Regular Session - March 31, 2019

                                                                   2263

 1                NEW YORK STATE SENATE

 2                          

 3                          

 4               THE STENOGRAPHIC RECORD

 5                          

 6                          

 7                          

 8                          

 9                  ALBANY, NEW YORK

10                   March 31, 2019

11                     11:09 a.m.

12                          

13                          

14                   REGULAR SESSION

15  

16  

17  

18  SENATOR BRIAN A. BENJAMIN, Acting President

19  ALEJANDRA N. PAULINO, ESQ., Secretary

20  

21  

22  

23  

24  

25  


                                                               2264

 1                P R O C E E D I N G S

 2                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 3   Senate will come to order.  

 4                I ask everyone present to please 

 5   rise and repeat with me the Pledge of Allegiance.

 6                (Whereupon, the assemblage recited 

 7   the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.)

 8                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   In the 

 9   absence of clergy, let us bow our heads in a 

10   moment of silent reflection or prayer.

11                (Whereupon, the assemblage respected 

12   a moment of silence.)

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

14   reading of the Journal.

15                THE SECRETARY:   In Senate, 

16   Saturday, March 30, 2019, the Senate met pursuant 

17   to adjournment.  The Journal of Friday, March 29, 

18   2019, was read and approved.  On motion, Senate 

19   adjourned.

20                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Without 

21   objection, the Journal stands approved as read.

22                Presentation of petitions.

23                Messages from the Assembly.

24                Messages from the Governor.

25                Reports of standing committees.


                                                               2265

 1                Reports of select committees.

 2                Communications and reports from 

 3   state officers.

 4                Motions and resolutions.  

 5                Senator Gianaris.

 6                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

 7   on behalf of Senator Skoufis, on page 14 I offer 

 8   the following amendments to Calendar 269, Senate 

 9   Print 1630A, and ask that the bill will retain 

10   its place on the Third Reading Calendar.

11                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

12   amendments are received, and the bill will retain 

13   its place on the Third Reading Calendar.

14                Senator Gianaris.

15                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

16   there will be an immediate meeting of the Finance 

17   Committee in Room 332.

18                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   There 

19   will be an immediate meeting of the Finance 

20   Committee in Room 332.

21                SENATOR GIANARIS:   The Senate will 

22   stand at ease.

23                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

24   Senate will stand at ease.

25                (Whereupon, the Senate stood at ease 


                                                               2266

 1   at 11:11 a.m.)

 2                (Whereupon, the Senate reconvened at 

 3   12:03 p.m.)

 4                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 5   Senate will return to order.

 6                Senator Gianaris.

 7                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

 8   is there a report of the Finance Committee at the 

 9   desk?  

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   There 

11   is a report of the Finance Committee at the desk.  

12   The Secretary will read.

13                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Krueger, 

14   from the Committee on Finance, reports the 

15   following bills:  

16                Senate Budget Bill, Senate Print 

17   1503D, an act making appropriations for the 

18   support of government:  AID TO LOCALITIES BUDGET; 

19                Senate Budget Bill, Senate Print 

20   1504D, an act making appropriations for the 

21   support of government:  CAPITAL PROJECTS BUDGET; 

22                Senate Budget Bill, Senate Print 

23   1505C, an act to amend the Civil Service Law; 

24                Senate Budget Bill, Senate Print 

25   1506C, an act to amend the Education Law; 


                                                               2267

 1                Senate Budget Bill, Senate Print 

 2   1507C, an act to amend the Social Services Law; 

 3   and 

 4                Senate Budget Bill, Senate Print 

 5   1508C, an act to amend the Public Authorities 

 6   Law.  

 7                All bills reported direct to third 

 8   reading.

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

10   Gianaris.

11                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

12   move to accept the Finance Committee report.

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   All in 

14   favor of accepting the Committee on Finance 

15   report signify by saying aye.

16                (Response of "Aye.")

17                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

18   Opposed?  

19                (No response.)

20                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

21   Committee on Finance report is accepted and 

22   before the house.

23                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Thank you, 

24   Mr. President.  

25                Can you please call on Senator 


                                                               2268

 1   Griffo.

 2                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 3   Griffo.

 4                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Mr. President, 

 5   there will be an immediate meeting of the 

 6   Republican Conference in Room 315, a brief 

 7   conference in Room 315.

 8                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   There 

 9   will be an immediate meeting of the Republican 

10   Conference in Room 315.

11                SENATOR GIANARIS:   The Senate will 

12   stand at ease.

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

14   Senate will stand at ease.

15                (Whereupon, the Senate stood at ease 

16   at 12:05 p.m.)

17                (Whereupon, the Senate reconvened at 

18   12:42 p.m.)

19                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

20   Senate will return to order.

21                Senator Gianaris.

22                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

23   can we now please take up the supplemental 

24   calendar.

25                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 


                                                               2269

 1   Secretary will read.

 2                THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 3   355, Senate Budget Bill, Senate Print 1503D, an 

 4   act making appropriations for the support of 

 5   government.

 6                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Lay it aside.

 7                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Lay it 

 8   aside.

 9                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Lay the bill 

10   aside temporarily, please.

11                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Lay it 

12   aside temporarily.

13                THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

14   356, Senate Budget Bill, Senate Print 1504D, an 

15   act making appropriations for the support of 

16   government.

17                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Lay it aside.

18                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Lay it 

19   aside.

20                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Lay the bill 

21   aside temporarily.

22                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Lay it 

23   aside temporarily.

24                THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

25   357, Senate Budget Bill, Senate Print 1505C, an 


                                                               2270

 1   act to amend the Civil Service Law.

 2                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Lay it aside.

 3                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Lay it 

 4   aside.

 5                THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 6   358, Senate Budget Bill, Senate Print 1506C, an 

 7   act to amend the Education Law.

 8                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Lay it aside.

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Lay it 

10   aside.

11                THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

12   359, Senate Budget Bill, Senate Print 1507C, an 

13   act to amend the Public Health Law.

14                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Lay it aside 

15   temporarily.

16                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Lay it 

17   aside temporarily.

18                THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

19   360, Senate Budget Bill, Senate Print 1508C, an 

20   act to amend the Public Authorities Law.

21                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Lay it aside.

22                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Lay it 

23   aside.

24                Senator Gianaris.

25                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 


                                                               2271

 1   can we now move to the controversial calendar and 

 2   take up Calendar Number 360.

 3                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 4   Secretary will ring the bell.

 5                The Secretary will read.

 6                THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 7   360, Senate Budget Bill, Senate Print 1508C, an 

 8   act to amend the Public Authorities Law.

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

10   Seward.

11                SENATOR SEWARD:   Yes, 

12   Mr. President.  I am asking, through you, if 

13   Senator Krueger would yield for some questions.

14                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Will 

15   the sponsor yield?  

16                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes, I will.

17                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

18   sponsor yields.

19                SENATOR SEWARD:   The requirement is 

20   that the Legislature produce a financial plan 

21   prior to the passage of budget bills and related 

22   legislation.  And this is part of our 2007 budget 

23   reform measures that we enacted back then, and 

24   this is under Legislative Law 54, Section 54.

25                And I think it is -- the reason for 


                                                               2272

 1   that requirement is that obviously it's important 

 2   for the members to have on their desks and have 

 3   available the information about the receipts that 

 4   are included in this budget and the numbers in 

 5   terms of expenditures.

 6                So my question is, Senator Krueger, 

 7   do you have a a financial plan as required under 

 8   Section 54 of the Legislative Law?  

 9                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Through you 

10   Mr. President, the answer is very soon.  

11                The law actually says "preceding 

12   final action on all such appropriation bills."  

13   We're not taking up appropriation bills yet, 

14   we're taking up Article VII bills.  But we will 

15   have that for you before we take up appropriation 

16   bills.

17                SENATOR SEWARD:   If Senator Krueger 

18   would continue to yield.

19                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

20   the sponsor yield?  

21                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes, I will.

22                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

23   sponsor yields.

24                SENATOR SEWARD:   Would you agree 

25   that whether Article VII or not -- I mean, it 


                                                               2273

 1   indicates on the Article VII bill that it is a 

 2   budget bill, it's listed as a budget bill in our 

 3   calendar.  Would you not agree that it's 

 4   important for the members to have that financial 

 5   plan prior to voting on any budget bill, because 

 6   it's all related?  

 7                SENATOR KRUEGER:   So yes, 

 8   information is important as soon as it is 

 9   available.  And unfortunately, we don't quite 

10   have it available, although we're getting there.  

11   But we are not in violation of the budget law 

12   because we are not taking up the appropriation 

13   bills yet, we're taking up Article VII bills.  

14   Just one moment.  

15                I can -- Mr. President, through 

16   you -- I can walk through the fact that we can 

17   confirm that the State Operating funds will be 

18   102.1 billion, spending growth below the 

19   2 percent spending cap, and All Government funds 

20   will be 175.5 billion, spending growth of 

21   3.8 billion for All Government funds, and that we 

22   are making spending changes from the Executive's 

23   original proposed budget of an additional 

24   975 million in additions, 200 million in other 

25   costs because of timing issues, and offsets of 


                                                               2274

 1   733 million in prepayments and reestimates and 

 2   300 million from undoing portions of accelerated 

 3   repayment of pension amortizations.

 4                SENATOR SEWARD:   If Senator Krueger 

 5   would continue to yield.

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 7   the sponsor yield?  

 8                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes, I will.

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

10   sponsor yields.

11                SENATOR SEWARD:   I have a number of 

12   questions regarding how we get there -- got there 

13   in terms of this budget, which is closely related 

14   to the financial plan.  Would you be willing to 

15   answer additional questions regarding how we got 

16   there in terms of the 2 percent spending cap that 

17   you have alluded to, in terms of that's -- that 

18   cap is in effect in terms of this proposed 

19   budget?  I have a number of questions about how 

20   we got there.  Would you be willing to answer 

21   those now or when we have the financial plan in 

22   front of us?

23                SENATOR KRUEGER:   I would take a 

24   stab at now, Mr. President.

25                SENATOR SEWARD:   Okay.  If Senator 


                                                               2275

 1   Krueger continues to yield.

 2                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 3   the sponsor yield?  

 4                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes, I do.

 5                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 6   sponsor yields.

 7                SENATOR SEWARD:   The Executive 

 8   Budget estimated 27.797 billion for All Funds 

 9   miscellaneous receipts -- you know, the licenses, 

10   fees and all the miscellaneous receipts.  Has 

11   your number changed from the Executive's 

12   estimate?

13                SENATOR KRUEGER:   We're not aware 

14   of any substantial differences from the 

15   Governor's original executive section.

16                SENATOR SEWARD:   If Senator Krueger 

17   would continue to yield.

18                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

19   the sponsor yield?  

20                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes, I will.

21                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

22   sponsor yields.

23                SENATOR SEWARD:   You know, the 

24   Executive Budget also presented to us by the 

25   Governor estimated 3.528 billion for All Funds 


                                                               2276

 1   Lottery receipts.  Has that number changed from 

 2   this estimate in this budget that's before us 

 3   today?  

 4                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Through you, 

 5   Mr. President, we don't think that has 

 6   significantly changed, no.

 7                SENATOR SEWARD:   Mr. President, 

 8   the -- the answer is not significantly changed --

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

10   Seward, are you on the bill or --

11                SENATOR SEWARD:   No, I ask for 

12   another question.

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Will 

14   the sponsor yield?  

15                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Of course.

16                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

17   sponsor yields.

18                SENATOR SEWARD:   I'm finding "not 

19   significantly changed" is rather inexact in terms 

20   of our making sure that the members, all the 

21   members have a very clear understanding in terms 

22   of the state's receipts and expenditures.

23                Will the financial plan be more 

24   specific, and then we can have a discussion at 

25   that time once it is issued?


                                                               2277

 1                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes, we can 

 2   certainly have a continued and additional 

 3   discussion at that time.

 4                SENATOR SEWARD:   Then on the bill.

 5                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 6   Seward on the bill.

 7                SENATOR SEWARD:   Yeah, this bill 

 8   before us today is the first budget bill of the 

 9   new fiscal year.  

10                And as we take a look at this 

11   proposal and act upon it, I would say we're not 

12   doing so in a vacuum.  I mean, New York State is 

13   at a crossroads as we put this budget together 

14   this year, and we are facing a number of 

15   headwinds.  The fact that we've had a number of 

16   people outmigrate from New York State in the last 

17   few years -- and in particular last year we 

18   actually lost population.  And the Governor is -- 

19   has talked about the fact that high taxes in 

20   New York contribute to that.  And I'm not just 

21   talking about the -- those high-income earners 

22   that may be caught up in the federal SALT issue.  

23   There is outmigration happening in the upstate 

24   region where the SALT is not a factor, but just 

25   hardworking, overburdened taxpayers have decided 


                                                               2278

 1   to leave the State of New York and our population 

 2   is going down.

 3                We're one of the few states in the 

 4   nation -- I think there are only two others -- 

 5   that have actually lost population over the last 

 6   year.  We were one of them.

 7                And I was very struck by the recent 

 8   poll which indicated that well over a third of 

 9   New Yorkers say that they cannot afford to live 

10   in the State of New York.  

11                And we do not have some key parts of 

12   this proposed budget before us yet.  They're not 

13   in print yet.  We don't have the financial plan.  

14   But working from press releases, I can say that 

15   what is the response in this budget to the 

16   outmigration, the fact that people can no longer 

17   afford to be in this state?  And unfortunately, 

18   the response in this budget is taxes, taxes, and 

19   more taxes.

20                There are cost shifts and new 

21   mandates on local governments, which not only hit 

22   local governments but I'm very concerned with the 

23   fact that they hit local property taxpayers.

24                We have lost the potential very 

25   positive effect of Amazon coming to New York -- 


                                                               2279

 1   25,000 good-paying jobs, $27 billion in new 

 2   revenue for the state over the next five years.  

 3   It would seem to me that this budget should, in 

 4   reaction to the Amazon effect, take very strong 

 5   actions in terms of creating new job 

 6   opportunities for New Yorkers.

 7                This budget, as I read it in press 

 8   releases, does not do anything in terms of 

 9   creating new jobs.  It strikes me as being the 

10   exact wrong priorities for New York.

11                Now, there are a number of good 

12   things, from what I read in press releases, in 

13   this budget.  I'm pleased that we're looking at a 

14   permanent tax cap, which has been a long-time 

15   priority of this side of the aisle.  I'm also 

16   pleased that apparently we're going to provide 

17   some additional assistance for our direct care 

18   workers.  And speaking as the State Senator for 

19   Schoharie County, where that horrific limousine 

20   crash occurred last fall, I'm pleased that there 

21   are some additional safeguards and additional 

22   insurance requirements for limousines.

23                I mean, those are some positives.  

24   But as I look at this overall budget, it's a 

25   bad -- the bad in this budget far outweighs the 


                                                               2280

 1   good.  And as we proceed through the day, members 

 2   on this side of the aisle will show and talk 

 3   about that there is in fact a better way to put a 

 4   budget together that truly meets the current 

 5   needs of the hardworking taxpayers of our state.  

 6   And I look forward to that discussion going 

 7   forward.

 8                Thank you, Mr. President.

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

10   Funke.

11                SENATOR FUNKE:   Thank you, 

12   Mr. President.  Would the sponsor of Part H, on 

13   the plastic bag ban, yield for a couple of 

14   questions?

15                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

16   can we ask Senator Kaminsky to respond to those 

17   questions.

18                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

19   Kaminsky, do you yield?

20                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Yes.

21                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

22   sponsor yields.

23                SENATOR FUNKE:   Thank you, Senator.  

24   Can you explain the bill and why you think it's 

25   necessary?  


                                                               2281

 1                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Sure.  The bill 

 2   would ban plastic bags because plastic's really 

 3   bad for the environment.  There are billions of 

 4   plastic bags that end up -- that are 

 5   nonbiodegradable that end up in our atmosphere, 

 6   inside marine animals, in the ocean, on our 

 7   beaches and on our streets.  A few years ago when 

 8   there was much brouhaha surrounding this issue, 

 9   the Governor put a task force together.  Its 

10   recommendation was to ban plastic bags.  And I 

11   think this is an important step that we're taking 

12   today in order to reduce the amount of plastic 

13   waste that we have in our environment and that 

14   sit in our landfills.  

15                So that's the -- that's why it's 

16   necessary, and that's what the bill would do with 

17   respect to plastic.

18                SENATOR FUNKE:   Would the Senator 

19   continue to yield?

20                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

21   the sponsor yield?

22                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Yes.

23                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

24   sponsor yields.

25                SENATOR FUNKE:   Does this impact 


                                                               2282

 1   more than traditional grocery stores?  For 

 2   example, will you have to pay for paper at 

 3   Target, at Walmart, at Rite-Aid, at Home Depot, 

 4   Kohl's?

 5                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Yes.  So this 

 6   would involve paper if a locality chooses to 

 7   institute a 5-cent fee on paper bags, and the 

 8   idea is so that people aren't going from plastic 

 9   to paper but plastic to a reusable bag.  But 

10   that's at the local level to be decided, to the 

11   level of government closest to the people who 

12   live in a given area.

13                Paper is an energy-intensive process 

14   in terms of making it, and also isn't the best 

15   thing for our environment, to put it mildly.  So 

16   this would be a ban on plastic, with a few 

17   exceptions.  And with respect to paper, a 

18   locality such as a county would be able to 

19   institute a 5-cent fee on that.

20                SENATOR FUNKE:   Will the sponsor 

21   continue to yield?  

22                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Yes.

23                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

24   the Senator yield?  The Senator yields.

25                SENATOR FUNKE:   Paper bags take up 


                                                               2283

 1   nine times more room at landfills than plastic.  

 2   Why is it still acceptable to use paper and 

 3   simply attach a tax?  

 4                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Well, I think, 

 5   you know, we kind of had an evolution with 

 6   respect to plastic bags where, you know, we got 

 7   to a point where we saw localities instituting a 

 8   fee, people started using reusable bags.  

 9                Where I live in the City of 

10   Long Beach, we had a 5-cent fee on plastic.  

11   People flipped out for like a little bit, and now 

12   it's just commonplace for people to use a 

13   reusable bag.  And I think it's gone pretty 

14   successfully, whether it's in Suffolk County, 

15   Long Beach, other jurisdictions.  And now 

16   localities, with paper, will have the opportunity 

17   to try that.  

18                I mean, I'm hoping that we'll be in 

19   a position very soon where we're not using paper, 

20   but I think this will allow the level of 

21   government closest to people -- I know certain 

22   Senators on your side of the aisle, certainly on 

23   mine, talk about, you know, wanting to have 

24   localities able to make decisions for the people 

25   that they represent.  And if a locality finds 


                                                               2284

 1   that the paper waste in its community is 

 2   overwhelming, it could choose to institute a fee 

 3   that will drive behavior toward using a reusable 

 4   bag.  

 5                And when a county institutes a fee 

 6   on paper, it has to use the money it's going to 

 7   get to buy reusable bags for those fixed-income 

 8   and low-income residents of their district so 

 9   that reusable bags will be available to them.

10                SENATOR FUNKE:   Will the sponsor 

11   continue to yield?  

12                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

13   the sponsor yield?

14                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Yes.

15                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

16   sponsor yields.

17                SENATOR FUNKE:   If, as you said, 

18   plastic bags are being banned because they're bad 

19   for the environment, why are there exceptions in 

20   this bill?  

21                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   There are 

22   exceptions to try to accommodate some realities 

23   of our modern society.  I think when someone is 

24   at a grocery store handling raw fish or putting 

25   his or her produce into a small bag, there's 


                                                               2285

 1   really not a lot of options available to that 

 2   person.  Over time we'll be able to examine these 

 3   and see if they're not working.  

 4                But we did want to accommodate some 

 5   exceptions.  I've tried to take food home from a 

 6   restaurant not in such a bag, and it doesn't go 

 7   well for my car, for my reusable bag or for 

 8   anyone around me.  So we tried to have some 

 9   exceptions, but we obviously did it in a way 

10   where the exceptions don't subsume the rule.  And 

11   if any of these exemptions prove to be creating 

12   too much plastic, we can always go back and 

13   adjust it.

14                SENATOR FUNKE:   Would the sponsor 

15   continue to yield.

16                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Will 

17   the sponsor yield?

18                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Yes.

19                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

20   sponsor yields.

21                SENATOR FUNKE:   So, Senator, I can 

22   go to a restaurant and leave with my food in 

23   Styrofoam in a plastic bag?  

24                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Yes.

25                SENATOR FUNKE:   Would the sponsor 


                                                               2286

 1   continue to yield, one more question.

 2                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 3   the sponsor yield?

 4                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Yes.

 5                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 6   sponsor yields.  

 7                SENATOR FUNKE:   One more question 

 8   would be if I have old Wegmans plastic bags at 

 9   home, can I bring them to the store and use them 

10   again?

11                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Did you say an 

12   old white man's plastic bag?

13                (Laughter.)

14                SENATOR FUNKE:   Wegmans.  You may 

15   not --

16                (Laughter.)

17                SENATOR FUNKE:   Wegmans.  

18                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   I didn't know 

19   what that -- I didn't know what that was.  I'm 

20   sorry, can you please repeat the question?  

21                SENATOR FUNKE:   If I have old 

22   Wegmans bags, plastic Wegmans bags at my -- 

23   Wegmans.  Wegmans is coming to Manhattan, though.

24                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   No, we have 

25   Waldbaum's.


                                                               2287

 1                SENATOR FUNKE:   You may be familiar 

 2   that Wegmans is coming to Manhattan.  

 3                Grocery store bags.  If I have old 

 4   ones and I want to bring them back to the store 

 5   and use them again, can I do that?  

 6                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Yes.

 7                SENATOR FUNKE:   Okay.  On the bill, 

 8   Mr. President.

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

10   Funke on the bill.

11                SENATOR FUNKE:   Thank you, Senator 

12   Kaminsky, for your answers on that.  

13                Despite all the arguments, I think, 

14   to the contrary, what we have here is another 

15   tax.  And not just any tax, it's a tax on 

16   something that everybody has to do, and that is 

17   buy food.  Look, I fully understand the 

18   environmental concerns that plastic anything can 

19   cause, and we should address it.  But I'm pretty 

20   certain that all 62 Senators in this chamber are 

21   environmentally conscious and, like me, take the 

22   individual responsibility to recycle the bags 

23   that they get from a grocery store.  I don't like 

24   seeing a plastic bag hanging from a tree anymore 

25   than the next guy, but I also don't like to see 


                                                               2288

 1   mountains of fast food paper on the side of the 

 2   road either, and I don't think anybody is 

 3   suggesting that we add a nickel to every 

 4   McDonald's bag.  

 5                The responsibility for littering 

 6   lies with all of us.  There are laws, we should 

 7   enforce them, we should be vigilant about having 

 8   county and state road crews keep our state clean 

 9   and spotless.  It is good for tourism.  But it's 

10   well documented that increasing the use of paper 

11   increases the carbon footprint that we're all 

12   worried about.  It takes four times as much 

13   energy to manufacture a paper bag, and it kills 

14   one of our greatest tools for fighting pollution, 

15   our trees.  It takes 91 percent less energy to 

16   recycle a plastic bag than it does a paper bag.  

17   And because paper is so much heavier, it requires 

18   nine times more energy to ship it.  

19                Wegmans and other supermarkets 

20   suggested changing societal behavior by charging 

21   for both paper and plastic to encourage the 

22   switch to reusable bags, but nobody listened.  

23   Instead of banning plastic bags and charging a 

24   fee for paper, we could have given supermarkets a 

25   tax credit to make up the delta between the cost 


                                                               2289

 1   of paper and plastic.  We could have listened to 

 2   our business owners.  But instead we chose 

 3   expediency and ideology over common sense and 

 4   caution.  

 5                So to me, this is simply another 

 6   money grab by the Governor, and another way to 

 7   get into our wallets.  And another Albany 

 8   mandate.  Those plastic bags that you're banning 

 9   are reusable for a variety of things at home.  

10   They are recyclable.  It would be better to come 

11   up with an incentive to recycle rather than 

12   literally nickel-and-diming taxpayers at every 

13   turn.

14                Thank you, Mr. President.

15                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

16   Tedisco.

17                SENATOR TEDISCO:   Will the 

18   gentleman yield for a few questions?  

19   Mr. Kaminsky.  

20                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

21   Kaminsky, will you yield?

22                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Yes.

23                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

24   Senator yields.

25                SENATOR TEDISCO:   Yeah, I think 


                                                               2290

 1   Senator Funke hit the point on the head.  Why not 

 2   use the reverse process?  They can be recycled.  

 3   Why not provide a financial incentive to bring 

 4   the bags back for constituents and pay them a 

 5   nickel, a dime, 15 cents or a quarter, whatever 

 6   it is, to bring the bags back to be recycled, 

 7   instead of charging for other bags when you ban 

 8   the plastic bags?

 9                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Through you, 

10   Mr. President.  You know, I think the idea is 

11   that we ban plastic bags and people use reusable 

12   bags.

13                SENATOR TEDISCO:   Well, would the 

14   gentleman yield for another question.

15                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Will 

16   the sponsor yield?

17                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Yes.

18                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

19   sponsor yields.

20                SENATOR TEDISCO:   Because I'm not 

21   sure that actually is going to happen, and I'll 

22   tell you why.  Do you live in a house, 

23   Mr. Kaminsky?  

24                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   No, but I almost 

25   will -- I almost do.  I almost will soon.


                                                               2291

 1                SENATOR TEDISCO:   I didn't quite 

 2   hear that.  

 3                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   I live in an 

 4   apartment, and hopefully by June 1st -- it better 

 5   be by June 1st -- I'll be living in a house.

 6                (Laughter.)

 7                SENATOR TEDISCO:   Okay.  In my 

 8   house, I have eight or nine rooms, and in each 

 9   room there's a small --

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

11   Tedisco, are you on the bill or are you asking 

12   the sponsor to yield?  

13                SENATOR TEDISCO:   Sponsor.

14                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

15   the sponsor yield?

16                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Yes.

17                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

18   sponsor yields.

19                SENATOR TEDISCO:   And I think you 

20   probably do the same thing, and many of the 

21   legislators in here.  I have small canisters for 

22   refuse, and in those I put a plastic bag.  Do you 

23   know where those plastic bags come from?  They 

24   come from the supermarket.  So I actually use 

25   those.  And when they get full, yes, I do take 


                                                               2292

 1   those and I put them into the garbage.  

 2                I also have a little dog, and I take 

 3   my dog out.  When I take my dog out to walk, when 

 4   she does her business I use the grocery bags to 

 5   pick up her business, and those go in the 

 6   garbage.  

 7                When all these plastic garbage bags 

 8   are gone, you know what I'm going to have to do.  

 9   I'm going to have to go to the store, go to the 

10   area where they sell bags for those canisters, 

11   and I'm going to have to purchase those plastic 

12   bags.  And I'm going to continue to put plastic 

13   bags in those little canisters, and I'm going to 

14   have to continue to use it for my little dog when 

15   I take her outside.

16                So if we really want to save the 

17   environment, why don't we just ban all plastic, 

18   except the exceptions maybe you talked about with 

19   food and some of those other areas?  Why don't we 

20   say business can't sell plastic bags for anything 

21   anymore?

22                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Through you, 

23   Mr. President.  Look, we intend to be as 

24   aggressive as we can with looking at different 

25   types of plastic and Styrofoam.  This is an issue 


                                                               2293

 1   that's been kicked around for a while.  A 

 2   commission has looked into it; this was its 

 3   recommendation.  We think this is a pretty sound 

 4   method.  

 5                But we certainly don't want people 

 6   taking bags from grocery stores, putting garbage 

 7   in them and then throwing them out.  They'll end 

 8   up in landfills.  But I certainly understand that 

 9   this can't end here and we're all going to 

10   obviously have to consider -- because people can 

11   buy in bulk, like you're talking about, and we'll 

12   have to consider how that goes down the road.

13                SENATOR TEDISCO:   Will the 

14   gentleman yield?

15                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

16   the sponsor yield?

17                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Yes.

18                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

19   sponsor yields.

20                SENATOR TEDISCO:   So what's the 

21   alternative when we take the plastic bags away 

22   for those small canisters?  What do we put in 

23   them?  

24                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   You could buy a 

25   trash bag and put it in there.


                                                               2294

 1                SENATOR TEDISCO:   That's what I'm 

 2   saying.  So I'm just buying the trash bags that I 

 3   was getting for free --

 4                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 5   Tedisco, are you on the bill or are you asking 

 6   the sponsor to yield?

 7                SENATOR TEDISCO:   A combination.  

 8   No --

 9                (Laughter.)

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   I need 

11   you to pick one.

12                SENATOR TEDISCO:   We should 

13   institute a rule where there is a combination.  

14                No, I'm asking him another question.

15                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

16   the sponsor yield?

17                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Yes.

18                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

19   sponsor yields.

20                SENATOR TEDISCO:   So am I not -- 

21   should I ask him or you?  Which?  

22                Am I not exactly using the same 

23   amount of plastic bags that I usually use, but 

24   I'm paying for them by buying those boxes with 

25   little bags in the store?  


                                                               2295

 1                Now, I cannot have those bags in 

 2   there, but the bacteria would get all in those 

 3   canisters, and that would not be a good thing.  

 4   So how are we really helping the environment?  

 5                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Through you, 

 6   Mr. President.  The single-use disposable bags 

 7   are more harmful to the environment than the bulk 

 8   bags you buy.  But the average American uses a 

 9   single-use plastic bag for 12 minutes in the 

10   total life of the bag before it goes to a 

11   landfill or winds up on a tree or a beach.  

12                So the single-use bags are a 

13   particular scourge, and that's what this is aimed 

14   to combat.

15                SENATOR TEDISCO:   Will the 

16   gentleman yield?

17                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

18   the sponsor yield?

19                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Yes.

20                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

21   sponsor yields.

22                SENATOR TEDISCO:   All the bags I'm 

23   going to be buying to substitute for the 

24   single-use bags are going to be single-use bags.  

25   So I'm just backfilling from companies who sell 


                                                               2296

 1   these bags in boxes instead of me getting them -- 

 2   listen, I never threw -- I don't think I could 

 3   ever remember throwing a plastic bag away empty.  

 4   I utilize them.  So do my constituents.  I think 

 5   you utilize them.  

 6                If you were telling me we're not 

 7   going to utilize them anymore by putting a ban on 

 8   plastic bags given to you in a grocery store, I'd 

 9   say fine, we're going to do a pretty good job.  

10   But I'm going to go out and my constituents are 

11   going to go out and they're going to purchase 

12   those small plastic bags.  So they're just 

13   backfilling the ones you say you are eliminating, 

14   and they're paying more for them.  

15                And if I was a company, I would be 

16   very happy about that, because they're going to 

17   sell a lot more plastic bags.  And it may turn 

18   into putting more plastic bags into the landfills 

19   and into our environment.  

20                So maybe the answer is to ban them 

21   all.  You think that might be the eventual answer 

22   you're going for?  

23                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Through you, 

24   Mr. President.  Look, that's something that we're 

25   going to have to see.  The bags that you are 


                                                               2297

 1   talking about are of a different material, for 

 2   the most part.  But they're also not carry-out 

 3   bags that end up everywhere.  They're bags that 

 4   you put in the trash and end up in a landfill.  

 5   Which are not great; obviously, we're going to 

 6   have to look at what happens to them.  

 7                But the single-use bags are 

 8   particularly found in all types of marine 

 9   animals, floating in the ocean in huge amounts.  

10   And that's different than the bags you're buying 

11   in bulk and using in your house and putting in 

12   your trash, which will go into a garbage truck 

13   and end up somewhere else.  I mean, that's a 

14   problem, but certainly not as big a problem as 

15   the single-use bags, which are doing both, ending 

16   up in landfills and ending up in the trees and in 

17   our streets.

18                SENATOR TEDISCO:   Thank you, 

19   Mr. Kaminsky.  

20                On this concept and this bill.

21                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

22   Tedisco on the bill.

23                SENATOR TEDISCO:   You know, they're 

24   both single-use bags.  And if some of them get 

25   into the landfill now, which I'm against, it's 


                                                               2298

 1   inappropriate, I think if we buy them in boxes 

 2   somehow many of them are going to get into 

 3   landfills also.  Because we're going to use them 

 4   for the same things we use them now.  And again, 

 5   I've never thrown it -- I don't think many people 

 6   just throw them out the window or leave them 

 7   outside, they utilize them.  

 8                And you may put a small dent in it, 

 9   I don't know, maybe 5 or 10 percent.  But if 

10   you're an environmentalist, you want to do some 

11   serious business about keeping these bags out of 

12   our oceans and out of our landfills.  And I don't 

13   think this particular concept or this approach is 

14   going to do that holistically.  

15                I thank you, Mr. President.  I thank 

16   you, Senator Kaminsky.

17                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

18   Lanza.

19                SENATOR LANZA:   Thank you, 

20   Mr. President.  Would Senator Kaminsky yield for 

21   a few questions from this old white man?

22                (Laughter.)

23                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Will 

24   the sponsor yield?  

25                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Yes.


                                                               2299

 1                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 2   sponsor yields.

 3                SENATOR LANZA:   Through you, 

 4   Mr. President.  Senator Kaminsky, this bag tax, 

 5   what is the point here?  Is it that bags are bad 

 6   for the climate, or is it a matter of pollution?

 7                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Both.

 8                SENATOR LANZA:   Would the sponsor 

 9   continue to yield.

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Would 

11   the sponsor yield?

12                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Yes.

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

14   sponsor yields.

15                SENATOR LANZA:   So, Senator 

16   Kaminsky, would you tell us how it is that 

17   plastic bags affect climate?

18                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Just to 

19   clarify -- through you, Mr. President -- the tax 

20   that Senator Lanza was referring to before was 

21   not on plastic.  Is it a different option that 

22   you're referring to?  

23                SENATOR LANZA:   The ban.

24                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   I'm sorry?

25                SENATOR LANZA:   The ban.


                                                               2300

 1                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   How does it 

 2   impact climate?  

 3                SENATOR LANZA:   Yup.

 4                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Well, the 

 5   production of them involves climate for sure.  

 6   And the same is true with paper bags.  It's an 

 7   intensive process to create a paper bag that 

 8   results in carbon emissions.

 9                SENATOR LANZA:   Would Senator 

10   Kaminsky yield?  

11                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

12   sponsor yields?

13                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Yes.

14                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

15   sponsor yields.  

16                SENATOR LANZA:   Through you, 

17   Mr. President, I just want to understand so that 

18   I can tell people back home the science involved 

19   here, and I'm not sure I heard the answer.  How 

20   is it that the production of plastic bags affects 

21   climate?  

22                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Through you, 

23   Mr. President, from petrochemicals.

24                SENATOR LANZA:   Would Senator 

25   Kaminsky yield?


                                                               2301

 1                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 2   the sponsor yield?

 3                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Yes.

 4                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 5   sponsor yields.

 6                SENATOR LANZA:   Through you, 

 7   Mr. President, that doesn't explain how plastic 

 8   bags, the production or the use or the disposal, 

 9   affects climate.  I'm trying to understand how it 

10   affects climate.

11                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Okay, so -- 

12   through you, Mr. President -- petroleum is 

13   extracted from the earth, used and mixed with 

14   chemicals, and those chemicals are used to create 

15   the thin-film plastic bags that we get in a 

16   grocery store.

17                SENATOR LANZA:   Would Senator 

18   Kaminsky yield?  

19                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Will 

20   the sponsor yield?

21                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Yes.

22                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

23   sponsor yields.  

24                SENATOR LANZA:   Through you, 

25   Mr. President.  Senator Kaminsky, the argument I 


                                                               2302

 1   thought that was being advanced by your side of 

 2   the aisle was that when the plastic bags are 

 3   disposed of, somehow the fossil fuel that is 

 4   there is released into the environment, and it is 

 5   that which affects climate.  Is that your 

 6   understanding or is that your contention?

 7                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Through you, 

 8   Mr. President, to Senator Lanza.  I mean, that 

 9   creates a different issue, which is it breaks 

10   down into different chemicals that can get into 

11   the water supply and that people shouldn't want 

12   to ingest or have in their bodies or in their 

13   environment.  But the production of plastic bags 

14   certainly contributes to global warming, because 

15   it's a carbon-intensive process in terms of 

16   making them and relies on fossil fuels in order 

17   to do so.

18                SENATOR LANZA:   Would Senator 

19   Kaminsky yield?

20                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

21   the sponsor yield?

22                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Yes.

23                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

24   sponsor yields.

25                SENATOR LANZA:   Senator Kaminsky, 


                                                               2303

 1   it was my belief that taking fossil fuel -- so if 

 2   the argument is that when fossil fuel is either 

 3   burned or it breaks down into its component 

 4   substances, that it creates carbon, gas that is 

 5   released into the environment contributes to what 

 6   is known as the greenhouse effect, and it is that 

 7   process which affects, the argument goes, the 

 8   climate.

 9                I've also heard that the argument is 

10   about pollution, which is that the plastic bags, 

11   which is really taking fossil fuel, locking it up 

12   into this substance we call plastic, that they 

13   last for thousands of years in the landfills, and 

14   really that's the problem.  It's in this blight, 

15   it's this pollution.

16                So, Senator Kaminsky, how could both 

17   be true?  If it takes thousands of years for the 

18   fossil fuel in that plastic bag to ultimately be 

19   released once again into the environment, how is 

20   that affecting climate?

21                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   So through you, 

22   Mr. President, I don't know what you mean by "so 

23   the argument goes," but that's science.  When 

24   you're burning the carbon, it warms the planet, 

25   and that's global warming, and that happens, 


                                                               2304

 1   full stop.  

 2                What happens when bags go into the 

 3   landfill are they break down over a long time and 

 4   the chemicals that are in them leech into the 

 5   soil, get into the water supply, and can prove 

 6   harmful to humans.  It also obviously takes up a 

 7   lot of landfill space, which is not something we 

 8   want for our planet as well.

 9                And we're not even talking about the 

10   pollution where just people don't do the right 

11   thing with bags and they're just flying all over 

12   the place.  

13                So I didn't mean to reduce this to 

14   any one thing or any -- I just think overall, 

15   whether it's in its production, in its pollution, 

16   in its -- you know, in its problems in terms of 

17   what it means for our water, they're overall a 

18   scourge, and that's why the task force 

19   recommended banning them, and that's what this 

20   legislation follows up on.

21                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Would 

22   Senator Kaminsky yield?  

23                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Will 

24   the sponsor yield?

25                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Yes.


                                                               2305

 1                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 2   sponsor yields.

 3                SENATOR LANZA:   Through you, 

 4   Mr. President.  "So the argument goes," that's 

 5   just a description of the argument that is being 

 6   made.  It is not qualitative or a comment about 

 7   the argument itself.  It's just using the English 

 8   language.

 9                But, Senator Kaminsky, because this 

10   is important, this is important to the present, 

11   to the future, the issue of climate change.  And, 

12   you know, I was taught that the climate has never 

13   stayed the same.  I mean, we have records that go 

14   back thousands of years, what we can learn from 

15   the geologic record, that climate has never 

16   stayed the same.  

17                But it is an important question to 

18   understand whether or not we're affecting that 

19   process and how we are.  

20                So if the issue is carbon as well as 

21   the other greenhouse gases -- the most potent of 

22   which, by the way, is water vapor -- what is the 

23   perfect amount of carbon dioxide that there 

24   should be in the environment?

25                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Through you, 


                                                               2306

 1   Mr. President.  You know, later on in this 

 2   session we're going to be having comprehensive 

 3   climate legislation that's going to be, you know, 

 4   hitting right at all of the human emissions that 

 5   our state and our country creates, and I'll 

 6   certainly have more facts and figures about 

 7   climate then.  

 8                But this bill is not primarily one 

 9   about climate, although it certainly impacts it.  

10   This is certainly one about all the plastic that 

11   we're finding in our environment.  

12                But I have no problem standing here 

13   and arguing that whatever we've done since the 

14   Industrial Revolution to today, we've certainly 

15   been warming our planet.  We're doing it every 

16   day with the emissions that we create through our 

17   vehicles, through our buildings, through our 

18   electric sector.  And it's something that we have 

19   to tackle head-on, or we're going to have a 

20   serious problem as a civilization very soon.  And 

21   that's something we have to get very serious 

22   about.  Certainly not through plastic bag 

23   legislation, but I have no problem arguing that 

24   that's part of this.

25                SENATOR LANZA:   Would Senator 


                                                               2307

 1   Kaminsky yield?  

 2                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 3   the Senator yield?

 4                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Yes.

 5                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 6   Senator yields.

 7                SENATOR LANZA:   My good friend 

 8   Senator Kaminsky is right, we'll get back to that 

 9   discussion at a later time.

10                Senator Kaminsky, in terms of the 

11   pollution aspect of this, we see the bags all 

12   over.  I agree it's a problem.  But as my 

13   colleagues have pointed out, this is not really a 

14   ban on plastic bags.  So how is it -- do you 

15   really believe that a year from now we're going 

16   to see fewer plastic bags polluting our landfills 

17   and our roadsides?  

18                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Through you, 

19   Mr. President.  So to be specific, we won't 

20   because the effective date is not till 2020.  But 

21   whenever -- you mean a year after the date it 

22   takes place?  I do.

23                And I think if you look at what's 

24   happened in Suffolk County, they've seen a 

25   staggering reduction in the amount of plastic 


                                                               2308

 1   bags that they normally would see after they 

 2   instituted their 5-cent fee.  A billion fewer 

 3   bags is what they've reported.  

 4                And I can just tell you anecdotally 

 5   from -- this is certainly not scientific, but 

 6   when I go through Stop & Shop in Long Beach on my 

 7   weekly trip, people just carry around their 

 8   reusable bags.  Family members who I can tell you 

 9   never mentioned the environment to me one day in 

10   their life, just keep them in their car, bottom 

11   of a pocketbook, whatever.  

12                So I think that it will seem -- it 

13   may seem like an onerous change at first.  I 

14   think looking back a year from whenever this 

15   takes place, no one will be thinking twice 

16   about -- once they have their reusable bag, about 

17   what it means to carry one and what they're doing 

18   to positively impact their planet.

19                SENATOR LANZA:   Mr. President, 

20   would Senator Kaminsky yield?

21                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Yes.

22                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

23   the sponsor -- the sponsor yields.

24                SENATOR LANZA:   Senator Kaminsky, 

25   under this legislation can supermarkets hand out 


                                                               2309

 1   cardboard boxes for customers to use?  

 2                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Through you, 

 3   Mr. President, yes.

 4                SENATOR LANZA:   Would Senator 

 5   Kaminsky yield?  

 6                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Yes.

 7                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 8   the sponsor yield?  The sponsor yields.

 9                SENATOR LANZA:   Through you, 

10   Mr. President.  Senator Kaminsky, would 

11   supermarkets be allowed to hand out wooden boxes 

12   for people to use to carry their groceries out?  

13                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Through you, 

14   Mr. President, a supermarket could hand out any 

15   box it would like, any type.  I guess unless it's 

16   made out of plastic, single-use plastic bags.

17                SENATOR LANZA:   Would Senator 

18   Kaminsky yield?

19                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Will 

20   the sponsor yield?

21                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Yes.

22                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

23   sponsor yields.

24                SENATOR LANZA:   Through you, 

25   Mr. President.  So Senator Kaminsky, we know most 


                                                               2310

 1   of these things go --

 2                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 3   Lanza, please direct -- you have to direct the 

 4   question through me, so --

 5                SENATOR LANZA:   I said through you, 

 6   Mr. President.

 7                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Right.  

 8   But you don't direct the question to Senator 

 9   Kaminsky, you say "Is the sponsor saying," just 

10   to give you --

11                SENATOR LANZA:   Is that -- is 

12   that -- Mr. President, is that a new rule?  

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   No, 

14   it's not.

15                SENATOR LANZA:   It's not.

16                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   So you 

17   say "Through you, Mr. President, is the sponsor 

18   saying."  As opposed to saying it direct to 

19   Senator Kaminsky.

20                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Mr. President.

21                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

22   Griffo.

23                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Senator Lanza has 

24   the floor.  He did request, through you, the 

25   sponsor to yield.


                                                               2311

 1                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

 2   Correct, he did do that.

 3                SENATOR GRIFFO:   So what is the 

 4   issue, Mr. President?  

 5                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 6   issue is that when he says to Senator -- he says 

 7   "Senator Kaminsky," what he should say is 

 8   "Through you, Mr. President, is the sponsor 

 9   saying."  So he's not directing his question 

10   specifically to the Senator, he's directing it 

11   through the chair.

12                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Okay, thank you, 

13   Mr. President.  Through the president.

14                SENATOR LANZA:   Through you, 

15   Mr. President.  So I've been here a long time.  

16   If I might step out of this discussion for a 

17   moment, I've heard us call each other by name for 

18   a long time.  I thought that was respectful.  I 

19   thought that was the right thing to do.  If this 

20   all of a sudden is an issue, that we shouldn't 

21   refer to each other by our names, I think -- I 

22   think that we're --

23                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

24   Gianaris.

25                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 


                                                               2312

 1   we have a long day ahead of us.  I think Senator 

 2   Lanza is acting respectfully and appropriately.  

 3   Let's --

 4                SENATOR LANZA:   I think he's just 

 5   violated your rule, Mr. President.

 6                (Laughter.)

 7                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Let's just --

 8                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 9   Gianaris, why do you rise?  

10                (Laughter.)

11                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Let's just do 

12   our best to get through this as best we can.  I 

13   thank Senator Lanza for the way he's handling 

14   himself, and Senator Kaminsky as well.  Let's 

15   just try and move forward if we can, please.  

16   Thank you.

17                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

18   Lanza, proceed as you wish.

19                SENATOR LANZA:   Through you, 

20   Mr. President.  Would the sponsor tell us, given 

21   the answers to the last few questions concerning 

22   the fact that supermarkets can hand out any 

23   manner of container as long as they're not 

24   plastic, whether or not those options and others 

25   that we can think about are better for the 


                                                               2313

 1   environment and better for the issue as it 

 2   relates to pollution?

 3                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Through you, 

 4   Mr. President.  I think -- with all due respect, 

 5   I don't think there will be a lot of boxes being 

 6   handed out by supermarkets to people.  I think 

 7   we're going to be in a situation where a county 

 8   is going to either institute a fee or not.  I 

 9   think a lot of people are going to move over to 

10   reusable bags.  And if a county wants to 

11   institute -- or if a county is silent, a 

12   locality, on paper bags, hopefully that will 

13   drive behavior toward having a reusable bag.  

14                So we can think of all manner of 

15   hypotheticals about people carrying stuff in 

16   hollowed-out coconuts or big crates of some kind.  

17   I don't think that's going to be the normal 

18   course of business.  I think people are going to 

19   have to choose between paper and reusable, and I 

20   hope they use reusable.  That's certainly what I 

21   expect.

22                SENATOR LANZA:   Mr. President, on 

23   the bill.

24                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

25   Lanza on the bill.


                                                               2314

 1                SENATOR LANZA:   Thank you, 

 2   Mr. President.

 3                Thank you, Senator Kaminsky, the 

 4   sponsor of the bill.

 5                You know, sometimes I think we are 

 6   too far removed from the people that we represent 

 7   and the lives they live in the districts.  And we 

 8   sometimes think that they're just not smart 

 9   enough to understand what's happening.  Well, I 

10   can tell you people are smart enough, and they do 

11   get it.  

12                And while I truly believe that the 

13   motive here, especially when it comes to Senator 

14   Kaminsky, is about changing behavior -- I think 

15   he believes that there is a threat here.  But I 

16   also think that there are two sides to the 

17   argument here.  And sometimes you pass 

18   legislation that can end up putting you in a 

19   position that's even worse than the one before.

20                I recall as a young person, as a 

21   young white boy, that when my mom shopped at the 

22   supermarkets, we had paper bags.  And they 

23   ripped, they weren't all that convenient, you 

24   couldn't put as many in the car.

25                And there were these 


                                                               2315

 1   environmentalists, so-called, that came out and 

 2   said that these were destroying the environment.  

 3   And their solution, their answer to all of us was 

 4   plastic bags.  The same people that we now seek 

 5   environmental advice and expertise from now were 

 6   the people who said plastic bags will be better 

 7   for all of us.

 8                Maybe they were right, maybe they 

 9   were wrong.  But the bottom line is it comes down 

10   to what we're doing to help the people we 

11   represent, not what we're doing to penalize them.  

12   Not treating them like they're not smart enough 

13   to go about their own lives, that we need to 

14   micromanage and socially engineer everything they 

15   do.

16                As it's been pointed out, there are 

17   going to be just as many bags out there as there 

18   are now.  This legislation doesn't prevent me or 

19   any person back home from going down the aisle 

20   where they sell the plastic bags in the 

21   supermarket and buying as many as they want -- 

22   hundreds, thousands.  They might want to start 

23   storing up now.  And the reason they do that is 

24   not because they don't like the environment, it's 

25   because they're looking for convenience.  They're 


                                                               2316

 1   looking to be able to provide for their families 

 2   in the most -- in the least expensive way, the 

 3   most efficient way.

 4                I can tell you, whether it's a year 

 5   from now or whenever this legislation takes 

 6   effect, there are going to be just as many bags 

 7   out there.  And people know that.  And they know 

 8   this is not about the environment.  They know 

 9   it's a sham.  

10                You know, Mr. President, I was going 

11   to a baseball game with my son, we had to drive 

12   from Staten Island to parts north.  We drove 

13   through the Belt Parkway, through Brooklyn, 

14   Queens, and we kept going.  And I can tell you, 

15   at the side of the road there were a lot of 

16   plastic bags.  But I'll tell you what else there 

17   was.  There was every kind of construction 

18   debris, concrete, cups, bottles, plastic bottles, 

19   electronics -- there were televisions and there 

20   were radios.  

21                You know, I really took note as I 

22   drove what there was at the side of the road.  If 

23   I had picked up every car part that I saw from 

24   the beginning of my trip to the end of my trip on 

25   the Belt Parkway especially, at the end of the 


                                                               2317

 1   day I could have assembled an automobile.  

 2                And, you know, those bags and all 

 3   that other pollution didn't get there by itself.  

 4   It got there, quite frankly and sadly, because 

 5   some slob threw it there.

 6                You know, if this is about 

 7   pollution, which it is -- and I agree -- we pay a 

 8   lot of money for sanitation services.  Maybe the 

 9   better argument is to hire more sanitation 

10   workers that can go out there and actually pick 

11   up all this garbage.  Because even if this had 

12   the effect that is being alleged it will, that 

13   there will be fewer plastic bags, there's still 

14   going to be a lot of pollution out there because 

15   this does nothing, nothing, to dissuade anyone 

16   from throwing garbage out from their car window 

17   or from wherever.

18                 What this really is is this is just 

19   another piece of legislation that allows some 

20   politician to check a box next to a category, 

21   whether it be environment or anything else, that 

22   really doesn't do anything with regard to that 

23   category.  

24                The most effective thing about this, 

25   and really what I think to be the true goal, is 


                                                               2318

 1   that it's going to collect a lot of money from 

 2   people.  It's going to pick their pockets once 

 3   again.  It seems that all government wants to do 

 4   this day is analyze what people do in their lives 

 5   and figure out how many junctures there are in 

 6   their lives, how many transactions they make, and 

 7   to use that as an opportunity to take their 

 8   money.

 9                You know, I think of the single mom 

10   who's trying to struggle to support the family.  

11   She's in the supermarket, she's pinching pennies, 

12   she's using coupons, she wants to get in and out 

13   of there as quickly as possible, get home to her 

14   family, save as much as money as possible.  And 

15   now all of a sudden someone's going to tell her 

16   that somehow she's got to juggle her groceries, 

17   keep them in midair as she makes it to the car, 

18   that she can't have a bag to put those groceries 

19   in.  

20                It's absurd.  It really is 

21   ridiculous.  You can't even have a paper bag now.  

22   You can have it, but we're going to charge you.  

23   In fact, this legislation is pretty shrewd in 

24   that what it really does is it ensures that 

25   there's no free way to get your groceries out 


                                                               2319

 1   from the grocery store to your car.  And I think 

 2   that highlights the motive and the motivation of 

 3   this legislation.  

 4                You know, when we do a budget, when 

 5   we do legislation, to me the goal at every step 

 6   of the way should be how have we made the lives 

 7   of people back home better?  How have we made it 

 8   easier for our constituents to live their lives?  

 9                You know, I'm going to point out a 

10   number of areas in the budget which fail in that 

11   regard, but simply this is -- but surely this is 

12   one of them.  I don't know anybody back home 

13   that's come to me and said, hey, would you please 

14   charge me for paper bags?  Would you please ban 

15   plastic bags?  

16                Oh, and by the way, this is all well 

17   and good, but we're supposed to be so smart about 

18   how we help the people back home -- where's the 

19   alternative?  You know, I hear these used bags -- 

20   but people are going to get charged for them as 

21   well.  So it seems like we don't want people to 

22   use them.

23                You know, I've heard of a lot of 

24   innovation in terms of bags that are made from 

25   things that decompose -- they look like plastic, 


                                                               2320

 1   but they're not actually plastic in the 

 2   conventional sense, having come from fossil 

 3   fuel -- that would actually break down and would 

 4   not contribute to climate issues, would not 

 5   contribute to pollution.  

 6                You know, that's too hard to talk 

 7   about.  And in fact, that would prevent us from 

 8   our real goal, which is to take money from people 

 9   simply because they're trying to put food on 

10   their table.

11                So, you know, I'm obviously a no 

12   here.  I wish we would stop looking at the people 

13   back home as cash registers.  I wish we would 

14   stop looking at the people back home and thinking 

15   and believing that they just can't do things 

16   right and we've got to force them to do things 

17   differently.  I really wish we would come up 

18   here, get together, put our heads together, roll 

19   up our sleeves and figure out how to make life 

20   better for people, not worse.  

21                I vote no, Mr. President.

22                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

23   Gallivan.

24                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Thank you, 

25   Mr. President.  


                                                               2321

 1                I have several questions about 

 2   Part L of this legislation.  Would the 

 3   appropriate member be able to answer questions?  

 4   It deals with regulating servicers of student 

 5   loans.

 6                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

 7   can you call on Senator Thomas to answer those 

 8   questions, please.

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

10   Thomas, do you yield for questions?  

11                SENATOR THOMAS:   Yes.

12                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

13   Senator yields.

14                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Mr. President, 

15   am I able to look at Senator Thomas?  

16                (Laughter.)

17                SENATOR THOMAS:   Yes, please look 

18   at me.

19                (Laughter.)

20                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   I'm sorry.

21                Through you, Mr. President, could 

22   Senator Thomas explain the purpose of this?

23                SENATOR THOMAS:   Through you, 

24   Mr. President, this is simply to protect student 

25   loan borrowers.  We have 2.3 million borrowers in 


                                                               2322

 1   New York State with about $80 billion in debt.  

 2   And the Department of Education has not been 

 3   holding student loan servicers accountable.  It's 

 4   an unregulated industry.  And this would give DFS 

 5   oversight into regulating and licensing federal 

 6   student servicers as well as private student loan 

 7   servicers.

 8                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Would the 

 9   sponsor continue to yield?

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Will 

11   the sponsor yield?

12                SENATOR THOMAS:   Yes.

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

14   sponsor yields.

15                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Do I understand 

16   correctly that these student loan servicers do so 

17   through a contract that they have with the 

18   federal government?  

19                SENATOR THOMAS:   Through you, 

20   Mr. President, yes.

21                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Will the sponsor 

22   continue to yield?  

23                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

24   the sponsor yield?  

25                SENATOR THOMAS:   Yes.


                                                               2323

 1                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 2   sponsor yields.

 3                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   And does the 

 4   federal government have rules or regulations that 

 5   they either do or that they are supposed to 

 6   monitor?

 7                SENATOR THOMAS:   Can you repeat 

 8   that question?

 9                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Through you, 

10   Mr. President, so these contracts -- these 

11   businesses, the student loan servicers, have a 

12   contract with the federal government that I 

13   presume have many provisions of a contract and 

14   things that they have to follow.  My question is, 

15   does the sponsor know that to be true?  And does 

16   the federal government have responsibility for 

17   monitoring these things?

18                SENATOR THOMAS:   The federal 

19   government does have responsibility to monitor 

20   these things.  But in addition, that contract 

21   between the Education Department and the 

22   servicers basically says that they have to follow 

23   both the federal laws and the state laws.

24                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   It's my 

25   understanding that --


                                                               2324

 1                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 2   Gallivan, are you on the bill or asking a 

 3   question?

 4                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Yeah, I was 

 5   going to get to that part.

 6                (Laughter.)

 7                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Would the 

 8   sponsor continue to yield?  

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

10   the sponsor yield?  

11                SENATOR THOMAS:   Yes.

12                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

13   sponsor yields.

14                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   It's my 

15   understanding that state regulation of federally 

16   contracted student loan servicers in this case 

17   and others, is expressly federally preempted and 

18   prohibited under the Code of Federal Regulations.  

19   Is the sponsor aware of that, and does he have 

20   the same understanding that I do?

21                SENATOR THOMAS:   Through you, 

22   Mr. President, that is incorrect.  There is no 

23   express preemption for a state to regulate a 

24   federal student loan servicer.

25                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Through you, 


                                                               2325

 1   Mr. President, I actually thought that I read 

 2   that.  I may have to come back later in the day 

 3   with the specific citation.  But I believe that 

 4   there is that prohibition that this area is 

 5   specifically preempted.  

 6                But through you, Mr. President, 

 7   would the sponsor continue to yield?  

 8                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 9   the sponsor yield?  

10                SENATOR THOMAS:   Yes.

11                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

12   sponsor yields.

13                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Is the sponsor 

14   aware that there has been similar legislation 

15   from other states that has been struck down in 

16   federal courts in the District of Columbia?

17                SENATOR THOMAS:   Through you, 

18   Mr. President, yes, I am aware, but it's not 

19   binding on New York.

20                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   I'm sorry, I 

21   didn't hear the final part.

22                SENATOR THOMAS:   It is not binding 

23   on New York.

24                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   On the bill, 

25   Mr. President.


                                                               2326

 1                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 2   Gallivan on the bill.

 3                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   First I'd like 

 4   to thank Senator Thomas for his responses.  

 5                And take a look at New York State, 

 6   and we know that New York is very costly to do 

 7   business.  Of course we have among the highest 

 8   taxes in the country and we're among the most 

 9   highly regulated.  But I'm fully aware and fully 

10   understand that regulations in many cases are 

11   necessary to ensure that things are done 

12   properly, people are safe, consumers are 

13   protected.

14                In many cases, though, we have 

15   regulations at the state level that duplicate 

16   things being done at the federal level.  Banking 

17   is one particular area; agriculture, use of 

18   pesticides, for example, is another.

19                It's my understanding, and I fully 

20   respect the Senator and his thought -- though he 

21   doesn't agree with me on this, my understanding 

22   is that this is federally preempted -- I'll put 

23   it in different words for me -- which means 

24   New York can't lawfully be doing it.

25                We've seen some court decisions that 


                                                               2327

 1   have struck down similar laws.  The businesses 

 2   have made it clear that they're going to 

 3   challenge this.  If it's enacted in New York 

 4   State, they'll challenge it in federal court, and 

 5   it's my belief that they will likely win.

 6                For the short period of time -- if 

 7   that is true, we're going to be making business 

 8   more expensive and costly in New York State, 

 9   we're going to face the likely loss of jobs in my 

10   district and in other members' districts where I 

11   know that some of this business is being 

12   conducted.  And unfortunately, while I agree with 

13   the sponsor that there are people out there that 

14   are doing things in an unscrupulous manner, all 

15   our efforts will go for naught because it will be 

16   struck down.  And in the end, we won't be 

17   protecting one consumer.  

18                And we go one step further:  For 

19   many people in my district who are going to lose 

20   jobs as a result of businesses shutting down or 

21   going elsewhere.  Because of the higher cost of 

22   doing business, their kids will be less likely to 

23   go to college and less likely to be able to 

24   afford college, and we won't have accomplished 

25   anything other than -- don't really love the 


                                                               2328

 1   cliches about New York open for business or 

 2   closed for business, but more regulations, more 

 3   costs, without good, will close the door on 

 4   business.  

 5                And I do thank the sponsor, and I'll 

 6   be voting no on this legislation.

 7                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 8   O'Mara.

 9                SENATOR O'MARA:   Covered.

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Okay.  

11                Are there any other Senators wishing 

12   to be heard?  Seeing and hearing none, debate is 

13   closed.  

14                The Secretary will ring the bell.  

15                Read the last section.

16                THE SECRETARY:   Section 3.  This 

17   act shall take effect immediately provided, 

18   however, that the applicable effective date of 

19   Parts A through UU of this act shall be as 

20   specifically set forth in the last section of 

21   such parts.

22                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

23   the roll.

24                (The Secretary called the roll.)

25                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 


                                                               2329

 1   Kaminsky to explain his vote.

 2                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Thank you very 

 3   much, Mr. President.

 4                A part of this section of the budget 

 5   contains a historic law that we should all be 

 6   quite proud of that's going to create our state's 

 7   first food waste program.  Right now, every year, 

 8   tons and tons of food waste ends up in our 

 9   landfills instead of going to the hungry or being 

10   turned into clean energy, like it can be if 

11   brought to an anaerobic digester.  

12                So for the first time our state, for 

13   large food producers, is going to have a program 

14   whereby their food is either, if it's edible, 

15   going to be given to a food pantry for those in 

16   need, and for the food that is inedible, and if 

17   there's over 2 tons of it per week, taken to an 

18   anaerobic digester so it can be converted into 

19   clean energy instead of breaking down in our 

20   landfills.  

21                This is a historic step that I'm 

22   really proud of.  Our state should be proud of 

23   it.  There's just too much waste out there, and 

24   we need to do something about this.  And we all 

25   need clean energy.  Our state's needs are going 


                                                               2330

 1   to be tremendous.  This will deal with that also.

 2                And with respect to plastic bags, 

 3   you know, I have no compunction whatsoever saying 

 4   that this is an important step.  For years, while 

 5   we've been going round and round on this, 

 6   pollution has just been piling up in our state, 

 7   ending up in the stomachs of the marine animals 

 8   that we find, on our beaches, in our trees, in 

 9   our landfills.  And we've done nothing.  

10                So today, to be banning plastic bags 

11   and having localities make a decision about paper 

12   makes sense.  My friends on the other side of the 

13   aisle always talk about giving localities 

14   options, about having the elected officials 

15   closest to the people be in touch with what their 

16   community needs.  That's what this will do.  And 

17   I expect communities will do what they think is 

18   appropriate to make sure that people are using 

19   reusable bags.  

20                We're going to look back on this 

21   debate in a few years and think it's silly that 

22   we even had to debate and wring our hands about 

23   how hard it is for people to get reusable bags.  

24   New Yorkers are smart, they're versatile, they'll 

25   use reusable bags, and our environment in 


                                                               2331

 1   New York will be for the better.  

 2                I emphatically vote aye on this 

 3   budget bill.  We're doing good things for our 

 4   environment in it.  We should all be proud.  

 5   Thank you.

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 7   Kaminsky to be recorded in the affirmative.

 8                Senator Thomas to explain his vote.

 9                SENATOR THOMAS:   Thank you, 

10   Mr. President.

11                I rise in support of Part L of this 

12   bill.  We have a student loan crisis in this 

13   country.  We have millions of individuals who owe 

14   more than $1 trillion in student loan debt.  Here 

15   in New York, more than 2 million borrowers owe 

16   close to $80 billion, and it's growing.  

17                When the federal government enters 

18   into a contract with these servicers, they have a 

19   duty to hold these servicers accountable when 

20   complaints are filed and when borrowers are 

21   basically paying more than they should in 

22   interest and other fees.  And that's what this 

23   bill would do.  

24                This would provide oversight by DFS 

25   to make sure these student loan servicers do what 


                                                               2332

 1   they are supposed to do, which is service loans 

 2   and making sure the borrower is directed to the 

 3   right repayment program, not to pay more interest 

 4   than they should.  That's what this bill is 

 5   trying to do.  The intention of this bill is to 

 6   make sure the borrower is not harmed and that 

 7   there is oversight.  

 8                This isn't about losing jobs.  

 9   Student loan servicing companies that are here in 

10   New York should not fear jobs being lost because 

11   of this bill.  Because if they don't do anything 

12   wrong, they won't lose their jobs.  That's the 

13   whole thing here.  And there is no federal 

14   preemption blocking New York from doing this.

15                This is all about the student 

16   borrower.  They are vulnerable, and this bill 

17   closes that loophole.  And I am proud to vote aye 

18   on this.

19                Thank you.

20                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

21   Thomas to be recorded in the affirmative.

22                Senator May to explain her vote.

23                SENATOR MAY:   Thank you, 

24   Mr. President.  

25                It's been interesting to me to 


                                                               2333

 1   listen to the arguments against the plastic bag 

 2   bill, because they were primarily premised on the 

 3   idea that plastic bags are free and we don't want 

 4   to lose this free service from our grocery 

 5   stores.  

 6                But the reality is that plastic 

 7   bags are not free.  They're not free to the 

 8   stores themselves, which give them out as a 

 9   courtesy.  But if you go to some of the 

10   lower-cost grocery stores like PriceRite and 

11   Aldi, they do not provide bags.  It's one of the 

12   ways they keep their prices low.

13                But more than that, these plastic 

14   bags are not free to us as a society.  They're 

15   not free when they cause pollution, when they 

16   cause plastic pollution in the water, when they 

17   cause litter, when they load our landfills and 

18   our incinerators and we have to truck more and 

19   more truckloads of them to the waste processing 

20   facilities.

21                They're not free to taxpayers.  When 

22   I was on the board of the Onondaga County 

23   Resource Recovery Agency, I visited the recycling 

24   facility, and every few hours at that facility 

25   they had to shut down the entire gigantic line 


                                                               2334

 1   that processed the recyclables because people had 

 2   erroneously put plastic bags into their recycling 

 3   bins and they gummed up the works.  They got 

 4   wrapped around all of the chains and everything, 

 5   and they had to go and pull them all off.  It was 

 6   very expensive to clean these facilities of 

 7   plastic bags.  And we as taxpayers were paying 

 8   for those slowdowns in the recycling facility.

 9                So plastic bags are not free.  Many 

10   of them are printed with little smiley faces on 

11   them, but they also do not make us happier.  

12                (Laughter.)

13                SENATOR MAY:   We will be -- I agree 

14   with Senator Kaminsky that over time, once we get 

15   used to this, we will be actually better off and 

16   happier for not having this scourge in our lives.

17                I also want to echo his words about 

18   the food waste portion of this bill.  The other 

19   thing I did on that -- on our waste management 

20   agency was to champion a food waste composting 

21   facility that is a state-of-the-art facility in 

22   our region.  And it is a wonderful thing that 

23   people can send their food waste to that facility 

24   and have it turned into usable compost that is 

25   now sold at Wegmans and other stores in our area, 


                                                               2335

 1   so that it has become a circular economy where we 

 2   are turning what used to be just waste into 

 3   something productive and useful.

 4                So both of these aspects of this 

 5   bill are part of a smarter, wiser, longer-term 

 6   approach to the economy that I think is exactly 

 7   the kind of thing we should be supporting.  And I 

 8   am proud to vote aye.

 9                Thank you.

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

11   May to be recorded in the affirmative.

12                I'd like to remind all of us that we 

13   have a very long day ahead of us, so please try 

14   to keep your remarks to around two minutes.  

15   Thank you.

16                Senator Metzger to explain her vote.

17                SENATOR METZGER:   Thank you, 

18   Mr. President.

19                This budget bill includes several 

20   very important initiatives that will greatly 

21   reduce waste, protect our environment, and 

22   mitigate climate change.  

23                Food waste is a huge issue in this 

24   country.  It's a major contributor to climate 

25   change, accounting -- globally, it accounts for 


                                                               2336

 1   about 8 percent of our greenhouse gas emissions.  

 2   It's also a moral issue.  We're throwing away 

 3   mountains of food when we have fellow New Yorkers 

 4   that don't have enough to eat, many of them 

 5   children.  So this bill addresses both of those 

 6   important issues, and I'm very pleased it's 

 7   included.

 8                The plastic bag ban, this is also -- 

 9   it's a pollution issue, but it is a climate issue 

10   too.  To Senator Lanza's point about the 

11   relationship between climate and plastic bags, 

12   the petrochemical industry is the third-largest 

13   emitter of greenhouse gas emissions, and the 

14   increase in those emissions is from the 

15   production of plastics.  

16                Plastic bags are something we can do 

17   without.  They are not a necessity.  It's a 

18   matter of changing habits, that's all it is.  

19   I've been doing it for years, bringing my own 

20   bags; it's not a lot to ask.  And we can't stop 

21   with plastic bags, but we can start there.

22                Finally, this bill provides a means 

23   of really accelerating the shift to a clean 

24   energy economy in New York by empowering NYPA in 

25   several important areas, including expanding EV 


                                                               2337

 1   charging stations statewide.  This is a really 

 2   important foundational investment to help us 

 3   shift to electric vehicles and reduce our 

 4   greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.  

 5                Also allowing NYPA to finance and 

 6   construct transmission to support offshore wind 

 7   development, that's going to reduce the cost and 

 8   risks of those projects, and that is incredibly 

 9   important to getting us off of fossil fuels and 

10   achieving real energy independence.  

11                And finally allowing NYPA to procure 

12   energy to finance renewable energy projects and 

13   to help community energy programs support local 

14   renewable energy.  This is something that I have 

15   been fighting for for years, to get community 

16   energy programs to actually support local 

17   renewable energy investments.  So I'm so pleased 

18   to see it as part of this budget bill.

19                Thank you very much.

20                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

21   Metzger to be recorded in the affirmative.

22                Senator Jackson to explain his vote.

23                SENATOR JACKSON:   Thank you, 

24   Mr. President and my colleagues.  

25                I rise in support of these bills, 


                                                               2338

 1   especially Part H, which is the plastic bag bill; 

 2   part L, the student loan servicers bill; and Part 

 3   SS, the food waste bill.  

 4                Let me just say that in looking at 

 5   the information regarding plastic bags, all of 

 6   the fees that are collected as a result of that, 

 7   60 percent will be going to the Environmental 

 8   Protection Fund to improve our environment.  I 

 9   would assume all of us want that.  And then 

10   40 percent will fund -- in order to mitigate the 

11   impact on low- and fixed-income communities, and 

12   that's a good thing.  So I support that.

13                And as far as the student loan 

14   servicers, to ensure that the borrowers are 

15   protected -- I have three daughters, and they are 

16   now 43, 38 and 32, and they're still paying 

17   loans.  One from college, who's 32.  One that's 

18   38, went to the University of Buffalo undergrad 

19   and grad, still paying loans.  And one who went 

20   to medical school is still paying loans.  And I 

21   want them to be protected by law.

22                And what my colleague Kevin Thomas 

23   of Long Island talked about is that we must 

24   protect them against those employers and those 

25   that are giving out the loans and not 


                                                               2339

 1   communicating and educating them and telling them 

 2   what their rights are.  We must protect them.  

 3   And I say we must protect them even if they file 

 4   a lawsuit and we have to litigate it in order in 

 5   order for them to win on behalf of the millions 

 6   of borrowers in this country.  That's what we 

 7   have to do, and that's what our people expect us 

 8   to do.

 9                So, Mr. President, I vote in favor 

10   of all of these bills in front of us, and I hope 

11   and pray that we will be successful in helping 

12   the people of New York State.

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

14   Jackson to be recorded in the affirmative.

15                Senator Krueger to explain her vote.

16                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Thank you, 

17   Mr. President.  

18                I think my colleagues have said it 

19   so well.  I really don't understand, in the year 

20   2019, why we are still pretending that we don't 

21   have an environmental crisis, we don't have a 

22   climate change crisis.  And guess what?  We're 

23   all going to have to change behaviors.  Not just 

24   plastic bags, but a lot of behaviors, because we 

25   are fighting a clock and we are losing.  


                                                               2340

 1                So in fact changing rules around 

 2   plastic bags and paper bags are pretty damn easy.  

 3   And I know it's easy because other states have 

 4   already done exactly this, and it's worked very 

 5   well.  Counties and towns in our own state have 

 6   already done this, and it's working quite well.  

 7   Third World countries are doing this, and it's 

 8   working quite well.

 9                Now, in addition to the pollution 

10   issues and the environmental damage issues, I 

11   just want to remind everyone what one thing we've 

12   learned about where these plastic bags end up.  

13   They end up in our oceans being eaten by fish and 

14   other animals that we think we ought to be eating 

15   from the sea.  And we are actually poisoning 

16   ourselves and our food supply system by allowing 

17   these plastic bags to continue to overwhelm our 

18   systems.  

19                So I'm delighted to be voting yes on 

20   this bill and this section.  The student loan 

21   issue -- you know what, if the federal government 

22   or somebody decides to sue us, let's just win 

23   that case in court.  Because we're talking about 

24   young people overpaying for their student loans 

25   that will haunt them forever and ever because 


                                                               2341

 1   businesses -- some businesses think it's fine to 

 2   exploit the lack of information they have to give 

 3   these young people.  And that should never be 

 4   allowed.  

 5                So if somebody wants to sue, go 

 6   ahead.  Let's see if we can win in court.  I'm 

 7   quite sure we can.  

 8                And on the food waste issue, that is 

 9   also another no-brainer that has taken too long.  

10                So there are important parts of this 

11   bill today, and I'm very proud to be voting yes.  

12                Thank you, Mr. President.

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

14   Krueger to be recorded in the affirmative.

15                Senator Hoylman to explain his vote.

16                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Thank you, 

17   Mr. President.  

18                I wanted to thank my colleagues, in 

19   particular Senator Kennedy {sic} for getting this 

20   bill onto the floor and passing our plastic bag 

21   ban.  You know, because of this legislation, 

22   Senator Kaminsky, Earth Day comes early for 

23   New York State, and I'm very proud to be part of 

24   that.  

25                You know, we waste about 10 billion 


                                                               2342

 1   plastic single-use bags alone in New York City, 

 2   and a trillion a year worldwide.  So we are 

 3   taking a very positive step forward here with 

 4   this legislation.

 5                And let me also make a process point 

 6   about this bill.  I think we remember last year 

 7   and previous years when we considered this 

 8   legislation, and the lobbying and the big 

 9   business and the corporate interests that fought 

10   and continue to fight this body from considering 

11   a sensible ban and fee proposal as we're passing 

12   today.  So today we've not only helped the 

13   environment, but we've beat back the special 

14   interests, we beat back the American Chemical 

15   Council, we beat back the New York State Chemical 

16   Council, and we've done something for the people 

17   and the environment.  

18                And I vote aye.  Thank you, 

19   Mr. President.

20                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

21   Hoylman to be recorded in the affirmative.

22                Senator Ranzenhofer to explain his 

23   vote.

24                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   Thank you, 

25   Mr. President.  I rise to explain my vote.  


                                                               2343

 1                And we start off by talking about 

 2   changing behavior, and I was just astonished when 

 3   we talked about the behavior in this particular 

 4   house when we were talking about whether or not 

 5   there's a fiscal plan, and the comment was made, 

 6   Well, we're voting on this part of the budget, so 

 7   you don't need the fiscal plan, but if you were 

 8   voting on that bill, then you need a fiscal plan.  

 9                To really be debating and discussing 

10   and voting on a budget without having a fiscal 

11   plan in front of us I just think is ridiculous.  

12   And you want to talk about changing behavior, 

13   that's the very first thing we ought to change, 

14   is making sure that there's a fiscal plan before 

15   us before we're casting these votes.  

16                I want to talk about the plastic bag 

17   ban and the fee also when you talk about changing 

18   behavior.  You know, I believe in rewarding 

19   people and not punishing them.  And there are 

20   other states that reward people that engage in 

21   good behavior.  So in other words, if you bring 

22   your reusable plastic bag, your reusable paper 

23   back to the grocery store, you get rewarded.  

24   They say, Good job, and they take some money off 

25   your grocery bill.  


                                                               2344

 1                But what New York has decided to do 

 2   is we are going to punish people.  We are going 

 3   to punish people that if you forget your reusable 

 4   bag, we're going to nail you for a nickel for 

 5   each bag that you use.  

 6                So I believe in rewarding people, 

 7   not punishing them.  To echo a couple of comments 

 8   from Senator Lanza, this is going to affect 

 9   actually the poorest section of my district.  I 

10   represent affluent suburban, I represent rural, 

11   and I also represent one of the poorest sections 

12   in America.  And I can tell you without fail that 

13   this is going to penalize the folks in that 

14   district, because God forbid you're running 

15   around and you forget your bag, we're going to 

16   nail you for that.

17                So rather than punishing people, I 

18   believe in rewarding people.  This punishes the 

19   hardworking people in my district.  I'll be 

20   casting a negative vote on this particular bill.

21                Thank you, Mr. President.

22                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

23   Ranzenhofer to be recorded in the negative.

24                Senator Gallivan to explain his 

25   vote.


                                                               2345

 1                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Thank you, 

 2   Mr. President.

 3                I'd like to explain my vote 

 4   specifically to Part L, the proposed regulations 

 5   on the student loan servicers, and I'd like to 

 6   quote the Federal Register, that states:  

 7   "Recently several states have enacted regulatory 

 8   regimes that impose new regulatory requirement on 

 9   servicers of loans."  It goes on to further 

10   state:  "Such regulation is preempted by federal 

11   law."

12                I am not suggesting that the federal 

13   government is doing a good job of properly 

14   regulating this industry.  I'm not suggesting 

15   that there are not abuses going on.  There are.  

16   And just like my colleague the great basketball 

17   player -- and I'm thrilled to play basketball 

18   with Senator Jackson -- my kids have student 

19   loans, significant ones, and it's really 

20   outrageous what they pay and how they're starting 

21   their adult life.

22                I'm voting no on this.  I believe 

23   that we do not have the legal authority to do 

24   this.  The courts have upheld it.  It will be 

25   upheld again.  And rather than doing anything at 


                                                               2346

 1   all, we're costing taxpayers money in this 

 2   regard.

 3                For us, what can we do?  I don't 

 4   know, but perhaps a hotline that can come in 

 5   here, we can call attention to it and demand that 

 6   the federal government does something about it or 

 7   provide referrals to the appropriate regulatory 

 8   agencies.  

 9                But in my view, we don't have the 

10   authority.  I vote no.

11                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

12   Gallivan to be recorded in the negative.

13                Announce the results.

14                THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

15   Calendar Number 360, those Senators voting in the 

16   negative are Senator Akshar, Amedore, Antonacci, 

17   Boyle, Flanagan, Funke, Gallivan, Griffo, 

18   Helming, Jacobs, Jordan, Lanza, LaValle, Little, 

19   O'Mara, Ortt, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Robach, 

20   Serino, Seward and Tedisco.

21                Absent from voting:  Senator Felder.  

22                Ayes, 39.  Nays, 22.

23                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

24   bill is passed.

25                Senator Gianaris.


                                                               2347

 1                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

 2   let me remind our colleagues once again that we 

 3   do expect to believe here for many, many hours 

 4   today.  And so I would implore all my colleagues, 

 5   when explaining your votes, try and keep to the 

 6   two-minute limit as best you can.  And stay in 

 7   and around the chamber, because every minute 

 8   we're chasing you down is a minute we're delaying 

 9   passage of the budget.

10                If we can please now go back to 

11   motions and resolutions and take up 

12   Resolution 930, by Senator Sepúlveda.

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   We will 

14   return to motions and resolutions.

15                The Secretary will read.

16                THE SECRETARY:   Senate Resolution 

17   930, by Senator Sepúlveda, Concurrent Resolution 

18   of the Senate and Assembly opposing the enactment 

19   of a state law, pursuant to a federal mandate, to 

20   require the suspension or revocation of the 

21   driver's license of any individual convicted of 

22   any violation of the federal Controlled 

23   Substances Act or another drug law, regardless of 

24   whether the offense is related to the operation 

25   of a motor vehicle.


                                                               2348

 1                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Mr. President, 

 2   would you please recognize Senator Ortt on the 

 3   resolution.

 4                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 5   Ortt on the resolution.

 6                SENATOR ORTT:   Thank you, 

 7   Mr. President.  Would the sponsor of the 

 8   resolution yield to a couple of questions?  

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

10   the sponsor yield?

11                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Through you, 

12   yes.

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

14   sponsor yields.

15                SENATOR ORTT:   Through you, 

16   Mr. President, if the sponsor can tell me what 

17   the purpose of this resolution is.

18                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Through you, 

19   Mr. President, back in the 1990s during the 

20   height of fearmongering that led to the 1990 

21   omnibus criminal justice law, an amendment was 

22   passed called the Solomon-Lautenberg Amendment 

23   that indicated that if you are caught and you are 

24   convicted of any crime that involves drugs, that 

25   you are automatically -- your driver's license is 


                                                               2349

 1   automatically suspended for six months.

 2                The amendment indicated that if you 

 3   want to opt out of this provision, that the state 

 4   had to pass enabling law, as we're attempting to 

 5   do today as part of this budget.  The amendment 

 6   was such a bad law and such bad policy that 

 7   currently 41 of the states in the United States 

 8   have opted out of that provision, and it is our 

 9   intent to do the same thing, for reasons which 

10   I'm sure they will be asking me.

11                SENATOR ORTT:   Through you, 

12   Mr. President, would the sponsor continue to 

13   yield?  

14                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

15   the sponsor yield?  

16                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Through you, 

17   yes.

18                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

19   sponsor yields.

20                SENATOR ORTT:   Through you, 

21   Mr. President.  Could the sponsor point to any 

22   provisions contained in this budget that relates 

23   to this resolution?

24                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   It's subpart 

25   J -- through you, Mr. President, it's subpart 


                                                               2350

 1   J-II.  Part J of subpart II.  We'll get it right.

 2                SENATOR ORTT:   Through you, 

 3   Mr. President, will the sponsor continue to 

 4   yield?

 5                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 6   the sponsor yield?  

 7                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Through you, 

 8   yes, I do.

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

10   sponsor yields.

11                SENATOR ORTT:   Through you, 

12   Mr. President.  I'm not always familiar with all 

13   the Part A or J -- what bill, I should say, what 

14   budget bill that we will be considering does this 

15   resolution relate to?  

16                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Through you, 

17   Mr. President, Public Protection.

18                SENATOR ORTT:   Through you, 

19   Mr. President, will the sponsor continue to 

20   yield?  

21                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

22   the sponsor yield?  

23                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

24                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

25   sponsor yields.


                                                               2351

 1                SENATOR ORTT:   And I guess -- 

 2   through you, Mr. President -- what provisions of 

 3   current law does this resolution -- or should I 

 4   say the provisions in the budget, what provisions 

 5   are stricken out or are stricken by what we 

 6   haven't seen yet?

 7                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   It's the 

 8   Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 510.

 9                SENATOR ORTT:   Through you, 

10   Mr. President, will the sponsor continue to 

11   yield?  

12                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

13   the sponsor yield?  

14                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Yes, I do.

15                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

16   sponsor yields.

17                SENATOR ORTT:   Could the sponsor be 

18   more specific?

19                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Subpart J, 

20   line 16, Section 1:  Subparagraphs 5, 6 and 7 of 

21   paragraph B of subdivision 2 of Section 510 of 

22   the Vehicle and Traffic Law are repealed.

23                SENATOR ORTT:   Through you, 

24   Mr. President, will the sponsor continue to 

25   yield?  


                                                               2352

 1                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 2   the sponsor yield?  

 3                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

 4                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 5   sponsor yields.

 6                SENATOR ORTT:   Through you, 

 7   Mr. President.  That's very lawyerly of the 

 8   sponsor, but somewhere, ostensibly, somebody 

 9   besides our staffs might actually be watching 

10   these proceedings, maybe it might be a 

11   late-at-night cure for insomnia.  But 

12   nonetheless, they could be watching this.  And 

13   for them, could the sponsor maybe clarify or be 

14   more specific on the provisions he referenced, 

15   what they actually strike out?  

16                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   It's mandatory 

17   suspension under the Vehicle and Traffic Law for 

18   individuals that are convicted of drug offenses.

19                SENATOR ORTT:   Through you, 

20   Mr. President, will the sponsor continue to 

21   yield?

22                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

23   the sponsor yield?  

24                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

25                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 


                                                               2353

 1   sponsor yields.

 2                SENATOR ORTT:   Through you, 

 3   Mr. President, when would these provisions take 

 4   effect?  

 5                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Through you, 

 6   Mr. President.  Immediately.

 7                SENATOR ORTT:   Through you, 

 8   Mr. President, will the sponsor continue to 

 9   yield?  

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

11   the sponsor yield?  

12                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

14   sponsor yields.

15                SENATOR ORTT:   Through you, 

16   Mr. President.  Why are we voting on it?  So 

17   there's a bill that this resolution is necessary 

18   for, there's provisions in a budget bill that we 

19   have not voted on yet and is not in front of us.  

20   Why are we not voting on that bill before the 

21   adoption of this resolution?

22                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Through you, 

23   Mr. President, this is part of a larger reentry 

24   package that we're trying to bring to the state.  

25   It's also part of the budget bill.


                                                               2354

 1                SENATOR ORTT:   Through you, 

 2   Mr. President, on the resolution.

 3                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 4   Ortt on the resolution.

 5                SENATOR ORTT:   I want to thank the 

 6   sponsor for answering some of those questions.

 7                In short -- again, for those who are 

 8   watching at home, for those who don't know what 

 9   this debate is really about, we are enacting a 

10   resolution ahead of a budget bill which we have 

11   not voted on yet that says anyone convicted of 

12   any drug offense -- this is federal law -- has 

13   their license suspended for six months.  

14                And while that might seem very 

15   broad, maybe overbroad to some, I would argue 

16   that the complete repeal of it is also overbroad, 

17   because that also includes people who have been 

18   convicted of selling Fentanyl, heroin.  That's 

19   not fearmongering, that's a real crisis going on 

20   in our country.  In fact, everyone in this 

21   chamber probably at least once has talked about 

22   the real risk that this poses to our communities.  

23                And while we continue to try to find 

24   funding, however nominal, to address that crisis, 

25   we are now enacting a resolution ahead of a bill 


                                                               2355

 1   that will strike that provision.

 2                And the other reason we're doing 

 3   this is because we want the money.  So we don't 

 4   want to comply with federal law, but we certainly 

 5   want federal dollars to come back to the state, 

 6   and that's why we have to pass this resolution.

 7                I think this is bad for public 

 8   protection.  In fact, I think it undercuts public 

 9   protection.  And for those reasons, 

10   Mr. President, I will be in the negative on this 

11   resolution.

12                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

13   Akshar.

14                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Mr. President, 

15   through you, will the sponsor yield for a couple 

16   of questions?

17                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

18   the sponsor yield?

19                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Yes, I do. 

20                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

21   sponsor yields.

22                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Through you, 

23   Mr. President, federal law now requires an annual 

24   certification from the Governor that the state is 

25   in compliance with this federal law.  Or, 


                                                               2356

 1   alternatively, that the Governor is opposed to 

 2   the law.

 3                Has the Governor in any prior year 

 4   ever sent a certification that he is opposed to 

 5   this current law?

 6                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Through you, 

 7   Mr. President, negatively.

 8                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Mr. President, 

 9   through you, if the sponsor would yield.

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

11   the sponsor yield?

12                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

14   sponsor yields.

15                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Through you, 

16   Mr. President.  Has the Governor agreed that he 

17   will submit the certification that he is opposed 

18   to the enforcement of the law suspending the 

19   license of persons convicted of drug offenses?

20                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Through you, 

21   Mr. President, yes, we are required to do so 

22   before we pass the resolution.

23                SENATOR AKSHAR:   I'm sorry, 

24   Mr. President, I didn't hear the answer.

25                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Please 


                                                               2357

 1   repeat.

 2                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   The Executive 

 3   will certify the resolution that we pass.

 4                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Mr. President, 

 5   through you, if the sponsor would continue to 

 6   yield.

 7                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 8   the sponsor yield?

 9                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

11   sponsor yields.

12                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Mr. President, has 

13   the Assembly or the Senate ever passed a 

14   resolution in prior years that they are opposed 

15   to this law?

16                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Through you, 

17   Mr. President, no.

18                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Through you, 

19   Mr. President, if the sponsor will yield.

20                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

21   the sponsor yield?  

22                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

23                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

24   sponsor yields.

25                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Mr. President, has 


                                                               2358

 1   the Assembly ever passed such a resolution?

 2                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   No, they have 

 3   not, but they will pass this resolution.

 4                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Through you 

 5   Mr. President, if the sponsor will continue to 

 6   yield.

 7                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 8   the sponsor yield?

 9                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

11   sponsor yields.  

12                SENATOR AKSHAR:   I want to come 

13   back to an earlier question.  Let me ask it 

14   again, because I don't think he answered it.  

15                Has the Governor agreed that he will 

16   submit the certification that he is opposed to 

17   the enforcement of the law suspending the license 

18   of persons convicted of drug offenses?

19                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Through you, 

20   Mr. President, he's going to pass the resolution 

21   because it's required by federal law to 

22   participate in the opt-out.

23                SENATOR AKSHAR:   I'm sorry, one 

24   more time.  

25                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   He is not in 


                                                               2359

 1   violation of the federal law because the federal 

 2   law allows the opt-out.

 3                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Mr. President, 

 4   through you.  I'm sorry, I think I'm confusing 

 5   the sponsor.  My question, if he would continue 

 6   to yield --

 7                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 8   the sponsor yield?  

 9                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Yes, I 

10   continue.

11                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

12   sponsor yields.

13                SENATOR AKSHAR:   -- has the 

14   Governor agreed that he too will certify that he 

15   is opposed to the enforcement of law suspending 

16   the license of persons convicted of drug 

17   offenses?  I ask that question, Mr. President, 

18   because in order for this to take effect, the 

19   Legislature -- the Assembly and the Senate -- and 

20   the Governor, separate of one another, must 

21   certify that they are opposed to enforcing this 

22   law.

23                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Through you, 

24   Mr. President, the answer is yes.

25                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Mr. President, 


                                                               2360

 1   through you, if the sponsor will continue to 

 2   yield.

 3                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 4   the sponsor yield?

 5                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 7   sponsor yields.

 8                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Mr. President, 

 9   through you.  How many people annually have their 

10   licenses suspended under this statute?

11                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Through you, 

12   Mr. President, approximately 17,500 in New York 

13   State in 2016.  And only about 10 percent of 

14   those were actually driving while using some sort 

15   of intoxicating element.

16                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Mr. President, 

17   through you, if the sponsor would continue to 

18   yield.

19                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

20   the sponsor yield?

21                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

22                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

23   sponsor yields.  

24                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Of those 17,500 

25   offenses, how many were felonies, how many were 


                                                               2361

 1   misdemeanors?

 2                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   We don't have 

 3   that.

 4                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Will the sponsor 

 5   continue to yield?

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Will 

 7   the sponsor yield?

 8                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

10   sponsor yields.

11                SENATOR AKSHAR:   I wonder if the 

12   sponsor -- Mr. President, through you -- would 

13   just articulate a little bit more about what he 

14   said.  Less than 10 percent of the people, of the 

15   17,500, were using drugs while operating a motor 

16   vehicle?  Is that what I understand?

17                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Seventeen 

18   percent of the driver's licenses that were 

19   suspended were done so when someone was actually 

20   driving -- was convicted of a drug offense while 

21   driving.

22                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Mr. President, 

23   through you, if the sponsor will continue to 

24   yield.

25                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Would 


                                                               2362

 1   the sponsor yield?  

 2                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

 3                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 4   sponsor yields.

 5                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Mr. President, 

 6   through you.  Does that mean that the person who 

 7   had their license suspended -- I'm sorry, they 

 8   were driving under the influence of some type of 

 9   drug?  

10                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   No, no, let me 

11   clarify.

12                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Thank you.

13                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Seventeen 

14   thousand suspensions.  Of the 17,000 suspensions, 

15   only 10 percent were related to -- their 

16   conviction was related to them using a vehicle in 

17   the commission of their crime.

18                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Mr. President, 

19   through you, if the sponsor will continue to 

20   yield.

21                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

22   sponsor yields?  Does the sponsor yield?

23                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Yes, I do.

24                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

25   sponsor yields.


                                                               2363

 1                SENATOR AKSHAR:   So as you're 

 2   describing -- the events that you're describing 

 3   to me, I just want to make sure I completely 

 4   understand this.  If I was using my pickup truck 

 5   to traffic 10 kilos of cocaine and I was caught 

 6   and I was charged with an A-1 felony, those are 

 7   the people that you're talking about in saying 

 8   the 17 percent of the 17,000 had their licenses 

 9   suspended?

10                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I'm sorry, ask 

11   the question one more time.

12                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Sure.  Through 

13   you, Mr. President, just so I'm not confused -- 

14   and it happens from time to time.  Under the 

15   example I give, if somebody was trafficking 

16   cocaine and they were caught with 10 kilos of 

17   cocaine in their truck and they were charged with 

18   the A-1 felony, are those people too included in 

19   the 17 percent of people that you're talking 

20   about?

21                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Their licenses 

22   would still be able to be suspended under law.

23                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Mr. President, 

24   through you, if the sponsor would continue to 

25   yield.


                                                               2364

 1                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   And I think if 

 2   you're driving with 17 kilos of cocaine, the last 

 3   thing you have to worry about is your driver's 

 4   license.

 5                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 6   the sponsor yield?  

 7                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Yes, I do.

 8                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 9   sponsor yields.

10                SENATOR AKSHAR:   So I think what 

11   I'm more concerned about is under old law, they 

12   would mandatorily lose their license.  But what 

13   I'm asking the sponsor of the resolution is -- so 

14   we both agree 17,500 people had their licenses 

15   suspended under this current statute in 2016.  

16   You've said that 17 percent of those people --

17                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Ten percent.

18                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Excuse me, 

19   10 percent of the 17,500 had their licenses 

20   suspended because they were under the influence 

21   of drugs.  Do I understand that point?  

22   Mr. President, through you.

23                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Through you, 

24   Mr. President, yes.

25                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Mr. President, 


                                                               2365

 1   through you, if the sponsor would continue to 

 2   yield.

 3                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 4   the sponsor yield?  The sponsor yields?  

 5                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 7   sponsor yields.

 8                SENATOR AKSHAR:   So under the new 

 9   statute as you're proposing in this resolution, 

10   if in fact I was caught trafficking 10 kilos of 

11   cocaine, would I still lose my license?  Excuse 

12   me, Mr. President, through you.  Would I still 

13   mandatorily lose my license?

14                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Through you, 

15   Mr. President, the law will still allow for a 

16   suspension of an individual under his example.

17                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Mr. President, 

18   through you, if the sponsor will continue to 

19   yield.

20                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

21   the sponsor yield?

22                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

23                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

24   sponsor yields.

25                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Could the sponsor 


                                                               2366

 1   describe "allow for"?  What does that mean, allow 

 2   for?

 3                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   The law still 

 4   allows for suspensions, mandatory suspensions, 

 5   where vehicles are used for drug trafficking or 

 6   use of drugs while driving a vehicle.

 7                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Mr. President, 

 8   through you, if the sponsor would continue to 

 9   yield.

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

11   the sponsor yield?  

12                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

14   sponsor yields.

15                SENATOR AKSHAR:   I'll make a point 

16   and then I'm going to ask a question, if I may.  

17                My community specifically is still 

18   reeling from a tragedy that took place on 

19   March 11th, two young girls walking home on the 

20   west side of Binghamton, and they were run down 

21   by somebody who was under the influence of -- 

22   allegedly under the influence of narcotics.  

23   Currently, under current law, the person that was 

24   allegedly responsible for this event would 

25   mandatorily lose their license.  


                                                               2367

 1                My question, in changing the statute 

 2   which we are talking about -- Mr. President, 

 3   through you -- would this person who allegedly 

 4   was under the influence of these narcotics 

 5   mandatorily lose their license?

 6                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Through you, 

 7   Mr. President.  Yes, that person would still be 

 8   able to lose their license, would be in a 

 9   position to lose their license.

10                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Mr. President, 

11   through you, if the sponsor would continue to 

12   yield.

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Will 

14   the sponsor yield?

15                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

16                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

17   sponsor yields.

18                SENATOR AKSHAR:   I guess what I'm 

19   confused about -- again, it's happening to me -- 

20   "may lose their license," "could possibly lose 

21   their license."  Please, I just want a little bit 

22   more of an explanation about that, Senator.

23                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Through you, 

24   Mr. President, under the Vehicle and Traffic Law, 

25   a person in that circumstance driving a vehicle 


                                                               2368

 1   under the use of drugs, the Vehicle and Traffic 

 2   Law as it is currently enacted would require that 

 3   that person lose their driver's license.

 4                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Mr. President, 

 5   through you, if the sponsor would continue to 

 6   yield.

 7                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 8   the sponsor yield?

 9                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

11   sponsor yields.

12                SENATOR AKSHAR:   So in other words, 

13   the person could in fact keep their license, 

14   potentially.  

15                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   It would be 

16   very difficult for that person to keep their 

17   license under the VTL.  I mean, we do have 

18   administrative judges and judges that make that 

19   determination.  There could be a plea bargain, a 

20   plea agreement regardless of what laws we have in 

21   effect.  So that's why I say potentially.

22                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Mr. President, 

23   through you, if the sponsor would continue to 

24   yield.

25                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 


                                                               2369

 1   the sponsor yield?  Does the sponsor yield?  

 2                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Yes, I do.

 3                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 4   sponsor yields.

 5                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Thank you, 

 6   Mr. President.

 7                What's going to happen to the 

 8   suspensions that are currently into effect which 

 9   were imposed under these now-to-be-repealed 

10   provisions?  

11                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Through you, 

12   Mr. President, they will still remain suspended.

13                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Mr. President, 

14   through you.  Would the sponsor continue to 

15   yield?

16                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

17   the sponsor yield?

18                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

19                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

20   sponsor yields.

21                SENATOR AKSHAR:   So somebody who -- 

22   again, I'm sorry to be repetitive.  Somebody, 

23   Mr. President, through you, who is not under the 

24   influence of narcotics but is using their vehicle 

25   to transport narcotics, sell narcotics, they will 


                                                               2370

 1   no longer mandatorily lose their license?  

 2                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Through you, 

 3   Mr. President, to be clear what the resolution 

 4   does, it removes the provision that requires 

 5   mandatory suspension of the license.  It doesn't 

 6   mean it's going to happen in every single case.

 7                In order for us to pass the law, we 

 8   have to have this resolution, and because it puts 

 9   us at risk of losing about 10 percent of federal 

10   monies that are allocated to the state for 

11   highways and traffic.

12                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Mr. President, 

13   through you, if the sponsor would continue to 

14   yield.

15                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Will 

16   the sponsor yield?

17                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

18                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

19   sponsor yields.

20                SENATOR AKSHAR:   But Mr. President, 

21   is it not true that we would not have to worry 

22   about losing 10 percent of our federal funds if 

23   we didn't change this provision?

24                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Through you, 

25   Mr. President, this is a discussion we can have 


                                                               2371

 1   as part of our broader package of reentry, 

 2   absolutely.  But right now, if you look at the 

 3   impact of the current law, you'll see that as 

 4   most criminal justice laws in the state, it 

 5   has -- the way it's applied now it has a very 

 6   detrimental effect on communities of color.  And 

 7   individuals who were -- let's say lost their 

 8   driver's license privilege because they got 

 9   caught on a college campus smoking marijuana or 

10   in a neighborhood smoking marijuana, these 

11   individuals will have their licenses suspended.  

12                And what happens, generally 

13   speaking, if you look at the 41 other states that 

14   have this, it's been very successful, there 

15   hasn't been an apocalypse of crime or other 

16   increases in these types of crimes.  But you see 

17   that -- for example, in New Jersey they did a 

18   study where 42 percent of those who fell under 

19   the law were unable -- lost their jobs, 

20   45 percent of those were unable to get a new job, 

21   and 75 percent of these individuals continued to 

22   drive anyway.

23                So what the current law -- the way 

24   we have it now, it is encouraging people to break 

25   the law.  It will put a scarlet letter on young 


                                                               2372

 1   men and women, especially young men and women of 

 2   color, will impact their ability to get jobs, 

 3   will lead to more poverty.  

 4                And so in his wisdom the Governor 

 5   now wants the ability to remove the provision 

 6   that says it's mandatory that you cannot get -- 

 7   that you lose your driver's license privileges.  

 8   It's mandatory that now perhaps, if you're 

 9   getting drug treatment, you can't drive to a 

10   treatment center.  Or if you have a child with 

11   cancer or, God forbid, some terminal disease or 

12   some curable terminal disease, that you cannot 

13   drive your son or your daughter there because you 

14   were caught smoking marijuana on a college campus 

15   or in the street.

16                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Mr. President, 

17   through you, if the sponsor would continue to 

18   yield.

19                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

20   the sponsor yield?

21                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Yes, I do.

22                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

23   sponsor yields.

24                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Does this 

25   resolution -- Mr. President, through you -- have 


                                                               2373

 1   anything to do with state government having a 

 2   conversation about the future legalization of 

 3   marijuana for recreational purposes?

 4                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Absolutely not.  

 5   Through you, Mr. President, absolutely not.

 6                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Thank you, 

 7   Senator.

 8                Mr. President, through you, if the 

 9   sponsor would continue to yield.

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

11   the sponsor yield?

12                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

14   sponsor yields.

15                SENATOR AKSHAR:   The resolution 

16   talks about a careful examination of the mandate.  

17   I'm curious -- my question is, what did the 

18   careful examination of this mandate consist of, 

19   Mr. President?

20                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I'm sorry, can 

21   you repeat the question?

22                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Sure.  

23   Mr. President, through you.  In a portion of the 

24   resolution you speak specifically about "after a 

25   careful examination of this mandate."  You go on 


                                                               2374

 1   to further say that it represents an unnecessary 

 2   use of State Department of Motor Vehicles 

 3   resources and it's not tied to ensuring the 

 4   safety of New York roads and highways.

 5                My question to you, Senator, is what 

 6   did a careful examination of the mandate consist 

 7   of?

 8                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   A combination 

 9   of things.  Looking at fatalities, driving 

10   fatalities.  Looking at some of the information I 

11   gave you -- the ability to get access to jobs, to 

12   become integrated in the economy during that 

13   suspension period.  Your ability -- your 

14   42 percent chance of losing your job.  The impact 

15   that it had on certain communities.  It was a 

16   pretty thorough examination done of the facts.

17                And more importantly, that 

18   90 percent of these individuals weren't driving 

19   when they lost their license as a result of drug 

20   conviction.

21                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Mr. President, if 

22   the sponsor would continue to yield.

23                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

24   the sponsor yield?

25                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.


                                                               2375

 1                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 2   sponsor yields.  

 3                SENATOR AKSHAR:   You used the 

 4   phrase "fearmongering."  I think you were talking 

 5   specifically about the 1990s.  Could you just 

 6   further elaborate on fearmongering and how you 

 7   define that?  

 8                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Sure.  I mean, 

 9   if you recall -- I don't know if you're as old as 

10   I am, Senator, but if you recall when terms 

11   like -- were used to describe African-American 

12   and Latino kids as predators, and lock them up 

13   and throw away the key, and that kind of 

14   mentality that permeated the criminal justice 

15   system and criminal justice laws in the '90s.  

16   That's what we talk about when we talk about 

17   fearmongering.

18                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Thank you, 

19   Senator.  

20                On the resolution.

21                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

22   Akshar on the resolution.

23                SENATOR AKSHAR:   I want to thank my 

24   esteemed colleague for his time in answering the 

25   questions that I had.


                                                               2376

 1                What a sad, sad day, Mr. President.  

 2   Fitting, however, knowing that we are taking 

 3   this -- our great state in a certain direction.  

 4   Surprised?  I'm not surprised at all that we're 

 5   doing this.  

 6                But I want everyone at home in the 

 7   52nd to know that by this resolution, the state 

 8   is saying to hell with law-abiding citizens.  And 

 9   to the criminals of the world, let us make it a 

10   little bit easier for you.  Let us roll out the 

11   red carpet for you.

12                You know, people in state 

13   government, they're happy to run to the federal 

14   government, hat in hand, asking for money.  But 

15   in the same breath, they're saying to hell with 

16   your rules, we no longer think that we need to 

17   protect the public.

18                With all due respect to the sponsor 

19   of this resolution, I think this sends the wrong 

20   message to New Yorkers.  I think that we are in 

21   fact better than this.

22                So whether it's drug dealers or if 

23   it's people suffering from addiction who happen 

24   to be driving, who don't happen to be driving, 

25   the state really needs less of those people on 


                                                               2377

 1   the road rather than more of them.

 2                And this thought that -- again, the 

 3   tragedy that my community is reeling from that 

 4   took place on March 11th, the fact that now we 

 5   could say to the person who allegedly committed 

 6   this crime, Well, we're no longer mandatorily 

 7   going to take your license from you, we're going 

 8   to leave that up to somebody else, I think should 

 9   be unacceptable to all of us.  

10                Mr. President, I'll be voting no.

11                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

12   question is on the resolution.  The Secretary 

13   will call the roll.

14                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Mr. President, I 

15   request a slow roll call. 

16                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

17   Griffo.

18                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Slow roll call 

19   request.

20                (More than five Senators standing.)

21                (Pause.)

22                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

23   Secretary will call the roll.

24                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Addabbo.

25                SENATOR ADDABBO:   Yes.


                                                               2378

 1                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Addabbo in 

 2   the affirmative.

 3                Senator Akshar.

 4                SENATOR AKSHAR:   No.

 5                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Akshar in 

 6   the negative.

 7                Senator Amedore.

 8                SENATOR AMEDORE:   No.

 9                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Amedore in 

10   the negative.  

11                Senator Antonacci.

12                SENATOR ANTONACCI:   Mr. President, 

13   I rise to explain my vote.  

14                I will be voting no, because this 

15   resolution is exactly something that should not 

16   be discussed during the budget process.  If it 

17   were not for the Majority's ask of removing the 

18   statute, something that should be done outside of 

19   the budget, we would not have to undertake this 

20   resolution.  

21                So I will vote no and respectfully 

22   yield the remainder of my time to my colleagues.

23                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Bailey.

24                SENATOR BAILEY:   Aye.

25                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Bailey in 


                                                               2379

 1   the affirmative.

 2                Senator Benjamin.

 3                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Aye.

 4                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Benjamin in 

 5   the affirmative.

 6                Senator Biaggi.

 7                SENATOR BIAGGI:   Aye.

 8                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Biaggi in 

 9   the affirmative.  

10                Senator Boyle.

11                SENATOR BOYLE:   No.

12                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Boyle in 

13   the negative.  

14                Senator Breslin.

15                SENATOR BRESLIN:   Aye.

16                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Breslin in 

17   the affirmative.  

18                Senator Brooks.

19                SENATOR BROOKS:   Aye.

20                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Brooks in 

21   the affirmative.

22                Senator Carlucci.

23                SENATOR CARLUCCI:   Yes.

24                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Carlucci in 

25   the affirmative.


                                                               2380

 1                Senator Comrie.

 2                SENATOR COMRIE:   Yes.

 3                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Comrie in 

 4   the affirmative.

 5                Senator Felder.

 6                (No response.)

 7                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Flanagan.

 8                SENATOR FLANAGAN:   Mr. President, I 

 9   rise to explain my vote.

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

11   Flanagan to explain his vote.

12                SENATOR FLANAGAN:   Yeah.  I 

13   happened to be outside of the chamber but, 

14   listening to the discussion, heard Senator Ortt, 

15   heard Senator Akshar not only commenting on this 

16   resolution but asking questions.  

17                And I know we're not really supposed 

18   to mention members who get up and speak.  Having 

19   said that, I listened to the back and forth.  

20   There was a question asked by Senator Akshar 

21   about what would happen, is there anything 

22   negative that's going to happen if we were to do 

23   nothing?  

24                Under present law and under the 

25   statutory construction that exists, we're not in 


                                                               2381

 1   jeopardy of losing anything.  We're not in 

 2   jeopardy of losing any federal funding 

 3   whatsoever.  In fact, it's quite the contrary in 

 4   the sense that you have to act affirmatively to 

 5   go to the federal government and say you want to 

 6   be exempted so you don't potentially lose federal 

 7   funding.

 8                The answer should be yes, nothing 

 9   changes if this resolution is not before us.  I 

10   think the person who advanced this resolution -- 

11   just say yes, we're making a significant change 

12   in public policy.  

13                And when people tell me -- and I 

14   hear, well, only 10 percent of them are 

15   driving-related offenses.  That misses the whole 

16   point.  We're talking about 17,000.  Not five, 

17   not seven -- 17,000 convictions for drug-related 

18   offenses.  With everything that's going on in our 

19   society, in every single community across the 

20   State of New York, this is absolutely heading in 

21   the wrong direction.

22                To suggest that this is some small 

23   change and we should only pay attention if it's a 

24   driving-related offense, it's a drug-related 

25   conviction.  


                                                               2382

 1                I will not support something like 

 2   this, and I vote no.

 3                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Funke.

 4                SENATOR FUNKE:   No.

 5                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Funke in 

 6   the negative.

 7                Senator Gallivan.

 8                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Nay.

 9                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Gallivan in 

10   the negative.  

11                Senator Gaughran.

12                SENATOR GAUGHRAN:   No.

13                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Gaughran in 

14   the negative.  

15                Senator Gianaris.

16                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Yes.

17                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Gianaris in 

18   the affirmative.

19                Senator Gounardes.

20                SENATOR GOUNARDES:   Aye.

21                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Gounardes 

22   in the affirmative.

23                Senator Griffo.

24                SENATOR GRIFFO:   No.

25                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Griffo in 


                                                               2383

 1   the negative.

 2                Senator Harckham.

 3                SENATOR HARCKHAM:   Aye.

 4                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Harckham in 

 5   the affirmative.  

 6                Senator Helming.

 7                SENATOR HELMING:   No.

 8                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Helming in 

 9   the negative.

10                Senator Hoylman.

11                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Yes.

12                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Hoylman in 

13   the affirmative.

14                Senator Jackson.  

15                SENATOR JACKSON:   Aye.

16                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Jackson in 

17   the affirmative.

18                Senator Jacobs.

19                SENATOR JACOBS:   No.

20                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Jacobs in 

21   the negative.

22                Senator Jordan.

23                SENATOR JORDAN:   No.  

24                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Jordan in 

25   the negative.  


                                                               2384

 1                Senator Kaminsky.

 2                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Aye.

 3                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Kaminsky in 

 4   the affirmative.

 5                Senator Kaplan.

 6                SENATOR KAPLAN:   No.

 7                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Kaplan in 

 8   the negative.

 9                Senator Kavanagh.

10                SENATOR KAVANAGH:   Yes.

11                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Kavanagh in 

12   the affirmative.  

13                Senator Kennedy.

14                SENATOR KENNEDY:   Aye.

15                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Kennedy in 

16   the negative.  Senator Krueger -- oh, pardon me, 

17   oh, whoa, whoa.  

18                (Laughter; reaction from members.) 

19                THE SECRETARY:   Affirmative.  Whoa, 

20   whoa.  Affirmative, gotcha.

21                Senator Krueger.

22                SENATOR KRUEGER:   To explain my 

23   vote.

24                I also listened to the debate.  

25   Forty-six states have already done this.  We are 


                                                               2385

 1   not undoing criminal charges for drug felonies.  

 2   We are having a discussion about whether or not 

 3   there will be an additional charge of penalizing 

 4   somebody's driver's license or not.  

 5                This does not do away with any of 

 6   the criminal penalties for drug offenses that the 

 7   17,000 people may be facing, may be going to 

 8   jail.  This is not the question.  The question is 

 9   why is New York State one of only four or five 

10   states left in the nation to get around to doing 

11   this?  And why would we risk losing federal 

12   government money for something we should have 

13   probably taken care of years ago?  

14                I vote yes, Mr. President.

15                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Krueger in 

16   the affirmative.

17                Senator Lanza.

18                SENATOR LANZA:   To explain my vote, 

19   Mr. President.

20                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

21   Lanza to explain his vote.

22                SENATOR LANZA:   First I'd like to 

23   clear something up.

24                Under the current law related to the 

25   suspension of a driver's license after the 


                                                               2386

 1   conviction for a drug offense, smoking pot at 

 2   college or anywhere else is not a crime for which 

 3   this would ever apply to.  Because under our law 

 4   here in New York, you are not convicted of a 

 5   misdemeanor when you smoke pot on a college 

 6   campus or anywhere else.  

 7                So I think it's important to 

 8   understand the reality of where the law applies 

 9   and where it doesn't.  

10                The truth, though, is that I find 

11   myself in a different place from both Democrats 

12   and Republicans, which is a place I sometimes 

13   occupy with respect to this issue.  I happen to 

14   agree with Senator Sepúlveda with respect to the 

15   blanket application of this law in this state.  I 

16   think there are a lot of under or lower-level 

17   drug crimes where perhaps this is not the best 

18   policy, where there are alternative measures that 

19   the state can take with respect to ensuring 

20   public safety.  But we ought not throw out the 

21   baby with the bathwater, and I think this 

22   measure -- or the upcoming measure, which this 

23   resolution is laying the groundwork for -- does 

24   just that.

25                And just as a for-instance, so if 


                                                               2387

 1   someone is sitting in their car, actually using 

 2   their car as the business -- the place of 

 3   business to sell drugs, to put this poison into 

 4   our community -- if they're sitting in their car 

 5   outside of a school and they're selling heroin to 

 6   kids as they go by, under the current law you 

 7   would mandatorily lose your driver's license.  I 

 8   think that makes sense.  

 9                Under the new proposed law, you 

10   might lose your license.  I think that is a very 

11   dangerous change in the law for the State of 

12   New York.  I think that will make our streets 

13   more dangerous.  I think it will mean that more 

14   drugs are going to get into the hands of our 

15   neighbors, our brothers and sisters across 

16   New York, which will mean that more of New York's 

17   sons and daughters will lose their lives in this 

18   drug epidemic that we see just racing across the 

19   state and the country.  

20                So again, I think there's a 

21   in-between here, Senator Sepúlveda.  I think with 

22   respect to lower level, I think it makes sense 

23   what you're doing.  But I think with respect to 

24   the more serious crimes where people are using 

25   their cars, that we ought to maintain that you 


                                                               2388

 1   mandatorily, and not possibly, lose your license.  

 2                I vote in the negative.

 3                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Lanza in 

 4   the negative.

 5                Senator LaValle.

 6                SENATOR LaVALLE:   No.

 7                THE SECRETARY:   Senator LaValle in 

 8   the negative.

 9                Senator Little.

10                SENATOR LITTLE:   No.

11                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Little in 

12   the negative.

13                Senator Liu.

14                SENATOR LIU:   That's Liu, right?

15                THE SECRETARY:   Liu.

16                SENATOR LIU:   Yes.

17                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Liu in the 

18   affirmative.

19                Senator Martinez.

20                SENATOR MARTINEZ:   No.

21                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Martinez in 

22   the negative.  

23                Senator May.

24                SENATOR MAY:   Yes.

25                THE SECRETARY:   Senator May in the 


                                                               2389

 1   affirmative.

 2                Senator Mayer.

 3                SENATOR MAYER:   Yes.

 4                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Mayer in 

 5   the affirmative.

 6                Senator Metzger.  

 7                SENATOR METZGER:   Aye.

 8                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Metzger in 

 9   the affirmative.

10                Senator Montgomery.

11                SENATOR MONTGOMERY:   Yes.

12                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Montgomery 

13   in the affirmative.

14                Senator Myrie.

15                SENATOR MYRIE:   Aye.

16                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Myrie in 

17   the affirmative.

18                Senator O'Mara.

19                SENATOR O'MARA:   No.

20                THE SECRETARY:   Senator O'Mara in 

21   the negative.

22                Senator Ortt.

23                SENATOR ORTT:   Nay.

24                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Ortt in the 

25   negative.


                                                               2390

 1                Senator Parker.

 2                SENATOR PARKER:   Aye.

 3                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Parker in 

 4   the affirmative.  

 5                Senator Persaud.

 6                SENATOR PERSAUD:   Aye.

 7                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Persaud 

 8   in the affirmative.

 9                Senator Ramos.

10                SENATOR RAMOS:   Aye.

11                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Ramos in 

12   the affirmative.

13                Senator Ranzenhofer.

14                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   No.

15                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Ranzenhofer 

16   in the negative.  

17                Senator Ritchie.

18                SENATOR RITCHIE:   No.

19                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Ritchie in 

20   the negative.  

21                Senator Rivera.

22                SENATOR RIVERA:   Yes.

23                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Rivera in 

24   the affirmative.

25                Senator Robach.


                                                               2391

 1                SENATOR ROBACH:   No, sir.

 2                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Robach in 

 3   the negative.

 4                Senator Salazar.

 5                SENATOR SALAZAR:   Aye.

 6                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Salazar in 

 7   the affirmative.

 8                Senator Sanders.

 9                SENATOR SANDERS:   Yes, sir.

10                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Sanders in 

11   the affirmative.

12                Senator Savino.

13                SENATOR SAVINO:   Yes.

14                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Savino in 

15   the affirmative.

16                Senator Sepúlveda.

17                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   To explain my 

18   vote.

19                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

20   Sepúlveda to explain his vote.

21                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Thank you, 

22   Mr. President, for allowing me to explain my 

23   vote.  

24                To my colleagues on the other side, 

25   I just want to make it clear that this is not 


                                                               2392

 1   going to change your potential of getting 

 2   convicted of any drug crime in the state.  If in 

 3   fact you are driving with drugs, if you're 

 4   driving under the influence of drugs, there will 

 5   be consequences to pay.  There are enough 

 6   provisions in the state statutes, within the DMV, 

 7   the Vehicle and Traffic Law, that will allow you 

 8   to get your license suspended.  

 9                What this is doing is removing the 

10   provision that says that if you are convicted of 

11   a drug offense, your license will be suspended 

12   for six months and it's mandatory.  

13                Now, many of the individuals of the 

14   17,500 -- only about 1,750 were driving under the 

15   influence of drugs.  The other individuals, I'd 

16   say a great portion of them, are people that need 

17   to get drug treatments, people that need to use 

18   their vehicles in order to get to the locations 

19   where the drug treatments are provided.

20                If you look in some of the areas 

21   that my colleagues on the other side represent 

22   with the opioid epidemic, the need of a vehicle 

23   is probably greater than in New York City, so 

24   many of their constituents will pay the price.  

25   Many of them will continue to drive even though 


                                                               2393

 1   they're not supposed to drive because their 

 2   license was to be suspended, and that will lead 

 3   to other problems.

 4                But some of these individuals also 

 5   have children that have to go to medical 

 6   appointments.  And for six months we are making 

 7   it impossible for them, even though they were not 

 8   driving with drugs in their system.  

 9                And I'll reemphasize, some of the 

10   information, some of the statistics that come 

11   with this punitive federal law -- which again, 

12   let's remember that if it's such a great law, why 

13   is it that 41 states have already opted out of 

14   this provision of the federal law?  

15                Again, if you look at New Jersey, 

16   42 percent of those who had their license 

17   suspended under this mandatory provision lost 

18   their jobs, and 45 percent of them couldn't find 

19   a new job.  And 75 percent of them are still 

20   driving.

21                So what we're doing is by 

22   maintaining this provision, we're creating an 

23   environment where people who were not using drugs 

24   while driving, their impact, their economic 

25   ability to provide for their families and even 


                                                               2394

 1   their ability to go to the local towns and 

 2   integrate themselves in the economy, go to the 

 3   stores -- all this is impacted.  And so we want 

 4   to create an environment where you only get an 

 5   automatic suspension of your license if you are 

 6   driving under the influence.

 7                The Executive was almost required to 

 8   do this in order for us to pass the bill that 

 9   we'll essentially opt out.  I think he was being 

10   prudent.  I think my colleagues are being prudent 

11   because we did stand in a position to lose 

12   10 percent of federal funding for our highways, 

13   something that I'm sure even my colleagues on the 

14   other side wouldn't want.  

15                So this is part of a well-thought- 

16   out process, this is part of a well-thought-out 

17   process to remove barriers to reentry into 

18   society, and this is going to be good for the 

19   state, good for individuals that are seeking drug 

20   treatment so they can become productive members 

21   of society.  And so that's why I vote in the 

22   positive.  Thank you.

23                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

24   Sepúlveda in the affirmative.

25                Senator Serino.


                                                               2395

 1                SENATOR SERINO:   No.

 2                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Serino in 

 3   the negative.

 4                Senator Serrano.

 5                SENATOR SERRANO:   Aye.

 6                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Serrano in 

 7   the affirmative.

 8                Senator Seward.

 9                SENATOR SEWARD:   No.

10                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Seward in 

11   the negative.  

12                Senator Skoufis.

13                SENATOR SKOUFIS:   No.

14                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Skoufis in 

15   the negative.

16                Senator Stavisky.

17                SENATOR STAVISKY:   Yes.  Aye.

18                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Stavisky in 

19   the affirmative.

20                Senator Stewart-Cousins in the 

21   affirmative.

22                Senator Tedisco.

23                SENATOR TEDISCO:   Not today.  Not 

24   today.

25                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Tedisco in 


                                                               2396

 1   the negative.

 2                Senator Thomas.

 3                SENATOR THOMAS:   Aye.

 4                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Thomas in 

 5   the affirmative.

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

 7   the absentees.

 8                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Felder.

 9                (No response.)

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

11   Announce the results.

12                THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 35.  Nays, 

13   26.  Senator Felder absent from voting.

14                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

15   resolution is adopted.

16                Senator Gianaris.

17                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

18   let me once again reiterate that members should 

19   stay in and around the chamber.  We are wasting a 

20   lot of time today trying to find people when they 

21   drift off.  And as you can tell, we have votes, 

22   and people need to be here for them.  So please 

23   do not leave the chamber area today.

24                Can we now move on to Calendar 

25   Number 357.


                                                               2397

 1                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 2   Secretary will read.

 3                THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 4   357, Senate Budget Bill, Senate Print 1505C, an 

 5   act to amend the Civil Service Law.

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 7   Griffo, why do you rise?

 8                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Mr. President, I 

 9   believe there's an amendment at the desk.  I 

10   would waive the reading of that amendment and ask 

11   that Senator Ritchie be recognized on the 

12   amendment.

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Thank 

14   you, Senator Griffo.  

15                Upon review of the amendment, in 

16   accordance with Rule 6, Section 4B, I rule it 

17   nongermane and out of order at this time.

18                SENATOR GRIFFO:   I have a feeling 

19   I'm going to hear that a lot today.  

20                Mr. President, I would appeal, 

21   respectfully, your ruling and ask that you 

22   recognize Senator Ritchie to be heard on the 

23   appeal.

24                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

25   appeal has been made and recognized, and Senator 


                                                               2398

 1   Ritchie may be heard.

 2                SENATOR RITCHIE:   This amendment is 

 3   germane to the bill-in-chief because it directly 

 4   deals with the proposal to close correctional 

 5   facilities by the Department of Corrections and 

 6   Community Supervision.  

 7                Under the proposal, the Governor 

 8   would only have to provide the Legislature with 

 9   90-day notice prior to closing a facility.  This 

10   provides employees and communities with little 

11   time.  Several prison facilities are located in 

12   my district, and many are located in small cities 

13   and towns.  Riverview Correctional Facility and 

14   Ogdensburg Correctional Facility are located in 

15   Ogdensburg, which has a population of just over 

16   11,000 residents.  The Gouverneur Correctional 

17   Facility is located in the Town of Gouverneur, 

18   that has a population of a little less than 

19   4,000 residents.  

20                In these small communities, the 

21   prison facilities are the main employers.  These 

22   communities would be devastated by a prison 

23   closure.  

24                This amendment would require the 

25   Governor to follow the one-year notice 


                                                               2399

 1   requirement established under Section 79A of the 

 2   Correction Law, and establish an adaptive reuse 

 3   plan prior to the closure of the prison.  The 

 4   one-year notification will provide employees with 

 5   ample notice, and the adaptive reuse plan would 

 6   help the community in which the prison facility 

 7   is located to deal with the economic impact of 

 8   the closure.  

 9                This amendment would phase out 

10   double bunking, to provide a more safe 

11   environment for correction officers and inmates.  

12                I urge all my colleagues to vote for 

13   this amendment.  

14                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Thank 

15   you, Senator Ritchie.

16                I want to remind the house that the 

17   vote is on the procedures of the house and the 

18   ruling of the chair.

19                Those in favor of overruling the 

20   chair signify by saying aye.

21                (Response of "Aye.")

22                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Show of hands, 

23   please.

24                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   A show 

25   of hands has been requested and so ordered.  


                                                               2400

 1                (Show of hands.)

 2                THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 22.

 3                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 4   ruling of the chair stands, and the bill-in-chief 

 5   is before the house.

 6                Senator Griffo.

 7                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Mr. President, I 

 8   believe there's another amendment at the desk.  I 

 9   would waive its reading and ask that you call 

10   upon Senators Antonacci and Tedisco to be heard.

11                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Thank 

12   you, Senator Griffo.  

13                Upon review of the amendment, in 

14   accordance with Rule 6, Section 4B, I rule it 

15   nongermane and out of order at this time.

16                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Accordingly, 

17   Mr. President, I respectfully appeal the ruling 

18   of the chair and ask that you call upon Senator 

19   Antonacci, followed by Senator Tedisco, to be 

20   heard.

21                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

22   appeal has been made and recognized, and Senator 

23   Antonacci, followed by Senator Tedisco, may be 

24   heard.

25                SENATOR ANTONACCI:   Thank you, 


                                                               2401

 1   Mr. President.  

 2                This body made a decision to enact 

 3   early voting.  And though early voting might 

 4   provide convenience for some voters, it carries a 

 5   high price for our constituents.  We listened to 

 6   platitudes like "democracy has no price," but as 

 7   it turns out, it has a very high one.  

 8                Early voting and the e-poll books, 

 9   as worthy as they might be, will cost 

10   $175 million to implement.  And Senate 

11   Republicans asked during the race to pass 

12   legislation how this state would afford it.  

13                This amendment is germane to the 

14   bill-in-chief because it provides mandate relief 

15   to localities that will be affected by early 

16   voting costs that will now be passed on to 

17   localities because the state has failed to 

18   adequately fund these initiatives.  

19                This budget allocates $10 million 

20   for early voting and $14 million for 

21   e-poll books.  Before these paltry figures came 

22   out, Nassau County moved to borrow $3.7 million 

23   to fund these initiatives.  This amendment 

24   creates an early voting fund that takes the 

25   financial burden off of the counties, many of 


                                                               2402

 1   whom are already under fiscal duress.  It is 

 2   unfair and unfortunate that those on the other 

 3   side of the aisle would rather speak in clever 

 4   catch phrases on this issue that, because of 

 5   insufficient funding, will only harm everyday 

 6   taxpayers.  

 7                So yes, Mr. President, there is a 

 8   price to democracy, and in this case it is 

 9   $175 million on the backs of hardworking people.  

10   Let us help our counties by stopping this 

11   unfunded mandate.  I hope all of my colleagues 

12   will join me in supporting an overruling of your 

13   ruling from the bench and support this amendment.

14                Thank you.

15                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

16   Tedisco on the appeal.

17                SENATOR TEDISCO:   Thank you, 

18   Mr. President.

19                Mr. President, let me first of all 

20   say this is on a extremely important amendment.  

21   And I'm shocked, literally shocked, that you 

22   would suggest it's not germane.  Via Casablanca.  

23                It's not only germane, but when I 

24   get done presenting it to you, I know you'll 

25   judge that it is germane and will realize the 


                                                               2403

 1   fact that it impacts and would impact, if we went 

 2   forward with it, a positive impact on the economy 

 3   of the entire State of New York.  

 4                It would create a real viability to 

 5   our property tax cap, which, when we put it in 

 6   place, we all supported unfunded mandate relief 

 7   and the elimination of unfunded mandates.  

 8   Because there's a chance right now, as effective 

 9   as that property tax cap has been, saving 

10   $359 million in my district and $27 billion 

11   across the state, potentially, if we don't stop 

12   these unfunded mandates, it's going to give them 

13   the choice, of local elected officials, to either 

14   break that property tax cap and raise taxes or 

15   slice the services that they provide to their 

16   constituents.

17                Mr. President and my colleagues, we 

18   live in a state that simply taxes too much, 

19   spends too much, borrows too much, and clearly 

20   mandates too much.  In past years, in a real life 

21   as the Assembly Minority Leader, I was proud to 

22   be the sponsor and a driving force, with my 

23   colleagues, for passage of the property tax cap, 

24   which has saved taxpayers billions of dollars by 

25   putting a lid on out-of-control property tax 


                                                               2404

 1   increases.  

 2                And as I and my conference 

 3   originally presented and fought for that tax cap, 

 4   we did so with a promise from the Governor and 

 5   legislative leaders that mandate relief would be 

 6   part of the solution.  But that promise has yet 

 7   to be fulfilled.

 8                Making that tax cap permanent is a 

 9   positive action for taxpayers, but the tax cap is 

10   only half the solution.  The other component is 

11   clearly mandate relief.  We can't ask our local 

12   governments to do more with less over and over 

13   again and not provide funding from the state.  

14                You know, I think we'd all love to 

15   create a perfect world, but somebody's got to pay 

16   for it.  And too often in New York State it's our 

17   local municipalities and local property taxpayers 

18   who the state hands the bill to in the form of 

19   unfunded mandates.  

20                This amendment is clearly germane to 

21   the bill, as the Public Protection and General 

22   Government Budget Bill provides countless new 

23   mandates upon local governments and numerous 

24   authorizations for new regulations upon both 

25   businesses and those local governments.


                                                               2405

 1                Every day our constituents face the 

 2   burden of crushing real property taxes.  But 

 3   without this amendment, any promise of real 

 4   property tax relief, either through the real 

 5   property tax cap or the STAR program, is simply 

 6   unrealized.

 7                Any benefit those important programs 

 8   can deliver is more than overweighed when the 

 9   state government shifts cost after cost after 

10   cost after cost upon the local government through 

11   unfunded mandates.  The numerous unfunded 

12   mandates in this bill will require an increase in 

13   real property tax to the entire State of 

14   New York, for such increases are the only means 

15   that local government can use to pay for these 

16   required new cost shifts -- unless they slash 

17   services.  And that wasn't the intent of a 

18   property tax cap.

19                The budget bill heaps unfunded cost 

20   upon unfunded cost on all our local governments.  

21   This amendment, my amendment, would relieve those 

22   costs and help every real property taxpayer in 

23   the state by requiring the state to pay for these 

24   mandates and give localities, for the first time, 

25   a means to avoid the requirement to raise real 


                                                               2406

 1   property taxes to pay for these unfair 

 2   state-imposed programs or, again, slash services.

 3                More specifically, these amendments 

 4   would, number one, require that the state provide 

 5   funding for all mandates it would impose upon 

 6   local governments.  No more mandates on the 

 7   villages, towns and counties without the funding 

 8   being forthcoming.  Reactivate, empower and 

 9   strengthen the State Mandate Relief Council with 

10   powers and duties to address the issue of 

11   unfunded mandates.  Impose limitations on state 

12   agencies seeking to promulgate regulations by 

13   expedited means unless there really is an 

14   emergency that imposes an imminent and actual 

15   threat to public health or safety.  It would also 

16   provide regulatory relief to small businesses and 

17   establish the state small business liaison.  And 

18   lastly, it would require the Office of the State 

19   Comptroller to conduct a study and issue a report 

20   regarding the extent and cost of legislation that 

21   imposes unfunded mandates upon local governments 

22   in New York State.

23                Mr. President and my colleagues, 

24   this is something that the constituents, leaders 

25   of local governments, businesses in New York 


                                                               2407

 1   State have talked about and talked about and 

 2   talked about.  And you know what?  It's not only 

 3   Republicans that want to eliminate unfunded 

 4   mandates, it's you on the other side of the 

 5   aisle.  Because I watch the news.  And every time 

 6   you're asked about it, you talk about it:  We've 

 7   got to do something about those unfunded 

 8   mandates.  

 9                Here is an opportunity to stand up 

10   for your constituents, the taxpayers of New York 

11   State, to validate the success into the future of 

12   that property tax cap.  Because, my friends, if 

13   we continue to pile mandate upon mandate upon 

14   mandate on those local municipalities, it will 

15   eat into their services.  You know, you're being 

16   called by those local elected officials.  

17                Don't get me wrong, we have to make 

18   it permanent, because it's the one thing that's 

19   actually working to give some reprieve and help 

20   to the beleaguered property taxpayers of New York 

21   State.  You can do it, you have the opportunity 

22   to do it.  We can fulfill that promise to have a 

23   real property tax cap that holds the line on 

24   property taxes and also allow those important 

25   services to be solvent.  


                                                               2408

 1                As caring, responsible 

 2   representatives of the people, we can and we must 

 3   do more.  For all these reasons, Mr. President, 

 4   I'm urging all my colleagues to support this 

 5   amendment.

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Thank 

 7   you, Senators Antonacci and Tedisco.

 8                I want to remind the house that the 

 9   vote is on the procedures of the house and the 

10   ruling of the chair.  

11                Those in favor of overruling the 

12   chair signify by saying aye.

13                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Request a show of 

14   hands, Mr. President.  

15                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   A show 

16   of hands has been requested and so ordered.  

17                (Show of hands.)  

18                THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 21.

19                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

20   ruling of the chair stands, and the bill-in-chief 

21   is before the house.

22                Senator Ritchie.

23                SENATOR RITCHIE:   Would the sponsor 

24   yield for a few questions?  It's on prison 

25   closures.


                                                               2409

 1                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

 2   please recognize Senator Sepúlveda on this issue.

 3                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 4   Sepúlveda, do you yield?  

 5                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 7   sponsor yields.

 8                SENATOR RITCHIE:   This bill 

 9   includes language to permit the closing of two 

10   correctional facilities, though I hear in the 

11   revenue bill it's now back up to three prisons.  

12   Which facilities have been specifically 

13   identified for closing?

14                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Through you, 

15   Mr. President, we still haven't identified the 

16   facilities.  The language is it's up to three.  

17   So we haven't yet decided which one is going to 

18   be done.

19                SENATOR RITCHIE:   Would the sponsor 

20   continue to yield?

21                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

22   the sponsor yield?

23                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

24                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

25   sponsor yields.


                                                               2410

 1                SENATOR RITCHIE:   Under this bill, 

 2   what criteria is being used to justify and 

 3   explain the reasons for the specific facility 

 4   closing?

 5                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   It's a proposal 

 6   from the Executive because of the empty spaces 

 7   that exist right now in facilities.  And the 

 8   beds.

 9                SENATOR RITCHIE:   Would the sponsor 

10   continue to yield?  

11                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

12   the sponsor yield?  

13                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

14                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

15   sponsor yields.

16                SENATOR RITCHIE:   Does the language 

17   in the bill address the type of facility that 

18   would be closed, whether it be medium or maximum 

19   security?  

20                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Through you, 

21   Mr. President, no.

22                SENATOR RITCHIE:   Will the sponsor 

23   continue to yield?

24                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

25   the sponsor yield?


                                                               2411

 1                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

 2                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 3   sponsor yields.

 4                SENATOR RITCHIE:   Can you explain 

 5   why that would not be included?

 6                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   This was a 

 7   proposal from the Executive.

 8                SENATOR RITCHIE:   Would the sponsor 

 9   continue to yield.

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

11   the sponsor yield?  

12                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

14   sponsor yields.

15                SENATOR RITCHIE:   What is the 

16   savings to the State Budget from this plan?  And 

17   can you explain how you arrived at that figure?

18                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Could you -- 

19   through you, Mr. President, could you ask her to 

20   repeat the question?

21                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Repeat 

22   the question, please. 

23                SENATOR RITCHIE:   Can you tell me 

24   what the savings from this plan is and how you 

25   arrived at that number?


                                                               2412

 1                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   The figure was 

 2   received from DOCCS, and it's related to facility 

 3   closings, and it's about 21.5 million.

 4                SENATOR RITCHIE:   Could the sponsor 

 5   repeat that?

 6                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I'm sorry --

 7                SENATOR RITCHIE:   Could you repeat 

 8   that?  I'm sorry, I didn't -- I couldn't hear 

 9   you.

10                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   The numbers 

11   were received from DOCCS, and it's about 

12   21.5 million.

13                SENATOR RITCHIE:   Would the sponsor 

14   continue to yield?  

15                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

16   the sponsor yield?  

17                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

18                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

19   sponsor yields.

20                SENATOR RITCHIE:   Is that for two 

21   or three prisons?  

22                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   It's for the up 

23   to three facilities.

24                SENATOR RITCHIE:   Would the sponsor 

25   continue to yield?  


                                                               2413

 1                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 2   the sponsor yield?  

 3                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

 4                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 5   sponsor yields.

 6                SENATOR RITCHIE:   How much of the 

 7   savings would be reinvested in the communities 

 8   that are impacted by the closings of the 

 9   facilities?

10                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   It's a DOCCS 

11   budget.  We're not a hundred percent clear.  So I 

12   can't give you exact numbers, exact figures.

13                SENATOR RITCHIE:   Would the sponsor 

14   continue to yield?

15                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Will 

16   the sponsor yield?

17                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

18                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

19   sponsor yields.

20                SENATOR RITCHIE:   Are you saying 

21   that maybe zero dollars will be invested in the 

22   communities that are affected by the closures? 

23                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Again, I can't 

24   give you exact numbers, but there's law in effect 

25   already that says that we have to study the 


                                                               2414

 1   impact on local communities of these closings.

 2                SENATOR RITCHIE:   Will the sponsor 

 3   continue to yield?  

 4                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 5   the sponsor yield?  

 6                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

 7                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 8   sponsor yields.  

 9                SENATOR RITCHIE:   This house has 

10   stated, in their one-house budget that passed 

11   with unanimous support from the other side of the 

12   aisle, that any prison closures should occur only 

13   "with meaningful advanced notice and 

14   justification so as to allow thoughtful planning 

15   for closing and reusing facilities."  Yet this 

16   bill significantly reduces the notice to 

17   communities to 90 days, far shorter than the 

18   existing law.

19                Does the sponsor think that 90 days 

20   is sufficient for families, staff, communities 

21   and state officials to plan and adjust to the 

22   closing of a facility which in many cases is the 

23   largest employer in that area?

24                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I'm sure that 

25   in a perfect world we can get more notice.  But 


                                                               2415

 1   when you take into account the fact that we are 

 2   going -- the Executive is going to look at the 

 3   impact it has on local communities, will ensure 

 4   that no one loses their job, that people are 

 5   offered similar jobs, then for this particular 

 6   instance for these three facilities I believe 

 7   that the current notice is adequate.

 8                SENATOR RITCHIE:   Does the sponsor 

 9   continue to yield?

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

11   the sponsor yield?

12                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Yes, I do.

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

14   sponsor yields.

15                SENATOR RITCHIE:   Will those jobs 

16   that will be offered be close to where the 

17   individuals now live or somewhere else in the 

18   state?

19                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   That is the 

20   commitment that the Executive has made.

21                SENATOR RITCHIE:   Would the sponsor 

22   continue to yield.

23                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

24   the sponsor yield?  

25                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.


                                                               2416

 1                SENATOR RITCHIE:   There have 

 2   obviously been a number of other prison closings 

 3   in recent years.  Does the sponsor know how many 

 4   of these previously closed facilities have been 

 5   adapted for reuse?  

 6                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Unfortunately I 

 7   don't have the exact figures at this moment.

 8                SENATOR RITCHIE:   Will the sponsor 

 9   continue to yield?

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

11   the sponsor --

12                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

14   sponsor yields.

15                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Sorry.

16                SENATOR RITCHIE:   What changes does 

17   this bill make to existing law to help assure 

18   that the closed facilities are readapted and 

19   reused in ways that benefit local communities?

20                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   There will be 

21   no changes to the existing law.  This is a 

22   one-time request for these three facilities.

23                SENATOR RITCHIE:   Will the sponsor 

24   continue to yield?  

25                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 


                                                               2417

 1   the sponsor yield?  

 2                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

 3                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 4   sponsor yields.

 5                SENATOR RITCHIE:   For those 

 6   facilities that I know, especially in one of my 

 7   colleagues' districts, that has remained empty 

 8   for a number of years, there is nothing in this 

 9   bill that would help that situation?

10                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I'm sorry.  

11   Through you, Mr. President, can she ask the 

12   question again?

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Please 

14   repeat.

15                SENATOR RITCHIE:   Sure.

16                There are a number of facilities 

17   that I know have not been adapted for reuse, some 

18   in my colleague's district.  This bill does not 

19   address that and would not make any changes to 

20   help the situation?  

21                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Again through 

22   you, Mr. President, this bill is specific to 

23   these three particular closings.

24                SENATOR RITCHIE:   Will the sponsor 

25   continue to yield?  


                                                               2418

 1                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 2   the sponsor yield?

 3                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

 4                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 5   sponsor yields.  

 6                SENATOR RITCHIE:   Is the sponsor 

 7   familiar with double bunking?

 8                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Yes.

 9                SENATOR RITCHIE:   Will the sponsor 

10   continue to yield?  

11                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

12   the sponsor yield?

13                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

14                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

15   sponsor yields.

16                SENATOR RITCHIE:   Does the sponsor 

17   know that there are more than 6,000 inmates in 

18   medium-security prisons who are currently 

19   double-bunked?

20                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Yes.

21                SENATOR RITCHIE:   Would the sponsor 

22   continue to yield.

23                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

24   the sponsor yield?  

25                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.


                                                               2419

 1                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 2   sponsor yields.

 3                SENATOR RITCHIE:   Does the sponsor 

 4   know that by doing away with the double bunk 

 5   there would only be 200 open beds in this state?

 6                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   We can 

 7   double-check that, Mr. President.

 8                SENATOR RITCHIE:   Will the sponsor 

 9   continue to yield?  

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

11   the sponsor yield?  

12                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

14   sponsor yields.

15                SENATOR RITCHIE:   Does the sponsor 

16   realize that the space that is utilized in the 

17   facility for double bunking is actually about the 

18   size of a parking spot in a shopping mall, where 

19   two inmates would have to share the space with 

20   beds and lockers?  And a correctional officer  

21   would have to be able to see what is happening 

22   there, which is a real issue as far as safety for 

23   the inmates and safety for the correctional 

24   officers.

25                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Mr. President, 


                                                               2420

 1   was there a question from my colleague?  

 2                SENATOR RITCHIE:   Yes.  Do you 

 3   realize that's the size of the space now?

 4                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   The DOCCS 

 5   commissioner testified here previously and 

 6   indicated that the facilities that are currently 

 7   being used with double bunking were built for 

 8   double bunking, and there hasn't been an increase 

 9   in violence as a result of more use of double 

10   bunking.

11                SENATOR RITCHIE:   Will the sponsor 

12   continue to yield?  

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

14   the sponsor yield?  

15                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Yes.

16                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

17   sponsor yields.  

18                SENATOR RITCHIE:   For the record, 

19   I'd just like to say I have visited my facilities 

20   on a number of occasions, and there is an 

21   alarming increase, which I'm told is up to 

22   52 percent higher assaults on corrections 

23   officers.  And going in the facility and looking 

24   at the small space for the inmates' safety and 

25   also for the corrections officers to keep track 


                                                               2421

 1   is, I think, a real concern.

 2                So my question is, does the sponsor 

 3   not think it would be more -- will it actually be 

 4   better to do away with the double bunking than to 

 5   close three correctional facilities?  

 6                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Mr. President, 

 7   I too have visited prison facilities, recently a 

 8   Max A.  I am familiar with the living situations 

 9   of the inmates.  

10                I rely heavily on the opinion of the 

11   commissioner, the DOCCS commissioner, who has 

12   indicated that the increase in violence or even 

13   against -- prisoner on prisoner or against the 

14   prison officers, that that information can be 

15   somewhat skewed because now even a brushing up 

16   against an officer or offenses that were normally 

17   not real assaults are now characterized as 

18   assaults.  

19                And I think that he's better 

20   prepared with this information to answer that 

21   than anyone else.

22                SENATOR RITCHIE:   On the bill.

23                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

24   Ritchie on the bill.

25                SENATOR RITCHIE:   First I would 


                                                               2422

 1   like to thank the sponsor for your answers.  

 2   Though I disagree with them, I thank you for your 

 3   answers.

 4                This plan is to ensure that prison 

 5   closures are justified.  For me personally, after 

 6   looking at the correctional facilities in my 

 7   district, the fact that we have so many that are 

 8   double bunked and that there is a space the size 

 9   of a parking spot where two inmates have to sleep 

10   and have their lockers, and a correctional 

11   officer actually has to maintain the safety of 

12   all the inmates in there, causes a real concern.

13                The fact that we don't know whether 

14   those correctional facilities, where they will be 

15   located that are going to be closed, or in fact 

16   whether there is a plan to reuse the facility.  

17   And I think all of us have seen many state 

18   facilities that have been left empty over the 

19   years.

20                So for those reasons, I will be 

21   voting no on the bill.  

22                Thank you, Mr. President.

23                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

24   Helming.

25                SENATOR HELMING:   Thank you, 


                                                               2423

 1   Mr. President.  Will the sponsor yield to a few 

 2   questions?

 3                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 4   the sponsor yield?

 5                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 7   sponsor yields.

 8                SENATOR HELMING:   So on the subject 

 9   of our state prisons, I represent an area in 

10   upstate New York where we have -- I have three 

11   prisons:  Five Points Correctional Facility, 

12   which is the newest facility in the State of 

13   New York; the Auburn Correctional Facility, which 

14   is the oldest; and the Willard Drug Treatment 

15   Center.  They're fully integrated into our 

16   communities.  They're a part of our everyday 

17   life, the fabric of the community.

18                And when it comes to discussions on 

19   closing prisons, I have a real concern similar to 

20   my colleague Senator Ritchie.  To me, I hear what 

21   you're saying, that the commissioner has said 

22   that there is no significant relationship between 

23   double bunking and violence that goes on.  

24   However, I would suggest that the statistics show 

25   that that is not the case.  We have seen such a 


                                                               2424

 1   rise in inmate-on-inmate violence -- that's 

 2   increased from 860 assaults in 2014 to almost 

 3   1200 assaults in 2018.  We've seen a 30 percent 

 4   increase across the State of New York in assaults 

 5   on staff.  

 6                And when it comes to double bunking, 

 7   my question for the sponsor is this.  Do you have 

 8   any evidence, hard factual evidence, or have any 

 9   studies been done to show that double bunking 

10   doesn't increase violence or lead to violence?

11                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Through you, 

12   Mr. President.  With all due respect to my 

13   colleague, I think the person in charge of our 

14   correctional system is in a better position to 

15   tell us whether there has been a significant 

16   increase in crime against correction officers or 

17   inmate on inmate.  He testified at the hearing 

18   and indicated that that is not the case.  He was 

19   pretty confident in his testimony.  I have to 

20   rely on that person.  

21                I am myself making it a point to 

22   visit every facility, every single facility in 

23   the State of New York, to get more information.  

24   Right now that is what is before me.

25                SENATOR HELMING:   Through you, 


                                                               2425

 1   Mr. President.  Is the commissioner appointed by 

 2   the Governor?

 3                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 4   the sponsor yield?  

 5                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I'm sorry?

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 7   the sponsor yield?

 8                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Yes.  

 9                I'm sorry, ask the question again.

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Please 

11   ask the question again.

12                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Through you, 

13   Mr. President, may she ask the question again.

14                SENATOR HELMING:   To the sponsor, 

15   is the commissioner appointed by the Governor?  

16   And do you believe that the commissioner is 

17   totally independent-thinking?  When his boss, the 

18   Governor, states that he wants to close prisons, 

19   is the commissioner likely to speak out against 

20   that or to go against the Governor?

21                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Through you, 

22   Mr. President, I would only hope that an 

23   individual who has such an important task would 

24   be truthful at all times.

25                We have other individuals that are 


                                                               2426

 1   appointed by either the President or the 

 2   Governor, and we have to rely on their 

 3   information.  

 4                The commissioner has also indicated 

 5   that 90 percent of these alleged assaults in the 

 6   prisons did not result in any kind of 

 7   hospitalization.  This is data that he has that I 

 8   have to rely on.

 9                SENATOR HELMING:   Mr. President, 

10   will the sponsor continue to yield?

11                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

12   the sponsor yield?

13                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

14                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

15   sponsor yields.

16                SENATOR HELMING:   Does the sponsor 

17   have any evidence that talks about how many of 

18   those double-bunking situations have been 

19   approved through the variance process, versus how 

20   many are just used by the individual prisons on 

21   an as-needed basis?  

22                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Through you, 

23   Mr. President, the information I have, again, 

24   comes from DOCCS, and I have to rely on that 

25   information.


                                                               2427

 1                SENATOR HELMING:   Mr. President, 

 2   through you, will the sponsor continue to yield?  

 3                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 4   the sponsor yield?

 5                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 7   sponsor yields.  

 8                SENATOR HELMING:   So I'm going to 

 9   take that as a no, you do not have the answer to 

10   that question, and move on to talk about 

11   contraband in our prisons, which is -- it's just 

12   horrendous.  Last week the Auburn Correctional 

13   Facility was shut down because there were a 

14   number of assaults, and during the shutdown 

15   period they discovered -- 86 weapons were found.  

16                I've held town hall meetings where 

17   I've had parents come in to talk to me about 

18   their sons who are incarcerated and who are 

19   struggling to get off of drugs because of the 

20   amount of drugs that are entering our prison 

21   systems.  

22                There is a contraband bill that's 

23   been before this body, it would improve visitor 

24   screenings.  I'm wondering, is there anything in 

25   this budget to reduce contraband entering the 


                                                               2428

 1   state prison system and jeopardizing the health 

 2   and safety of state employees and prisoners?

 3                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Through you, 

 4   Mr. President, we can continue to raise and 

 5   discuss this issue after the budget.

 6                SENATOR HELMING:   Through you, 

 7   Mr. President, it's a simple yes or no response.

 8                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 9   the sponsor yield?

10                SENATOR HELMING:   Is there anything 

11   in the budget to -- that would help further 

12   reduce the contraband that's entering our prisons 

13   and jeopardizing the safety of our state 

14   employees and the prisoners?

15                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Through you, 

16   Mr. President, the answer is no.  But I'm not 

17   sure -- we're talking about closing facilities, 

18   and my colleague has raised another issue about 

19   contraband in facilities.  So I'm not sure how it 

20   connects to our closing the facilities.

21                SENATOR HELMING:   Moving on, 

22   Mr. President, through you.

23                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   On the 

24   bill?  Or are you asking -- 

25                SENATOR HELMING:   I'm asking a 


                                                               2429

 1   question.

 2                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 3   the sponsor yield?  

 4                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Yes.

 5                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 6   sponsor yields.

 7                SENATOR HELMING:   So my question 

 8   is, there is language that says -- or the sponsor 

 9   has stated that community studies will be done to 

10   determine the impacts of the prison closures and 

11   whether or not any funding will be provided to 

12   the communities.  

13                My question is when you're looking 

14   at impacts to the communities, is there any 

15   consideration that's going to be given to 

16   infrastructure that's tied to the prisons?  

17   Whether that's water treatment systems, sewer 

18   treatment plants, whatever, will that be 

19   considered?

20                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   It's included 

21   in the Executive's reuse plan that he has 

22   included.  It is part of the discussion that we 

23   had with the Executive.

24                And just to answer a prior question, 

25   96 percent of those impacted by closures are 


                                                               2430

 1   still employed by the state.

 2                SENATOR HELMING:   Thank you.

 3                Mr. President, through you, I'm 

 4   wondering if the sponsor will yield to a question 

 5   regarding Part WW of the PPGG bill.

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 7   the sponsor yield?  

 8                SENATOR HELMING:   This is related 

 9   to the domestic violence.

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

11   the sponsor yield?  

12                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I'm sorry, 

13   what's the last statement?  I'm sorry.  Through 

14   you, Mr. President, I didn't hear the ...

15                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

16   Senator Bailey will answer those questions.

17                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

18   Bailey, would you yield?

19                SENATOR BAILEY:   Gladly, 

20   Mr. President.  Gladly.

21                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

22   sponsor yields.  

23                SENATOR HELMING:   Thank you.  

24   through you, Mr. President.  In Part WW of the 

25   PPGG bill, language is included to change the 


                                                               2431

 1   sentencing guidelines for certain domestic 

 2   violence cases.  For the past eight years, this 

 3   body has passed Brittany's Law, which would help 

 4   protect potential domestic violence victims by 

 5   creating a Domestic Violence Offenders Registry.  

 6   Is there any language in this budget to create a 

 7   domestic violence offenders database or to 

 8   utilize an existing database, perhaps like the 

 9   Violent Sexual Predator Database, with the intent 

10   of providing information that could help protect 

11   potential victims?  

12                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 

13   Mr. President, there is not.

14                SENATOR HELMING:   Through you, 

15   Mr. President, will the sponsor continue to 

16   yield?

17                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

18   the sponsor yield?

19                SENATOR BAILEY:   Certainly.

20                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

21   sponsor yields.

22                SENATOR HELMING:   It is my 

23   understanding that there's six counties in 

24   New York State that do not currently have 

25   domestic violence shelters for the protection of 


                                                               2432

 1   victims and their families.  This has been a 

 2   priority of mine to do whatever I can to help 

 3   domestic violence victims and their families.

 4                At least three of those counties are 

 5   in my district or close to my district.  They're 

 6   rural upstate communities.  Is there any funding 

 7   in this budget to address the lack of domestic 

 8   violence shelters in upstate New York or anywhere 

 9   in New York State?  

10                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 

11   Mr. President, the specificity of that is unknown 

12   right now, but I would be certain it would not be 

13   in this bill, the PPGG bill.

14                SENATOR HELMING:   Through you, 

15   Mr. President, will the sponsor -- I have a 

16   question on broadband.

17                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Will 

18   the sponsor continue to yield?

19                SENATOR BAILEY:   Yes.  Is it on the 

20   same -- Mr. President, is this on the same 

21   matter?

22                SENATOR HELMING:   It's on 

23   broadband.  Part CCC of the PPGG bill creates the 

24   Voter Enfranchisement Modernization Act of 2019.  

25   I'd like to ask the sponsor to yield to 


                                                               2433

 1   questions.

 2                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

 3   please recognize Senator Myrie. 

 4                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 5   Myrie, do you yield for questions?  

 6                SENATOR MYRIE:   Yes.

 7                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 8   sponsor yields.

 9                SENATOR HELMING:   Thank you, 

10   Mr. President.  Through you.  

11                Senator Myrie, Part CCC of the PPGG 

12   bill creates the Voter Enfranchisement 

13   Modernization Act of 2019, which involves an 

14   electronic personal voter registration process.  

15   Throughout the budget process, throughout the 

16   hearing process, we heard from numerous people 

17   about the lack of broadband services throughout 

18   large swaths of New York State.  Is there any 

19   additional funding for broadband services 

20   contained in this bill or any other bill that 

21   would help with the electronic voter 

22   registration?

23                SENATOR MYRIE:   Through you, 

24   Mr. President, no.

25                SENATOR HELMING:   No funding.


                                                               2434

 1                SENATOR MYRIE:   (Shaking head).  

 2                SENATOR HELMING:   Thank you, 

 3   Mr. President.

 4                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 5   Gallivan.

 6                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Yes, 

 7   Mr. President.  Thank you.  I am looking to ask 

 8   some questions of the sponsor on Part RR 

 9   regarding use of force reporting.

10                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

11   Senator Bailey will be available for those.

12                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

13   Bailey, do you yield for questions?  

14                SENATOR BAILEY:   Certainly.

15                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

16   sponsor yields.

17                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   So for the sake 

18   of other members in the chamber, this deals with 

19   reporting the use of force by law enforcement 

20   agencies to DCJS on an annual basis.  And the 

21   bill in particular describes the different types 

22   of instances that must ultimately be reported.  

23   And it's that in particular that I have questions 

24   about.  

25                Several of the provisions use the 


                                                               2435

 1   word "brandishes."  For example, brandishes, 

 2   uses, or discharges a firearm; brandishes, uses 

 3   or deploys an impact weapon.

 4                Could the sponsor tell me what is 

 5   the intent of using that word "brandish"?

 6                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 

 7   Mr. President, this use of force policy is a 

 8   policy that we're looking to enact statewide so 

 9   that we can have uniform policies concerning the 

10   use of force by police departments statewide.  

11                Individuals want to trust their 

12   police officers, as well they should.  They enter 

13   into a noble profession.  However, when force is 

14   instituted into an action, we have to be mindful 

15   that the public needs to know what is happening 

16   with their officers, how they are engaging on a 

17   day-to-day basis with the constituents that they 

18   represent.

19                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Would the 

20   sponsor continue to yield?  

21                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

22   the sponsor yield?  

23                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 

24   Mr. President, yes.

25                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 


                                                               2436

 1   sponsor yields.

 2                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   I appreciate the 

 3   intent of this.  And I agree, we give police 

 4   officers tremendous responsibilities.  They have 

 5   awesome responsibilities and awesome powers, and 

 6   certainly it should not be done in secrecy, and 

 7   certainly there should be adequate policies in 

 8   place to prevent abuse.

 9                And so my concern isn't so much with 

10   the notion of reporting uses of force by police, 

11   my concern becomes a little bit more about what 

12   certain words mean and then what it means for the 

13   police officer doing their job.

14                In another section, the word 

15   "displays" is used, "displays, uses or deploys a 

16   chemical agent."  And when I look up the various 

17   definitions of "brandish" or "display," we see 

18   things like "exhibited in a place easily seen, 

19   make visible, to wave a weapon or other object 

20   around in your hand so other people can see it."

21                And so my concern becomes what those 

22   words mean as it relates to reporting and the 

23   police officer's job that they do on a daily 

24   basis that we could -- we could really hinder 

25   what they're doing.  


                                                               2437

 1                So going back the question would be, 

 2   keeping that whole long preamble in mind, what is 

 3   intended with the words in here?  The word 

 4   "brandish," the word "display."  How is that 

 5   interpreted when it comes to actually reporting 

 6   an incident?

 7                SENATOR BAILEY:   Certainly.  

 8   Through you, Mr. President, the term "brandish" 

 9   in this context means to take out, to wave about.  

10   And in that context, if a civilian is faced in an 

11   encounter when an officer of the law who carries 

12   firearms around, it may be reasonable -- not may 

13   be, it is rather reasonable for us to think about 

14   how we should be accounting these uses of force 

15   or potential uses of force, Mr. President.

16                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Does the sponsor 

17   continue to yield?

18                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

19   the sponsor yield?

20                SENATOR BAILEY:   Yes, 

21   Mr. President.

22                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

23   sponsor yields.

24                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Is there 

25   anywhere in the legislation that ultimately 


                                                               2438

 1   requires the commissioner of DCJS to promulgate 

 2   regulations regarding this so that all law 

 3   enforcement agencies are on the same page and 

 4   using the same definition in reporting?

 5                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 

 6   Mr. President, no, but it would be implied in the 

 7   uniform use, in the uniform implementation of 

 8   such a policy.

 9                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   I'm sorry, would 

10   the sponsor repeat that?  

11                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Could 

12   you please repeat it?

13                SENATOR BAILEY:   Repeat it or 

14   continue to yield?

15                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   He said 

16   repeat.

17                SENATOR BAILEY:   No, it's not 

18   specifically stated.  But it would be implied, as 

19   we are implementing a statewide use of force 

20   policy.

21                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Is there any -- 

22   would the sponsor continue to yield?  

23                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

24   the sponsor yield?

25                SENATOR BAILEY:   Certainly.  


                                                               2439

 1                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 2   sponsor yields.

 3                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Is there 

 4   anything in the legislation that provides for the 

 5   actual definition of these words that are used, 

 6   specifically "brandishes" or "displays"?

 7                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 

 8   Mr. President, the division would have the 

 9   authority to regulate that.

10                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   On the bill.

11                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

12   Gallivan on the bill.

13                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   I'd like to 

14   thank the sponsor for taking the time to discuss 

15   this.  

16                I would reiterate and share some of 

17   the same thoughts about this that the sponsor 

18   does, that police officers, we give them awesome 

19   powers and responsibilities, the use of force and 

20   deadly physical force among them.

21                The specific things that we talk 

22   about here, use of a firearm, use of a chokehold 

23   or similar restraints, the use of baton, billy 

24   club, stun gun, things of that nature, it is very 

25   appropriate for us to say we're giving you these 


                                                               2440

 1   powers, we want to make sure they're not abused, 

 2   and we want to know about your use of them as 

 3   time goes on.

 4                I'm very concerned, though, that in 

 5   this legislation that the use of several of these 

 6   words, "brandishes" and "displays" specifically, 

 7   where it is not defined, has the potential, if 

 8   not properly defined, given the intent of this 

 9   legislation -- and if we don't further define it 

10   as legislators, I think it would be appropriate 

11   that we did -- to severely hamstring the police, 

12   very unwieldy for them, and negatively impact 

13   their ability to protect us.

14                So when we think of a police officer 

15   displaying pepper spray, for instance, where the 

16   definition of pepper spray is -- or the 

17   definition of "display" is presentation in open 

18   view, they wear that on their belt.  It's in 

19   public view.  Everybody can see that every time 

20   they go to work.  Given this definition, if 

21   somebody puts some crazy, wide, broad guidelines 

22   out there, they'd have to report every day what 

23   they have.

24                The taking of a weapon out when they 

25   may be searching a building or going into a 


                                                               2441

 1   dangerous complaint, if the weapon is not used -- 

 2   again, potentially the definition of 

 3   "brandishing."  

 4                So I am very concerned about that.  

 5   I know that we do not have the ability to amend 

 6   this today.  I think it's a valid concern going 

 7   forward that we do need to address.  

 8                And I do thank the sponsor for his 

 9   debate.

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

11   Little.

12                SENATOR LITTLE:   Thank you, 

13   Mr. President.  

14                Would the sponsor yield for a 

15   question in regard to the prisons?  

16                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I yield, 

17   Mr. President.  

18                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

19   sponsor yields.

20                SENATOR LITTLE:   Thank you.  I have 

21   a question for the sponsor in regard to shock 

22   treatment.

23                In my district I have nine state 

24   prisons and one federal prison.  And one of them 

25   is a shock treatment facility, which is a program 


                                                               2442

 1   which helps inmates who are within years of being 

 2   eligible for parole to apply for this.  And they 

 3   get a lot of discipline, self-discipline, 

 4   counseling, as well as drug and alcohol 

 5   treatment.  And it's a six-month program, an 

 6   excellent program.

 7                In the Governor's proposal he had 

 8   proposed that not only could there be more shock 

 9   incarceration, inmates going into the program, 

10   but it said that a judge could directly send 

11   someone to a shock program.

12                Part KK of the budget modifies the 

13   Executive proposal, and it has to ensure that it 

14   applies only to individuals who are in the 

15   custody of the Department of Corrections and 

16   Community Supervision.  Can you explain to me -- 

17   can the sponsor explain to me why this occurred?  

18                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Through you, 

19   Mr. President, we have expanded the program, but 

20   we have not changed what judges can do.

21                SENATOR LITTLE:   So do I understand 

22   correctly --

23                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:  And by the way, 

24   I agree with my colleague that it's a wonderful 

25   program.


                                                               2443

 1                SENATOR LITTLE:   So do I understand 

 2   the sponsor could tell me that that has not 

 3   changed?  So it was not listed in the book that 

 4   you modified the program and ensured that they 

 5   had to be in the supervision of Corrections.  So 

 6   a judge could not directly send one, was my 

 7   understanding.

 8                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Through you, 

 9   Mr. President, judges can still send individuals 

10   to a shock program.

11                SENATOR LITTLE:   Okay, thank you.

12                Another question I have is --

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Would 

14   the sponsor yield?

15                SENATOR LITTLE:   -- would the 

16   sponsor yield -- 

17                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

18   the sponsor yield?

19                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Yes.

20                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

21   sponsor yields.  

22                SENATOR LITTLE:   -- and explain 

23   that -- Part TT says that we're going to vote 

24   before us, on this bill, to authorize two prison 

25   closures and to provide for an increased notice 


                                                               2444

 1   period.  

 2                From what I understand from the 

 3   previous questioning is that later today we're 

 4   going to vote to close up to three prisons.  Can 

 5   you explain the difference, and why?

 6                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   So through you, 

 7   Mr. President, if you look at the trend in 

 8   populations of incarcerated individuals, that 

 9   trend is that you have a pretty substantial 

10   decrease in population of inmates.  And so that 

11   with that in mind, the Executive -- the language 

12   does say up to three, but in our discussions with 

13   the Executive we've discussed two right now.

14                SENATOR LITTLE:   But if I could ask 

15   the sponsor please --

16                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

17   the sponsor continue to yield?

18                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

19                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

20   sponsor yields.  

21                SENATOR LITTLE:   But later tonight 

22   we're going to talk about up to three.  I just 

23   think we have two votes on this issue.  I prefer 

24   this vote, with just two.

25                All right, I have another point I'd 


                                                               2445

 1   like to make, if I could, with the sponsor.

 2                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 3   the sponsor yield?

 4                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Absolutely.  

 5                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 6   sponsor yields.

 7                SENATOR LITTLE:   The question was 

 8   asked about the reuse of closed prisons.  I can 

 9   tell you that I've had three prisons in my 

10   district closed and a 200-bed minimum:  Camp 

11   Gabriels, Great Meadows -- not Great Meadows.  

12   Camp Gabriels, Lyon Mountain, Chateaugay Prison, 

13   and a 200-bed annex at Washington Correctional.  

14   They are all empty still.  And thank you.

15                On the bill.

16                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

17   Little on the bill.

18                SENATOR LITTLE:   Thank you.

19                I don't believe we should keep 

20   prisons open if we don't have inmates.  However, 

21   one of the things that has needed to be done is 

22   to get rid of the double bunking.  Great Meadows, 

23   which is one of the older correctional facilities 

24   in my district, has inmates in smaller cells, and 

25   there were two in all.  To the department's 


                                                               2446

 1   credit, they went to single cells entirely.  It 

 2   changed the atmosphere, changed the discipline, 

 3   changed the actual quality of the inmates, having 

 4   their own cell.

 5                But we still have these dormitories 

 6   in many of the medium-security prisons.  And if 

 7   you've never been in one, it's one large room 

 8   with cubicles.  There are 50 cubicles.  There is 

 9   one guard on a platform elevated about this much 

10   off the floor, surveying and watching 60 inmates.  

11   Because on the back 10 rows, sharing the small 

12   cubicle, is a second inmate who sleeps on the top 

13   of a bunk bed, probably for sometimes six months, 

14   eight months, whatever time he's in that 

15   dormitory.

16                Before we start closing prisons I 

17   think we need to look at having smaller 

18   dormitories, more controllable, better for the 

19   inmate, safer for the correction officers and the 

20   inmates all the way around.

21                All of the mental health inmates 

22   that the Corrections Department has had to deal 

23   with take up more space in all.  And all of those 

24   things should be looked at.

25                As I said, I have nine state 


                                                               2447

 1   facilities, and we have them because the people 

 2   in the North Country were welcoming, because the 

 3   land was less expensive.  And they have worked 

 4   well and they are part of our economy as well.  

 5   But we also have wonderful, good correction 

 6   officers in our district as well.

 7                So thank you for your time.

 8                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 9   Akshar.

10                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Thank you, 

11   Mr. President.  Would Senator Sepúlveda yield to 

12   a question?  

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

14   the --

15                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Excuse me.  

16   Mr. President, I have a question about prison 

17   closures and then about Part RR.  So I'd like to 

18   first ask Senator Sepúlveda a question and then 

19   Senator Bailey, if he'd be so kind to yield. 

20                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

21   Senator Sepúlveda yield?  

22                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Yes.

23                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

24   sponsor yields.

25                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Thank you, 


                                                               2448

 1   Mr. President.

 2                Through you, Mr. President, when 

 3   Senator Sepúlveda was discussing how you arrived 

 4   at the decision about the prison closures, so on 

 5   and so forth, you put a lot of weight into that 

 6   decision-making process for the commissioner, the 

 7   commissioner who is appointed by the Governor.  

 8                My question -- through you, 

 9   Mr. President -- is in making those decisions, 

10   did the sponsor take into account what the men 

11   and women of NYSCOPBA thought?  And if the 

12   sponsor doesn't know who they are, they are the 

13   hardworking men and women who work tirelessly 

14   every single day to keep the inmates safe within 

15   state facilities but also work incredibly hard to 

16   keep themselves safe.

17                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Through you, 

18   Mr. President, I am very familiar with who they 

19   are.  In fact, as the chair of this committee 

20   I've had multiple meetings, multiple discussions 

21   with them, I've gotten their input.  Clearly 

22   they're not happy with everything.  But certainly 

23   we have a very open dialogue where they give me 

24   information and I try to use that in my 

25   deliberations.  But absolutely we take into 


                                                               2449

 1   consideration they are there.

 2                I was just in Great Meadows myself, 

 3   and I spoke with many of the members there.  

 4   Their discussion with me about this is not as 

 5   dire as my colleagues on the other side are 

 6   saying.  But we'll leave that for another day.

 7                But the reality is that as part of 

 8   this closing, if you look at the past history of 

 9   facilities that have been closed, over 94 percent 

10   of these individuals have been rehired by the 

11   state.  So that -- that is -- if that doesn't 

12   indicate the seriousness that the Executive and 

13   we have to make sure that the members are taken 

14   care of, then I don't know what else will.

15                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Mr. President, 

16   through you.  I'm less concerned about people 

17   being rehired --

18                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Are you 

19   asking the sponsor to yield or are you on the 

20   bill?

21                SENATOR AKSHAR:   I'm on the bill, 

22   and then I'll ask the --

23                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

24   Akshar on the bill.

25                SENATOR AKSHAR:   I'm less concerned 


                                                               2450

 1   about these folks being rehired and -- I know 

 2   that that's a cause of concern and I too, 

 3   Senator, am concerned about that.  What I am 

 4   concerned with is if we are making education 

 5   decisions, I know that nobody in this room, 

 6   especially my friends on the other side of the 

 7   room, they certainly don't not talk to teachers, 

 8   they don't not listen to what the teachers have 

 9   to say in making education decisions.  

10                So the point I make about this is 

11   that I would certainly hope that when making 

12   decisions about prison closures and whether or 

13   not we should be double-bunking inmates, so on 

14   and so forth, that the hardworking men and women 

15   of NYSCOPBA are being spoken to and we're 

16   listening to what they have to say.

17                So, Mr. President, if the sponsor 

18   would continue to yield.

19                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

20   the sponsor yield?  

21                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Yes.

22                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

23   Senator yields.

24                SENATOR AKSHAR:   You describe the 

25   situation as not as dire as some would have you 


                                                               2451

 1   believe.  The members of NYSCOPBA, are they 

 2   concerned with additional double-bunking 

 3   situations throughout the state, or an increased 

 4   amount of double-bunkings?

 5                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Some of the 

 6   members I've spoken with have shown that they are 

 7   concerned, and others have not.

 8                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Thank you.  That's 

 9   all on this particular issue.

10                Mr. President, through you, would 

11   Senator Bailey yield to a couple of questions?  

12                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

13   the sponsor yield?  

14                SENATOR BAILEY:   Certainly.

15                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

16   sponsor yields.  

17                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Senator, whose 

18   idea was this particular provision?  How did we 

19   arrive here at this particular provision?

20                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 

21   Mr. President, this issue was put forth by the 

22   Executive, and in discussions with both houses of 

23   the Legislature we improved it to the point that 

24   you see before you today.

25                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Mr. President, 


                                                               2452

 1   through you, if the sponsor would continue to 

 2   yield.

 3                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 4   the sponsor yield?

 5                SENATOR BAILEY:   Absolutely.

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 7   sponsor yields.

 8                SENATOR AKSHAR:   You said it was 

 9   initially put forth by the Executive.  Was this 

10   particular provision put forth by the Executive, 

11   or was the creation of an Office of Special 

12   Investigation put forth by the Executive?

13                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 

14   Mr. President, the executive did in fact offer 

15   the Office of Special Investigation, but that is 

16   not before us today in this particular bill.

17                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Mr. President, 

18   through you, if the sponsor would continue to 

19   yield.

20                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Will 

21   the sponsor yield?

22                SENATOR BAILEY:   Absolutely.  

23                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

24   sponsor yields.

25                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Would this use of 


                                                               2453

 1   force issue have fallen under the auspices of the 

 2   Office of Special Investigation?  

 3                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 

 4   Mr. President, it would not.

 5                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Mr. President, 

 6   through you, if the sponsor would continue to 

 7   yield.

 8                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 9   the sponsor yield?

10                SENATOR BAILEY:   Yes.

11                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

12   sponsor yields.  

13                SENATOR AKSHAR:   So was this use of 

14   force issue a side-bar conversation after the 

15   Majority, the Assembly and the Governor agreed 

16   not to create an Office of Special Investigation?

17                SENATOR BAILEY:   No, this was in -- 

18   through you, Mr. President, this was in the 

19   Governor's initial Executive Budget.  We have 

20   modified it to create more clarity concerning use 

21   of force.  It was alongside the special 

22   prosecutor's matter.  

23                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Mr. President, 

24   will the sponsor continue to yield?

25                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 


                                                               2454

 1   the sponsor yield?

 2                SENATOR BAILEY:   Yes.

 3                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 4   sponsor yields.

 5                SENATOR AKSHAR:   What did we do to 

 6   further clarify the use of force issue, as you've 

 7   suggested?

 8                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 

 9   Mr. President, within the confines of the bill we 

10   have detailed specifically what use of force 

11   means.

12                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Thank you, 

13   Mr. President.  If the sponsor would continue to 

14   yield.

15                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

16   the sponsor yield?  

17                SENATOR BAILEY:   Absolutely.

18                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

19   sponsor yields.

20                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Senator, why is 

21   this particular bill necessary?

22                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 

23   Mr. President, for many of the reasons that I 

24   mentioned before.  I have great respect and 

25   members of this conference have great respect for 


                                                               2455

 1   law enforcement.  Simply stated -- through you, 

 2   Mr. President.  Simply stated, Senator, we simply 

 3   just want to make sure that when police officers 

 4   are engaging in a profession that is very 

 5   difficult, that is burdensome, that we want to 

 6   know exactly how and why officers of the law are 

 7   utilizing force.

 8                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Mr. President, 

 9   through you, if the sponsor would continue to 

10   yield.

11                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

12   the sponsor yield?

13                SENATOR BAILEY:   Certainly.

14                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

15   sponsor yields.  

16                SENATOR AKSHAR:   What in this 

17   particular bill would allow you to understand why 

18   and how officers are using force?

19                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 

20   Mr. President, the data that would be promulgated 

21   by this report has -- they have to include 

22   specific information, such as the circumstances 

23   surrounding the use of force, the date, the time, 

24   the individuals involved, that gives a clearer 

25   picture as to why and how use of force is taking 


                                                               2456

 1   place in our great state.

 2                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Sponsor continue 

 3   to yield?  

 4                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 5   the sponsor yield?  

 6                SENATOR BAILEY:   Certainly.

 7                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 8   sponsor yields.

 9                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Mr. President, 

10   through you, what would happen if an agency did 

11   not capture this data?  The point I make is if a 

12   bad guy said, you know, a member of law 

13   enforcement brandished their Taser and they 

14   didn't capture that information, what would 

15   happen?

16                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 

17   Mr. President, it would be in violation of the 

18   law and in violation of this policy, which would 

19   be promulgated as a result of the passage of this 

20   use of force.

21                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Mr. President, 

22   through you, if the sponsor would continue to 

23   yield.

24                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

25   the sponsor yield?


                                                               2457

 1                SENATOR BAILEY:   Yes.

 2                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 3   sponsor yields.  

 4                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Senator, so there 

 5   are currently no punishments, if you will, for 

 6   violating this current provision of statute.  

 7   You're suggesting that after DCJS promulgates 

 8   these regulations and rules there may in fact be 

 9   some kind of punishment.  

10                SENATOR BAILEY:   I would say -- 

11   through you, Mr. President -- that anything is 

12   possible.  It is not the intent of this use of 

13   force policy to penalize police departments or 

14   police officers.  We simply, once again, want to 

15   know how and why force is being used statewide.

16                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Mr. President, 

17   through you, if the sponsor would continue to 

18   yield.

19                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Will 

20   the sponsor yield?

21                SENATOR BAILEY:   Yes.

22                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

23   sponsor yields.

24                SENATOR AKSHAR:   I heard the 

25   sponsor earlier refer to creating a statewide use 


                                                               2458

 1   of force policy.

 2                Are we making any changes to the use 

 3   of force continuum or how the use of force is 

 4   specifically delineated in Article 35 of the 

 5   New York State Penal Law?

 6                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 

 7   Mr. President, passage of this bill would allow 

 8   DCJS to promulgate these model rules, and it 

 9   would comply with current law.

10                SENATOR AKSHAR:   If the sponsor 

11   would continue to yield.

12                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

13   the sponsor yield?

14                SENATOR BAILEY:   Absolutely.  

15                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

16   sponsor yields.

17                SENATOR AKSHAR:   If a member of law 

18   enforcement responded to an open door, a burglar 

19   alarm, if you will, and he or she was searching 

20   that residence because there was a potential 

21   break-in, and while doing so the member 

22   unholstered their weapon and searched the 

23   residence, would they have to fill out this form 

24   that we expect DCJS to promulgate?

25                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 


                                                               2459

 1   Mr. President, Senator Akshar provides an 

 2   interesting matter.  I think it would be based 

 3   upon the totality of circumstances -- whether 

 4   there were individuals in the home, what was 

 5   happening.  

 6                You know, again, these rules that we 

 7   are promulgating are very context-specific.  So I 

 8   wouldn't have a specific answer in that specific 

 9   instance as to whether that form would need to be 

10   filled out in this matter.

11                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Would the sponsor 

12   continue to yield?

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

14   the sponsor yield?

15                SENATOR BAILEY:   Certainly.

16                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

17   sponsor yields.

18                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Okay, well, let me 

19   take it a step further.  If the member of law 

20   enforcement is dealing with an unruly subject and 

21   he or she unholsters their Taser and says to that 

22   person, "Comply with my orders or I will Tase 

23   you," would they have to fill out this report?  

24                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 

25   Mr. President, yes.


                                                               2460

 1                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Okay, thank you.  

 2   Mr. President, if the sponsor will continue to 

 3   yield.

 4                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 5   the sponsor yield?

 6                SENATOR BAILEY:   Yes, I do.

 7                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 8   sponsor yields.

 9                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Do agencies 

10   throughout this state currently capture use of 

11   force data?

12                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 

13   Mr. President.  Currently the NYPD does, and the 

14   federal government will shortly require the 

15   collection of this data.

16                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Mr. President, 

17   through you, if the sponsor will continue to 

18   yield.

19                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

20   the sponsor yield?

21                SENATOR BAILEY:   Absolutely.  

22                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

23   sponsor yields.

24                SENATOR AKSHAR:   I'm a little 

25   confused as to the federal part.  Is the sponsor 


                                                               2461

 1   suggesting that the federal government is now 

 2   going to mandate all law enforcement agencies 

 3   capture use of force data?

 4                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 

 5   Mr. President, they are in the process of 

 6   collecting the data.  However, I'm not sure if 

 7   it's mandatory.

 8                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Mr. President, 

 9   through you, if the sponsor would continue to 

10   yield.

11                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

12   the sponsor yield?  

13                SENATOR BAILEY:   Yes.

14                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

15   sponsor yields.  

16                SENATOR AKSHAR:   If there was -- 

17   we're going to collect this data, DCJS is going 

18   to compile that report and they're going to make 

19   that report public every year.  If there was a 

20   high number of incidents surrounding the use of 

21   force, what would happen then to that particular 

22   agency?

23                SENATOR BAILEY:   I would posit that 

24   we would have the data so that we can make a 

25   policy perspective and something going forward.  


                                                               2462

 1   It's the same reason why we have legislative 

 2   hearings before we enter into actions sometimes.  

 3   We get a greater scope of what's taking place so 

 4   that we can make actions thereafter.  

 5                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Through you, if 

 6   the sponsor would continue to yield.

 7                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 8   the sponsor yield?

 9                SENATOR BAILEY:   Yes.

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

11   sponsor yields.

12                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Is it the position 

13   of this body that members of law enforcement are 

14   untrustworthy?  

15                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 

16   Mr. President, no.  And nothing that I've said or 

17   that's within the confines of this bill would 

18   anywhere nearly go near saying that.

19                So no, Mr. President.

20                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Well, let me 

21   just -- let me put on the record that I wasn't 

22   suggesting that you feel that way.  I was just 

23   simply asking a blanket -- through you, 

24   Mr. President.

25                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Are you 


                                                               2463

 1   asking --

 2                SENATOR AKSHAR:   I'm on the bill.

 3                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 4   Akshar on the bill.

 5                SENATOR AKSHAR:   I wasn't 

 6   suggesting for a moment that the sponsor feels 

 7   that way.  What I was suggesting is earlier we 

 8   had made -- you had made the statement that we 

 9   want to -- as a society we want to be able to 

10   trust our officers.  And while many agencies 

11   throughout this state already capture this data, 

12   I have some concerns about this particular issue 

13   and how objective it may be, you know, what does 

14   "brandish" mean, what does "show" mean.  I think 

15   it becomes -- it could become highly problematic.  

16                I just want to thank Senator Bailey 

17   for answering my questions, and I'll sit for now.

18                Thank you.

19                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

20   Griffo.

21                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Thank you, 

22   Mr. President.  

23                Would Senator Sepúlveda yield, 

24   please?  

25                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 


                                                               2464

 1   the sponsor yield?  

 2                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Yes, I do.

 3                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 4   sponsor yields.

 5                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Thank you.  

 6   Thank you, Senator Sepúlveda.  

 7                I just want to ask a couple of 

 8   questions as points of clarification.  Senator 

 9   Sepúlveda, is the final number for the 

10   recommendation of prison closures two or three?

11                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   As per the 

12   chapter amendment in Revenue, it's "up to three."

13                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Will the sponsor 

14   continue to yield?

15                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

16   the sponsor yield?

17                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

18                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

19   sponsor yields.

20                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Senator Sepúlveda, 

21   could you clarify that for me?  Is it two or 

22   three?  "Up to three" does not answer two or 

23   three.

24                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   With all due 

25   respect, Senator Griffo, the language says "up to 


                                                               2465

 1   three."  So if you want me to say three, if that 

 2   clarifies it for you, I'll say three.

 3                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Thank you.

 4                Will the sponsor continue to yield?  

 5                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 6   the sponsor yield?  

 7                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

 8                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 9   sponsor yields.

10                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Senator, you 

11   indicated that the office of the commissioner and 

12   the commissioner would be making this 

13   determination ultimately, correct, and that you 

14   have faith and confidence in the fact that you 

15   have this individual with this professional 

16   expertise making that determination; correct?  

17                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Through you, 

18   Mr. President, that's correct.

19                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Will 

20   the sponsor continue to yield?

21                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Yes.

22                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   the 

23   sponsor yields.

24                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Senator Sepúlveda, 

25   are you aware we have an acting commissioner in 


                                                               2466

 1   the Department of Corrections?  

 2                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Through you, 

 3   Mr. President, yes.

 4                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Will the sponsor 

 5   continue to yield?

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 7   the sponsor yield?

 8                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

10   sponsor yields.

11                SENATOR GRIFFO:   So, Senator 

12   Sepulveda, should that decision be made by a 

13   full-time commissioner or somebody who's serving 

14   in the capacity as an acting commissioner?  

15                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Well, I mean, 

16   this is an acting commissioner who's been in that 

17   capacity for six years, so I think he's -- and 

18   he's been with the agency for over 35 years.  So 

19   I think he's in a better position to make certain 

20   decisions than certainly I am, or to provide 

21   information to us more so than I am.

22                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Will the sponsor 

23   continue to yield?  

24                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

25   the sponsor yield?


                                                               2467

 1                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

 2                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 3   sponsor yields.

 4                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Senator, you 

 5   indicated that a study would be conducted to 

 6   determine whether or not there was any funding 

 7   for economic or community impact as a result of 

 8   closures, is that correct.

 9                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   These are the 

10   comments by the Executive.

11                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Will the sponsor 

12   continue to yield?  

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

14   the sponsor yield?  

15                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

16                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

17   sponsor yields.

18                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Senator, are you 

19   aware that in the past when there have been 

20   closures, that there was actually an economic 

21   impact fund, so that was a recognition and 

22   acknowledgement that there should be some funding 

23   for those communities who have been adversely 

24   impacted as a result of this decision?  

25                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Just to make 


                                                               2468

 1   clear, we don't oppose funding for the 

 2   communities.  I mean, we're very supportive of 

 3   it.

 4                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Will the sponsor 

 5   continue to yield?  

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 7   the sponsor yield?  

 8                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

10   sponsor yields.

11                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Through you, 

12   Mr. President, I understand that.  I'm just 

13   trying to make a determination that you're 

14   accepting this and presenting this as part of a 

15   document, even if it is not -- it's the position 

16   of the Majority as a result of proposing and 

17   presenting this.

18                So if there was any disagreement as 

19   to this in that negotiation, I hope that would 

20   have been articulated, because there has been 

21   past recognition and an acknowledgement that this 

22   was important and helpful.  So why would we need 

23   a study when we had precedent to show that it has 

24   helped?

25                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I don't see any 


                                                               2469

 1   question, but -- I'm not sure I understand your 

 2   question, Senator Griffo.  But I am going to rely 

 3   on the information provided and the Executive's 

 4   position on this issue.

 5                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Will the sponsor 

 6   continue to yield?

 7                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 8   the sponsor yield?

 9                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

11   sponsor yields.

12                SENATOR GRIFFO:   So essentially, 

13   Senator, what I was saying is that we've already 

14   provided funding in the past, but now we're going 

15   to have a study to determine whether or not we 

16   can provide funding?  It doesn't make sense.

17                But the last question I would have 

18   is you talked about statistical data on the 

19   facilities that have been closed.  Do we have a 

20   statistical profile that talks about how many, 

21   what they have been reused for, and the success 

22   rate of those facilities that have been closed 

23   and whether or not it's been positive, negative, 

24   or undetermined?

25                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   The data that 


                                                               2470

 1   we do have is the rehiring or the shifting of 

 2   jobs or individuals and the impact on the state, 

 3   the savings on the state.

 4                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Just an addendum 

 5   to that, if the sponsor would continue to yield.

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 7   the sponsor yield?

 8                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   I do.

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

10   sponsor yields.

11                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Thank you, 

12   Senator.  I basically was talking about the reuse 

13   of the facilities themselves.  Not the 

14   employment, but those facilities that are there 

15   and can remain just in those communities.  And 

16   one of the things that was discussed here was 

17   the -- what would be the reuse, particularly when 

18   you look at locations like Senator Little 

19   indicated, where there's many facilities in that 

20   particular region.

21                SENATOR SEPÚLVEDA:   Well, certainly 

22   we can agree to work together on this.  When the 

23   other side was in control, was in the majority 

24   here, apparently that wasn't done.  But I promise 

25   to you that we'll work together to make sure that 


                                                               2471

 1   this impact study is done and that the Executive 

 2   follows the law.

 3                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Thank you.  Thank 

 4   you, Senator Sepúlveda.  I appreciate it.  

 5                Thank you, Mr. President.

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 7   Lanza on the bill.

 8                SENATOR LANZA:   Thank you, 

 9   Mr. President.  On the bill.

10                You know, I'd like to help answer 

11   this question with respect to when and how and 

12   why law enforcement uses force.  

13                You know, every arrest, by 

14   definition, is an act of force.  That's how it 

15   works.  You know, you may be surprised to hear -- 

16   and I can tell you with experience, or from 

17   experience, as a former prosecutor in Manhattan, 

18   that after someone robs someone at gunpoint, 

19   rapes someone, murders someone, they don't show 

20   up at the local precinct with an overnight bag 

21   and say "Here I am."  The police officers have 

22   got to go out and find them.  They don't just 

23   throw their hands up, either, and say "Take me."  

24   Every arrest is by definition an act of force.  

25                Right now, right now somewhere in 


                                                               2472

 1   this state not one, not 10, probably 100 members 

 2   of law enforcement, people who put their lives on 

 3   the line every day to make sure that we're safe, 

 4   right now one of those or a hundred of those 

 5   members -- State Troopers, police officers, 

 6   detectives -- someone right now is brandishing a 

 7   gun.  Someone right now is displaying a weapon.  

 8   Maybe it's a stop on one of our highways.  Maybe 

 9   it's to make sure that they bring a fleeing felon 

10   in for justice.  

11                You know why they're displaying that 

12   gun and brandishing that weapon?  So that they 

13   can go home safe tonight to be with their 

14   families.  They're brandishing that weapon, 

15   displaying that firearm so that they can bring 

16   someone to justice and make sure that we are all 

17   safe.  

18                This is ludicrous.  We're telling 

19   police officers:  Go out, bring people to 

20   justice, keep us safe, but we're going to put 

21   some handcuffs on you.  We're going to tell you 

22   think twice, think twice before you display your 

23   weapon.  Think twice before you take out that 

24   handgun so that you can make sure that you get 

25   home alive tonight.  And when they think twice, 


                                                               2473

 1   let me tell you what happens.  By and large, they 

 2   lose their lives.  

 3                And when police officers start 

 4   second-guessing themselves with respect to how to 

 5   do their job to keep us safe, none of us are 

 6   safe.  This is crazy.  It really is.  Every 

 7   arrest is an act of force.  And unfortunately, 

 8   that's the only way, it's the only way to allow 

 9   law enforcement to keep us safe.  

10                And yes, I understand discussion, a 

11   legitimate discussion and conversation about the 

12   improper use of force.  I understand that.  We 

13   have laws to make sure that doesn't happen.  To 

14   the extent that it still happens, we should talk 

15   about other measures to make sure it doesn't 

16   happen.  This is not one of them.  This is not 

17   keeping us safe from improper force.  This is 

18   putting a chilling effect on the legitimate use 

19   of force by law enforcement to keep us safe.  

20   It's just nuts.  

21                I can't in good conscience, as a 

22   former prosecutor, Mr. President, and as a 

23   representative of the people back home, I can't 

24   in good conscience vote in the affirmative for 

25   this.  


                                                               2474

 1                You know, this budget -- I hear a 

 2   lot of talk about the things we could do for 

 3   those who are accused of crimes.  Fine.  I don't 

 4   hear about what we're doing for those people who 

 5   are enforcing the law, who put their lives on the 

 6   line every day in this state to make sure we can 

 7   go about our lives safely.

 8                This budget woefully and 

 9   inadequately funds law enforcement.  This budget 

10   falls far short of providing resources that 

11   police officers and troopers and detectives and 

12   correction officers need to keep us safe.

13                You know, when law enforcement -- 

14   State Troopers, police officers, correction 

15   officers -- I can go on -- when they universally 

16   oppose the public protection portion of our 

17   budget in the State of New York, that's a sure 

18   sign that this budget falls short in ensuring 

19   that the public is safe.  And for those and a 

20   number of other reasons, I vote no, 

21   Mr. President.

22                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

23   LaValle on the bill.

24                SENATOR LaVALLE:   Thank you, 

25   Mr. President.


                                                               2475

 1                I was not going to rise, but Senator 

 2   Lanza's comments hit home.  Every Christmas Eve I 

 3   throw a party for the family, and as part of my 

 4   family, I have a nephew who is part of the 

 5   New York City Police Department.  And we talk 

 6   about some of the things -- like when the issue 

 7   came up on the officer that was accused of 

 8   inappropriately using a chokehold, and on and on 

 9   and on.

10                But one thing that I've learned, 

11   because it's family, is that you start off your 

12   day and you see, as a police officer, someone 

13   trying to steal a woman's car.  So you respond, 

14   you respond to that, and you next find yourself 

15   in a situation where the individual sees the 

16   police officer, says, Oh, boy, I better get out 

17   of here, and starts taking off.  The police 

18   officer takes chase.  The individual feels, well, 

19   this guy is pretty fast, so he stops, turns and 

20   fires at the police officer.

21                So every day our officers are being 

22   confronted by new situations where they have to 

23   respond quickly.  And thank you, Senator Lanza; 

24   as you often do on these issues, you really get 

25   down in the nitty-gritty.  And I'm going to vote 


                                                               2476

 1   no on the bill.

 2                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Are 

 3   there any other Senators wishing to be heard?

 4                Seeing and hearing none, the debate 

 5   is closed.  

 6                The Secretary will ring the bell.

 7                Read the last section.

 8                THE SECRETARY:   Section 3.  This 

 9   act shall take effect immediately.

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

11   the roll.

12                (The Secretary called the roll.)

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

14   Bailey to explain his vote.

15                SENATOR BAILEY:   Thank you, 

16   Mr. President.

17                I thank my colleagues for engaging 

18   in what I thought legitimately to be a meaningful 

19   debate.  But let me tell you about my views on 

20   this bill and some of the statements that I've 

21   heard from my good friends across the aisle.  And 

22   I don't say good friends facetiously.  Senator 

23   Lanza is somebody who I respect highly, but I'm 

24   just going to take a little bit of a disagreement 

25   with him today.


                                                               2477

 1                It may surprise you to know that I 

 2   held something in my district to bridge the gap 

 3   between police and community because of my 

 4   respect for law enforcement.  Because of the 

 5   belief that a community is only as strong -- a 

 6   community is strong together along with the 

 7   police.  But what I can't hear is that something 

 8   that makes police accountable for the use of 

 9   force is somehow inherently anti-police.  That is 

10   just not true.  

11                I would ask -- we talk about the 

12   parade of horribles, as one of my colleagues has 

13   coined, and we talk about all of the things that 

14   we hear high profile.  But let's talk about the 

15   13-year-old boy that's getting his braces 

16   tightened and he's thrown in a police van.  

17   Where's the use of force with that?  What about 

18   the 14-year-old boy that is at a bus stop and is 

19   accused by three officers of loitering at a bus 

20   stop?  Where is the use of force policy around 

21   that?  

22                You see, I live in the real world, 

23   Mr. President.  I live in the real world where 

24   every day people are sometimes stopped by police, 

25   and sometimes we needed answers as to why they 


                                                               2478

 1   are using force, Mr. President.  Sometimes we 

 2   need answers.  

 3                This is not to say that you should 

 4   not use force.  But we want to know why you are 

 5   using force, Mr. President.  In case you haven't 

 6   noticed, those two examples were a 13- and a 

 7   14-year-old Jamaal Bailey.  In the Bronx, 

 8   New York, minding his business.  You can look it 

 9   up.  Got no arrest record ever.  Ever.  But the 

10   amount of times that I've been detained by police 

11   and stopped by police is more than I can count on 

12   my hands and feet.  Not to vilify officers, the 

13   very officers that my office stood with yesterday 

14   at Monroe College to celebrate and let the 

15   community know why it's important to them, why 

16   police are important.

17                Mr. President, making sure that 

18   people can fill out a form so that we can get 

19   data so that we can all be better is not 

20   something that's anti-police.  It's something 

21   that is better for the entire community.  And 

22   there are so many other great things in this bill 

23   that I would like to have spoken about, but I 

24   know my two minutes plus is coming to an end, 

25   Mr. President, and I will end there.  


                                                               2479

 1                I'll probably vote aye in favor of 

 2   this bill.

 3                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 4   Bailey to be recorded in the affirmative.

 5                Senator Ramos to explain her vote.

 6                SENATOR RAMOS:   Thank you, 

 7   Mr. President.

 8                I too wanted to briefly explain my 

 9   vote and highlight specifically two parts in it 

10   that I'm especially proud of, one being the 

11   one-day-less bill that ensures that immigrants 

12   who are arrested will -- I'm sorry, we're 

13   changing sentencing of certain Class A 

14   misdemeanors from 365 days to 364 so as to not 

15   trigger deportation proceedings for many 

16   immigrants -- not only those who are 

17   undocumented, but also those who are asylum 

18   seekers and green card holders and victims of 

19   domestic violence.  

20                Ultimately we know that we're safest 

21   when we're keeping our families together, and 

22   that provision does just that.

23                And then as Labor chair, we've 

24   expanded a lot of the medical coverage that would 

25   be provided through the Workers' Compensation 


                                                               2480

 1   Board, which I think is especially helpful to 

 2   upstate, where there's a shortage of a lot of 

 3   medical services.  And ensuring that 

 4   chiropractors and acupuncturists and nurse 

 5   practitioners and dentists are able to provide 

 6   this coverage for workers I think is especially 

 7   helpful in ensuring that we're expediting their 

 8   treatment and that there's faster decisions made 

 9   about their coverage.  

10                Thank you, Mr. President.

11                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

12   Ramos to be recorded in the affirmative.

13                Senator Akshar to explain his vote.

14                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Mr. President, 

15   thank you.

16                While I may wear a uniform -- excuse 

17   me, a suit now, not a uniform, I for one am 

18   always going to continue to fight for members of 

19   law enforcement.  I'm sensitive on this issue 

20   today because five years ago today a friend of 

21   mine was killed in my district, David D.W. Smith, 

22   killed in the line of duty, paid the ultimate 

23   sacrifice trying to protect the community that he 

24   loved.

25                To Senator Bailey's point, are there 


                                                               2481

 1   bad actors?  Have there been tragedies throughout 

 2   this nation?  There absolutely have.  I agree 

 3   with you wholeheartedly.  I'm fearful, though, 

 4   that our focus as a nation or as a state has 

 5   turned instead to these tragedies and these bad 

 6   actors.  But I would also add that there are bad 

 7   doctors, there are bad garbagemen, there are bad 

 8   senators.  Sometimes, unfortunately, there are 

 9   bad cops.

10                I think that unfortunately we see 

11   some people using this as an opportunity, though, 

12   to paint members of law enforcement as the enemy.  

13   And I don't think that we can hold the actions of 

14   some to everyone.  And society, quite frankly, 

15   right now is grossly mischaracterizing members of 

16   law enforcement.  And I think it's important for 

17   all of us to remember that despite the hate, the 

18   division and the controversy, members of law 

19   enforcement still answer the call every single 

20   day.  Regardless of the fact that there are 

21   people in this world that hate them, regardless 

22   of the fact that there are people who disrespect 

23   them -- and yes, yes, some people applaud when 

24   they are killed in the line of duty.  Suicide 

25   rates for members of law enforcement, through the 


                                                               2482

 1   roof.  

 2                The truth is that cops, just like 

 3   you and I, they have families, they want to live 

 4   their lives.  I have friends back in my 

 5   district -- I think about Jody Kennedy and 

 6   Theresa Johnson.  Every single Christmas, every 

 7   single police agency, they line the cruisers up 

 8   in front of Walmart, they pack those cruisers 

 9   full of toys for underprivileged kids.  

10                Or my friend Brad Kaczynski, 

11   Binghamton Police Department, who works with the 

12   underprivileged and at-risk youth playing 

13   basketball with them, fostering healthy 

14   relationships.  

15                Keith King in Vestal, somebody who 

16   just recently got out of his police car, pushed a 

17   man in a wheelchair three miles to his home 

18   because he found himself not being able to help 

19   himself.  

20                These acts of kindness are not 

21   mandated, they're not reported, they're not 

22   required.  I would suggest that we start 

23   collecting data on the millions and millions of 

24   lives that are saved every year by cops.  Those 

25   numbers can't, probably, be captured because 


                                                               2483

 1   there are so many of them.

 2                So, you know, my fear is something 

 3   that Senator Lanza brought up.  The last thing 

 4   that we want law enforcement members to do is to 

 5   start to second-guess themselves.  Because when 

 6   they second-guess themselves, they lose their 

 7   lives.

 8                Mr. President, I vote no.

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

10   Akshar to be recorded in the negative.

11                Senator Krueger to explain her vote.

12                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Thank you, 

13   Mr. President.

14                I want to thank all my colleagues 

15   for speaking on different sections of this bill.  

16                PPGG is a very broad bill, and only 

17   a few of the issues actually even got covered in 

18   the debate going back and forth.  And so I'll 

19   just say when people have a chance, they will see 

20   there are many other good things in this bill 

21   that they should be glad for vote for.

22                I just want to weigh in briefly on 

23   the issue of best practices for police officers.  

24   My colleague is right, we have best practice 

25   policy for doctors, we have peer review for 


                                                               2484

 1   lawyers, for all kinds of professions.  I don't 

 2   know if we have for senators yet.  We have 

 3   elections.  I suppose that's the best and worst 

 4   practice.

 5                But I think best practice and 

 6   analysis for police officers will only strengthen 

 7   our police departments, will only strengthen 

 8   community relations with our communities.  

 9   Because there is no question -- I come from 

10   New York City, and I have lived there since 1983 

11   and I have watched now multiple generations of 

12   parents bring up their children.  And white 

13   parents bring up their children saying, go to 

14   police if something is amiss, they'll help you.  

15   And black and brown parents have to teach their 

16   children how not to get hurt or arrested by 

17   police.  

18                And that's something wrong, and we 

19   need to address that.  So if it's data collection 

20   and best practices, we should start immediately.

21                I'm proud to vote yes.  Thank you, 

22   Mr. President.

23                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

24   Krueger to be recorded in the affirmative.

25                Announce the results.


                                                               2485

 1                THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

 2   Calendar Number 357, those Senators voting in the 

 3   negative are Senators Akshar, Amedore, Antonacci, 

 4   Boyle, Flanagan, Funke, Gallivan, Griffo, 

 5   Helming, Jacobs, Jordan, Lanza, LaValle, Little, 

 6   O'Mara, Ortt, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Robach, 

 7   Serino, Seward and Tedisco.

 8                Ayes, 40.  Nays, 22.

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

10   bill is passed.

11                Senator Gianaris.

12                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, I 

13   want to thank my colleagues.  That was much 

14   faster in terms of getting into the chamber for 

15   the vote.  

16                So let's try and keep it moving as 

17   we move to Calendar Number 358, please.

18                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

19   Secretary will read.

20                THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

21   358, Senate Budget Bill, Senate Print 1506C, an 

22   act to amend the Education Law.

23                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

24   Griffo, why do you rise?

25                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Mr. President, 


                                                               2486

 1   there's an amendment at the desk.  I waive the 

 2   reading of that amendment, with two components to 

 3   it, and ask that you call upon Senator LaValle to 

 4   be heard.

 5                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Thank 

 6   you, Senator Griffo.

 7                Upon review of the amendment, in 

 8   accordance with Rule 6, Section 4B, I rule it 

 9   nongermane and out of order at this time.

10                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Accordingly, 

11   Mr. President, I would appeal your ruling and ask 

12   that Senator LaValle be recognized to be heard on 

13   the appeal.

14                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

15   appeal has been made and recognized, and Senator 

16   LaValle may be heard.

17                SENATOR LaVALLE:   Thank you very 

18   much.

19                In order to comply in a timely way, 

20   I took two amendments, put it into one.  So one 

21   amendment has two components.  One deals with the 

22   DREAM Act.  The amendment is germane because it 

23   removes the DREAM Act and replaces it with an 

24   amendment to expand the TAP program, Tuition 

25   Assistance Program, which is a proposal that was 


                                                               2487

 1   included in this year's Senate one-house bill.

 2                The TAP expansion would benefit the 

 3   hardworking New York State citizens who are 

 4   struggling, who are struggling to pay for their 

 5   college education.  And you've heard firsthand 

 6   Senator Jackson today, as one individual, talking 

 7   about his three children, you know, struggling to 

 8   pay for their college education.

 9                TAP is an established program, and 

10   the aid follows the students to the college of 

11   their choice, whether that be a public or private 

12   college.

13                Expanding access to college and 

14   alleviating the burden of student loan debt has 

15   always, always been a priority not only of our 

16   conference but of this chamber.  And I would urge 

17   all of my colleagues to support this amendment, 

18   which is consistent with your behavior in 

19   sessions before.

20                The proposal would increase the 

21   maximum TAP award from 5,165 to 5,310, increase 

22   the minimum TAP award from 500 to 750, and 

23   increase the income eligibility threshold from 

24   80,000 to 110,000, which is very important, 

25   particularly downstate.


                                                               2488

 1                The second part of the amendment is 

 2   dealing with the MOE for SUNY and CUNY and the 

 3   five-year capital plan.  I'm just going to pause 

 4   and say MOE is maintenance of effort.  This 

 5   proposal would provide maintenance of effort for 

 6   SUNY and CUNY as well as providing a five-year 

 7   capital plan.  The Senate Majority failed to 

 8   provide an increase in operating aid to SUNY and 

 9   CUNY this year, despite the rising cost and 

10   contractually obligated salary increases.

11                Rather than providing additional 

12   state funding for the systems, we've balanced the 

13   budget on the backs of the students by including 

14   another $200 tuition increase in the 2019-2020 

15   school year that would push the SUNY tuition over 

16   $7,000.

17                We have offered language that would 

18   guarantee sufficient funding increases for the 

19   systems, including the SUNY hospitals in 

20   Syracuse, Stony Brook and Brooklyn.

21                And lastly, the language would 

22   provide a five-year capital plan to address the 

23   critical maintenance needs at SUNY and CUNY.

24                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Thank 

25   you, Senator LaValle.


                                                               2489

 1                I wanted to remind the house that 

 2   the vote is on the procedures of the house and 

 3   the ruling of the chair.

 4                Those in favor of overruling the 

 5   chair signify by saying aye.

 6                (Response of "Aye.")

 7                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Request a show of 

 8   hands.

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   A show 

10   of hands has been requested and so ordered.  

11                (Show of hands.)

12                THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 21.

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

14   ruling of the chair stands, and the bill-in-chief 

15   is before the house.

16                Senator LaValle.

17                SENATOR LaVALLE:   Mr. President, I 

18   think I've laid things out very succinctly, so 

19   that I've put aside questions that I was going to 

20   ask.  And hopefully I'm right that I was succinct 

21   and direct and everyone knows what we're doing 

22   here so we can vote on the amendment.

23                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

24   Serino.

25                SENATOR SERINO:   Yes, I have a 


                                                               2490

 1   question regarding a program that was included in 

 2   the Executive's Part N of the budget, but it's 

 3   not in this bill.  And I wanted to know if the 

 4   sponsor would yield, and that would be Senator 

 5   Persaud.  

 6                Are they not done with the 

 7   amendment?  Oh, then I have to wait.  Nope.

 8                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

 9   Senator Krueger will address this issue.

10                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Me?  Oh, we did 

11   take a vote on the hostile.  

12                I'm sorry, Senator Serino there was 

13   a little confusion.  Could you repeat the 

14   question, please?  

15                SENATOR SERINO:   Certainly.  This 

16   was included in the Executive's budget, it was 

17   Part N.  But it doesn't seem to be included in 

18   this bill.  The Governor had proposed a 

19   time-limited job tryout program as an eligible 

20   work activity for public assistance recipients.  

21   And when I first read it, I thought, wow, what a 

22   great idea, because this would help New Yorkers 

23   get a foot in the door and create a pipeline to 

24   long-term employment.  And I was wondering if the 

25   sponsor can tell me why this program was 


                                                               2491

 1   eliminated.

 2                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Thank you.  

 3                Both houses actually decided to 

 4   reject the program by the Governor based on the 

 5   fact that that program model was extremely 

 6   parallel to various programs that the state and 

 7   localities have used in the past, often known as 

 8   work experience or workfare.  And they have not 

 9   led to employment or increased income for people, 

10   so the two houses decided to reject that proposal 

11   by the Governor.

12                SENATOR SERINO:   Okay.  On the 

13   bill, Mr. President.

14                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

15   Serino on the bill.

16                SENATOR SERINO:   And I can 

17   understand that.  

18                But I think, you know, the goal of 

19   public assistance is to not create lifelong 

20   recipients but to give a leg up to someone if 

21   they fall on hard times.  This program would 

22   empower New Yorkers and open doors to employment.  

23   I would encourage you to reconsider this 

24   proposal, at least as it relates to the private 

25   businesses too.


                                                               2492

 1                Thank you.

 2                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Are 

 3   there any other Senators wishing to be heard?

 4                Seeing and hearing none, debate 

 5   is -- ah.  Senator Krueger on the bill.

 6                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Well, yes, on the 

 7   bill.  

 8                I'm just double-checking, no one 

 9   else wanted to raise anything else on this bill?  

10   Okay.  

11                To respond to Senator Serino's 

12   issues, I think we all agree that we want to make 

13   sure that people on public assistance get the 

14   supports they need to move off of public benefits 

15   and into jobs.  And there are --

16                SENATOR LaVALLE:   Can you speak 

17   into the mic?  I can't hear you.

18                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Oh, apparently my 

19   microphone isn't picking up.  Is that better, 

20   Senator LaValle?

21                SENATOR LaVALLE:   Yes.

22                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Thank you.  

23                We all want to make sure that people 

24   who end up on public assistance because they 

25   don't have either the skills or the opportunities 


                                                               2493

 1   to get a job are able to be helped to move off as 

 2   fast as possible.  There are quite a few programs 

 3   that the state runs and that local district 

 4   social service departments run.  This specific 

 5   program, as I said, was rejected because it has 

 6   already been tested and is not effective in 

 7   moving people off of public benefits into the 

 8   workforce.

 9                I'm actually very glad there's not a 

10   lot of questions about ELFA because in fact I 

11   think the bill itself is pretty clear -- what is 

12   in it, what it's doing, and why it's necessary 

13   for us to vote for it.  So I'm hoping that people 

14   will all vote for it.  I know I will.  

15                Thank you, Mr. President.

16                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Are 

17   there any other Senators wishing to be heard?  

18                Seeing and hearing none, the debate 

19   is closed.  

20                The Secretary will ring the bell.

21                There is a substitution at the desk.  

22                The Secretary will read.

23                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Krueger 

24   moves to discharge, from the Committee on 

25   Finance, Assembly Bill Number 2006C and 


                                                               2494

 1   substitute it for the identical Senate Bill 

 2   Number 1506C, Third Reading Calendar 358.

 3                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 4   substitution is so ordered.

 5                The Secretary will read.

 6                THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 7   358, Assembly Budget Bill, Assembly Print 2006C, 

 8   an act to amend the Education Law.

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

10   the last section.

11                THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

12   act shall take effect immediately.

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

14   the roll.

15                (The Secretary called the roll.)

16                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

17   LaValle to explain his vote.

18                SENATOR LaVALLE:   Mr. President, I 

19   just want to mention, particularly for the newer 

20   people -- for those that have been here for a 

21   number of years --

22                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Order 

23   in the chamber, please.

24                SENATOR LaVALLE:   -- we have 

25   discussed the DREAM Act, the implications it has 


                                                               2495

 1   for some of our students who are here in this 

 2   country, as opposed to those individuals who may 

 3   have a status of undocumented immigrant.  

 4                And without the amendment, you are 

 5   putting in harm's way your students.  And I went 

 6   out of my way to say the TAP expansion would 

 7   benefit hardworking New York State citizens who 

 8   are struggling to pay for their college tuition.  

 9   So you're going to -- when you vote on this bill, 

10   you're going to be putting some of your students 

11   in harm's way.  

12                I vote no.

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

14   LaValle to be recorded in the negative.

15                Announce the results.

16                THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

17   Calendar 358, those Senators recorded in the 

18   negative are Senators Akshar, Amedore, Antonacci, 

19   Boyle, Flanagan, Funke, Gallivan, Griffo, 

20   Helming, Jacobs, Jordan, Lanza, LaValle, Little, 

21   O'Mara, Ortt, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Robach, 

22   Serino, Seward and Tedisco.

23                Ayes, 40.  Nays, 22.

24                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

25   bill is passed.


                                                               2496

 1                Senator Gianaris.

 2                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, I 

 3   think we at this point are going to call a 

 4   Transportation Committee meeting in Room 332 and 

 5   then promptly return to the chamber thereafter.

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   There 

 7   will be an immediate meeting of the 

 8   Transportation Committee in Room 332.

 9                SENATOR GIANARIS:   The Senate will 

10   stand at ease.

11                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

12   Senate will stand at ease.

13                (Whereupon, the Senate stood at ease 

14   at 4:49 p.m.)

15                (Whereupon, the Senate reconvened at 

16   5:39 p.m.)

17                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

18   Senate will return to order.

19                Senator Gianaris.

20                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

21   at this time there will be an immediate meeting 

22   of the Finance Committee in Room 332.  

23                And by consent, we are going to take 

24   up Calendar Number 359 and begin debate on that 

25   bill.  That is the Health Budget Bill.  We will 


                                                               2497

 1   have that debate and then lay the bill aside 

 2   until the message of necessity arrives, but we 

 3   will try to make efficient use of our time.  So 

 4   we have unanimously agreed to follow that 

 5   procedure.  

 6                So an immediate meeting of the 

 7   Finance Committee in Room 332, and let us proceed 

 8   with Calendar 359.

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   There 

10   will be an immediate meeting of the Finance 

11   Committee in Room 332.

12                The Secretary will read.

13                THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

14   359, Senate Budget Bill, Senate Print 1507C, an 

15   act to amend the Public Health Law.

16                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

17   Griffo, why do you rise?  

18                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Mr. President, I 

19   believe there's an amendment at the desk.  I 

20   would waive the reading of that amendment and ask 

21   that Senator Amedore be recognized.

22                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Thank 

23   you, Senator Griffo.  

24                Upon review of the amendment, in 

25   accordance with Rule 6, Section 4B, I rule it 


                                                               2498

 1   nongermane and out of order at this time.

 2                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Accordingly, 

 3   Mr. President, I appeal that ruling and ask that 

 4   you recognize Senator Amedore to be heard on the 

 5   appeal.

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 7   appeal has been made and recognized, and 

 8   Senator Amedore may be heard.

 9                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Thank you, 

10   Mr. President.  

11                I rise to speak on this amendment, 

12   which I would argue is very germane to the 

13   bill-in-chief.  Everyone knows that we are facing 

14   an epidemic in this state when it comes to 

15   addiction, substance use disorder.  Addiction 

16   costs us all so much in society -- not just 

17   money, but life.  And while we have made some 

18   great advancements in prevention, treatment, 

19   recovery efforts, we still have such a long way 

20   to go.

21                But we see in this bill some vague 

22   language about an intent to allocate $100 million 

23   to fight this epidemic -- an amount, 

24   coincidentally, that matches the estimated 

25   revenue from a proposed opiate tax.  Well, in 


                                                               2499

 1   this case the opiate tax -- if that's the case, 

 2   then the opiate tax is a punitive tax that will 

 3   harm members of our community, such as our 

 4   seniors, veterans, those who are on fixed 

 5   incomes, those who will suffer from chronic pain 

 6   on a daily basis who need such a medication for 

 7   the quality of their life.

 8                An opiate tax.  It will harm 

 9   healthcare providers, both large and small, who 

10   are trying to provide the best quality care to 

11   their patients, such as hospice.  A new tax is 

12   not a good idea, but this particular tax, the 

13   cost will be passed directly down to the consumer 

14   in the form of higher costs for prescription 

15   medication.

16                This amendment, Mr. President, takes 

17   an idea that the Attorney General announced -- 

18   the Attorney General of the State of New York has 

19   recently announced a lawsuit against the opiate 

20   manufacturers.  And this amendment would direct 

21   any settlement monies from the lawsuit into a 

22   fund to help increase prevention, recovery and 

23   treatment efforts.  Instead of relying on 

24   potential revenue in yet another new tax that 

25   will harm the most vulnerable members of our 


                                                               2500

 1   communities, this is the way to go to help a 

 2   steady stream of revenue to be invested in the 

 3   programs needed to help those in society most 

 4   vulnerable.  I urge my colleagues to support this 

 5   amendment.

 6                Thank you, Mr. President.

 7                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Thank 

 8   you, Senator Amedore.  

 9                I want to remind the house that the 

10   vote is on the procedures of the house and the 

11   ruling of the chair.  Those in favor of 

12   overruling the chair signify by saying aye.

13                SENATOR GRIFFO:   A show of hands 

14   requested.

15                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   A show 

16   of hands has been requested and so ordered.

17                THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 13.

18                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

19   ruling of the chair stands, and the bill-in-chief 

20   is before the house.

21                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Mr. President, you 

22   may have noticed that we're doing the budget, so 

23   the numbers may have not added up.  Even though 

24   we've made an appeal of the chair, I just wanted 

25   to note for the record that a number of the 


                                                               2501

 1   members are at various meetings -- the Finance 

 2   Committee and Transportation Committee had been 

 3   meeting, and that's why they were not at desks.

 4                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   So 

 5   noted.

 6                Senator Gallivan.

 7                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Thank you, 

 8   Mr. President.

 9                Would the sponsor yield to some 

10   questions in this particular area.

11                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Yeah, 

12   Mr. President, Senator Rivera will be answering 

13   questions on the health bill.

14                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

15   Rivera, do you yield for questions?

16                SENATOR RIVERA:   Yes, 

17   Mr. President.  

18                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

19   sponsor yields.

20                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   I'm going to 

21   cover a number of different areas, Mr. President, 

22   if okay with you, but just to let Senator Rivera 

23   know we might bounce around a little bit.

24                The first area has to do with the 

25   nursing home provider case mix proposed cut.  And 


                                                               2502

 1   in the Governor's original budget proposal, it 

 2   was booked at I think a $122 million cut, and the 

 3   Senate one-house rejected this cut.

 4                SENATOR RIVERA:   Through you, 

 5   Mr. President.  Yes, we strongly did.

 6                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Through you, 

 7   Mr. President, will the sponsor continue to 

 8   yield?  

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

10   the sponsor yield?  

11                SENATOR RIVERA:   I do.

12                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

13   sponsor yields.

14                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Is the entire 

15   proposed cut to nursing home provider aids 

16   restored in this budget?  

17                SENATOR RIVERA:   Through you, 

18   Mr. President.  What we did -- first of all, the 

19   original Governor's proposal, which would have 

20   been disastrous to nursing homes all over the 

21   state, was rejected very strongly.  And what we 

22   did -- and it is based on, if you'll allow me, 

23   Mr. President, just a couple of technical aspects 

24   here.  

25                The way that currently the rates 


                                                               2503

 1   that are paid to nursing homes are determined are 

 2   determined by two dates in the year that are 

 3   currently that audits are done as to who the 

 4   nursing homes are actually taking care of.  Then 

 5   depending on what the acuity, meaning how long 

 6   these people are taken care of, the seriousness 

 7   of their ailments, then the rates are determined.  

 8                And the proposal was to actually 

 9   resize this, to do it in a completely different 

10   way.  And there was a claim that there would be 

11   $122 million of savings.  

12                What we did, we pushed back very 

13   strongly in saying, Look, we can certainly 

14   redesign the way that we determine what the 

15   acuity is in these nursing homes, but we are not 

16   going to guarantee you $122 million worth of 

17   savings.  Particularly, Mr. President, because we 

18   want to make sure that the individuals that are 

19   being taken care of, as well as the facilities 

20   that take care of individuals, continue to exist.

21                And so what we did is we right-sized 

22   the proposal, so that now -- we don't know 

23   exactly what the savings will be, but it is very 

24   likely that once the dates are randomized -- in 

25   other words, in other times, not just in these 


                                                               2504

 1   two dates of the year, the Department of Health 

 2   determines what the acuity is in nursing homes 

 3   all across the state, determines an average of 

 4   what the acuity is, and determines a rate -- then 

 5   the rate will probably vary, so there will be 

 6   some savings.  

 7                But certainly the 122 that was 

 8   originally proposed, we pushed back strongly 

 9   because it would have destroyed the sector.

10                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Will the sponsor 

11   continue to yield?  

12                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

13   the sponsor yield?

14                SENATOR RIVERA:   Yes, 

15   Mr. President.

16                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

17   sponsor yields.  

18                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Regarding this 

19   same area, the one-house proposed convening a 

20   workgroup.  Is that workgroup in place in the 

21   final budget, and will there be an ongoing look 

22   at this or a formal look at this?

23                SENATOR RIVERA:   Through you, 

24   Mr. President, yes, this workgroup made it to the 

25   final proposal in the budget.


                                                               2505

 1                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Will the sponsor 

 2   continue to yield?  

 3                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 4   the sponsor yield?

 5                SENATOR RIVERA:   Yes.  Yes, 

 6   Mr. President.

 7                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 8   sponsor yields.  

 9                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Nursing 

10   homes are operating at very thin margins; many 

11   are operating at a loss.  Do any of these 

12   potential -- we'll say cost savings to the state, 

13   but an ultimate potential cut, do you think that 

14   the nursing homes will be able to withstand this 

15   and still be able to provide necessary services?  

16                SENATOR RIVERA:   Through you, 

17   Mr. President, yes.  

18                And the reason for that is I believe 

19   that -- what we did was to push back very 

20   strongly on the Executive and say to them that if 

21   we're going to -- that this claim that was made 

22   by some that maybe nursing homes were lying to 

23   the state about what their acuity actually was, 

24   we're going to determine what the acuity actually 

25   is so that we're going to pay you more accurately 


                                                               2506

 1   in reference to who you're taking care of and how 

 2   long they're being taken care of, et cetera.  But 

 3   we believe that once it is right-sized, that 

 4   if -- since it's going to be more accurate so 

 5   it's going to determine the people -- the actual 

 6   case mix of that particular nursing home, then it 

 7   should serve to maintain that nursing home.

 8                And trust me, I know very well -- 

 9   and I'm sure that all of us have heard from 

10   nursing homes all across the state that reached 

11   out to our offices and told us how important it 

12   was that we get this process right.  I do believe 

13   that we got the best possible outcome that we 

14   could have.  Because again, the original proposal 

15   was just madness.  I'm glad that we were able to 

16   right-size it and make sure that we have 

17   something in line that can both save the state 

18   some money but, more importantly, maintain the 

19   people that are getting taken care of so that 

20   they're taken care of.

21                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Thank you.  Will 

22   the sponsor continue to yield?

23                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

24   the sponsor yield?

25                SENATOR RIVERA:   Yes, 


                                                               2507

 1   Mr. President.  

 2                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 3   sponsor yields.

 4                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   If we go back in 

 5   time to when the Governor proposed his original 

 6   budget -- and originally, the Medicaid spending 

 7   was essentially consistent with the global cap.  

 8   His 30-day budget then cut a number of things.  

 9   Can the sponsor, just from the 10,000-foot-level 

10   view, provide -- could you go over the things 

11   that have been restored that the Governor had 

12   proposed dialing back in his 30-day amendments?  

13                SENATOR RIVERA:   Through you, 

14   Mr. President, I certainly can.  It might be a 

15   long list, since that 30-day was very much --

16                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   If I may, 

17   Mr. President, I'm really looking at the 

18   significant cuts to Medicaid, from the biggest 

19   down through the ambulance.  Rather than me 

20   asking from 18 different line items.  But we 

21   don't really need to go below the dollar amount 

22   for the rural ambulances.

23                SENATOR RIVERA:   And through you, 

24   Mr. President, that is precisely what I was about 

25   to say, that if we were to take some time to talk 


                                                               2508

 1   about every single thing that 30-day amendment 

 2   did and what we ultimately restored, it would 

 3   take a long time.  

 4                But some very important parts of 

 5   that, we were able to restore $550 million in 

 6   Medicaid cuts.  Which as you know, Mr. President, 

 7   would actually amount to $1.1 billion that would 

 8   have hit the state in cuts.  This includes 

 9   $222 million in a clawback from rate increases 

10   for hospitals and nursing homes, $138 million for 

11   indigent care pool payments to certain hospitals, 

12   and $190 million across-the-board rate cuts.  

13                So these are, again, the 

14   10,000-foot -- but I can assure you there's a 

15   whole bunch of other ones that we were able to 

16   restore.

17                And I should tell you something 

18   else, through you, Mr. President.  This was an 

19   incredibly challenging budget year, which you 

20   will hear again and again during today.  One of 

21   the things that -- just to get a comparison, 

22   Mr. President, last year the table target for our 

23   particular table, for the health table, was 

24   $70 million.  And the cuts that were proposed by 

25   the Governor at that point amounted to less than 


                                                               2509

 1   $30 million, which means that even if we had 

 2   bought back everything -- and obviously the 

 3   majority was the one that was taking care of the 

 4   budget at that time.  But even if we had bought 

 5   back everything, we would have more than half 

 6   still left.  

 7                That was not the case this year, 

 8   Mr. President.  It was only a $30 million table 

 9   target.  And when we consider, for example, that 

10   the City of New York, there was a cut in the 

11   30-day amendments which, sadly, we could not 

12   purchase back, for the greater Public Health 

13   Works programs, which amounts to a $27 million 

14   cut.  We were not able to purchase that back.  

15                So we wanted to make sure that the 

16   big things -- like, again, this 222 million for 

17   hospital and nursing homes, the 138 million for 

18   the indigent care pool, and the 190 million 

19   across-the-board rate cuts, we got those back.  

20   So we were able to do that.  And we tried to be 

21   as judicious as possible spreading it across the 

22   state in what we were able to restore.  We were 

23   not able to restore everything, but quite a bit, 

24   Mr. President.

25                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Will the sponsor 


                                                               2510

 1   continue to yield?

 2                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 3   the sponsor yield?

 4                SENATOR RIVERA:   Yes, 

 5   Mr. President.  

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 7   sponsor yields.

 8                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   One other area 

 9   where there was some cuts -- and I want to make 

10   sure that there was restorations in the area of 

11   SUNY hospitals.  Was funding restored for all the 

12   SUNY hospitals?  

13                SENATOR RIVERA:   Through you, 

14   Mr. President, that is actually -- that was 

15   actually not done through this table.  It is at 

16   the higher education table, since it is SUNY -- 

17   obviously it's a SUNY hospital, it's a State 

18   University of New York institution, it actually 

19   would be -- it would actually be through that 

20   table that it was restored.

21                SENATOR GIANARIS:   We can follow up 

22   when that bill is before us, Mr. President.

23                Will the sponsor continue to yield?  

24                SENATOR RIVERA:   Yes, 

25   Mr. President.


                                                               2511

 1                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 2   sponsor yields.

 3                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Regarding 

 4   safety-net hospitals, the enacted budget I 

 5   believe provides $41 million for the safety net 

 6   hospitals, many located in New York City.  

 7                And over the years we've tried to 

 8   secure funding for critical-access hospitals 

 9   located in rural regions of the state.  Whenever 

10   we were discussing safety-net hospitals, we tried 

11   to take care of both general categories at the 

12   same time.

13                And my question, through you, 

14   Mr. President, is is there funding not only for 

15   safety-net hospitals but the critical-access 

16   hospitals across the state?

17                SENATOR RIVERA:   One second, 

18   Mr. President.  One second, Mr. President.  I 

19   want to make sure that I get the answer correct.

20                Through you, Mr. President.  Thank 

21   you for your patience, first of all.  It was 

22   the -- ultimately we pushed the Governor to 

23   include -- in the Executive Budget there was a 

24   pool of money that was included for safety-net 

25   hospitals.  We actually included 60 million for 


                                                               2512

 1   enhanced safety-net hospitals.  Again, this was a 

 2   very tough budget year.  But there was also the 

 3   Executive included -- we're going to get you the 

 4   exact number, but there was something that we 

 5   managed to get the Governor to put back in in the 

 6   final budget agreement.  Through you, 

 7   Mr. President.

 8                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Thank you.

 9                Through you, Mr. President, I did 

10   have a follow-up, but I'll hold off on that until 

11   we get additional information, or I may have a 

12   follow-up --

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

14   the sponsor continue to yield?

15                SENATOR RIVERA:   Yes, 

16   Mr. President.  

17                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   But will he 

18   continue to yield for additional questions?  

19                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

20   sponsor yields.

21                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   So regarding 

22   Healthcare Transformation funding, the Senate 

23   one-house budget strongly advocated that funds in 

24   the Healthcare Transformation Fund be used to 

25   fund commitments made by the Executive to support 


                                                               2513

 1   healthcare delivery in the state.

 2                Does the budget, what is proposed 

 3   right now, specifically restrict funds held 

 4   within the Healthcare Transformation Fund to only 

 5   support healthcare program delivery?  Or is this 

 6   funding still projected to offset non-health- 

 7   related programs such as housing rental 

 8   subsidies?  

 9                SENATOR RIVERA:   Through you, 

10   Mr. President, yes, we managed to get that back.  

11   This is the -- I referred to it earlier.  This is 

12   the $220 million clawback from rate increases 

13   from hospitals and nursing homes.  I believe, 

14   Mr. President, that the Senator is referring to 

15   the -- the -- fallout is not the right term.  It 

16   is the -- when we sell something, we get 

17   something back from it.  It's going to come to me 

18   -- the word will come to me, Mr. President.  

19                But it just basically means when 

20   Fidelis was sold, there was a chunk of that money 

21   that came to the state and there was a promise 

22   that came from the state related to hospital and 

23   nursing home rate increases.  That was taken back 

24   in the 30-day amendments, and then we managed to 

25   get it back for the final proposal -- for the 


                                                               2514

 1   final budget that is in front of us.

 2                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Thank you.

 3                Will the sponsor continue to yield?  

 4                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 5   the sponsor yield?  

 6                SENATOR RIVERA:   Yes, 

 7   Mr. President.

 8                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 9   sponsor yields.

10                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   I have two more 

11   areas.  One I think is an area that's important 

12   to every member in here, and then of course their 

13   constituents, and it deals with the Consumer 

14   Directed Personal Assistance Program and the 

15   fiscal intermediary proposal.  

16                How does the proposal before us 

17   today regarding this CDPAP program differ from 

18   the Executive proposal?  

19                SENATOR RIVERA:   Through you, 

20   Mr. President, I'm very glad the Senator brought 

21   this program up.  I am sure that all of us across 

22   the state have heard from our constituents, both 

23   people who are served by the program and people 

24   who take care of people who are served by the 

25   program.  


                                                               2515

 1                This was a program that was not only 

 2   started in New York State, but we feel very 

 3   strongly in the Majority -- and I know that this 

 4   is something that we share, that you folks share 

 5   across the aisle -- we wanted to make sure that 

 6   if there was any changes in the program, that the 

 7   people who are being taken care of, the clients, 

 8   if you will, are at the center of it, the 

 9   consumers are at the center of it.

10                So there was -- in the original 

11   proposal it was basically a grenade, if you will, 

12   thrown into the middle of the program, and it 

13   would have basically destroyed the whole thing.  

14   We went in there very strongly, Mr. President, 

15   saying that this was a program that needed to 

16   continue to exist.  It is incredibly important.  

17   We need to protect these individuals.  

18                And so what we did is we managed to 

19   reconsign the program as it refers to the fiscal 

20   intermediaries.  These are the entities that make 

21   sure that the individuals, be it family members 

22   or other folks, neighbors or what have you, who 

23   take care of the consumers actually get paid.  

24   But as we know, Mr. President, the fiscal 

25   intermediaries don't just hand over a check.  


                                                               2516

 1   There's other things that they do.  

 2                So what we ultimately did, with the 

 3   three-way agreement that we were able to secure, 

 4   we made sure that -- recognizing the importance 

 5   of the issue, we fought back and we made sure 

 6   that the final proposal before us actually 

 7   redesigns the fiscal intermediary so that there 

 8   will be a mini-bid process.  This is the 

 9   Department of Health will select the fiscal 

10   intermediaries to continue the program on a 

11   mini-bid process that will be based on criteria 

12   that will include but not be limited to 

13   geographic distribution, cultural and linguistic 

14   competence, the ability to provide timely 

15   consumer assistance and consumer peer support, 

16   and compliance with all wage and labor laws.

17                And we also created a stakeholder 

18   workgroup that will determine best practices to 

19   make sure that the program, as it goes forward, 

20   continues to exist and continues to thrive.

21                Bottom line, Mr. President, was we 

22   felt that it was -- that this program is way too 

23   important to allow it to have been blown up as 

24   the original proposal or certainly the 30-day 

25   amendments proposed to do.  I feel very strongly 


                                                               2517

 1   that what we were able to achieve -- and our 

 2   staff were warriors in there.  I have to look at 

 3   them directly and say you all were warriors in 

 4   there -- fought to make sure that the people who 

 5   are ultimately served by this program were served 

 6   well and will continue to be served well.

 7                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Will the sponsor 

 8   continue to yield?  

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

10   the sponsor yield?  

11                SENATOR RIVERA:   Yes, 

12   Mr. President.

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

14   sponsor yields.

15                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   When the 

16   Governor proposed the changes to this particular 

17   program in looking to significantly reduce the 

18   number of fiscal intermediaries, one of the 

19   things that he had proposed was that anybody that 

20   was in business sometime prior to 2012 would be 

21   grandfathered in, but nobody else -- anybody who 

22   came into business or was certified after that 

23   date would not be included.  

24                My question is -- through you, 

25   Mr. President -- does the proposal before us now 


                                                               2518

 1   include any such language regarding when somebody 

 2   started in the business?

 3                SENATOR RIVERA:   Through you, 

 4   Mr. President.  First of all, in Part G of this 

 5   bill, 1507C, there is language that includes -- I 

 6   will read some of it, Mr. President.  As far as 

 7   fiscal intermediaries complying with this section 

 8   "including but not limited to entities that (A) 

 9   are a service center for independent living under 

10   Section 1121 of the education law or (B) have 

11   been established as fiscal intermediaries prior 

12   to January 1, 2012, and have been continuously 

13   providing such services for eligible individuals 

14   under this section."

15                Now, for new fiscal 

16   intermediaries -- or I should say the process 

17   that I described earlier, this mini-bid process 

18   would be kind of a streamlined bid process, 

19   because each one of these fiscal intermediaries, 

20   Mr. President, would require a contract.  So this 

21   streamlined process would consider the criteria 

22   that I already discussed, as well as criteria 

23   that would be further established by the 

24   workgroup.  

25                And I should also mention, 


                                                               2519

 1   Mr. President, that this is not going to go into 

 2   effect until January 1st of 2020.

 3                Furthermore, we created a window of 

 4   45 days so that if there is a fiscal intermediary 

 5   that is currently serving someone who is getting 

 6   paid to take care of a consumer, and that fiscal 

 7   intermediary is going to go out of business, 

 8   there is a 45-day window where they have to make 

 9   sure that they communicate with the individual 

10   that is providing the service.  And this is to 

11   make sure, Mr. President, that there is 

12   continuity of service between the individual -- 

13   so the individual getting served now, the person 

14   who is serving that consumer and is getting paid 

15   now, we want to make sure that if there was a 

16   switch in the fiscal intermediary, that that can 

17   happen without impacting the services that are 

18   being provided.

19                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Will the sponsor 

20   continue to yield?

21                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

22   the sponsor yield?

23                SENATOR RIVERA:   Yes, 

24   Mr. President.  

25                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 


                                                               2520

 1   sponsor yields.

 2                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Does the sponsor 

 3   have -- through you, Mr. President, does the 

 4   sponsor have confidence that there are 

 5   protections in place to ensure that the 

 6   Department of Health won't simply deny 

 7   applications of eligible fiscal intermediaries 

 8   just simply to cut numbers or to save money?  

 9                SENATOR RIVERA:   Through you, 

10   Mr. President, that's a very important question.  

11   And I can tell you that not only through the 

12   process -- that, again, these warriors went in 

13   there to make sure that we established -- but 

14   also as it goes forward, there's many of us that 

15   are going to be keeping a very close eye on how 

16   the process is actually undertaken.  

17                The workgroup that will be created 

18   with this proposal, as the stakeholder workgroup, 

19   will include people who are knowledgeable on the 

20   areas that in -- that will be knowledgeable in 

21   areas that are important to determine how best to 

22   establish best practices, et cetera.  And they 

23   will -- and I figured that these individuals will 

24   take very good care of making sure that the 

25   criteria is created so that ultimately those 


                                                               2521

 1   people who are chosen as fiscal intermediaries 

 2   continue to serve with the best interests of the 

 3   consumer in mind.

 4                But it is -- I should tell you it 

 5   was kind of a -- it was challenging to push back 

 6   on the idea that the Department of Health needed 

 7   to have sole authority, but we did so.  It was 

 8   not as far as many of us would have liked, but we 

 9   did push back and say that even though the 

10   Department of Health and the Commissioner of 

11   Health has the ultimate authority, they have to 

12   operate within the criteria that we have set.  So 

13   that we, I believe, did as much as we could to 

14   make sure that this would not be a process that 

15   would be driven just by whim, and instead would 

16   be driven, as I've said many times and I will 

17   continue to say, with the consumers at the center 

18   of it.

19                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Thank you.  

20                Will the sponsor continue to yield?  

21                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

22   the sponsor yield?  

23                SENATOR RIVERA:   Yes, 

24   Mr. President.

25                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 


                                                               2522

 1   sponsor yields.

 2                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   So staying with 

 3   the same particular program but moving over to 

 4   the payment method -- and we were of course in 

 5   our conference committees and we learned that 

 6   just this Wednesday the Department of Health 

 7   released emergency regulations changing the 

 8   payment method especially for this, establishing 

 9   a per-member-per-month reimbursement methodology 

10   for this particular program.  

11                Does the proposal before us today 

12   include that type of payment?  Or have those 

13   proposed regulations been dialed back until 

14   there's a look at this through the workgroup?  

15   And finally, I guess what I really want to know 

16   is, what's the payment method?  Is it still the 

17   same, or is it automatic Executive making the 

18   decision, disrespecting the Legislature, all 

19   these consumers, and imposing his will on a very 

20   good program that's so important to people with 

21   special needs?

22                SENATOR RIVERA:   One second.

23                Through you, Mr. President.  So what 

24   you're referring to was a notice that was put out 

25   on March 27th, just a few days ago, as we -- and 


                                                               2523

 1   we were kind of surprised by it as well.  But 

 2   after looking at it closely, a couple of things.  

 3                First of all, this is the type of 

 4   notice that is needed to -- you need to put this 

 5   out so that you are -- basically, it's a 

 6   placeholder for what ultimately would be agreed 

 7   upon.

 8                So the payment method that was 

 9   agreed to, which is included in the final 

10   language, created a three-tiered system where 

11   basically there would be three tiers of payment 

12   depending on the amount of time, of hours per 

13   month, that the particular consumer is served.  

14   So it would be anywhere from an hour to 159 hours 

15   per month, which would be one to four hours per 

16   day, which would start at $64 per member per 

17   month and goes all the way up to -- 16 to 24 

18   hours a day would be $522 per member per month.

19                So again, there is an agreed-upon 

20   tier system that is included in the language.  

21   What you're referring to was a notice that needed 

22   to be put out there as a placeholder.  But what 

23   was in there was ultimately what we negotiated, 

24   which is right here.

25                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Thank you.  Will 


                                                               2524

 1   the sponsor continue to yield?

 2                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 3   the sponsor yield?

 4                SENATOR RIVERA:   Yes, 

 5   Mr. President.

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 7   sponsor yields.

 8                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   The Governor had 

 9   proposed that if certain conditions existed 

10   regarding tax revenue -- and in other cases some 

11   other items come up -- and he's done this in the 

12   past.  This particular year, though, the Governor 

13   proposed that if certain criteria were met, that 

14   the budget director or the Executive, through the 

15   budget director, would have sole discretion to 

16   lower reimbursement rates for Medicaid, to the 

17   tune of a total of $190 million -- the Governor's 

18   complete discretion in this area, without 

19   consulting the body.

20                And my question, through you, 

21   Mr. President, is is this in the final budget 

22   before us today, or something to that effect?

23                SENATOR RIVERA:   Through you, 

24   Mr. President.  I, like you -- I should say, 

25   Mr. President, like Senator Gallivan -- and maybe 


                                                               2525

 1   you as well, Mr. President -- I'm certainly 

 2   concerned with all the areas not only in this 

 3   budget but certainly in any budget that I've ever 

 4   seen as a Senator here, where the Executive kind 

 5   of grabs more power for itself.  I should say 

 6   that in this case that that language ultimately 

 7   made it to the final version.  This refers to 

 8   cuts that may happen at the federal level in 

 9   October, that refer to disproportionate share 

10   hospitals, or DSH cuts.  

11                If that happens, what the language 

12   states is that the Executive could unilaterally 

13   make changes to the budget that would potentially 

14   result in a $190 million cut to our health 

15   system.  That is -- that would be truly awful, 

16   and it would be in response to the awfulness that 

17   is already occurring from the federal government.

18                So it's a -- in this one, we 

19   ultimately left it in there.  We do believe, I do 

20   believe that there is some leeway that the 

21   Executive should have to act when an emergency 

22   occurs.  This would certainly qualify as that if 

23   it happens in October.  But like you -- well, 

24   Mr. President, as Senator Gallivan kind of stated 

25   as an underlying thing in his question, it is -- 


                                                               2526

 1   I am certainly concerned any time that we give 

 2   more and more authority to the Executive.  

 3                But in this case, Mr. President, it 

 4   did make it to the final one, and it probably -- 

 5   it is -- I'm hoping it's not necessary, 

 6   Mr. President.

 7                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   On the bill, 

 8   Mr. President.

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

10   Gallivan on the bill.

11                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   I'd like to 

12   thank the sponsor for taking the time to answer 

13   the questions and provide us with very important 

14   information -- with information in an area that's 

15   so important, the biggest area, along with 

16   education, of spending in the budget, and 

17   probably among the most important things that we 

18   do.  It touches so many people, and so many 

19   people who can't care for themselves are 

20   dependent on us to make the right decisions 

21   regarding funding for their particular programs.

22                And I'm very pleased that -- I know 

23   all of the members in the chamber, both in the 

24   Majority and the Minority, were concerned about 

25   the Governor's proposed cuts.  It was very 


                                                               2527

 1   concerning.  I'm pleased that through the 

 2   advocacy of so many, so many of our constituents, 

 3   members on both sides of the aisle, that the bulk 

 4   of these Medicaid cuts were restored.

 5                I have concerns about the viability 

 6   of our nursing homes, some questions going 

 7   forward that leave -- I guess leave their future 

 8   as a question mark.  And it's something that I'm 

 9   pleased that Senator Rivera, the chair of Health, 

10   has pledged to keep a keen eye on so we can 

11   ensure that they are properly funded.  

12                The CDPAP program is extremely 

13   important.  It was very disturbing, as Senator 

14   Rivera indicated, when the Governor put forward 

15   this proposal.  I remain concerned.  I have full 

16   confidence in Senator Rivera's commitment to 

17   ensuring the viability of this program, look 

18   forward to working there, but I think that is an 

19   area of concern in this particular budget that we 

20   should all have.

21                And then the final area was the last 

22   one that we spoke about that I think is always 

23   concerning, not just in this area but anywhere, 

24   where some would look at it as us ceding our 

25   authority to the discretion of the Governor and 


                                                               2528

 1   the Budget Director to just go and make 

 2   unilateral decisions without our input.  And it's 

 3   something for us to keep an eye on.  But I am 

 4   concerned about the potential of the Governor 

 5   pulling back up to $190 million in spending -- 

 6   obviously, of course, if the negative things 

 7   happen to the economy, if they reach these 

 8   various metrics.  

 9                But I think those are areas to be 

10   concerned about.  I do thank Senator Rivera for 

11   his answers.  And I too would want to acknowledge 

12   the staff that works on this, both in the 

13   Majority and the Minority side.  It's such an 

14   enormous area of the budget, and there's much 

15   there, much for all of us to continue to be 

16   concerned about.  

17                Thank you, Mr. President.

18                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

19   Serino.

20                SENATOR SERINO:   Thank you, 

21   Mr. President.

22                I have a few questions on health and 

23   aging, because they kind of fall in the same pot.  

24   But I think I'll start with a question on Lyme, 

25   if I could.


                                                               2529

 1                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Would 

 2   the sponsor yield?  

 3                SENATOR RIVERA:   I would, with one 

 4   clarification.  On aging issues, Senator May, 

 5   being the chair of the Aging Committee, would be 

 6   the best person to answer.  

 7                But Mr. President, through you, if 

 8   it is something that is a health-related matter, 

 9   I'd certainly be more than willing to yield.

10                SENATOR SERINO:   Great.  All right.  

11   Thank you.

12                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

13   sponsor yields.

14                SENATOR SERINO:   Thank you, 

15   Mr. President.  Thank you, Senator Rivera.

16                In your one-house budget you 

17   included a million dollars for Lyme and 

18   tick-borne diseases.  Have you kept that 

19   appropriation in this final budget?  

20                SENATOR RIVERA:   Through you, 

21   Mr. President, could she repeat the last -- 

22   Senator, could you repeat the last bit of your 

23   question?  

24                SENATOR SERINO:   Have you kept that 

25   appropriation in the final budget?  


                                                               2530

 1                SENATOR RIVERA:   Through you, 

 2   Mr. President, yes.  Yes.

 3                SENATOR SERINO:   You have?

 4                SENATOR RIVERA:   Correction.  This 

 5   is why -- Mr. President, again, this is why you 

 6   surround yourself with people that are smarter 

 7   than you.  There is no -- that specifically for 

 8   Lyme and tick disease, that is not there.  What 

 9   we ultimately included was -- so, Mr. President, 

10   through you, the answer to the Senator's question 

11   is no.

12                SENATOR SERINO:   Will the sponsor 

13   continue to yield?

14                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Will 

15   the sponsor yield?

16                SENATOR RIVERA:   Yes, 

17   Mr. President.  

18                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

19   sponsor yields.

20                SENATOR SERINO:   Can I ask you why 

21   it wasn't included?

22                SENATOR RIVERA:   Through you, 

23   Mr. President.  As I discussed earlier, 

24   ultimately the choices we had to make were 

25   very -- were very tough.  This is -- in the 


                                                               2531

 1   case -- one of the things that I discussed 

 2   earlier when the questions were being asked about 

 3   what our table target was this year, how much 

 4   money we had to buy back the immense amount of 

 5   cuts that were to the budget -- for example, 

 6   there was a -- just -- not only the $550 million 

 7   cut to Medicaid in all these different chunks 

 8   that I discussed earlier, but the $75 million cut 

 9   to the CDPAP program, the $122 million cut to the 

10   nursing homes, and then there was a myriad of 

11   cuts to different public health programs across 

12   the state.  We were only given 30 to buy all of 

13   that back.

14                And I should point out that while we 

15   did bring back -- we did put something for 

16   school-based health clinics, we managed to get 

17   something for eating disorders, for community 

18   services to the elderly.  We tried to do things 

19   that were actually impacting as much of the state 

20   as possible.  Thanks to the help of the Assembly, 

21   we were also, for example, able to put in 

22   $150,000 for the Breast Cancer Coalition of 

23   Rochester.  I know that Senator Helming -- 

24   through you, Mr. President -- cares deeply about 

25   this.  


                                                               2532

 1                As well as we did -- we tried to do 

 2   as much as we could for rural health across the 

 3   state.  We put, for rural healthcare access 

 4   development, we put in $550,000, as well as the 

 5   rural health network development we put in 

 6   $550,000.  We had to make some tough choices.  

 7   Unfortunately, there are some things that we 

 8   could not do.  One of those was the million 

 9   dollars for Lyme and tick-borne disease.  Another 

10   one, as I mentioned earlier, was a $27 million 

11   pot for the City of New York that ultimately 

12   amounts to a $54 million cut, since it is 

13   Medicaid money, for the greater Public Health 

14   Works program.

15                So we tried to be as judicious as we 

16   could across the state.  It is unfortunate that 

17   this is one of the things that we did not 

18   ultimately include in the budget proposal, 

19   Mr. President.

20                SENATOR SERINO:   Does the sponsor 

21   continue to yield?  

22                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

23   the sponsor yield?  

24                SENATOR RIVERA:   Yes, 

25   Mr. President.


                                                               2533

 1                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 2   sponsor yields.

 3                SENATOR SERINO:   And, Senator, I 

 4   don't know if you're aware of some of the 

 5   programs that the million dollars -- last year we 

 6   had a million.  Every year we've kind of built 

 7   that up for the past four years.  But we've given 

 8   money to the Cary Institute, Cornell, Stony Brook 

 9   on Long Island.  And like right now the Cary 

10   Institute, I think it's $190,000, which is really 

11   nothing when you think about it, but it's a lot 

12   to them.  They're doing a tick project.  And the 

13   tick project is through a variety of 

14   neighborhoods and they're trying to see what 

15   works to get rid of the ticks.  

16                I was reading an article today that 

17   said that instead of making May Lyme Awareness 

18   Month, that we should make it April, because of 

19   the increase in ticks.  

20                So I just wanted to see if you were 

21   aware of that financing going towards these 

22   really critically important programs.  And it 

23   would be such a shame to not see that continue, 

24   especially when I know -- I have sick people 

25   coming in to see me all the time, whether it's an 


                                                               2534

 1   adult that used to have a business and is walking 

 2   with a walker and they can't -- they have no 

 3   memory, it's affected their brain, or the 

 4   fourth-graders that have come up here and said, 

 5   "Hey, Senator Sue, I have rheumatoid arthritis," 

 6   you know, are arthritic in their hands.  Like 

 7   that's unbelievable.  

 8                So this small amount of money, when 

 9   you think about it, in a $175 billion budget, is 

10   so important.  And budgets are about priorities.  

11   So I didn't know if you were aware of those 

12   programs that we helped fund for education, 

13   prevention, and research.

14                SENATOR RIVERA:   Through you, 

15   Mr. President, I was aware of some of the 

16   programs, not all of them.  

17                And through you, Mr. President, I 

18   certainly feel that obviously this is something 

19   that's very serious for Senator Serino and 

20   certainly very serious for many New Yorkers 

21   across the state.

22                What I can tell you is that we did 

23   provide some money to the Health Department.  We 

24   hope to work with the Health Department to 

25   actually make sure that some of these programs 


                                                               2535

 1   continue to exist.  It is unfortunate that we 

 2   were not able to fund them at the levels that we 

 3   would have wanted.  The reality is that we had to 

 4   do -- and most programs in Public Health Works 

 5   being one of them.  That was a total cut of 

 6   $27 million.  But basically, across the entire 

 7   state, we had to make -- we had to cut most of 

 8   them.  

 9                This is -- I will tell you it was an 

10   incredibly challenging budget year because this 

11   is the budget that we were given by the 

12   Executive.  We had to abide within the parameters 

13   that were there.  And I certainly was scratching 

14   my head as to why some of the cuts, for example, 

15   that came in in the 30-day amendments came.  I 

16   wish that we had more to do more -- more money to 

17   be able to distribute.  The reality is that we do 

18   not.  And we, I believe, did the best that we 

19   could.  It is not that we don't care about these 

20   programs in the Majority.  It is that, 

21   unfortunately, we had to make some very tough 

22   choices, and this is what ultimately we decided 

23   to do.  Through you, Mr. President.

24                One -- I'm sorry, Mr. President.  

25   Thank you for -- again, the warrior queens 


                                                               2536

 1   continue to prove themselves incredibly valuable, 

 2   and I was just reminded of something, 

 3   Mr. President.  In the one-house budget bill that 

 4   we did, we actually funded it, funded Lyme and 

 5   tick-borne diseases at a level of -- we actually 

 6   restored 1 million in our one-house.  When we go 

 7   downstairs, though, that's when the things get 

 8   interesting.  When the Assembly doesn't match us, 

 9   Mr. President, and the Executive resists us, then 

10   we have to make some tough choices.  

11                So ultimately the three-way 

12   agreement that we were able to reach was what we 

13   have in front of us.  But I did want to again 

14   thank my staff for reminding me, we actually, 

15   knowing the importance of it, funded it in our 

16   one-house budget.  Ultimately, it did not make it 

17   into the three-way agreement.

18                SENATOR SERINO:   Thank you, 

19   Mr. President.  I'd like thank Senator Rivera.  

20                And I'd like to move on to aging 

21   now, if I could.

22                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

23   Gianaris.  

24                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Please recognize 

25   Senator May to answer these questions.


                                                               2537

 1                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 2   May, do you yield for some questions?

 3                SENATOR MAY:   Absolutely.

 4                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 5   sponsor yields.  

 6                SENATOR SERINO:   Thank you, 

 7   Mr. President.

 8                You know, for the past few years 

 9   I've carried a bill that would extend the elder 

10   abuse hotline so it would operate 24 hours a day 

11   and seven days a week.  The Governor had vetoed 

12   the bill, but he signaled support of it if we 

13   were able to carry it in the context of the 

14   budget.  Last year we were able to reach a 

15   compromise that would extend the hours for the 

16   hotline that kept it open an additional three 

17   hours a day so it would run at least till 8 p.m. 

18   Monday through Friday.  The Senate added $326,000 

19   to ensure that this was done.  

20                Can you tell me if that funding was 

21   included to ensure that the hotline can continue 

22   to run on these extended hours?

23                SENATOR MAY:   Okay, my 

24   understanding is that wasn't in the SOFA budget, 

25   that was in the human services budget.  So we'll 


                                                               2538

 1   have to get the numbers there.  

 2                SENATOR SERINO:   Can I ask -- 

 3   through you, Mr. President, can I ask if it was 

 4   put in the human services budget, was the 

 5   funding -- 

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 7   May, do you yield?  

 8                SENATOR MAY:   I believe it was not.  

 9   We did add money for the elder abuse education 

10   and outreach through Lifespan, however.

11                SENATOR SERINO:   Through you, 

12   Mr. President, would the sponsor continue to 

13   yield?  

14                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

15   May, do you yield?  

16                SENATOR MAY:   I do.

17                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

18   sponsor yields.

19                SENATOR SERINO:   You know, for the 

20   past few years I've gotten such pushback on this, 

21   and I just really don't understand why.  We're 

22   not reinventing the wheel, we have a child abuse 

23   24/7 hotline.  

24                But I'll go on to my next question, 

25   which is Community Services for the Elderly is a 


                                                               2539

 1   program that we've always invested in because 

 2   it's a flexible funding system that allows 

 3   communities to fund programs that fit the unique 

 4   needs of their seniors.  So like Meals on Wheels 

 5   or transportation for seniors or social adult day 

 6   services.  Communities across New York have 

 7   countless seniors, actually thousands, that are 

 8   on wait lists to receive these services.  

 9                So can the sponsor tell me what the 

10   appropriation for the CSE is in this budget?

11                SENATOR MAY:   It's the same as last 

12   year, $31,183,000.

13                SENATOR SERINO:   Does the sponsor 

14   continue to yield?  

15                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

16   the sponsor yield?  

17                SENATOR MAY:   Yes.

18                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

19   sponsor yields.

20                SENATOR SERINO:   So last year I was 

21   able to secure $750,000, which was an increase 

22   for CSE.  Can the sponsor tell me why you have 

23   chosen to hold this funding stream flat when we 

24   know there's a dire need for these services?

25                SENATOR MAY:   So my understanding 


                                                               2540

 1   is that 31 million includes the addition that you 

 2   made last year, so that was continued again this 

 3   year.  

 4                But we also added $15 million for 

 5   the EISEP, the Expanded In-home Services for the 

 6   Elderly Program, which also expands on this 

 7   program.  So that is a net very significant 

 8   addition.  

 9                And the advocates for the elderly 

10   are extremely happy with what's in the budget 

11   this year.

12                SENATOR SERINO:   Does the 

13   sponsor -- through you, Mr. President, does the 

14   sponsor continue to yield?  

15                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

16   the sponsor continue to yield?

17                SENATOR MAY:   I do.

18                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

19   sponsor yields.

20                SENATOR SERINO:   For Community 

21   Services for the Elderly -- the difference 

22   between EISEP is the Community Services for the 

23   Elderly is a very flexible budget.  So where in 

24   one part of the state you might have a great need 

25   for like Meals on Wheels, in another part you 


                                                               2541

 1   might not.  But it leaves it up to the localities 

 2   to be able to decide where they put that funding, 

 3   and that's where I'm afraid, without having that 

 4   additional funding there, we're not going to be 

 5   able to do that.  So thank you.

 6                SENATOR MAY:   Is there more?

 7                SENATOR SERINO:   No.

 8                On the bill, Mr. President.

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

10   Serino on the bill.

11                SENATOR SERINO:   While I was 

12   encouraged to see that funding was included to 

13   support the programs that my colleagues and I 

14   have led the way on for years -- funding for 

15   Lifespan, as the Senator mentioned, funding to 

16   expand a program that helps senior victims of 

17   financial abuse to recoup stolen funds, which is 

18   an amazing program.  But I'm so disappointed to 

19   see that a small step like extending the elder 

20   abuse hotline to protect vulnerable seniors was 

21   not carried forward by the Majority -- as I 

22   mentioned, a $326,000 addition.

23                And on Community Services for the 

24   Elderly, this is a program that we know works.  

25   And as I said, the wait lists are phenomenal.  


                                                               2542

 1   It's thousands and thousands of people.  And this 

 2   allows localities to tailor the programs to meet 

 3   the needs of their seniors.  

 4                Instead of funding this year, 

 5   establishing a new private-pay model for senior 

 6   services that will eventually allow the state to 

 7   profit off the backs of our seniors.  When it 

 8   comes to senior services, I think you have the 

 9   priorities backwards.  

10                And now we're going to go back to 

11   Lyme.

12                The fact that there is no funding 

13   included for Lyme and tick-borne diseases -- when 

14   we know that this is a rapidly growing problem 

15   that affects New Yorkers across the state -- is 

16   outrageous to me.  With so many members on the 

17   other side of the aisle from the Hudson Valley 

18   and Long Island, I am truly shocked.  I can only 

19   assume that you are not hearing the voices of 

20   your constituents who are suffering, because I 

21   doubt you could ignore them if you did.

22                Just this week Syracuse.com reported 

23   that we are slated to see an especially high 

24   number of ticks this spring and summer.  Imagine 

25   that.  Now is absolutely not the time to be 


                                                               2543

 1   cutting the little bit of funding we have been 

 2   able to secure to address this epidemic.  I can 

 3   only hope that my colleagues across the aisle 

 4   will go home to their districts and take the time 

 5   to meet with their constituents who have been 

 6   impacted by Lyme, hear them, and work to make 

 7   combating it a real priority.

 8                Budgets are all about priorities.  

 9   In a $175 billion budget, a budget that 

10   eventually intends to set aside up to 

11   $100 million to spend on welfare for politicians, 

12   I find it hard to believe that you couldn't find 

13   $1 million to better protect New Yorkers from a 

14   public health epidemic.

15                This bill absolutely misses the 

16   mark, and I will be voting no, Mr. President.  

17   Thank you.

18                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

19   Amedore.

20                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Mr. President, 

21   will the Senator or the sponsor of HMH Part Y of 

22   the budget yield for some questions?  That's the 

23   direct care human service COLA.

24                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

25   Senator Carlucci will be answering questions on 


                                                               2544

 1   this.

 2                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 3   Carlucci, do you yield for questions?  

 4                SENATOR CARLUCCI:   Yes, I do.  

 5   Thank you.

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   the 

 7   sponsor yields.

 8                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Thank you, 

 9   Mr. President.  Thank you, Senator Carlucci.  

10                Can you tell me if there is funding 

11   in this year's budget for direct support 

12   professionals, and how much?  

13                SENATOR CARLUCCI:   Yes.  We were 

14   able to put together a 2 percent raise for direct 

15   care workers starting January 1, 2020, and then 

16   another 2 percent raise will take effect in April 

17   of 2020.

18                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Will the sponsor 

19   continue to yield, Mr. President?  

20                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

21   the sponsor yield?  

22                SENATOR CARLUCCI:   Yes.

23                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

24   sponsor yields.

25                SENATOR AMEDORE:   What 


                                                               2545

 1   professionals are eligible for these funds?  

 2                SENATOR CARLUCCI:   So we have the 

 3   direct service workers, and it's broken out all 

 4   the employees that are actually eligible, in one 

 5   of the documents I have.  But it's the 100s, 

 6   200s, and 300s.  

 7                So the direct care workers, just to 

 8   be brief, just to name a few, would be the mental 

 9   hygiene workers, counselors, peer specialists and 

10   others providing direct care services in OPWDD, 

11   OASAS and OMH.  

12                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Mr. President, 

13   will the sponsor continue to yield?

14                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

15   the sponsor yield?

16                SENATOR CARLUCCI:   Yes.

17                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

18   sponsor yields.

19                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Senator Carlucci, 

20   is there funding for a human services COLA in 

21   this budget this year?  

22                SENATOR CARLUCCI:   Unfortunately, 

23   there is not.  Through you, Mr. President.

24                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Why wasn't there 

25   any funding?  Through you, Mr. President.


                                                               2546

 1                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 2   sponsor yields.

 3                SENATOR CARLUCCI:   Thank you, 

 4   Senator Amedore.  Yes, I yield, Mr. President.  

 5                Yes, and unfortunately this is 

 6   something that we were working towards and 

 7   pushing the Governor.  As you know, it wasn't 

 8   included in the Governor's Executive Budget.  We 

 9   had pushed in our one-house to get a COLA for -- 

10   across the board for all of our agencies, but 

11   unfortunately we just couldn't get there in 

12   negotiations.  And unfortunately, that's 

13   something that we're going to have to pick up and 

14   start working towards to make sure we can 

15   eventually get that COLA increase.

16                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Through you, 

17   Mr. President, I know that --

18                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Are you 

19   asking the sponsor to yield or --

20                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Yes, ask the 

21   sponsor to yield for another question.

22                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

23   the sponsor yield?

24                SENATOR CARLUCCI:   Yes.

25                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 


                                                               2547

 1   sponsor yields.

 2                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Knowing all of 

 3   the advocates and the providers, you know, 

 4   there's one thing that they've requested year 

 5   after year, and that is a COLA increase.  And 

 6   this -- unfortunately now you're telling me that 

 7   this budget doesn't have one.

 8                Do you have plans, are there plans 

 9   to implement such COLA increases next year?  

10                SENATOR CARLUCCI:   That's -- 

11   through you, Mr. President -- definitely my idea, 

12   and I know the Senate Majority would love to work 

13   in that direction.

14                Unfortunately, we know the 

15   projection was $142 million to do the full COLA, 

16   something that this body wanted to do.  We 

17   couldn't get there in negotiations with the 

18   Governor.  And it's true, we have to make sure 

19   we're providing a cost-of-living adjustment to 

20   our hardest-working members of society taking 

21   care of our most vulnerable populations.  So I 

22   know it's the intention of the Senate Democratic 

23   Conference to push forward that measure.  And 

24   that's why we said we have to do something, and 

25   we cobbled the money together to do a raise for 


                                                               2548

 1   direct care workers.  And that's what we're able 

 2   to deliver in this budget.

 3                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Thank you, 

 4   Senator Carlucci.

 5                Mr. President, I have a question to 

 6   the sponsor or the Senator under Part GG funding 

 7   for OASAS treatment, recovery, prevention and 

 8   education services.

 9                SENATOR CARLUCCI:   I think Senator 

10   Harckham could take it.

11                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

12   could I just ask the subject matter?  I wasn't 

13   paying attention to the question.

14                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Mr. President, I 

15   have questions to the sponsor on funding for 

16   OASAS opiate treatment, recovery, prevention and 

17   education services.  It's under Part GG.

18                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Thank you, 

19   Senator Amedore.  That would be Senator Harckham, 

20   please, Mr. President.

21                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

22   Harckham, do you yield for a question?  

23                SENATOR HARCKHAM:   I do.

24                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

25   sponsor yields.  


                                                               2549

 1                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Thank you, 

 2   Senator Gianaris.  Thank you, Senator Harckham.

 3                There's language here in Part GG -- 

 4   how did the sponsor come up with the figure of 

 5   $100 million stated in this part of the budget?

 6                SENATOR HARCKHAM:   Through you, 

 7   Mr. President, this was as a result of the opioid 

 8   tax that actually passed last year under the 

 9   previous majority and was ruled illegal by the 

10   courts and did leave a hole in the budget.  And 

11   we realized that we needed to fill that hole, and 

12   so we decided to accept that measure as it was 

13   revised and provided in the Executive Budget, and 

14   we decided as a one-house to dedicate that 

15   funding to OASAS and to opioid treatment.

16                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Through you, 

17   Mr. President, would the sponsor continue to 

18   yield?  

19                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

20   the sponsor yield?  

21                SENATOR HARCKHAM:   Absolutely.

22                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

23   sponsor yields.

24                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Will this money 

25   be used for new programs, or will it be used as 


                                                               2550

 1   General Fund relief to support existing programs?  

 2                SENATOR HARCKHAM:   Through you, 

 3   Mr. President, our intent is for new programming.

 4                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Through you, 

 5   Mr. President, will the sponsor continue to 

 6   yield?

 7                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 8   the sponsor yield?

 9                SENATOR HARCKHAM:   Absolutely.

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

11   sponsor yields.

12                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Senator Harckham, 

13   will the funding be divided equitably to programs 

14   throughout the state?  Who will determine that?

15                SENATOR HARCKHAM:   Absolutely.  We 

16   will be working with OASAS, through our committee 

17   and through the Committee on Health, and actually 

18   after the budget we'll be putting together a task 

19   force to travel throughout the state -- rural 

20   areas, upstate, urban areas, suburban -- to 

21   ascertain exactly what the gaps in the system 

22   are.  

23                We took great strides in this budget 

24   that will save lives.  We actually moved the 

25   needle from 14 days to 28 days on insurance 


                                                               2551

 1   concurrent review or prior authorization, both 

 2   for inpatient and for outpatient services.  We 

 3   reduced copays from multi-copays per visit to 

 4   one.  These will save lives, these measures, so 

 5   we're off to a good start.  And then we will find 

 6   out what other gaps in the system there are, and 

 7   this funding will be disbursed equitably.

 8                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Mr. President, 

 9   will the sponsor continue to yield?  

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

11   the sponsor yield?  

12                SENATOR HARCKHAM:   Absolutely.

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

14   sponsor yields.

15                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Thank you, 

16   Senator Harckham.  You know, I know during the 

17   budget hearings last year I asked that specific 

18   question to the commissioner of OASAS, and even 

19   at that time that -- at that point she could not 

20   answer that question that they would allocate 

21   such new funds to go to new programs, but that it 

22   could potentially be used or would be used as the 

23   relief fund for the existing programs.  

24                And we all know, as I said during my 

25   attempt of that amendment, that we in New York -- 


                                                               2552

 1   quite frankly, this country -- we face a huge 

 2   epidemic of addiction.  Whether it's nationally, 

 3   over 77,000 people have died because of overdose 

 4   deaths, or in this state thousands of people have 

 5   lost their lives or families have been wrecked, 

 6   pulled apart financially, ruined because of 

 7   addiction.

 8                So when you talk about this 

 9   vagueness of -- or the intent maybe of having 

10   $100 million being -- going towards being used 

11   for the services that we have expanded these last 

12   few years in the state, how can you say to me 

13   today that you believe they're going to be for 

14   new programs when in fact the commissioner can't 

15   even commit to such a question?

16                SENATOR HARCKHAM:   Through you, 

17   Mr. President.  First, I would say we are not 

18   relying on testimony from last year's budget 

19   hearings, we rely on testimony from this year's 

20   budget hearings.  I was not here last year, and 

21   there's a lot that's changed from last year.  

22   We're talking about this year.  And this year is 

23   OASAS has told us they will spend every penny we 

24   can give them.  

25                And I assure you, Senator, that this 


                                                               2553

 1   Majority, every much as you do, shares your 

 2   passion and concern for the opioid epidemic and 

 3   the people that are dying in this state.

 4                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Will the sponsor 

 5   continue to yield for one more question?

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 7   the sponsor yield?

 8                SENATOR HARCKHAM:   Absolutely.

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

10   sponsor yields.

11                SENATOR AMEDORE:   I thank you again 

12   for your indulgence on the answer.  And Senator 

13   Harckham, it sounds like you have that compassion 

14   and that great desire to help those who struggle 

15   with addiction in this state.

16                But if you're so committed and if 

17   this Majority is so committed to such efforts, 

18   then why haven't we seen any language even in the 

19   revenue bill directing this new money, this tax, 

20   to be directed specifically to new programs?  As 

21   we know that the State of New York lacks 

22   programs, services, expansion in so many ways in 

23   areas to help those most vulnerable in society.

24                SENATOR HARCKHAM:   Through you, 

25   Mr. President, and that will be our charge as the 


                                                               2554

 1   Health Committee, as a Legislature, as a 

 2   Committee on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, is 

 3   to work with our colleagues at OASAS to ascertain 

 4   what those needs are and to get those funds 

 5   directly where they need to be.

 6                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Thank you, 

 7   Mr. President.  No further questions.

 8                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Are 

 9   there any other Senators wishing to be heard?

10                Seeing and hearing none, debate is 

11   closed.

12                Senator Gianaris.

13                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

14   as discussed, we're going to lay aside this bill 

15   temporarily pending the receipt of a message from 

16   the Governor.  And at this point we will be 

17   calling an immediate conference for the 

18   Democratic Conference.  And there's actually 

19   dinner available in the members' lounge, so if 

20   members can get their food and get to conference, 

21   we can get back at 8 o'clock for session.  

22                And please call on Senator Griffo.

23                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

24   Griffo.

25                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Mr. President, 


                                                               2555

 1   there will be an immediate meeting of the 

 2   Republican Conference in Room 315.

 3                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    There 

 4   will be immediate meeting of the Democratic 

 5   Conference and an immediate meeting of the 

 6   Republican Conference.

 7                SENATOR GIANARIS:   The Senate will 

 8   stand at ease, Mr. President.  

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

10   Senate will stand at ease.

11                (Whereupon, the Senate stood at ease 

12   at 6:42 p.m.)

13                (Whereupon, the Senate reconvened at 

14   8:58 p.m.)

15                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

16   Senate will return to order.

17                Senator Gianaris.

18                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, I 

19   believe there's a report of the Finance Committee 

20   at the desk.

21                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   There 

22   is a report of the Finance Committee at the desk.  

23                The Secretary will read.

24                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Krueger, 

25   from the Committee on Finance, reports the 


                                                               2556

 1   following bills:  

 2                Senate Print 1500D, Senate Budget 

 3   Bill, an act making appropriations for the 

 4   support of government:  STATE OPERATIONS BUDGET; 

 5                Senate Print 1501A, Senate Budget 

 6   Bill, an act making appropriations for the 

 7   support of government:  LEGISLATURE AND JUDICIARY 

 8   BUDGET; and 

 9                Senate Print 1509C, Senate Budget 

10   Bill, an act to amend Part U of Chapter 61 of the 

11   Laws of 2011.

12                All bills ordered direct to third 

13   reading.

14                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Move to accept 

15   the report of the Finance Committee.

16                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   All in 

17   favor of accepting the Committee on Finance 

18   report signify by saying aye.

19                (Response of "Aye.")

20                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

21   Opposed?

22                (No response.)

23                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

24   Committee on Finance report is accepted and 

25   before the house.


                                                               2557

 1                Senator Gianaris.

 2                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

 3   can we now take up Senate Supplemental Calendar 

 4   30B.

 5                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 6   Secretary will read.

 7                THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 8   361, Senate Print 1500D, an act making 

 9   appropriations for the support of government.

10                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Lay it aside 

11   temporarily.

12                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Lay it 

13   aside temporarily.

14                THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

15   362, Senate Print 1501A, an act making 

16   appropriations for the support of government.

17                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Lay it aside 

18   temporarily, please.

19                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Lay it 

20   aside temporarily.

21                THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

22   363, Senate Print 1509C, an act to amend Part U 

23   of Chapter 61 of the Laws of 2011.

24                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

25   is there a message of necessity at the desk?


                                                               2558

 1                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   There 

 2   is a message of necessity at the desk.

 3                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Move to accept 

 4   the message.

 5                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   All in 

 6   favor of accepting the message of necessity 

 7   signify by saying aye.

 8                (Response of "Aye.")

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

10   Opposed?  

11                (Response of "Nay.")

12                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

13   message is accepted, and the bill is before the 

14   house.

15                Read the last section.

16                THE SECRETARY:   Section 3.  This 

17   act shall take effect immediately.

18                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Lay it aside.

19                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Lay it 

20   aside.

21                Senator Gianaris.

22                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

23   can we now take up the controversial calendar.

24                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

25   Secretary will ring the bell.


                                                               2559

 1                The Secretary will read.

 2                THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 3   363, Senate Print 1509C, an act to amend Part U 

 4   of Chapter 61 of the Laws of 2011.

 5                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 6   Seward.

 7                SENATOR SEWARD:   Yes, thank you 

 8   very much, Mr. President.  I would ask if -- 

 9   would Senator Krueger yield for a couple of 

10   questions?

11                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

12   the Senator yield?

13                SENATOR KRUEGER:   I will yield for 

14   more than a couple of questions if Senator Seward 

15   would like.

16                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

17   Senator yields.

18                SENATOR SEWARD:   Since we are on 

19   the revenue bill, let's talk revenues.

20                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Oh, good, let's 

21   talk revenues.

22                SENATOR SEWARD:   The Executive 

23   Budget had over a billion dollars in tax 

24   increases and revenue raisers.  Which ones did 

25   not make it into the final budget, and what was 


                                                               2560

 1   the fiscal impact of each of those rejections?  

 2   Are there any in the Governor's original proposal 

 3   not in this budget before us?

 4                SENATOR KRUEGER:   We think all of 

 5   the Governor's original revenue survived until 

 6   this budget bill.

 7                SENATOR SEWARD:   So does that mean 

 8   that the millionaire's tax is included in the 

 9   budget?  And how much is it worth this year and 

10   next year?

11                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Okay, the 

12   continuation of the higher personal income tax 

13   rate five-year extension for 2019-2020 is scored 

14   at 771 million, and for 2021 it's scored at 

15   3.56 billion.

16                SENATOR SEWARD:   And so does this 

17   mean that the prescription opioid tax is included 

18   in the budget?  And how much is that worth this 

19   year and next year?  

20                SENATOR KRUEGER:   So it was already 

21   baked into the financial plan from the 

22   100 million we put in last year, but because of 

23   the court decision we couldn't use that.  So that 

24   is now applied to this year.

25                SENATOR SEWARD:   So does this 


                                                               2561

 1   mean -- does that mean that the -- for example, 

 2   the upstate auto rental tax, that's included in 

 3   this budget?  

 4                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

 5                SENATOR SEWARD:   And at what 

 6   percentage?  And how much is that worth in terms 

 7   of revenue this year and next year?

 8                SENATOR KRUEGER:   We know it's 

 9   6 percent.  And it's -- I'm sorry, excuse me, to 

10   speak into the mic.  It's a 6 percent auto rental 

11   surcharge, and it's 22 million in revenue this 

12   year, 36 million in the next year.

13                SENATOR SEWARD:   If the Senator 

14   would continue to yield.  

15                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

16   the sponsor yield?  

17                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes, I do.

18                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

19   sponsor yields.  

20                SENATOR SEWARD:   So the Governor 

21   put in his budget a 5 percent, and it's now 

22   6 percent.

23                SENATOR KRUEGER:   That's correct.  

24   And it's intended to go to upstate transit.

25                SENATOR SEWARD:   Okay.  Speaking of 


                                                               2562

 1   that, where does the -- where do the tax dollars 

 2   from this new upstate auto rental tax, where do 

 3   the tax dollars from this new tax get deposited, 

 4   and for what purpose?  

 5                SENATOR KRUEGER:   So it is intended 

 6   to be used for upstate transit in the non-MTA 

 7   region.  Is that right?  Yes, I guessed right, in 

 8   the non-MTA region.

 9                SENATOR SEWARD:   If the Senator 

10   would continue to yield.

11                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

12   the sponsor yield?

13                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes, I will.

14                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

15   sponsor yields.  

16                SENATOR SEWARD:   What happens to 

17   the money collected in those counties that don't 

18   have a funded transit system?  They're paying the 

19   tax and they don't have a transit system.  That 

20   includes some upstate counties.  

21                SENATOR KRUEGER:   So a county that 

22   has absolutely no bus service and no transit 

23   service?  

24                SENATOR SEWARD:   Mm-hmm.  Sure.

25                SENATOR KRUEGER:   They're thinking.  


                                                               2563

 1   One moment.

 2                So we're not sure, Senator.  It's a 

 3   good question, and we will try to get you that 

 4   answer from a different staffer if you'd just 

 5   give us another moment.  

 6                We believe that if you're a county 

 7   without any transit system, you're not eligible 

 8   to draw down on this funding source.

 9                SENATOR SEWARD:   If the Senator 

10   would continue to yield.

11                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

12   the sponsor yield?  

13                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes, I will.

14                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

15   sponsor yields.

16                SENATOR SEWARD:   I'd say that's a 

17   glaring problem, because they're paying into this 

18   fund and have no way to receive any benefits from 

19   it.

20                But let's move on to -- I want to 

21   return -- two more questions, if the Senator 

22   would yield.

23                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

24   the sponsor yield for two questions?  

25                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes, I will.


                                                               2564

 1                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 2   sponsor yields.

 3                SENATOR SEWARD:   Returning to the 

 4   prescription opioid tax, can that be passed on to 

 5   the final consumer, either in the price or 

 6   otherwise?

 7                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes, we believe 

 8   that it can be.

 9                SENATOR SEWARD:   If the Senator 

10   would continue to yield.

11                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

12   the sponsor yield?  

13                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

14                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

15   sponsor yields.

16                SENATOR SEWARD:   So that means that 

17   those New Yorkers who get prescription opioids, 

18   they will be looking at paying an extra 

19   $100 million collectively each year.  

20                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Well, hopefully 

21   not individually, that no one's -- but yes, there 

22   is the reality that people will -- not all of 

23   them, because in some cases if the primary first 

24   seller was not a consumer, not to a consumer, 

25   someone else would be picking up the tax.  But 


                                                               2565

 1   the truth is all taxes end up being rolled down 

 2   the hill.  So I would say honestly, yes, that 

 3   consumers will see an increase in the price of 

 4   opioids.  What we hope is that fewer people are 

 5   using opioids over time.  

 6                SENATOR SEWARD:   If the Senator 

 7   would continue to yield.

 8                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 9   the sponsor yield?  

10                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

11                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

12   sponsor yields.

13                SENATOR SEWARD:   So I'd say that's 

14   another glaring problem with this revenue bill, 

15   is the fact that New Yorkers who get a 

16   prescription for opioids, their doctor says this 

17   is what they need, are going to be paying 

18   $100 million more throughout the state.

19                But moving on to a question, the 

20   final question, are there any new revenue raisers 

21   in this budget that were not included in the 

22   executive's proposed budget?  And if so, what are 

23   they and how much revenue do they raise?

24                SENATOR KRUEGER:   So we did create 

25   a real estate transfer tax on New York City only, 


                                                               2566

 1   as well as a -- what's being referred to as a 

 2   mansion tax on New York City only, with an 

 3   estimated revenue in 2020 of 243 million and in 

 4   2021 of 378 million.  And these revenues would be 

 5   delivered into a lockbox for the MTA.

 6                SENATOR SEWARD:   If the Senator 

 7   would continue to yield, I thought of another 

 8   question.

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

10   the sponsor yield?  

11                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

12                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

13   sponsor yields.

14                SENATOR SEWARD:   In the -- as I 

15   read the new -- the internet tax portion in the 

16   so-called marketplace, what are the distribution 

17   of those taxes?

18                If I could just clarify the 

19   question, when I say the distribution of the 

20   taxes I'm talking about the sales taxes that are 

21   collected.

22                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Thank you.

23                So the internet sales tax would 

24   provide -- excuse me, would generate 160 million 

25   in new revenue for local governments and 


                                                               2567

 1   320 million for the MTA capital plan lockbox, 

 2   supporting up to 5 billion in bonding for the 

 3   MTA.

 4                SENATOR SEWARD:   If the Senator 

 5   would continue to yield.

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 7   the sponsor yield?  

 8                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

10   sponsor yields.

11                SENATOR SEWARD:   If I understand 

12   your answer then, Senator, this would be 

13   statewide sales tax revenues going specifically 

14   to the MTA.

15                SENATOR KRUEGER:   No.  So the 

16   state-collected sales tax, which would be 

17   160 million, that goes to local governments.  And 

18   then there's 320 million that ends up going to 

19   the MTA, which is a combination of the City of 

20   New York's internet sales tax as well as the 

21   state's share.

22                So state money that it would be 

23   collecting, plus the city's local share, go to 

24   MTA; that's 320 million.  And the counties' share 

25   of their local sales tax goes to them, and that's 


                                                               2568

 1   160 million.  That does not go to the MTA 

 2   lockbox.

 3                SENATOR SEWARD:   If the Senator 

 4   would continue to yield.  The more answers I get, 

 5   the more questions I have.

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 7   the sponsor yield?  

 8                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Of course.

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

10   sponsor yields.

11                SENATOR SEWARD:   Of course, you 

12   keep mentioning the 160 million for counties.  

13   It's my understanding that they're going to have 

14   to share that with local municipalities to make 

15   up the cut in the AIM funding.  

16                But also it is true if it's state 

17   sales tax money, that's being collected from 

18   New Yorkers from all over the state.  And that 

19   state sales tax money is being directed to the 

20   MTA?

21                SENATOR KRUEGER:   No.  So if it's 

22   the locality's share, it goes to the county and 

23   then that gets shared with the localities within 

24   the county as other sales taxes do.  The state's 

25   share of the sales tax would go to the MTA -- no?  


                                                               2569

 1   One second.  Thank you.  

 2                The state's share of internet tax 

 3   does not go to the MTA unless it's the New York 

 4   City share.  So I misspoke before.  So the only 

 5   internet taxes that are going to the MTA lockbox 

 6   are those generated from the City of New York.

 7                SENATOR SEWARD:   If the Senator 

 8   would continue to yield.

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

10   the sponsor yield?  

11                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

12                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

13   sponsor yields.

14                SENATOR SEWARD:   It's our reading 

15   of this provision that Part G refers to the 

16   central business district tolling capital 

17   lockbox, that it refers to state sales tax.  And 

18   you're saying that it is only from sales tax from 

19   the City of New York.  It's very unclear.

20                SENATOR KRUEGER:   One moment.

21                So I believe that the answer, to 

22   clarify your question, is that the sales tax 

23   collected from people who live in the City of 

24   New York and do business on the internet, both 

25   the state's share of that and the city's share of 


                                                               2570

 1   that both go to the MTA lockbox.

 2                But if you don't live in the City of 

 3   New York and you are paying your internet taxes 

 4   to anywhere else in the state, then that does not 

 5   go to the MTA lockbox.

 6                SENATOR SEWARD:   Thank you for 

 7   responding.

 8                SENATOR KRUEGER:   You're welcome.

 9                SENATOR SEWARD:   I know others want 

10   to speak.  But briefly on the bill, 

11   Mr. President.

12                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

13   Seward on the bill.

14                SENATOR SEWARD:   What a difference, 

15   you know, five or so months mean in this process.  

16   I was quite taken by comments of our new Democrat 

17   leader, our new Majority Leader right after the 

18   election.  She was quoted as saying now that 

19   Democrats won a majority, their incoming leader 

20   said Democrats have no plans to raise taxes on 

21   New Yorkers.  "We're not interested in that," 

22   according to our Majority Leader.

23                But what a difference five months 

24   make.  Because of the fact that in this budget, 

25   the first budget presented to us by the new 


                                                               2571

 1   Majority, there's $1.404 billion in new taxes 

 2   that will hit New Yorkers this year.  Next year 

 3   that number grows to 4.558 billion.  This is 

 4   exactly the wrong direction for New York State.  

 5                Thank you, Mr. President.

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 7   Amedore.

 8                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Thank you, 

 9   Mr. President.  Will the sponsor yield for a 

10   couple of questions, Senator Krueger?  

11                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

12   the sponsor yield?  

13                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Certainly.

14                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Thank you, 

15   Senator Krueger.

16                I want to chat about the opiate tax.

17                SENATOR KRUEGER:   The opioid tax.

18                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Yes.  According 

19   to the language of the bill, buprenorphine and 

20   methadone are excluded from the tax.  Would other 

21   medication-assisted-treatment drugs such as 

22   Suboxone or Vivitrol be included in this tax?  

23                SENATOR KRUEGER:   So there are only 

24   three drugs exempt, methadones, morphine and -- 

25   wait, we're looking up the third one.  But we 


                                                               2572

 1   also exempt drugs used by hospices and -- 

 2   bupenephrine {sic}.  I wish I knew what that was, 

 3   I would be more articulate about that one.  Oh, 

 4   it is like Suboxone.  So yes, that is exempt.  

 5   And hospice drugs are exempt.  And drugs used by 

 6   substance abuse programs are exempt.

 7                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Will the sponsor 

 8   continue to yield?  

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

10   the sponsor yield?  

11                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

12                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

13   sponsor yields.  

14                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Thank you for the 

15   answer.  You know, Suboxone is a combination of 

16   Naloxone and buprenorphine.  So buprenorphine is 

17   what you were explaining that is exempt, as well 

18   as methadone.

19                But Suboxone is not.  Vivitrol is 

20   not exempt.  And these drugs, these are medically 

21   assisted treatment that works.  And so that's why 

22   I asked if they would be exempt from this tax, 

23   but I don't see the language that they are.

24                SENATOR KRUEGER:   So I don't know 

25   that this does address mixes of the combination 


                                                               2573

 1   of drugs.  So if it's a combination of morphine 

 2   and naproxen to create something else, then I'm 

 3   not sure that it would be covered.

 4                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Will the sponsor 

 5   continue to yield?  

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 7   the sponsor yield?  

 8                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

10   sponsor yields.

11                SENATOR AMEDORE:   You mentioned 

12   morphine.  It is excluded from this tax, and 

13   other common drugs used in hospice care such as 

14   tramadol and transdermal fentanyl, they're not 

15   excluded.  And these are drugs that are widely 

16   used by hospice.  Why are these drugs, other 

17   drugs not exempt from the tax?

18                SENATOR KRUEGER:   So the named 

19   individual drugs are not exempt.  But if the 

20   hospice is purchasing the drugs, then they are 

21   exempt.  So I'm assuming the drugs you're 

22   describing used by hospices would be purchased by 

23   hospice, so then they would be exempt.

24                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Will the sponsor 

25   continue to yield?  


                                                               2574

 1                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 2   the sponsor yield?  

 3                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

 4                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 5   sponsor yields.

 6                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Thank you.

 7                According to the language of the 

 8   bill, hospice addiction treatment centers are 

 9   exempt from this tax.  Was an exemption for 

10   palliative care and cancer patients considered?  

11   Because I don't see that they're exempt as well.

12                SENATOR KRUEGER:   One moment.

13                So I think you're correct, those are 

14   not exempt.  You would have to be a hospice 

15   provider or an OASAS provider.  So sometimes 

16   palliative care is provided in the context of 

17   hospice services, but sometimes it is not.

18                Although if you're -- well, I'm not 

19   a doctor, but if you're prescribing morphine to 

20   someone, it's probably more likely to be in a 

21   hospice center than in a palliative care/chronic 

22   illness setting situation.

23                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Through you, 

24   Mr. President, I believe that, you know, 

25   whether --


                                                               2575

 1                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Are you 

 2   asking the sponsor to yield or are you on the 

 3   bill?  

 4                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Just quickly on 

 5   the bill.

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 7   Amedore on the bill.

 8                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Someone who is 

 9   going through cancer treatment may not need 

10   morphine coming from hospice, but being treated 

11   for the pain and the diagnoses that they have.  

12   It is separate:  Hospice, palliative care, and 

13   cancer treatment.  So --

14                SENATOR KRUEGER:   That's correct.

15                SENATOR AMEDORE:   -- you know, 

16   that's why I brought this up.

17                Well, Mr. President, will the 

18   sponsor continue to yield?

19                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Will 

20   the sponsor continue to yield?  

21                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes, I will.

22                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

23   sponsor yields.

24                SENATOR AMEDORE:   You know, from 

25   what I'm able to gather from the revenue -- 


                                                               2576

 1   having the discussion that you had with 

 2   Senator Seward, you talked about $100 million 

 3   being generated from this tax.  Is that correct?

 4                SENATOR KRUEGER:   That's the 

 5   projection.

 6                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Mr. President, 

 7   will the Senator continue to yield?

 8                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 9   the sponsor yield?

10                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

11                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

12   sponsor yields.

13                SENATOR AMEDORE:   So if there was 

14   around $100 million that's going to be generated, 

15   I believe that that tax would go straight to the 

16   General Fund and not to prevention, treatment or 

17   recovery programs operated by authorized or 

18   certified OASAS providers.  Is that correct?

19                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Because of the 

20   legal decision from last year, the Executive 

21   would not link this money with a specific 

22   purpose.  So it is to the General Fund, to avoid 

23   the legal problems of last year.

24                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Will the sponsor 

25   continue to yield?  


                                                               2577

 1                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Will 

 2   the sponsor yield?  

 3                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

 4                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 5   sponsor yields.

 6                SENATOR AMEDORE:   You know, the 

 7   last bill we talked about -- and I had a 

 8   discussion with Senator Harckham, we talked about 

 9   Part GG of the HMH bill.  And whether it was Part 

10   GG or -- that gave that language of the intent of 

11   the $100 million to be allocated.  Now you're 

12   saying in this bill that it's not allocated to 

13   any prevention, treatment or recovery programs at 

14   all.

15                My question to you, Senator Krueger, 

16   is will any of the revenue be used to fund 

17   housing programs or new programs that will 

18   support those who are fighting addiction?

19                SENATOR KRUEGER:   So again, I was 

20   out in the Finance Committee before when you had 

21   your discussion with Senator Harckham, so I don't 

22   want to misspeak.  But my general understanding 

23   is there's a commitment to $100 million for 

24   substance abuse, opioid addiction treatment.  But 

25   that is not necessarily the 100 million from the 


                                                               2578

 1   opioid tax, because money is fungible, that tax 

 2   money is going into the General Fund, and which 

 3   dollar comes out for which purpose at any given 

 4   day, none of us know.

 5                So again, I'm going to stick with, 

 6   for legal purposes, the Executive has made clear 

 7   that there cannot be a direct connection between 

 8   this tax and a specific purpose.

 9                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Thank you, 

10   Senator Krueger.

11                Mr. President, on the bill.

12                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

13   Amedore on the bill.

14                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Here we go again, 

15   New York State at its finest.  We found a new 

16   tax, a way that we can tax our seniors who are 

17   suffering with chronic pain, who are battling 

18   cancer, who need to go to hospice in maybe their 

19   last days of life.  We go to someone -- we're 

20   asking someone who is battling with addiction, 

21   and they need medically assisted treatment.  And 

22   if they were prescribed Vivitrol or Suboxone, 

23   we're making them pay more because these 

24   exemptions don't exist.

25                How can we say with a straight face 


                                                               2579

 1   to our seniors and go back to our districts to 

 2   say, You know what, we got your back, we made 

 3   New York a little bit more affordable.  Our 

 4   veterans who are suffering with chronic pain, 

 5   many of them.  How could you say you got their 

 6   back, you don't have to pay any more because, you 

 7   know, we care for our citizens?  

 8                This tax is a direct shot to their 

 9   pockets.  And they're struggling to make ends 

10   meet, they're dealing with medical issues, some 

11   are dealing with addiction issues, families who 

12   are struggling to find help, need new programs, 

13   need to have supportive housing.  These answers 

14   are not found in this house.

15                But what we do here is that 

16   $100 million, potentially $100 million, can just 

17   go right into the General Fund and the Governor 

18   can spend it, I guess, however he feels fit.  

19   Mr. President, I don't find that that is the 

20   right thing to do, and I will be voting in the 

21   negative.

22                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

23   Ortt.

24                SENATOR ORTT:   Thank you, 

25   Mr. President.


                                                               2580

 1                Would the -- would Senator Krueger 

 2   yield to some questions.

 3                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 4   the sponsor yield?  

 5                SENATOR KRUEGER:   I will.

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 7   sponsor yields.

 8                SENATOR ORTT:   Thank you very much 

 9   you.  Through you, Mr. President, my questions to 

10   Senator Krueger, to the sponsor, center on the 

11   New York State film tax credit.

12                Could the sponsor tell me what 

13   percentage of the film credit reimbursements go 

14   to New York City?

15                SENATOR KRUEGER:   We're trying to 

16   get that answer for you.  

17                We don't have an answer for you.  We 

18   are trying to reach out to people.  But I will 

19   tell you I believe it's the significant majority.

20                SENATOR ORTT:   Through you, 

21   Mr. President, I thank the sponsor for the 

22   educated answer, the educated hypothesis.  I 

23   share her thought or feeling on that.  But I will 

24   move along, and if she does get a concrete 

25   answer, we can always revisit that.


                                                               2581

 1                So through you, would the sponsor 

 2   continue to yield?

 3                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 4   the sponsor yield?

 5                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes, I will.

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 7   sponsor yields.

 8                SENATOR ORTT:   Through you, 

 9   Mr. President, are there any other industries 

10   that the sponsor is aware of that receive a 

11   credit where 30 to 40 percent of their production 

12   costs are subsidized?

13                SENATOR KRUEGER:   I don't think so.  

14   I mean, manufacturing is down to zero taxation, 

15   so I'm not sure about a credit there because 

16   we've now zeroed out their taxes.  But I don't 

17   know off the top of my head if there are any that 

18   fit exactly the model for the film tax credit.

19                SENATOR ORTT:   Through you, 

20   Mr. President, will the sponsor continue to 

21   yield?

22                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Will 

23   the sponsor yield?  

24                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

25                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 


                                                               2582

 1   sponsor yields.

 2                SENATOR ORTT:   Does the sponsor 

 3   know how many permanent jobs this credit has 

 4   created, permanent, full-time, year-round jobs?  

 5                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Sorry.  Sorry for 

 6   the delay.

 7                So according to a spreadsheet I am 

 8   looking at, in 2016, with qualified costs of 

 9   $426 million, there were 39,946 hires.  It's a 

10   little hard to read this chart.

11                So it varies per season.  And this 

12   is quarterly data, so it's ranged from 41,000 for 

13   a quarter up to 58 -- oh, 63,000 for a quarter.  

14   So there are seasonal differences.  

15                And I'm assuming we can transfer 

16   this chart to you.  I'm not smart enough to, but 

17   that someone will be able to transfer it to you.

18                SENATOR ORTT:   Through you, 

19   Mr. President, will the sponsor continue to 

20   yield.

21                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

22   the sponsor yield?  

23                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

24                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

25   sponsor yields.


                                                               2583

 1                SENATOR ORTT:   So through you, 

 2   Mr. President, just so I'm clear, the sponsor 

 3   said seasonal.  And I'm looking forward to seeing 

 4   the chart.  But my question was -- so that's 

 5   permanent jobs, jobs that are not seasonal, jobs 

 6   that are created permanently here in the State of 

 7   New York as a result of this credit.  The answer 

 8   sounds like those jobs might be temporary.  I 

 9   just want to get some clarification on that.

10                SENATOR KRUEGER:   So most of these 

11   jobs, whether it's film, TV, commercials, are 

12   jobs that come and go for different periods of 

13   time, not unlike construction jobs for union 

14   workers.  And in fact, these are mostly union 

15   jobs.

16                So you can track it in totals by the 

17   dollar numbers and the wages.  But in fact if I 

18   am working on producing -- no, I'm sorry, if I'm 

19   a staff person on a film, I might be on for six 

20   months and then not working for several months.  

21   If I'm on a TV show, they tend to produce seasons 

22   and then go on hiatus and come back.  They 

23   certainly hope for the next season.  

24                So it is a rotating industry, and it 

25   actually does have seasons.


                                                               2584

 1                SENATOR ORTT:   Through you, 

 2   Mr. President, will the sponsor continue to 

 3   yield?

 4                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 5   the sponsor yield?

 6                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

 7                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 8   sponsor yields.

 9                SENATOR ORTT:   Can the sponsor 

10   identify or tell me how many MWBE firms have been 

11   recipients of this credit?

12                SENATOR KRUEGER:   There is no 

13   specific MWBE component to the film tax credit.

14                SENATOR ORTT:   Through you, 

15   Mr. President, will the sponsor continue to 

16   yield?  

17                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

18                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

19   sponsor yields.

20                SENATOR ORTT:   Would the sponsor 

21   agree or disagree with the following sentiment, 

22   and I quote, that "this credit is too generous 

23   compared to any other state."

24                SENATOR KRUEGER:   May I ask whose 

25   quote that is?  


                                                               2585

 1                SENATOR ORTT:   Yours.

 2                SENATOR KRUEGER:   That's what I 

 3   thought.

 4                You know, I'm not sure.  I did say 

 5   that.  And then I've also been watching and 

 6   looking at the data on how New York's film and 

 7   tax productions have continued to grow, have 

 8   continued to create jobs year after year.  We've 

 9   watched now several other states decide to reduce 

10   their credits and have seen a reduction in the 

11   number of jobs that they have.

12                As always, I think it is worthy of 

13   evaluating every tax credit -- 

14                (Loud noise from behind.)

15                SENATOR KRUEGER:   He's not 

16   editorializing, he's just tearing paper for some 

17   reason.  

18                Excuse me.  Excuse me, 

19   Mr. President.

20                So I think every tax credit deserves 

21   to be reevaluated on an ongoing basis.  In fact, 

22   I have bills to propose that.  And we have also 

23   expanded the categories of what the film tax 

24   credit can be used for over a number of years to 

25   allow more sectors of the industry.  And so it's 


                                                               2586

 1   actually been a changed credit since it first 

 2   started.  But it's always worth evaluating what 

 3   you're getting for your money in a tax credit, 

 4   any tax credit.

 5                SENATOR ORTT:   Through you, 

 6   Mr. President, will the sponsor continue to 

 7   yield?  

 8                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 9   the sponsor yield?  

10                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

11                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

12   sponsor yields.

13                SENATOR ORTT:   Through you, 

14   Mr. President.  This bill proposes changes 

15   specifically to the commercial tax credit.  Could 

16   the sponsor clarify to me what those changes are?

17                SENATOR KRUEGER:   It's a multiple 

18   answer, so we're only going to do one piece at a 

19   time.

20                So we changed it so the commercial 

21   tax credit was in three pots.  And one was being 

22   underutilized, so it's been reduced to two pots 

23   so that it can be more effectively utilized.

24                (To counsel.)  Keep going.  

25                So we also expanded the categories 


                                                               2587

 1   that you can apply for in commercials, and we 

 2   expanded to include online media as well, since 

 3   so much of advertising today actually is done 

 4   online as opposed to in a traditional TV 

 5   commercial.

 6                SENATOR ORTT:   Through you, 

 7   Mr. President, if the sponsor will continue to 

 8   yield.

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

10   the sponsor yield?  

11                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

12                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

13   sponsor yields.

14                SENATOR ORTT:   Mr. President, the 

15   sponsor mentioned that it went from three pots to 

16   two, one of those pots was eliminated.  Could the 

17   sponsor identify which pot was eliminated and 

18   why?

19                SENATOR KRUEGER:   So when this was 

20   first created, one pot was set aside for new 

21   businesses to take advantage of.  But it turns 

22   out that the industry is mature enough that there 

23   really weren't new businesses coming in and 

24   applying for it in the commercials, so that was 

25   going unutilized.  So that's been rolled into the 


                                                               2588

 1   other two.

 2                SENATOR ORTT:   Through you, 

 3   Mr. President, will the sponsor continue to 

 4   yield?

 5                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 6   the sponsor yield?

 7                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

 8                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 9   sponsor yields.

10                SENATOR ORTT:   So just so I'm 

11   clear, there was a pot for new companies or for 

12   growth that has been eliminated because there was 

13   no growth to justify that pot of money.  Is that 

14   an accurate representation?

15                SENATOR KRUEGER:   So I'm not a 

16   hundred percent sure why it wasn't being 

17   utilized, but it wasn't being utilized.  So 

18   they've removed that pot.

19                SENATOR ORTT:   Through you, 

20   Mr. President, on the bill.

21                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

22   Ortt on the bill.

23                SENATOR ORTT:   I want to thank the 

24   sponsor certainly for her good-faith attempts to 

25   answer.


                                                               2589

 1                I think it should be really telling 

 2   that on a $420 million credit, we don't know some 

 3   really basic questions that everybody in this 

 4   room expects businesses back home to answer when 

 5   they get money.  We put them through the wringer 

 6   when they can't answer a question.  And I don't 

 7   fault the sponsor, I don't think there's really 

 8   any answers.  I don't think we -- we don't know 

 9   what we don't know when it comes to this credit.  

10   Except we know the price tag.

11                And just to be clear, we've extended 

12   the tax credit for two more years even though it 

13   didn't expire until another two years.  So now 

14   it's extended to 2024, and between now and then 

15   we'll spend $2.1 billion on this credit for a 

16   fluid number of jobs.

17                Conversely, I think it's interesting 

18   that the Amazon project, which we've all heard so 

19   much about, would have created 25,000 permanent 

20   jobs at a minimum.  And it would have cost the 

21   State of New York 1.7 billion over 10 to 15 

22   years.  But all we heard about was how bad that 

23   project was.  Corporate giveaway.  But 

24   2.1 billion, we're okay with that.

25                So there's clearly a disconnect 


                                                               2590

 1   there, or maybe it's just hypocrisy, I don't 

 2   know.  But we heard today it was a tough budget 

 3   year time and again.  And it was a tough budget 

 4   year.  And in tough budget years, as the Majority 

 5   is finding out, you have to make really hard 

 6   decisions.  This could have been an easy one.  

 7   Instead we're going to tell the DD community, 

 8   infrastructure, schools, veterans organizations, 

 9   farmers:  Tough budget year.  But you know who it 

10   wasn't a tough budget year for?  The film 

11   industry and Hollywood.  

12                Mr. President, I vote no.

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

14   Ranzenhofer.

15                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   Thank you, 

16   Mr. President.  I have some questions on the 

17   discovery portions.

18                SENATOR GIANARIS:   That's Senator 

19   Bailey.

20                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

21   Senator Bailey yield for questions?  

22                SENATOR BAILEY:   Absolutely.

23                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   Through you, 

24   Mr. President.  Thank you, Senator.  Can you tell 

25   me how the final language differs from what was 


                                                               2591

 1   in the Executive's budget?  

 2                SENATOR BAILEY:   Certainly.  

 3   Through you, Mr. President.  The final language 

 4   results in -- there's additional good cause 

 5   that's given to the prosecutors beyond the 

 6   15 days post-arraignment material.  If a 

 7   prosecutor has a good-cause reason for an 

 8   extension, that they can't give the evidence up 

 9   after 15 days, then that was -- that's one of the 

10   major components of the change.

11                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   Okay.  Can 

12   you tell me -- through you, Mr. President, if the 

13   sponsor will continue to yield for --

14                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

15   the sponsor yield?

16                SENATOR BAILEY:   Yes, absolutely.

17                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

18   sponsor yields.

19                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   In the bill, 

20   from what I've seen, the prosecution is now 

21   required to release information about either 

22   victims or witnesses with respect to the names 

23   and other information.  Can you tell me what 

24   other information is now required to be released?  

25                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 


                                                               2592

 1   Mr. President.  Witness's names would be given, 

 2   but -- "with adequate contact information."  That 

 3   does not mean that addresses would necessarily be 

 4   disclosed.

 5                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   Through you, 

 6   Mr. President.

 7                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Would 

 8   the sponsor yield?

 9                SENATOR BAILEY:   Certainly.

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

11   sponsor yields.

12                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   But under the 

13   law that is introduced now and is going to be 

14   voted on shortly, the address of the victim or 

15   the address of the witness could be disclosed; is 

16   that correct?

17                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 

18   Mr. President, no, unless the defendant has good 

19   cause.

20                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   Through you, 

21   Mr. President.

22                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

23   the sponsor yield?

24                SENATOR BAILEY:   Absolutely.

25                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 


                                                               2593

 1   sponsor yields.

 2                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   So when you 

 3   say other contact information, what information 

 4   are you referring to that's going to be released?

 5                SENATOR BAILEY:   Names -- through 

 6   you, Mr. President.  Names, phone numbers, 

 7   emails.  Not addresses.

 8                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   So we are 

 9   going to -- again through you, Mr. President, if 

10   the sponsor will continue to yield.

11                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

12   the sponsor yield?

13                SENATOR BAILEY:   Yes.

14                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

15   sponsor yields.  

16                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   So it's now, 

17   under this new law -- where previously the phone 

18   number was not released, you are now going to be 

19   releasing phone numbers of victims and witnesses 

20   to the defense; is that correct?

21                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 

22   Mr. President, it is quite possible that a phone 

23   number would not be released if the prosecution 

24   makes an application for a protective order with 

25   good cause shown.


                                                               2594

 1                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   Through you, 

 2   Mr. President, if the sponsor would continue to 

 3   yield.

 4                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 5   the sponsor yield?

 6                SENATOR BAILEY:   Yes, I do.

 7                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 8   sponsor yields.

 9                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   So under this 

10   new proposed law, then, the district attorney 

11   who's prosecuting the case cannot assure a victim 

12   and cannot assure a witness that their contact 

13   information will not be released, would that be 

14   true?

15                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 

16   Mr. President, that would be inaccurate.

17                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   It would be 

18   inaccurate?

19                SENATOR BAILEY:   That's correct, 

20   Mr. President.  

21                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   Well, how 

22   can -- through you, Mr. President, can you tell 

23   me how a --

24                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

25   the sponsor yield?


                                                               2595

 1                SENATOR BAILEY:   Yes.

 2                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   -- prosecutor 

 3   can guarantee that this information will not be 

 4   released?  

 5                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 

 6   Mr. President, there is a provision in the bill 

 7   that provides for the application for a 

 8   protective order which has the standard of good 

 9   cause shown.  A prosecutor is welcome to apply 

10   for that -- welcome to apply for that protective 

11   order.

12                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   Through you, 

13   Mr. President.

14                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

15   the sponsor yield?  

16                SENATOR BAILEY:   Yes.

17                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

18   sponsor yields.

19                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   And if that 

20   application by the prosecutor is denied, then 

21   that information would then be released, is that 

22   correct?

23                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 

24   Mr. President, it could be, but the court has 

25   ultimate discretion if there was concern -- that 


                                                               2596

 1   the judge had concern about the witness 

 2   information getting out.

 3                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   So it would 

 4   be fair to say -- through you, Mr. President -- 

 5                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 6   the sponsor yield?  

 7                SENATOR BAILEY:   Absolutely.  

 8                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 9   sponsor yields.

10                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   So it would 

11   be fair to say that as a prosecuting attorney, 

12   you could not with any level of certainty 

13   guarantee to a witness that certain information 

14   is not going to be released.  It could be 

15   released, it may not be released, but you can't 

16   tell the victim or the witness unassuredly that 

17   that's not going to happen.

18                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 

19   Mr. President.  This statute was drafted after 

20   negotiations that took prosecutors' concerns into 

21   effect.  So I would say that there would be a 

22   high possibility of, again, if a prosecutor 

23   applies for a protective order, considering the 

24   standard is good cause shown, considering that we 

25   are making it quite reasonable, considering the 


                                                               2597

 1   language that is applied in the statute, that a 

 2   prosecutor would have every opportunity, every 

 3   possibility to obtain a protective order.

 4                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:    

 5   Mr. President, if the sponsor will continue to 

 6   yield.

 7                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 8   the sponsor yield?

 9                SENATOR BAILEY:   Certainly.

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

11   sponsor yields.  

12                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   Can you tell 

13   me how many public hearings you had on this -- on 

14   discovery?  

15                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 

16   Mr. President, none.

17                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   Can you tell 

18   me -- can you tell me when the actual --

19                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

20   the sponsor yield?

21                SENATOR BAILEY:   Yes.

22                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   Thank you.  

23   Can you tell me when the actual language that we 

24   are voting on today was actually released to the 

25   public?


                                                               2598

 1                SENATOR BAILEY:   The specific 

 2   language that is in this bill before us today was 

 3   released this afternoon.  However, as indicated 

 4   by Chief Judge Lawrence Marks during the public 

 5   protection hearing, discovery reform is something 

 6   that we've been talking about for 25 years.

 7                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:    

 8   Mr. President, if the sponsor will continue to 

 9   yield.

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

11   the sponsor yield?  

12                SENATOR BAILEY:   Yes.

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

14   sponsor yields.

15                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   Senator, I'm 

16   sure you know that we talk about a lot of things 

17   for many, many years and things don't happen.  

18   But now there is a bill that's live on the floor.  

19   And are you aware that the District Attorneys 

20   Association for New York State has come out and 

21   issued a very blistering statement about how this 

22   bill was not done in the light of day, how there 

23   were no public hearings, and they are very much 

24   opposed to it?  

25                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 


                                                               2599

 1   Mr. President, I have heard of such a statement.  

 2   And that statement strikes me as odd, considering 

 3   that I had multiple conversations with multiple 

 4   district attorneys in multiple jurisdictions 

 5   about this legislation coming forth.  And these 

 6   district attorneys, who are -- who uphold -- are 

 7   the chief prosecutors, the chief law enforcement 

 8   officers in our specific counties, they have 

 9   indicated that they are sympathetic towards 

10   criminal justice reform, that they have an 

11   appetite for discovery reform.  

12                So it is rather odd to me -- and a 

13   statement that I have not necessarily seen yet -- 

14   that such a statement would be made, 

15   Mr. President.

16                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:    

17   Mr. President, if the sponsor will continue to 

18   yield.

19                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

20   the sponsor yield?  

21                SENATOR BAILEY:   Yes.

22                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

23   sponsor yields.

24                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   Senator, are 

25   you aware that in the statement issued by the 


                                                               2600

 1   New York District Attorneys Association they 

 2   specifically have stated that it places 

 3   unnecessary burdens on the workings of our 

 4   criminal justice system?  They call it 

 5   unrealistic, unworkable requirements, they called 

 6   it chock-full of half-baked policy that was 

 7   crafted with a lack of transparency, a lack of 

 8   input from the appropriate stakeholders, and they 

 9   should have included more open hearings, more 

10   public comment, and more expert testimony?  Are 

11   you aware of that comment from the New York State 

12   District Attorneys Association?  

13                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 

14   Mr. President, based upon the Senator's reading, 

15   I now am aware of the full reading of it.  

16                (Laughter.)

17                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   That 

18   wasn't -- through you, Mr. President, that wasn't 

19   the -- I just saved some of the parts.  That was 

20   not the full reading.  They are not happy with 

21   it.

22                And let me ask you a question, if I 

23   may -- 

24                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

25   the sponsor yield?  


                                                               2601

 1                SENATOR BAILEY:   Yes, I do.  

 2                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 3   sponsor yields.

 4                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   Can you tell 

 5   me about the change of grand jury testimony, 

 6   which is a long-held process, a secretive process 

 7   which is intended to protect witnesses and 

 8   victims?  

 9                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 

10   Mr. President, the -- there is more time than the 

11   15 days to release it, but the prosecutors 

12   eventually do have to release grand jury 

13   information.

14                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   Through you, 

15   Mr. President.

16                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

17   the sponsor yield?  

18                SENATOR BAILEY:   Absolutely.

19                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

20   sponsor yields.

21                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   How much 

22   sooner does the grand jury testimony have to be 

23   released than under prior law?

24                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 

25   Mr. President, it will be much sooner, because 


                                                               2602

 1   under current law the standard is just before 

 2   trial.  Excuse me, not just before trial, but 

 3   that it only has to take place before trial.

 4                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:    

 5   Mr. President, if the sponsor will continue to 

 6   yield.

 7                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 8   the sponsor yield?

 9                SENATOR BAILEY:   Certainly.

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

11   sponsor yields.  

12                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   Would you 

13   agree with me, Senator Bailey, that victims and 

14   witnesses do not have the same level of 

15   protection that they formerly had when this 

16   information was released at a much later date?

17                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 

18   Mr. President, I would not agree with that.  

19   There is a broader protective order under this 

20   bill than there is in the current law.

21                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:    

22   Mr. President, if the sponsor will continue to 

23   yield.

24                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

25   the sponsor yield?


                                                               2603

 1                SENATOR BAILEY:   Yes, I will.

 2                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 3   sponsor yields.

 4                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   Would someone 

 5   accused of rape be allowed access to their 

 6   victim's information under this new bill?

 7                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 

 8   Mr. President, any information can be withheld if 

 9   the prosecutors apply for a protective order and 

10   they deem that individual too dangerous -- or not 

11   dangerous, excuse me, if they deem that 

12   individual not somebody that should be able -- 

13   should be willing to obtain that information.

14                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:    

15   Mr. President, if the sponsor will continue to 

16   yield.

17                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

18   the sponsor yield?

19                SENATOR BAILEY:   Yes.

20                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

21   sponsor yields.

22                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   Will child 

23   predators be allowed to now get victims' 

24   information?  

25                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 


                                                               2604

 1   Mr. President, if there is good cause to protect 

 2   the information, the prosecutors can apply for 

 3   that protective order.

 4                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:    

 5   Mr. President, if the sponsor will continue to 

 6   yield.

 7                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 8   the sponsor yield?

 9                SENATOR BAILEY:   Yes.

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

11   sponsor yields.

12                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   So would it 

13   be fair to say, Senator, that absent any special 

14   protection from the court, if you are a victim of 

15   a rape or you are a victim of a sexual predator 

16   or a family member of yours has been murdered, 

17   that information is now more disclosable than 

18   ever unless you get a special dispensation from 

19   the court?  Would that be fair to say?

20                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 

21   Mr. President, the language is carefully drafted 

22   so that a protective order can be obtained via 

23   the standard of good cause shown, any standard of 

24   good cause shown, which is a very reasonable and 

25   very low standard to obtain a protective order.  


                                                               2605

 1   Lenient standard.  I should not say low.  A 

 2   lenient standard, Mr. President.

 3                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:    

 4   Mr. President, if the sponsor will continue to 

 5   yield.

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Will 

 7   the sponsor yield?

 8                SENATOR BAILEY:   Absolutely.  

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

10   sponsor yields.

11                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:    

12   Notwithstanding the -- whether it's reasonable or 

13   what some judge is going to do at a later date, 

14   unless you get this special protection, this 

15   information, in terms of if you're a rape victim 

16   or if you're a sexual predator victim, this 

17   information is going to be released unless you're 

18   successful in getting a protective order.  Is 

19   that correct?

20                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 

21   Mr. President, the prosecution would have to 

22   apply for a protective order.

23                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   And that's 

24   not the case under current law right now, would 

25   that be fair to say?  


                                                               2606

 1                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 

 2   Mr. President, that would be fair to say.

 3                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   Does the bill 

 4   also talk about preservation of --

 5                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 6   Ranzenhofer --

 7                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   Yes, of 

 8   course, Mr. President, if the sponsor will 

 9   continue to yield.

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

11   the sponsor yield?

12                SENATOR BAILEY:   Absolutely.

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

14   sponsor yields.

15                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   Does your 

16   bill, Senator Bailey, talk about preservation of 

17   crime scenes?  

18                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 

19   Mr. President, could Senator Ranzenhofer repeat 

20   his question?

21                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   Yes, 

22   Mr. President.  Does the bill, the new proposed 

23   language, deal with the issue of preserving a 

24   crime scene?  

25                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 


                                                               2607

 1   Mr. President, it does.

 2                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   And under 

 3   existing law -- well, strike that, if I may.  

 4   Mr. President, if the sponsor will yield --

 5                SENATOR BAILEY:   Absolutely.  

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 7   sponsor yields.

 8                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   The crime 

 9   scene now has to be preserved so the accused can 

10   now look at it, is that correct?  

11                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 

12   Mr. President, the accused may ask for permission 

13   to visit a crime scene, as under current law.

14                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   And under the 

15   new bill, how long does the crime scene have to 

16   be preserved for the accused to be able to 

17   inspect it?

18                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 

19   Mr. President, I am not certain about the time 

20   frame of that at the current time.

21                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:    

22   Mr. President, if the sponsor will continue to 

23   yield for just a couple of more questions.

24                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

25   the sponsor yield?


                                                               2608

 1                SENATOR BAILEY:   Certainly.  For a 

 2   couple -- more than a couple, Mr. President.

 3                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   Okay.  Well, 

 4   if you wish.

 5                (Laughter.)

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 7   sponsor yields.  

 8                SENATOR BAILEY:   Mr. President, in 

 9   response to Senator Ranzenhofer's last question, 

10   there is no time period assessed to the last 

11   question concerning the accused.

12                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   Through you, 

13   Mr. President.  But it is true that the time 

14   would have to be until the accused is allowed to 

15   inspect the crime scene, is that correct?  

16                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 

17   Mr. President.  Not necessarily.  It depends 

18   on -- it's context-specific.

19                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   So, 

20   Mr. President, if the sponsor will yield.

21                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Will 

22   the sponsor yield?

23                SENATOR BAILEY:   Yes, sir.

24                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

25   sponsor yields.


                                                               2609

 1                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   So in a 

 2   domestic violence situation where there is -- 

 3   there are allegations of abuse that took place in 

 4   the home, does that crime scene have to be 

 5   preserved if the accused is asking to inspect the 

 6   crime scene?

 7                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 

 8   Mr. President, only if a defendant asks for it.  

 9   And the judge can rule that the premises can be 

10   preserved for a specific amount of time -- a 

11   specified amount of time.  Excuse me, 

12   Mr. President.

13                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   If the 

14   sponsor will yield.

15                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

16   the sponsor yield?

17                SENATOR BAILEY:   Yes, sir.

18                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

19   sponsor yields.

20                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   So a victim 

21   of domestic violence, an individual is beaten 

22   senseless in his or her home, how long would that 

23   crime scene have to be preserved so the accused 

24   can inspect it?  

25                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 


                                                               2610

 1   Mr. President.  Once again, that is a 

 2   context-specific question which depends on the 

 3   specific nature of the case and the judge -- and 

 4   the judge in that instant proceeding.

 5                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   And a final 

 6   question, if the sponsor will yield.

 7                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 8   the sponsor yield?

 9                SENATOR BAILEY:   Yes, 

10   Mr. President.  

11                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

12   sponsor yields.

13                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   Is the 

14   accused, the defendant in a particular situation, 

15   is that person allowed to return to the crime 

16   scene in a domestic violence situation?

17                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 

18   Mr. President, only with judicial permission.  

19   And the judge has to weigh, carefully weigh the 

20   rights of the victim against the hardship that 

21   will be caused to the accused defendant.

22                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:    

23   Mr. President, I just want to thank the sponsor 

24   for his colloquy and for answering the questions.  

25   Thank you.


                                                               2611

 1                SENATOR BAILEY:   Thank you as well.

 2                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 3   Lanza.

 4                SENATOR LANZA:   Thank you, 

 5   Mr. President.  Mr. President, would Senator 

 6   Krueger yield for a question?  

 7                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 8   the sponsor yield?  

 9                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Certainly.

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

11   sponsor yields.

12                SENATOR LANZA:   Through you, 

13   Mr. President.  Can the sponsor tell us whether 

14   or not this budget has been scored by any office 

15   in terms of how many new jobs it is anticipated 

16   will be created in the State of New York?

17                SENATOR KRUEGER:   I'm not sure it 

18   has been scored.  I'm not sure we ever score 

19   budgets for the number of jobs to be created.  

20   But I could be wrong.  Do we think we usually 

21   score them?  So my colleagues over here don't 

22   think we score budget documents for number of 

23   jobs created.

24                SENATOR LANZA:   Thank you.

25                Mr. President, I have a few 


                                                               2612

 1   questions for the sponsor of the area of the 

 2   budget dealing with speedy trial and bail.

 3                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

 4   each one has a different person answering 

 5   questions.  If it's speedy trial, it would be 

 6   Senator Bailey.  Bail would be myself.

 7                SENATOR LANZA:   Speedy trial first, 

 8   then, Mr. President.

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

10   Bailey, would you --

11                SENATOR BAILEY:   It will be my 

12   pleasure.

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

14   sponsor yields.

15                SENATOR LANZA:   Through you, 

16   Mr. President.

17                First I want to say that the sponsor 

18   and I have had long-standing conversations about 

19   this and other criminal justice issues, and I've 

20   always enjoyed those conversations.  We've 

21   listened to each other and we've really tried to 

22   work together to enact good policy.

23                On speedy trial, my understanding -- 

24   through you, Mr. President -- is that the only 

25   change is that when the state, the prosecution, 


                                                               2613

 1   answers "ready for trial," that they will be 

 2   required now to issue an affidavit proving that 

 3   in fact they are ready on that date.  Is that the 

 4   case?

 5                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 

 6   Mr. President, that is -- well, there is a 

 7   judicial inquiry about readiness.  And also the 

 8   right to appeal is preserved, Mr. President.

 9                SENATOR LANZA:   Would the sponsor 

10   yield?

11                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Will 

12   the sponsor yield?

13                SENATOR BAILEY:   Yes, sir.

14                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

15   sponsor yields.

16                SENATOR LANZA:   Through you, 

17   Mr. President.  This is an area where I think you 

18   and I have agreed, and others perhaps, where we 

19   could actually squeeze some time out of the 

20   process.  And so I'm encouraged that it seems 

21   that that has been heeded, because I think this 

22   is an area where we could have improvement.  It 

23   seems to make sense to me.  

24                My question -- through you, 

25   Mr. President -- are there other changes to the 


                                                               2614

 1   speedy trial statute, though, in this budget?

 2                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 

 3   Mr. President, also it applies now to the Vehicle 

 4   and Traffic Law and also to defendants who are 

 5   held in OCFS custody.

 6                SENATOR LANZA:   Would the sponsor 

 7   yield?

 8                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 9   the sponsor yield?

10                SENATOR BAILEY:   Absolutely.  

11                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

12   sponsor yields.

13                SENATOR LANZA:   Through you, 

14   Mr. President.  Besides that, can the sponsor 

15   tell us are there other fundamental changes, 

16   though, not with regard to what they applied to, 

17   but with respect to the statute, the 30.30 

18   statute, in terms of speedy trial?

19                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 

20   Mr. President, we are requiring judges -- we're 

21   asking judges, excuse me, to inquire to 

22   prosecutors about the progress made with 

23   readiness, and restricting a prosecutor's ability 

24   to go from unready to readiness, to -- to all of 

25   a sudden switch the clock on and off.


                                                               2615

 1                SENATOR LANZA:   Would the sponsor 

 2   yield for one more question?

 3                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Will 

 4   the sponsor yield?

 5                SENATOR BAILEY:   Absolutely.  

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 7   sponsor yields.

 8                SENATOR LANZA:   Through you, 

 9   Mr. President.  Aside from the issue of the 

10   prosecution's answer of ready for trial, are 

11   there any other changes to the speedy trial 

12   statute in the State of New York?

13                SENATOR BAILEY:   Through you, 

14   Mr. President, speedy trial is more now tied to 

15   discovery.

16                SENATOR LANZA:   Mr. President, I 

17   understand what that means.  And I thank the 

18   sponsor, and I'd like to ask some questions about 

19   bail.

20                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

21   Senator Gianaris yield for questions?

22                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Yes, I do.

23                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

24   sponsor yields.

25                SENATOR LANZA:   Through you, 


                                                               2616

 1   Mr. President.  Presently in the State of 

 2   New York, upon arrest the accused is brought 

 3   into -- in New York City, it's quite possibly the 

 4   district attorney's office or to one of the 

 5   precincts, and the paperwork is drawn up by an 

 6   assistant district attorney, and the defendant is 

 7   then arraigned.  And at that arraignment, the 

 8   prosecution makes an application for bail.  

 9                The defense makes their application 

10   in terms of what they think is right, and the 

11   judge decides based on the defendant's risk of 

12   flight.  Meaning the court makes an assessment as 

13   to whether or not the defendant standing before 

14   them who's been accused of a crime is likely to 

15   return to court.  And that's how it works now 

16   with respect to the majority of those who are 

17   arrested in the City of New York.

18                Through you, Mr. President, is it 

19   true that now, under this legislation, that the 

20   majority of people arrested in the State of 

21   New York will now be issued in effect a desk 

22   appearance ticket and told to come back to court 

23   on another day?

24                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

25   I'm not sure it would be a majority or not, but 


                                                               2617

 1   it would be a very large portion of those who are 

 2   charged with misdemeanors or nonviolent low-level 

 3   Class E felonies.

 4                SENATOR LANZA:   Through you, 

 5   Mr. President, would the sponsor yield?

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 7   the sponsor yield?

 8                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Yes.

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

10   sponsor yields.

11                SENATOR LANZA:   Through you, 

12   Mr. President.  Are you aware that the Assembly 

13   has said that -- and there are other public 

14   statements with respect to this legislation -- 

15   that now 85 percent of those arrested in the 

16   State of New York will not be arraigned at the 

17   time of the arrest but instead will be issued a 

18   ticket to return at a later date?

19                SENATOR GIANARIS:   With respect, I 

20   think my colleague is misunderstanding what the 

21   Assembly has stated.  That number of 80, 

22   85 percent is how many would no longer be subject 

23   to bail.  That does not mean that they would be 

24   in the category that would just get a desk 

25   appearance ticket.


                                                               2618

 1                SENATOR LANZA:   Would the sponsor 

 2   yield?

 3                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Will 

 4   the sponsor yield?

 5                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Yes.

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 7   sponsor yields.  

 8                SENATOR LANZA:   So through you, 

 9   Mr. President, let me then try to understand 

10   this.  Under this legislation, what will happen 

11   when someone is arrested for having committed a 

12   crime in the State of New York?  Can you walk me 

13   through from the point of arrest forward?

14                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Sure.  

15   Mr. President, it depends what the crime alleged 

16   is and how serious it is and what category it 

17   falls into.

18                If the crime is a serious violent 

19   felony -- and there is a list enumerated in the 

20   legislation -- then the process that is 

21   experienced today would be very similar to the 

22   process that would be experienced when this law 

23   takes effect.

24                If in fact the crime alleged is in 

25   the category of nonviolent felonies or 


                                                               2619

 1   misdemeanors, then the accused would either get a 

 2   desk appearance ticket, if in fact it was most 

 3   misdemeanors or Class E felonies, or would be 

 4   evaluated by a judge the way a judge evaluates 

 5   the accused today, except bail would not be an 

 6   option for those crimes.

 7                SENATOR LANZA:   Would the sponsor 

 8   yield?  

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

10   the sponsor yield?  

11                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Yes.

12                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

13   sponsor yields.

14                SENATOR LANZA:   Through you, 

15   Mr. President.

16                My understanding of the way this 

17   legislation is written, if we would apply it -- I 

18   understand that there are certain exceptions -- 

19   certain felonies, certain violent crimes.  But if 

20   we were to apply this legislation to what let's 

21   say occurred last year in the State of New York, 

22   it seems to me, because it would include and 

23   apply to the majority of all misdemeanors 

24   committed in the State of New York -- which would 

25   mean, Mr. President, that in fact the majority of 


                                                               2620

 1   those arrested in the State of New York for 

 2   having committed a crime will in fact, at the 

 3   point of arrest no less, be issued a ticket to 

 4   return to court at a later date.

 5                Am I not reading this properly?

 6                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

 7   Senator Lanza is correct that for most 

 8   misdemeanors, not including -- there are 

 9   exceptions for sex-related misdemeanors, for 

10   example.  But for most misdemeanors, that is 

11   correct, there would be a desk appearance ticket 

12   issued and the accused would be expected to 

13   return to court on the court date.

14                SENATOR LANZA:   Will the sponsor 

15   yield?

16                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

17   the sponsor yield?

18                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Yes.

19                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

20   sponsor yields.

21                SENATOR LANZA:   Through you, 

22   Mr. President.  What happens if the person that's 

23   arrested for having committed a crime is a 

24   resident of another state?  Will they also be 

25   issued a desk appearance ticket?


                                                               2621

 1                SENATOR GIANARIS:   That's correct, 

 2   Mr. President.

 3                SENATOR LANZA:   Would the sponsor 

 4   yield?

 5                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 6   the sponsor yield?

 7                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Yes.

 8                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 9   sponsor yields.

10                SENATOR LANZA:   Through you, 

11   Mr. President.  What happens if the person who 

12   has been accused of committing a crime in the 

13   state is from another country?  Would they be 

14   issued a desk appearance ticket and be told to 

15   come back at some point later?  

16                SENATOR GIANARIS:   That is correct, 

17   Mr. President.

18                SENATOR LANZA:   Would the sponsor 

19   yield?

20                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

21   the sponsor yield?

22                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Yes.

23                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

24   sponsor yields.

25                SENATOR LANZA:   Through you, 


                                                               2622

 1   Mr. President.  Is the sponsor concerned, given 

 2   the fact that there doesn't seem to be much 

 3   incentive to return at a later date, that many 

 4   people will actually abscond because of this new 

 5   legislation and never return for justice?

 6                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

 7   first of all, the answer is no, because all 

 8   relevant data shows that putting money on the 

 9   table does not ensure a greater rate of return 

10   for trial.

11                And I would in turn ask my colleague 

12   if he's concerned that asking people to pay to be 

13   let out of jail is an injustice that has been 

14   going on for far too long in our state.  

15                SENATOR LANZA:   Did the sponsor ask 

16   me to yield?  

17                (Laughter.)

18                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

19   Senator Lanza yield for a question from Senator 

20   Gianaris?

21                SENATOR LANZA:   Yeah, I do.

22                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Would you like 

23   me to repeat it?

24                SENATOR LANZA:   Sure.

25                SENATOR GIANARIS:   I would ask, in 


                                                               2623

 1   turn -- you asked me if I was concerned about 

 2   people absconding, and I would like to ask you in 

 3   turn if you're concerned with the great injustice 

 4   that's been occurring with the fact that people 

 5   who are in poverty or people who are poor are 

 6   asked to pay to be let out of jail.  And 

 7   oftentimes they can't, and our jails are riddled 

 8   with people who simply can't afford to be walking 

 9   the streets.  And our system of criminal justice 

10   is not supposed to be based on wealth, and yet it 

11   is.  Is that something that concerns my 

12   colleague?  

13                SENATOR LANZA:   Through you, 

14   Mr. President, yes, it concerns me.  But as the 

15   sponsor knows, when bail is set, the wherewithal 

16   of the defendant's ability to pay bail is 

17   considered in the application.  And what is 

18   actually issued, having done this for six years 

19   as an assistant district attorney in the 

20   Manhattan DA's office, I can assure you judges do 

21   that.  And the only reason we have bail in this 

22   state is because absent a better idea, which I 

23   don't see here or anywhere else, the people of 

24   the State of New York have the right to ensure 

25   that people who are accused of crimes, people who 


                                                               2624

 1   commit crimes in the State of New York, will 

 2   actually come back to court so that justice can 

 3   be determined.  

 4                And so I am concerned about what the 

 5   sponsor has suggested, but I'm also concerned 

 6   about ensuring that this state has the ability to 

 7   find justice for the people in this state.

 8                SENATOR GIANARIS:   If I can ask my 

 9   colleague to yield for one more question.  I 

10   don't mean to flip this; I'll go back to 

11   answering your questions.  But just one more 

12   follow-up on --

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

14   Senator Lanza yield?  

15                SENATOR LANZA:   Yes, Mr. President.

16                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

17   Lanza yields.

18                SENATOR GIANARIS:   I would just 

19   ask, as a follow-up, is it my colleague's belief 

20   that people whose bail is set as low as, say, for 

21   example, $500, choose to spend months and 

22   sometimes years in jail waiting because they want 

23   to?  Or is it because they can't afford it 

24   because their financial wherewithal was in fact 

25   not considered properly by a judge?  


                                                               2625

 1                These people sitting in jail are not 

 2   there by choice.  They're there because they 

 3   can't afford to pay to get out.  

 4                SENATOR LANZA:   May I respond?  

 5                I disagree with the sponsor.  

 6   They're there because the court has decided that 

 7   they present a risk of flight and that they will 

 8   not return to court in the absence of bail being 

 9   set.  That is the only way bail can be set 

10   according to the law in the State of New York.  

11                Now, if the sponsor is suggesting 

12   that that is abused, then we ought to root out 

13   the abuse.  But we should not overturn the very 

14   system which ensures -- and by the way, the only 

15   reason bail can be set is to ensure that people 

16   come back to court.

17                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Thank you.  I 

18   yield back.  

19                SENATOR LANZA:   Thank you.  If the 

20   sponsor yields.

21                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

22   the sponsor yield?

23                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Yes.

24                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

25   sponsor yields.


                                                               2626

 1                SENATOR LANZA:   Is the sponsor 

 2   aware of the fact that a similar provision was 

 3   enacted in Washington, D.C., which has a 

 4   population of 702,000 people, and that the cost 

 5   there was more than $65 million?  If you 

 6   extrapolate, you consider the population of 

 7   New York and extrapolate, it would seem to me 

 8   that the cost of this program may approach a 

 9   billion dollars.  Is that something that concerns 

10   the sponsor?

11                SENATOR GIANARIS:   I don't believe, 

12   Mr. President, that that is anywhere remotely 

13   close to what would happen here.  In fact, it is 

14   estimated that the localities in New York State 

15   would save upwards of a billion dollars because 

16   the cost of housing people in jail is excessive.  

17   In fact, the estimates are -- I have it here 

18   somewhere -- that it's somewhere in the 

19   neighborhood, if I remember correctly, of 

20   $160,000 a year -- $168,000 per year per inmate 

21   that we would save by not forcing people to stay 

22   in jail when they shouldn't be there.

23                SENATOR LANZA:   Through you, 

24   Mr. President, would the sponsor yield?  

25                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 


                                                               2627

 1   the sponsor yield?

 2                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Yes.

 3                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 4   sponsor yields.

 5                SENATOR LANZA:   I have to say the 

 6   few places this has been tried, that has not been 

 7   the experience of either Washington, D.C., or the 

 8   states that this has been tried.  

 9                What has been found is that the 

10   costs just keep running through the ceiling 

11   because we can offset the cost of the pretrial 

12   procedures regarding this measure with, as the 

13   sponsor rightly pointed out, the cost of housing 

14   people -- I get that.  But then when you factor 

15   in all the other things that will happen here, 

16   the recidivism and all that, I think that the 

17   experiences in the other jurisdictions prove that 

18   the costs are excessive.

19                Would the sponsor yield for one more 

20   question?

21                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

22   the sponsor yield?  

23                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Yes.

24                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

25   sponsor yields.


                                                               2628

 1                SENATOR LANZA:   So presently when a 

 2   person finds themself accused of a crime in the 

 3   state where the crime is most likely the result 

 4   of that person's addiction -- these are always 

 5   sad situations, I can tell you -- presently the 

 6   defendants are offered a choice between -- when a 

 7   risk of flight has been determined, they're 

 8   offered a choice between the bail and entering a 

 9   program by way of a drug court.  

10                And we've found in this state that 

11   this actually works.  And it may be the only 

12   opportunity we have, and that person and that 

13   person's family has, to get the help that that 

14   person needs.  

15                If we eliminate bail in these cases, 

16   what would be the incentive for a person who 

17   finds themself in that position to actually seek 

18   alternative programs?

19                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

20   I'm glad my colleague asked this question, 

21   because he put his finger on a great 

22   contradiction for those who want to maintain a 

23   bail system.  On the one hand, he's telling us 

24   bail should only apply to make sure someone 

25   returns for trial, and now he's suggesting that 


                                                               2629

 1   bail is a mechanism of leverage.  

 2                Of course he's right, bail is used 

 3   as a mechanism for leverage.  And oftentimes it's 

 4   used to induce a guilty plea from someone who is 

 5   sitting in jail charged with a relatively 

 6   low-level crime, they spend six months to a year 

 7   in jail, and lo and behold, the prosecutors come 

 8   up to them and say "Why don't you just plead 

 9   guilty?  You'll be home tomorrow.  Because what 

10   you've been accused of wouldn't even be punished 

11   by as much as you're already spending in jail."

12                That is one of the great injustices 

13   we're trying to solve here, where bail is set, 

14   someone who's poor sits in jail, they sit there 

15   long enough, and yes, bail is, as you pointed 

16   out, then used as leverage to elicit a guilty 

17   plea which then follows that young person around 

18   for the rest of their lives, regardless of 

19   whether they committed a crime or not.

20                We haven't had a chance to touch on 

21   the fact that every single person that would be 

22   affecting by this change in the law has yet to be 

23   convicted of a crime.  So we like to talk about 

24   we're all innocent until proven guilty, but 

25   that's not the way the system works.  The way the 


                                                               2630

 1   system works is you're guilty unless you have 

 2   enough money to pay your way out.  And that is 

 3   what we're trying to change here today.

 4                And let me just point out that -- 

 5   you said something earlier about the cost that 

 6   this would be.  I hope it's not your suggestion 

 7   that we should keep people in jail because it's 

 8   cheaper.  This is about justice.  And if your 

 9   suggestion is we should maintain the current 

10   system and keep people in jail because it might 

11   cost us more to make sure they have services when 

12   they're out of jail, then I feel sorry for you 

13   that you feel that way.

14                SENATOR LANZA:   I have a 

15   question -- and I'm going to get back to this.  I 

16   have a question on congestion pricing.

17                (Laughter.)

18                SENATOR GIANARIS:   That will be 

19   Senator Krueger, Mr. President.

20                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

21   Krueger -- Senator Krueger, do you yield?

22                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Talk about a non 

23   sequitur, Mr. President.  It's about justice, 

24   Mr. President.

25                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Do you 


                                                               2631

 1   yield, Senator Krueger?  

 2                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Of course I do.

 3                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 4   Krueger yields.

 5                SENATOR LANZA:   Through you, 

 6   Mr. President, could the sponsor tell us what 

 7   people from Staten Island who have the gall to 

 8   travel within their city and enter the Manhattan 

 9   business district are going to now have to pay?

10                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Through you, 

11   Mr. President, there is no detail within this 

12   bill about specific dollar amounts that anyone 

13   would have to pay.

14                SENATOR LANZA:   Through you, would 

15   the sponsor yield?  

16                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

17   the sponsor yield?

18                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

19                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

20   sponsor yields.

21                SENATOR LANZA:   Through you, 

22   Mr. President.  So we're asked to vote on a 

23   congestion pricing commuter tax scheme where we 

24   don't know what the price that the people of 

25   Staten Island and Brooklyn and Queens and the 


                                                               2632

 1   Bronx are going to be charged -- could it be $10, 

 2   $20, $30, $50?  Is that what we're looking at 

 3   here?

 4                SENATOR KRUEGER:   So yes, there are 

 5   not details in this bill.  There would be a 

 6   committee created -- committee or commission?  

 7   Review board, thank you.  All the names changed, 

 8   so it's now Traffic Mobility Act and it's the 

 9   Traffic Mobility Act Review Board.  So they will 

10   be evaluating what the fees are, they will 

11   explore the possibilities of reductions and 

12   exemptions and pricing at each different bridge.

13                So I don't know that the people of 

14   Staten Island will face more or less of an issue 

15   than the people of any of the other boroughs or 

16   the rest of the MTA region.

17                SENATOR LANZA:   Will the sponsor 

18   yield?  

19                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

20   the sponsor yield?  

21                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

22                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

23   sponsor yields.

24                SENATOR LANZA:   The people who live 

25   in Manhattan in this district, are they going to 


                                                               2633

 1   be charged to drive within their own district?  

 2                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Through you, 

 3   Mr. President, if the people who live in the core 

 4   district leave the district and wish to come 

 5   back, they will be charged.  If they never leave 

 6   the district, they won't be charged.

 7                SENATOR LANZA:   Would the sponsor 

 8   yield?  

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

10   the sponsor yield?  

11                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

12                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

13   sponsor yields.

14                SENATOR LANZA:   Mr. President, 

15   through you.  My understanding is that the reason 

16   for this scheme is that the people of Manhattan 

17   don't want to have cars in this district, they 

18   have too much traffic.  As the sponsor is aware, 

19   traffic is a problem all throughout the city.  I 

20   can tell you one of the biggest quality-of-life 

21   issues on Staten Island is traffic.  

22                Will the sponsor support a scheme 

23   that would allow the people of Staten Island to 

24   charge motorists from Manhattan, the Bronx, 

25   Brooklyn and Queens to enter into Staten Island?  


                                                               2634

 1                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Through you, 

 2   Mr. President, I think we could ask the same 

 3   review board to take up that question, but we'd 

 4   probably need additional legislation to do so.

 5                I would argue on behalf of the 

 6   people in my district, which includes a decent 

 7   chunk of the core of Manhattan, they don't 

 8   actually want to have to pay more either.  And 

 9   they are fully aware that they are living in a 

10   congestion zone.  And it's not just because of 

11   the vehicles of people who live there, but in 

12   fact the whole world seems to try to travel 

13   through Manhattan south of 60th Street day in, 

14   day out.  So we do have a congestion crisis that 

15   has negative impacts on businesses, on students, 

16   on schools, on asthma rates, on the overall 

17   economic reality of the region.

18                SENATOR LANZA:   Would the sponsor 

19   yield?  

20                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

21   the sponsor yield?  

22                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes, I will.

23                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

24   sponsor yields.

25                SENATOR LANZA:   That's great.  


                                                               2635

 1   That's about the most encouraging word I've heard 

 2   throughout this budget process.  I look forward 

 3   to Senator Krueger joining me as the people of 

 4   Staten Island ask this panel to charge the people 

 5   of Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens for 

 6   coming into our roads, for polluting, for 

 7   congesting it, for causing traffic and creating 

 8   all manner of a degradation of quality of life.

 9                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Through you, 

10   Mr. President.  I just want to highlight my other 

11   Staten Island colleague here to my right has 

12   pointed out it already costs us $19 to go to 

13   Staten Island.  

14                (Laughter.)

15                SENATOR LANZA:   Would the sponsor 

16   yield?

17                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Sorry.

18                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

19   the sponsor yield?  

20                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes, I will.

21                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

22   sponsor yields.

23                SENATOR LANZA:   Through you, 

24   Mr. President.  Well, there are a lot of bridges 

25   and a lot of tolls -- in fact, most people would 


                                                               2636

 1   agree too many throughout New York City.  And 

 2   this is just one more toll.  But this one's 

 3   really specific.  This one benefits the people of 

 4   Manhattan at the expense of the people of the 

 5   outer boroughs.  So this is very different and 

 6   this is a targeted tax on people who have the 

 7   gall, as I've said, to do nothing more than 

 8   travel within their own city, the place where 

 9   they live and the place where they pay taxes.  

10                I have one more question, if the 

11   sponsor would yield.

12                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

13   the sponsor yield?

14                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

15                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

16   sponsor yields.  

17                SENATOR LANZA:   Through you, 

18   Mr. President.  If this is such a good idea, why 

19   is the Legislature abdicating its responsibility 

20   to take a position on tough policy initiatives?  

21   This may very well become, because we don't know 

22   if it's $10, $20, $30, $40 -- turn into a massive 

23   new tax on the people who live in New York City.  

24   Why can't the Legislature -- we get paid to cast 

25   these votes, the folks in the Assembly, the 


                                                               2637

 1   Governor.  Why is it that once again Albany 

 2   politicians are looking to pass the buck -- and I 

 3   know the answer to this, so it's -- but I do want 

 4   an answer from you -- pass the buck to a group of 

 5   people who aren't elected, who aren't accountable 

 6   to the people of the City of New York or the 

 7   State of New York -- why is the Legislature 

 8   handling this very important issue, that I've 

 9   heard about for so long, in this way?  

10                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Through you, 

11   Mr. President.  We are not experts on pricing 

12   tolls or pricing how you come up with the revenue 

13   for the MTA system.  And the fact is, this 

14   challenge has been before us since -- oh, my 

15   goodness, when was the -- at least a decade.  And 

16   we haven't acted.  And we find ourselves in a 

17   larger MTA crisis now than in modern times.  

18                And so in fact we are attempting to 

19   come up with a rational way to get this done by 

20   drawing on experts to make recommendations that 

21   are actually more fair to everyone.  So I have to 

22   disagree strongly with the argument that this is 

23   good for Manhattan but everybody else pays, 

24   because you will pay if you are in Manhattan as 

25   well.  Because most people who live in Manhattan 


                                                               2638

 1   who might have vehicles end up leaving between 

 2   60th and Lower Manhattan, so they will also face 

 3   the increased costs, as will, I think, when this 

 4   is all done, everyone coming in and out of 

 5   Manhattan from whatever direction.

 6                SENATOR LANZA:   Thank you, 

 7   Mr. President.  On the bill.

 8                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 9   Lanza on the bill.

10                SENATOR LANZA:   I want to thank 

11   Senator Krueger, Senator Gianaris, Senator Bailey 

12   for the discussion.  Point of personal privilege.  

13                Senator Gianaris said that he feels 

14   sorry for me.  Don't feel sorry for me, Senator 

15   Gianaris.  Feel sorry for the people of the State 

16   of New York, because this budget is a disaster.  

17   It's an assault on the good hardworking families 

18   all across New York.  Don't feel sorry for me.  

19   Feel sorry for them.

20                How many jobs -- how many jobs will 

21   be created?  That's the question I had.  What was 

22   the scoring on this?  We don't know.  I'll score 

23   it for you, Mr. President.  Zero.  Anyone with a 

24   brain who looks at this budget will tell you it's 

25   less than zero.  We're going to hemorrhage jobs 


                                                               2639

 1   in the State of New York.

 2                Bail.  Listen to this one.  You 

 3   commit a crime in the State of New York -- maybe 

 4   you live in Texas, maybe you come from another 

 5   country, we don't know who you are, where you've 

 6   come from.  We might not know your real name.  We 

 7   don't have the opportunity to find out whether or 

 8   not you actually have a record, whether or not 

 9   you've actually absconded before, whether or not 

10   you're a fleeing felon.  Police officers have got 

11   to make a decision on the spot.  And you know 

12   what this law makes them do?  With the exception 

13   of a few, a few violent crimes, if you commit a 

14   crime, the police officer says, Here's a ticket 

15   to court, come back in a month.  Have a nice 

16   night.  It's ridiculous.

17                You know what's going to happen?  

18   Because we've seen it in other jurisdictions.  

19   You think you're helping the defendant?  You're 

20   not.  Because you know what ends up happening?  

21   Recidivism rates go up.  And when we ultimately 

22   find this person, because maybe they are -- they 

23   do have a drug problem, and we're not going to 

24   offer them help.  Talk about leveraging bail.  

25   How about having an opportunity to help people?  


                                                               2640

 1   But that's not the purpose of bail, I agree.  

 2                So by the time we actually find this 

 3   person, it may not be this initial crime that 

 4   they're faced and charged with, maybe two or 

 5   three more.  I'm not talking hypothetically.  I 

 6   was a prosecutor.  There are others here, they'll 

 7   tell you the same story.  When they come back, 

 8   now they're facing real time.

 9                That ought to help them.  And in the 

10   in the meantime, that means there are more 

11   victims of crimes in the State of New York.  

12   That's what this whole bail fiasco is going to 

13   make happen.

14                Congestion pricing, it's a complete 

15   joke.  Everybody knows what it is.  People back 

16   home aren't stupid.  They're going to wake up -- 

17   if you live in Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and 

18   Staten Island, and you're going to find out that 

19   now when you're doing the night shift as a nurse 

20   or a hospital employee in Manhattan, happy 

21   birthday, we have a new present for you.  You're 

22   going to get charged $10, $20, $30 -- who knows?  

23   Who cares.  Welcome to New York.  

24                It's a disgrace.  It really is a 

25   disgrace.  Don't feel sorry for me.  Feel sorry 


                                                               2641

 1   for the people of New York post-budget.

 2                Let me tell you what this budget 

 3   does.  And of course there are good things in any 

 4   budget.  It's a mixed bag.  As a legislator, you 

 5   have to weigh the entire budget and you have to 

 6   decide, on balance, is this good or bad for the 

 7   people of New York?  

 8                This is bad.  You know why?  We're 

 9   going to have more crime.  That's a fact.  Mark 

10   my words.  Let's come back in a year or two 

11   years, let's find out.  Was Senator Lanza right 

12   or Andrew Lanza was wrong?  We're going to have 

13   more crime.  That doesn't make New York better.  

14                There are going to be fewer jobs.  

15   That means it's going to be harder for people to 

16   put food on their table.  Maybe they're going to 

17   have to leave New York to find those jobs.  Does 

18   that make New York better or worse?  It makes it 

19   worse.

20                Congestion pricing, internet tax, 

21   tax on everything that moves, everything that 

22   breathes.  When you're grocery shopping, carry 

23   the groceries out, juggle them, roll them into 

24   the parking lot.  That's a lot of fun.  That 

25   makes sense.  And by the way, mark my words, it 


                                                               2642

 1   won't do a damn thing to help the environment, 

 2   and everyone here knows it.  It's about a tax, 

 3   it's about controlling people's behavior, it's 

 4   about telling them that they're just not smart 

 5   enough to figure out how to live their lives.  

 6                And then finally, all these new 

 7   taxes -- I'm going to finish.  New taxes.  It's 

 8   just -- people are numb to it when they hear it.  

 9   Let me translate what it means.  It means the 

10   cost of living in New York for every working 

11   family is going up.  You know, if a corporation 

12   were to give every one of their employees a pay 

13   cut, people would go berserk.  They'd be 

14   outraged.  There would be condemnation.  Well, 

15   here's what this budget does.  It gives a pay cut 

16   to every working family in the State of New York.

17                And yes, I'm outraged and I condemn 

18   it, and I vote no, Mr. President.

19                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

20   Jordan.

21                SENATOR JORDAN:   I have questions 

22   on Part PPP of the revenue bill, AIM funding.

23                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

24   Krueger, would you yield for questions?  

25                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Thank you.  I'm 


                                                               2643

 1   sorry, I didn't hear which part you wanted to 

 2   discuss.

 3                SENATOR JORDAN:   PPP.  AIM funding.

 4                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Thank you.

 5                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 6   Senator yields.

 7                SENATOR KRUEGER:   I do.

 8                SENATOR JORDAN:   Thank you.  

 9                Was the state's funding of the Aid 

10   and Incentives to Municipalities eliminated to 

11   towns and villages?  And if so, how?

12                SENATOR KRUEGER:   It was not 

13   eliminated, and it will continue at the same 

14   amount as in previous years.

15                SENATOR JORDAN:   Through you, may I 

16   ask another question?  

17                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Will 

18   the sponsor yield?

19                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Certainly.

20                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

21   sponsor yields.

22                SENATOR JORDAN:   Will the state be 

23   paying the AIM funds to the towns and villages?

24                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Well, there is 

25   a -- there will be a new internet tax that the 


                                                               2644

 1   counties will -- excuse me, the new internet tax 

 2   will be collected by the State Comptroller.  It 

 3   is estimated to be, outside of New York City, 

 4   $160 million.  And the first $59.9 million of AIM 

 5   funding will be sent directly from the 

 6   Comptroller to the towns and villages so that 

 7   they will continue to get their AIM, and the 

 8   remaining $100 million will go to the counties.

 9                SENATOR JORDAN:   Through you, 

10   Mr. President, does the sponsor yield?

11                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

12   the sponsor yield?

13                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

14                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

15   sponsor yields.

16                SENATOR JORDAN:   So if a county is 

17   already distributing sales tax money to the towns 

18   and villages, will that county now be required to 

19   pay the full AIM amount in addition to the sales 

20   tax money that they already pay?

21                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Thank you, I just 

22   wanted to make sure I got that right.

23                So as I explained, if it's 

24   160 million in projected internet tax, the first 

25   60 million goes to the towns and villages 


                                                               2645

 1   directly from the Comptroller to address the AIM 

 2   funding.  And then the remaining 100 million goes 

 3   to the counties to then be distributed as 

 4   whatever their normal pattern is of sharing sales 

 5   tax between the counties and the towns and 

 6   villages.  Each county apparently has somewhat 

 7   different arrangements.

 8                SENATOR JORDAN:   Through you, 

 9   Mr. President, does the sponsor yield?

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

11   the sponsor yield?

12                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes, I do.

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

14   sponsor yields.

15                SENATOR JORDAN:   I'm not sure I 

16   understand the answer to that.  My question is 

17   fairly simple.  If the county is already 

18   responsible for distributing sales tax to the 

19   towns and the villages, now will they be 

20   distributing AIM in addition to what they already 

21   pay?

22                SENATOR KRUEGER:   No.  The 

23   Comptroller will be distributing the AIM to the 

24   towns and villages, and then the remainder will 

25   go to the counties to distribute as if it was any 


                                                               2646

 1   other sales tax arrangement.

 2                SENATOR JORDAN:   I'll just speak on 

 3   the bill.

 4                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 5   Jordan on the bill.

 6                SENATOR JORDAN:   Thank you for 

 7   answering my questions.

 8                I'm not sure that Section PPP states 

 9   it the way Senator Krueger has explained it to 

10   me.  But as I understand, the AIM program 

11   provides $715 million in state financial support 

12   to cities, towns and villages outside New York 

13   City and is a vital program for local 

14   governments.  

15                Part PPP of the revenue bill before 

16   us now eliminates aid to 87 percent of towns and 

17   villages.  Despite our best efforts, the 

18   Democratic majorities in the Senate and Assembly 

19   accepted the Executive's proposal to cut AIM.  

20   This reduction would permanently eliminate 1,326 

21   towns and villages, or 87 percent of them, from 

22   the program and would reduce total state payments 

23   by $59.2 million.  After this proposal, only 

24   $8 million, or 1.2 percent of the total amount of 

25   655.8 million in AIM funding, will now go to the 


                                                               2647

 1   state's towns and villages.  The remaining 

 2   647 million of the remaining funding, or 

 3   98.8 percent, would be distributed to the state's 

 4   cities other than New York City.

 5                In addition, if towns and villages 

 6   already receive a disbursement of county sales 

 7   tax greater than their 2018 AIM allotment, they 

 8   will receive no additional funding.  In other 

 9   words, counties will now be required to use their 

10   sales tax to restore the cuts in AIM funding.  

11                The permanent elimination of AIM 

12   funding will effectively strangle the finances of 

13   local governments already struggling under the 

14   combined burdens of Albany's unfunded mandates 

15   and the property tax cap.

16                I do not support this irresponsible 

17   proposal eliminating AIM funding from our towns 

18   and villages.  As a former local elected 

19   official, I know that local governments have been 

20   doing more with less for years.  Eliminating the 

21   AIM program for so many of our towns and villages 

22   is shortsighted and wrong.

23                I wrote the Governor back on 

24   January 18th urging him to reverse course on the 

25   deep AIM program cuts he made in his Executive 


                                                               2648

 1   Budget.  It's disappointing that the Governor and 

 2   the Democratic majorities in the Senate and 

 3   Assembly failed to join us in supporting AIM 

 4   program restorations and standing up for our 

 5   local communities.

 6                I'll be voting no.

 7                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 8   Funke on the bill.

 9                SENATOR FUNKE:   Thank you, 

10   Mr. President.  No questions, I just wanted to 

11   rise specifically to address and oppose the 

12   commission included in this bill related to 

13   elections and public financing.

14                I think public financing is a really 

15   bad idea.  It will cost taxpayers, by the 

16   Speaker's own estimate, up to $500 million a 

17   year.  We can spend that money on a lot of 

18   things.

19                It will force taxpayers to subsidize 

20   negative campaigns and robocalls, and it's going 

21   to do nothing to clean up our system.  In fact, 

22   it may contribute to corruption, as we saw with 

23   former Democratic Majority Leader Malcolm Smith 

24   going to prison for trying to game the New York 

25   City public financing system.  


                                                               2649

 1                And even though I strongly oppose 

 2   public financing of elections, I'd like to focus 

 3   instead on the commission itself and its 

 4   infringement on the power of this body.  We were 

 5   all elected to consider, to vote on and to make 

 6   laws.  We were not elected to punt our 

 7   responsibilities to unelected commissions 

 8   controlled by the Governor.

 9                Those who don't learn from history, 

10   they say, are doomed to repeat it.  We should 

11   have learned our lesson from the overreach of the 

12   pay commission.  And now we sit here again faced 

13   with another commission, this one allegedly about 

14   public financing.  And yet tucked into the bowels 

15   of this proposal, in Part XXX, we see language 

16   having nothing to do with public financing.  

17   These lines refer to fusion voting, the ability 

18   of a candidate to run on multiple lines for 

19   office.  

20                I run on the Conservative, 

21   Independent and Republican lines.  Many of my 

22   friends on the other side run on the Working 

23   Families line as well as the Democratic line.  

24   And that has long been accepted as part of our 

25   system.  The Governor never questioned it before, 


                                                               2650

 1   so why now?  Let me take a wild guess.  The 

 2   Working Families Party backed Cynthia Nixon last 

 3   year, and Zephyr Teachout the previous time, so 

 4   now he's looking to crush his internal opponents 

 5   in the Working Families Party and his external 

 6   opponents on the right in one fell swoop.  And 

 7   that is what this section allows.  That is what 

 8   it contemplates.  And that is exactly what 

 9   Governor Cuomo will do.  

10                Don't vote for this.  Learn from 

11   history.  Learn from the pay commission.  To 

12   quote a famous song by The Who, "I won't get 

13   fooled again."  I urge everybody here to learn 

14   from history and to vote no.

15                Thank you, Mr. President.

16                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

17   Boyle on the bill.

18                SENATOR BRESLIN:   Thank you, 

19   Mr. President.  On the bill.  

20                First I'd like to quickly associate 

21   myself with the remarks of my colleagues 

22   regarding this commission.  What do we do around 

23   here?  First a pay raise commission, now the 

24   public financing commission.  Evidently there was 

25   a congestion pricing review board or commission.  


                                                               2651

 1   Why don't we just create one big commission and 

 2   let them make all the decisions for us?  That's 

 3   what it's coming to.  

 4                I'd also, more importantly, like to 

 5   speak about an environmental issue that's very 

 6   important in this bill, the Regional Greenhouse 

 7   Gas Initiative, better known as RGGI.  For our 

 8   newer members who may not know, RGGI is a 

 9   cooperative agreement between 10 states from 

10   Maryland to Maine, and they collect funds from 

11   power plants by the sale and auction of 

12   allowances, carbon dioxide allowances.  

13                In New York State, that is 

14   administered by the Department of Environmental 

15   Conservation, the DEC, and the funds are 

16   collected by NYSERDA, the New York State Energy 

17   Research and Development Authority.  It's a lot 

18   of money, almost $24 million in that fund.  These 

19   funds are supposed to go to the energy efficiency 

20   and clean energy technology account.  The account 

21   is administered for the purposes of, and I quote 

22   New York State Regulation 507.4, to promote and 

23   implement programs for energy efficiency, 

24   renewable and non-carbon-emitting technologies 

25   and innovative carbon emissions abatement 


                                                               2652

 1   technologies with significant carbon reduction 

 2   potential.  Twenty-four million dollars.

 3                With $24 million you can have the 

 4   opportunity to stop 16 to 18 metric tons of 

 5   carbon dioxide from going into New York State's 

 6   atmosphere.  With $24 million you could purchase 

 7   a solar farm with 18 megawatts of capacity.  

 8   Eighteen megawatts is enough to power 

 9   3,100 homes, and it could be done without one 

10   drop of carbon dioxide.  

11                However, this bill sweeps or steals 

12   the $24 million from the RGGI fund and puts it 

13   into the General Fund.  Big mistake.  I know I 

14   hear a lot from both sides of the aisle talking 

15   about climate change, we need to stop pollution, 

16   protect our environment.  I'm urging my 

17   colleagues on the Majority side to join the 

18   environmentalists on my side in voting against 

19   this.

20                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

21   Kavanagh.

22                SENATOR KAVANAGH:   Thank you, 

23   Mr. President.  

24                I have a question about the 

25   provision that was just mentioned by a colleague 


                                                               2653

 1   across the aisle, Part XXX, regarding the 

 2   commission.  I don't know if maybe Senator Myrie 

 3   is the appropriate person.

 4                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 5   Gianaris.  

 6                SENATOR GIANARIS:   I believe 

 7   Senator Myrie will answer this question.

 8                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 9   Myrie, would you yield for a question?  

10                SENATOR MYRIE:   Yes, Mr. President.

11                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   the 

12   sponsor yields.

13                SENATOR KAVANAGH:   Okay.  So my 

14   question is about this Part XXX, which is about 

15   the establishment of a commission to create a 

16   voluntary public financing system for statewide 

17   and state legislative public offices.  And 

18   there's been a lot of talk today, Senator Myrie, 

19   in other contexts about whether this language 

20   would in fact authorize this commission to make 

21   other changes that are unrelated to public 

22   financing.  And I just don't read it that way, 

23   and I'm wondering if Senator Myrie could comment.

24                So the language that people are 

25   concerned about is Part J of Section 2, which is 


                                                               2654

 1   a long list of things that the commission would 

 2   be asked to do in the context of creating a 

 3   public financing system, and then there's Section 

 4   3, which says "The commission shall limit its 

 5   recommendations to a public financing program 

 6   that has a total maximum annual fiscal cost of no 

 7   more than $100 million."  

 8                So I wonder if -- do you read this 

 9   as permitting this commission to make laws that 

10   would become enacted laws upon its recommendation 

11   unless the Legislature were to effectively void 

12   them?  Do you read it as allowing that commission 

13   to make recommendations beyond what's necessary 

14   to create a public financing system?

15                SENATOR MYRIE:   Mr. President, 

16   through you, I do not read it as such.  Section 2 

17   of Part XXX says "the commission shall 

18   specifically determine and identify all details 

19   and components reasonably related to the 

20   administration of the public financing program."  

21                That section is then followed by ten 

22   subsections that mention public financing 

23   explicitly or implicitly by referring to it as 

24   "the program."  Section J then says "Rules and 

25   definitions governing," followed by a number of 


                                                               2655

 1   phrases that may have been interpreted to say 

 2   that this has jurisdiction outside of public 

 3   financing.  But I think collectively the 10 

 4   subsections, combined with Section 2 and the 

 5   following section, that says it must limit its 

 6   recommendations to the public financing program, 

 7   do not allow for this commission to examine 

 8   things outside of public financing.

 9                When it mentions political party 

10   qualifications or multiple party candidate 

11   nominations, it is as it pertains to public 

12   financing.  For example, if there is an 

13   individual who wants to run on multiple party 

14   lines, should they be allowed to take advantage 

15   of the public financing system?  

16                So it is my belief that the intent 

17   of this commission and the intent of this 

18   legislation is to determine how best to institute 

19   a public financing system in the State of 

20   New York.

21                SENATOR KAVANAGH:   Thank you.  

22   Through you, Mr. President, thank you, Senator 

23   Myrie.  No further questions.

24                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

25   Jacobs.


                                                               2656

 1                SENATOR JACOBS:   Thank you.  On the 

 2   bill.

 3                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 4   Jacobs on the bill.

 5                SENATOR JACOBS:   A few days ago, 

 6   about a week and a half ago, a number of judges 

 7   in my area invited all the elected officials, 

 8   their staffs, to come and meet with them to get 

 9   their thoughts and to express their --

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Order 

11   in the chamber, please.

12                Continue, Senator Jacobs.

13                SENATOR JACOBS:   -- and the judges 

14   to express their concerns about the criminal 

15   justice measures that were being discussed in the 

16   budget.

17                In all the time I've been in elected 

18   office, I've never heard of members of our local 

19   judiciary calling electeds to talk to them about 

20   how serious they took these changes and the 

21   concerns of them.  Asking other of my colleagues 

22   who have been in elected office longer than I, 

23   they also don't recollect such a meeting.

24                That meant a lot to me that these 

25   individuals, from a variety of parties, a variety 


                                                               2657

 1   of backgrounds, all came together to express 

 2   their concerns.

 3                I also got a call from a trooper who 

 4   said:  Off the record, because I work technically 

 5   for the Governor -- to express his concerns, a 

 6   trooper that works specifically in dealing with 

 7   campus sexual assaults and the consequences these 

 8   changes would have in his ability to do his job.  

 9                And then here we are tonight where 

10   the head of the District Attorneys Association 

11   comments very, very strongly about his concerns 

12   and lack of input on this major and sweeping 

13   piece of legislation that is within this budget.

14                In the three years I've been in the 

15   Senate, I've commented often on concerns I've had 

16   where major policy issues have been put into the 

17   budget, which is supposed to be about the 

18   expenses and the revenues of the budget and not 

19   broad-based policy.

20                I would say this is -- this instance 

21   is greater than any other where a major and 

22   sweeping policy is put into this budget.  And I 

23   would just urge this body to reconsider that this 

24   major policy -- and there's merits to it, I've 

25   listened with interest as Senator Bailey and 


                                                               2658

 1   Senator Ranzenhofer and Senator Gianaris and 

 2   Senator Lanza discussed with a lot of different 

 3   experiences and insights.  Unfortunately, the ink 

 4   is already dry on this.  This is already 

 5   happening.  It was a discussion for the sake of I 

 6   don't know what.

 7                But I think this needs more time to 

 8   know the consequences in terms of the people who 

 9   are being charged, in terms of protecting the 

10   victim, in terms of the major fiscal impact that 

11   could happen here.  I do not believe, with all 

12   the people that we respect -- the judiciary, the 

13   District Attorneys Association and others that we 

14   respect -- I do not think it is responsible to 

15   enact this within the budget tonight.

16                I am in the negative.  Thank you.

17                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Are 

18   there any other Senators wishing to be heard?

19                Senator Rivera on the bill.

20                SENATOR RIVERA:   Thank you, 

21   Mr. President.  

22                I wanted to wait until the end 

23   because I wanted to make sure that I heard 

24   everything that was said.  It will be quick, 

25   don't worry.


                                                               2659

 1                It is -- every vote on a bill -- 

 2   every budget vote is a challenge.  We have to 

 3   take into consideration everything that is in, 

 4   that it is not.  And this has been, as I said 

 5   before, a challenging budget year.

 6                The bill before us has a bunch of 

 7   stuff in it kind of like a turducken.  You've 

 8   heard of that, I'm sure.  You take a small bird, 

 9   you put it inside a bigger bird, and you put it 

10   inside a bigger bird, and sometimes you deep-fry 

11   it.  Sounds disgusting just thinking about it.  

12                But there are things in here that 

13   are important to point out.  It is -- although 

14   it's certainly not perfect and nothing in this 

15   budget is, the congestion pricing scheme that we 

16   came up with, while again certainly not perfect, 

17   does create a revenue stream for the MTA which is 

18   absolutely necessary.  Ninety to 95 percent of 

19   the people in my district use a bus or a train 

20   every single day.  It is necessary to make sure 

21   that if we're going to have the city run, that we 

22   have the public transportation system run 

23   effectively.  

24                There's much to do still, and I 

25   trust that my colleagues, both Senator Kennedy 


                                                               2660

 1   and Senator Comrie, will do their best to make 

 2   sure that as we make this transition, it happens 

 3   well.  So that is a good thing.

 4                I do think that speedy trial and 

 5   bail reform are absolutely necessary.  And I 

 6   would ask my colleagues who mentioned many of the 

 7   resistance that they have to this change to 

 8   consider and remember one of my former 

 9   constituents, Kalief Browder.  We've talked about 

10   him on this floor before.  A young man of 16 who 

11   was arrested, charged with stealing a backpack, 

12   spent three years in Rikers Island, was 

13   ultimately let out of Rikers Island with charges 

14   dropped because he had done nothing.  And because 

15   of what he suffered in there, he ultimately 

16   committed suicide.  

17                And let us remember that the reason 

18   he was in Rikers Island was because he did not 

19   have the money to post bail to leave Rikers 

20   Island.  And there are many Kalief Browders still 

21   to this day that are in there.

22                So I believe it is absolutely 

23   necessary.  And my colleague -- and I trust that 

24   my colleagues that made the decision of what this 

25   package needs to look like did the right thing.  


                                                               2661

 1   I thank Senator Bailey, Senator Kaminsky and 

 2   others who were involved in making sure that this 

 3   is the right thing.

 4                I want to just briefly talk about 

 5   the public financing commission.  I will be 

 6   quick, but I just think that this needs to be 

 7   said for the record.  I share many of the 

 8   concerns that my colleagues have about this not 

 9   being a real thing.  And matter of fact, except 

10   for the fact that Senator Funke said that he did 

11   not support campaign finance, if you took me 

12   saying I support public finance and then you took 

13   everything else that you said, it would have 

14   basically been exactly the same thing.  

15                So I share your concerns about it.  

16   And I believe that this is not the end of it, and 

17   we're certainly going to look at it very closely.  

18   Because for those of us that believe that this is 

19   important and necessary, this is not a good 

20   thing.

21                However, in balance, one has to make 

22   a decision.  Which is why I will be voting in the 

23   positive, in the affirmative for this piece of 

24   legislation, because there's a lot of things that 

25   should be in it, things that are in it give us -- 


                                                               2662

 1   move forward on certain ways.  But we will have 

 2   much more to say after we get this budget passed 

 3   on all of these issues again.  

 4                Again, Mr. President, I'll be voting 

 5   in the affirmative.  Thank you.

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Seeing 

 7   and hearing no other Senators wishing to be 

 8   heard, Senator Flanagan to close debate.

 9                SENATOR FLANAGAN:   Thank you, 

10   Mr. President.  

11                I actually have one question, and 

12   it's on education.  I don't know if I should be 

13   asking Senator Mayer or Senator Krueger to yield.

14                SENATOR GIANARIS:   That will be 

15   Senator Mayer.

16                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

17   Mayer, do you yield?

18                SENATOR MAYER:   Happy to.

19                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

20   Senator yields.

21                SENATOR FLANAGAN:   Thank you, 

22   Mr. President.  Through you.  My question relates 

23   to this bill, the school runs, and what I saw.  

24   And we can talk about BOCES, we can talk about 

25   Special Acts, 4201s, all of which I know you 


                                                               2663

 1   strongly support.  And we could probably have 

 2   multiple, multiple hours of conversation on 

 3   Foundation Aid.  But I looked at this, and I 

 4   looked at my own districts, and they didn't do so 

 5   well.  But that's not my question.

 6                I noticed that -- after talking to 

 7   Senator Funke, Senator Robach, Senator Helming, 

 8   Senator Antonacci, Senator Tedisco and a number 

 9   of my colleagues who represent small cities and 

10   members of the Big Five, I looked to see if there 

11   was anything special for them outside of the 

12   regular funding that would be in the school aid 

13   run.  We all looked at the runs together, and 

14   there was nothing.  When I look at this run -- 

15   and on the last page of the run are the details 

16   for the Big Five.  And I notice that for some 

17   particular reason that the City of Yonkers gets a 

18   $12 million special grant that no one else in the 

19   state gets.  

20                With over 700 school districts in 

21   the State of New York, I'm trying to figure out 

22   even with the academic grant that they get of 

23   $17.5 million -- which they need, and which 

24   they've been getting year after year -- and even 

25   with a $10 million increase in Foundation Aid, 


                                                               2664

 1   which they need, their state aid is close to 

 2   7 percent.  And now with this special grant that 

 3   goes to them and them alone, their state aid is 

 4   close to 11 percent if not 11 percent.

 5                Can you explain how they are 

 6   different and why they seem to be special 

 7   compared to all of my colleagues who represent 

 8   municipalities that are similarly situated and 

 9   who have virtually identical needs?  

10                SENATOR MAYER:   Through you, 

11   Mr. President, I'm happy to.  

12                In the first place, I would dispute 

13   your premise that the small cities and districts 

14   throughout New York did not benefit by many of 

15   the policy changes in this budget that relate to 

16   education funding.  The rejection of the proposed 

17   consolidation of expense-based aids, the raising 

18   of the BOCES superintendents' salary, the 

19   staggering building condition survey.  There are 

20   a remarkable number, I would say, of positive 

21   policy provisions in this budget that positively 

22   impact every district in the state, and many of 

23   the members on your side of the aisle probably 

24   more than some of our more urban districts.  

25                So I take -- I think you're 


                                                               2665

 1   incorrect in your initial assessment.

 2                With respect to the City of Yonkers, 

 3   I'm happy to answer.  As you know, I spent six 

 4   years very proudly fighting for Yonkers school 

 5   funding before I came here.  This year Yonkers 

 6   faced a $60 million operating deficit in the 

 7   Yonkers public schools' operating budget for the 

 8   next year.  I think that greatly exceeds any 

 9   other hole in the budget from a break-even 

10   operating budget for any other district.

11                In order for Yonkers to avoid 

12   massive layoffs, reductions in what is already 

13   completely inadequate services -- less social 

14   workers, psychologists, art, music, sports and 

15   everything else that you would want for your 

16   district -- Yonkers needed $60 million.  We have 

17   been unable to fill that gap.  We have made a 

18   good-faith effort to help Yonkers avoid a 

19   catastrophe, at the request of the mayor and, on 

20   a bipartisan basis, the Yonkers City Council.  

21                And I'm proud that we were able to 

22   begin to address the shortfall in Yonkers.  I 

23   talked to the mayor today.  We have not finished, 

24   we cannot avoid a crisis.  Our job is to address 

25   the shortfall in the districts throughout the 


                                                               2666

 1   state.  Yonkers has an extraordinary shortfall, 

 2   and it is our job and I'm proud that we are 

 3   beginning to address it.

 4                SENATOR FLANAGAN:   Thank you, 

 5   Senator Mayer.

 6                Mr. President, on the bill.

 7                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 8   Flanagan on the bill.

 9                SENATOR FLANAGAN:   I want to thank 

10   Senator Mayer for her response.  

11                But I'm just looking at Senator 

12   Amedore, who had very detailed conversations with 

13   me based on me seeing him on TV fighting for one 

14   of his school districts, during which he told me 

15   they have a $2 million deficit.  I had 

16   conversations with Senator Griffo, who happened 

17   to tell me about a multi-million-dollar deficit 

18   in one of his school districts.  And I daresay I 

19   could look at every one -- looking at Rich Funke, 

20   the magnitude of the issues confronting 

21   Rochester.

22                And the points that Senator Mayer 

23   raised about things that were done for small city 

24   schools and others, those were done for everyone.  

25   Everyone.  Every school district.  So if we were 


                                                               2667

 1   being equitable and we were doing it in that 

 2   fashion, then anyone who would have a deficit 

 3   should be given special consideration.

 4                I just know when I go back to the 

 5   districts I represent -- and I listened to my 

 6   colleagues -- people are going to -- they're 

 7   going to know this.  It's not like it's hidden 

 8   somewhere.  They're going to know and they're 

 9   going to say, I looked at this.  How did they get 

10   that bonus?  How did they get almost an 

11   additional 4 percent specifically lined out 

12   compared to everyone else?  

13                I think I know the answer, and I 

14   know how I'll answer it when the question comes 

15   to me.  And I'm pretty sure I know how my 

16   colleagues will answer it as well.  

17                And I look at the education package 

18   in relation to something that we did just about 

19   three weeks ago.  We were here and we listened to 

20   a number of our colleagues talk about the 

21   one-house budget and the priorities and 

22   Foundation Aid and Foundation Aid and Foundation 

23   Aid and Foundation Aid.  And how the promise had 

24   not been kept.  And how this Majority put on the 

25   floor before us an education package of 


                                                               2668

 1   $1.6 billion, matched by the State Assembly at 

 2   $1.6 billion as well.

 3                And less than three weeks later, we 

 4   find ourselves back here and you all are coming 

 5   back with a Foundation Aid number that is half of 

 6   what was advocated and an overall package in 

 7   education that is $600 million less than what you 

 8   voted for a couple of weeks ago.  And that's what 

 9   you brought to us, and that's what you voted for 

10   and that's what you supported.  We did not.  And 

11   I don't have any intentions of voting for this 

12   bill.  

13                So when I hear about Foundation Aid, 

14   I heard there was going to be a three-year 

15   phase-in to meet the promise and meet the 

16   commitment.  It's not here.  It's not in the 

17   bill.  I know we had this thing called the GEA, 

18   the Gap Elimination Adjustment.  We fought to 

19   make sure and we got in the budget a multiyear 

20   promise and a multiyear commitment in the budget 

21   to make sure that it got done.  But that's not in 

22   here for Foundation Aid.

23                Now, the number for Foundation Aid 

24   last year was $618 million, and that's exactly 

25   what it is this year.  But I know all my 


                                                               2669

 1   districts do not do as well.  The minimum granted 

 2   to each district this year is less than half of 

 3   what it was last year.  That's on education.  

 4                I listened to the comments about 

 5   what is commonly referred to but misnamed as 

 6   congestion pricing.  It's a commuter tax.  It's a 

 7   reinstatement of the commuter tax.  And I 

 8   listened to Senator Lanza; I would only add this 

 9   to what he says.  It's going to hurt my 

10   constituents.  It's going to hurt Phil Boyle's 

11   constituents.  It's going to hurt Kenny LaValle's 

12   constituents.  It's going to hurt Sue Serino's 

13   constituents.  Because they're all going to have 

14   to pay that tax.

15                Now, we have two similar problems.  

16   Number one, congestion pricing commuter tax.  The 

17   responsibility for that is being kicked down the 

18   road.  I call it punting.  And I said to some of 

19   my colleagues today when you play football and 

20   your team is punting more than it should, you're 

21   losing.

22                Here the Governor and the 

23   Legislature is abdicating its responsibility.  

24   There was a recent fare increase and toll 

25   increase that was voted on by the MTA board.  I 


                                                               2670

 1   don't have any problem with that, because the 

 2   Governor controls the board.  They had to be held 

 3   accountable.  But now we're passing this off to 

 4   somebody else because it's tough and because 

 5   nobody really wants to do it.  In reality, the 

 6   board is controlled by the Governor.  He makes 

 7   the bulk of the appointments.  Make them do it.  

 8   Don't slough it off to somebody else.  

 9                And everyone's been told, you've got 

10   to come up with $15 billion in order to make this 

11   work.  We haven't even seen the effects of what 

12   we did last year for for-hire vehicles and taxis 

13   and livery and everything else.

14                I don't think it's responsible to 

15   ask someone else to do it.  Senator Lanza made 

16   very valuable points about we don't know -- 10, 

17   15, $20?  I read today the Verrazano, 19 bucks, 

18   the most expensive bridge in the country.  You 

19   talk about a lousy distinction.  The iconic 

20   bridge is the most expensive bridge in the 

21   country.  

22                Those decisions should not be 

23   delegated.  Tough though they may be, those 

24   decisions should be made by people who are 

25   appointed on that board.  Not some panel, not 


                                                               2671

 1   some review board, not some group of people who 

 2   may be experts -- but they shouldn't be the ones 

 3   making the decision.  That should be done by 

 4   people who are appointed, whether it's the 

 5   Governor or anybody else, so they can be held 

 6   accountable.

 7                Last, but God, by no means least, 

 8   when I look at what we went through in this 

 9   budget, and here we are finishing up -- and I 

10   will finish up -- there was a whole discussion 

11   about all kinds of things that we could fund and 

12   the things we couldn't fund and it's a tough 

13   budget.  I've been here 33 years.  And I may have 

14   been born at night, but my God, it was not last 

15   night.  This commission for public financing of 

16   campaigns, anybody who votes for this, anyone who 

17   votes for it, you are voting for public financing 

18   of campaigns.  And if that's your schtick, more 

19   power to you.  

20                I am philosophically opposed to 

21   public financing of campaigns in any way, shape 

22   or form.  I can think of many, many, many, many 

23   better uses for that money.  Here we are creating 

24   a fund, welfare for politicians.  People say no, 

25   it really works, look at New York City.  Boy, if 


                                                               2672

 1   I look at the public financing of campaigns, I 

 2   will look at New York City and say that is the 

 3   exact thing that I would never want to see 

 4   happen.  

 5                I think that system stinks.  I think 

 6   it's an abomination.  I think it is abuse of 

 7   taxpayers.  And if that's going to be the 

 8   template -- the charge of this commission is not 

 9   something that should be given to somebody else.  

10   Now we find ourselves in the situation the 

11   Assembly has passed this year after year after 

12   year and shoved it into our face.  And I'm 

13   perfectly happy to have said yes, I never voted 

14   for it.  And if I had a chance to vote for it, I 

15   would vote against it, which is exactly what I'm 

16   going to do tonight.

17                I wouldn't want to go home to my 

18   taxpayers and say, hey, you got to pay this for 

19   this really glossy mailer that tells somebody 

20   that somebody else is an idiot.  

21                We should be spending money on the 

22   environment, on healthcare, on direct care 

23   workers, on Lyme disease, on veterans services, 

24   making sure that we don't have to do things like 

25   a prescription drug tax that's going to cost 


                                                               2673

 1   seniors.  And I don't believe for one second, not 

 2   one, that this is going to be limited to 

 3   $100 million.  Because I have seen the pay 

 4   commission -- twice -- and I sat in a room when 

 5   those decisions were made.  That pay commission, 

 6   they went so far outside their field of 

 7   authority.  I am New York certain that that's 

 8   exactly what's going to happen if we give this 

 9   power away to some unelected board.  

10                If people want to support public 

11   financing of campaigns, put it on the floor for 

12   real.  Don't pass it off to somebody else.  We 

13   were elected to govern, and that includes making 

14   the difficult choices.  

15                There are plenty of other things to 

16   talk about in this component of the budget.  

17   Mr. President, I appreciate your indulgence.  

18   Senator Mayer, thank you for answering my 

19   question.  And in case you weren't able to figure 

20   it out, I will be voting no.

21                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Clear.  

22   We are clear, Senator Flanagan.

23                The Secretary will ring the bell.

24                Read the last section.

25                THE SECRETARY:   Section 3.  This 


                                                               2674

 1   act shall take effect immediately.

 2                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

 3   the roll.

 4                (The Secretary called the roll.)

 5                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 6   Jackson to explain his vote.

 7                SENATOR JACKSON:   Thank you, 

 8   Mr. President and my colleagues.  I rise in order 

 9   to speak about education funding.  

10                And I say to all of you that I will 

11   be voting yes, but with reservations.  The unity 

12   of our Democratic Conference, and to support all 

13   of the positive things that we have done and all 

14   of the positive things that we are working on in 

15   this $175.5 billion budget, and all the future 

16   legislation we intend to work on.

17                For those of you who are unaware, I 

18   launched the Campaign for Fiscal Inequity in 1993 

19   as the president of Community School Board 6 in 

20   Manhattan when my youngest daughter was in the 

21   first grade at PS/IS 187.  And yes, I make 

22   reference to my children because this is 

23   personal.

24                The lawsuit took 13 years.  And I 

25   walked 150 miles from New York City to Albany -- 


                                                               2675

 1   eight days -- in order to fight for the children 

 2   of the State of New York.  And we won.  The Court 

 3   of Appeals ruled in our favor in 2006.  And in 

 4   2007, some of you were here when Eliot Spitzer, 

 5   the then-Governor at the time, and the 

 6   Legislature created the Foundation Aid formula so 

 7   every child in New York State would have the 

 8   funds to provide them with the opportunity to get 

 9   a sound, basic education.  That's what this was 

10   about.  And that's what the fight continues 

11   today.

12                Two months ago I joined with the 

13   Alliance of Quality Education to tour schools 

14   across New York State.  We visited Rochester, 

15   Syracuse, Schenectady, Peekskill, Ellenville, 

16   Mount Vernon, Ossining, Washington Heights in 

17   New York City, in my district, Westbury and 

18   Brentwood, Long Island.  And what do we find?  

19   Underfunded schools.  Many kids being denied the 

20   opportunity for a sound, basic education.  

21                Well, this is what the Constitution 

22   of New York State guarantees them, the 

23   opportunity to get that sound, basic education.  

24   And why don't we have it?  I can think about the 

25   past in this legislative body, but I'm not going 


                                                               2676

 1   to raise that now.  I know that this body failed 

 2   to give those children the opportunity for a 

 3   sound, basic education.  And now this body, along 

 4   our Governor -- this Governor has refused to 

 5   fully fund the Foundation Aid formula.  And no 

 6   one can tell me that it doesn't work.  Fund it 

 7   first, then tell me it doesn't work.  

 8                Yes, $4 billion are owed to our 

 9   children under the Foundation Aid formula.  And 

10   you know one thing?  They're entitled to it.  And 

11   we have an obligation to give it to them.  And if 

12   we don't, we fail in our responsibility to the 

13   children of New York State.

14                You may disagree with me, but I tell 

15   you, I've been to these schools, I know what they 

16   look like.  I've sat through 12 hearings and 

17   joint hearings with superintendents and mayors 

18   and Bill de Blasio -- and I know a lot of you 

19   don't like him -- all of them spoke about the 

20   fact that if in fact Foundation Aid is not 

21   increased and fully funded, there will be layoffs 

22   all around.  Programs will be cut, after-school 

23   programs, intervention programs.  And there's one 

24   district, a rural district, they don't even have 

25   one social worker in the entire district.


                                                               2677

 1                The New York State Board of Regents 

 2   and the State Commissioner of Education said this 

 3   year at budget hearings, please fund $1.6 billion 

 4   this year and phase in the rest of the $4 billion 

 5   next year -- over the next three years, so our 

 6   children will have the opportunity for a sound, 

 7   basic education.

 8                And this isn't about upstate versus 

 9   downstate or urban versus suburban or rural.  

10   This is about every part of New York State.  And 

11   it's our obligation to educate the 2.2 million 

12   students of our state.

13                The fight might be over today, but 

14   tomorrow is another day.  And every day after, we 

15   will organize and fight anyone blocking our 

16   children from getting the opportunity for a 

17   sound, basic education.  

18                Thank you, Mr. President.

19                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

20   Jackson to be recorded in the affirmative.

21                Senator Gianaris to explain his 

22   vote.

23                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Thank you, 

24   Mr. President.

25                I want to start out by pointing out 


                                                               2678

 1   that I don't like his bill.  And it's got a lot 

 2   of things in it that frankly shouldn't be there, 

 3   and other things that shouldn't be anywhere.  But 

 4   we're here because of a flawed process that we'd 

 5   better get our hands around going forward, 

 6   because this state's going in a very dangerous 

 7   place and people are being disenfranchised when 

 8   the Legislature doesn't get to have its say 

 9   properly over the issues before us.  

10                I want to agree with Senator 

11   Flanagan.  There are things in here that 

12   shouldn't be all put together.  But they are, and 

13   we're stuck with it.  For example, you all just 

14   voted against the property tax cap.  

15   Congratulations.  I know that you've been working 

16   for that for many years, but it took a Democratic 

17   majority to get it permanent.

18                But the point is, you shouldn't be 

19   forced to make a decision between that and 

20   everything else in this bill, nor should we.  And 

21   yet here we are.  

22                And I am supporting this bill, 

23   because there are some amazing historic things 

24   that are done in it.  And unfortunately, we are 

25   forced to make some very difficult and unfair 


                                                               2679

 1   decisions to make them happen.

 2                For me, I am incredibly proud that 

 3   we are transforming our criminal justice system 

 4   today and making it fairer for so many who have 

 5   been suffering simply because they are poor and 

 6   cannot afford to buy their way out of jail.  That 

 7   is something to be proud of.  That is something, 

 8   when our public service careers are over, we can 

 9   look back on and say we helped thousands and 

10   thousands of people in this state get out of the 

11   cycle of the criminal justice system that has 

12   plagued our communities for far too long.  And 

13   for me, that's worth a yes vote.  

14                There are other things in this bill 

15   that I like, there are other things I don't like.  

16   There are things we shouldn't even be talking 

17   about in any context that are in this bill.

18                But for me, saving those lives is 

19   incredible, and I'm proud to be a part of it.  

20   I'm proud that when we talk about Kalief Browder 

21   it's not just a story of tragedy now, but a story 

22   of reform that will help so many that will follow 

23   in his footsteps.

24                And I do want to thank my colleagues 

25   who worked so hard to help make this happen -- 


                                                               2680

 1   Senator Bailey, Senator Myrie, Senator Mayer, 

 2   Senator Kaminsky -- who helped put the words on 

 3   the paper to make this happen.  But it is 

 4   something that I think, given time, even my 

 5   colleagues who are voting no will appreciate that 

 6   this was done.

 7                I also want to say a word of thanks 

 8   to Senator Jackson, because he is absolutely 

 9   right.  We have to get our act together on 

10   funding our schools properly in this state.  

11   Because what all these issues have in common is a 

12   brighter future for young people in New York.

13                And because there are things in this 

14   bill that will bring dramatic reform to our 

15   state, I will be voting yes, Mr. President.  

16   Thank you.

17                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

18   Gianaris to be recorded in the affirmative.

19                Senator Serino to explain her vote.

20                SENATOR SERINO:   Thank you, 

21   Mr. President.  And I'm going to speak on my 

22   vote, and I will be brief.  I know it's late.

23                There's an abundance of issues that 

24   I have with this revenue bill, but I want to 

25   focus on one that really hits home for my 


                                                               2681

 1   residents and my community, the topic of 

 2   conversation basically tonight, the MTA.  

 3                Since taking office I have been 

 4   calling for an independent forensic audit of the 

 5   MTA, and I'm absolutely thrilled to see this 

 6   piece in this budget bill.  As you may be aware, 

 7   the New York Times ran an exposé, and I believe 

 8   it was last year, that showed that MTA 

 9   construction costs are about seven times higher 

10   than the global average.  

11                In regard to operating costs, since 

12   the job-killing MTA payroll tax was put into 

13   place in 2009, the entire $1.5 billion that the 

14   tax brings in has been consumed by growing 

15   operating costs.  It is absolutely critical that 

16   the state prioritizes curbing MTA construction 

17   and operating costs.  

18                I am, however, incredibly disturbed 

19   to see that this is being done in the same bill 

20   that would enact an aggressive congestion pricing 

21   scheme, and that required the reorganization plan 

22   to be submitted before the forensic audit is 

23   required to be released.  While I see that the 

24   effective dates require the forensic audit to be 

25   completed before the commuter tax actually kicks 


                                                               2682

 1   in, I worry that by already approving the 

 2   commuter tax and rushing the reorganization plan, 

 3   the audit's results won't be taken seriously by 

 4   this body or by the MTA.  And I really hope it's 

 5   not just a PR sham.  

 6                Before we take in a single dollar of 

 7   new revenue for the money pit that is the broken 

 8   MTA, the state needs to fully comprehend its 

 9   failings and put a plan in place to ensure 

10   efficiency and smart use of taxpayer dollars.  I 

11   urge my colleagues to take this initiative 

12   seriously, because I know that my constituents -- 

13   and I'm sure I'm not alone on this one -- are 

14   sick and tired of being considered an ATM for the 

15   MTA.  

16                This is just one of the many reasons 

17   that I cannot in good conscience support this 

18   bill.  I vote nay, Mr. President.  Thank you.

19                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

20   Serino to be recorded in the negative.

21                Senator Liu to explain his vote.

22                SENATOR LIU:   Thank you, 

23   Mr. President.  

24                I want to say that in New York State 

25   really the most important job that we have is 


                                                               2683

 1   educating our schoolkids.  And thus if you look 

 2   at our total expenditures, schools, our public 

 3   schools and education are among the very top.

 4                As we all know, it's certainly not 

 5   enough.  We have been all saying that it's a 

 6   little over $4 billion short.  I believe we've 

 7   made every effort to increase that school aid as 

 8   much as possible.  And in fact we did increase it 

 9   by just a little over a billion dollars in total 

10   over last year's spending.  It's still not 

11   enough.  And $618 million of additional 

12   Foundation Aid is not nearly enough.  

13                I think that going forward we have 

14   to make it very clear we still owe the 

15   schoolchildren of this state another $3.5 billion 

16   to be square with what the courts demanded of us 

17   a number of years ago.

18                We will continue to work to improve 

19   our schools.  On the New York City front, I want 

20   to say that we are giving the mayor a three-year 

21   extension of his so-called control, what we like 

22   to consider accountability.  That accountability 

23   will be looked at very seriously, I believe by 

24   our chamber as well as by our partner house in 

25   the Assembly.


                                                               2684

 1                As part of the extension of mayoral 

 2   accountability, a/k/a control, we are giving 

 3   parents a much stronger voice -- a stronger voice 

 4   on the CEC, a stronger voice in the PEP with the 

 5   addition of a parental appointment, the ability 

 6   to look at school closures and to provide input 

 7   before they occur, and also giving parents on the 

 8   CEC the opportunity to review final appointments 

 9   or final considerations for school and 

10   superintendent positions before they are actually 

11   made.

12                We're also demanding more 

13   accountability from the PEP itself in the form of 

14   if the mayor decides to remove a member, the 

15   mayor will have to provide the justifications for 

16   such removal.  And also there will be no more 

17   ability to exempt or permanently exempt a 

18   chancellor from the educational requirements 

19   under State Education Law.  That exemption would 

20   not be valid for more than six months, just for 

21   transition purposes.

22                So these are measures that I think 

23   will make our schools in New York City more 

24   accountable, run better.  And we will look for 

25   the mayor and his Department of Education in 


                                                               2685

 1   New York City to make sure that they are running 

 2   our schools as best as can possibly be.

 3                One other note.  The issue of 

 4   mobility tax, congestion pricing, whatever you 

 5   want to call it.  The point here is that it's 

 6   never an easy choice.  In fact, it's always an 

 7   ugly choice when it comes to the MTA.  But we 

 8   need the MTA.  The MTA runs our transit system.  

 9   The transit system, even when that revolves 

10   around the City of New York, is the economic 

11   engine for the entire state.  And so we need a 

12   solution to make sure that these trains and buses 

13   are running properly.  This is not the best 

14   solution, but I believe with our Chairmen Comrie 

15   and Kennedy, under the leadership of Andrea 

16   Stewart-Cousins, we will hold the MTA very much 

17   accountable and make sure that they indeed bring 

18   us finally into the 21st century when it comes to 

19   transit.  

20                Thank you, Mr. President.

21                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

22   Liu to be recorded in the affirmative.  

23                I'd like to remind all members, 

24   please keep your comments close to two minutes.  

25   Thank you.


                                                               2686

 1                Senator Bailey to explain his vote.

 2                SENATOR BAILEY:   Thank you, 

 3   Mr. President.

 4                I'd like to first thank Senator 

 5   Ranzenhofer and Senator Lanza for their spirited 

 6   discussion about this matter of criminal justice, 

 7   which will be the focus of my explanation of my 

 8   vote.  

 9                There was a movie called Miracle, 

10   about the 1980 U.S. Hockey Team, where Herb 

11   Brooks said:  "Great moments are born from great 

12   opportunity."  In this chamber today we have a 

13   great moment because of opportunity, because of 

14   the opportunity that the state gave us, who have 

15   a Democratic majority, to finally get criminal 

16   justice reform done.

17                You see, I recognize my opportunity 

18   that was given to me by Leader Stewart-Cousins to 

19   be the chair of the Codes Committee.  And it's 

20   something that I don't take for granted every 

21   night when I drive to my hotel and I pass by the 

22   University at Albany, where 15 years ago I was an 

23   intern across the aisle, across the hallway in 

24   the Assembly, under the leadership of Speaker 

25   Heastie, and I realize the opportunity that I've 


                                                               2687

 1   been given today to shape the face of criminal 

 2   justice reform.  A kid from the Bronx can help 

 3   shape the face of criminal justice reform -- that 

 4   is an amazing opportunity, afforded to me by 

 5   education at the University at Albany, afforded 

 6   to me by an incredible leader.  To quote -- we 

 7   didn't get a scripture today, Mr. President -- 

 8   Proverbs 27:17 says "Iron sharpens iron."  And 

 9   this is what we do in this chamber when you have 

10   people like myself and Senator Gianaris and 

11   Senator Myrie and Senator Kaminsky and Senator 

12   Mayer.  When we work together, there is no limit 

13   to the opportunity that we can accomplish, 

14   Mr. President.

15                Education is the great equalizer 

16   because it provides opportunity, but what about 

17   those who don't get that education and they don't 

18   get the opportunity?  They become prisoners of 

19   circumstance.  They become individuals who 

20   sometimes succumb to certain things.  But we have 

21   to make sure that the justice system is not a 

22   place that is unkind.  We have to make sure that 

23   it is fair.  

24                And you're wondering, well, how does 

25   this kid from -- that went to Bronx Science, 


                                                               2688

 1   that's never been in trouble, that's never been 

 2   arrested, as he said before, what the hell do you 

 3   know about criminal justice?  Well, I can tell 

 4   you, Mr. President.  In speaking to my aunt 

 5   today, I was reminded about my cousin, who spent 

 6   two and a half years on Rikers Island for a crime 

 7   he didn't commit.  We couldn't afford the bail.  

 8   They had no discovery.  By the grace of God -- 

 9   only by the grace of God, Mr. President, my 

10   cousin was released.

11                That is why I care about this so 

12   much.  That is why the opportunity to change 

13   these things has not been lost on me.  When we 

14   talk about Kalief Browder and not saying his name 

15   in vain, we have an opportunity once again, 

16   Mr. President, to make sure that the Kalief 

17   Browders that we've never met and never will meet 

18   don't meet the same fate.  That is our call, 

19   Mr. President, as public servants.  This is our 

20   job.  This is our vocation.  This is what we are 

21   elected to do.  

22                And today we've done it.  Before 

23   today, if you were a litigator in a civil case 

24   you got discovery plentifully when life and 

25   liberty wasn't on the line, but if you were in a 


                                                               2689

 1   criminal matter, oh, well.  Well, no more.  Not 

 2   after today.  Not after what this body is going 

 3   to do.  Landmark reform, Mr. President.

 4                I recognize my time is coming to an 

 5   end in the explanation of my vote, but I want to 

 6   leave you with this.  It was mentioned by Senator 

 7   Gianaris earlier about what are we doing this for 

 8   and who are we doing this for.  So in 15 years 

 9   when my daughters pick up a textbook or a tablet 

10   or whatever it is that kids are in school using 

11   at that point, I want them to be able to say 

12   "Dad, looked what you helped to do."  That's why 

13   we do this work, Mr. President.  And none of us 

14   should ever forget.  

15                I'm from the Borough of the Bronx, 

16   where our motto is "ne cede malis," which means, 

17   in Latin, to yield not to evil.  And this body 

18   will not yield, we have not yielded, and we will 

19   never yield.  I vote aye, Mr. President.  

20   Criminal justice reform has been done.

21                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

22   Bailey to be recorded in the affirmative.

23                Senator Antonacci to explain his 

24   vote -- Senator Antonacci to not explain his 

25   vote.  


                                                               2690

 1                Senator Biaggi to explain her vote.

 2                SENATOR BIAGGI:   Thank you, 

 3   Mr. President.

 4                I represent Rikers Island, where 

 5   we've heard now many times in this chamber Kalief 

 6   Browder spent three years in jail, nearly two of 

 7   them in solitary confinement, for allegedly 

 8   stealing a backpack.

 9                I represent Roosevelt Avenue, where 

10   immigrant and trans women face pretrial 

11   incarceration on charges related to survival, 

12   coercion and circumstance.  I represent hundreds 

13   of thousands of families who suffer the emotional 

14   trauma and financial strain of having a loved one 

15   incarcerated during pretrial.

16                Nearly 38,000 people are sent to 

17   Rikers every year because they cannot afford 

18   bail.  And each year more than 20,000 people are 

19   represented in Bronx Criminal Court faced with 

20   the very difficult decision of whether they 

21   should plead guilty or go to trial, mainly 

22   because they're forced to make decisions in the 

23   dark without key aspects of the case that is 

24   being brought against them.

25                The criminal justice system has 


                                                               2691

 1   disproportionately affected people of color, 

 2   people who do not have money, and it has happened 

 3   for too long in the great State of New York.  And 

 4   today we change that.

 5                I am humbled to be in this chamber 

 6   today when we are passing this transformational 

 7   policy, and I tip my hat to my colleagues Senator 

 8   Bailey, Senator Gianaris, Senator Mayer, Senator 

 9   Myrie, thank you.  The efforts for bail reform, 

10   for speedy trial reform, for discovery reform 

11   will be some of the best policy that we do this 

12   year.  

13                But I have to say, just like Senator 

14   Gianaris, I am not happy with the entirety of 

15   this bill.  When I speak in this chamber I 

16   recognize I'm not speaking for myself, I am 

17   speaking for all of the people of District 34 

18   that put me in here, from the Bronx and 

19   Westchester, from Pelham all the way to City 

20   Island, to Riverdale, all the way down to 

21   Hunts Point.  And on their behalf, I will say 

22   that I owe it to them to be transparent about 

23   this budget process.  

24                And I have to also say that from 

25   this week, this budget process requires an 


                                                               2692

 1   incredible dose of transformation, of 

 2   collaboration and of transparency.  And why?  

 3   Senator Gianaris touched on it very, very 

 4   briefly.  Because of a case, Silver v. Pataki, a 

 5   ruling that gave the executive branch outsized 

 6   influence and ability to control key aspects of 

 7   the budget process.  

 8                And what we've learned, simply, is 

 9   that we really need a more collaborative way to 

10   make decisions to fund our state's priorities.  

11   And I don't think that there is a soul in this 

12   room who disagrees with me.

13                This is how we get our state 

14   government to work better.  This is how we make 

15   smarter decisions, by fully leveraging all of the 

16   smart and dedicated members of our Legislature in 

17   both chambers.  My voters sent me to here to 

18   deliver a more transparent and progressive 

19   government for them and for their families.  And 

20   despite the sobering realities of what I've seen 

21   this week, I'm determined to achieve that for 

22   them.  And, lucky for them, I love a good 

23   challenge.

24                So these are the disappointing 

25   results of the process.  The failure of including 


                                                               2693

 1   the pied-á-terre tax, the failure of including 

 2   the ultra-millionaire's tax.  Our State Budget is 

 3   $175 billion, and our education Foundation Aid 

 4   funding is not even 1/100th of that.  

 5                So Senator Flanagan, who is not in 

 6   the chamber at the moment, I agree with you.  We 

 7   can do better and we will do better.  And we will 

 8   do better because we've only just begun.

 9                And lastly, because I know my time 

10   is now coming to an end, I ran on real campaign 

11   finance reform.  And to those people in this 

12   chamber who believe that it costs the state too 

13   much or that the taxpayers should not be paying 

14   for campaign finance reform, this is what I say 

15   to you.  Too many members in this chamber have 

16   left in handcuffs.  And that is because of money 

17   in politics and the corrupting influence that it 

18   has on people making decisions in the Legislature 

19   and other branches of our government.

20                So I will close tonight by saying 

21   this.  We've seen how this process is done.  It 

22   is illuminating, it is inspiring, and we will 

23   look forward to transforming it.  

24                Thank you, Mr. President.  I vote 

25   aye.


                                                               2694

 1                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 2   Biaggi to be recorded in the affirmative.

 3                Senator Gianaris.

 4                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

 5   the hour is very late, it's 11:30.  I do just 

 6   want to remind our colleagues, we do have a rule 

 7   to keep our vote explanations to two minutes.  

 8   The list of those who still want to explain their 

 9   votes is lengthy.  So I would ask you, 

10   Mr. President, to begin to enforce the rule 

11   because we do have to proceed with the business 

12   today.  Thank you.

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   It is 

14   so ordered.

15                Senator Ramos to explain her vote.

16                SENATOR RAMOS:   Thank you, 

17   Mr. President.  Serving in this body is really 

18   one of the greatest privileges in my life, and I 

19   know that.  Franklin Delano Roosevelt once worked 

20   in this very chamber.  He was of course a great 

21   man of privilege and a member of a political 

22   dynasty, kind of like we know who.  But his work 

23   here was always about helping the other.  He 

24   championed vast reforms to labor laws and put 

25   women and children on his agenda first.  He 


                                                               2695

 1   vehemently opposed Tammany Hall, perhaps because 

 2   he understood that New York State needed change.  

 3   African-Americans were migrating here for better 

 4   jobs, immigrants from Italy and Poland were 

 5   arriving, as were people from Ireland and Germany 

 6   still.  New York was set to make a choice between 

 7   the few and the many.  

 8                And we sit here today in this very 

 9   same chamber with the very same choice.  As we've 

10   stood on the brink of change these first three 

11   months of session, we've passed sweeping reforms 

12   improving democracy and the lives of many 

13   New Yorkers.  And this budget, like a true 

14   compromise, is equal parts Governor and 

15   Legislature.  Or so it would seem.  FDR was a 

16   true man of the people, and so of course he 

17   became president of this great country when 

18   Americans needed him most.  Our state needs us 

19   most today.  In New York there are tens of 

20   thousands of homeless people, people with jobs 

21   and people with families.  There are business 

22   tycoons with luxury apartments and summer homes.  

23   There are workers who are spending less and less 

24   time with their family because they have to go to 

25   work or commute on an unreliable transportation 


                                                               2696

 1   system.  There are CEOs making more than 

 2   300 times their workers' salaries.  We've seen 

 3   some of the tallest skyscrapers built in New York 

 4   City, but building affordable housing for those 

 5   very same construction workers is somehow hard.  

 6   Children are learning without music or art or in 

 7   proper classrooms, seniors on fixed incomes are 

 8   struggling to make ends meet.  It's as if all of 

 9   us have had to --

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

11   Ramos, how do you vote?

12                SENATOR RAMOS:   -- tighten our 

13   belts so that a select few can live a good life.  

14   And it's not an accident.  It's an orchestrated 

15   hijacking of our government --

16                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

17   Ramos, how do you vote?

18                SENATOR RAMOS:   I vote (slowly) 

19   aye.  

20                (Laughter.)

21                SENATOR RAMOS:   And I'm not done.

22                (Laughter.)

23                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

24   Ramos to be recorded in the affirmative.  

25                I apologize, Senator Ramos, but we 


                                                               2697

 1   have to enforce the rule that was just laid down 

 2   by our floor leader.

 3                SENATOR RAMOS:   -- Mr. President, 

 4   and if I may conclude very quickly, I did want to 

 5   get into a little bit about public financing and 

 6   corruption --

 7                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 8   Ramos.  

 9                Senator Krueger to explain her vote.  

10                I apologize, Senator Ramos.

11                SENATOR RAMOS:   Okay, thank you.

12                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   I 

13   apologize.

14                SENATOR RAMOS:   That's okay.

15                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

16   Gaughran to explain his vote.

17                SENATOR GAUGHRAN:   Okay.  To go 

18   quick.  

19                Mr. President, like it has been said 

20   by many of my colleagues, this process needs to 

21   be improved.  Maybe we shouldn't be putting all 

22   this policy in one big budget vote.  And we're 

23   probably going to have to make some adjustments 

24   and some amendments to a lot of what we are doing 

25   today.  


                                                               2698

 1                But there is a lot of good in this 

 2   budget.  And one of the things that's great is 

 3   finally we get a permanent property tax cap that 

 4   is going to significantly help every taxpayer in 

 5   my district, across Long Island, and across this 

 6   state.

 7                And I'm thrilled with the increase, 

 8   the record increase in school aid for 

 9   Long Island.  One of my districts, Glen Cove, a 

10   city school district, has been shortchanged by 

11   this chamber for years.  They have a fire monitor 

12   24/7 who goes around and the taxpayers pay him to 

13   make sure the buildings aren't on fire.  But 

14   62 percent of the kids in that district receive 

15   the free and reduced meals.  And under these 

16   formulas, for some reason, in the past they have 

17   not gotten the aid that they need.  Well, finally 

18   that injustice is being turned around.

19                We're going to finally get an audit 

20   of the MTA.  We're going to try to figure out why 

21   the Long Island Rail Road doesn't run on time.  

22   And AIM is fully restored, regardless of what 

23   anybody says in this chamber.  We wanted to get 

24   more, but we are in tough budget times.

25                And finally, Mr. President, I spoke 


                                                               2699

 1   to some families this week who lost their 

 2   children in tragic limousine accidents.  And one 

 3   of the great things we're doing today is we're 

 4   starting down the road to providing safety for 

 5   limousine drivers.  

 6                So, Mr. President, I vote aye.

 7                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 8   Gaughran to be recorded in the affirmative.

 9                Senator Ranzenhofer to explain his 

10   vote.

11                SENATOR RANZENHOFER:   Thank you, 

12   Mr. President.  

13                I rise to explain my vote.  I will 

14   be voting no, and for two primary reasons.  One 

15   is the criminal justice bill.  

16                And the comment that I would like to 

17   make on that is I heard some language earlier 

18   about this was an opportunity to make some 

19   changes.  But with opportunity comes 

20   responsibility as well.  And when I hear that a 

21   bill is introduced and the language for the very 

22   first time is available two hours before the 

23   vote, when there's no opportunity for the public 

24   to chime in and have comments on this, when 

25   there's no consultation with district attorneys 


                                                               2700

 1   and courts -- which are the very people that are 

 2   involved in the criminal justice system -- I 

 3   don't think that the opportunity was seized 

 4   properly and the responsibility was exercised as 

 5   it should have been.  

 6                And what I see here is a really 

 7   unbalanced changing of the criminal justice 

 8   system where we are no longer favoring the 

 9   victim, but we are favoring the criminal.  And 

10   that is one of the reasons I'm voting no.  

11                The second reason is, as you know -- 

12   and I think everybody has read the reports in 

13   this state that we are losing population greater 

14   than any other state in the entire United States.  

15   So what have we done?  What have we done?  

16                So if you shop and you like to buy 

17   your clothing or whatever online, it's now more 

18   expensive, you have to pay a new tax.  If you 

19   happen to need groceries and want to go to the 

20   grocery store and purchase groceries, you're now 

21   going to have to pay money for a paper bag.  If 

22   you happen to have the misfortune of having to 

23   have medications or pain medication, your 

24   medications are now going to be more expensive 

25   because you're going to be paying a tax on that.  


                                                               2701

 1                If you happen to get -- if someone 

 2   runs into you and your car is smashed and you 

 3   happen to rent a car, it's now going to be more 

 4   expensive for you to rent that car.

 5                And finally, it's now going to be 

 6   more expensive if you're a homeowner or a 

 7   business owner because with the money that we are 

 8   no longer giving to our counties and towns and 

 9   villages, we are now going to force them to raise 

10   property taxes.  

11                On all scores, we should be taking 

12   the exact opposite direction and we should be 

13   making it more affordable for people to live in 

14   this state.  Because we are not, because this 

15   budget is going in the wrong direction, I'll be 

16   voting no.  

17                Thank you, Mr. President.  One 

18   minute, 59 seconds.

19                (Laughter.)

20                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

21   Ranzenhofer to be recorded in the negative.

22                Senator Myrie to explain his vote.

23                SENATOR MYRIE:   Thank you, 

24   Mr. President.  

25                I'd like to thank my colleagues for 


                                                               2702

 1   their work on this budget and their work on the 

 2   criminal justice reform.  

 3                Today is a historic day, and not 

 4   just because we are voting on criminal justice 

 5   reform.  But 200 years ago to the date, in 1817, 

 6   March 31st, this New York State Legislature voted 

 7   to abolish slavery in the State of New York.  A 

 8   legislature that looked very different than how 

 9   it looks right now, but a legislature that was 

10   faced with a question that we are still facing 

11   today.  

12                And that is when you stand up and 

13   you pledge to that flag, to whom do the following 

14   lines apply:  "With liberty and justice for all"?  

15   Is it liberty and justice for the rich, liberty 

16   and justice for some, or is it liberty and 

17   justice for all?  

18                Reforming our bail system, reforming 

19   discovery, and reforming speedy trial is about 

20   justice.  Make no mistake, there is a direct line 

21   from slavery to our mass incarceration complex.  

22   And just as this Legislature 200 years ago was 

23   faced with the question of slavery, today we are 

24   faced with the question of liberty and justice.  

25                I stand proud today before you in a 


                                                               2703

 1   body and a chamber that wouldn't even let me in 

 2   the door 200 years ago.  In a body led by a woman 

 3   who wouldn't even be able to clean the bathrooms 

 4   200 years ago.  Today we change the course of 

 5   history in the State of New York.  And it is just 

 6   the first step.  

 7                So I urge my colleagues to join me 

 8   in voting to free our people today.  Once again, 

 9   Mr. President, I vote aye.

10                (Applause.)

11                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

12   Myrie to be recorded in the affirmative.

13                Senator Mayer to explain her vote.

14                SENATOR MAYER:   Thank you, 

15   Mr. President.  I rise to support my affirmative 

16   vote on this bill and to speak briefly on 

17   education.

18                No, this is not a perfect bill on 

19   education, as my colleagues have so aptly said.  

20   And while we have made some very important policy 

21   strides, we have vastly disappointed the students 

22   of New York by not putting enough money on the 

23   table that they are owed.  

24                And I want to assure my colleagues 

25   on the other side of the aisle, I think my 


                                                               2704

 1   colleagues here in the Senate Democratic Majority 

 2   will never apologize for fighting for the 

 3   students of New York City, the students of 

 4   Yonkers, the students of Glen Cove, the students 

 5   of Lackawanna, the students of rural districts, 

 6   the students of every district in this state.  We 

 7   do not have to apologize for fighting for the 

 8   money they are owed and they need to have a 

 9   sound, basic education.  That is our 

10   responsibility as legislators, that is our 

11   responsibility as Senators.  

12                So I am proud to fight for them to 

13   put money on the table and to argue, as we will 

14   be going forward, that the current Foundation Aid 

15   formula does not work for enough students, does 

16   not work for enough districts, that we must 

17   examine it.  And we are absolutely committed to 

18   revisiting the way it is currently drafted to 

19   ensure that a district like Yonkers doesn't have 

20   a $60 million operating deficit, to ensure that 

21   the City of New York and the students there get 

22   what they need, and the students throughout 

23   New York.

24                We are going to proceed.  I am 

25   voting yes.  This is a step in the right 


                                                               2705

 1   direction.  It is nowhere near good enough.  We 

 2   are committed to moving ahead.  And we owe it to 

 3   every child in New York to do better for them 

 4   than we did this year.  This is a step in that 

 5   direction.  Now we have work to do.

 6                Thank you, Mr. President.

 7                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 8   Mayer to be recorded in the affirmative.

 9                Senator Gallivan to explain his 

10   vote.

11                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Thank you, 

12   Mr. President.

13                I will be voting against this bill 

14   for three main reasons:  Over a billion dollars 

15   in new taxes; new criminal justice policies that 

16   those with the professional expertise and 

17   experience, our district attorneys, have called 

18   unrealistic, unworkable requirements that 

19   ultimately will fail the very people and 

20   communities they were intended to benefit; and 

21   finally, for the fact that we are giving away 

22   more of our authority to the Governor when we 

23   should be doing the complete opposite.  

24                I vote nay.

25                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 


                                                               2706

 1   Gallivan to be recorded in the negative.

 2                Senator May to explain her vote.

 3                SENATOR MAY:   Thank you, 

 4   Mr. President.

 5                I vote aye on this bill not because 

 6   I am proud of this bill but because I am insanely 

 7   proud of my colleagues and my conference and the 

 8   hard work, the passionate work, the brilliant 

 9   work that they have done to make this the best 

10   criminal justice bill that we could have, the 

11   best education funding we could squeeze out, the 

12   best -- at least to move the dial on campaign 

13   finance reform.  We have a long way to go with 

14   that, but I know this group will be vigilant and 

15   will do the work that it takes to get the best 

16   campaign finance reform that we can get.

17                The AIM funding, with apologies to 

18   my colleague Senator Jordan, we restored the AIM 

19   funding.  I am proud of that, and I am proud that 

20   my colleagues in the city were collaborative with 

21   those of us upstate on working on issues like 

22   that.

23                I am proud to be part of this body, 

24   and I vote aye.  Thank you.

25                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 


                                                               2707

 1   May to be recorded in the affirmative.

 2                Senator Martinez to explain her 

 3   vote.

 4                SENATOR MARTINEZ:   Thank you, 

 5   Mr. President.

 6                I want to begin by thanking my 

 7   colleagues and leadership for their hard work and 

 8   commitment to the constituencies that we all 

 9   represent and to New York as a whole.

10                I am proud that despite this very 

11   difficult fiscal year, we were able to deliver a 

12   record amount of school funding for our students, 

13   although I am disappointed that we fell short to 

14   the Senate proposal we put out two weeks ago.  

15                I want to reinforce my steadfast 

16   commitment to fully delivering the Foundation Aid 

17   that is owed to school districts across the 

18   state.  But I will continue to fight for what is 

19   rightfully theirs without shortchanging others.  

20                While I am proud to have lowered the 

21   burden on taxpayers by enacting a permanent tax 

22   cap, I also look forward to working with my 

23   colleagues to further address education funding 

24   and make sure we are adequately preparing the 

25   next generation of New Yorkers to lead.  


                                                               2708

 1                In order for local governments to 

 2   remain within the property tax cap, we must 

 3   protect our local governments and provide 

 4   adequate resources.  That is why I am also deeply 

 5   disappointed that the restoration of AIM funding 

 6   for towns and villages is linked to internet 

 7   sales taxes, as this is not a true restoration.  

 8   All levels of government are hurting, and 

 9   counties should not be forced to forego the 

10   revenues they so desperately need in order to 

11   operate at the high standards that they have.

12                As for the congestion pricing plan, 

13   I am pleased that this initiative ensures that 

14   there will be a dedicated revenue stream for 

15   Long Island.  If the people of Long Island are 

16   shouldering the cost of the repairs to the MTA, 

17   it is only right that Long Islanders receive 

18   reliable service on safe, comfortable equipment.

19                Furthermore, this budget increases 

20   funding for Suffolk County buses by over 

21   7 percent, a vital and necessary transportation 

22   for Suffolk County residents.  Although this 

23   increase also falls short of what the county 

24   needs, at least it's a step in the right 

25   direction.  


                                                               2709

 1                I am proud of our conference's 

 2   commitment to creating a more fair criminal 

 3   justice system, but we can't ignore the 

 4   devastating effects of crime on our families and 

 5   our communities.  We must hold perpetrators of 

 6   violent crimes accountable for their actions.  We 

 7   must take into consideration the concerns of our 

 8   law enforcement officials and those who protect 

 9   us.  It will be the residents of my district, 

10   living in communities that are already 

11   struggling --

12                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

13   Martinez, how do you vote?

14                SENATOR MARTINEZ:   -- who will be 

15   most victimized by crimes often committed by very 

16   dangerous individuals.

17                If I just may, Mr. President, the 

18   one thing that I am disappointed with the 

19   criminal justice is that --

20                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

21   Senator -- Senator Martinez, how do you vote?  

22                SENATOR MARTINEZ:   Well, I am going 

23   to vote ...

24                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   You're 

25   going to vote?  


                                                               2710

 1                SENATOR MARTINEZ:   ... in the 

 2   affirmative.  

 3                (Laughter.)

 4                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 5   Martinez to be recorded in the affirmative.

 6                SENATOR MARTINEZ:   But if somebody 

 7   else wants to give up their time, I'll take their 

 8   time to finish my vote.

 9                (Laughter.)

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

11   Understood.  Thank you, Senator Martinez.

12                Senator Lanza to explain his vote.

13                SENATOR LANZA:   Thank you, 

14   Mr. President.

15                First I listened to Senator Jackson 

16   explain his vote.  I just want to say amen.  I 

17   know him 20 years.  He's been relentless in his 

18   fight for educational opportunities for children.  

19   Thank you.

20                And I also want to say, 

21   Mr. President, no one in this chamber should ever 

22   misinterpret anything I say as a questioning of 

23   Senator Bailey's dedication and motives.  It's a 

24   privilege, a personal privilege, to work with 

25   him.  I think he did a yeoman's job with respect 


                                                               2711

 1   to speedy trial and really struck a good 

 2   compromise there.  

 3                But I have grave concerns, as I've 

 4   discussed, with respect to the bail reform.  you 

 5   know, calling something reform doesn't make it 

 6   reform.  The definition of reform is to improve, 

 7   and I don't think this does this.  

 8                And in explaining my no vote, I just 

 9   want to say this.  "While most New Yorkers were 

10   sleeping and enjoying the weekend, a handful of 

11   lawmakers with limited knowledge of the criminal 

12   justice system, behind closed doors, came to an 

13   agreement that will place unnecessary burdens on 

14   the workings of our criminal justice system and 

15   actually slow down the wheels of justice.  Our 

16   hope was that our lawmakers would heed some of 

17   the suggestions by prosecutors concerning the 

18   procedure involved in the bills related to bail, 

19   discovery, and speedy trial.  Instead, they have 

20   set up unrealistic, unworkable requirements that 

21   will ultimately fail the very people and 

22   communities they were intended to benefit."  

23                That was the statement from the 

24   president of the New York State District 

25   Attorneys Association, a Democrat, Albany County 


                                                               2712

 1   District Attorney David Soares.  And that 

 2   explains my no vote better than anything I could 

 3   say.  I vote no.

 4                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 5   Lanza to be recorded in the negative.

 6                Senator LaValle to explain his vote.

 7                SENATOR LaVALLE:   Thank you, 

 8   Mr. President.

 9                Today is a big day.  State aid runs 

10   came out.  People were scurrying around to get 

11   ahold of them.  I had to fight my staff to get a 

12   copy.

13                Just think, hundreds and hundreds of 

14   people have worked on this formula, worked on 

15   these computer runs that are before us.  I 

16   actually am looking -- I see Senator Stavisky, 

17   and at one time she knew me as the director of 

18   the Senate Education Committee.  So I'm looking 

19   at some of the results here, and I'm very 

20   saddened by some middle-income districts have 

21   fallen short of getting an acceptable aid number.

22                And so believe it or not, people 

23   that put this together -- teachers, school 

24   administrators, superintendents, board members, a 

25   lot of people.  And people in the State Education 


                                                               2713

 1   Department.  When we look at the results, many of 

 2   us are scratching our heads and saying how could 

 3   this be?  We're spending a lot of money and yet 

 4   districts are falling short.

 5                This is probably one of the most 

 6   important things that we do, giving an allocation 

 7   of money that is acceptable and giving it to our 

 8   local school districts to support the students in 

 9   our state, the teachers and administrators.  And 

10   this proposal falls far short of where it should 

11   be.

12                I vote in the negative.

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

14   LaValle to be recorded in the negative.

15                Senator Salazar to explain her vote.

16                SENATOR SALAZAR:   Thank you.

17                There are components of this bill 

18   that I fully support and I've advocated for, and 

19   that I know will have a positive impact on the 

20   lives of New Yorkers.  The progress that this 

21   final budget offers on criminal legal reforms is 

22   a victory even if it's incomplete, and one that 

23   should be celebrated.

24                By passing these reforms together, 

25   we're decisively taking measures to lower the 


                                                               2714

 1   obscenely high incarceration rate in New York.  

 2   I'm proud that we're taking this step toward 

 3   acknowledging that there is no justification for 

 4   holding someone on the basis of whether or not 

 5   they can afford to buy their pretrial freedom.  

 6                On discovery reform, we know that 

 7   the process is currently biased against 

 8   defendants.  Imagine if you had to make a 

 9   profoundly consequential decision but the 

10   information you need to make that decision is 

11   withheld from you until the date of trial or 

12   until the eleventh hour.

13                Despite many progressive actions 

14   taken in this budget, there are also omissions 

15   and additions in the revenue bill that I find 

16   completely inexcusable.  I find it completely 

17   inexcusable that the pied-á-terre tax on 

18   non-primary residences that would have generated 

19   over $600 million per year in revenue is 

20   ultimately excluded -- not because it was 

21   unpopular in the Legislature or among our 

22   constituents, but because it was killed by 

23   powerful real estate interests.  

24                I find it inexcusable that we are 

25   unable to follow through on a commitment to real 


                                                               2715

 1   public campaign finance that would make our 

 2   electoral process more accessible to New Yorkers, 

 3   that would incentivize candidates to be 

 4   accountable --

 5                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 6   Salazar, how do you vote?  Senator Salazar, how 

 7   do you vote?  

 8                SENATOR SALAZAR:   I -- okay.

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Please.

10                SENATOR SALAZAR:   Just let me wrap 

11   up.  Because it was one minute.

12                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

13   Salazar, we are -- we're out of time.  Please, 

14   how do you vote?

15                SENATOR SALAZAR:   I reluctantly 

16   vote yes, because I know that our conference is 

17   stronger --

18                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

19   Salazar to be recorded in the affirmative.

20                I'm sorry.  

21                Senator Helming to explain her vote.

22                SENATOR HELMING:   Thank you, 

23   Mr. President.  

24                I will quickly just say that I rise 

25   today on behalf of the rural residents of New 


                                                               2716

 1   York State.  I've heard some great conversations 

 2   today, I've heard talk about liberty and justice 

 3   for all, talk about initiatives that will save 

 4   lives.  

 5                I just want to remind everyone of so 

 6   many things that have been cut from this budget 

 7   that could help save lives, that could help 

 8   improve the quality of lives for the rural 

 9   residents living primarily in upstate New York.  

10                Every single penny to critical 

11   access hospitals has been cut.  Every single 

12   penny to the veterans Warrior Salute program has 

13   been cut.  Every single penny to the Finger Lakes 

14   law enforcement emergency services has been cut.  

15   The breast cancer funding has been cut in half.  

16   Lyme funding has totally been eviscerated from 

17   this budget.  There are so many programs, so many 

18   decisions that were made that I totally disagree 

19   with.  

20                And again, when you talk about 

21   liberty and justice for all, I remind you to 

22   think about our poor rural communities.  They 

23   need your support and your help as well.  

24                I'll be voting no for these reasons 

25   and so many more.  Thank you, Mr. President.


                                                               2717

 1                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 2   Helming to be recorded in the negative.

 3                Announce the results.

 4                THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

 5   Calendar Number 363, those Senators voting in the 

 6   negative are Senators Akshar, Amedore, Antonacci, 

 7   Boyle, Felder, Flanagan, Funke, Gallivan, Griffo, 

 8   Helming, Jacobs, Jordan, Lanza, LaValle, Little, 

 9   O'Mara, Ortt, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Robach, 

10   Serino, Seward and Tedisco.

11                Ayes, 39.  Nays, 23.

12                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

13   bill is passed.

14                Senator Gianaris.

15                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

16   first let me explain to my colleagues, as it is 

17   now 11:57 and we're trying to get the next bill 

18   passed by midnight -- the Assembly has just 

19   passed it and it is being run over here for a 

20   substitution.  But everyone who wants to explain 

21   their vote on this bill or the subject in this 

22   bill will be permitted to have their say on one 

23   of the bills that's coming down the road.  We are 

24   just trying to get the next bill passed before 

25   the clock strikes 12.  


                                                               2718

 1                And so let me apologize to my 

 2   colleagues for the strict enforcement of the 

 3   two-minute rule.  But anyone that wishes to speak 

 4   on any subject in this bill will have the 

 5   opportunity to do so at some point in a short 

 6   while.

 7                So if we could please stand at ease 

 8   while we wait for the substitution to come over 

 9   from the Assembly.

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

11   Senate will stand at ease.

12                (Whereupon, the Senate stood at ease 

13   at 11:58 p.m.)

14                (Whereupon, the Senate reconvened at 

15   11:59 p.m.)

16                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

17   Gianaris.  

18                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

19   we had earlier laid aside temporarily 

20   Calendar 361.  Can we please take that up 

21   noncontroversial.

22                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   There 

23   is a substitution at the desk.  

24                The Secretary will read.

25                THE SECRETARY:  Senator Krueger 


                                                               2719

 1   moves to discharge, from the Committee on 

 2   Finance, Assembly Bill Number 2000D and 

 3   substitute it for the identical Senate Bill 

 4   1500D, Third Reading Calendar 361.

 5                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 6   substitution is so ordered.

 7                Read the last section.

 8                THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

 9   act shall take effect immediately.

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

11   the roll.

12                (The Secretary called the roll.)

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

14   Announce the results.

15                THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 40.  Nays, 

16   22.

17                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

18   bill is passed.

19                Senator Gianaris.

20                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

21   as it is now 11:59 --

22                (Laughter.)

23                SENATOR GIANARIS:   -- I move, 

24   pursuant to Rule 5, Section 2, that we remain in 

25   session past midnight.


                                                               2720

 1                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Without 

 2   objection, so ordered.

 3                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, I 

 4   believe we had earlier laid aside temporarily 

 5   Calendar 355.  Can we please take that bill up.

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 7   Secretary will read.

 8                THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 9   355, Senate Budget Bill, Senate Print 1503D, an 

10   act making appropriations for the support of 

11   government.

12                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Lay it aside.

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Lay it 

14   aside.

15                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

16   first of all, is there a message of necessity at 

17   the desk on this bill?  

18                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   There 

19   is a message of necessity at the desk.

20                SENATOR GIANARIS:   I move to accept 

21   the message.

22                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   All in 

23   favor of accepting the message of necessity 

24   signify by saying aye.

25                (Response of "Aye.")


                                                               2721

 1                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

 2   Opposed?  

 3                (Response of "Nay.")

 4                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 5   message is accepted and the bill is before the 

 6   house.

 7                Senator Griffo.

 8                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Please recognize 

 9   Senator Ortt.

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

11   Ortt.

12                SENATOR ORTT:   Thank you, 

13   Mr. President.

14                I would like to ask some questions 

15   regarding the agriculture and markets aspect of 

16   this bill.

17                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

18   Gianaris.

19                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Senator Krueger.

20                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

21   Krueger, would you yield for questions?  

22                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes, I will.

23                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

24   sponsor yields.

25                SENATOR ORTT:   Through you, 


                                                               2722

 1   Mr. President.  Would the sponsor care to tell me 

 2   the difference in this bill as it relates to Ag 

 3   and Markets in spending between the enacted 

 4   budget and the Senate one-house budget?  What's 

 5   the dollar difference?

 6                SENATOR KRUEGER:   We're looking for 

 7   the Senate one-house.  Senator Ortt, since the 

 8   hour is late, do you actually know the answer?  

 9                SENATOR ORTT:   I don't.  Not 

10   between the one-house and this bill.

11                SENATOR KRUEGER:   You don't know 

12   the answer for the one-house.

13                SENATOR ORTT:   No.

14                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Okay.

15                SENATOR ORTT:   I wouldn't ask a 

16   question I knew the answer to, Senator Krueger.

17                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Sometimes people 

18   ask questions because they know the answer.

19                SENATOR ORTT:   Sometimes certain 

20   people do.

21                (Laughter.)

22                SENATOR KRUEGER:   But you didn't 

23   either.  All right, fine. 

24                SENATOR ORTT:   Through you, 

25   Mr. President, we can always continue the churn.


                                                               2723

 1                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Would you like to 

 2   ask a different question while I will get you 

 3   that answer?

 4                SENATOR ORTT:   Yes.  Yes, I would.  

 5   If the sponsor would yield.

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 7   the sponsor yield?  

 8                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes, I do.

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

10   sponsor yields.  

11                SENATOR KRUEGER:   I was hoping he 

12   would ask and answer it himself, but that wasn't 

13   going to work.

14                (Laughter.)

15                SENATOR ORTT:   Through you, 

16   Mr. President, in the Ag and Markets section of 

17   this bill we're spending $1.2 million less.  Can 

18   the sponsor tell me where that $1.2 million comes 

19   from and how those programs were selected or not 

20   selected?  The ones that were not funded.

21                SENATOR KRUEGER:   I'm sorry, we had 

22   a little trouble hearing him over here.  Could we 

23   ask him to speak louder?  

24                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Order 

25   in the chamber, please.  Order in the chamber.


                                                               2724

 1                Senator Ortt, can you -- 

 2                SENATOR ORTT:   Mr. President, the 

 3   enacted budget as proposed in this bill as 

 4   relates to Agriculture and Markets spends 

 5   $1.2 million less than in last year's enacted 

 6   budget.  I'm curious as to -- that $1.2 million 

 7   came from either cuts to programs or the 

 8   reduction in programs.  How were those programs 

 9   decided that were cut or that were reduced?

10                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Through you, 

11   Mr. President.  I now can answer the first 

12   question and the later question.

13                So in our one-house we had 

14   $37.848 million for agriculture, and in our 

15   enacted budget it is $34.215 million.  We would 

16   have loved to have our one-house budget fully 

17   funded, but we did not have the revenue to do so.  

18                So we're actually showing that this 

19   year's budget, enacted, will be $972,000 less 

20   than last year.  I believe you said 1.1 million, 

21   so we might be disagreeing over 200,000.

22                SENATOR ORTT:   Through you, 

23   Mr. President, we had -- I was showing 

24   1.2 million less than last year's enacted, but 

25   certainly I'm guessing at this late hour we 


                                                               2725

 1   can -- what's 300,000 between colleagues, right?  

 2                (Laughter.)

 3                SENATOR ORTT:   Through you, 

 4   Mr. President, will the sponsor continue to 

 5   yield?

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 7   the sponsor yield?  

 8                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

10   sponsor yields.

11                SENATOR ORTT:   Can the sponsor tell 

12   me how many programs have been cut from last 

13   year's budget, agriculture programs?

14                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Did you ask how 

15   many are funded or how many are not funded?  

16                SENATOR ORTT:   How many were 

17   removed, how many programs were removed out of 

18   this year's budget?  

19                SENATOR KRUEGER:   We did not have 

20   funds for 11 local programs.

21                SENATOR ORTT:   Through you, 

22   Mr. President.  I don't know if it will be -- the 

23   sponsor will continue to be -- I wanted to ask a 

24   few questions regarding -- or actually, you know 

25   what, on the bill.


                                                               2726

 1                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 2   Ortt on the bill.

 3                SENATOR KRUEGER:   I just want to 

 4   clarify, we did continue funding for 66 programs.  

 5   We were not able to fund 11.  Thank you.

 6                SENATOR ORTT:   On the bill, 

 7   Mr. President.  I want to thank the sponsor for 

 8   her answers.  

 9                You know, I guess on the whole 

10   agriculture probably came out better than maybe I 

11   would have thought going into this budget, 

12   especially when you consider many of the farms 

13   and the programs are in districts not represented 

14   by the Majority.

15                But there were a number of programs 

16   that were cut.  And again, when you look at where 

17   we have placed money in this budget, whether it's 

18   900,000 or 1.2, clearly the money was there for 

19   those programs but we chose to spend it 

20   elsewhere.  And I think for the return on 

21   investment, I think everyone would agree here the 

22   ROI that we get through many of these programs 

23   for our farms, our farmers, to provide food not 

24   just in my district but in cities, in food 

25   deserts -- agriculture is our largest industry, 


                                                               2727

 1   and the amount that -- the little amount of money 

 2   we spend in that sector compared to other sectors 

 3   which I have highlighted, along with some of my 

 4   colleagues, we get a pretty good bang for our 

 5   buck.

 6                The last thing I want to make a note 

 7   of on the veterans spending, I could not help but 

 8   notice there were some cuts to some of our 

 9   veterans programs.  One of them was the $50,000 

10   reduction in the Vietnam Veterans of America 

11   program.  I just thought it was ironic that just 

12   a couple of days ago we had some Vietnam veterans 

13   here in this chamber and we welcomed them home 

14   and we said thank you, and it was a great day.  

15   It really was.  But today we followed that up 

16   with a cut of 50,000 to that organization -- 

17   50,000.  I find that very disappointing, 

18   Mr. President.  

19                For those reasons, I'll be in the 

20   negative.

21                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

22   Ortt to be recorded in the negative.

23                Senator Gianaris.

24                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

25   by unanimous consent, I ask that the bill be 


                                                               2728

 1   restored to the noncontroversial calendar.

 2                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Without 

 3   objection, so ordered.

 4                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

 5   once again we're going to stand at ease while we 

 6   wait for the Assembly substitution.

 7                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 8   Senate will stand at ease.

 9                (Whereupon, the Senate stood at ease 

10   at 12:11 a.m.)

11                (Whereupon, the Senate reconvened at 

12   12:12 a.m.)

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

14   Senate will return to order.

15                There is a substitution at the desk.  

16                The Secretary will read.

17                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Krueger 

18   moves to discharge, from the Committee on 

19   Finance, Assembly Bill 2003D and substitute it 

20   for the identical Senate Bill 1503D, Third 

21   Reading Calendar 355.

22                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:  

23   Substitution so ordered.  

24                Read the last section.

25                THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 


                                                               2729

 1   act shall take effect immediately.

 2                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

 3   the roll.

 4                (The Secretary called the roll.)

 5                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

 6   Announce the results.

 7                THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 40.  Nays, 

 8   22.

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

10   bill is passed.

11                Senator Gianaris.

12                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Can we now take 

13   up Calendar 356, which was earlier laid aside 

14   temporarily.

15                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

16   Secretary will read.

17                THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

18   356, Senate Budget Bill, Senate Print 1504D, an 

19   act making appropriations for the support of 

20   government.

21                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

22   Gianaris.

23                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

24   by unanimous consent we're going to proceed to 

25   debate this bill while we await the message from 


                                                               2730

 1   the Governor, similar to what we did earlier with 

 2   the health budget bill.  And so let us proceed 

 3   with debate on Calendar 356.

 4                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Without 

 5   objection, so ordered.

 6                Senator Tedisco.

 7                SENATOR TEDISCO:   Thank you, 

 8   Mr. President.  

 9                I'm not going to be talking about 

10   the bill because they've given me the opportunity 

11   to talk about education, I believe.

12                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

13   Tedisco, are you on the bill or are you asking a 

14   question?

15                SENATOR TEDISCO:   I'll tell you 

16   when I'm asking a question.

17                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

18   Tedisco on the bill.

19                SENATOR TEDISCO:   I want to talk 

20   about education.  As you know, I was in the 

21   Assembly for many years and I was an educator for 

22   many years before that.  And because I was an 

23   educator, I understand the importance of children 

24   and I understand the importance of education in 

25   children's lives.  So as an Assemblyperson, I 


                                                               2731

 1   always supported full Foundation Aid.  When I got 

 2   over to the Senate, I supported full Foundation 

 3   Aid here.  

 4                But even when I supported full 

 5   Foundation Aid, the Republicans were the ones -- 

 6   this majority of Republicans at that time were 

 7   responsible for holding up enhanced Foundation 

 8   Aid, full Foundation -- oh, they protested.  

 9   Every day there was a protest out in the hall, in 

10   front of offices, went to people's homes.  

11   Educational advocates.  

12                And I realize all my colleagues on 

13   the other side of the aisle who support full 

14   Foundation Aid campaigned last year.  You're 

15   going to have the resolve.  Fight, fight, fight, 

16   fight, fight.  If I heard fight once, I heard 

17   fight enough if I got a quarter for every time 

18   you said it when you were talking about that, 

19   that we could have full Foundation Aid.  

20                And then you apologize -- it was 

21   like true confessions.  I'm not going to 

22   apologize for fighting for full Foundation.  You 

23   don't have to apologize for fighting for full 

24   Foundation.  What you have to apologize is not 

25   even close to achieving it -- not even close to 


                                                               2732

 1   achieving what you told your constituents you 

 2   were going to achieve.

 3                If you call that fighting, I call it 

 4   folding like a cheap suit.  What you found out is 

 5   that that guy on the second floor isn't quite as 

 6   easy as you thought he was to work with.  Like 

 7   you were going to stroll in here and get 

 8   1.6 billion or 2.8 billion.  You know what you 

 9   got?  Six hundred eighteen million, the same 

10   amount these Republicans got last year.  

11                So you've got a lot of atonement to 

12   do when you go back to those advocates who were 

13   in the streets, on the buses, had millions of 

14   dollars going into your campaigns because you 

15   were going to get full Foundation Aid.  You 

16   didn't even come close.  You didn't even come 

17   close.

18                And now, what I hear you saying is 

19   kind of trying to say, boy, I fought for -- I 

20   really fought for that aid.  I'm going to fight 

21   for it again next year.  But this is your year.  

22   You were going to do all those things you said 

23   you were going to do during the campaign.  You 

24   were going to get all that money for our kids.

25                And I agree with you, I want more 


                                                               2733

 1   Foundation Aid.  I wanted more Foundation Aid 

 2   last year when they marched in front of us and 

 3   marched in the halls.  

 4                But something's awry here, because I 

 5   didn't hear all that marching this year.  I 

 6   didn't hear the steps being full of educational 

 7   advocates saying "I want that money."  And I'm 

 8   wondering why.  I'm wondering if they really want 

 9   the funding for education for kids or they have 

10   another agenda which maybe relates to something 

11   political.  And politics shouldn't be involved 

12   with our kids who need a great education.

13                So you can stand up here and say 

14   fight, fight, fight, fight, and I'm going to 

15   continue to fight, but I think your constituents 

16   want you to fulfill your promise.  Because it 

17   really wasn't those bad Republicans last year, 

18   was it, who held up the Foundation Aid.  Because 

19   I have to guess it's you this year who held up 

20   the Foundation Aid, because you got the same 

21   amount we got last year.  

22                So I think you've got some answering 

23   to do, and you might want to take a little 

24   vacation before you go home to your constituents 

25   after this session.  Because those progressives, 


                                                               2734

 1   that's really important for their agenda.  And 

 2   Mr. Sanders knows that, he's a big supporter.  

 3   Jackson, excuse me.  Sanders is over there, 

 4   that's --

 5                (Reaction from members.)

 6                SENATOR TEDISCO:   You know what I 

 7   understand?  You both love education.  You have 

 8   that in common.

 9                But as much as you fought this year, 

10   really what did you accomplish more than the 

11   Republicans last year, $618 million?  

12                So you see, it's always easier -- I 

13   don't know, the Governor says that you can 

14   promise and then you've got to deliver, or 

15   govern.  Okay?  And now it's your turn to govern.  

16   And now it's your turn to really accomplish what 

17   you told those advocates for education, those 

18   kids in school, those kids at the poverty level 

19   that you said you'd get that money for.  You 

20   didn't get it this year.  You didn't work hard 

21   enough.  Okay?  And you didn't really fight for 

22   it the way you should have fought for it.  And I 

23   guess you have to explain that to your 

24   constituents, because you didn't do any better 

25   than we did last time.  


                                                               2735

 1                Thank you, Mr. President.  

 2                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 3   Amedore.

 4                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Thank you, 

 5   Mr. President.  Will the sponsor yield for a 

 6   couple of questions?   Senator Krueger.  

 7                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 8   Krueger, do you yield?

 9                SENATOR KRUEGER:   I do.

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

11   sponsor yields.

12                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Thank you, 

13   Senator Krueger.  

14                I've got a few more questions going 

15   back to the issue of heroin and opiate funding, 

16   because we all know it's very important.

17                SENATOR KRUEGER:   I'm sorry, you 

18   know -- I apologize, Mr. President.  And I think 

19   because I have a head cold, I'm not hearing as 

20   well.  Could you repeat that, please?  

21                SENATOR AMEDORE:   I want to ask a 

22   couple of questions regarding heroin and opiate 

23   funding, okay?

24                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Oh.

25                SENATOR AMEDORE:   So, 


                                                               2736

 1   Mr. President, will the sponsor yield?  

 2                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes, I do.

 3                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 4   sponsor yields.

 5                SENATOR AMEDORE:   You know, the 

 6   Governor's proposal allocated $211 million in 

 7   funding to fight the heroin opiate crisis.

 8                Can the sponsor, Mr. President, tell 

 9   me how much funding is actually in this budget to 

10   combat this epidemic?

11                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Just a moment.  

12   We need to go looking.  It's getting late and 

13   everyone's getting tired.

14                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Take your time.

15                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Would you like to 

16   ask a second question while we get you the answer 

17   to the first?

18                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Sure.  The second 

19   question -- Mr. President, through you -- how 

20   much of that funding, if there was any new 

21   funding or additional funding, is new funding?  

22                SENATOR KRUEGER:   I suspect I'll 

23   need to get the first answer before I can give 

24   you the second answer.

25                Would you like to discuss another 


                                                               2737

 1   topic until I can get this one --

 2                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Sure, I'll keep 

 3   going.  Through you, Mr. President.  

 4                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 5   the sponsor yield?  

 6                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes, I will.

 7                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 8   sponsor yields.  

 9                SENATOR AMEDORE:   We all know that 

10   the Senate one-house budget included an extra 

11   15 million for new prevention, treatment and 

12   recovery services.  Is this funding included in 

13   this final budget?

14                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Through you, 

15   Mr. President, no.  An additional 15 million is 

16   not included.  

17                And actually if we had been able to 

18   continue our efforts to put legalization of 

19   marijuana into the budget, there would have been 

20   a new funding stream for drug treatment and drug 

21   prevention.  But alas, we did not get there this 

22   year.  

23                And I hope that we will, because the 

24   commitment is to use a certain percentage of 

25   revenue from adult-use legalized marijuana to 


                                                               2738

 1   deal with drug treatment and education against 

 2   drug abuse.  

 3                So we do not have the 15 million.  

 4   That is one of the things that fell out between 

 5   our hopes and dreams and this final budget.

 6                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Through you, 

 7   Mr. President.  Would the sponsor continue to 

 8   yield?  

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

10   the sponsor yield?  

11                SENATOR KRUEGER:   I do.  But I 

12   think I might have the question going backwards, 

13   if that's all right.

14                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Sure.

15                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Through you, 

16   Mr. President, we believe that the investment in 

17   community treatment for drug abuse went up 

18   5.155 million.  So in fiscal year -- so it went 

19   from 500 -- I'm sorry, so this enacted budget 

20   would go up to 579.206 million.  So an increase 

21   of 5.155 million, rather than the 15 million we 

22   hoped for.

23                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Mr. President, 

24   can she give me the answer --

25                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 


                                                               2739

 1   the sponsor yield?

 2                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes, I do.

 3                SENATOR AMEDORE:   -- again, so I 

 4   understand?  Because I didn't understand that 

 5   answer.  Sorry, Senator Krueger.

 6                SENATOR KRUEGER:   So I believe that 

 7   your previous question was how much money was in 

 8   the budget for treatment services and how did 

 9   that differ from last year.  Am I just not 

10   hearing right?

11                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Mr. President, 

12   may I -- so the Governor's proposal allocated 

13   $211 million in funding to fight the heroin 

14   crisis.  My question to you was, can you tell me 

15   how much funding is actually in this year's 

16   budget?  Is it the same as the Governor's 

17   proposal?  Did the Majority increase from the 

18   Governor's proposal or did they decrease from the 

19   Governor's proposal?

20                SENATOR KRUEGER:   All right.  So 

21   I'm not sure how the Governor counts money within 

22   OASAS for dealing with the opioid crisis, as 

23   opposed to the entire OASAS community treatment 

24   program budget.  But the budget did go up 

25   5.155 million from the year before.  


                                                               2740

 1                Because I believe that the Governor, 

 2   in defining a $211 million share of the budget, 

 3   was perhaps choosing select things within the 

 4   OASAS budget to count as specific to the opioid 

 5   crisis, as opposed to all other drug problems.  

 6   But I'm not sure what he meant.

 7                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Through you, 

 8   Mr. President, will the sponsor continue to 

 9   yield?  

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

11   the sponsor yield?  

12                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

14   sponsor yields.

15                SENATOR AMEDORE:   The Senate also 

16   had a one-house budget that contains an extra 

17   $10 million over the Governor's $90 million for 

18   expansion of heroin and opiate support services.  

19   Was that included in this budget?

20                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Okay.  Through 

21   you, Mr. President, that 10 million was for 

22   capital funds.  And we still have not done a 

23   capital-funds budget bill this year.  There is an 

24   expectation that we may be doing a capital-funds 

25   appropriation bill at some point not tonight.  


                                                               2741

 1   And so there is still the possibility that 

 2   10 million, which was capital for community 

 3   residential -- opioid residential programs.

 4                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Through you, 

 5   Mr. President, would that be included in this 

 6   budget?

 7                SENATOR KRUEGER:   No, because we do 

 8   not have a -- so this capital budget bill is the 

 9   30-day amendments capital budget bill.  And what 

10   we are expecting to see at a later date is a 

11   supplemental capital budget bill.  So that 

12   $10 million could still end up being made 

13   available for capital for residential substance 

14   abuse in the supplemental capital budget, which 

15   we do not have yet.

16                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Through you, 

17   Mr. President, will the sponsor continue to 

18   yield?

19                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

20   the sponsor yield?

21                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes, I do.

22                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

23   sponsor yields.

24                SENATOR AMEDORE:   I would take that 

25   as a no answer.  But maybe in the supplemental or 


                                                               2742

 1   amended capital bill that comes up in a few days, 

 2   a few weeks --

 3                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Correct.  It is 

 4   not in this -- that is right, Senator.  

 5                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Whenever it 

 6   comes.

 7                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.  It is not 

 8   in this budget bill.  And there is still an 

 9   expectation of a supplemental capital budget 

10   bill.

11                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Senator, is there 

12   any funding for suicide prevention programs in 

13   this budget?

14                SENATOR KRUEGER:   We think that 

15   that funding would be in an OMH budget.  But we 

16   don't necessarily have the lines to look for 

17   right now.  I think it would probably be through 

18   different community programs.

19                I know in the City of New York we 

20   have a specific suicide hotline and other 

21   programs, and there's likely some kind of 

22   parallel for other counties.  But at this moment 

23   I can't pull it out for you.  It would not be in 

24   this budget bill, because I don't believe suicide 

25   services are defined as capital items.


                                                               2743

 1                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Through you, 

 2   Mr. President, if the sponsor would continue to 

 3   yield.

 4                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 5   the sponsor yield?  

 6                SENATOR KRUEGER:   I do.

 7                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 8   sponsor yields.

 9                SENATOR AMEDORE:   I do believe that 

10   that would have been in the Aid to Localities.  

11   And I'm having a hard time finding it myself.  As 

12   you know as well as I know, and all of our 

13   colleagues here know, that if there's any one 

14   thing that we're facing, not only is it the 

15   epidemic of addiction, but the suicide rates 

16   continue to skyrocket.  And mental health issues 

17   that we face in our schools, and the counseling 

18   and the programs that are needed -- that's why I 

19   asked, because this is critically important.  And 

20   we have fought very hard for many years to make 

21   sure that we continue to either have services, 

22   have a hotline, fund special programs that would 

23   allow the help and the counseling, particularly 

24   to our young people that are struggling with 

25   their identity and contemplating ending their 


                                                               2744

 1   lives.

 2                My next question to you, Senator 

 3   Krueger, would be the crisis intervention teams.  

 4   I did notice some funding in the budget for this, 

 5   but I didn't see where or how the money was going 

 6   to be appropriated.  Do you have some information 

 7   on that for us?

 8                SENATOR KRUEGER:   My understanding 

 9   is the funding for crisis intervention teams 

10   would be the same as in past years, where it's a 

11   formula evaluation going out to the counties.

12                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Through you, 

13   Mr. President.  Would that be expanding through 

14   all the counties, just some counties, downstate, 

15   upstate?

16                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Through you, 

17   Mr. President.  My understanding is that they 

18   look at where the need is and they target the 

19   funding to highest priority areas per year.  But 

20   it is not a determination that's made by the 

21   Legislature.  The funding is provided by the 

22   Legislature.

23                We can have input, I just learned, 

24   into that.  So yes, we can have input.

25                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Through you, 


                                                               2745

 1   Mr. President, one last question.

 2                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 3   the sponsor yield?  Does the sponsor yield?  

 4                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes, I will.

 5                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 6   sponsor yields.

 7                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Thank you, 

 8   Senator Krueger.

 9                And you're correct, there is some, 

10   or direction of.  And I believe that this body 

11   should have some say as to where the 

12   appropriations are needed, because we would have 

13   a very good understanding as to the needs in all 

14   of our communities and counties.

15                My last question to you, Senator 

16   Krueger, is the Sources of Strength program.  Is 

17   there any funding for that specific program, 

18   which deals with, again, suicide prevention?

19                SENATOR KRUEGER:   I don't believe 

20   so.  I have not heard of that program myself 

21   personally.  But I don't -- we're looking, but we 

22   don't think there's a specific line, unless you 

23   know that the Department of Mental Health 

24   contracts with said agency.

25                I am receiving more information.


                                                               2746

 1                Through you, Mr. President, if I 

 2   might ask a question to clarify.

 3                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 4   Amedore, will you yield for a question?  

 5                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Yes.

 6                SENATOR KRUEGER:   So is that a 

 7   specific not-for-profit organization?

 8                SENATOR AMEDORE:   No, it's actually 

 9   a -- through you, Mr. President, it's actually a 

10   program that works through the local school 

11   districts.  So that's why I asked.

12                SENATOR KRUEGER:   So that it's 

13   possible -- through you, Mr. President -- that 

14   the local school districts might be funding in 

15   program in some way.  Or that there might be some 

16   kind of contract between mental health -- the 

17   Office of Mental Health Services and individual 

18   school districts.  I'm not familiar with that 

19   program.

20                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Thank you, 

21   Mr. President.

22                I appreciate the answers and the 

23   information.  So thank you, Senator Krueger.  I 

24   have no further questions.

25                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Okay.


                                                               2747

 1                Senator Seward.

 2                SENATOR SEWARD:   Thank you, 

 3   Mr. President.

 4                I would ask if Senator Krueger would 

 5   yield for some questions.

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 7   the sponsor yield, Senator Krueger?

 8                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Senator Seward.  

 9   Hello, Mr. President.

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

11   sponsor yields.

12                SENATOR SEWARD:   Through you, 

13   Mr. President.  Earlier today, or was it 

14   yesterday, we finally received a financial plan.  

15   And I know you all have been looking forward to 

16   this discussion at this hour in particular.

17                But this is critically important 

18   because as the budget that's being enacted, the 

19   financial plan really does outline where the 

20   revenues are coming from, how it's funded, as 

21   well as the level of funding for various 

22   programs.

23                And I'm very pleased that we finally 

24   got the financial plan because Section 54, 

25   subdivision 2, paragraph B clearly states that 


                                                               2748

 1   before voting on an appropriation bill and 

 2   related legislation, each house is required to 

 3   place on the desks of its members a report 

 4   relating to each bill.  So better late than 

 5   never.

 6                And I just wanted to ask a few 

 7   questions regarding this financial plan.  Just 

 8   recapping what I understood you to say earlier 

 9   when we began a discussion on this which we 

10   terminated, was that there was $975 million in 

11   adds, 200 million in other actions, 733 million 

12   in offsets and reestimates, and 300 million in 

13   adjustments to pension prepayments.  Now, that is 

14   what I understood you to say earlier today.

15                Now, your financial plan indicates 

16   that on the State Operating Funds basis, using 

17   the Governor's 30-day-amendments budget as a 

18   baseline, that the combined state and local 

19   disbursements increased by 723 million, with 491 

20   million in offsets to general state charges, none 

21   of which are reflected in the State Operations 

22   bill copy.

23                Can you walk us through this 

24   491 million?  And which number is accurate in 

25   terms of the increase in spending?


                                                               2749

 1                SENATOR KRUEGER:   So you're right, 

 2   I think it was yesterday morning.  So we did put 

 3   a report -- you did have the report on the full 

 4   changes in the budget as of the first Finance 

 5   Committee meeting this morning, just for the 

 6   record, and you got the financial plan later in 

 7   the day.

 8                And when you asked me questions 

 9   fairly early today -- yesterday morning, I gave 

10   you the general numbers we had at the time.  They 

11   were revised for our financial plan, so the 

12   financial plan we gave you was actually the more 

13   accurate final version based on the completion of 

14   all of the budget items.  

15                Ironically, when we gave you the 

16   preliminary review this morning, not all the 

17   budget bills had been completed, and so we could 

18   only go as far as we could.

19                So the $491 million in general state 

20   charges is in fact the correct number, not the -- 

21   what was the number we gave earlier today?  So, 

22   I'm sorry, so -- let's try again.

23                Why don't you ask me questions based 

24   on the financial plan, and I will try to answer 

25   that.  But I will agree that the earlier numbers 


                                                               2750

 1   I gave you this morning were based on drafts from 

 2   DOB that were then later updated when we got you 

 3   the full financial plan.

 4                SENATOR SEWARD:   If Senator Krueger 

 5   would continue to yield.

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 7   the sponsor yield?  

 8                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

10   sponsor yields.

11                SENATOR SEWARD:   That's fine, I'm 

12   very happy to discuss the financial plan that has 

13   been before us at this time.

14                So I wanted to return to that 

15   491 million in so-called offsets.  Just what does 

16   that number represent?

17                SENATOR KRUEGER:   So this is a 

18   change in the pension prepayment schedule.  It's 

19   a savings in the financial plan because the 

20   Governor agreed to make this change in the 

21   pension prepayments in the final budget.  

22                SENATOR SEWARD:   If Senator Krueger 

23   would continue to yield.

24                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

25   the sponsor yield? 


                                                               2751

 1                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

 2                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 3   sponsor yields. 

 4                SENATOR SEWARD:   Were there any 

 5   actual spending cuts compared to the Governor's 

 6   original Executive Budget and this budget that's 

 7   before us this evening?  Are there any actual 

 8   spending cuts?

 9                SENATOR KRUEGER:   No.

10                SENATOR SEWARD:   There were not.

11                SENATOR KRUEGER:   No.

12                SENATOR SEWARD:   If Senator Krueger 

13   would continue to yield.

14                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

15   the sponsor yield?  

16                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

17                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

18   sponsor yields.

19                SENATOR SEWARD:   According to the 

20   30-day amendments and the budget, the updated 

21   Executive Budget related to that, there was 

22   $190 million in possible growth before reaching 

23   the 2 percent cap, with a total spending amount 

24   of at least 723 million above the Executive and 

25   what happen appears to be, as you stated, no 


                                                               2752

 1   cuts.

 2                How can you say that we are still 

 3   within the 2 percent State Operating Funds 

 4   spending cap?

 5                SENATOR KRUEGER:   So in addition to 

 6   the reduction of 491 because of the pension 

 7   readjustment, the Governor also did some 

 8   reestimates of his own projections.  So that even 

 9   with that $190 million change in personal income 

10   tax, we still remain within the 2 percent cap.

11                SENATOR SEWARD:   Moving on to 

12   the -- I had a question regarding --

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

14   the sponsor yield?  

15                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes, I do.

16                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

17   sponsor yields.

18                SENATOR SEWARD:   I had a question 

19   regarding the proposal in the Executive's budget 

20   regarding a cap on the STAR growth as well as the 

21   lowering of the basic STAR exemption and income 

22   limit from $500,000 down to $250,000.  Does this 

23   budget that's before us today accept or reject 

24   those changes that the Governor recommended in 

25   the STAR program?


                                                               2753

 1                SENATOR KRUEGER:   This budget 

 2   accepts those proposed changes.

 3                SENATOR SEWARD:   If Senator Krueger 

 4   would continue to yield.

 5                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 6   the sponsor yield?

 7                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

 8                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 9   sponsor yields.

10                SENATOR SEWARD:   As I understand 

11   it, these changes seriously dilute the STAR 

12   program's positive impact on homeowners 

13   throughout our state, and I would have to say, in 

14   particular, middle-class suburban households 

15   are -- are -- this decimates the STAR program, 

16   the acceptance of those two changes.

17                But moving on to a question, what is 

18   the structural surplus or deficit in the 

19   outyears?  Because obviously spending that we -- 

20   that is passed in this budget, program 

21   expansions, whether it be Medicaid, school aid -- 

22   they all have impacts in the outyears.  And could 

23   you share with us whether there's a structural 

24   surplus or a deficit in the outyears?

25                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Thank you.


                                                               2754

 1                Mr. President, through you, I just 

 2   want to clarify that the changes that were made 

 3   in the STAR program do not decimate it, it leaves 

 4   the benefits at the same amount.  It's a change 

 5   in the structure of how it operates.  So I don't 

 6   actually share my colleague's analysis of that.

 7                But for the outyears, in 2020-'21 we 

 8   are currently looking at a $2 billion deficit.  

 9   In '21-'22 that drops to a $490 million deficit 

10   and, in '22-'23, a projected $717 million 

11   surplus.

12                SENATOR SEWARD:   Thank you.

13                If Senator Krueger would yield for 

14   one more question.

15                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

16   the sponsor yield?  

17                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

18                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

19   sponsor yields.

20                SENATOR SEWARD:   Just returning to 

21   the STAR discussion, I just would point out that 

22   when you cap the growth of the STAR program, 

23   that -- as school taxes go up, that means that 

24   the STAR benefit goes down if you're going to cap 

25   the growth in the STAR program.  And that's why I 


                                                               2755

 1   say that it dilutes and in some cases decimates 

 2   the program.  

 3                But my question is on the -- we are 

 4   technically on the capital projects budget.  And 

 5   there is talk in your response to a question from 

 6   Senator Amedore of a supplemental capital bill at 

 7   some later date.

 8                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.  Yes.

 9                SENATOR SEWARD:   My question is, is 

10   the Executive and the Assembly on board with 

11   doing a supplemental capital bill at a later 

12   date?  

13                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.  It is my 

14   understanding that we have a commitment to do so, 

15   but not tonight.

16                SENATOR SEWARD:   Mr. President, I 

17   say thank you to Senator Krueger for responding 

18   to my inquiries.

19                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Thank you.

20                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

21   Robach.

22                SENATOR ROBACH:   Yes, 

23   Mr. President.  You know what, due to the late 

24   hour -- I wanted to focus on results, not 

25   politics and promises -- I'll go right on the 


                                                               2756

 1   bill on capital --

 2                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 3   Robach on the bill.

 4                SENATOR ROBACH:   -- and 

 5   transportation.

 6                So we've talked a lot, had a lot of 

 7   dialogue, we had our subcommittees and we talked 

 8   about parity between roads and bridges and the 

 9   MTA, which is the current law that we have right 

10   now.  The problem is we don't -- we're not 

11   spending at a parity level.  And we need to do 

12   that for a number of reasons.  

13                But I first want to say, not only 

14   are we not meeting current parity, but we're also 

15   going to add what I can estimate -- and I would 

16   ask the question, but I don't think anybody 

17   really has the answer -- what I can ascertain, 

18   about $54 billion to the MTA, which they need.  

19   But we ought to all be working to make sure we're 

20   doing that $27 billion for roads and bridges.  

21                And, you know, we all know we have 

22   an aging infrastructure, we all know it's an 

23   issue of fairness, road safety, so many things 

24   that need to be addressed.  We should really do 

25   this.  And so I've heard a lot of things about 


                                                               2757

 1   we're going to address it, we're going to do it.  

 2   This budget doesn't do it.  And I heard an 

 3   earlier comment where somebody said, well, we're 

 4   going to do a new plan.  We will do a new plan, 

 5   but that doesn't mean you don't do this one.

 6                And I have to say it's also very 

 7   unfair to add that much money to transportation 

 8   in one part of the state and not one where -- for 

 9   upstate New York, where really that's almost all 

10   we have is that road and bridge money.  That's 

11   how the majority of our people get around.  

12                And my colleague Senator Kennedy 

13   actually had said -- I don't remember how many 

14   years, but whether it was a hundred or 50 years 

15   that we were in charge.  I know from my time here 

16   we were in charge except for two years, and 

17   that's the only time that I've been around the 

18   Legislature in 30 years when the parity was 

19   broken, was the last time my colleagues were in 

20   the majority.  And now it looks like you want to 

21   go down that road again.  And that is really the 

22   wrong, wrong direction and not a good thing to 

23   do.

24                And there's a lot of people 

25   watching, whether they're local government 


                                                               2758

 1   people, people in the building trades, people in 

 2   the construction field, highway superintendents, 

 3   everyday citizens.  You know, I had a bridge in 

 4   Monroe County that had a lot of traffic, and 

 5   literally for several years pieces of concrete 

 6   were falling off the bridge, hitting cars in some 

 7   cases.  Luckily, no fatalities.  And the answer 

 8   from our local DOT was, we understand it's a 

 9   problem and deficient, but we don't have the 

10   money.  

11                The money needs to be there.  And 

12   whether the deficient bridge is in Long Island, 

13   Syracuse, Buffalo, Rochester, you've got to have 

14   that.  People pay a lot in taxes.  They ought to 

15   know, when they go on the road, they're going to 

16   be able to get to where they want.  And I'm not 

17   even talking about potholes and those things, I'm 

18   talking about aging infrastructure.

19                So we've talked about it, we have 

20   had these meetings, we have had these hearings, 

21   yet we get no result and no response in this 

22   budget.

23                If you add CHIPS, severe storm 

24   weather, a lot of talk was done, a lot of 

25   promises were made -- they took a cut.  So now 


                                                               2759

 1   local governments, on the pothole issue and 

 2   maintaining roads, are even going to get less 

 3   money.  So this budget, when it comes to 

 4   transportation, really, really, really falls 

 5   short.  

 6                And I would really say it's unfair 

 7   to motorists across the state, not only in 

 8   upstate New York but on Long Island, in the 

 9   Hudson Valley, even New York City.  A lot of 

10   people still have cars there, and a lot of people 

11   go in in cars and buses too.  So we shouldn't 

12   ignore them.  I think it's really unwise that 

13   we're kicking this can down the road.  The places 

14   that need repair, bridges, that infrastructure is 

15   not going to go away.  So we're going to be 

16   dealing with it one way or the other.  

17                And lastly, and why I'm going to be 

18   voting no for this, is this is unacceptable for 

19   the people that I represent.  And when you couple 

20   this with a billion dollars in new taxes but no 

21   response to roads and bridges, a criminal justice 

22   so-called reform that clearly is going to lead to 

23   more victimization of innocent people, a lack of 

24   doing anything for jobs, and campaign financing 

25   that could cost up to half a billion dollars, but 


                                                               2760

 1   we say we don't have money for this, I think is 

 2   wrong.

 3                So I will ask -- I know what 

 4   happened when I was the chairman.  I'll ask the 

 5   current chairman and my colleagues that I hope, 

 6   like my colleague Sue Serino said on an audit, I 

 7   think we need to have an audit, minimally on that 

 8   $27 billion before we go add and double what 

 9   that's going to be for the MTA.  I want them to 

10   get their money, but we need to do ours.

11                But this, if you care about the 

12   motoring public, this budget falls very, very 

13   short and is tremendously unfair to every 

14   motorist, but especially those who rely on their 

15   car to get to work every day, especially in 

16   Rochester and Monroe County and upstate New York 

17   where I live.  And to have a tax go on us that's 

18   going to go designated to the MTA, when for 

19   years -- Senator Krueger, would you like me to 

20   tell you the tax?  Part of the internet tax is 

21   going to be designated, I believe, isn't it 59 -- 

22   no?  Okay.  What's that?  That's what it says in 

23   the -- well, let me keep going and we can talk 

24   just for a minute.  

25                Whether it does or it doesn't, 


                                                               2761

 1   people in upstate New York pay a lot of taxes.  I 

 2   think the budget says a certain amount of it is 

 3   going to be designated to that.  If that is the 

 4   case, I could tell you whatever you are, whatever 

 5   party you're in, people in your district aren't 

 6   going to like that.  They're not going to like it 

 7   in the current structure.  But if that's the 

 8   case, whether it's on rental cars, anything else, 

 9   and not addressing us fairly, it is going to be a 

10   challenge and it is going to be not 

11   well-received.

12                So I waited and waited hoping that 

13   in the supplemental or this last bill we put out, 

14   there would be some addressment of this.  I 

15   hope -- I don't know where you'll get billions of 

16   dollars -- in the supplemental budget that you 

17   have coming up you will listen to the people of 

18   the state, especially those in upstate New York, 

19   and add a little parity to this.  At least that 

20   would lessen the pain.  

21                But for what we know right now, if 

22   you care, again, about motorists in your 

23   district, this is a good no vote and one we could 

24   do much better on.

25                Thank you, Mr. President.


                                                               2762

 1                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 2   LaValle.

 3                SENATOR LaVALLE:   Thank you, 

 4   Mr. President.

 5                Senator Krueger, I don't know 

 6   whether you would be the one I ask this question 

 7   of.  Is there any additional funding for the 

 8   operation of the SUNY hospitals?  

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

10   Senator --

11                SENATOR KRUEGER:   We can give it a 

12   try.  And we'll make sure we have the right 

13   staffer here for you.

14                SENATOR KRUEGER:   So through you, 

15   Mr. President, my understanding is that the SUNY 

16   hospitals have an additional $60 million coming 

17   through the federal DSH payments in this budget.

18                SENATOR LaVALLE:   Senator Krueger, 

19   I -- 

20                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

21   LaValle -- Senator LaValle --

22                SENATOR LaVALLE:   Through you, 

23   Mr. President.

24                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

25   the sponsor yield?  


                                                               2763

 1                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes, I will.

 2                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 3   sponsor yields.

 4                SENATOR LaVALLE:   We're talking 

 5   about 78.6 million which three hospitals would 

 6   receive that are not receiving.  Now, these three 

 7   hospitals also receive DSH monies.  So I don't 

 8   know how much in DSH they're receiving and 

 9   would -- you have indicated 60 million?

10                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.  That is 

11   from the chancellor's testimony before the budget 

12   hearing on January 28th.

13                SENATOR LaVALLE:   So we really are 

14   not getting the numbers.  What about the 

15   78.6 million for the three hospitals?  

16                SENATOR KRUEGER:   So my 

17   understanding is that's the request to have the 

18   state pay the debt service on the three 

19   hospitals, and that is not in this budget.

20                SENATOR LaVALLE:   That amount is 

21   approximately 50 million?  So let's put these 

22   numbers where we are deficient by 78 million.  

23   You talked about a 60 million.  And the debt 

24   service is 50 million.

25                SENATOR KRUEGER:   So last year the 


                                                               2764

 1   Governor was able to provide 78 million in his 

 2   executive operating budget, and this year that 

 3   was dropped because of the 60 million in federal 

 4   DSH payments.  

 5                So you are correct that they still 

 6   want additional money, but that is not in this 

 7   budget.

 8                SENATOR LaVALLE:   Yeah.  On the 

 9   bill, Mr. President.

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

11   LaValle on the bill.

12                SENATOR LaVALLE:   Thank you, 

13   Senator Krueger.

14                The hospitals and the staffs that 

15   run these hospitals that take care of our 

16   patients need to be supported in a better manner.  

17   Having been chair of the Higher Ed Committee for 

18   a while, there was always, on the Executive's 

19   part, not a lot of enthusiasm to own and run 

20   public hospitals.  And so if we don't have better 

21   support of our three SUNY hospitals, they will 

22   just deteriorate.  

23                And these are -- these are our 

24   constituents who go to those hospitals to receive 

25   care.  There is great dedication, great 


                                                               2765

 1   dedication on the part of the professionals that 

 2   work in those hospitals, and we are not 

 3   supporting them with this budget measure.

 4                Thank you.

 5                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 6   O'Mara.

 7                SENATOR O'MARA:   Thank you, 

 8   Mr. President.

 9                Would one of the sponsors regarding 

10   CHIPS funding, extreme winter recovery funding, 

11   care to yield for a question?

12                SENATOR KRUEGER:   This is an 

13   interesting approach.  It's sort of pick a bill, 

14   ask a question.

15                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Will 

16   the sponsor yield?

17                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes, I'd be happy 

18   to.

19                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

20   Krueger yields.

21                SENATOR O'MARA:   Well, this is the 

22   Aid to Localities bill, isn't it?

23                SENATOR KRUEGER:   I don't think so.  

24   This is capital projects.  

25                SENATOR O'MARA:   Capital projects, 


                                                               2766

 1   which CHIPS funding is capital.

 2                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Fair enough.  

 3   Capital projects.

 4                SENATOR O'MARA:   Is there any money 

 5   in this budget, whether it's this bill we're on 

 6   right now or any other of the ones we're talking 

 7   about, for extreme winter recovery funds?

 8                SENATOR KRUEGER:   No.  The Governor 

 9   did not restore that in this budget.

10                SENATOR O'MARA:   The Governor 

11   didn't put it in his budget.

12                SENATOR KRUEGER:   No.

13                SENATOR O'MARA:   The Majority put 

14   it in the one-house budget here.

15                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

16                SENATOR O'MARA:   The majority in 

17   the Assembly put it in their one-house budget.

18                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yup.

19                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

20   O'Mara, are you asking the sponsor to yield?

21                SENATOR O'MARA:   Will she yield for 

22   a question?  

23                SENATOR KRUEGER:   I will yield.

24                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

25   sponsor yields.  


                                                               2767

 1                SENATOR O'MARA:   So you put it in 

 2   the one-house budget, the Assembly put it in its 

 3   one-house budget, the Governor didn't want to do 

 4   it.  So did both majorities get rolled on this 

 5   issue?  

 6                SENATOR KRUEGER:   We live and hope 

 7   that in the supplemental capital budget there may 

 8   still be an opportunity to provide funds for both 

 9   of those critically important programs.

10                So yes, I think you are right that 

11   both houses, both parties, think that is critical 

12   money.  We haven't won that fight yet.

13                SENATOR O'MARA:   And there was no 

14   increase provided in this budget for an increase 

15   in the base CHIPS aid from year to year.

16                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Through you, 

17   Mr. President, that is correct.

18                SENATOR O'MARA:   On the bill, 

19   Mr. President.

20                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

21   O'Mara on the bill.

22                SENATOR O'MARA:   This budget is a 

23   complete failure, as it comes to upstate and 

24   frankly anywhere outside of New York City, for 

25   the lack of attention to our infrastructure 


                                                               2768

 1   needs.  We on this side of the aisle all 

 2   understand how important the MTA is.  I have 

 3   three railcar manufacturers within the district I 

 4   represent that make railcars for the MTA.  We 

 5   love the work.  We love the business.  It 

 6   provides good jobs.  But our upstate 

 7   infrastructure, roads and bridges, are equally as 

 8   important.

 9                When we were in the majority over 

10   the past eight years, CHIPS funding and local 

11   road and bridge funding had increased across the 

12   board approximately 45 percent over that period.  

13   Yet we're flat this year on CHIPS and we're 

14   losing $65 million on extreme winter recovery 

15   funds.  Ask anybody in your districts how they 

16   think your roads fared during this winter, which 

17   isn't quite over with yet.  They're going to tell 

18   you their roads are crappy.  We need to do 

19   better.

20                You know, as a former district 

21   attorney and seeing some of the criminal justice 

22   reforms we passed tonight, and reading the 

23   statement that the District Attorneys Association 

24   put out -- and I was a member of the District 

25   Attorneys Association.  And it's their president, 


                                                               2769

 1   our local DA here in Albany County, David Soares, 

 2   a Democrat -- that this budget is chock-full of 

 3   half-baked policy -- this statement doesn't just 

 4   apply to what we did in criminal justice reforms, 

 5   it applies to this entire budget.  Half-baked 

 6   policies.  

 7                A new commission for public finance 

 8   and do away with third-party voting?  A new 

 9   commission for congestion pricing in New York 

10   City?  Can we not make difficult decisions here?  

11   How many lawsuits are going to come out of the 

12   commissions that we establish tonight?  I know 

13   there's two right now that came out of the pay 

14   commission from last year, and there's probably 

15   one or two more coming.

16                This legislative body should not be 

17   shirking its responsibilities when it comes to 

18   making tough decisions that affect every 

19   New Yorker.  We can't pass the buck.  We were 

20   elected to do our jobs here.  We didn't have the 

21   guts with the leadership in both houses of the 

22   Legislature to pass a legislative pay raise on 

23   our own.  We shirked it off to a commission.  Now 

24   we're shirking off these responsibilities to two 

25   more commissions.  It's a disgrace.  It's an 


                                                               2770

 1   insult to the people that elected us to come in 

 2   these offices.

 3                We have created a billion new 

 4   dollars in taxes in this budget.  Internet taxes, 

 5   eliminating charitable deductions, eliminating 

 6   exemptions on energy service companies, an auto 

 7   rental tax for upstate of 6 percent, making it 

 8   11 percent.  Real estate transfer taxes.  

 9                Internet sales taxes of $160 

10   million, which is the local share, which normally 

11   goes to our counties -- the state is taking that 

12   portion and distributing over a third of it on 

13   their own.  Eliminating AIM funding and the 

14   state's responsibility to provide that.

15                Yet also from the internet sales 

16   tax, there's $160 million set aside for the MTA, 

17   which will increase 1 percent each year from here 

18   on out, with no guarantees for equitable funding 

19   and parity for our upstate roads and bridges as 

20   it comes to that.  We have failed our voters.  

21                There's a new tax on vaping.  

22                There's a new opioid tax for people 

23   that are in pain and are on legitimate opioid 

24   prescriptions, that are suffering, that are going 

25   to pay more for them to get relief.  These are 


                                                               2771

 1   our constituents.  A hundred million dollars from 

 2   individuals suffering in New York State.  Yet out 

 3   of that $100 million new opioid tax, we have no 

 4   additional spending on our opioid and heroin 

 5   crisis that is beleaguering the State of New York 

 6   and every state in this country and the nation.

 7                Yet despite these billion dollars of 

 8   new taxes, we're able to maintain a film tax 

 9   credit of over $400 million to provide relief for 

10   Hollywood elites.  And on this economic 

11   development program, there is no MWBE 

12   requirements.  Yet on every project that receives 

13   economic development money in upstate New York, 

14   there are outrageous MWBE requirements that are 

15   unrealistic and cannot be met without us hiring 

16   businesses from outside of our regions to make up 

17   the MWBE thing.  So we're taking our economic 

18   development region for our regions and having to 

19   go out outside to other regions, losing the 

20   impact.

21                It is a disgrace what we've done 

22   here.  The parity, as Senator Robach mentioned, 

23   on road and bridges -- twice as much for MTA than 

24   there is for the rest of the state.

25                Again, the District Attorneys 


                                                               2772

 1   Association, Democrat David Soares said it best:  

 2   "Instead we have set up unrealistic, unworkable 

 3   requirements that ultimately will fail the very 

 4   people and communities they were intended to 

 5   benefit."

 6                We can and we must do better in this 

 7   state.  Thank you, Mr. President.

 8                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 9   Skoufis.

10                SENATOR SKOUFIS:   Thank you, 

11   Mr. President.  If I may speak on the bill.

12                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

13   Skoufis on the bill.

14                SENATOR SKOUFIS:   Thank you.

15                There is much to celebrate in this 

16   budget, thanks to the stewardship of our Majority 

17   Leader.  This budget lifts up many of the poorest 

18   and most disadvantaged New Yorkers, it makes the 

19   property tax cap permanent, a long-sought-after  

20   measure of relief for every property taxpayer in 

21   the state outside of New York City, and it does 

22   so in a balanced and fair approach by enacting 

23   TRS reserve accounts for our schools.  It funds 

24   the EPF, clean water infrastructure.  And most 

25   importantly perhaps, for those of us north of 


                                                               2773

 1   New York City, it finally, for the first time 

 2   I've been alive, holds the MTA accountable with a 

 3   forensic audit and makes sure that we get our 

 4   fair share, 10 percent, north of New York City, 

 5   which is the most we will ever see out of a 

 6   capital program.

 7                But I rise today -- and it is today, 

 8   because we are in the morning now -- because I 

 9   would like to speak about a locality that was not 

10   in the Aid to Localities bill that we recently 

11   passed.

12                A couple of my colleagues here, 

13   former Assembly colleagues, like Senator Mayer 

14   and Senator Sepúlveda, have heard me say what I'm 

15   about to say, because this is now Year 4 of a 

16   crusade to try and save a community that is a 

17   couple of years away from fiscal calamity.  

18                The North Rockland community, made 

19   up of two towns, Stony Point and Haverstraw, 

20   50,000 people, a third of which are families of 

21   black and brown individuals, a majority of these 

22   school districts free and reduced lunches.  This 

23   is a hard-nosed working class, blue collar set of 

24   communities, at first blush like many other 

25   diverse suburban communities in our state.


                                                               2774

 1                But upon closer examination, this 

 2   community is unlike any other school district in 

 3   New York, because 12 years ago North Rockland 

 4   effectively lost not one but two power plants.  

 5   Many of our school districts, many of our towns 

 6   and villages face a crisis by losing one power 

 7   plant.  This one has lost two.  In Stony Point, 

 8   the Lovett Power Plant is completely gone, 

 9   formerly a coal plant.  And in Haverstraw, 

10   Bowline remains as a peaker plant.  

11                When both of these plants were fully 

12   operating 12 years ago, they were paying 

13   $44 million a year in school property taxes.  Now 

14   those two properties are paying $2 million a 

15   year, a $42 million a year loss on the revenue 

16   ledger for the school district.

17                In addition, the Bowline Power 

18   Plant's owner, Mirant at the time, filed a 

19   successful tax certiori, so the school district 

20   had to take out what is still the largest tax 

21   certiori in New York State history:  With 

22   interest, $369 million, in a community of 

23   50,000 people.  

24                And so for the past 12 years this 

25   school district has not only lost $42 million a 


                                                               2775

 1   year in revenue, but they also lose $12 million a 

 2   year paying back the Mirant power plant company.

 3                This is a set of challenges unlike 

 4   any other school district.  We all have unique 

 5   communities and unique school districts.  But in 

 6   two years, maybe three, if we don't do anything 

 7   in this chamber and in this city, we will have 

 8   the first bankrupt school district in New York 

 9   State.  That is not hyperbole.  We have hyperbole 

10   up here every day, every week, every month of 

11   legislative session.  You will have the North 

12   Rockland Central School District, if we continue 

13   to take no action, coming up here and handing 

14   over the keys.  Good luck, Senate, good luck, 

15   Assembly, good luck, Governor, we can't provide a 

16   sound, basic education any longer.

17                And so for the past three years the 

18   Assembly has tried to take action.  I represented 

19   half of the district in the Assembly, my 

20   colleague Assemblyman Zebrowski the other half.  

21   And we've put a solution into our one-house 

22   budgets every year.  This year was the first year 

23   the Senate took action and joined the Assembly in 

24   putting that same solution into our one-house.  

25                Sadly, we're enacting a budget yet 


                                                               2776

 1   again without any sustainable relief for the 

 2   North Rockland community.  And this is not just 

 3   endangering the school district.  Let me be 

 4   clear.  Over the past 12 years, if you're lucky, 

 5   your taxes have doubled.  Many residents have 

 6   seen their taxes tripled in 12 years.  If we 

 7   don't do anything, not only will the district be 

 8   crippled, but the district will become a ghost 

 9   town because no one will be able to afford to 

10   live in it any longer.

11                When we had these two power plants, 

12   commercial ratepayers made up 60 percent of the 

13   tax base, residents 40 percent.  Now the 

14   commercial ratepayers make up 32 percent and 

15   residents 68 percent.  Completely flipped.

16                And so my colleagues, my community 

17   has begged and pleaded and implored Albany to 

18   take action.  Just this past week, after being 

19   provided some hope that now both chambers were on 

20   board with trying to solve this problem, in a 

21   matter of days over 2,000 people signed a 

22   petition begging this Governor to join us and 

23   deliver the relief that they've long been waiting 

24   for.

25                But again, for the fourth year of 


                                                               2777

 1   trying to accomplish something here, 

 2   North Rockland has been rebuffed.  People are 

 3   frustrated, people are angry, and people are 

 4   worried.  My colleagues, we have to do better.  

 5                But there is some good news.  Today 

 6   the Governor's office committed to finding a 

 7   solution to this problem in this legislative 

 8   session.  I will work with the Governor and 

 9   Assemblyman Zebrowski to finally get this done, 

10   and we will hold him to that commitment.  Because 

11   quite frankly, no one in this chamber, no one in 

12   the other chamber, and I would like to think the 

13   Governor -- no one wants to see the first 

14   bankrupt school district in New York State happen 

15   on their watch.  We have to do better, we must do 

16   better, they deserve to have us do better.  

17                Thank you, Mr. President.  I hope my 

18   colleagues here will join me in making sure that 

19   we look after all of our children in this state, 

20   especially those that are most vulnerable.

21                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

22   Helming.

23                SENATOR HELMING:   Thank you, 

24   Mr. President.  Mr. President, through you, would 

25   Senator Krueger be willing to take a few 


                                                               2778

 1   questions?

 2                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 3   the sponsor yield?  

 4                SENATOR KRUEGER:   I'll give it a 

 5   whirl.

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 7   sponsor yields.

 8                SENATOR HELMING:   Through you, 

 9   Mr. President.  Senator Krueger, can you tell me 

10   if there's any policy or any funding for 

11   databases, programs, or anything else related to 

12   the expansion of the SAFE Act or firearms 

13   regulations in this bill or any other bill in the 

14   budget?

15                SENATOR KRUEGER:   No, unfortunately 

16   there is not.

17                SENATOR HELMING:   Thankfully there 

18   is not.  

19                Through you, Mr. President, if the 

20   Senator -- 

21                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Do you 

22   yield?  

23                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes, I yield.

24                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

25   sponsor yields.


                                                               2779

 1                SENATOR HELMING:   Senator Krueger, 

 2   I see that there was funding included for a 

 3   searchable database of economic development 

 4   projects.  Does this budget contain any 

 5   Article VII language to codify the database of 

 6   deals?

 7                SENATOR KRUEGER:   One minute.

 8                So no, there is no Article VII 

 9   language for the database of deals.  There is a 

10   commitment by the Governor of funding to -- 

11   sorry, there's a commitment by the Governor of 

12   funding for said effort.  But we still would need 

13   to do separate language outside the budget.

14                SENATOR HELMING:   Through you, 

15   Mr. President.

16                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

17   the sponsor yield?  

18                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Yes.

19                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

20   sponsor yields.

21                SENATOR HELMING:   Senator Krueger, 

22   why isn't there any language in the Article VII?  

23                SENATOR KRUEGER:   The Governor 

24   rejected it.

25                SENATOR HELMING:   Okay.  On the 


                                                               2780

 1   bill, Mr. President.

 2                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 3   Helming on the bill.

 4                SENATOR HELMING:   I have to say 

 5   that it's highly disappointing to hear there's no 

 6   Article VII language in the budget to codify the 

 7   database of deals.  As most of you know here, the 

 8   Republicans led the effort last year to create 

 9   the database of deals and to get that legislation 

10   passed.  

11                Without Article VII language, 

12   neither the Legislature nor the public can be 

13   sure that all the state's economic development 

14   projects are being captured in the searchable 

15   database.  This limits transparency and 

16   accountability.  I find this especially 

17   surprising and extremely disappointing 

18   considering that one of the primary reasons state 

19   elected officials opposed the Amazon deal and the 

20   up to 40,000 jobs that would have come with it, 

21   was insufficient transparency in the process.  

22                I would hope that the Amazon 

23   experience and the loss of up to 40,000 jobs 

24   would have motivated our colleagues to prioritize 

25   and ensure that the database of deals was 


                                                               2781

 1   included in the final budget.  It appears my hope 

 2   was very displaced.

 3                Mr. President, it is my belief that 

 4   until we address the high taxes, the unnecessary 

 5   red tape, and the overregulation that burden our 

 6   local small businesses, they're going to continue 

 7   to pack up and exit this state as quickly as 

 8   possible, just like the overtaxed people who live 

 9   here.  We're not going to attract new businesses, 

10   we're going to see more problems unless we 

11   address these issues.

12                Thank you, Mr. President.

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

14   Akshar.

15                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Thank you, 

16   Mr. President.  I'm on the bill, specifically -- 

17                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

18   Akshar on the bill.

19                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Thank you, 

20   Mr. President.  Specifically around the area and 

21   the space with the heroin and opioid crisis.  

22                The heroin epidemic is the public 

23   health crisis of our time.  And really we're at a 

24   sad state of affairs tonight.  When I heard 

25   Senator Amedore and Senator Krueger speaking 


                                                               2782

 1   about was there additional funding, will there be 

 2   additional funding -- with all due respect to my 

 3   colleague, she said something along the lines of 

 4   we really needed to legalize marijuana to be able 

 5   to provide additional monies for these services.

 6                And I'm just trying to understand 

 7   this.  Are we suggesting that if we could get 

 8   more people to smoke marijuana we would have more 

 9   money to provide drug services?  I'm -- I'm 

10   just -- I'm a little bit confused.

11                For me -- I'm not asking a question, 

12   no.  I'm just speaking.  For me, it's about wants 

13   versus needs.  And I arrived here in 2016, and I 

14   just want to remind everybody in this house that 

15   the great work that the Task Force on Heroin and 

16   Opioid Addiction did.  That task force really, in 

17   my opinion, changed lives.  And it empowered 

18   people who were on the ground and on the front 

19   lines every day, the community-based providers, 

20   and helped them, really, provide these services.  

21                So since I'm here in 2016, we found 

22   a way -- 2016, an additional $25 million; '17, an 

23   additional $10 million.  In '18, an additional 

24   $15 million.  

25                And I can't help but think about 


                                                               2783

 1   some of the things that my colleagues have spoken 

 2   about.  Twenty-seven million dollars for the 

 3   DREAM Act, we found that money.  A hundred 

 4   million dollars in an opioid tax, none of which 

 5   is going for new services -- none of which is 

 6   going for new services.  Four hundred twenty 

 7   million dollars, as Senator O'Mara said, for the 

 8   film tax credit.  But yet we can't find an 

 9   additional 15, 20, 25 million to deal with the 

10   public health crisis of our time?  

11                So what I'm going to do is I'm going 

12   to go home, back to my district, in 52, who -- we 

13   just lost 10 people this month, 10 people this 

14   past month to overdose.  I'm going to go back and 

15   tell Lourdes Hospital that no, we don't have 

16   $175,000 for your substance abuse counseling for 

17   youth.  I'm going to go back to Tioga County and 

18   say to CASA-Trinity, no, we can't fund you at 

19   $70,000 for school-based substance abuse.  I'm 

20   going to go to Chenango County Behavioral Health 

21   and say, I'm sorry, we don't have $70,000 for 

22   you, because we didn't legalize marijuana and 

23   there's no money, but yet we found $27 million to 

24   fund the DREAM Act, we allowed opioids to be 

25   taxed at $100 million, and we raised other monies 


                                                               2784

 1   for other things -- but no, we're not going to 

 2   fund these things.

 3                Mr. President, I'll be voting no.

 4                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 5   Krueger.

 6                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Thank you, 

 7   Mr. President.

 8                So I think I'm going back to the 

 9   revenue bill, but I do want to correct the 

10   record.  I answered Senator Helming incorrectly.  

11   I apologize.  There is reappropriation language 

12   in the Division of State Police of $10 million 

13   for services and expenses related to the 

14   development of a records management system that I 

15   believe is specific to the SAFE Act.

16                So this is money that had not been 

17   spent in previous years but continues to be a 

18   statewide record system to share information 

19   which could include the SAFE Act in it.  So that 

20   is actually from the Division of State Police 

21   reappropriations.

22                I don't know whether -- I want to 

23   give Senator Helming a chance to --

24                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

25   Helming.


                                                               2785

 1                SENATOR HELMING:   Through you, 

 2   Mr. President.  I guess I'm looking for more 

 3   explanation.  Can you give me a little more 

 4   detail?  Is this new funding to expand?

 5                SENATOR KRUEGER:   No, it's a 

 6   reappropriation of money that was not spent but 

 7   in theory could be spent for these purposes.

 8                SENATOR HELMING:   Is that the 

 9   intent, to --

10                SENATOR KRUEGER:   It's 2014 money, 

11   so it's there as a reappropriation.  It would not 

12   need additional legislation.  The SAFE Act has 

13   already been passed.

14                SENATOR HELMING:   I'm sorry, did 

15   you have something more?

16                SENATOR KRUEGER:   I'm sorry.  So it 

17   would be 10 million in reappropriations for these 

18   purposes, which could include the SAFE Act 

19   database.

20                SENATOR HELMING:   And the database 

21   of -- what would the database include?  Through 

22   you, Mr. President.

23                SENATOR KRUEGER:   I believe this 

24   was a database for tracking ammunition.

25                SENATOR HELMING:   Thank you.


                                                               2786

 1                SENATOR KRUEGER:   You're welcome.

 2                On the bill.

 3                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 4   Krueger on the bill.

 5                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Thank you.

 6                And I think I'm going back to being 

 7   on revenue, although we are free flying tonight 

 8   on the budget.  Or this morning.

 9                So, one, I just want to address 

10   something that's been said quite a few times, 

11   just to clarify.  That 100 million opioid tax, 

12   with all due respect, was passed by the majority 

13   when they were Republicans last year.  So it's 

14   not actually us, it was them.  And now it's all 

15   of us.

16                And no, the only way to get money 

17   for substance abuse is not whether you pass 

18   legalization of marijuana.  But I wanted to 

19   highlight that in our one-house bill we had hoped 

20   to have money for many things that we don't have.  

21   But had we been able to create a regulation and 

22   tax system for cannabis products, the commitment, 

23   at least in the legislation that I have been 

24   carrying for quite a few years now, would in fact 

25   commit a significant percentage of revenue from a 


                                                               2787

 1   tax and regulation system to provide both 

 2   substance abuse treatment and education to 

 3   discourage people from using drugs.

 4                And my colleague also referenced so 

 5   we have to get people to smoke marijuana in order 

 6   to get money for drug treatment.  With all due 

 7   respect, they're already smoking marijuana.  The 

 8   question is will we ever legalize, tax, regulate 

 9   and ensure that we have a system in place that 

10   actually raises revenue rather than costs us 

11   money and creates a safer, noncriminal 

12   environment for the New Yorkers who are already 

13   smoking cannabis in quantities pretty equivalent 

14   to states that have already legalized.  So we 

15   have a reality; we're just not confronting that 

16   reality.

17                I did want to highlight, though, how 

18   proud I am of this bill for all the things that 

19   aren't in it.  So it doesn't have adequate 

20   funding for education.  I have to agree with 

21   several of my colleagues from across the aisle, 

22   we shouldn't have punted campaign finance to a 

23   commission, we should do it ourselves.  

24                I appreciated the comments about 

25   look what happened when there was a pay 


                                                               2788

 1   commission.  Well, that wasn't my idea either, 

 2   that was the Republicans in the majority.  I 

 3   would have just given us a raise.  I think that 

 4   would have been the right answer.  

 5                So I also am quite concerned about a 

 6   commission when we just should have done a public 

 7   financing system.

 8                But as you've heard so eloquently 

 9   from so many of my colleagues tonight, what we're 

10   doing for criminal justice reform is going to 

11   have enormous positive ramifications throughout 

12   our communities.  And despite the fact that there 

13   are some DAs saying this isn't well thought out, 

14   the truth is on discovery and speedy trial, most 

15   states are already here.  They've already been 

16   doing this for years.  So I don't know what's so 

17   shocking about it.  

18                And on bail reform, we have also 

19   been talking about it for years and years and 

20   years.  And I know when I go home, even though my 

21   district isn't disproportionately made up of 

22   people who end up not being able to afford bail 

23   if they need it, that it will be one of the first 

24   questions I am asked by people:  "Did you get 

25   criminal justice reform done?"  And I'll be able 


                                                               2789

 1   to say "Yes, we did," and they'll say "Good job, 

 2   Liz."

 3                Then we have the MTA and the 

 4   mobility tax or congestion pricing or whatever 

 5   people want to describe it as.  And there I also 

 6   think where we have come and where we have gotten 

 7   to tonight is the right answer.  Because the 

 8   entire future of the MTA region and much of the 

 9   state is dependent on making sure we have a 

10   functioning, funded 21st-century public 

11   transportation system.  

12                And here's the issue that I think 

13   people are misunderstanding when they talk about, 

14   where's the equity?  We're not asking the state 

15   to pay for it.  New York City is basically paying 

16   for it, and the New York City region of small 

17   numbers of commuters who do drive into New York 

18   City.  The irony is it's New York City who will 

19   be paying for the MTA capital plan through 

20   congestion pricing.  And we will just -- and we 

21   will be sharing that system with a universe much 

22   larger than ourselves.

23                So when we look at the plan for 

24   congestion pricing and we look at who's going to 

25   pay, it is the City of New York who's going to 


                                                               2790

 1   pay.  And when we look at one of the tax -- two 

 2   of the tax increases people seem so concerned 

 3   about, which are the transfer tax increase and 

 4   the mansion tax increase, that will be wealthier 

 5   people in the City of New York paying for the 

 6   MTA.  It's not anybody outside the City of 

 7   New York, it's not the State of New York, it's 

 8   the City of New York's people contributing, 

 9   through a more progressive tax system, money 

10   towards the MTA.

11                And when you talk about the gross on 

12   the increase of a billion dollars in taxes, 

13   again, please remember, it's mostly coming from 

14   the people of the City of New York.  Because when 

15   we talk about continuing the higher personal 

16   income tax rates with a five-year extension, the 

17   largest increase, which is just a continuation of 

18   what we've already had -- there was a chart going 

19   around about who actually pays that.  It's the 

20   people in my district personally.  

21                I am very comfortable with the fact 

22   that representing the wealthiest district in the 

23   State of New York, we're supposed to pay our fair 

24   share, and that means progressive taxation.  And 

25   they've been doing it for five years, and nobody 


                                                               2791

 1   has left because of it.  I have more millionaires 

 2   now than I did five years ago.  Nobody is going 

 3   to sell their apartments and leave because we're 

 4   continuing that tax to make sure that the people 

 5   of New York State have more revenue for everyone.  

 6   So we are a donor to the rest of the state 

 7   through this tax.  

 8                We are protecting AIM for our 

 9   localities.  I think there was a great deal of 

10   confusion about that.  The internet tax is not an 

11   unfair tax, it's a fairness tax.  And it will 

12   mean money going to our localities and our towns 

13   and villages.  And no, it won't be going to the 

14   MTA, just the City of New York's share of the 

15   internet taxes will be going to the MTA.

16                So yet again, when you talk about 

17   parity, we're trying to save ourselves with 

18   revenue that's coming straight out of the City of 

19   New York.  

20                And so even though we haven't been 

21   able to do everything we wanted to this year, 

22   Mr. President, and even though there are people 

23   saying you're raising taxes by a billion dollars, 

24   pretty much all of that is coming from 

25   higher-income people in the City of New York, 


                                                               2792

 1   very often the people in my district, and they 

 2   aren't going to leave New York because they love 

 3   New York, they want it to be successful, they 

 4   know they need a functioning MTA system.  We all 

 5   know, if you come from the 12 -- 13 counties of 

 6   lower New York State, we all know that we need to 

 7   make the investments in the MTA.  

 8                And we've held them to a much 

 9   stricter standard of accountability in the new 

10   plan.  Several of my colleagues today talked 

11   about the importance of the forensic tracking and 

12   accounting and auditing, and we are doing that.  

13   And we are doing much clearer, cleaner 

14   transparency and far more details.  

15                And I'm not going to tell you I feel 

16   confident it's all going to work out, but I feel 

17   more confident that we have a plan that can help 

18   us ensure that we have subways and buses and 

19   trains that we need to have in order to keep our 

20   economy thriving.  Because it matters in my city 

21   and my region, but it actually matters just as 

22   much for upstate New York.

23                So I'm proud to be voting yes, 

24   Mr. President.  Thank you very much.

25                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 


                                                               2793

 1   Breslin.

 2                SENATOR BRESLIN:   Thank you, 

 3   Mr. President.

 4                I rise to speak on criminal justice, 

 5   which I was delayed --

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 7   Breslin on the bill.

 8                SENATOR BRESLIN:   -- some time ago.  

 9                And I think that I first of all have 

10   to thank the team from my conference who did such 

11   a phenomenal job, and for Andrea Stewart-Cousins, 

12   our leader, to give them the strength and the 

13   ability to go forward as a group to change the 

14   law.

15                And when I think of myself as a 

16   young lawyer spending a lot of time in local 

17   police court here in Albany, I think of George 

18   Santayana saying "He who forgets the past is 

19   doomed to repeat it."

20                I was confronted with conservative 

21   white judges, prosecutors that weren't 

22   particularly fair, frequently young 

23   African-American men who had been charged with 

24   misdemeanors of a nonviolent nature, but they 

25   were in jail because they couldn't afford minor 


                                                               2794

 1   amounts of money.  And when they were brought 

 2   into court, furthering -- when they were brought 

 3   into court, they weren't in suits and preppy, 

 4   they were coming from jail.  So that compounded 

 5   the problems in getting a fair and equitable 

 6   disposition.

 7                And I think frequently of particular 

 8   people who I represented more than once.  And if 

 9   they ended up because of their circumstances 

10   pleading to a minor violation or a minor crime, 

11   the next time, well, that person has a record.  

12   So it was compounded again.  

13                And I think of all the unfairness 

14   that went on, and all the unfairness that still 

15   goes on.  And I applaud what we've done tonight, 

16   no cash bail.  Proper discovery.  Speedy trial.  

17   And this day I will remember forever.  And I 

18   believe our children and grandchildren will look 

19   back at this day as a very important day that 

20   made a difference in the way our criminal justice 

21   system will be in the State of New York from this 

22   day forward.

23                So I feel somewhat relieved, 

24   probably my conscience being relieved, for some 

25   of the experiences I had in those representations 


                                                               2795

 1   as a young lawyer.  And I hope that we can move 

 2   forward where young lawyers won't feel the same 

 3   way I did at that time.

 4                And on another point, I know that -- 

 5   was it you, Senator Lanza, that talked about the 

 6   inequities -- oh, no, it was the other -- it was 

 7   you, Senator Tedisco.  I get them confused.  

 8                (Laughter.) 

 9                SENATOR BRESLIN:   I think about -- 

10   there was a $618 million increase in Foundation 

11   Aid this year.  So we didn't do that badly.  But 

12   we didn't do as well as Senator -- was it 

13   Jackson -- indicated that we should do.  And 

14   hopefully we'll move in the direction of finally 

15   settling that AQE debt which is now 13 or 14 

16   years old.  And I might add it was a directive 

17   from the Court of Appeals telling us to pay that 

18   amount of money so that there was a sound, basic 

19   education for our children, particularly in 

20   New York.  

21                So with those two areas -- there's 

22   so many other areas that I could discuss from 

23   this new Senate Majority that to me is doing 

24   things for the right reasons and making New York 

25   a fairer and a better place.  I look forward to 


                                                               2796

 1   not being like Mississippi and Arkansas, and 

 2   having people come out to vote and being 

 3   encouraged to vote and participating in the 

 4   process.  And there are so many other measures 

 5   that we've taken over the last three months that 

 6   make me proud to be a member of this body.  

 7                So I know that -- I think there's a 

 8   chance to have increased camaraderie in this 

 9   body.  I hope it works out.  But I know that the 

10   Democratic Majority, being pushed by our 15 new 

11   freshmen, still has a lot of work to do, and I 

12   believe that work will get done.

13                I vote aye.

14                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

15   Hoylman.

16                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Thank you, 

17   Mr. President.  I'll be brief.  

18                Senator Kavanagh said tonight his 

19   mother, who religiously watches the Senate 

20   channel, she herself has gone to bed.  So I know 

21   that I'm up against steep odds here.  

22                (Laughter.)

23                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   I wanted to join 

24   my colleagues in commemorating this historic 

25   moment when we are passing criminal justice 


                                                               2797

 1   reform.  Whether it's speedy trial or reforming 

 2   bail and reforming our discovery system, we 

 3   really have reason to be proud.

 4                I'm disappointed that some of the 

 5   spinmeisters for the other side are calling it a 

 6   criminal bill of rights.  Mr. President, there 

 7   could be nothing further from the truth.  This is 

 8   about the United States Bill of Rights and equal 

 9   justice under the law.  So we should all be very 

10   proud of what we're doing tonight.

11                And I want to also mention the fact 

12   that we are liberated here as a chamber, and I 

13   think we see it in the bills we're passing 

14   tonight.  For example, on mayoral control.  We 

15   actually looked at the issue on the merits.  

16   Senator Liu had hearings, we discussed it in our 

17   conference, we looked at what was best for the 

18   children of the City of New York.  We were not 

19   bargaining charter schools for mayoral control, 

20   and that's a first in this chamber.  And I'm very 

21   happy that we decided on an approval that will 

22   include greater parental involvement.  

23                And when it comes to the new mansion 

24   tax and the real estate transfer tax, what we're 

25   trying to call the RETT-a-terre -- I don't think 


                                                               2798

 1   that's going to happen.  But in both cases we 

 2   beat back the special interests and are actually 

 3   taxing wealthy New Yorkers based on the ability 

 4   to pay.

 5                And what's even more important is 

 6   that those same New Yorkers will be providing for 

 7   middle-class residents of our city and the whole 

 8   region in helping fund our mass transit system.  

 9   And that's really one of the most important 

10   things we're doing tonight, which is funding the 

11   MTA through congestion pricing.  Fifteen billion 

12   dollars, that gets us some of the way.  We know 

13   that Andy Byford's plan is $40 billion.  

14                But one of the things that I often 

15   get pulled off of the sidewalk in my district is 

16   the question "When are you going to fix the 

17   subways?"  Well, we're taking a bold step tonight 

18   in passing congestion pricing.  And I'm the 

19   Senator who has all but 12 blocks of the 

20   congestion pricing zone in my Senate district.  

21   So we are really bearing the brunt of the 

22   expense.

23                I'm happy that there will be a free 

24   ribbon around the perimeter of Manhattan, that 

25   there will be a discount for low-income residents 


                                                               2799

 1   of the zone, and that we're going to be looking 

 2   at the advent of residential parking.

 3                So I thank the congestion pricing 

 4   team that our leader assembled, with Senator 

 5   Kennedy and Senator Comrie, to hammer those 

 6   details out.  

 7                And let me just mention a couple of 

 8   other things.  For the first time, this Senate, 

 9   in my career, is funding LGBTQ initiatives, 

10   including Gay Men's Health Crisis, the LGBTQ 

11   Network, the Transgender Legal Defense and 

12   Education Fund.  And I should remind you, if you 

13   don't know already, that yesterday was 

14   Transgender Visibility Day.  So we're doing 

15   something for transgender New Yorkers, and I 

16   appreciate my colleagues for their support.  

17                And last year, Mr. President, there 

18   was an IVF bill on this floor, in vitro 

19   fertilization, that would mandate insurance 

20   coverage.  It passed this chamber, but shamefully 

21   it discriminated against gay men.  Well, the bill 

22   that we're passing that's modeled after Senator 

23   Savino's bill has an anti-discrimination clause, 

24   and I'm very proud of that.

25                So for all these reasons, 


                                                               2800

 1   Mr. President, we have reasons to be very proud 

 2   of our efforts tonight, and I'll be voting in the 

 3   affirmative.  Thank you.

 4                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 5   Montgomery.

 6                SENATOR MONTGOMERY:   Thank you, 

 7   Mr. President.

 8                I rise to, one, just thank my 

 9   colleagues who have enumerated the many reasons 

10   that we should be very proud of the work that is 

11   what this bill represents.  

12                But I want to just take this moment 

13   to thank the heroes, as I am concerned about 

14   criminal justice reform, and especially the fact 

15   that we have thousands and thousands of people 

16   who have been held in detention before they have 

17   even had a trial.  So essentially it is 

18   detention, pretrial detention, for people -- many 

19   of whom spend more time, because they can't pay 

20   bail, than they would have to spend in prison 

21   even if they were guilty.

22                So for me, the heroes of this 

23   evening are those colleagues who spent many, 

24   many, many hours negotiating the results that we 

25   celebrate tonight.


                                                               2801

 1                And the number one of those members 

 2   is Mike Gianaris, who carried the bill on our 

 3   side for a long time, who negotiated with a lot 

 4   of people, who scared everybody, because nobody 

 5   believed or wanted to make the change, but 

 6   Gianaris stood up to all of them.  So we thank 

 7   him.  I thank him.

 8                And who knew that these two new 

 9   people were going to be also part of that 

10   victory, Senator Bailey and Senator Myrie, who 

11   could -- you can't top Senator Myrie, what he 

12   said tonight.  It was just amazing.  And so 

13   they're -- the three of them were working to try 

14   and make this happen.

15                And lo and behold, they found a 

16   prosecutor, a former prosecutor, who they were 

17   able to convince to say "I'm part of this 

18   movement as well," so that's Senator Kaminsky.  

19                So we had the perfect team.  And I 

20   must say I didn't believe it was going to happen, 

21   but you never know when a miracle is going to 

22   come.

23                So this awful pretrial detention 

24   system that was maintained by a faulty bail 

25   system where people had to either have enough 


                                                               2802

 1   money -- and if you were a poor person and didn't 

 2   have enough money, you had to spend an enormous 

 3   amount of time in prison even though you did not 

 4   necessarily -- you were not necessarily guilty of 

 5   anything.  And there was a tremendous lack of 

 6   information in the discovery process, and trials 

 7   took forever.

 8                So there were people languishing in 

 9   prison who never had a trial.  And the most 

10   famous was the young person who committed suicide 

11   because he spent three years in prison, never had 

12   a trial.  So there were collateral consequences 

13   to this prison system.  There were immediate 

14   consequences.  And for goodness' sake, it was a 

15   totally unjust operation.

16                So we're proud of our colleagues who 

17   spent all that time fixing this system.  And as 

18   Senator Myrie pointed out, after 200 years we can 

19   feel proud of ourselves because we have at last 

20   come to an agreement that we in the State of 

21   New York will no longer support the kind of 

22   injustice that was represented by the bail 

23   system, the lack of discovery, and the lack of a 

24   speedy trial.

25                So thanks to my colleagues.  And I'm 


                                                               2803

 1   proud of all that is represented in this budget, 

 2   but that particular change makes me so absolutely 

 3   happy and thankful.  And I vote aye on 

 4   everything.

 5                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Are 

 6   there any other Senators wishing to be heard?  

 7                Seeing and hearing none, debate is 

 8   closed.

 9                The Secretary will ring the bell.

10                Senator Gianaris.

11                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President.  

12   Are there any messages of necessity at the desk?  

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   There 

14   are messages of necessity at the desk.

15                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Okay.  In that 

16   case I move that we accept all the messages of 

17   necessity.

18                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   All in 

19   favor of accepting all the messages of necessity 

20   signify by saying aye.

21                (Response of "Aye.")

22                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

23   Opposed?  

24                (Response of "Nay.")

25                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 


                                                               2804

 1   messages are accepted, and the bill is before the 

 2   house.

 3                Read the last section.

 4                THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

 5   act shall take effect immediately.

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

 7   the roll.

 8                (The Secretary called the roll.)

 9                THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

10   Calendar Number 356, those Senators recorded in 

11   the negative are Senators Akshar, Amedore, 

12   Antonacci, Boyle, Flanagan, Funke, Gallivan, 

13   Griffo, Helming, Jacobs, Jordan, Lanza, LaValle, 

14   Little, O'Mara, Ortt, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, 

15   Robach, Serino, Seward and Tedisco. 

16                Ayes, 40.  Nays, 22.  

17                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

18   bill is passed.

19                Senator Gianaris.

20                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

21   can we go back to Calendar 359, which was earlier 

22   laid aside temporarily.  That's the health budget 

23   bill, which we already had the vote on.  We have 

24   just accepted the message, as you heard.  So can 

25   we please call that vote.


                                                               2805

 1                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

 2   the last section.

 3                THE SECRETARY:   Section 3.  This 

 4   act shall take effect immediately.

 5                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

 6   the roll.

 7                (The Secretary called the roll.)

 8                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 9   Rivera to explain his vote.

10                SENATOR RIVERA:   Thank you, 

11   Mr. President.

12                So I will be voting in the 

13   affirmative on this bill.  We debated it earlier.  

14   And I just wanted to thank all of my colleagues 

15   for -- that are supporting the bill.  I 

16   understand why some folks are not.  

17                The most important thing that I want 

18   to make sure that I underline is that I believe 

19   that we have done -- that we did a great job of 

20   being able to hold off some of the worst impulses 

21   of the Executive.  The fact is that not only the 

22   budget that we were presented was an austerity 

23   budget to begin with, but the 30-day amendments 

24   would have eviscerated the healthcare system in 

25   the State of New York.  We were able to hold that 


                                                               2806

 1   off and move forward a little bit.  

 2                Still, we have much work to do, and 

 3   I look forward to doing it with my colleagues for 

 4   the rest of the conference -- in the rest of the 

 5   session.  

 6                And also I recognize, as we talked 

 7   about earlier, that there's many issues that 

 8   impact the entire State of New York, whether it's 

 9   Lyme disease or tick-borne diseases or other 

10   issues that impact other parts of the state.  We 

11   certainly care about them.  We were very 

12   constrained by this year's budget.  But we look 

13   forward to working along with our colleagues 

14   across the aisle.  Because health is something 

15   that impacts all New Yorkers, we want to make 

16   sure that we get it right.  

17                So with that I will vote in the 

18   affirmative.  Thank you, Mr. President.

19                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

20   Rivera to be recorded in the affirmative.

21                Senator May to explain her vote.

22                SENATOR MAY:   Thank you, 

23   Mr. President.

24                One in six New Yorkers are over the 

25   age of 65.  And I am pleased to say that this 


                                                               2807

 1   budget reflects a commitment to older 

 2   New Yorkers, particularly to the goal of keeping 

 3   as many seniors in their homes as long as they 

 4   want to stay there.

 5                There are currently people in their 

 6   nineties who are on waiting lists to get home 

 7   services, in-home services for the elderly, and 

 8   they can't wait a whole lot longer.  So there is 

 9   $15 million in this budget to clear the waiting 

10   list of people waiting for Expanded In-home 

11   Services for the Elderly.  I think that's a real 

12   achievement.

13                And we've also got a new program 

14   called private-pay protocols for the elderly.  

15   This is for people -- so the area agencies for 

16   the aging provide a lot of really wonderful 

17   services to the elderly to help them stay in 

18   their homes and stay out of nursing homes, like 

19   meal deliveries and case management and a number 

20   of other services.  And a lot of people would 

21   like to be able to access those services, but 

22   their incomes are too high.  So the private-pay 

23   protocols are going to allow them to pay 

24   reasonable amounts to get those services and stay 

25   in their homes much longer.  


                                                               2808

 1                So I think this budget is a good one 

 2   for our elderly population and will make us -- 

 3   make people more able to stay in their homes and 

 4   out of nursing homes much longer.

 5                So I vote aye.  Thank you.

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 7   May to be recorded in the affirmative.

 8                Senator Carlucci to explain his 

 9   vote.

10                SENATOR CARLUCCI:   Thank you, 

11   Mr. President.  

12                I want to thank my colleagues for 

13   supporting this budget bill.  As it was said, 

14   it's been a difficult budget year, we've heard 

15   that.  But I want to thank my colleagues for 

16   working together to getting some of the 

17   priorities done here.  We've been able to raise 

18   wages for our direct service workers.  This is 

19   extremely important, something we know we needed 

20   to get done.  We've been able to restore and 

21   expand the Joseph P. Dwyer PTSD Peer-to-Peer 

22   veteran program.  And as we know, unfortunately 

23   we hear the statistics, we know that 22 veterans 

24   take their own life every day in the 

25   United States.  This is something that we need to 


                                                               2809

 1   continue to expand and make sure that veterans 

 2   have access to.

 3                We were able to restore the funding 

 4   to the crisis intervention teams, to make sure 

 5   that law enforcement have the tools to deal with 

 6   a mental health crisis.  This is something that 

 7   we need to continue to work towards to make sure 

 8   that every police department has access to this 

 9   important training.  

10                And I want to thank my colleagues, 

11   particularly Senator Harckham, the chairman of 

12   Alcohol and Substance Abuse, for working so hard 

13   to deliver, in this budget, mental 

14   health-behavioral health parity.  This is 

15   something that we've taken a giant leap forward 

16   in this budget.  And I really believe, because of 

17   behavioral health parity that we're passing 

18   tonight, we will save lives, we will help to get 

19   people the treatment, the help that they need and 

20   deserve but unfortunately in the past have hit 

21   roadblock after roadblock.  This budget is 

22   pushing those roadblocks away and is going to get 

23   people the help, the treatment they need.  

24                So Mr. President, I'll be voting 

25   yes.  Thank you.


                                                               2810

 1                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

 2   Announce the results.

 3                THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

 4   Calendar Number 359, those Senators voting in the 

 5   negative are Senators Akshar, Amedore, Antonacci, 

 6   Boyle, Flanagan, Funke, Gallivan, Griffo, 

 7   Helming, Jacobs, Jordan, Lanza, LaValle, Little, 

 8   O'Mara, Ortt, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Robach, 

 9   Serino, Seward and Tedisco.

10                Ayes, 40.  Nays, 22.

11                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

12   bill is passed.

13                Senator Gianaris.

14                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

15   can we now go back to the report of the 

16   Finance Committee that we earlier accepted and 

17   recognize Senator Krueger on a nomination.

18                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

19   Krueger.

20                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Thank you, 

21   Mr. President.

22                So it can't be earlier today, so 

23   yesterday the Finance Committee and the 

24   Transportation and the Corporations Committee all 

25   interviewed Patrick Foye, who was being nominated 


                                                               2811

 1   by the Governor to become the board chair of the 

 2   MTA.  I guess board chair and president, chief 

 3   executive officer.  This is the chief position 

 4   for the MTA.  

 5                Many of us have known Patrick Foye 

 6   from his various positions in government over the 

 7   years, working for the Port Authority of New York 

 8   and New Jersey, for LIPA earlier in his career, 

 9   for Governor Spitzer during his time as 

10   governor --

11                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

12   Krueger, can you pause for a second?  We just 

13   want to have the Secretary read the report and 

14   then we'll come back to you.

15                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Oh, I'm sorry.  

16   Thank you.  

17                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   No 

18   problem.

19                SENATOR KRUEGER:   I got carried 

20   away.

21                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

22   Secretary will read.

23                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Krueger, 

24   from the Committee on Finance, reports the 

25   following nomination:  


                                                               2812

 1                As Chairman and Chief Executive 

 2   Officer of the Metropolitan Transportation 

 3   Authority, Patrick J. Foye, of Sands Point.

 4                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 5   Krueger to continue.

 6                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Let's try that 

 7   one again.  Okay.  Ibid on everything I already 

 8   said.

 9                So basically Pat Foye successfully 

10   was moved by all three committees, and we're 

11   very -- he's not here, so I'm not pretending to 

12   talk to him.  He went home to sleep hours ago.  

13                But I think that for those of us who 

14   had a chance to interview him or who might know 

15   him from one of his other positions in 

16   government, we know that he is an excellent 

17   candidate for this position.  And we are very 

18   hopeful that so many of the hopes and dreams 

19   we've put into a reformed, improved MTA will be 

20   able to come true, both with the funding we are 

21   hopefully moving through in this budget and with 

22   the leadership of a strong new team at the MTA.  

23                I'm proud to nominate him to be this 

24   position tonight.  Thank you.

25                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 


                                                               2813

 1   Kennedy on the nomination.

 2                SENATOR KENNEDY:   Thank you, 

 3   Mr. President.  At this late hour, I will be 

 4   brief.  But let me start by congratulating --

 5                (Applause; laughter.)

 6                SENATOR KENNEDY:   Let me start by 

 7   congratulating the Governor for putting forward 

 8   this tremendous nomination to serve in such an 

 9   extraordinary capacity as chairman and CEO of the 

10   MTA, Patrick J. Foye.  

11                I have had the real honor to have 

12   gotten to know him over the last several months, 

13   but his reputation had preceded him before our 

14   work began with him in reforming the MTA and 

15   beginning the process of moving the congestion 

16   pricing plan forward with my great colleague, who 

17   I also have had the tremendous honor to work side 

18   by side with, and that is Chairman Senator Leroy 

19   Comrie.  

20                I want to thank the leader, Senator 

21   Andrea Stewart-Cousins, for putting us together, 

22   Senator Comrie and I, in driving forward an 

23   initiative to hear from the public in an 

24   unprecedented fashion across the State of 

25   New York.  From here in Albany to the City of 


                                                               2814

 1   New York in Manhattan, to Long Island, to 

 2   Westchester, to Buffalo, to Syracuse we held 

 3   unprecedented public hearings about public 

 4   transit.  

 5                And when we look at the MTA and 

 6   where it is today, the driving force in the 

 7   economy, not just in the city and the 13 counties 

 8   and the millions of people that it serves 

 9   downstate, but also in the State of New York -- 

10   the heartbeat also of the economy, arguably, in 

11   the United States and in the international 

12   community -- it is extraordinarily important that 

13   we get this right.  

14                There is no doubt in my mind that 

15   Patrick Foye is the right person for the job at 

16   the right time.  As we are taking a holistic view 

17   of reforming the MTA, of holding leadership 

18   accountable, of putting in place reforms that the 

19   ridership and the public honestly has only dreamt 

20   of -- things like a forensic audit and a 20-year 

21   vision and accountability measures to put back in 

22   place trust in the MTA.  

23                And we are committed to holding them 

24   accountable.  And Patrick Foye is on the record 

25   to holding them accountable as well and working 


                                                               2815

 1   with us to move this initiative forward.  

 2                And as the clock is past 2:00 in the 

 3   morning, and as we take this up, this is not just 

 4   something that has been rushed through.  This is 

 5   something that has been quite some time in the 

 6   making.  Patrick Foye worked his way up.  Not 

 7   only is he educated and went to school back in 

 8   the '70s and Fordham Law School in the '80s, but 

 9   throughout his career he has led various 

10   organizations, has been a member of the board of 

11   the MTA, president of the MTA.  He has served in 

12   various different capacities, including head of 

13   economic development, where we are insisting that 

14   the MTA takes a greater approach as we're 

15   investing billions of dollars to fix and resolve 

16   the issues with the capital problems at the MTA 

17   that have been generations in the making.  That 

18   we're also investing in New York State across the 

19   entirety of the state in our hopes of creating 

20   thousands of jobs as well.  

21                So I can go on and on and on, and I 

22   won't, Mr. President --

23                (Laughter.)

24                SENATOR KENNEDY:   I've held back 

25   quite a bit tonight.  But I will tell you this.  


                                                               2816

 1   I know for a fact that this -- 

 2                (Laughter.)

 3                SENATOR KENNEDY:   -- this is -- 

 4   this is a tremendous appointment.  I'm honored 

 5   and privileged to stand in support of this 

 6   nomination, and I congratulate Patrick Foye as 

 7   chairman and CEO.

 8                Thank you.  I vote aye.

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

10   question is on the nomination of Patrick J. Foye 

11   as Chairman of the board and Chief Executive 

12   Officer of the Metropolitan Transportation 

13   Authority.  

14                All in favor say aye.

15                (Response of "Aye.")

16                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

17   Opposed?  

18                (Response of "Nay.")

19                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Patrick 

20   J. Foye has been confirmed as Chairman of the 

21   Board and Chief Executive Officer of the 

22   Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

23                Senator Gianaris.

24                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

25   can you please call on Senator Griffo.  I believe 


                                                               2817

 1   there will be a brief break in the proceedings, 

 2   very brief, and we'll be back to finish our 

 3   business.

 4                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 5   Griffo.

 6                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Thank you, 

 7   Mr. President.  Thank you, Senator Gianaris.  

 8                There will be a brief immediate 

 9   meeting of the Republican Conference in Room 315.

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   There 

11   will be a brief meeting of the Republican 

12   Conference in Room 315.

13                SENATOR GIANARIS:   The Senate will 

14   stand at ease.

15                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

16   Senate will stand at ease.

17                (Whereupon, the Senate stood at ease 

18   at 2:08 a.m.)

19                (Whereupon, the Senate reconvened at 

20   2:42 a.m.)

21                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

22   Senate will return to order.

23                Senator Gianaris.

24                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

25   can we please return to motions and resolutions.  


                                                               2818

 1                I believe there's a privileged 

 2   resolution at the desk.

 3                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   We will 

 4   return to motions and resolutions.  

 5                There is a privileged resolution at 

 6   the desk.  The Secretary will read.

 7                THE SECRETARY:   Senate Resolution 

 8   Number 958, by Senator Stewart-Cousins, 

 9   Concurrent Resolution of the Senate and Assembly 

10   fixing the salaries of the offices of Governor 

11   and Lieutenant Governor pursuant to Sections 3 

12   and 6 of Article 4 of the Constitution of the 

13   State of New York.

14                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

15   question is on the resolution.  

16                The Secretary will call the roll.

17                (The Secretary called the roll.)

18                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

19   Announce the results.

20                THE SECRETARY:   Those Senators 

21   voting in the negative are Senators Akshar, 

22   Amedore, Antonacci, Boyle, Flanagan, Funke, 

23   Gallivan, Griffo, Helming, Jacobs, Jordan, Lanza, 

24   LaValle, Little, O'Mara, Ortt, Ramos, 

25   Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Rivera, Robach, Serino, 


                                                               2819

 1   Seward and Tedisco.

 2                Absent from voting:  Senators 

 3   Metzger, Sepúlveda and Skoufis.  

 4                Ayes, 35.  Nays, 24.

 5                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 6   resolution is adopted.

 7                Senator Gianaris.

 8                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

 9   while we are waiting for the final message to 

10   come for the last budget bill, we will have the 

11   leaders' speeches at this point.  

12                So if you could please begin by 

13   calling on Senator Flanagan.

14                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

15   Flanagan.

16                SENATOR FLANAGAN:   Thank you, 

17   Mr. President.

18                I appreciate everyone taking the 

19   time.  And a couple of notes here, just jotted 

20   down some things that were talked about 

21   throughout the course of the day.  And I have to 

22   tell you, without any disrespect to his 

23   successor, this is about the time where I would 

24   think about either Senator Hannon or Senator 

25   DeFrancisco.  Because Senator Hannon would sit 


                                                               2820

 1   right in front of me and literally, as I was 

 2   about to get up, the first thing he would do is 

 3   go like {"wrap it up" gesture}.  

 4                (Laughter.)

 5                SENATOR FLANAGAN:   And DeFran, of 

 6   course, would say something similar.

 7                But we are here for an important 

 8   reason.  And I want to thank all of my 

 9   colleagues, I want to thank all of my colleagues 

10   for doing the people's business.  We come at it 

11   from different angles.  We certainly don't always 

12   agree.  And I've had the opportunity to say this, 

13   and I beat a dead horse in a good way, in the 

14   sense that every one of us should be proud to be 

15   a public servant.  Every one of us should be 

16   proud to be working in government.  Every one of 

17   us should be proud to be an elected official and 

18   to be a member of the New York State Senate.

19                I still find, after all the time 

20   I've been here, when I walk into this chamber and 

21   I see my colleagues, but more importantly when I 

22   have guests here, they come in there in awe.  

23   They're in awe of the surroundings that we find 

24   ourselves in on a daily basis.  So I try never to 

25   lose sight of that and recognize that everything 


                                                               2821

 1   here belongs to the taxpayers and we're really 

 2   tenants.  And I'm okay with that, because we have 

 3   these things called elections that are the great 

 4   equalizing factor.

 5                So with regard to the budget, I 

 6   obviously want to give kudos to the staff on both 

 7   sides.  For a number of our colleagues in the 

 8   Majority who have been here working very hard, 

 9   this is the first time in a different kind of 

10   fishbowl -- I'm not talking about our members, 

11   but our staff.  Eric, you look a little tired, 

12   I'm just going to say.  And rightfully so.  But I 

13   know how hard you've worked, and everybody else.  

14                On our side of the aisle, clearly I 

15   want to thank my colleagues and I want to give 

16   particular thanks to Shawn MacKinnon and to 

17   Joe Messina and to Morgan and to Ben and, by 

18   extension, everybody that we work with.  And 

19   while I don't know every member of the Majority 

20   staff, I would extend the same type of courtesy 

21   to them.  Because we try.  We all know we don't 

22   do it perfectly, but we do try.  

23                Senator Krueger, you continue to 

24   distinguish yourself as a professional.  And I 

25   know you've endeavored to answer the questions, 


                                                               2822

 1   and my favorite is when you just flat out say 

 2   yes, we agreed with all the Governor's taxes.  It 

 3   makes it so easy for us when you do that.

 4                Senator Gianaris, thank you for 

 5   working as well as you do and so closely with 

 6   Senator Griffo and our colleagues and getting our 

 7   business done.  

 8                And obviously to Senator 

 9   Stewart-Cousins, having gone through this 

10   cycle -- she's not new to the place.  She knows 

11   how it works.  And obviously got the budget done 

12   on time with -- Brad, it's okay, you can clap.

13                (Laughter; applause.)

14                SENATOR FLANAGAN:   So we obviously 

15   need to do the people's business and work in a 

16   collegial capacity to the largest extent 

17   possible.  And I heard one of our colleagues, I 

18   think you heard Senator Breslin, use the word 

19   "camaraderie."  I hope that never gets lost even 

20   when things get difficult.  

21                When I look at this budget and I 

22   look at my colleagues and the expertise that each 

23   of our members brings -- I think of my colleague 

24   here Ken LaValle, who, if he hasn't, should 

25   probably write a book, because he's got the 


                                                               2823

 1   longest tenure here in the Senate, has a wealth 

 2   of history and experience and knowledge.  Very 

 3   competent on so many different levels and always 

 4   brings something extra to us.  And I know he 

 5   enjoys a very warm relationship with many of our 

 6   colleagues in the majority.

 7                So when I look at the budget -- when 

 8   I say "I," I think I can respectfully speak on 

 9   behalf of the members of our conference -- there 

10   are some good things in there.  If I had to pick 

11   out one thing, making the property tax cap 

12   permanent.  We have talked about that for years 

13   and years and years and years and years.  And in 

14   reality, this goes back to when George Pataki was 

15   Governor.  George Pataki brought -- George Pataki 

16   advanced the STAR program with a property tax 

17   cap, which never got enacted.  And for the 

18   taxpayers of the State of New York, I'm glad to 

19   see that that's happening.  

20                But as I look at this budget, I 

21   think of words that we talked about last year:  

22   Affordability, opportunity and security.  So in 

23   the advent of -- or the world that we live in 

24   with social media and technology, one of the 

25   major newspapers here in New York has a cover 


                                                               2824

 1   that's already out for tomorrow that says "Tax, 

 2   Tax, Tax."  Big bold letters.  So affordability, 

 3   it's not us, not just us saying this, New York is 

 4   getting less and less affordable to live.  And 

 5   this budget doesn't make things any better.

 6                Now, you all have your right and 

 7   prerogative and opportunity to advance your 

 8   legislative agenda, which in this case includes 

 9   taxes.  Last year the Governor introduced an 

10   internet tax.  We killed it, you passed it.  

11   There are a number of things that are in here 

12   that we don't think are good on behalf of 

13   residents, taxpayers and constituents.  

14                Now you have to pay a bag tax when 

15   you go to the grocery store.  Environmental 

16   issues notwithstanding, it's a regressive tax 

17   that hurts poor people more than anybody.  But 

18   it's a new tax.

19                So now we have the internet tax so 

20   every time you go online, it's going to cost you 

21   more money.  

22                We took away an exemption that's 

23   going to raise everybody's energy rates, so 

24   that's a new energy tax.  

25                There's a prescription drug tax 


                                                               2825

 1   that's going to hurt a lot of people, most 

 2   notably seniors.  And there isn't a person who 

 3   doesn't think that prescription drug costs aren't 

 4   high enough already.

 5                There's a new commuter tax.  I'm 

 6   calling it a commuter tax because I've been here 

 7   long enough to see what it was, what it meant, 

 8   where it is, where it's going.  And I think 

 9   that's going to be very detrimental to all of the 

10   State of New York.  

11                So there's a whole bunch of things 

12   in here that I think undermine affordability for 

13   the average New Yorker.  

14                Now, there are a lot of 

15   conversations about where the state was and where 

16   it's going and how even if you go after the 

17   people who are more affluent, they're not going 

18   to leave, they have the ability to pay.  There's 

19   independent documentation of people who are 

20   leaving.  I was reading a story today, today, 

21   about revenues in the State of New York and how 

22   the Comptroller is saying Wall Street's doing 

23   fine.  Wall Street's actually doing pretty well.  

24   But the people that are getting those bonuses, 

25   they're leaving.  The bonuses are being 


                                                               2826

 1   generated, but those people are leaving.  And 

 2   they do pay a disproportionate share of the taxes 

 3   here in the State of New York.

 4                Opportunity.  No discussion about 

 5   tax cuts.  No discussion about middle-class tax 

 6   relief.  There's an extension of the 

 7   millionaire's tax, but there's no extension of 

 8   the property tax rebate checks.  No way of adding 

 9   onto that program.  We tried to accelerate the 

10   middle-class tax cut, that was rejected and 

11   rebuffed.  So there's nothing for the middle 

12   class that cuts their taxes.  There's nothing, as 

13   I've just described in a number of different 

14   ways, in terms of opportunity.  

15                I didn't hear any real discussions 

16   about economic development.  I don't think 

17   there's anything in here about jobs.  The 

18   question was asked today, How would you score 

19   this in terms of jobs?  Well, the one I know for 

20   sure is that Amazon was on the verge of coming 

21   here, so that's 25,000 jobs that I know we lost.  

22   And we need to keep talking about that as a point 

23   in terms of where we are as a state.  That's a 

24   lost opportunity.  

25                Not changing our regulatory 


                                                               2827

 1   structure.  Not changing our energy policy.  Not 

 2   radically overhauling our economic development 

 3   programs and making it easier to grow and start a 

 4   business here in the State of New York.  Those 

 5   are lost opportunities.

 6                So when I look at security -- now, I 

 7   know a number of my colleagues don't like some of 

 8   the things that we're saying.  I'm fine with 

 9   that.  Because I don't like a number of things I 

10   hear from the other side, but that's all part of 

11   the process.  I believe that this budget makes 

12   people less secure.  There are changes in here 

13   that have nothing to do with victims.  And yes, 

14   we've called this a criminal bill of rights.  And 

15   some people aren't comfortable with that.  But 

16   there are radical changes in this budget.  

17                We talked about Senator Sepúlveda's 

18   legislation today.  We talked about Senator 

19   Bailey's legislation.  And they were very 

20   articulate in terms of what they were saying.  

21   But I don't want to vote for something that's 

22   going to repeal the sentences -- part of a 

23   sentence for over 17,000 New Yorkers who have 

24   drug-related offenses.  

25                I don't want to go back home to my 


                                                               2828

 1   constituents and say, you know, we have a pocket 

 2   of people who are here illegally in this country 

 3   who have not only been arrested and charged but 

 4   convicted of a crime and are now serving time in 

 5   a correctional facility and we're changing the 

 6   law by one day to make sure that these people 

 7   don't have any risk of deportation.  The people I 

 8   represent are saying wait a second, these people 

 9   are here illegally and they've been convicted of 

10   a crime and they're serving time.  So the 

11   disposition and the orientation is different from 

12   us philosophically.

13                On the bail, there are a number of 

14   crimes that are out there for which now people 

15   are going to be released automatically.  Senator 

16   Lanza spoke about this very eloquently today.  

17                So all these things tie into, in my 

18   opinion, and I think our colleagues, about lost 

19   opportunities.  Where's the legislation to 

20   protect victims?  Why are we so concerned about 

21   the people who are charged and who have been 

22   convicted but do nothing for the people who are 

23   the law-abiding citizens?  In my opinion and that 

24   of my colleagues.  So that's lost opportunity.  

25                And looking at other areas of the 


                                                               2829

 1   budget, you know, education aid, there were a lot 

 2   of things talked about today.  Yes, there's more 

 3   money for Foundation Aid, but it doesn't help my 

 4   districts.  And it doesn't help a lot of my 

 5   colleagues' districts.  And I'm going to be very 

 6   fair, I think, in saying this is a subject-matter 

 7   area that I know as well as anybody in this room.  

 8   Anybody.  So when I talk about education aid, I 

 9   believe in supporting all of our schools.  

10   Whether it's New York City or the North Country 

11   or the Southern Tier or Western New York, we all 

12   share those interests.  So that's what we need to 

13   be focusing on.  

14                But the last thing I want to talk 

15   about is this place and what has happened in this 

16   budget.  We have given more power -- no, not 

17   we -- you have given more power to the Governor.  

18   We have given away some of our authority and some 

19   of our responsibility.  And I understand the ins 

20   and the outs and the ups and the downs of the 

21   budget process and its negotiations.  But I look 

22   at something like the Public Authorities Control 

23   Board, who three months ago that entity most 

24   people didn't even know what it was.  Now we've 

25   given the authority to the Governor to yank 


                                                               2830

 1   somebody from that control board, that that power 

 2   didn't exist before.  That's abdicating our power 

 3   and I believe our responsibility to the 

 4   Executive.

 5                You all have decided that the 

 6   Governor and the Budget Director should have more 

 7   flexibility and more authority to get into the 

 8   health budget and, upwards of $200 million, be 

 9   able to do whatever they want.  If they don't 

10   think things are going right, we cede that 

11   authority to the Executive.  I don't think that's 

12   a prudent course of action.  

13                You all have decided that you wanted 

14   to have a commission to give away our discretion 

15   and our latitude and authority on public 

16   financing of campaigns.  You all voted tonight 

17   for public financing of campaigns.  And we all 

18   pay attention to the same data in polling.  

19   People do not like public financing of campaigns 

20   because when it comes down to a choice between 

21   programs like healthcare and programs for the 

22   aging and Lyme and tick disease and heroin and 

23   opioid addiction, 99 times out of 100 the 

24   taxpayer's going to go for those programs, not 

25   welfare for politicians.


                                                               2831

 1                And last but by no means least is 

 2   sort of a dichotomy when we look at the commuter 

 3   tax and how that authority is now given to an 

 4   outside group of people.  They may be experts, 

 5   but they're an outside group of people.  That's a 

 6   decision that should be made by the appointed 

 7   representatives from the Governor, from this 

 8   legislative body, so we don't give away our 

 9   fundamental role.  We should never do that.  It's 

10   hard enough working with the Executive on all of 

11   these issues.  

12                So I think we have undermined 

13   affordability in the State of New York, we have 

14   lost opportunity not only to protect people but 

15   on job security and economic development and all 

16   those types of things.  And as I said, with 

17   regard to security, we just look at things 

18   differently than many of our colleagues do.  And 

19   as I always say, that's your prerogative.

20                As we move ahead, we have a lot more 

21   things that we need to do.  And, you know, I 

22   left -- I'm sure I left several different things 

23   out.  I'll just close with this, Mr. President.  

24   I want to thank Senator Stewart-Cousins for 

25   continuing to do the people's business and 


                                                               2832

 1   getting things done.  We will push hard.  We 

 2   will -- you know, we'll mix it up verbally and 

 3   we'll make our points be known.  

 4                And I look forward to the second 

 5   half of our session so that hopefully we will 

 6   address a number of the issues that we believe 

 7   have been left out, as you all have said.  And I 

 8   know you are very capable of always telling us 

 9   and me the things that we didn't do.  I think 

10   I've outlined some of the things that we believe 

11   should be priorities, and we're not going to walk 

12   away from those.  

13                So to all of my colleagues, thank 

14   you for allowing me the opportunity to speak.

15                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

16   Gianaris.

17                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

18   can we now hear from our distinguished Majority 

19   Leader, Andrea Stewart-Cousins.

20                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senate 

21   Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.

22                SENATOR STEWART-COUSINS:   Thank you 

23   so much, Mr. President.  

24                The hour is late, and we have done, 

25   yes, the people's business.  And of course even 


                                                               2833

 1   though the hour is late, I cannot neglect to 

 2   thank the staff on both sides of the aisle who 

 3   worked so hard to make sure that we were able to 

 4   do what we've done.

 5                It's been a long time since we've 

 6   been on this side of the aisle, and the number of 

 7   hours and the diligence that actually has to be 

 8   sustained to make this happen is really 

 9   incredible.  So I certainly thank everyone, but I 

10   definitely want to thank the people who, for the 

11   first time in a decade, worked to make this 

12   evening, this historic day happen.

13                (Applause.)

14                SENATOR STEWART-COUSINS:   And I 

15   certainly want to thank my Finance chair, Liz 

16   Krueger.  Liz, you know, I've watched you since 

17   the very beginning, in awe of how much you knew 

18   and how you owned that knowledge and kept it and 

19   shared it.  

20                And I know you weren't even feeling 

21   terribly well over the past few days, and I 

22   wondered if she could be up to the task.  Of 

23   course you hit it out of the park, and thank you 

24   so much for this work.  Thank you.

25                (Applause.)


                                                               2834

 1                SENATOR STEWART-COUSINS:   And for 

 2   my deputy, Senator Gianaris, who runs this floor 

 3   and gets everything moving and making sure that 

 4   people know what they're supposed to be doing 

 5   when, I want to thank you.  Thank you for always 

 6   staying on point and, again, making sure that we 

 7   got through this evening.  Thank you so much.

 8                (Applause.)

 9                SENATOR STEWART-COUSINS:   And you 

10   know, my counsel staff, the Finance staff -- 

11   amazing.  The leaders are new in their positions, 

12   just like we're new in this position.  And I want 

13   to thank Todd Scheuermann, the Finance director, 

14   for the work that he's done.

15                (Applause.)

16                SENATOR STEWART-COUSINS:   Ably 

17   helped by Felix, who is -- you know, again, so 

18   much institutional knowledge.  

19                And of course I have a chief of 

20   staff and a counsel who's amazing, MVP Shontell 

21   Smith.  

22                (Applause.)

23                SENATOR STEWART-COUSINS:   And of 

24   course I do appreciate the interaction and the 

25   cooperation, certainly, with Senator Griffo in 


                                                               2835

 1   your role.  

 2                And of course Senator Flanagan, it's 

 3   always good to share time talking about how we 

 4   see things.  And I think what's important, 

 5   obviously, is that I think we all know why we're 

 6   here regardless of how we see these things.

 7                And this budget is not only a fiscal 

 8   document, we know it's a policy document.  And 

 9   you can depict it the way you believe, but we 

10   believe that opportunity is in these pages.  We 

11   believe that tax rates are in these pages.  We 

12   believe that our consciousness about the 

13   environment are in these pages.  We believe that 

14   our understanding that you are indeed innocent 

15   until proven guilty, and that you deserve to have 

16   rights before you're tried to know what it is 

17   you're being accused of, and you have the right 

18   to a speedy trial.  We believe that you should 

19   not be criminalized if you're poor.  And we 

20   believe if we invest in education, if we invest 

21   in our children, if we make sure that they have 

22   what they need from pre-K to college, that we 

23   will make sure that we stop what has become too 

24   often the school-to-prison pipeline.

25                So when you hear my side of the 


                                                               2836

 1   aisle talking about these things, talking about 

 2   education, we are proud that we increased 

 3   education spending by over a billion dollars.  We 

 4   are proud that in a year -- especially a year 

 5   with the tax attack that we've experienced from 

 6   our national government, where we are dealing 

 7   with much less, we were still able to put a 

 8   billion dollars towards education.  And we were 

 9   still able to make the tax cap permanent.  We 

10   understand that when we invest in our communities 

11   and we invest in our kids, we're securing our 

12   future.  And we're not looking for a jail cell to 

13   do that.  We want to help to do that work.  

14                And we talked about economic 

15   development in a difficult time, but the first 

16   thing that was handed to us was the restoration 

17   of over $500 million of healthcare.  Those are 

18   people working.  And they're people working to 

19   make sure the sick and the vulnerable among us 

20   are able to recover.  So we look at that as jobs 

21   too.

22                And yes, the internet tax exists.  

23   And it's a tax, as Senator Krueger says, that 

24   should have been collected.  And the reality is 

25   that it's also able to put our local businesses 


                                                               2837

 1   in a competitive light.  Maybe the difference 

 2   could be I'll go to my local store.  Maybe I'll 

 3   walk in and buy something in my community.  Maybe 

 4   that's a good idea.

 5                We've got a lot of work to do.  But 

 6   this Majority and every member in it has worked 

 7   for this day, and the fruits of their labor in 

 8   this three-month period is extraordinary.  We've 

 9   got 15 new people over here, almost half of this 

10   conference.  And from the time we walked in, we 

11   understood that we had an opportunity not to be 

12   great, but to make sure that what we gave every 

13   district and every person in New York was great.

14                And when we looked at the things 

15   that we could have done, whether it was our 

16   voting laws, whether it was early voting -- which 

17   we have, yes, now funded -- whether it is talking 

18   about child victims because we care about the 

19   security, yes, we care about victims.  Whether 

20   it's talking about reproductive health, whether 

21   it's talking about sensible gun laws, we 

22   understood that, yes, Dreamers who are here are 

23   only able to contribute when they educate and 

24   have access.

25                We do see things differently.  And 


                                                               2838

 1   I'm so glad that the diversity of our thought and 

 2   our opinion could come together in little 

 3   workgroups and get us to an end.  That Jamaal and 

 4   Mike and Zellnor and Shelley and Todd could sit 

 5   in a room with their Assembly colleagues and 

 6   figure out a way.  And yes, they've spoken to 

 7   DAs, and yes, they've spoken to stakeholders.  

 8   And yes, there are the Kalief Browders in the 

 9   world that haunt every single one of us and 

10   should haunt every single one of us.  Nobody 

11   should spend three years in Rikers Island because 

12   they were accused -- accused -- accused of 

13   stealing a backpack, because they didn't have the 

14   money to get out.  And the mental illness that 

15   came caused him to commit suicide.  We can do 

16   better.  And we have.  

17                And yes, we have an MTA.  We know 

18   that this cannot be the economic hub if the 

19   transportation is not reliable.  And nobody could 

20   figure out a way to sustain the MTA, but we were 

21   able to do that.  Yes, there was a framework, 

22   there was an agreement, there was a mayor, there 

23   was a governor, there was an agreement and a 

24   framework.  But that wasn't enough.  And I put 

25   together Senator Comrie and Senator Kennedy and 


                                                               2839

 1   they got together a workgroup and we worked this 

 2   through.  And now there will be millions and 

 3   millions and billions of dollars to sustain a 

 4   system that we need and, by the way, give 

 5   resources to LIRR, to Metro-North that were never 

 6   guaranteed before.

 7                Sometimes we say a rising tide lifts 

 8   all boats.  But really it only does if you really 

 9   want to lift all boats.  You heard the passion 

10   here.  These people came together to do what 

11   people need to be done to make sure that they can 

12   thrive in the greatest city, in the greatest 

13   state, in all of the great communities that make 

14   up New York.  And every single one of us on both 

15   sides of the aisle are going to make sure that 

16   happens.  

17                I want to thank my colleague in the 

18   Assembly, Speaker Heastie, who is a partner.  I 

19   want to thank the Governor, because we figured it 

20   out.  And I want to thank all of you, because I 

21   know this has been a long night, you've been 

22   diligent, you've been thoughtful, and you deserve 

23   a break.  You deserve to enjoy the -- so after 

24   tomorrow, you get to go home.  And I know that's 

25   probably the best thing I've said to you so far.  


                                                               2840

 1                (Laughter.)

 2                SENATOR STEWART-COUSINS:   In fact, 

 3   after today, because we're -- after session 

 4   today, then you get home.  

 5                But no, we do realize that there is 

 6   talent on both sides and there are things we will 

 7   do together and we will continue to do together.  

 8   But I am excited beyond measure that 39 people 

 9   came together, most of us didn't know each other, 

10   and we made the impossible happen because we 

11   understood that only we could.

12                So thank you very much to my 

13   colleagues.  And again, enjoy the rest of the 

14   week.

15                And thank you, Mr. President, for 

16   allowing me this time.

17                (Standing ovation.)

18                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

19   Gianaris.

20                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

21   if you thought that was the end of our session, 

22   it was your first April Fools joke three hours 

23   in.  

24                (Laughter.)

25                SENATOR GIANARIS:   If we can return 


                                                               2841

 1   to the bill we laid aside from Supplemental 

 2   Calendar B, Calendar 362, I believe we have a 

 3   message of necessity at the desk for it.

 4                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   There 

 5   is a message of necessity at the desk.

 6                SENATOR GIANARIS:   I move to accept 

 7   the message.

 8                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   All in 

 9   favor of accepting the message of necessity 

10   signify by saying aye.

11                (Response of "Aye.")

12                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

13   Opposed?  

14                (Response of "Nay.")

15                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

16   message is accepted and the bill is before the 

17   house.

18                The Secretary will read.

19                THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

20   362, Senate Budget Bill, Senate Print 1501A, an 

21   act making appropriations for the support of 

22   government.

23                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

24   the last section.

25                THE SECRETARY:   Section 5.  This 


                                                               2842

 1   act shall take effect immediately.

 2                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

 3   the roll.

 4                (The Secretary called the roll.)

 5                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

 6   Announce the results.

 7                THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

 8   Calendar 362, those Senators voting in the 

 9   negative are Senators Akshar, Amedore, Antonacci, 

10   Boyle, Flanagan, Funke, Gallivan, Griffo, 

11   Helming, Jacobs, Jordan, Lanza, LaValle, Little, 

12   O'Mara, Ortt, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Robach, 

13   Serino, Seward and Tedisco.

14                Ayes, 40.  Nays, 22.

15                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

16   bill is passed.

17                Senator Gianaris, that completes the 

18   reading of today's calendar.

19                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Is there any 

20   further business at the desk?

21                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   There 

22   is no further business at the desk.

23                SENATOR GIANARIS:   I move to 

24   adjourn until Monday, April 1st, at 3:00 p.m.

25                ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   On 


                                                               2843

 1   motion, the Senate stands adjourned until Monday, 

 2   April 1st, at 3:00 p.m.

 3                (Applause.)

 4                (Whereupon, at 3:19 a.m., the Senate 

 5   adjourned.)

 6

 7

 8

 9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25