What Happens and When: NYSAC's Advocacy Timeline
NYSAC's mission is to represent, educate, advocate for, and serve member counties and the thousands of elected and appointed county officials who serve the public. The NYSAC Legislative Team works together to analyze legislation, develop lobbying action plans, and coordinate NYSAC's Legislative Agenda to advocate for counties with a unified voice. Each year, the NYSAC Legislative Team follows a timeline of budget and legislative work to be accomplished on behalf of our members. The timeline aligns with the NYS budget process and legislative calendar.
The Legislative Team also works closely with the 13 NYSAC Standing Committees (Agriculture; Children with Special Needs; Economic Development, Environment and Rural Affairs; Intergovernmental Affairs; Legislative; Medicaid & Human Services; Native American Affairs & Gaming; Public Employee Relations; Public Health & Mental Health; Public Safety; Resolutions; Taxation & Finance; and Transportation & Public Works). These member-chaired committees develop, discuss and adopt the series of resolutions that go before the full county delegation, and then become the basis of NYSAC's legislative program, including our legislative agenda for the coming year.
Every September, the whole NYSAC team, the 13 NYSAC Standing Committees, and our general membership convene at the NYSAC Fall Seminar. During this conference, standing committees are tasked with issuing, reviewing and passing resolutions that represent the membership's interests and offer practical solutions.
Once the resolutions are passed through their respective committees and adopted by the membership, the Legislative Team organizes and identifies the priorities to create the coming year's Legislative Program. Once the platform is complete, the Legislative Team identifies budget priorities and non-budget legislative priorities. NYSAC expands on both the budget and legislative priorities and provides supporting material and data for each item. We then schedule meetings with representatives from the New York State Division on Budget (DOB) to share our members' budget-related requests.
January marks the beginning of the New York State Legislative Session. The Session begins the first Wednesday after the first Monday of the New Year. The opening is usually marked by the Governor's delivery of the "State of the State Message" in Albany. This year, Governor Cuomo delivered his “State of the State Address” in regional presentations throughout the state. These messages generally outline the priorities and programs the Governor wants the Legislature to address during the year ahead. The Governor must submit his Executive Budget Proposal to the Legislature, along with the related appropriation, revenue, and budget bills, by the third week in January (or by February 1st in a gubernatorial election year).
Once the Governor's Executive Budget Proposal is released, NYSAC's Legislative Team identifies key issues for counties within, or excluded from, the Executive Budget Proposal.
The Legislative Team then develops a lobbying plan for each issue. This involves analyzing the bills, obtaining county
feedback and data, and organizing strategic meetings with the Legislature, staff, DOB, and the Governor's Office.
If there are any major county-involved items within (or excluded from) the Executive Budget Proposal but not part of our Legislative Platform, the Legislative Team drafts resolutions to be presented to the proper standing committee at the annual Legislative Conference at the end of January/beginning of February.
While the budget process continues, new bills are introduced daily by members of the Legislature. The Legislative Team reviews daily introductions, reviews committee reports, and responds accordingly with memos in support or opposition.
FEBRUARY – MARCH
At the conclusion of the NYSAC Legislative Conference, the Legislative Team sends the adopted resolutions to the
Governor, Senate and Assembly leadership, each member of the Legislature, agency heads, Congressional Membership and any/all appropriate staff.
During February, the Legislature creates Legislative Budget,Standing Committees and commences Joint Legislative Budget Hearings. The Legislative TNYeam prepares testimony to be presented at the Local Government Hearing and coordinates meeting with the Senate and Assembly leadership and staff.
The Governor generally releases 21-Day Amendments and 30-Day Amendments to the Executive Budget Proposal bills by the end of February, depending on when initial bills are introduced. Once the 30-Day Amendments are released, the Senate and Assembly release their own budget proposals. The Legislative Team identifies key issues for counties within or excluded from the Legislature's budget proposals and revises the lobbying plan for each issue as needed.
APRIL – JUNE
The Executive State Budget must be passed by April 1. Upon adoption of the final State Budget, the Legislative Team immediately prepares a full analysis of the final State Budget to provide to NYSAC members.
Budget priorities that were not completed in the final State Budget are transitioned into non-budget legislative priority items. The Legislative Team begins their lobbying efforts for the Legislature on counties' key no- budget priorities.
As the session concludes at the end of June, the Legislative Team assembles analyses of all legislation that has passed both houses and measures each bill's impact on individual member counties. Once the analysis is complete, the Legislative Team compiles the “Passed Both Houses” report, which is sent to NYSAC members. This report explains all the key items from the final State Budget along with a description of all the bills that have an impact on counties. Our team continues to update the report through the end of the calendar year.
Once bills are transmitted to the Governor's office, NYSAC drafts letters to the Governor's Counsel to report counties' support or opposition to the pending legislation.