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Letters: Readers' early concerns for the 2023 state Legislature run the gamut from climate to legislative pay raises

January 19, 2023 4:37 PM | Deleted user

Hochul should veto liability legislation
Neal Sullivan, Mahopac

In the face of stubbornly high costs, Gov. Kathy Hochul's veto is a powerful tool for fiscal responsibility.

The governor has already rejected legislation that would increase costs to consumers and the state. She should do the same with another bill headed to her desk that would make insurance dramatically more expensive.

The bill, known as S74A, would radically expand the size of awards in wrongful death litigation, as well as who can file such lawsuits. This will be a body blow to budgets for the state and local governments, which are often targeted in wrongful death claims.

But the damage doesn't stop there. Insurers will be forced to raise costs to cover inflated payouts. As a result, businesses will have to raise prices. Healthcare providers will have fewer resources available to care for patients. Meanwhile, governments will need to choose between cutting vital services and raising taxes.

Ordinary New Yorkers will pay the price.

Higher insurance costs will directly hit household budgets across New York.

According to an actuarial analysis by Milliman Inc., an 11.1 percent increase in annual premiums across the board is expected for residents and businesses. Given that about a third of American adults cannot cover a $400 emergency expense with cash alone, such an increase is a recipe for disaster.

With government and family budgets alike under strain, S74A will be catastrophic. Hochul must veto this bill.

The writer is past chairman of the Putnam County Legislature

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