October 2018


A look at the September primaries and the upcoming November elections

The September primaries are over. On to the November elections. Here is a quick recap of the Democratic primaries:


·         Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo beat back challenger Cynthia Nixon in a convincing primary win (64 percent to 34 percent).

·         Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul barely beat challenger Jumaane Williams (48 percent to 42 percent).

·         Williams now is considered the frontrunner for the New York City Public Advocate position that will be vacated by Letitia James, who won in the four-way New York attorney general primary.

·         On the state Senate side, all the former IDC members were challenged in primaries, and six of the eight were defeated, including former IDC head Jeffrey Klein, D-34.

·         Upstate Sen. David Valesky, D-53, who also was defeated, decided not to run on the Independence line.

·         Sen. Martin Malave Dilan, D-18, a regular member of the Senate Democrats, was beaten by a socialist Julia Salazar, riding the coattails of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-14, who had beaten Congressman Joseph Crowley earlier this year in the Congressional primaries.


That brings us to the Nov. 6 general election, in which:


·         Gov. Cuomo will face challenges from Republican/Conservative Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro and former Syracuse Mayor (and state Democratic co-committee chair) Stephanie Miner, who is running on the third-party Serve America Movement (SAM) line. Perennial Green Party Candidate Howie Hawkins also is on the gubernatorial ballot.

·         Democrat Letitia James will face Republican Keith Wofford on the attorney general ballot.

·         In the state Senate, the Republicans face a host of challenges as there will be five vacant incumbent seats. (They have decided not to run for re-election.) Additionally, Gov. Cuomo is supporting challenges to at least two seats held by Long Islanders. As in the past several elections, the Senate Republicans face the real possibility of becoming a minority party in the state in January 2019.


News for your business


PIWA members should be aware of a state-mandated requirement that all employees receive annual sexual harassment prevention training. The New York State Department of Labor released its final version of model sexual harassment prevention policy and training on Oct. 1, 2018, and extended the date for which employee training must be completed to Oct. 9, 2019. All New York employers still must have a sexual harassment prevention policy in place by Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018.


Under the new law, all employers who have employees in New York state, must implement annual sexual harassment prevention training. Employers can use a model program or implement their own program that meets or exceeds state requirements. There are a number of requirements that the training must offer, including:


·         an explanation of sexual harassment and specific examples of inappropriate conduct;

·         detailed information concerning federal, state and local laws and the remedies available to victims of harassment; and

·         an explanation of employees’ external rights of redress and the available administrative and judicial forums for bringing complaints.


The DOL has finalized a FAQ to answer common employer questions about the new law.


Legislative updates


Two bills of interest to PIWA members have passed both houses and are waiting to be delivered to the governor. They are:


Prelicensing coursework via internet (S.7634-A/A.9527-A). This legislation, sponsored by Sen. Kathleen A. Marchione, R-43, and Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner, D-113, would ensure that prelicensing courses for all forms of insurance are offered in both classroom and correspondence/distance learning formats. This bill now heads to the governor to be signed and it has a good chance of becoming law.


CE for association membership (S.3960-A/A.7012-B). Under the terms of the bill, sponsored by Sen. James Seward, R-51, and Assemblymember Pamela J. Hunter, D-128, active members of a statewide professional insurance producer association would be granted six continuing-education credits. We have heard the governor’s insurance counsel has raised concerns regarding the number of credit hours. PIWA is working with other producer associations to address any concerns that may be a barrier to this becoming law. PIWA has written to the governor’s office urging him to sign the legislation.

PIWA signs letter asking NYDFS to add coverages to ‘Export List’

PIWA joined other industry trade groups in a letter that asked the New York State Department of Financial Services to schedule a hearing to consider adding certain types of coverages that generally are unavailable in the admitted market to the “Export List.” The proposed coverages included types of vacant property risks multi-peril; commercial cyberliability; primary flood, wind deductible buyback coverage and more. A full list of coverages can be found in the letter, which was signed by PIWA, ELANY, PIANY and the Big I New York.

Register today for the PIWA Fall Reception

Join PIWA for its 2018 Fall Reception. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about your industry and network with peers and company representatives. It’s all happening Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018, at Haven Rooftop, 132 W. 47th St., New York, NY 10036. Register for the event today!

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What’s next …

At this time of year, we take stock of that for which we are thankful—our members. Enjoy your holiday season. The PIWA eBulletin will return in January 2019 with more information and events.