ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — This week on Empire State Weekly, multiple lawmakers as well as EMS providers are calling on Governor Hochul to sign legislation that would change the way ambulance services are paid for. Assemblyman Phil Steck, (representing District 110) and Jay Tyler, the Director of Guilderland EMS, explained the Direct Pay Bill passed both houses in the legislature earlier this year.
Once the Governor signs the bill into law it will require health insurance companies to send payments to EMS companies instead of patients, even if the insurance company does not have a relationship with the EMS provider.
“We use insurance funding for fuel, for tires, for medical supplies, for equipment. That in turn gets related to the patient, and in turn the community, EMS agencies are a big part of the community” Said Tyler.
Also this week, A proposed amendment to the state constitution could impact many schools. On the ballot in next month’s election, Prop One will be up for approval. As David Little, the Executive Director of the Rural Schools Association, explains, this would eliminate the special debt limit for small city school districts. He says this would help these small schools pay for projects that couldn’t be finished.
“The statewide average for students in poverty in a school district is 35 percent in small cities it’s over sixty percent, so they have some of the highest needs in our state, and yet they’re restricted in what they can do if they wanna put in a new science lab even though their voters agreed to pay for it they can’t do it because of this constitutional hangover that we have from the days that the public had no control over the voting for their budget,” said Little.
To see these interviews and more, here is a list of how you can watch Empire State Weekly in your area of New York: