At long last, we have achieved meaningful rules reform that will forever change the way the state Senate conducts business. The days of top-down, leadership-dominated policymaking are over. The Senate adopted many of the key principles of the bipartisan agreement I proposed last week, including the historic rule change that allows a simple majority of Senators to decide what bills will make it to the floor for a vote. Today’s reforms also provide greater equity in the distribution of resources between both parties and increase openness and transparency in the legislative process.
You’d be hard pressed to find a more respected, distinguished public servant than Richard Ravitch. His illustrious record of service to the people of New York makes him an excellent choice to serve as Lt. Governor. I congratulate Lt. Governor Ravitch on his appointment and look forward to working with him in his new role.
After weeks of deadlock, I am relieved to report that the Senate is back in business. Thursday night, we passed a host of bills that are critical to the functioning of the state, including Power for Jobs, an extension of Timothy’s Law and revenue enhancers to balance New York City’s budget. But there’s a lot of work left to do. That’s why we are headed back to Albany next week for another session.
Senators Squadron, Schneiderman and Others Propose Bipartisan Agreement to End Senate Stalemate
Albany, NY—State Senators Daniel Squadron, Eric Schneiderman, Liz Krueger, Eric Adams, Neil Breslin, Suzi Oppenheimer, and Kevin Parker proposed an agreement today to allow the Senate to end the stalemate and return to business.
Like other proposals under discussion, the proposal shares the power and resources of the Senate between the two conferences and creates a bi-partisan mechanism for bringing bills to the floor for consideration.
“Article IV, Section 6 clearly provides a mechanism to fill the offices of Governor and Lt. Governor when both offices are vacant at the same time. It is equally clear that it does not provide such a mechanism when the office of Lt. Governor alone is vacant.
In the aftermath of last week’s failed coup attempt by Senate Republicans, I wanted to give you a brief update on the recent developments in Albany.
As a result of the deadlock caused by Senate Republicans and Senator Pedro Espada during the crucial final weeks of the legislative session, the debate or passage of many of my top legislative priorities has been stalled. Those priorities include the repeal of vacancy decontrol, marriage equality, firearm microstamping, mortgage and pension fraud legislation, the Climate Change Solutions Act, and school governance reform.
Ever since President Barack Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor for a seat on the Supreme Court, Jewish leaders have been speculating about how the appointment of this Bronx-raised Hispanic woman will affect the relationship between the Jewish and Hispanic communities.
ALBANY – Sen. Eric T. Schneiderman (D-Manhattan/Bronx) voted Tuesday for legislation that will make more seniors eligible for the Senior Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) program. The bill (S2210), which passed the Senate, deducts the amount of any unreimbursed out-of-pocket medical and prescription drug expenses from eligible seniors’ annual income calculation.
ALBANY – Sen. Eric T. Schneiderman’s legislation (S.5701) to protect New York’s yoga studios from regulations that threaten their livelihood passed the Senate Higher Education Committee today. In recent weeks, the New York State Education Department accused yoga studios of violating the law by training new instructors without a license, despite the fact that such licenses have never been required before. The state also threatened the studios with fines up to $50,000.
“By voting for marriage equality, the Assembly has made history once again. Legislators transcended party lines to give everyone in New York the right to the legal benefits that come with a marriage license. Now, with all eyes on the Senate, I am hopeful that we can get the votes needed to ensure that every New Yorker’s civil rights are protected. From a legal and moral standpoint, this is the right thing to do.”
ALBANY -- The state Senate today overwhelmingly passed a bill (S4306) that strengthens the punishment for domestic abusers who engage in violence against a victim's property. Under current law, a person is not criminally liable for damaging shared property if he or she has either a right to do so or believes that right exists. That means if an individual destroys the property of a spouse or domestic partner, he or she could not be held criminally liable. The bill passed today, sponsored by Codes Committee Chair Sen. Eric T.
NEW YORK – Jonathan Lippman, Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals, announced today the creation of a task force that will examine ways to prevent wrongful convictions. The panel, which will include lawmakers, prosecutors, defense attorneys and scientists, is permanent and will continually recommend improvements in court practices, legislation, and training for attorneys, judges and police.
ALBANY — In one of his first major initiatives as the state’s top jurist, Jonathan Lippman, the chief judge of New York’s Court of Appeals, said he would create a permanent task force to examine wrongful convictions and recommend ways to minimize them.
Members of the task force, who are being selected by Judge Lippman, will include prosecutors, defense lawyers, scientists and lawmakers. They will have a broad mandate to examine police procedures, court rules and other issues involved in wrongful convictions.
(Albany, NY) – The State Senate passed the FY2009-10 public protection budget today that includes many important reforms that will help our state and its public safety officers meet 21st Century needs. Most significant among these changes is the historic reform of the archaic, costly and ineffective Rockefeller Drug Laws. Among the reforms are a new commitment to drug treatment and the strengthening of penalties for drug kingpins and those who prey on children.