For the second year in a row, and despite unanimous support in the NYS Senate and Assembly, Governor Cuomo on November 25 vetoed our legislation to provide continuing education (CE) credits for active membership in associations such as NAIFA-NYS.  The bill was a revised re-introduction of the version vetoed by the Governor on Christmas Eve 2018.  Back then, he praised the intent of the legislation but said that the number of CE credits the bill would have awarded (six, at the time) was too many.  Our revised version dropped the number of CE credits to three.

This year, the Governor makes no mention of such details.  Instead, he objects to the general premise of the legislation.  He writes in his veto message, among other things, that “This bill would grant a producer those continuing education credits only for joining an association.  I do not believe it is good public policy to trade away necessary and valuable learning opportunities in the form of continuing education credits as an inducement to drive membership at dues-collecting organizations.”

NAIFA-NYS is dialoguing with the bill sponsors—Senator Neil Breslin (Albany) and Assemblywoman Pamela Hunter (Syracuse)—regarding next steps, and thanks them for their strong and unwavering support.

S4365/A5922 would not award CE credits to members simply for paying dues.  Rather, those three CE credits must be earned.  A member only would be considered “active” and eligible for the credits if the individual, in addition to paying dues, had at a minimum (1) attended at least one CE-certified educational meeting, presentation, or conference sponsored by the professional insurance producer association each year during a biennial period and (2) read the association’s code of ethics.

The bill also lays out strict standards for the “statewide professional insurance producer associations” whose members might qualify for the CE credits.  For instance, such an association must:

  • have been in existence for at least ten years
  • derive its membership from persons who have been issued an insurance producer’s license by the Superintendent
  • be dedicated to promoting the integrity, trust, professionalism, and business interests of its members through education, advocacy, social interaction, and developing ethical and sound business practices
  • provide educational information and materials—which, at a minimum, includes a professional publication or journal issued not less than four times a year and issuing at least six guidance or fact-based policy statements or instructional memoranda on topics regarding professional practice, customer service, ethics, or a substantive issue (or, as an alternative, distributing at least 12 such statements/memoranda prepared by another organization)
  • file with the Superintendent, by January 31st of every year, a list of the association’s members in good standing, the organization’s code of ethics, and any other information that the Superintendent requests

NAIFA-NYS and a handful of other organizations in NYS would qualify as “state professional insurance producer associations” under the bill.

To read the Governor’s 2019 veto message, click HERE.

To read the Governor’s 2018 veto message, click HERE.