New York State Senate, Assembly Fail to Pass Taxpayer and Debt Crises Protection Legislation

S4747/A2970 Bill Champions Vow to Pass Debt Relief Legislation Within Next Year

The New York State Senate and Assembly will likely close their legislative session by Monday without voting on the New York Taxpayer and International Debt Crises Protection Act (S4747/A2970). The bill cleared Judiciary Committee in the Assembly and was the first global debt relief legislation to move through the New York legislature in nearly 20 years. The legislation was designed to stop predatory "vulture fund" behavior, alleviate poverty in developing countries, address high food prices and protect pensions and US taxpayers. The bill is supported by unions, major religious institutions, development groups, notable economists, finance ministers and high-level United Nations officials.

New York lawmakers, unions and religious groups vowed to continue their efforts until the New York Taxpayer and International Debt Crises Protection Act becomes law:

Assemblymember Patricia Fahy and A2970 sponsor:

"I remain fully committed to passing the New York Taxpayer and International Debt Crises Protection Act along with Senator Brad Hoylman, legislative cosponsors, Jubilee USA, and coalition partners at the earliest possible opportunity next session. This is a wake-up call, and I’m pleased that private creditors, vulture funds, and Wall Street are taking serious note of this legislation. Developing nations, New York taxpayers, and global markets are depending on us to get this done, which is why I look forward to aggressively pursuing this issue along with my colleagues in the months to come.” 

Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal and S4747 sponsor:

“I’m grateful to the Jubilee USA Network for their work this legislative session in advancing international debt relief and New York State’s crucial role in helping reform the laws in this area to assist developing nations. I look forward to continuing to work with my Senate colleagues, including Senator Rivera and Senator Krueger, and pursuing a public hearing on this issue of international importance.”

Senator Leroy Comrie:

“This bill's reforms are necessary to protect taxpayers, workers, retirees and consumers and we will work to get them done by 2024.”

Senator John Liu:

“We will not stop our efforts until the New York Taxpayer and International Debt Crises Protection Act becomes law.”

Senator Luis Sepulveda:

"The Hoylman/Fahy bill is crucial to promote effective and orderly sovereign debt restructuring, achieve equitable burden-sharing, and prevent financial system disruption. This bill safeguards the interests of New Yorkers and supports international stability. Together, we can ensure sustainable outcomes and mitigate the impact of crises on our economy." 

Assemblymember Brian Cunningham:

"We are committed to passing this law to protect New Yorkers and our brothers and sisters in the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and Latin America.”

Assemblymember Edward Gibbs:

"One of the most important reasons for us to pass this bill is because it will protect New York taxpayers. When vulture funds refuse to offer relief - they get bailed out by our tax dollars."

Assemblymember Alicia Hyndman:

"We've seen an extremely vibrant campaign working to pass this law. I join the unions, religious groups, major economists and development organizations who won't stop until we have a new debt relief law.”

Roberto O. González Nieves OFM, Metropolitan Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Juan de Puerto Rico:

"Because the New York Taxpayer and International Debt Crises Protection Act provides debt relief for our world in crises en masse, it protects Puerto Rico taxpayers, addresses inflation and economic shocks and helps address Puerto Rico's rising food prices."

Ruth Messinger, Former Member of New York City Council and Mayoral candidate, Global Ambassador and Former President and CEO, American Jewish World Service:

“It appears to be easy, sitting in Albany, to delay, to listen too carefully to those who will profit from the legislation not passing and to not hear the voices, and often the cries, of millions of children, women and men in the Global South who are losing education and health care resources, whose lives are in the balance. This is precisely the kind of issue that demands rapid action, yet our legislators have walked away from that reality.”

Brian McDonnell, Political and Legislative Director, AFSCME New York:

“AFSCME represents more than 400,000 public service workers in New York State. Our union maintains that private creditors should play by the same rules as government creditors. Although we fell short this session, we will continue to fight the vulture funds that hold countries hostage to squeeze out profit at the expense of their citizens and the essential public services that they rely on. Our union is a proud partner of Jubilee USA.”

Rev. Peter Cook, Executive Director, NYS Council of Churches, and Rashida Tyler, Deputy Executive Director, NYS Council of Churches:

"We are immensely disappointed that the New York Taxpayer and International Debt Crises Protection Act has not come to the floor for a vote this session. The legislation could have immediately assisted developing nations at risk of default. We are seeing the direct results of the global debt crisis here in New York State, as thousands of asylum seekers have come to the state in recent months. Many are from countries that are carrying unsustainable debt, which prevents them from being able to provide for basic human needs. We believe in this legislation, and thank the many supporters in the legislature for their courage to sponsor and co-sponsor this historic bill. We stand with the many congregations, faith leaders, NGOs, and international humanitarian organizations and will continue to fight to get this bill passed."

Rev. Nicolle D. Jean Simon, NAACP President of Schenectady Branch, Pastor of Duryee Memorial A.M.E Zion Church:

“I, like many other New Yorkers, have relatives in a developing country that is greatly distressed by the global debt crisis. Our state government can step in to help our families by passing the New York Taxpayer and International Debt Crises Protection Act. This groundbreaking bill allows New Yorkers to lend a helping hand to some of the world’s most marginalized. This bill will also result in lower food prices and gas costs. Not only is passing this bill the right thing to do, but it’s also a win-win situation for all. The passing of this legislation is critical. Let’s get it done by 2024!”

Ben Grossman-Cohen, Director of Campaigns at Oxfam America:

"New York legislators may have gone home, but the vulture funds who profit off the global debt crisis are still hard at work. The result of this inaction is that countries will continue to face default and the world’s poorest people will lose out on medical care, education, food and other essential services.  But this fight is not over. We look forward to ensuring this bill gets the consideration it deserves when session resumes.”

Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network:

“This legislation has support in every corner of the world. We got this far because of the amazing lawmakers who were our champions. Our labor, religious, development, environment and diaspora organizations are committed to push this legislation until it passes. This bill helps all of us."

Read the Nobel Prize-Winning Economist Joseph Stiglitz, Former Minister of Finance of Colombia Jose Antonio Ocampo and Former Minister of Economy of Argentina Martin Guzman support memorandum for the New York Taxpayer and International Debt Crises Protection Act here.

Read the United Nations experts, economics and law experts and world leaders letter of support for the New York Taxpayer and International Debt Crises Protection Act here

Read the New York AFL-CIO, New York AFSCME, the New York State Public Employees Federation, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East Union, the Communications Workers of America – Local 1180, the New York State Catholic Conference, the New York State Council of Churches, the United Church of Christ, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Upstate New York and Metropolitan New York Synods, the Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church, Oxfam America, Bread for the World, the ONE Campaign, BRAC International, Catholic Climate Covenant, Friends of the Earth, NY Renews, Fridays for Future and other Memos/Letters of Support for the New York Taxpayer and International Debt Crises Protection Act here.

Read all of the New York Taxpayer and International Debt Crises Protection Act resources here.