Legislative roundup: Here is what the governor signed, vetoed

As 2022 drew to a close, a flurry of bills passed by the state legislature were signed and/or vetoed by Gov. Kathy Hochul. Association leadership is currently monitoring the potential impacts the bills signed by the governor may have on credit unions, and updates will be provided in the coming weeks.

Key bills include:

Overdraft fees
In a major victory for credit unions, proposed legislation requiring written notification of overdraft fees charged to certain account holders was vetoed by Gov. Kathy Hochul, as previously reported in the New York Minute.

Foreclosure Abuse Prevention Act
The Foreclosure Abuse Prevention Act, which amends the General Obligation Law, Civil Practice Law and Real Property Law to severely limit lenders (both state and federally chartered) was also signed by the governor. Association leadership previously stated that the legislation would have unintended consequences for credit unions and members, and would have “a deleterious effect” on New York’s real property financial ecosystem including lenders, homeowners, and the secondary market overall.

Pay transparency
Hochul signed legislation to establish a statewide pay transparency standard  to require employers to disclose compensation or range of compensation to applicants and employees in job advertisements. The law will go into effect Sept. 17, 2023.

What to know:

  • The legislation applies to employers with four or more employees.
  • Disclosure must be a “good-faith” range.
  • It includes every job, promotion, transfer (internal and external).
  • There will be civil penalties up to $3,000 for noncompliance.
  • It does not preempt local laws in New York City, Ithaca and Rochester, and there may be more municipalities that introduce similar legislation
  • The New York State Department of Labor intends develop more regulation at a later date.

Power of attorney
An Association-supported bill, S9209/A10234, provides clarification for the creation of valid statutory short form and other powers of attorney. Effective immediately, powers of attorney need only to have been executed by the principal and conform to the law in effect at the time executed by such principal to remain valid and enforceable under the new law, even if signed by the agents at a later date. Grandfathered powers of attorney only had to be executed by the principal to be valid.

Gift cards
New legislation regarding gift cards amends the general business law, requiring notice of potential scams when selling gift cards. The law takes effect 180 days after being signed by the governor on Dec. 22.

Hero Act
Hochul also signed a bill amending the state’s Hero Act, effective immediately, requiring employers with safety violations to establish workplace safety committees. It also allows the commissioner of labor to assess certain civil penalties for violations. The Hero Act was originally signed into law on May 5, 2021, mandating workplace health and safety protections in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the purpose of protecting employees against exposure and disease during an airborne infectious disease outbreak.

Questions regarding the bills signed by the governor may be sent to Kristina Persaud, the Association’s director of governmental affairs, at kristina.persaud@nycua.org.

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