The process established by FASNY for its legislative advocacy has resulted in a number of significant accomplishments. The FASNY Legislative Committee will continue to work diligently toward fulfilling its responsibilities and making FASNY’s mission a reality.
FASNY Legislative Accomplishments
- Protection of 2% Foreign Fire Insurance Tax. The funds derived from this tax levy are distributed by the state to provide financial support for fire companies and chartered benevolent associations.
- Establishment of the Volunteer Firefighter Benefit Law (VFBL). This clarifies and expands the coverage afforded to volunteer firefighters injured in the line of duty. There have been numerous legislative enhancements since that time.
- The “Heart Bill.” This FASNY initiative created a presumption that a volunteer firefighter’s death or disability due to a heart attack is related to his or her volunteer firefighting activity. This law has been extended numerous times since its enactment.
- Length of Service Award Program (LOSAP). This program provides a volunteer firefighter with a monetary benefit based on firefighting activity and number of years in service. There have been numerous legislative enhancements since the establishment of the program.
- Establishment of the Emergency Services Low Interest Revolving Loan Fund. This loan fund assists fire companies and districts with the purchase of apparatus, equipment and other supplies that are needed to assist and protect volunteer firefighters. Over $36 million has been loaned since the inception of the program.
- Establishment of $50,000 Death Benefit. Under the VFBL, a $50,000 benefit has been established for a volunteer firefighter Line of Duty Death.
- Arson Convictions. Laws have been enacted to provide some assurance that a convicted arsonist is not taken in as a member of a volunteer fire company.
- Leading role of new standard state building code that makes buildings safer for firefighters to enter during an incident.
- Real Property Tax Abatement. Various laws have been enacted that authorize certain counties to provide a real property tax abatement to volunteer firefighters.
- Establishment of volunteer firefighter and EMS preferred personal New York State income tax credit.
- New York State, with strong support from FASNY, was the first in the nation to establish the Fire Safe Cigarette Law. The law became effective on June 28, 2004. For more information, visit www.firesafecigarette.com.
All of the laws above and many others have been enacted through the efforts of the FASNY Legislative Committee with the assistance of volunteer firefighters from every area of the state. These efforts will continue in the future.