Regular Session - April 20, 2021

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 1                NEW YORK STATE SENATE








 9                  ALBANY, NEW YORK

10                   April 20, 2021

11                      3:12 p.m.



14                   REGULAR SESSION




18  SENATOR SHELLEY B. MAYER, Acting President









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

 2                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   The Senate 

 3   will come to order.  

 4                I ask everyone present to please 

 5   rise and recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

 6                (Whereupon, the assemblage recited 

 7   the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.)

 8                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   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 MAYER:   Reading of 

14   the Journal.

15                THE SECRETARY:   In Senate, Monday, 

16   April 19, 2021, the Senate met pursuant to 

17   adjournment.  The Journal of Friday, April 16, 

18   2021, was read and approved.  On motion, Senate 

19   adjourned.

20                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Without 

21   objection, the Journal stands approved as read.

22                Presentation of petitions.

23                Messages from the Assembly.

24                The Secretary will read.

25                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Gianaris 


 1   moves to discharge, from the Committee on Labor, 

 2   Assembly Bill Number 2681B and substitute it for 

 3   the identical Senate Bill 1034B, Third Reading 

 4   Calendar 119.

 5                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   The 

 6   substitution is so ordered.

 7                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Breslin 

 8   moves to discharge, from the Committee on 

 9   Insurance, Assembly Bill Number 5379 and 

10   substitute it for the identical Senate Bill 4326, 

11   Third Reading Calendar 480.

12                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   The 

13   substitution is so ordered.

14                Messages from the Governor.

15                Reports of standing committees.

16                Reports of select committees.

17                Communications and reports from 

18   state officers.

19                Motions and resolutions.

20                Senator Gianaris.

21                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Madam President, 

22   on behalf of Senator Savino, on page 29 I offer 

23   the following amendments to Calendar 581, 

24   Senate Print 4102, and ask that said bill retain 

25   its place on the Third Reading Calendar.


 1                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   The 

 2   amendments are received, and the bill shall 

 3   retain its place on the Third Reading Calendar.  

 4                Senator Gianaris.

 5                SENATOR GIANARIS:   I now move to 

 6   adopt the Resolution Calendar, with the exception 

 7   of Resolutions 618, 622 and 631.

 8                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   All in 

 9   favor of adopting the Resolution Calendar, with 

10   the exception of Resolutions 618, 622 and 631, 

11   please signify by saying aye.

12                (Response of "Aye.")

13                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Opposed, 

14   nay.

15                (No response.)

16                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   The 

17   Resolution Calendar is adopted.

18                Senator Gianaris.

19                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Let's start with 

20   Resolution 631, by Leader Stewart-Cousins, read 

21   that resolution's title, and recognize the leader 

22   on the resolution.

23                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   The 

24   Secretary will read.

25                THE SECRETARY:   Senate Resolution 


 1   631, by Senator Stewart-Cousins, mourning the 

 2   untimely death of DMX, legendary New York 

 3   rap icon and talented actor.

 4                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Leader 

 5   Stewart-Cousins on the resolution.

 6                SENATOR STEWART-COUSINS:   Thank you 

 7   so much, Madam President.

 8                I rise and I want to acknowledge my 

 9   coprime sponsor of this resolution, 

10   Senator Bailey.  Senator Bailey and I claim 

11   DMX -- as I'm sure you do, Madam President -- 

12   because Earl Simmons, as is his name, was born in 

13   Mount Vernon, but we like to say he became DMX in 

14   Yonkers.  

15                And he grew up in the 35th District, 

16   he grew up in my district.  He grew up in the 

17   School Street Housing Complex.  And even with all 

18   of his great success, he remained really 

19   committed to the people of both Mount Vernon and 

20   certainly of Yonkers.  And in everything that I 

21   have attended since his passing, there has been 

22   nothing but love in the street for X, as he's 

23   called.  

24                He was the first hip-hop artist to 

25   have his debut album and his sophomore album 


 1   reach number one in the same year, and his first 

 2   five albums also reached number one.

 3                And although he was a rapper, I 

 4   think that people have to remember he was so much 

 5   more than that.  He was a husband, a son, an 

 6   actor.  He was a father, a friend, fiance.  But 

 7   mostly he was Yonkers, he was East Coast, and he 

 8   was hip-hop.

 9                He was somebody who no matter where 

10   he lived, Yonkers was always present in his soul.  

11   And he exuded greatness, he exuded pain, he 

12   talked about struggle, he talked about agony, he 

13   talked about faith.  And he knew all of those 

14   things, and somehow it was always watching, you 

15   know, watching the evolution, watching him in 

16   lightness and in darkness -- but it was always 

17   his being available for everybody.  I think that 

18   makes DMX's impact so strong.

19                Through his music and his life, he 

20   challenged us to find purpose.  In his song 

21   "Slippin'," DMX said "See, to live is to suffer, 

22   but to survive, well, that's to find meaning in 

23   the suffering."  

24                DMX was never ashamed of where he 

25   came from and what he went through.  He spent 


 1   about five years in another place in my district, 

 2   Children's Village, on and off.  And he never 

 3   loved the experience, because that's -- it's 

 4   always difficult when you're separated from your 

 5   family.  But nonetheless, he continued to go back 

 6   to Children's Village to help to give guidance to 

 7   young people who had to call Children's Village 

 8   their home.

 9                He also continued to come back to 

10   another place in my district, the Nepperhan 

11   Community Center, where he would offer families 

12   turkey dinners at Thanksgiving.  And again, 

13   whether he was donating money or just walking 

14   down the street giving people ice cream, I just 

15   never met anybody who hasn't talked about DMX 

16   interacting with them in nothing but an open way.

17                I had a chance to meet him many 

18   years ago when he was just beginning to rise.  He 

19   was at a music shop in Getty Square in Yonkers, 

20   and there he was, signing autographs, inspiring 

21   everybody.  He had the -- his dogs in the back, 

22   but he was just totally there and was always 

23   present when he walked in our community.

24                We know that DMX had his demons.  We 

25   know that DMX suffered like so many from 


 1   addiction.  And we know that a large part of his 

 2   life he was criminalized for that.  I'm always 

 3   happy that in this chamber and at this juncture 

 4   we have understood the disease of addiction and 

 5   want to believe that we can help to save lives by 

 6   making sure that it is addressed as a disease.  

 7                But for DMX, you know, although he 

 8   left us too soon, I want to say that the job he 

 9   did, the job that he did that gave inspiration to 

10   so many kids, so many young people, so many 

11   adults who have seen the same struggles and have 

12   tried to fight through the most difficult times, 

13   DMX still, still offers an amazing path, 

14   inspiration:  You could be totally different, you 

15   could do different things, you could sound rough 

16   and raspy, you could be hard, but you could be 

17   soft.  You could be so many things and never, 

18   ever, ever be all that you can be.  You'll never 

19   be everything.  

20                But we who have benefited from what 

21   he brought to us in the positive will be able to 

22   make sure that his life and his legacy are 

23   remembered with all of his aspects, but also 

24   very, very fondly for all that he did.

25                As we celebrate the life and the 


 1   legacy of Earl Simmons, DMX, I'm reminded of a 

 2   quote he said that all of us in this chamber 

 3   could use a reminder of while we serve the people 

 4   we represent.  He said:  "You can't speak for the 

 5   people unless you're able to walk amongst the 

 6   people."  

 7                He never failed, no matter how high 

 8   he got, to walk amongst the people.  And because 

 9   of that, the people will never forget DMX.

10                Thank you, Madam President.

11                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Thank you, 

12   Leader Stewart-Cousins.

13                Senator Bailey on the resolution.

14                SENATOR BAILEY:   Thank you, 

15   Madam President.  

16                And let me thank our great Majority 

17   Leader, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, for not just 

18   introducing this resolution and allowing me to be 

19   to be the coprime sponsor of it, but for speaking 

20   about DMX, Earl Simmons, in such an eloquent 

21   fashion, Madam Leader, one that transcends 

22   generations.

23                You know, we used to commemorate 

24   Black Music Month.  And the last time we were 

25   able to do that was June 17, 2019.  I recall it 


 1   vividly, because we all got to speak about how 

 2   music affects us.  

 3                And DMX, as an artist, came around 

 4   at a pivotal time for me.  I was in high school.  

 5   But Mount Vernon-born, Yonkers-raised Earl 

 6   Simmons, he affected the lives of so many people.  

 7   Passed away far too soon at the age of 50.  

 8                And during that hospitalization, so 

 9   many of us, we prayed for him like he prayed on 

10   his music, like he prayed in his music.  On every 

11   DMX album there was a word of scripture, there 

12   was a gospel tract, there was something to show 

13   his connection and his faith.  And we as his 

14   fans, his supporters, people that never met him 

15   but felt that we knew him, we tried to will him 

16   through it, but we weren't able to.

17                But when he passed away, the 

18   neighborhood, the entire neighborhood was playing 

19   his music so loud.  And they were playing 

20   different songs.  But for some reason, 

21   Madam President, they all seemed to fit together.  

22   They blended beautifully together, because that's 

23   kind of what hip-hop is to so many of us.  It's 

24   what it is to me.  

25                And I was speaking about, earlier, 


 1   about me in high school, right?  And I remember 

 2   the first time I heard DMX.  And it was either on 

 3   HOT 97 or it was a DJ Clue mixtape, I can't 

 4   remember.  But back in those days we had to wait 

 5   for the music to come out.  We couldn't just go 

 6   on after music and pull it up.  Right?  

 7                But it was a song called "24 Hours 

 8   to Live."  And what stood out to me was that he 

 9   was a featured artist on this song, but he was 

10   given the last verse.  Usually the last verse is 

11   reserved for somebody more established, more 

12   prominent.  But DMX's raw energy -- and on that 

13   line, he said "Out with a bang, you will remember 

14   my name."  And we certainly do remember DMX's 

15   name and his legacy.  

16                And I remember that.  And I was 

17   like, Wow, this guy's different.  Because at that 

18   point in hip-hop we were in the, quote, unquote, 

19   shiny suit era.  Right?  There was a lot of rap 

20   about -- about -- speaking about opulence and 

21   wealth and decadence.  And then you heard gritty 

22   or raw, but powerful, an emotional voice, and it 

23   made you stop and think like, Who is this?  He's 

24   just different.

25                He was uniquely New York, with 


 1   references such as 5411s, which is a reference to 

 2   a pair of Reebok Freestyle sneakers, which were 

 3   49.99 plus tax.  He referenced so many 

 4   geographical areas within the five boroughs and 

 5   Westchester County.  

 6                And as far as hip-hop goes, being 

 7   from the Bronx, the birthplace of hip-hop, he put 

 8   Yonkers on the map.  I had people in the North 

 9   Bronx who were talking about they're from Y-O.  

10   And I'm like, Hey, you're not from Yonkers.  I 

11   know where you live.  You're from the 

12   North Bronx.  

13                But it was that sound, it was that 

14   intensity, it was that charisma that made people 

15   want to be down with DMX.  

16                I went to the Bronx High School of 

17   Science.  In 1998-1999, kids at Bronx Science 

18   were talking about "Get at Me Dog" and "Money, 

19   power, respect is the key to life."  And these 

20   were kids who weren't big hip-hop fans, but there 

21   was just something about DMX that drew them in.  

22                You had Intel Science Talent Search 

23   winners talking about "stop, drop, open up shop."  

24   It was just amazing.  

25                And so many people, they talked 


 1   about -- they used to talk about Westchester 

 2   County as upstate, Madam President and 

 3   Madam Leader.  But upstate in 1999, when he 

 4   performed at Woodstock -- and you can look at the 

 5   clip on the internet.  He moved a crowd of about 

 6   100,000 people who knew every single word to 

 7   "Ruff Ryders' Anthem."  He was a hip-hop rock 

 8   star.  

 9                And I remember a day post-session 

10   last year, we were up here for a July session on 

11   July 22nd, and there was a Verzuz.  It was 

12   something that's been put together by Swizz Beatz 

13   and assembled into -- in the era of COVID-19, for 

14   us to be able to have some sort of music.  And 

15   the DMX versus the Snoop Dogg Verzuz was 

16   something that was must-see TV.  Members and 

17   staffers and a lot of people, everybody was 

18   talking about that one.  I remember watching that 

19   one last year up here, and it brought so many 

20   people together.

21                He was ahead of his time when it 

22   came to honesty and openness about who he was.  

23   We tell people to speak their truths and be their 

24   authentic selves, and sometimes it's too raw 

25   sometimes for us.  But DMX had no problem 


 1   articulating that in his music, and did so 

 2   unabashedly and boldly.  And I think about his 

 3   skill as an MC.  

 4                He was way more than just a guy who 

 5   barked on records.  He had significant technical 

 6   rhyme skill, internal rhyme scheme.  He would 

 7   change up his flows in songs.  My friends and I, 

 8   we were in college, we would analyze certain 

 9   songs and the meanings and the double entendres 

10   and the metaphor and the simile that he would 

11   use.  

12                He was an incredibly skilled rapper, 

13   someone who has not been given credit by people 

14   who don't really listen to rap because they think 

15   that he's just barking and yelling.  But if you 

16   pay attention to the music, DMX was a wordsmith 

17   ahead of his time.

18                As I said before, he was given that 

19   final verse on songs because he was a burst of 

20   energy with his raw talent and skill.  I talked 

21   about how he switched up his flow in a song 

22   called "Stop Being Greedy."  And there's a song 

23   called "Damien" which was -- kind of illustrated 

24   his internal demons, so to speak.  And it was a 

25   literal conversation with the Devil, but 


 1   ultimately good prevailed.  

 2                And he talked about "The snake, the 

 3   rat, the cat, the dog, how you gonna see them if 

 4   you livin' in the fog?"  And the snake is the 

 5   individual who is, you know, colloquially 

 6   referred to as somebody who's being not worthy.  

 7   The rat is someone who is not going to stay to 

 8   their word.  The cat is a regular-seeming person, 

 9   but the dog, to DMX, was someone who was loyal.  

10   So that progression.

11                See, there's a level of skill and 

12   intensity and thought process in his rhyme 

13   skills.  And "There was Brenda, LaTisha" -- no.  

14   He was able to get 46 names effortlessly in a 

15   song.  And at first when I heard that song, "What 

16   They Really Want," I was like, he's just saying 

17   names.  But listening to it over and over again, 

18   that takes a significant amount of skills to be 

19   able to rhyme that many names and put it on 

20   record.  It was incredible.  

21                And 19 years later, there was a 

22   social media challenge, the DMX Challenge, which 

23   showed -- which went along to the beat of that 

24   song.  It was -- his lyrics stood the test of 

25   time.


 1                Now, on this very floor we speak 

 2   about the effects of childhood trauma, substance 

 3   use disorder and how it leads to crime.  And we 

 4   all agree -- at least in this chamber I hope we 

 5   do -- that we should find a way to stop these 

 6   causes.  We have to do everything that we can to 

 7   help people recover and thrive so that people do 

 8   not succumb to these illnesses.  The reality is 

 9   that people -- growing up, nobody wakes up in the 

10   morning and decides that they want to feel pain, 

11   that they want to have trauma.  These are things 

12   that sometimes individuals are faced with, but 

13   they deal with them.  Earl Simmons dealt with 

14   them.  DMX dealt with them.  He lived his 

15   authentic truth.  

16                Sometimes we say we want to hear it, 

17   but we don't really want to hear it.  We tell 

18   people we understand the conditions that they 

19   live in, but we turn our collective noses up when 

20   we hear certain lyrics because they're too raw 

21   for us.

22                Now, quite frankly, DMX talked about 

23   a lot of things that we've either fixed in this 

24   house, thanks to the leadership of Andrea 

25   Stewart-Cousins, or that we still look towards 


 1   fixing.  When he said in the song "Get at Me Dog" 

 2   "Nah'mean, I'm just robbing to eat, and there's 

 3   at least a thousand of us like me mobbin' the 

 4   street," he talks about actual hunger, the root 

 5   causes of crime when attempting to survive.  

 6                He talked about, in "Who We Be," 

 7   "The 23 hours that's locked, the one hour that's 

 8   not, the silence, the dark, the mind so fragile, 

 9   the wish that the streets would have took you 

10   when they had you."  We're talking about solitary 

11   confinement, the HALT bill that we just did in 

12   this Legislature, talking about how spending that 

13   much time by yourself, isolated, makes you wonder 

14   whether the streets -- what was better for you, 

15   the pitfall in the street that you escaped or 

16   being incarcerated for that amount of time and 

17   being inside by yourself.  Those are things that 

18   he was telling us about.

19                The leader spoke about "Slippin'," 

20   and there's a song -- and there's a part where he 

21   talked about "Damn, was it my fault, somethin' I 

22   did, to make a father leave his first kid at 

23   seven doin' my first bid."  We're talking about 

24   the incarceration of young people, raising the 

25   lower age, making sure that we don't submit young 


 1   people to incarceration at such a young age.

 2                "All I know is pain, all I feel is 

 3   rain, How can I maintain with madness on my 

 4   brain," from "Ruff Ryders' Anthem."  

 5                From "Do You" he said, "You wanna be 

 6   me?  Here's what you do, grow up neglected by 

 7   both parents and still pull through."  Think 

 8   about how self-aware that is.  And that was in 

 9   the year 2000.  He's obviously grown as a man and 

10   as an artist.  But in the year 2000 he was able 

11   to speak that truth which was so uncomfortable.  

12   But we have to sometimes, Madam President, be 

13   comfortable with being uncomfortable.

14                From "Prayer III," "And when it 

15   seems like the pressure gets to be too much, I 

16   take time out and pray, and ask that you be my 

17   crutch.  Lord I am not perfect by a long shot, I 

18   confess to you daily, but I work harder every day 

19   and I hope that you hear me."

20                But that duality, that's what made 

21   him real.  Because no one is the same person all 

22   the time.  We all have our DMX moments.  And I 

23   know everybody in this chamber has felt:  "Y'all 

24   gon' make me lose my mind up in here, up in 

25   here."  I know everybody's felt that.  Who hasn't 


 1   had a Ruff Ryders' Anthem kind of day?  Who 

 2   hasn't had a day where they're trying to figure 

 3   out what games are being played and how's it 

 4   going down.

 5                But who also in this chamber, who 

 6   has not had a moment where they were slipping, 

 7   falling and they felt that they couldn't get up?  

 8   But they got back up.  He could hike me up to 

 9   work out, he could make you think 

10   introspectively.  

11                And Madam President, dare I say that 

12   anybody that's ever tried to rap along with a DMX 

13   song has changed their voice?  I don't care who 

14   you are, I don't care what song you're singing, 

15   you're not using your regular voice if you're 

16   rapping along to a DMX song.  You're trying to go 

17   one octave below, you're trying to get the 

18   ground, you're trying to do it -- I've tried not 

19   to, intentionally I've tried not to go into the 

20   DMX voice, but I can't help it.  It is something 

21   that was just so specific to who he is.  

22                The praise that he offered was often 

23   invigorating.  But, I mean we know him as DMX, 

24   but to his loved ones, he was just Earl -- 

25   father, grandfather, a loyal friend, just someone 


 1   who people relied on.

 2                I never actually got the chance to 

 3   meet him in person.  And the one time that I was 

 4   going to meet him when he was coming back to 

 5   perform in the City of Mount Vernon, he was 

 6   coming in as I was leaving and I didn't get the 

 7   chance to meet him.  Everybody that I've ever 

 8   known that's met him has said that he was 

 9   incredibly affable, a kind soul, someone who was 

10   much more comfortable with those who didn't have 

11   as much than he would be with those who seemingly 

12   had it all.

13                Stopped for pictures with everybody.  

14   And if you're reading social media and looking at 

15   all of the encounters that he's had with people, 

16   with perfect strangers -- the one woman who 

17   forgave her father for his substance abuse after 

18   speaking to DMX one time.  Another woman who met 

19   him on a plane with her stepdaughter and he had a 

20   conversation with her, and they were eventually 

21   invited to a concert that he had later on that 

22   evening.  The time that he mopped the floor of a 

23   Waffle House because he saw that the worker at 

24   the Waffle House was overly tired.  And DMX said, 

25   and I quote, "The minute you get too big to mop 


 1   up a floor or to wipe a counter, that's the exact 

 2   minute you have life messed up."

 3                When we think about his name, Earl, 

 4   in royalty an earl is the third rank of the 

 5   peerage standing above the ranks of viscount and 

 6   baron, but below duke and marquis.  It's an 

 7   ancient title that comes from the words "warrior" 

 8   and "nobleman."  

 9                Well, in New York we have our own 

10   hip-hop royalty.  He's the Earl of Westchester 

11   County.  He is DMX, he is one of the greatest 

12   hip-hop artists that we will ever know, a 

13   phenomenal actor, phenomenal for the culture, 

14   someone who gave us so much in the hip-hop 

15   generation.  As a kid who's been raised by 

16   hip-hop, I am grateful for not just the 

17   accomplishments that DMX has given, but I'm more 

18   happy about the impact that Earl Simmons left on 

19   the world.

20                May he rest in peace, and may his 

21   memory be a blessing.  

22                Thank you, Madam President.

23                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Thank you, 

24   Senator Bailey.

25                The question is on the resolution. 


 1   All in favor signify by saying aye.

 2                (Response of "Aye.")

 3                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Opposed?  

 4                (No response.)

 5                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   The 

 6   resolution is adopted.

 7                Senator Gianaris.

 8                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Madam President, 

 9   can we now move on to Resolution 622, by 

10   Senator Gounardes, read that resolution's title 

11   only, and recognize Senator Gounardes.

12                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   The 

13   Secretary will read.

14                THE SECRETARY:   Senate Resolution 

15   622, by Senator Gounardes, memorializing Governor 

16   Andrew M. Cuomo to recognize April 20, 2021, in 

17   honor of the 244th Anniversary of the adoption of 

18   the first New York State Constitution.

19                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Senator 

20   Gounardes on the resolution.

21                SENATOR GOUNARDES:   Thank you, 

22   Madam President.

23                Today is an incredibly important day 

24   in the history of our state.  On this date in 

25   1777, our state's first Constitution was ratified 


 1   and adopted in the City of Kingston.  

 2                The Constitution, the first 

 3   chartering document of the newly declared 

 4   independent New York, was drafted primarily by 

 5   prominent founding fathers John Jay and 

 6   Gouverneur Morris, both of whom would go on to 

 7   sign the U.S. Constitution in 1787, and 

 8   Robert Livingston, who represented New York at 

 9   the Second Continental Congress, was a member of 

10   the Committee of Five who drafted the Declaration 

11   of Independence, and administered the first oath 

12   of office to George Washington in 1789.

13                The process of drafting the 

14   Constitution began almost immediately after the 

15   Declaration of Independence was announced in July 

16   of '76.  The New York Provincial Congress, a 

17   committee of colonists who favored independence 

18   that began organizing themselves in 1775 to 

19   support the war effort, met in the City of 

20   White Plains on July 10, 1776, to begin the work 

21   of creating a new government now that the Colony 

22   of New York had declared itself free and 

23   independent.

24                The work of the Provincial Congress 

25   was delayed and disrupted by the imminent 


 1   invasion of New York City by British forces.  The 

 2   Congress had to adjourn repeatedly and seek out 

 3   safer locations away from the British Army, a 

 4   situation that became more desperate with the 

 5   Continental Army's defeats across Long Island and 

 6   New York City and their ultimate retreat across 

 7   the river to New Jersey.  

 8                As winter settled in and the British 

 9   made camp in New York City, the Provincial 

10   Congress fled to upstate, Kingston, to continue 

11   their efforts at mobilizing for the war effort 

12   and drafting the Constitution.

13                Finally, on April 20, 1777, 

14   244 years ago, and with only one dissenting vote, 

15   the Provincial Congress of New York, renaming 

16   itself the Convention of Representatives of the 

17   State of New York, adopted and ratified the new 

18   Constitution.  Remarkably, this new Constitution 

19   was not submitted to the general public for 

20   ratification or support.  The ongoing war made 

21   that nearly impossible.

22                Our first Constitution had 

23   42 sections and clocked in at just under 

24   7,000 words.  It included in its preamble the 

25   entire text of the Declaration of Independence.  


 1   It did not have a formal Bill of Rights, but it 

 2   did include a right to trial by jury, a right to 

 3   counsel in felony cases, and a right to due 

 4   process, as well as prohibitions against bills of 

 5   attainder and protections of religious freedom 

 6   and liberty of conscience.

 7                The Constitution made no mention of 

 8   slavery, nor did it even include a process for 

 9   future amendments.  But it was the first state 

10   constitution -- and therefore the first in our 

11   nation's history -- to require that legislative 

12   representation be based on equal population and 

13   that every seven years the apportionment of 

14   legislative seats be reallocated based on changes 

15   in the population.  

16                It's amazing to me that this is 

17   still an issue that we are discussing and 

18   debating today when our state's forefathers so 

19   easily provided us with a solution some 

20   240-odd years ago.

21                Our State Constitution was in many 

22   ways a precursor to the U.S. Constitution that 

23   would be adopted a decade later.  For example, 

24   looking at the records that we have available of 

25   the deliberations and debates, the State 


 1   Senate -- this very body -- was designed to be a 

 2   filter for public opinion much like the U.S. 

 3   Senate was designed to be "the saucer that cools 

 4   the tea" that we so often learn about in our 

 5   social studies classes.

 6                Over the years, our state, the 

 7   structures of our government, the rights bestowed 

 8   to our people, and the obligations of those 

 9   people vis-a-vis their government have changed 

10   greatly.  In fact, the State of New York has 

11   ratified four different Constitutions in its 

12   history:  1777, 1821, 1846, and 1894.  And in 

13   between all those years, the Constitution has 

14   been amended hundreds of times.  

15                Now, I could spend hours and hours 

16   going through this history in greater detail, but 

17   I won't.  I will just note one interesting 

18   historical fact, that in 1858 our 

19   State Legislature approved a resolution calling 

20   for a Constitutional Convention for the express 

21   purpose of disbanding the entire state government 

22   and transferring all governing authority to the 

23   New York Central Railroad.  They submitted that 

24   amendment for ratification to the public, and it 

25   failed by just 6,000 votes.  We would have quite 


 1   a different history if that amendment had 

 2   actually been passed.

 3                Now, I'm sure many of you here are 

 4   wondering what's the big deal, why is this so 

 5   important, why should we care?  What is this all 

 6   about?  And the answer is really simple.  We tend 

 7   to place such a premium on discussing our federal 

 8   Constitution.  We talk about it all throughout 

 9   our education, beginning in elementary school.  

10   We talk about the U.S. Constitution as if it were 

11   some sort of religious document that holds the 

12   eternal truths that support our own personal 

13   political views.  

14                We spend so much time debating and 

15   discussing the constitutional powers of the 

16   federal government -- Congress, the Supreme 

17   Court, Presidency -- and yet despite the 

18   Constitution's sacred importance to our national 

19   civic identity, we often overlook just how 

20   important state governments really are.  

21                States -- the laboratories of 

22   democracy, as Justice Brandeis reminds us -- have 

23   a more fundamental impact on our day-to-day lives 

24   as citizens than the federal government ever has 

25   and perhaps ever will.  And in a world that 


 1   depends on an engaged and educated citizenry to 

 2   fulfill the promise of self-government, what 

 3   could be more important than starting with the 

 4   very foundational charter that outlines the 

 5   rights, privileges, powers and responsibilities 

 6   of a government that directly affects our lives 

 7   each and every day?

 8                We should care about our State 

 9   Constitution and its history because it is the 

10   blueprint for a government of, by and for us.  

11   The people.  New Yorkers.

12                And so today, April 20th, I want to 

13   wish you all a happy 4/20; that is, a happy 

14   New York Constitution Day.

15                Thank you, Mr. President.

16                ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Thank 

17   you, Senator Gounardes.  

18                The question is on the resolution.  

19   All in favor signify by saying aye.

20                (Response of "Aye.")

21                ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Opposed?  

22                (No response.)

23                ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

24   resolution is adopted.

25                Senator Gianaris.


 1                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

 2   can we now move on to Resolution 618, by Senator 

 3   Ryan, read its title only, and recognize 

 4   Senator Ryan on the resolution.

 5                ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

 6   Secretary will read.

 7                THE SECRETARY:   Senate Resolution 

 8   618, by Senator Ryan, commemorating the 

 9   200th Anniversary of Erie County, New York.

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

11   Ryan on the resolution.

12                SENATOR RYAN:   Thank you, 

13   Mr. President.

14                While certainly not as catchy as 

15   4/20, I only have 200 to deal with.  So it's the 

16   200th anniversary of the founding of Erie County.  

17                At its founding in 1821 Erie County 

18   was consisting of just 10 towns and the Buffalo 

19   Creek Reservation, which was home to the Seneca, 

20   Cayuga and Onondaga Nations.

21                Today Erie County has many more than 

22   10 towns.  It has the City of Buffalo.  

23   Approximately 900,000 people live there, the most 

24   populous county out of the five-borough area.  

25   It's located on the shores of Lake Erie, the 


 1   terminus of the Erie Canal.  And it helped Erie 

 2   County grow quickly into a major industrial and 

 3   transportation powerhouse in the late 1800s.

 4                Today, our county has changed.  We 

 5   are no longer the Gateway to the Western 

 6   Frontier.  It seems quaint to think about it, 

 7   that that was the gateway to the western frontier 

 8   not too long ago.  And we built a new county, and 

 9   it's an ever-evolving county with a vibrant 

10   economy.

11                So the county's bicentennial 

12   provides us with an exciting opportunity to look 

13   back at our history, to remember where we came 

14   from.  And we in Erie County will spend this 

15   upcoming year honoring the hardworking 

16   individuals who helped make Erie County what it 

17   is over the past 200 years.  And we'll celebrate 

18   the artists, we'll celebrate the architects who 

19   help envision Erie County and helped make us a 

20   nationwide tourist destination.  And finally, 

21   we'll celebrate the present-day Erie County by 

22   recognizing its significant role and place today 

23   in the State of New York.  

24                And on that note I'd like to thank 

25   our county executive, Mark Poloncarz, for his 


 1   work leading our community, especially his work 

 2   during the pandemic.  I look forward to joining 

 3   him and other county residents in a year-long 

 4   celebration of the county's great history.

 5                Thank you, Mr. President.

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Thank 

 7   you, Senator Ryan.

 8                Senator Kennedy on the resolution.

 9                SENATOR KENNEDY:   Thank you, 

10   Mr. President.

11                First of all, I want to thank 

12   Senator Ryan for bringing this resolution to the 

13   floor.

14                And I rise to also commemorate and 

15   celebrate the 200th anniversary of Erie County, 

16   New York.  

17                My colleagues have heard me talk 

18   about my hometown in this chamber, and not only 

19   because I'm proud of the place it is today, but 

20   because I understand the centuries of 

21   dedication and work that went into building it 

22   into the region that it's become.  So many 

23   individuals and businesses have contributed to 

24   shaping our community, as well as moments in 

25   history that put Erie County on the map, like the 


 1   Pan-American Exposition and our ties to several 

 2   U.S. presidents, including Millard Fillmore, 

 3   Grover Cleveland, William McKinley and Teddy 

 4   Roosevelt.  

 5                Over the years, Erie County has 

 6   served as home for hardworking blue-collar 

 7   families, business owners, innovators, farmers, 

 8   thousands upon thousands of immigrants who rooted 

 9   their futures in Western New York and built our 

10   region, over 200 years, into what it is today -- 

11   immigrants like my own ancestors, who came to the 

12   U.S. from Ireland, Germany, and other areas of 

13   Western Europe, some through Canada, in order to 

14   find a home in Erie County and live the American 

15   dream after fleeing oppression and starvation.  

16                And now, in some cases over a 

17   century later, my wife Katie and I continue to 

18   raise our own family in Erie County because we 

19   believe in all that it offers and we believe in 

20   all the potential that it holds.  

21                There's no better way to commemorate 

22   the county's bicentennial celebration than by 

23   embracing all the businesses, artists and ideas 

24   that make Erie County so vibrant.  I'm looking 

25   forward to participating in EC200 with my own 


 1   family, whether that be at the Buffalo History 

 2   Museum, listening to the Buffalo Philharmonic 

 3   Orchestra and the credible lineup of speakers who 

 4   will share their own perspective on the county's 

 5   storied past, or just sharing stories among 

 6   friends in the community.

 7                I'd be remiss if I didn't recognize 

 8   the County Executive, Mark Poloncarz, who's doing 

 9   a tremendous job not only leading our county in 

10   this generation, but in coordinating the entire 

11   effort to celebrate the bicentennial, and 

12   whose staff has gone above and beyond to protect 

13   and inform residents of Erie County during this 

14   remarkably difficult year.

15                With EC200 we're celebrating not 

16   only the region but the individuals who make it 

17   outstanding, and we're deeply grateful for the 

18   county workers who have tirelessly worked 

19   hand-in-hand with state leaders over this past 

20   year.  

21                My hope is that Erie County 

22   continues to expand and grow its footprint as a 

23   welcoming, diverse, trail-blazing region, and 

24   that as we finally see hope on the horizon, we 

25   can celebrate all that our community has to offer 


 1   together.

 2                We congratulate once again Erie 

 3   County on its bicentennial, EC200.  Thank you, 

 4   Mr. President.  I vote aye.

 5                ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Thank 

 6   you, Senator Kennedy.

 7                The question is on the resolution.  

 8   All in favor signify by saying aye.

 9                (Response of "Aye.")

10                ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Opposed, 

11   nay.

12                (No response.)

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

14   resolution is adopted.

15                Senator Gianaris.

16                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, I 

17   didn't realize until today that modern-day Greece 

18   and Erie County were both birthed in the same 

19   year.  And I'm not referring to Greece, New York, 

20   I'm referring to the nation of Greece.  Both in 

21   1821.

22                At the request of the sponsors, 

23   Mr. President, the resolutions we took up today 

24   are open for cosponsorship.

25                ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 


 1   resolutions are open for cosponsorship.  Should 

 2   you choose not to be a cosponsor of the 

 3   resolutions, please notify the desk.

 4                Senator Gianaris.

 5                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Please take up 

 6   the calendar.

 7                ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

 8   Secretary will read.

 9                THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

10   109, Senate Print 1410, by Senator Rivera, an act 

11   to amend the Public Health Law.

12                SENATOR LANZA:   Lay it aside.

13                ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Lay it 

14   aside.

15                THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

16   119, Assembly Print 2681B, substituted earlier by 

17   Assemblymember Reyes, an act to amend the 

18   Labor Law.

19                ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Read the 

20   last section.

21                THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

22   act shall take effect immediately.

23                ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Call the 

24   roll.

25                (The Secretary called the roll.)


 1                ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

 2   Gianaris to explain his vote.

 3                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Thank you, 

 4   Mr. President.

 5                I want to thank my colleagues on 

 6   both sides of the aisle for supporting this 

 7   important measure, which passed the Assembly 

 8   yesterday and we're taking up for the second time 

 9   today to match the bills.

10                We know that people lost their lives 

11   over the last year because of inadequate 

12   protections in the workplace.  And this 

13   legislation will require places of employment to 

14   have standards that are set by the Departments of 

15   Labor and Health to protect workers and customers 

16   at establishments throughout the state, and will 

17   also give those workers a role to play in 

18   monitoring and opining about whether those 

19   measures are sufficient in terms of PPE, air 

20   circulation, social distancing, all the measures 

21   we've come to know and accept over the last year.  

22                There are still places where people 

23   work helping us get through the pandemic that are 

24   not provided adequate safety, and so this bill 

25   will do that.  It's called the HERO Act for a 


 1   reason, because we lost too many heroes over the 

 2   last year and we're trying to save lives as we go 

 3   forward and continue to grapple with what is 

 4   hopefully the ending of this pandemic over the 

 5   next several months.

 6                And again, I thank my colleagues 

 7   because we do have support from both sides of the 

 8   aisle for this.  I do thank them for recognizing 

 9   its importance and for supporting this bill.

10                Thank you, Mr. President.

11                ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

12   Gianaris to be recorded in the affirmative.

13                Senator Mannion to explain his vote.

14                SENATOR MANNION:   Thank you, 

15   Mr. President.

16                The New York HERO Act turns the 

17   lessons of COVID-19 into policies that will 

18   protect all New Yorkers, all New York workers, 

19   and help the state persevere through similar 

20   public health crises in the future.

21                My prior vocation was a high school 

22   science teacher and a representative of teachers 

23   and nurses.  As the gravity of the pandemic 

24   became clear, I watched as learning moved to a 

25   remote model.  But I was also there as we 


 1   cautiously returned teachers and students into 

 2   the classroom in a world filled with unknowns.  

 3                I represented teachers who were 

 4   cancer survivors, who suffered from multiple 

 5   sclerosis, who were immunocompromised or who 

 6   cared for loved ones who were susceptible to the 

 7   virus.  And I represented teachers who were just 

 8   scared.

 9                They came to work during a global 

10   pandemic and did their jobs of educating 

11   children.  They walked through the classroom 

12   doors.  Others walked through the hospital doors.  

13   They walked through the bus doors.  They walked 

14   through supermarket doors.  

15                What can we do?  We can pass the 

16   New York HERO Act, which will minimize the risk 

17   to our health and the livelihoods of many.  The 

18   New York HERO Act requires the state to develop 

19   airborne infectious disease policies that include 

20   health screenings, face coverings and PPE.  

21                With the return to normalcy within 

22   our sights, it is imperative that we prepare for 

23   the next public health crisis.  Closing our 

24   schools and our businesses for prolonged periods 

25   of time must be a last resort.  The New York HERO 


 1   Act is a major leap forward in workplace safety 

 2   and worker protection.  

 3                I want to thank Deputy Majority 

 4   Leader Mike Gianaris for his leadership on this 

 5   bill.  I am proud to be a cosponsor, and I 

 6   proudly cast my vote in the affirmative.

 7                Thank you, Mr. President.

 8                ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

 9   Mannion to be recorded in the affirmative.

10                Announce the results.

11                THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

12   Calendar 119, those Senators voting in the 

13   negative are Senators Borrello, Boyle, Gallivan, 

14   Griffo, Helming, Jordan, Lanza, Oberacker, 

15   O'Mara, Ortt, Palumbo, Rath, Ritchie, Serino, 

16   Stec, Tedisco and Weik.

17                Ayes, 46.  Nays, 17.

18                ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The bill 

19   is passed.

20                ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Calendar 

21   Number 185, Senate Print 134, by Senator Mayer, 

22   an act to amend the Banking Law.

23                ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Read the 

24   last section.

25                THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 


 1   act shall take effect one year after it shall 

 2   have become a law.

 3                ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Call the 

 4   roll.

 5                (The Secretary called the roll.)

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

 7   Mayer to explain her vote.

 8                SENATOR MAYER:   Thank you, 

 9   Mr. President.

10                In August of 2019 I read a most 

11   disturbing story in the New York Times entitled 

12   "Wells Fargo Closed their Accounts, but the Fees 

13   Continued to Mount."  And it told the story of 

14   one man who closed 13 of his checking accounts, 

15   got the cash out, and then went about his 

16   business.  He found out several months later he 

17   was charged by the bank $1500 in fees to an 

18   account that he thought he had closed.  

19                And he wasn't alone.  It turned out 

20   that at least with respect to Wells Fargo, there 

21   were an estimated $100,000 in overdraft fees over 

22   eight months for accounts that were closed.  

23                This is the kind of behavior that 

24   affects all of our constituents.  And the fact is 

25   that under New York law, these so-called zombie 


 1   accounts, like we have zombie housing, are not 

 2   sufficiently regulated.

 3                I felt it was very imperative to 

 4   protect those I represent and those we all 

 5   represent by ensuring that New York law expressly 

 6   prohibited charging fees once your account is 

 7   closed.  And in fact, in reading up about this, 

 8   all the guidance is:  Send a letter to the bank.  

 9   All the burden is on the consumer.  Make sure you 

10   solidify the closure.

11                Well, frankly, the burden should be 

12   on the banking institution.  Once you have a 

13   clear understanding that your account is closed, 

14   no additional fees should be charged unless they 

15   have to do with an overdraft or something that 

16   was previously due.

17                So this bill finally changes that.  

18   I look forward to it passing in the Assembly as 

19   well.  

20                And again, in a time of very tough 

21   finances for so many of our constituents, we have 

22   to speak up for the consumer and speak up for the 

23   little guy and the little gal, and this bill does 

24   that.  

25                Thank you, Mr. President.  I vote 


 1   aye.

 2                ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

 3   Mayer to be recorded in the affirmative.

 4                Announce the results.

 5                THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

 6   Calendar 185, those Senators voting in the 

 7   negative are Senators Akshar, Borrello, Boyle, 

 8   Griffo, Jordan, Martucci, Oberacker, Palumbo, 

 9   Rath, Stec, Tedisco and Weik.

10                Ayes, 51.  Nays, 12.

11                ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The bill 

12   is passed.

13                THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

14   224, Senate Print 1843, by Senator Skoufis, an 

15   act to amend the Insurance Law.

16                ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Read the 

17   last section.

18                THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

19   act shall take effect immediately.

20                ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Call the 

21   roll.

22                (The Secretary called the roll.)

23                ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Announce 

24   the results.

25                THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.


 1                ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The bill 

 2   is passed.

 3                THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 4   320, Senate Print 989A, by Senator Gaughran, an 

 5   act in relation to the assessment of property 

 6   owned by water-works corporations.

 7                ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Read the 

 8   last section.

 9                THE SECRETARY:   Section 7.  This 

10   act shall take effect immediately.

11                ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Call the 

12   roll.

13                (The Secretary called the roll.)

14                ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

15   Brooks to explain his vote.

16                SENATOR BROOKS:   Thank you, 

17   Mr. President.

18                This bill is the result of work and 

19   discussions that have gone on over and over the 

20   last four or five years that I have been a member 

21   of this great house.  New York American Water has 

22   provided a level of service and rates that have 

23   been excessively expensive to the residents of 

24   their service area.  

25                This legislation provides a 


 1   mechanism to let us make this a municipal agency, 

 2   resulting, we believe, in both improved services 

 3   and reductions in taxes.

 4                Our discussions with New York 

 5   American Water -- my discussions with them go 

 6   through today, we spoke with them today.  This is 

 7   the step and the direction we have to take, and I 

 8   am fully in support of this legislation and vote 

 9   aye for a better financial future for the 

10   residents of Nassau County. 

11                Thank you.

12                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Senator 

13   Brooks to be recorded in the affirmative.

14                Senator Kaminsky to explain his 

15   vote.  

16                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Thank you, 

17   Madam President.  

18                I rise today representing 

19   approximately 90,000 aggrieved customers of 

20   American Water who have been gouged for years 

21   paying excessive water rates.  Their neighbors in 

22   municipal districts just down the street pay a 

23   fraction of what they pay.  Yet American Water 

24   customers complain about brown water and poor 

25   service.  


 1                It used to be the water bill was the 

 2   one bill you didn't have to wince when you opened 

 3   the envelope.  But with American Water, that's 

 4   proven not to be true.  To think that 

 5   affordability, especially on Long Island, has 

 6   been pushed to the point where people are gouged 

 7   for water, the basic necessity of life?  Well, 

 8   that's where we are.  

 9                And this bill today will help 

10   provide much-needed relief.  It does two things.  

11   One is that much of the bill is a special 

12   franchise tax.  That would be removed from this 

13   bill so American Water customers eventually will 

14   not see this on their bill.

15                And second, and most importantly, it 

16   will create the Nassau County Water Authority, 

17   which will have it in their power to municipalize 

18   the very water systems owned by American Water 

19   right now, because it's very clear that a path to 

20   municipal water is a way for relief for American 

21   customers who have been aggrieved for far too 

22   long.  

23                I'm proud to act as the Senate 

24   today.  Our residents demand action, and that's 

25   what we're doing here today, and I vote in the 


 1   affirmative.  

 2                Thank you, Madam President.  And 

 3   thank you, Senator Gaughran and Senator Brooks, 

 4   for your support on this bill.

 5                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Senator 

 6   Kaminsky to be recorded in the affirmative.

 7                Senator Gaughran to explain his 

 8   vote.

 9                SENATOR GAUGHRAN:   Thank you, 

10   Madam President.

11                No one should have to pay four or 

12   five times more for water than their neighbor on 

13   the other side of the fence who is in a municipal 

14   water district.  No one should have to possibly 

15   lose their home because of the excessive money 

16   they owe on their water bill.

17                Water is a basic human right.  And 

18   on Long Island there are 125,000 customers who 

19   pay water bills that are so high they honestly 

20   should be considered extortion.

21                So today we begin the path to create 

22   public water for these people and for all of 

23   Long Island who have suffered for too long and 

24   have been left behind.  By creating the Nassau 

25   County Water Authority, we are establishing that 


 1   pathway.  

 2                And we have to recognize that 

 3   Long Island, with our sole-source aquifer, with 

 4   the aging infrastructure for our water systems, 

 5   with all the emerging contaminants, the cost of 

 6   water is unfortunately probably going to continue 

 7   to rise over the years.  So that's why this 

 8   legislation is really the economic, environmental 

 9   and moral obligation of all of us to pass today.  

10                And I thank the leader, Andrea 

11   Stewart-Cousins, for bringing this bill forward, 

12   and Senators Kaminsky and Brooks and the staff 

13   for all their help on this bill, and I vote in 

14   the affirmative.

15                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Senator 

16   Gaughran to be recorded in the affirmative.

17                Announce the results.

18                THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

19   Calendar 320, voting in the negative:  

20   Senator Skoufis.

21                Ayes, 62.  Nays, 1.

22                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   The bill 

23   is passed.

24                THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

25   411, Senate Print 3156, by Senator Comrie, an act 


 1   to amend the Public Authorities Law.

 2                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Lay it aside for 

 3   the day.

 4                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   The bill 

 5   is laid aside for the day.

 6                THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 7   480, Assembly Print 5379, substituted earlier by 

 8   Assemblymember Hunter, an act to amend the 

 9   Insurance Law.

10                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Read the 

11   last section.

12                THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

13   act shall take effect on the 30th day after it 

14   shall have become a law.

15                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Call the 

16   roll.

17                (The Secretary called the roll.)

18                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Announce 

19   the results.

20                THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

21                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   The bill 

22   is passed.

23                THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

24   506, Senate Print 1682, by Senator Bailey, an act 

25   to amend the Criminal Procedure Law.


 1                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Read the 

 2   last section.

 3                THE SECRETARY:   Section 4.  This 

 4   act shall take effect immediately.

 5                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Call the 

 6   roll.

 7                (The Secretary called the roll.)

 8                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Senator 

 9   Bailey to explain his vote.  I'm sorry, I did not 

10   see you.

11                SENATOR BAILEY:   Thank you, 

12   Madam President.

13                I want to thank Majority Leader 

14   Stewart-Cousins for bringing this bill to the 

15   floor, as well as Committee Chair Senator Pete 

16   Harckham for recognizing the importance of this 

17   critical bill.

18                I want to thank my Assembly sponsor, 

19   Assemblymember Diana Richardson, for being such a 

20   fierce advocate for this in the Assembly and 

21   really looking at this bill as an opportunity.

22                Being able to expand the access to 

23   drug courts in judicial diversion programs can 

24   only be good for us.  Drug courts work not only 

25   in terms of fiscal savings, because they save 


 1   upwards of $7,000 per person that go, but the 

 2   success rates, which are more valuable in human 

 3   capital, are immeasurable.  

 4                In the Bronx and in Mount Vernon, I 

 5   have seen drug courts work.  I have seen 

 6   individuals not just be restored to prior their 

 7   status, but they've been better because of what's 

 8   happened in drug court.  So expanding the 

 9   accessibility can only be a good thing.

10                The second thing is making sure that 

11   we treat people with addiction respectfully.  And 

12   that's changing references of "substance abuse" 

13   to "substance use disorder."  Because if we're 

14   really looking at these matters as health-related 

15   problems -- which they are, Madam President -- we 

16   should be changing the names in the way that we 

17   describe certain things and certain afflictions 

18   that individuals have.

19                I thank my colleagues for supporting 

20   this important piece of legislation, and I will 

21   be voting in the affirmative.

22                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Senator 

23   Bailey to be recorded in the affirmative.

24                Announce the results.

25                THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 


 1   Calendar 506, those Senators voting in the 

 2   negative are Senators Akshar, Borrello, Boyle, 

 3   Gallivan, Griffo, Helming, Jordan, Lanza, 

 4   Martucci, Mattera, Oberacker, O'Mara, Ortt, 

 5   Palumbo, Rath, Ritchie, Serino, Stec, Tedisco and 

 6   Weik.

 7                Ayes, 43.  Nays, 20.

 8                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   The bill 

 9   is passed.

10                THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

11   508, Senate Print 3070, by Senator SepĂșlveda, an 

12   act to direct the president of the State Civil 

13   Service Commission to conduct a study on the 

14   current civil service examinations.

15                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Read the 

16   last section.

17                THE SECRETARY:   Section 3.  This 

18   act shall take effect immediately.

19                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Call the 

20   roll.

21                (The Secretary called the roll.)

22                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Announce 

23   the results.

24                THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

25                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   The bill 


 1   is passed.

 2                THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 3   640, Senate Print 5267A, by Senator May, an act 

 4   to amend the Highway Law.

 5                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Read the 

 6   last section.

 7                THE SECRETARY:   Section 3.  This 

 8   act shall take effect immediately.

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Call the 

10   roll.

11                (The Secretary called the roll.)

12                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Senator 

13   May to explain her vote.

14                SENATOR MAY:   Thank you, 

15   Madam President.  

16                I want to thank the leadership and 

17   my colleagues for bringing forward this bill to 

18   honor the late Assemblymember Bill Magee.  

19                Bill served for 28 years in the 

20   Assembly, much of it as chair of the Committee on 

21   Agriculture.  He was a relentless advocate for 

22   rural New York, for farmers, and for the people 

23   of his district in Central New York.  He 

24   represented Madison County, as I do, and I always 

25   feel he left very big shoes to fill.


 1                His staff and colleagues recall him 

 2   as humble, quiet, smart and caring.  And they say 

 3   his favorite phrase was "How can I help?"

 4                I had too few opportunities to get 

 5   to know him, and only near the end of his life, 

 6   but they were memorable.  I remember being at a 

 7   fundraiser, a benefit for FarmNet, where he 

 8   revived his lifelong calling as an auctioneer to 

 9   auction off some of his famous farm-themed 

10   neckties for charity.  With his skill as an 

11   auctioneer, and I think the affection that people 

12   felt for him, he managed to drive the prices well 

13   into the four figures, which was very impressive 

14   to me for a necktie.

15                I also toured his nursing home where 

16   he lived for the last year or so of his life, 

17   only to find that he had joined the board of 

18   directors as a resident of the nursing home, and 

19   he personally guided me around in his wheelchair.  

20                This was a man who never lost sight 

21   of his calling as a public servant, and he never 

22   stopped asking "How can I help?"

23                I am pleased we can honor Bill by 

24   naming a portion of highway in Madison County for 

25   him, near his home.  I hope his memory will live 


 1   on for a very long time.  

 2                I vote aye.  Thank you.

 3                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Senator 

 4   May to be recorded in the affirmative.

 5                Announce the results.

 6                THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

 7                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   The bill 

 8   is passed.

 9                Senator Gianaris, that completes the 

10   reading of today's calendar.

11                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Can we now move 

12   to the controversial calendar, please.

13                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   The 

14   Secretary will ring the bell.

15                The Secretary will read.

16                THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

17   109, Senate Print 1410, by Senator Rivera, an act 

18   to amend the Public Health Law.

19                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Senator 

20   Lanza, why do you rise?

21                SENATOR LANZA:   Madam President, I 

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

23   waive the reading of that amendment and ask that 

24   Senator Mattera be recognized and heard.

25                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Thank you, 


 1   Senator Lanza.

 2                Upon review of the amendment, in 

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

 4   nongermane and out of order at this time.

 5                SENATOR LANZA:   Accordingly, 

 6   Madam President, I appeal the ruling of the chair 

 7   and ask that Senator Mattera be recognized.

 8                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   The appeal 

 9   has been made and recognized, and Senator Mattera 

10   may be heard.

11                SENATOR MATTERA:   Thank you, 

12   Madam President.  

13                I rise today to urge this amendment 

14   is germane because the bill-in-chief, S1410, 

15   amends the Public Health Law.  

16                For more than a year now, the 

17   Governor has amended and suspended dozens of 

18   Public Health Law provisions and continues to do 

19   so.  Not only is my amendment germane, each day 

20   it becomes more and more apparent that it is 

21   absolutely necessary for us to rightfully 

22   reestablish the Legislature as a coequal branch 

23   of government.  

24                The Executive bill that was passed 

25   by the Senate Majority on March 5th has done 


 1   nothing to curtail his power.  Yesterday we 

 2   learned of yet another investigation into 

 3   allegations of the Governor's abuse of power.  

 4   The State Comptroller has now issued a referral 

 5   authorizing the State Attorney General to begin a 

 6   criminal investigation into Governor Andrew 

 7   Cuomo's use of state resources in relation to his 

 8   most recent book.

 9                Well, it's about time.  No one 

10   should be using state resources for their own 

11   political benefit, such as writing a book, 

12   particularly when it was for his own personal 

13   profit and at the expense of vulnerable 

14   New Yorkers who have suffered the most throughout 

15   this pandemic.

16                How are we allowing this Governor to 

17   still have this type of authority while under a 

18   cloud of multiple investigations?  He continues 

19   to operate, making decisions for his own 

20   political survival, with no checks and balances 

21   in place.  

22                We must put an end to this.  The 

23   bill that my colleagues across the aisle passed 

24   did not strip any powers away from the Executive.  

25   That has become more clear with each day that 


 1   passes.  In fact, the Governor is blatantly 

 2   disregarding the law and has not posted the 

 3   required justifications for this extension of his 

 4   own executive orders.

 5                I present to you for the 37th time 

 6   our amendment that would actually do so.  This 

 7   would actually remove powers from a damaged 

 8   Executive who continues to inflict harm on 

 9   New Yorkers and our small businesses.  

10   New Yorkers need and deserve better.  

11                For these reasons, Madam President, 

12   I strongly urge you to reconsider your ruling and 

13   I urge all my colleagues to support this 

14   amendment.

15                Thank you, Madam President.  Thank 

16   you.

17                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Thank you, 

18   Senator Mattera.  

19                I want to remind the house that the 

20   vote is on the procedures of the house and the 

21   ruling of the chair.

22                Those in favor of overruling the 

23   chair signify by saying aye.

24                SENATOR LANZA:   Request a show of 

25   hands.


 1                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Madam President, 

 2   we've agreed to waive the showing of hands and 

 3   record each member of the Minority in the 

 4   affirmative.

 5                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Without 

 6   objection, so ordered.

 7                Announce the results.

 8                THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 20.

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   The ruling 

10   of the chair stands, and the bill-in-chief is 

11   before the house.

12                Are there any other Senators wishing 

13   to be heard?  Seeing and hearing -- Senator 

14   Boyle.  No?  

15                Seeing and hearing none, debate is 

16   closed.  The Secretary will ring the bell.

17                Read the last section.

18                THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

19   act shall take effect immediately.

20                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Call the 

21   roll.

22                (The Secretary called the roll.)

23                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Senator 

24   Boyle to explain his vote.

25                SENATOR BOYLE:   Thank you, 


 1   Madam President, to explain my vote.

 2                I would like to thank the sponsor of 

 3   the bill, Senator Rivera.  

 4                This bill would include reports of 

 5   asthma and other respiratory disease diagnoses 

 6   for which a rescue inhaler treatment is 

 7   prescribed by a healthcare provider to be 

 8   reported in a statewide immunization information 

 9   database.

10                It would allow schools, colleges, 

11   professional and technical schools, children's 

12   overnight camps and summer day camps, 

13   commissioners of local social service districts, 

14   commissioners of Office of Children and Family 

15   Services and WIC programs to access this 

16   information so that they are aware that a child 

17   has been prescribed a rescue inhaler, much like 

18   they do with -- are made aware of blood lead 

19   analysis and immunization information.

20                Quite simply, this will save lives.  

21   Right now it's a convoluted system to get the 

22   information about which children are required to 

23   have these rescue inhalers.  This will have the 

24   information automatically in the database.  And 

25   God forbid something happens in terms of an 


 1   asthma attack, they should be ready to protect 

 2   and save this child.

 3                I'd like to also take this 

 4   opportunity to thank a businessman constituent of 

 5   mine, a physician who specializes in asthma, 

 6   particularly with children, Dr. Harvey Miller, on 

 7   Long Island.  

 8                Dr. Miller has been a relentless, 

 9   passionate advocate for all legislation involving 

10   protecting children who suffer from asthma.  He's 

11   probably called my office once or twice a day for 

12   the last 10 years to push legislation such as 

13   this bill to protect children.  He's made it his 

14   lifelong profession and his passion, and I want 

15   to thank Dr. Miller.  

16                And in honor of him, I will be 

17   voting in the affirmative.

18                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Senator 

19   Boyle to be recorded in the affirmative.

20                Announce the results.

21                THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

22                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   The bill 

23   is passed.

24                Senator Gianaris, that completes the 

25   reading of the controversial calendar.


 1                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Madam President, 

 2   if we can return to motions and resolutions.

 3                On behalf of Senator May, I'd like 

 4   to call up Senate Print 3396, recalled from the 

 5   Assembly, which is now at the desk.

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   The 

 7   Secretary will read.

 8                THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 9   418, Senate Print 3396, by Senator May, an act to 

10   amend the Agriculture and Markets Law.

11                SENATOR GIANARIS:   I move to 

12   reconsider the vote by which the bill was passed.

13                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   The 

14   Secretary will call the roll on reconsideration.

15                (The Secretary called the roll.)

16                THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

17                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   The bill 

18   is restored to its place on the Third Reading 

19   Calendar.

20                SENATOR GIANARIS:   I offer the 

21   following amendments.

22                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   The 

23   amendments are received.

24                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Is there any 

25   further business at the desk?


 1                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   There is 

 2   no further business at the desk.

 3                SENATOR GIANARIS:   I move to 

 4   adjourn until tomorrow, Wednesday, April 21st, at 

 5   11:00 a.m.

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   On motion, 

 7   the Senate stands adjourned until Wednesday, 

 8   April 21st, at 11:00 a.m.

 9                (Whereupon, at 4:15 p.m., the Senate 

10   adjourned.)