SUPPORT – INCLUDE IN FINAL STATE BUDGET – S3129 DeFrancisco/A3849 Rodriguez

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February 2, 2017





S3129 DeFrancisco/A3849 Rodriguez

The NYS AFL-CIO, representing 2.5 million union members and their families as well as our retirees and their families, strongly supports this bill, which safeguards the flow of monies under the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA). This will help protect against any potential disruptions of revenue from the MSA signatories.

Since 1999, New York State, New York City and the counties have received over $13 billion in MSA payments. A disruption in funding could cause more budget problems.

If a MSA signatory is subject to a large judgment and cannot afford to post an appeal bond as currently required by New York law, the company’s assets could be seized by the plaintiff during appeal. Accordingly, the absence of an appeal bond cap leaves funding for vital state, county and local government operations that benefit New York residents exposed to tremendous risk. The loss of MSA payments could cause further cutbacks in state, county and local programs and further jeopardize public services.

Forty-seven states have appeal bond caps in place to protect the revenue stream of these monies. New York State should also enact this important budgetary protection via the state budget.  

The enactment of a bond cap would strike the appropriate balance in protecting the rights of plaintiffs who win large jury awards while ensuring that defendants have a fair opportunity to appeal. Moreover, an appeal bond cap limit of $250 million – the highest in the nation – would help preserve an uninterrupted flow of revenue for New York State, New York City and the counties from the MSA signatories.

Therefore, this Federation urges that this bill be passed.

For further information contact the Legislative Department at 518-436-8516.