Haven Rooftop in Midtown Manhattan.


Company representatives and wholesale agents gathered on the restaurant’s rooftop for an enjoyable evening of networking.


For more information about the event, including photos, click here.


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For more information about what PIA Creative Services can do for you and your business, visit online, email or call (800) 424-4244, ext. 338.


What’s next …


PIWA is planning its events for 2019, including its Spring Reception Thursday, May 16, 2019, at the Standard Biergarten, New York, N.Y. See the next issue of the PIWA eBulletin in April for more details.