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Employee Provision in New York City School Bus Driver Bill Vetoed

Citing legal and fiscal concerns, Gov. Andrew Cuomo rejected legislation passed by the New York State Assembly that would have required contracts for the transportation of schoolchildren in a city of at least one million to include provisions for retaining or preferential hiring of school bus workers.

Cuomo vetoed Senate Bill S6208 on Dec. 26. New York City is the only city in the state with a population of over 1 million.

If it had been approved, it would have required the New York City Department of Education to provide provisions for K-12 school bus drivers, to preserve their wages, health, welfare, retirement benefits, and seniority.

Cuomo stated in his veto message that the bill does not address both legal and fiscal concerns, adding that he vetoed a similar bill in 2016.

“This new bill still fails to address the legal concerns raised by the New York State Court of Appeals, which has ruled that the inclusion of these provisions in school transportation contracts is both anti-competitive as well as cost-inflating,” Cuomo stressed in his Veto Message No. 285.

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The bill, co-sponsored by New York State Sens. Robert Jackson, John Liu and Alessandra Biaggi, passed the Senate floor on last May by a 57-1 vote. It was returned to the Senate on June 17 of last year and then passed the Assembly.

The bill was delivered to the governor on Dec. 24.

“Because this legislation fails to address such concerns … including the continued fiscal impact this would have on the state financial plan outside of the state budget process, I am constrained to veto this bill,” Cuomo stated.

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