The controversial bill dealing with the Utica and Glens Falls municipal ambulance services has passed the state Senate according to state Sen. Joseph Griffo's office and Kunkel Ambulance Services.
The bill was passed around 9:30-10:30 Wednesday evening. According to Catherine Kunkel, president of Kunkel Ambulance the bill allows for Utica and Glens Falls to bypass REMSCO and SEMSCO and get their permanent CONs.
She says the bill is sponsored by Sens. Little, Griffo and McDonald and Assemblyman Brindisi and the bill is heavily supported by the affected municipalities and fire groups.
According to Kunkel, this proposed bill:
* Would devastate two of our UNYAN members: Kunkel Ambulance and Empire Ambulance who operate in Utica and Glens Falls.
* Sets precedent for municipalities to seek a legislative fix whenever they dont get what they want from the REMSCO/SEMSCOs.
* Rewards the litigious behavior of Utica and Glens Falls.
* Will result in all the citizens/taxpayers/voters of Utica and Glens Falls paying higher municipal ambulance rates in addition to the fire taxes.
* Destabilize current EMS system of those cities, potentially putting citizens at risk.
Kunkel states, "This is not over." She says that Gov. Andrew Cuomo still must sign the bill.
Senator Griffo's office says it then will be up to the state Health Commissioner to grant those cities a permanent certificate of need. Griffo himself was not immediately available for comment.