Ten issues still facing state lawmakers

Originally published in City & State on June 16, 2019.

Three days remain in this year’s state legislative session and the fate of a litany of high-profile issues hang in the balance, including recreational marijuana, driver’s licenses for undocumented people, sexual harassment and climate change mitigation.

While there remains enough time to pass some legislation as stand-alone bills, it’s increasingly likely that the best chance for any legislation is being lumped into an omnibus “big ugly” that lawmakers may pass before they adjourn for the year on Wednesday, June 19. This could give Gov. Andrew Cuomo additional leverage in final negotiations on some issues, but passage of a landmark package of rent reforms last week showed that legislators are willing to take the lead when they feel they have the votes.

Cuomo also signed a bill last week that abolishes the religious exemptions for vaccinations, following a raucous day in the state Capitol during which opponents pushed back at the proposal. Rent regulations and vaccinations are now done, but other top issues remain unresolved. Here’s a rundown of where things stand.

 

State Sen. Velmanette Montgomery is pushing for a bill that aims to limit the “school to prison pipeline” by reforming disciplinary procedures.

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