I’m just a bill

Originally published in Newsday

Several key bills sponsored by the Long Island State Senate delegation made it to Gov. Kathy Hochul’s desk Wednesday and now await her signature or veto.

Among them: Sen. John Brooks’ effort to create a South Nassau water authority and Sen. Jim Gaughran’s bill that would create a North Shore water authority. Both bills come in response to the ongoing problems with New York American Water.

A bill sponsored by Sen. Kevin Thomas that addresses consumer credit fairness and strengthens consumer protections during the collections process also was delivered to Hochul on Wednesday.

The governor also called the Scott J. Beigel Unfinished Receiver Act, Sen. Anna Kaplan’s bill, which relates to the possession and sale of unfinished frames and receivers for guns. Kaplan’s bill, which would prohibit the selling or displaying of hate symbols by government entities, including fire and school districts, is also on the governor’s desk.

Also last week, Hochul called for a bill sponsored by Sen. Mario Mattera, which would increase the limit on highway expenses allowed for the town of Smithtown from $800,000 to $1.2 million.

Once a bill is delivered to the governor, she has 10 days to act.

But perhaps the most game-changing news for Long Island wasn’t with a bill introduced by one of its local senators.

On Wednesday, Hochul signed a bill introduced by Sen. James Skoufis, of Orange County, which would provide that any redistricting effort by a county outside of a city must be subject to federal and state law, and has to comply with specific standards, including the notion that districts must be contiguous and compact and "shall not be drawn to discourage competition or for the purpose of favoring or disfavoring incumbents or other particular candidates."

Kaplan, Gaughran, Brooks, Thomas and Sen. Todd Kaminsky all co-sponsored the legislation.

Counties could be open to legal action if they don’t comply.