U.S. Just Made It a Lot Less Difficult to Sue Nursing Homes – The New York Times


The federal agency that controls more than $1 trillion in Medicare and Medicaid funding has moved to prevent nursing homes from forcing claims of elder abuse, sexual harassment and even wrongful death into the private system of justice known as arbitration.

An agency within the Health and Human Services Department on Wednesday issued a rule that bars any nursing home that receives federal funding from requiring that its residents resolve any disputes in arbitration, instead of court.

The rule, which would affect nursing homes with 1.5 million residents, promises to deliver major new protections.

Read entire NYTIMES Report…

 Follow this link to view the full text of the new rule.

Related articles

Register for the STAR credit

STAR Program 2016 Legislative Changes

The New York State Tax Department recently contacted the NYSBA to highlight changes to the longstanding School Tax Relief (STAR) program. As a result of 2016 legislative changes, new homeowners will now receive a STAR Credit check instead of receiving a property tax exemption. The amount of the benefit will remain the same. Click here for a link to the new legislation.

New homeowners no longer apply to their assessor for the benefit. Instead, they register directly on the Tax Department’s website (tax.ny.gov/star). New homeowners who do not have access to the Internet can instead call the New York State Tax Department at: 518-457-2036.

Many of you who are involved with home closings have traditionally provided new homeowners with STAR applications, which they in turn provided to their assessors. Now that the process to establish eligibility for STAR has changed, the New York State Tax Department is making a printable fact sheet for new homeowners available online. Since most new homeowners will no longer use a paper form, you may wish to provide them with a copy of the fact sheet.

The New York State Tax Department extends their thanks to our members for assistance in helping to ensure that new homeowners receive the school tax relief they are entitled to.

Questions concerning these changes may be directed to the New York State Tax Department by calling: 518-457-2036. 

Star Property Tax Checks & Enhanced Star Fact Sheet-NYS Dept of Taxation & Finance

Legislative changes to the Basic Star and Enhanced Star property tax programs are summarized in a “Fact Sheet” from the NYS Dept of Taxation and Finance.  The sheet can be downloaded, printed, and is suitable for handing to clients at residential closings.

Amended Notice of Adoption Updating the Energy Code–Division of Code Enforcement and Administration

On August 25, 2016, the Code Council adopted a rule amending the March 9, 2016  rule. The Amended Notice of Adoption of the amended rule updating the Energy Code was published in the September 21, 2016 edition of the State Register. The amended rule updating the Energy Code update incorporates the following documents by reference:


•2015 International Energy Conservation Code

•2013 ASHRAE 90.1

•2016 Supplement to the New York State Energy Conservation Construction Code (Revised August 2016 



The “Revised August 2016” version of the supplement was posted on the website on September 2, 2016, your copy of the supplement is not current if you downloaded it before that date. For more information and to download the current version of the Supplement “Revised August 2016” CLICK HERE 




Effective Date

The amended rule updating the Energy Code becomes effective on October 3, 2016. There is no “transition period” for the Energy Code.


Public access to the ICC Codes;

The ICC 2015 codes adopted by New York State can be viewed at no cost at; http://codes.iccsafe.org/New%20York%20State.html#2015

Pesticide Product Search Is Online–New York State DEC

The NYSDEC Bureau of Pest Management is pleased to announce that the new pesticide product registration database is now “live”.  The web address is http://www.dec.ny.gov/nyspad/.  When visiting the webpage, please select the Products icon on the right side of the page to perform product searches.

This pesticide search database is replacing the Product, Ingredient, and Manufacturer System (PIMS) product database that has been hosted by Cornell University since its inception.  The new search database includes many added features, including site and pest searches.  Additionally, updates to the product data and labeling will be reflected instantaneously.  Previously, product registration data was updated approximately every two weeks.

We recommend you bookmark this site and begin using it immediately to become familiar with it as it is a little different from what you may be used to with PIMS.  If you go to the PIMS site to search for a product it will simply re-direct you to the new NYSPAD site.

The Products search is only one of several searches that can be performed on the NYSPAD search page.  Users can also search for pesticide applicators and businesses, restricted-use pesticide dealers, and pesticide courses and exams.

Please contact the Pesticide Product Registration Section at ppr@dec.ny.gov or (518) 402-8768 if you have any questions or comments regarding the NYSPAD pesticide product search.  For questions or comments regarding pesticide businesses, applicators, dealers, courses or exams, please contact the Reporting & Certification Section at pestmgt@dec.ny.gov or (518) 402-8748.

Louisiana Judges Issue Harsher Sentences When The LSU Football Team Loses – The Atlantic

Kids who are sentenced by college-football-loving judges who are disappointed after unexpected team losses are finding themselves behind bars for longer than kids who are sentenced after wins or predicted losses.

That’s the gist of a new working paper by a pair of economists at Louisiana State University. It sounds almost comical, like an Onion headline, at first glance: “Judge Sentences Teen to Two Years After Louisiana Tigers Fall to Wisconsin Badgers.” But, insists Naci Mocan, an economics professor at LSU and a co-author (with a fellow professor, Ozkan Eren) of “Emotional Judges and Unlucky Juveniles,” it’s not far off.


Marc Schindler, the executive director of the Justice Policy Institute and a former public defender in Baltimore, said he found the study fascinating. While he’s not convinced judges will take it to heart, he said defenders might see the study as a tool. If he was defending a kid in Louisiana in the week after a big LSU upset and knew the judge had attended the school, he might say something like, “Now, Your Honor, I know we all had a rough day on Saturday, but we all know we’re not going to let that impact our decision making…” Maybe it would backfire, but maybe it wouldn’t.

Read entire Atlantic Article here…

Related articles

Clean Fleets for Municipalities–NYS DEC

Webinar: Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016, 10:30 AM- 12:00 PM

New York State is developing resources to help municipalities add zero emission vehicles(ZEVs) to their fleets and install more fueling stations for ZEVs. Such support is critical to meeting state greenhouse gas reduction goals; switching from gasoline-powered vehicles to electric vehicles in New York State could reduce emissions by as much as 75% per mile.

Attend this Climate Smart Communities webinar to learn about some of the ways that New York State is supporting municipalities’ efforts to increase ZEV adoption. Speakers will provide information on ZEV programs that are part of the 2016-2017 Environmental Protection Fund and on upcoming Drive Electric Week events, which start on September 10.

Please provide us with your name and community affiliation, either via email or telephone to the Office of Climate Change at climatechange@dec.ny.gov or 518-402-8448. In the event that we cancel or postpone this webinar, respondents will be notified.

To join the webinar on September 8th, follow these steps:

  1. First, click on this link: https://meetny.webex.com/meetny/onstage/g.php?MTID=e3db4fb674ade1dcba86597fe964e3d05
  2. Enter your name and email address.
  3. Enter the meeting password: NYSDEC1
  4. Click “Join“.
  5. Click “Call Me” in the onscreen “Audio Connection” box and enter your phone number to join the audio portion through your telephone.
  6. Alternatively, call 1-844-633-8697 and enter the Event Number: 640 971 652, followed by your attendee ID (which will be displayed on your screen in the “Event Info” tab) to join the audio portion. The attendee ID is recommended but not required. It is also an option to join the audio portion via your computer speakers.

Two days before webinar, test the computer you plan to use by clicking on the following link: http://www.webex.com/test-meeting.html

For assistance with WebEx, go to https://meetny.webex.com/meetny/mc and click “Support” on the left navigation bar.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This WebEx service includes a feature that allows audio and any documents and other materials exchanged or viewed during the session to be recorded. By joining this session, you automatically consent to such recordings. If you do not consent to the recording, discuss your concerns with the meeting host prior to the start of the recording or do not join the session. Please note that any such recordings may be subject to discovery in the event of litigation.

%d bloggers like this: