As promised, Gov. David Paterson has vetoed two bills that would require utility companies to pay cleaners and security guards prevailing wage. He signed legislation that will increase the amount allowed as exemptions in bankruptcy proceedings and money judgments. Based on the new law, people filing for bankruptcy will have a choice between state and federal exemptions. The exemptions govern how much personal property and equity in their homes people filing for bankruptcy can keep. Many of the exemption amounts have not been updated since the 1980s.
The three bills were the last pieces of legislation Paterson had to act on before leaving office Dec. 31.
Here is Paterson’s statement on bankruptcy bill:
“During this time of economic crisis, it is our responsibility as public servants to protect those who are struggling the most. A reconsideration of the current exemptions, which in some cases have not been changed in decades, is particularly warranted when an increasing number of individuals find themselves in dire financial condition. Though this is not a perfect bill, the benefits far outweigh its concerns. I understand from legislators and advocacy groups that have supported this bill that they are fully committed to addressing the concerns raised by New York City and others, and I urge the Legislature to do so in the coming year.”
The legislation also has new exemptions for debtors, including for vehicles not more than $4,000 above debtors’ liens and encumbrances ($10,000 for a car used by a disabled person), and a corresponding increase of the bankruptcy exemption. It will increase the homestead exemption from $50,000 to either $75,000, $125,000 or $250,000 depending upon the county.