From Gun Laws to Abortion, 5 Issues for N.Y. Legislators as Session Ends

ALBANY, NY – Money and lobbying have a huge impact on Capitol Hill, but there’s little pressure like the old deadline to deliver key bills to the finish line.

With New York’s annual legislative session scheduled to end on June 2, state legislators are racing to finalize a host of legislative packages, from efforts to strengthen gun laws and human rights. spawn until an agreement to renew New York City’s powers over schools.

The Legislature, controlled by the Democratic Party, has passed a steady stream of legislation in recent weeks, including a landmark bill allow adult victims of sexual assault to sue their abuser and the law selling cosmetics tested on animals. The Senate passed bills for monopoly suppression and cap insulin costsalthough it remains unclear whether the Council will comply.

Consensus on other hot-button legislation seems even less certain, with many lawmakers already eyeing re-election campaigns and grappling with the chaos of new county lines that have led to an election. Play scrambled music chairs.

Here are five of the most contentious issues lawmakers faced during the final week of session.

New York already has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, but lawmakers want to strengthen them even further, something they discussed even before the Buffalo supermarket and school massacres. elementary school in Texas.

The recent shootings, each involving an 18-year-old suspect, have only added impetus to new gun policies: Governor Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, announced Wednesday that she will seek legislation to raise the minimum age to 21 to purchase AR- 15 Style Weapons, and perhaps other firearms as well.

Currently, anyone over 18 can buy a shotgun in New York as long as they pass a background check; A permit to obtain a long gun is required in New York City, but not anywhere else in the state.

Raising the age to buy at least some rifles, a step that other Democratic-led states have already taken, seems to have the support of Democratic lawmakers, though it may be subject to criticism. challenged in court by the gun corridor. Trending in California lately.

Lawmakers are discussing other gun control measures, including a proposal for a “micro-stamp” semi-automatic pistol to help law enforcement officials track cases of discharged gun cartridges. they.

State lawmakers are being cautious about the type of gun laws they make, wary of not passing any legislation that the Supreme Court could use in hazy decision about the state’s concealed implementation law, which many Democrats fear will be scrapped. The law imposes limits on carrying guns outside the home.

State Senator Brad Hoylman, a Democrat who sponsored the microstamping act, said: “We don’t want to cut off the heads of any Supreme Court clerks who may be drafting opinions. and cited New York lawmakers trying to announce their final comments in advance. “So there’s a lot of discomfort but also the calculation that these bills don’t touch that stashed area.”

Lawmakers may have some lag in their timing: Ms. Hochul said this week she was prepared to call a special legislative session to pass bills under the Court’s decision. Supreme Court, scheduled for June.

Two environmental bills are facing obstacles: One will impose two-year moratorium about mining the most energy-intensive cryptocurrencies, while the other will task the New York Electricity Authority with building solar and wind power plants with the goal of powering the market. renewable energy field.

Supporters of both bills say they are vital to meeting the goals of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act of 2019, a landmark law that requires the state to have 70% Electricity is generated renewable by 2030 and has a carbon-neutral economy by 2050. As of this week, New York gets less than 3% of its electricity from solar renewables. and wind.

“If the private sector has been too slow to help us comply with the CLCPA, and we seem to be moving too slowly right now, we have a public agency that can help speed it up,” said Sen. Gianaris, Deputy Secretary of the Democratic Party. majority leader, talking about the public utility bill, the progressives’ top priority.

Opponents argue that the bill is unnecessary, given how many private sector renewable projects are underway and will result in increased costs for consumers.

But it is the cryptocurrency bill – the first in the country – that gets the most attention.

The bill would temporarily block new licenses for fossil fuel-burning facilities to power certain types of cryptocurrency mining. The act is a direct response to environmental concerns over aging fossil fuel power plants. converted into cryptocurrency mining facilitiesespecially for Bitcoin, all over upstate New York.

The bill was passed by Congress in April, but the crypto industry – a new branch of Albany politics – has lobbied to try to block the law in the Senate, where it passed a ban. more widely last year.

The industry has argued that banning the practices would hurt the nascent industry in New York and open the door to similar regulations by Congress and other states. This week, Ms. Hochul said she was “open” about the legislation, but wanted to balance the creation of new jobs with the environmental impact of the facilities, a concern of other lawmakers.

State Senator Todd Kaminsky, a Democrat from Long Island, said: “I think there is a way to mine fossil-free cryptocurrencies without using sticks, and instead use Use carrots to get there.

New York City mayors have regularly traveled to Albany to renew the city’s control of public schools since Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg first convinced lawmakers to grant him the so-called mayor control.

While local councils oversee schools in the rest of the state, legislators typically give the city authority over its schools in increments of one to seven years.

Mayor Eric Adams, with the governor’s backing, requested a four-year extension of mayoral control, longer than any extension his predecessor, Bill de Blasio, had received.

John C. Liu, head of the Senate’s New York City Education Committee, said he believes four years is too long to extend. He suggested that he would be open to a multi-year agreement, provided that some issues such as class size and students’ English as a second language proficiency should be addressed, provided that People with disabilities.

However, the broader question of school governance remains open, with Mr Liu, a Queens Democrat, saying he believes the state should conduct a study into how city schools have operate under the mayor’s control and how they compare to schools in other American cities.

Democratic legislators worked on a package of bills that would strengthen New York’s already strong protections against abortion, after a leaked Supreme Court opinion suggested the court was poised to overturn. Roe v. Wade case.

Some of those efforts have been focused on protecting providers from liability to patients from states where abortion has been criminalized. Others seek to protect patients who come to New York for sexual health care.

Democrats are also working to include the right to abortion in the state Constitution, a move Hochul has expressed support for. However, it remains unclear whether lawmakers will push for language with a limited focus on abortion or introduce a more ambitious bill that would offer comprehensive protection from discrimination.

Democratic legislators appeared ready to expire a divisive tax incentive program that New York City developers have used for five decades to build most major residential projects.

Both Ms Hochul and Mr. Adams pushed for a renewal of the controversial subsidy program, known as 421a, or an improved version of the program, to help subsidize the construction of affordable housing .

Progressive Democratic lawmakers, however, had little desire to renew the program, who saw the subsidy as a tax break for developers in exchange for too few rental units. below market price.

“If we are going to have a program that provides such generous tax benefits, we need to make sure that the public benefit is commensurate with the tax revenue we are generating,” said State Senator Brian Kavanagh. , the chairman of the housing committee said. . “I think we have an opportunity to do that in the future. That’s not something that needs to happen next Thursday. ”

The impact of the subsidy expiring on June 15 is not expected to be felt for many years. Hochul said the state may revisit the program in the future, even as some lawmakers have made a last-ditch effort to put together a package of housing bills that could include an extension of the program.

Lawmakers appear to be nearing a consensus on another housing front: legislation to help salvage New York City’s deteriorating public housing system, home to more than 400,000 residents. low income.

The bill, which Mr. Adams campaigned for, would establish the Public Housing Conservation Fund to unlock federal funds to fund repairs to thousands of public housing units that leak, lose heat and mold. .

Source link


News7F: Update the world's latest breaking news online of the day, breaking news, politics, society today, international mainstream news .Updated news 24/7: Entertainment, the World everyday world. Hot news, images, video clips that are updated quickly and reliably

Related Articles

Back to top button