Regular Session - June 08, 2021

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		                                                               4461

 1                NEW YORK STATE SENATE

 2                          

 3                          

 4               THE STENOGRAPHIC RECORD

 5                          

 6                          

 7                          

 8                          

 9                  ALBANY, NEW YORK

10                    June 8, 2021

11                      1:08 p.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  


                                                               4462

 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 recite 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, Monday, 

16    June 7, 2021, the Senate met pursuant to 

17    adjournment.  The Journal of Sunday, June 6, 

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

19    Senate adjourned.

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   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 Kaminsky 


                                                               4463

 1    moves to discharge, from the Committee on Rules, 

 2    Assembly Bill Number 5029A and substitute it for 

 3    the identical Senate Bill 2936A, Third Reading 

 4    Calendar 335.

 5                 Senator Sanders moves to discharge, 

 6    from the Committee on Codes, Assembly Bill 

 7    Number 2354 and substitute it for the identical 

 8    Senate Bill 911, Third Reading Calendar 386.

 9                 Senator Skoufis moves to discharge, 

10    from the Committee on Investigations and 

11    Government Operations, Assembly Bill Number 5470 

12    and substitute it for the identical Senate Bill 

13    6017, Third Reading Calendar 679.

14                 Senator Harckham moves to discharge, 

15    from the Committee on Rules, Assembly Bill 

16    Number 1005A and substitute it for the identical 

17    Senate Bill 5434A, Third Reading Calendar 844.

18                 Senator Benjamin moves to discharge, 

19    from the Committee on Corporations, Authorities 

20    and Commissions, Assembly Bill Number 1237 and 

21    substitute it for the identical Senate Bill 1182, 

22    Third Reading Calendar 1070.

23                 Senator Comrie moves to discharge, 

24    from the Committee on Investigations and 

25    Government Operations, Assembly Bill Number 1228A 


                                                               4464

 1    and substitute it for the identical Senate Bill 

 2    Number 1150A, Third Reading Calendar 1139.

 3                 Senator Comrie moves to discharge, 

 4    from the Committee on Rules, Assembly Bill 

 5    Number 7688 and substitute it for the identical 

 6    Senate Bill 6312, Third Reading Calendar 1209.

 7                 Senator Kaplan moves to discharge, 

 8    from the Committee on Rules, Assembly Bill 

 9    Number 6500 and substitute it for the identical 

10    Senate Bill 3101, Third Reading Calendar 1373.

11                 Senator Brisport moves to discharge, 

12    from the Committee on Rules, Assembly Bill 

13    Number 7576 and substitute it for the identical 

14    Senate Bill 7101, Third Reading Calendar 1473.

15                 Senator Gaughran moves to discharge, 

16    from the Committee on Environmental Conservation, 

17    Assembly Bill Number 2140B and substitute it for 

18    the identical Senate Bill 966B, Third Reading 

19    Calendar 1482.

20                 Senator Serino moves to discharge, 

21    from the Committee on Cities 2, Assembly Bill 

22    Number 5399 and substitute it for the identical 

23    Senate Bill 5300, Third Reading Calendar 1491.

24                 Senator Parker moves to discharge, 

25    from the Committee on Rules, Assembly Bill Number 


                                                               4465

 1    1953 and substitute it for the identical Senate 

 2    Bill 2911, Third Reading Calendar 1527.

 3                 Senator Parker moves to discharge, 

 4    from the Committee on Rules, Assembly Bill 

 5    Number 3965 and substitute it for the identical 

 6    Senate Bill 4421, Third Reading Calendar 1541.

 7                 Senator Brooks moves to discharge, 

 8    from the Committee on Rules, Assembly Bill 

 9    Number 6249A and substitute it for the identical 

10    Senate Bill 5245A, Third Reading Calendar 1548.  

11                 Senator Parker moves to discharge, 

12    from the Committee on Rules, Assembly Bill 

13    Number 7214A and substitute it for the identical 

14    Senate Bill 5868A, Third Reading Calendar 1552.

15                 Senator Parker moves to discharge, 

16    from the Committee on Codes, Assembly Bill 

17    Number 3766 and substitute it for the identical 

18    Senate Bill 6269, Third Reading Calendar 1558.

19                 Senator Kennedy moves to discharge, 

20    from the Committee on Rules, Assembly Bill 

21    Number 7192A and substitute it for the identical 

22    Senate Bill 6335A, Third Reading Calendar 1560.

23                 Senator Gaughran moves to discharge, 

24    from the Committee on Rules, Assembly Bill 

25    Number 7176A and substitute it for the identical 


                                                               4466

 1    Senate Bill 6415A, Third Reading Calendar 1561.

 2                 Senator Weik moves to discharge, 

 3    from the Committee on Rules, Assembly Bill 

 4    Number 7485A and substitute it for the identical 

 5    Senate Bill 6437A, Third Reading Calendar 1562.

 6                 Senator Kavanagh moves to discharge, 

 7    from the Committee on Rules, Assembly Bill 

 8    Number 7671 and substitute it for the identical 

 9    Senate Bill 7026, Third Reading Calendar 1584.

10                 Senator Hinchey moves to discharge, 

11    from the Committee on Rules, Assembly Bill 

12    Number 2396A and substitute it for the identical 

13    Senate Bill 7028, Third Reading Calendar 1586.

14                 Senator Bailey moves to discharge, 

15    from the Committee on Rules, Assembly Bill 

16    Number 7729 and substitute it for the identical 

17    Senate Bill 7073, Third Reading Calendar 1589.

18                 Senator Persaud moves to discharge, 

19    from the Committee on Commerce, Economic 

20    Development and Small Business, Assembly Bill 

21    Number 3149 and substitute it for the identical 

22    Senate Bill 7109, Third Reading Calendar 1591.

23                 Senator Brooks moves to discharge, 

24    from the Committee on Rules, Assembly Bill 

25    Number 7388B and substitute it for the identical 


                                                               4467

 1    Senate Bill 7124A, Third Reading Calendar 1592.

 2                 Senator Persaud moves to discharge, 

 3    from the Committee on Rules, Assembly Bill 

 4    Number 7714 and substitute it for the identical 

 5    Senate Bill 7133, Third Reading Calendar 1593.

 6                 And Senator Stavisky moves to 

 7    discharge, from the Committee on Rules, 

 8    Assembly Bill Number 7390 and substitute it for 

 9    the identical Senate Bill 7151, Third Reading 

10    Calendar 1596.

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   All 

12    substitutions so ordered.

13                 Messages from the Governor.

14                 Reports of standing committees.

15                 Reports of select committees.

16                 Communications and reports from 

17    state officers.

18                 Motions and resolutions.

19                 Senator Gianaris.

20                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Good to have you 

21    back, Mr. President.  Good afternoon.

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Good to 

23    be back.

24                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Let's begin with 

25    moving to amend, on behalf of yourself, 


                                                               4468

 1    Senate Bill 1163B by striking out the amendments 

 2    made on June 1, 2021, and restoring it to its 

 3    previous print number, 1163A.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   It is 

 5    so ordered.

 6                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   And on behalf of 

 7    Senator Bailey, I wish to call up Senate Bill 

 8    3374, recalled from the Assembly, which is now at 

 9    the desk.

10                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

11    Secretary will read.

12                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

13    440, Senate Print 3374, by Senator Bailey, an act 

14    to amend the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law.

15                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Move to 

16    reconsider the vote by which the bill was passed.

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

18    Secretary will call the roll on reconsideration.

19                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

20                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 57.

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

22    bill is restored to its place on the 

23    Third Reading Calendar.

24                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   I offer the 

25    following amendments.


                                                               4469

 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 2    amendments are received.

 3                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Please recognize 

 4    Senator Lanza.

 5                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 6    Lanza.

 7                 SENATOR LANZA:   Mr. President, on 

 8    behalf of Senator Boyle, on page 44 I offer the 

 9    following amendments to Calendar Number 1571, 

10    Senate Print Number 6730, and ask that said bill 

11    retain its place on Third Reading Calendar.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

13    amendments are received, and the bill shall 

14    retain its place on the Third Reading Calendar.

15                 Senator Gianaris.

16                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   I now move to 

17    adopt the Resolution Calendar, with the exception 

18    of Resolutions 1012 and 1196.

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   All in 

20    favor of adopting the Resolution Calendar, with 

21    the exception of Resolutions 1012 and 1196, 

22    please signify by saying aye.

23                 (Response of "Aye.")

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   

25    Opposed, nay.


                                                               4470

 1                 (No response.)

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 3    Resolution Calendar is adopted.

 4                 Senator Gianaris.

 5                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Okay, let's 

 6    begin -- we're going to simultaneously have a 

 7    Rules Committee meeting while the resolutions are 

 8    being adopted.  

 9                 And so let's begin by taking up 

10    Resolution 1196, by Senator Kennedy, read its 

11    title only and recognize Senator Kennedy.  

12                 And please also call an immediate 

13    meeting of the Rules Committee in Room 332.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   There 

15    will be an immediate meeting of the 

16    Rules Committee in Room 332.

17                 The Secretary will read.

18                 THE SECRETARY:   Senate Resolution 

19    1196, by Senator Kennedy, congratulating 

20    Richard Lipsitz upon the occasion of his 

21    retirement after many years of distinguished 

22    service as President of the Western New York Area 

23    Labor Federation, AFL-CIO.

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

25    Kennedy on the resolution.


                                                               4471

 1                 SENATOR KENNEDY:   Thank you, 

 2    Mr. President.

 3                 It's my personal honor to rise today 

 4    to congratulate Richard Lipsitz, a dear friend, 

 5    upon his retirement as president of the Western 

 6    New York Area Labor Federation, capping an 

 7    extraordinary career that bettered the lives of 

 8    thousands and thousands of hardworking Western 

 9    New Yorkers.

10                 Richard, known to his friends as 

11    Dick, is just the third ALF president, which was 

12    formed 20 years ago in 2001.  He first took 

13    office in 2011, overseeing dozens and dozens of 

14    affiliated local, regional and national unions 

15    representing 130,000 workers across five separate 

16    labor councils, and he's helped to put Western 

17    New York Area Labor Federation at the center of 

18    the fight for the rights of workers all across 

19    New York State.  

20                 When this body passed the New York 

21    Call Center Jobs Act, Richard Lipsitz was there 

22    on the front lines of the fight.

23                 When we restored devastating 

24    education cuts, Richard Lipsitz was there on the 

25    front lines of the fight.


                                                               4472

 1                 And just this year, when we finally 

 2    passed safe staffing, Richard Lipsitz was once 

 3    again leading the charge.

 4                 If I listed all of his 

 5    accomplishments, Mr. President, we would be here 

 6    all day and all night.  From his earliest days, 

 7    Dick was fighting for workers going all the way 

 8    back to 1973, when he helped to organize the 

 9    employees of George Washington University 

10    Hospital in Washington, D.C.  He later cut his 

11    teeth organizing with major unions, including 

12    SEIU and the Teamsters.  

13                 Forty-eight years later, that work 

14    has not stopped.  Whether it's protecting 

15    existing union jobs, like the recent strike at 

16    General Motors, organizing a new union at 

17    SPoT Coffee locations in Buffalo and 

18    Western New York, or ensuring new businesses all 

19    throughout Western New York are backed up and 

20    making sure that the workers have someone 

21    who's there for them at all times watching their 

22    backs, it's hard to find a sector that has not 

23    been impacted by Richard Lipsitz and his 

24    extraordinary efforts to make sure that workers 

25    get that fair shake.


                                                               4473

 1                 And he doesn't do it by imposing 

 2    decrees upon local unions, he does it by bringing 

 3    people together, by building consensus and 

 4    bridging divides.  That's the mark of true 

 5    leadership, someone who understands the power of 

 6    unity and solidarity.  That's Richard Lipsitz.  

 7                 At the end of the day, what mattered 

 8    most to him in his role as president was ensuring 

 9    that the lives all around us are better off, that 

10    the living standards and working conditions of 

11    workers were upheld and protected.  

12                 Beyond his role with the Area Labor 

13    Federation, Richard's most important job is 

14    husband to his wife Liz of 42 years, father to 

15    two daughters, Josie and Cassie, and grandfather 

16    to his two granddaughters.  

17                 And because of his hard work there 

18    are thousands and thousands of families that will 

19    enjoy the retirement benefits they deserve, that 

20    will allow them to treasure their time with their 

21    own families.

22                 Lastly, I'd be remiss if I didn't 

23    note that the Area Labor Federation will be left 

24    in good hands.  Because of Dick's leadership, 

25    because of him cultivating that environment of 


                                                               4474

 1    leadership and bringing people together and 

 2    making sure that the Area Labor Federation has 

 3    bench strength, the Area Labor Federation 

 4    recently made Peter DeJesus of 1199 SEIU the next 

 5    in line.  Not only is the AFL-CIO in good stead 

 6    under his leadership, but Richard is staying on 

 7    as president emeritus.  

 8                 So we're very proud of that and very 

 9    proud of his work.  And we know that there is 

10    more work to do, and he will continue to be there 

11    for us in a different role, but certainly with 

12    his leadership and experience.

13                 So to Richard Lipsitz, we hope he 

14    enjoys a well-deserved retirement and thank him 

15    for a lifetime of service to the cause of workers 

16    in Western New York and New York State and across 

17    the nation.  We are all better off because of his 

18    efforts.

19                 Mr. President, thank you very much.  

20    I vote aye.

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

22    question is on the resolution.  

23                 All in favor signify by saying aye.

24                 (Response of "Aye.")

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   


                                                               4475

 1    Opposed?  

 2                 (No response.)

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 4    resolution is adopted.

 5                 Senator Serrano.

 6                 SENATOR SERRANO:   Thank you, 

 7    Mr. President.

 8                 We will now move to Resolution 

 9    Number 1012, by myself, Senator Serrano.  We'll 

10    read the resolution's title, and I'll speak on 

11    the resolution.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

13    Secretary will read.

14                 THE SECRETARY:   Senate Resolution 

15    1012, by Senator Serrano, mourning the death of 

16    Mary Eileen Fitzgerald, a dedicated Bronxite, 

17    pioneering and distinguished detective with the 

18    NYPD, and devoted member of the community.

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

20    Serrano on the resolution.

21                 SENATOR SERRANO:   Thank you, 

22    Mr. President.  

23                 I stand here to mourn the passing of 

24    Mary Fitzgerald.  She passed away on May 19th at 

25    the age of 98.  And she is my former Woman of 


                                                               4476

 1    Distinction honoree.  

 2                 She was born in the South Bronx in 

 3    1923 to Irish immigrant parents, and in 1952 was 

 4    sworn into the NYPD at a time when very few women 

 5    were on the force.  She was promoted to detective 

 6    in 1959 and was tasked with protecting some of 

 7    the 20th century's most iconic women, including 

 8    First Lady Jackie Kennedy.  

 9                 She retired in 1983 and lived out 

10    her long retirement on Roosevelt Island, also in 

11    my district, where she volunteered for various 

12    causes.

13                 She was a true trailblazer in the 

14    NYPD and in her community, and I always enjoyed 

15    our conversations and hearing about growing up in 

16    the South Bronx in the 1930s and the legacy of 

17    immigration that the South Bronx has always 

18    maintained.  And always grateful for her service 

19    over the years.

20                 And with that, I ask all of my 

21    colleagues to join me in supporting this 

22    resolution memorializing Mary Fitzgerald.

23                 Thank you.

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

25    question is on the resolution.  


                                                               4477

 1                 All in favor signify by saying aye.

 2                 (Response of "Aye.")

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

 4    Opposed?  

 5                 (No response.)

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 7    resolution is adopted.

 8                 Senator Serrano.

 9                 SENATOR SERRANO:   Thank you.  

10                 May we stand at ease for a moment.  

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

12    Senate will stand at ease.

13                 (Whereupon, the Senate stood at ease 

14    at 1:23 p.m.)

15                 (Whereupon, the Senate reconvened at 

16    1:29 p.m.)

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

18    Senate will return to order.

19                 Senator Gianaris.

20                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   At this time, 

21    Mr. President, let's take up previously adopted 

22    Resolution 980, by Senator Thomas, read its title 

23    and recognize Senator Thomas.

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

25    Secretary will read.


                                                               4478

 1                 THE SECRETARY:   Senate Resolution 

 2    980, by Senator Thomas, commemorating the 

 3    50th Anniversary of the independence of the 

 4    United Arab Emirates.

 5                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 6    Thomas on the resolution.

 7                 SENATOR THOMAS:   Thank you, 

 8    Mr. President.  

 9                 I am honored to stand and introduce 

10    this legislative resolution to commemorate the 

11    50th Independence Day of the United Arab Emirates 

12    by declaring December 2, 2021, as Emirati Day in 

13    New York State.

14                 My colleagues here know that I was 

15    born in Dubai, the UAE, and emigrated to New York 

16    with my family at the age of 10.  That was back 

17    in 1995.  At the time I left, the country that I 

18    know was modernizing and emerging as an economic 

19    and tourist hub in the region.  Let's look back 

20    at how this nation emerged.

21                 Back on December 2, 1971, a union of 

22    six small gulf kingdoms announced their 

23    independence from Britain and became the United 

24    Arab Emirates.  Later on Ras al-Khaimah, the 

25    seventh emirate, also joined this union.


                                                               4479

 1                 The UAE has a rich history rooted in 

 2    trade and tied to Islam, which came to the region 

 3    in 8630.  Today the UAE is a modern oil-exporting 

 4    country with a highly diversified economy, with 

 5    Dubai in particular developing into a global city 

 6    and a hub for tourism, retail and finance, home 

 7    to the world's tallest building, the Burj 

 8    Khalifa, and the Palm Islands and other 

 9    architectural wonders.  

10                 National Day, which is celebrated on 

11    December 2nd each year, commemorates the founding 

12    of the UAE.  But this year it's a very different 

13    type of celebration because the country will be 

14    celebrating the 50th Independence Day.  

15    His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan 

16    Al Nahyan, president of the UAE, proclaimed 2021 

17    as the Year of the 50th, which represents a 

18    defining moment in the country's history.

19                 From business to trade to fashion 

20    education, New York State has always had strong 

21    ties to the UAE.  New York remains one of the 

22    most popular destinations for Emirati students 

23    pursuing higher education.  New York is one of 

24    the top five exporting states to the UAE, 

25    supporting thousands of American jobs annually.  


                                                               4480

 1                 I'm pleased to have the opportunity 

 2    to recognize this important cultural event by 

 3    declaring December 2, 2021, as Emirati Day here 

 4    in the great State of New York, and 

 5    congratulations to the UAE as well.

 6                 Thank you.

 7                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 8    resolution was previously adopted on June 2nd.

 9                 Senator Gianaris.

10                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   At the request 

11    of the cosponsors, all the resolutions taken up 

12    today are open for cosponsorship.

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

14    resolutions are open for cosponsorship.  Should 

15    you choose not to be a cosponsor of the 

16    resolutions, please notify the desk.

17                 Senator Gianaris.

18                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   I believe 

19    there's a report of the Rules Committee at the 

20    desk.  Let's take that up.

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

22    Secretary will read.

23                 THE SECRETARY:   Senator  

24    Stewart-Cousins, from the Committee on Rules, 

25    reports the following bills:  


                                                               4481

 1                 Senate Print 592, by Senator May, an 

 2    act to amend the State Finance Law; 

 3                 Senate Print 600, by 

 4    Senator Benjamin, an act to amend the 

 5    Election Law; 

 6                 Senate Print 699B, by 

 7    Senator Hoylman, an act to amend the 

 8    Environmental Conservation Law; 

 9                 Senate Print 737A, by 

10    Senator Biaggi, an act to amend the 

11    General Business Law; 

12                 Senate Print 924, by Senator Ramos, 

13    an act to amend the Social Services Law; 

14                 Senate Print 979A, by 

15    Senator Gaughran, an act to amend the 

16    Real Property Law; 

17                 Senate Print 1603, by 

18    Senator Gianaris, an act to amend the 

19    Public Housing Law;

20                 Senate Print 2025, by Senator May, 

21    an act to amend the Education Law; 

22                 Senate Print 2045, by 

23    Senator Tedisco, an act to amend the County Law; 

24                 Senate Print 2122A, by 

25    Senator Rivera, an act to amend the 


                                                               4482

 1    Public Health Law; 

 2                 Senate Print 2630, by 

 3    Senator Sanders, an act to amend the 

 4    Correction Law and the Executive Law; 

 5                 Senate Print 2743, by Senator Ramos, 

 6    an act to amend the Alcoholic Beverage 

 7    Control Law; 

 8                 Senate Print 2757B, by 

 9    Senator Ramos, an act to amend the Vehicle and 

10    Traffic Law; 

11                 Senate Print 2999B, by 

12    Senator Harckham, an act to amend the 

13    Executive Law; 

14                 Senate Print 3080A, by 

15    Senator Salazar, an act directing the New York 

16    State Energy Research and Development Authority 

17    to establish a Ride Clean Rebate Program; 

18                 Senate Print 3152A, by 

19    Senator Comrie, an act to amend the Agriculture 

20    and Markets Law; 

21                 Senate Print 3687A, by 

22    Senator Felder, an act to amend the Vehicle and 

23    Traffic Law; 

24                 Senate Print 3764, by 

25    Senator Comrie, an act to amend the 


                                                               4483

 1    General Business Law; 

 2                 Senate Print 3789, by 

 3    Senator Comrie, an act to amend the 

 4    Public Service Law; 

 5                 Senate Print 4060, by 

 6    Senator Comrie, an act to amend the 

 7    General Business Law; 

 8                 Senate Print 4306A, by 

 9    Senator Gianaris, an act to amend the 

10    Election Law; 

11                 Senate Print 4347A, by 

12    Senator Brouk, an act to amend the Education Law 

13    and the Social Services Law; 

14                 Senate Print 4367A, by 

15    Senator Mayer, an act to amend the 

16    Public Officers Law; 

17                 Senate Print 4432, by Senator May, 

18    an act to amend the Real Property Tax Law; 

19                 Senate Print 4467B, by 

20    Senator Mannion, an act to amend the 

21    Domestic Relations Law and the Family Court Act; 

22                 Senate Print 4486A, by 

23    Senator Harckham, an act to amend the 

24    Public Health Law and the Social Services Law; 

25                 Senate Print 4539, by 


                                                               4484

 1    Senator Kaplan, an act to amend the General 

 2    Municipal Law and the Public Buildings Law; 

 3                 Senate Print 4849A, by 

 4    Senator Reichlin-Melnick, an act to amend the 

 5    Vehicle and Traffic Law; 

 6                 Senate Print 5257C, by 

 7    Senator Gianaris, an act to amend the 

 8    Private Housing Finance Law; 

 9                 Senate Print 5488A, by 

10    Senator Biaggi, an act to establish the 

11    Marshall Plan for Moms Interagency Task Force; 

12                 Senate Print 5517A, by 

13    Senator Kennedy, an act to amend the 

14    State Finance Law; 

15                 Senate Print 6654B, by 

16    Senator Harckham, an act to amend the Village Law 

17    and the Public Officers Law; 

18                 Senate Print 6664, by Senator May, 

19    an act to amend the Public Health Law; 

20                 Senate Print 6738, by 

21    Senator Jordan, an act to amend the Highway Law; 

22                 Senate Print 6777, by 

23    Senator Salazar, an act to amend the 

24    Executive Law; 

25                 Senate Print 6815, by 


                                                               4485

 1    Senator Kavanagh, an act to amend the 

 2    Education Law; 

 3                 Senate Print 6822, by 

 4    Senator Palumbo, an act in relation to granting 

 5    Kevin Moriarty Tier IV status in the New York 

 6    State Teachers' Retirement System; 

 7                 Senate Print 6850A, by 

 8    Senator Kennedy, an act to amend the Agriculture 

 9    and Markets Law; 

10                 Senate Print 6875, by 

11    Senator Persaud, an act to amend the 

12    Social Services Law; 

13                 Senate Print 6877, by 

14    Senator Kavanagh, an act to amend the 

15    General Obligations Law; 

16                 Senate Print 6962, by Senator Ryan, 

17    an act to amend the Environmental Conservation 

18    Law; 

19                 Senate Print 7014, by 

20    Senator Addabbo, an act to amend the Racing, 

21    Pari-Mutuel Wagering and Breeding Law; 

22                 Senate Print 7075, by 

23    Senator Breslin, an act to amend the 

24    Insurance Law; 

25                 Senate Print 7083A, by 


                                                               4486

 1    Senator Hinchey, an act to amend the Town Law; 

 2                 Senate Print 7106A, by 

 3    Senator Mannion, an act to amend the 

 4    Social Services Law; 

 5                 Senate Print 7136, by 

 6    Senator Serino, an act to amend the Highway Law; 

 7                 Senate Print 7139, by 

 8    Senator Palumbo, an act to amend the Highway Law; 

 9                 Senate Print 7145, by Senator Ryan, 

10    an act to amend the Public Service Law; 

11                 Senate Print 5527, by 

12    Senator Brooks, an act to amend the 

13    Public Authorities Law; 

14                 Senate Print 5722, by 

15    Senator Thomas, an act in relation to restricting 

16    certain practices from remote supervision by 

17    licensed pharmacists; 

18                 Senate Print 5750, by 

19    Senator Palumbo, an act relating to authorizing 

20    the district superintendent of the 

21    Eastport-South Manor Central School District to 

22    adjust the improper apportionment of the school 

23    tax levy; 

24                 Senate Print 5988B, by 

25    Senator Mattera, an act to amend the Vehicle and 


                                                               4487

 1    Traffic Law; 

 2                 Senate Print 6052B, by 

 3    Senator Reichlin-Melnick, an act to amend 

 4    Chapter 89 of the Laws of 2016;

 5                 Senate Print 6230, by 

 6    Senator Sanders, an act to amend the 

 7    General Municipal Law; 

 8                 Senate Print 6234, by 

 9    Senator Kennedy, an act to amend the Vehicle and 

10    Traffic Law; 

11                 Senate Print 6323, by 

12    Senator Gaughran, an act to amend the 

13    General Municipal Law; 

14                 Senate Print 6441, by 

15    Senator Breslin, an act to amend the 

16    Public Authorities Law; 

17                 Senate Print 6516A, by 

18    Senator Mannion, an act to amend the 

19    Education Law; 

20                 Senate Print 6537, by 

21    Senator Reichlin-Melnick, an act to amend the 

22    Education Law; 

23                 Senate Print 6542, by 

24    Senator Kaplan, an act relating to a review of 

25    reimbursement rates for ambulette transportation; 


                                                               4488

 1                 Senate Print 6555A, by 

 2    Senator Breslin, an act to amend the 

 3    Real Property Tax Law; 

 4                 Senate Print 6562A, by 

 5    Senator Jordan, an act to amend the Highway Law; 

 6                 Senate Print 6617, by 

 7    Senator Gounardes, an act to amend the 

 8    State Finance Law; 

 9                 Senate Print 7150, by 

10    Senator Gianaris, an act to amend Chapter 17 of 

11    the Laws of 2012; 

12                 Senate Print 7163, by Senator Boyle, 

13    an act authorizing the West Babylon Church of God 

14    of Prophecy, Inc., to file an application for 

15    retroactive real property tax exemption; 

16                 Senate Print 7179, by 

17    Senator Persaud, an act to amend the 

18    Family Court Act and the Executive Law; 

19                 Senate Print 7190, by 

20    Senator Thomas, an act to amend the 

21    General Municipal Law; 

22                 Senate Print 7191, by Senator Ryan, 

23    an act to amend the Election Law; and 

24                 Senate Print 7197, by 

25    Senator Skoufis, an act to amend Chapter 704 of 


                                                               4489

 1    the Laws of 1991.

 2                 All bills reported direct to third 

 3    reading.

 4                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Move to accept 

 5    the report of the Rules Committee.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   All 

 7    those in favor of accepting the report of the 

 8    Rules Committee signify by saying aye.

 9                 (Response of "Aye.")

10                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

11    Opposed, nay.

12                 (No response.)

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

14    Rules Committee report is accepted.

15                 Senator Gianaris.

16                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Let's take up 

17    the calendar, Mr. President.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

19    Secretary will read.

20                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

21    335, Assembly Bill 5029A, substituted earlier by 

22    Assemblymember Paulin, an act to amend the 

23    Environmental Conservation Law.

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

25    the last section.


                                                               4490

 1                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

 2    act shall take effect immediately.  

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

 4    the roll.

 5                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 7    Brisport to explain his vote.

 8                 SENATOR BRISPORT:   Thank you, 

 9    Mr. President.

10                 This bill relates to public health.  

11    Combustion of this fuel oil creates soot, 

12    composed of toxic mixes of pollutants that are 

13    easily inhaled and can cause a range of serious 

14    diseases that affect infants, children and the 

15    elderly, including asthma, bronchitis, cancer, 

16    heart disease and pneumonia.

17                 What else do these illnesses have in 

18    common besides arising from the combustion of 

19    these fuel oils?  At least two things.  They are 

20    all dangerous comorbidities that lead to higher 

21    rates of complication and death from COVID-19, a 

22    disease that was more common and more deadly for 

23    New York's communities of color, who are more 

24    likely to be exposed to environmental pollutants 

25    and less likely to have access to consistent 


                                                               4491

 1    primary care.  

 2                 Under our current profit-driven 

 3    healthcare system, getting treatment for these 

 4    illnesses is very often prohibitively expensive 

 5    for the very people most likely to be impacted.  

 6    An inability to access care early can lead to 

 7    worse health outcomes.  New Yorkers often have to 

 8    put off treatment of these illnesses because of 

 9    cost -- because they weren't insured, hadn't 

10    reached their deductible, or weren't sure where 

11    they could receive care without getting a denial 

12    from their insurance company.

13                 Far too often these delays mean that 

14    the illnesses caused by the combustion of this 

15    fuel oil become more serious or even deadly.  

16    Hand in hand with our profit-driven healthcare 

17    system, burning oil full of pollutants and 

18    carcinogens in our homes and offices is making 

19    people sicker, putting the most vulnerable among 

20    us at the highest risks, and creating long-term 

21    problems that will only get worse the longer we 

22    don't address them.  

23                 We need to pass the New York Health 

24    Act to stop this vicious cycle.  I'm voting aye 

25    and urge my colleagues to join me in demanding 


                                                               4492

 1    the New York Health Act.

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 3    Brisport to be recorded in the affirmative.

 4                 Announce the results.

 5                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

 6    Calendar 335, those Senators voting in the 

 7    negative are Senators Akshar and Oberacker.

 8                 Ayes, 61.  Nays, 2.

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

10    bill is passed.

11                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

12    386, Assembly Bill 2354, substituted earlier by 

13    Assemblymember Dinowitz, an act to amend the 

14    Criminal Procedure Law.

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

16    the last section.

17                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 5.  This 

18    act shall take effect on the 60th day after it 

19    shall have become a law.

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

21    the roll.

22                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

24    Announce the results.  

25                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 


                                                               4493

 1    Calendar 386, those Senators voting in the 

 2    negative are Senators Borrello, Gallivan, Griffo, 

 3    Helming, Jordan, Lanza, Martucci, Mattera, 

 4    Oberacker, O'Mara, Rath, Serino, Stec and Weik.

 5                 Ayes, 49.  Nays, 14.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 7    bill is passed.

 8                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 9    515, Senate Print 4402B, by Senator Hoylman, an 

10    act to amend the Civil Rights Law, the Vehicle 

11    and Traffic Law and the Public Health Law.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

13    the last section.

14                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 12.  This 

15    act shall take effect on the 180th day after it 

16    shall have become a law.

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

18    the roll.

19                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

21    Jackson to explain his vote.

22                 SENATOR JACKSON:   Thank you, 

23    Mr. President.

24                 Can I ask for clarification?  Is 

25    this regarding S4402?


                                                               4494

 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Yes, 

 2    sir.

 3                 SENATOR JACKSON:   Thank you.

 4                 So my colleagues, I rise this 

 5    afternoon to explain my support for 

 6    Senator Hoylman's bill S4402.  The Gender 

 7    Recognition Act is an important step we must take 

 8    to make interacting with government easier for 

 9    our trans and gender-nonbinary constituents.  

10                 I've heard from several constituents 

11    about the urgent need for passing this bill, 

12    including my own deputy chief of staff, Chris 

13    Nickell, who is nonbinary.  It can be a scary 

14    experience for people whose gender doesn't match 

15    the sex on their state-issued government 

16    documents to present those documents for 

17    verification or services.  Just think about how 

18    many times you're asked to present your I.D. -- 

19    to a car renter, to law enforcement, airport 

20    security, or even just to get into a secure 

21    building.

22                 These issues and concerns extend 

23    even further when the mismatch prevents someone 

24    from getting social services.

25                 By allowing the use of an "X" to 


                                                               4495

 1    mark gender on state-issued I.D., by removing the 

 2    necessity of medical verification for trans 

 3    people to change their sex, by making it easier 

 4    for parents to be listed as a parent or not as 

 5    either a mother or father, all these changes will 

 6    make life easier and safer for hundreds of 

 7    thousands of New Yorkers.

 8                 Since June is Pride Month, let's do 

 9    the right thing on this to bill for all trans and 

10    nonbinary New Yorkers like Chris.  And I vote aye 

11    for those simple fixes to the way our government 

12    treats sex and gender.

13                 Thank you, Mr. President.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

15    Jackson to be recorded in the affirmative.  

16                 Senator Brisport to explain his 

17    vote.

18                 SENATOR BRISPORT:   Thank you, 

19    Mr. President.

20                 This bill takes important steps 

21    toward providing necessary rights and protections 

22    for people of all genders.  All of us deserve 

23    care and respect, but transgender and 

24    gender-nonconforming people have been denied that 

25    care and respect for far too long.  


                                                               4496

 1                 Recognition on official documents 

 2    will go a long way to turning that tide.  But as 

 3    anti-trans legislation sweeps across the country, 

 4    New York must set an example by radically 

 5    addressing the unmet needs of our trans 

 6    constituents.  

 7                 A major barrier to the well-being of 

 8    transgender and gender-nonconforming New Yorkers 

 9    is a shameful lack of access to comprehensive 

10    healthcare, especially gender-affirming care.  

11    Equality and justice across gender cannot be 

12    realized until people have access to the care 

13    they need regardless of their age, income, 

14    employment and immigration status.

15                 As it stands, gender-affirming 

16    healthcare is difficult to access and 

17    prohibitively expensive for a huge number of our 

18    trans siblings.  Even when gender-affirming care 

19    is covered, insurance companies and payers place 

20    discriminatory requirements and restrictions in 

21    the way of necessary care, forcing people to jump 

22    through hoops, and even then often arbitrarily 

23    denying payment for services.  

24                 The problem is so severe that 

25    GoFundMe even offers a how-to guide on 


                                                               4497

 1    fundraising strategies for gender-affirming care.  

 2                 We can't leave people's survival, 

 3    dignity and well-being up to the whims of a 

 4    crowd-funding website.  The New York Health Act 

 5    would cover comprehensive healthcare for all 

 6    New Yorkers -- including providing for 

 7    gender-affirming care -- free of cost, and it 

 8    would mean that the insurance companies no longer 

 9    get to place arbitrary burdens on doctors and 

10    patients to stay in-network or get authorization 

11    for the care they know they need.

12                 We can and we must remove 

13    bureaucratic obstacles to the rights of trans and 

14    gender-nonconforming New Yorkers, like this bill 

15    aims to do.  But until our low-income, 

16    undocumented, uninsured, and underinsured 

17    neighbors are able to access the care they need 

18    through the New York Health Act, we're not done 

19    yet.

20                 I'm voting aye, and urge my 

21    colleagues to join me in demanding the New York 

22    Health Act.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

24    Brisport to be recorded in the affirmative.

25                 Announce the results.


                                                               4498

 1                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

 2    Calendar 515, those Senators voting in the 

 3    negative are Senators Akshar, Borrello, Boyle, 

 4    Felder, Gallivan, Griffo, Helming, Jordan, Lanza, 

 5    Oberacker, O'Mara, Ortt, Rath, Ritchie, Serino, 

 6    Stec and Tedisco.

 7                 Ayes, 46.  Nays, 17.

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 9    bill is passed.

10                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

11    679, Assembly Bill 5470, substituted earlier by 

12    Assemblymember Englebright, an act to amend the 

13    Public Officers Law.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

15    the last section.

16                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

17    act shall take effect immediately.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

19    the roll.

20                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

22    Announce the results.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   In 

24    relation to Calendar 679, those Senators voting 

25    in the negative are Senators Akshar, Gallivan, 


                                                               4499

 1    Griffo, Helming, Lanza, Oberacker, O'Mara, Rath 

 2    and Tedisco.

 3                 Ayes, 54.  Nays, 9.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 5    bill is passed.

 6                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 7    725, Assembly Bill 126A, substituted earlier by 

 8    Assemblymember Gottfried, an act to amend the 

 9    Public Health Law.  Calendar Number 725.

10                 SENATOR LANZA:   Lay it aside.

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Lay it 

12    aside.

13                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

14    744, Senate Print 52A, by Senator Kaplan, an act 

15    relating to establishing the Nassau County and 

16    Queens County Border Task Force.

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

18    the last section.

19                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 8.  This 

20    act shall take effect immediately.

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

22    the roll.

23                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

25    Brisport to explain his vote.


                                                               4500

 1                 SENATOR BRISPORT:   Thank you, 

 2    Mr. President.

 3                 Attempting to reach emergency 

 4    personnel at the border between Nassau County and 

 5    Queens County has been a challenge for some 

 6    callers.  Dispatchers often do not recognize the 

 7    location of the caller as within their 

 8    jurisdiction and refer them to another 

 9    jurisdiction.  

10                 This confusion and uncertainty 

11    endangers citizens as they wait to be connected 

12    to the correct responder, something that they 

13    should not need to do in an emergency situation.

14                 I rise because I understand that, 

15    living in one of the wealthiest societies on 

16    earth, those who have never faced an emergency 

17    might assume that reliable systems exist to 

18    provide urgent assistance if they do have an 

19    emergency.

20                 People probably hear about 

21    situations like this, and their natural response 

22    is to think that this is an absurd.  If someone 

23    is calling an emergency services dispatcher, it's 

24    because there's an emergency, because their life, 

25    safety or health is at risk if they don't receive 


                                                               4501

 1    services right away.  

 2                 In such a situation doesn't it seem 

 3    ridiculous to quibble over something trivial like 

 4    where the border between Queens and Nassau County 

 5    is, or to direct a person with an emergency to a 

 6    different operator, wasting crucial time in what 

 7    could be a life-or-death situation?  What kind of 

 8    people are we if we let something like that 

 9    happen?  Isn't it inhumane to be so concerned 

10    with details like that when there are lives on 

11    the line?  

12                 But that is the exact situation that 

13    we found ourselves in when it comes to 

14    healthcare -- the same situation we found 

15    ourselves in for years.  We let the insurance 

16    industry bureaucracy get more and more entrenched 

17    as people die waiting for authorization of a 

18    procedure or rationing their insulin because they 

19    can't afford more, or being unable to get to a 

20    hospital in time because they live in a 

21    low-income area where hospitals are underfunded 

22    and can't afford to stay open.

23                 We've gotten accustomed to this, but 

24    we need to remind ourselves that it's not normal.  

25    There's a solution that gives us back some of the 


                                                               4502

 1    humanity that we've lost by failing to care for 

 2    each other's needs.  Under the New York Health 

 3    Act, we can get the care that we need when we 

 4    need it.  

 5                 Just like someone who was in an 

 6    accident on the Jericho Turnpike shouldn't have 

 7    to wait to be connected to the correct responder 

 8    when they make an emergency call, no one should 

 9    have to leave the pharmacy without the medication 

10    they need to survive because the insurance 

11    industry hasn't approved it or explain to the 

12    hospital how they're going to pay for 

13    immunosuppressive drugs before they'll be 

14    approved for a life-saving transplant.  

15                 I'm voting aye, and urge my 

16    colleagues to join me in demanding the New York 

17    Health Act.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

19    Brisport to be recorded in the affirmative.

20                 Announce the results.

21                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

22    Calendar Number 744, voting in the negative:  

23    Senator Akshar.

24                 Ayes, 62.  Nays, 1.

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 


                                                               4503

 1    bill is passed.

 2                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 3    753, Senate Print 4614A, by Senator Kaplan, an 

 4    act to authorize every governing body of an 

 5    assessing unit and every local assessor in 

 6    certain situations to accept a late application 

 7    for certain tax exemptions.

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

 9    the last section.

10                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

11    act shall take effect immediately.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

13    the roll.

14                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

16    Announce the results.

17                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

18    Calendar Number 753, voting in the negative:  

19    Senator Akshar.

20                 Ayes, 62.  Nays, 1.

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

22    bill is passed.

23                 There is a substitution at the desk.  

24                 The Secretary will read.  

25                 THE SECRETARY:   Senator Kaminsky 


                                                               4504

 1    moves to discharge, from the Committee on Rules, 

 2    Assembly Bill Number 2591A and substitute it for 

 3    the identical Senate Bill 542A, Third Reading 

 4    Calendar 775.

 5                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 6    substitution is so ordered.

 7                 The Secretary will read.

 8                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 9    775, Assembly Bill Number 2591A, by 

10    Assemblymember Carroll, an act to amend the 

11    State Finance Law.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

13    the last section.

14                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

15    act shall take effect on the 180th day after it 

16    shall have become a law.

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

18    the roll.

19                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

21    Announce the results.  

22                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

23    Calendar 775, those Senators voting in the 

24    negative are Senators Akshar, Gallivan, Griffo, 

25    Jordan, Oberacker, O'Mara and Ortt.


                                                               4505

 1                 Ayes, 56.  Nays, 7.

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 3    bill is passed.

 4                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 5    819, Senate Print 6085, by Senator Skoufis, an 

 6    act to amend the Real Property Law.

 7                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

 8    the last section.

 9                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

10    act shall take effect on the 180th day after it 

11    shall have become a law.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

13    the roll.

14                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

16    Announce the results.

17                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

18    Calendar 819, those Senators voting in the 

19    negative are Senators Borrello, Griffo, Helming 

20    and Tedisco.

21                 Ayes, 59.  Nays, 4.

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

23    bill is passed.

24                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

25    844, Assembly Bill 1005A, substituted earlier by 


                                                               4506

 1    Assemblymember Paulin, an act to amend the 

 2    Mental Hygiene Law.

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

 4    the last section.

 5                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

 6    act shall take effect immediately.  

 7                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

 8    the roll.

 9                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

10                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

11    Announce the results.  

12                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

13    Calendar 844, those Senators voting in the 

14    negative are Senators Akshar, Gallivan, Griffo, 

15    Helming, Jordan, Lanza, Oberacker, Ortt, Palumbo, 

16    Rath, Ritchie, Serino, Stec and Tedisco.

17                 Ayes, 49.  Nays, 14.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

19    bill is passed.

20                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

21    929, Senate Print 6397, by Senator Kaplan, an act 

22    to amend the Economic Development Law.

23                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Lay it aside for 

24    the day.

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 


                                                               4507

 1    bill will be laid aside for the day.

 2                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 3    957, Senate Print 6401, by Senator Gaughran, an 

 4    act to amend the General Municipal Law.

 5                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

 6    the last section.

 7                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 3.  This 

 8    act shall take effect immediately.  

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

10    the roll.

11                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

13    Brisport to explain his vote.

14                 SENATOR BRISPORT:   Thank you, 

15    Mr. President.

16                 This legislation, for my colleagues, 

17    relates to traffic collisions that involve 

18    turtles and the ability of municipalities to post 

19    "Turtle Crossing" signs on local roads as a 

20    preventative measure.  

21                 When a turtle is involved in a 

22    traffic collision on Long Island, they can 

23    receive free healthcare from Sweetbriar Nature 

24    Center, a nonprofit wildlife rehabilitation 

25    center, and other animal rescues.  The 12,000 


                                                               4508

 1    New York human residents who are involved in 

 2    traffic accidents each year, however, may not 

 3    have such luck.  

 4                 Taking care of our turtle families 

 5    rises to the highest ideals of this legislative 

 6    body.  Turtles cannot vote.  They cannot donate 

 7    to our campaigns.  They have no voice in Albany, 

 8    so we must be their voice.  But while we consider 

 9    how best to care for turtles, our humane 

10    constituents are also dying.  

11                 Turtles are known for their slow 

12    pace, and the time needed to cross the road can 

13    be extraordinary.  They need the protection of 

14    municipal street signs, just as New York 

15    residents need the protection of the New York 

16    Health Act.  Local municipalities know where 

17    their turtle populations are, and are best suited 

18    to identify and locate signs, just as the 

19    New York Health Act divides New York State into 

20    regional bodies so each can manage their own 

21    healthcare needs.  

22                 But most importantly, all victims of 

23    automobile collisions need to be free from 

24    healthcare bills whether they cross the road 

25    slowly, quickly, or drive cars.  S6401 will 


                                                               4509

 1    provide that help to turtles.  The New York 

 2    Health Act would provide that help to all of us 

 3    human New Yorkers.

 4                 I'm voting aye and urge my 

 5    colleagues to join me in demanding the New York 

 6    Health Act.

 7                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 8    Brisport to be recorded in the affirmative.

 9                 Announce the results.

10                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

11    Calendar Number 957, voting in the negative:  

12    Senator Akshar.

13                 Ayes, 62.  Nays, 1.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

15    bill is passed.

16                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

17    974, Senate Print 1232, by Senator Gianaris, an 

18    act to amend the Environmental Conservation Law.

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

20    the last section.

21                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 3.  This 

22    act shall take effect immediately.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

24    the roll.

25                 (The Secretary called the roll.)


                                                               4510

 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

 2    Announce the results.

 3                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

 4    Calendar 974, those Senators voting in the 

 5    negative are Senators Akshar, Borrello, Griffo, 

 6    Jordan, Oberacker, O'Mara, Rath and Stec.

 7                 Ayes, 55.  Nays, 8.

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 9    bill is passed.

10                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

11    978, Senate Print 4630B, by Senator Kaminsky, an 

12    act to amend the Environmental Conservation Law.

13                 SENATOR LANZA:   Lay it aside.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Lay it 

15    aside.

16                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

17    979, Senate Print 5116C, by Senator Harckham, an 

18    act to amend the Environmental Conservation Law.

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

20    the last section.

21                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 12.  This 

22    act shall take effect immediately.  

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

24    the roll.

25                 (The Secretary called the roll.)


                                                               4511

 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 2    Harckham to explain his vote.

 3                 SENATOR HARCKHAM:   Thank you very 

 4    much, Mr. President.

 5                 First, I want to thank the Majority 

 6    Leader for bringing this to the floor and 

 7    advancing this package.  

 8                 I want to thank Senator Kaminsky for 

 9    chairing the committee and his leadership on this 

10    issue.  

11                 I'd also like to thank environment 

12    counsel Chris Amato and my legislative director, 

13    Joelle Foskett, for their tireless work on this 

14    important issue.

15                 Wetlands are nature's filters.  They 

16    absorb excess stormwater, they absorb nutrients 

17    that poison our waterways.  And for too many of 

18    our communities, our wetlands have been denuded 

19    by overdevelopment and poor planning.  And the 

20    structure in New York has been rather a patchwork 

21    of how we deal with our freshwater wetlands.  

22                 And the federal government used to 

23    administer to the regulation of wetlands less 

24    than 12 acres, and the prior administration in 

25    Washington got out of the wetland-regulation 


                                                               4512

 1    business.

 2                 So we stepped in as a state and we 

 3    came up with a plan, working in collaboration 

 4    with developers and with the Forestry Institute 

 5    and with a number of environmental groups intent 

 6    on protecting water quality, where we now have a 

 7    system in place with this bill that will add a 

 8    criteria that could allow DEC to get involved to 

 9    regulate significant wetlands, but would also 

10    allow owners of property and developers to get an 

11    expedited review process, which they don't have 

12    now because of the antiquated system we have in 

13    New York.

14                 I'm very proud of all the hard work 

15    and collaboration that went into this bill.  It 

16    will be a win for clean water, it will be a win 

17    for property owners and the development 

18    community.  And I'm glad colleagues are 

19    supportive, and I will be voting aye.

20                 Thank you, Mr. President.

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

22    Harckham to be recorded in the affirmative.

23                 Announce the results.

24                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

25    Calendar 979, those Senators voting in the 


                                                               4513

 1    negative are Senators Akshar, Borrello, Gallivan, 

 2    Griffo, Jordan, Oberacker, O'Mara, Ortt, Palumbo, 

 3    Rath, Ritchie, Serino, Stec and Weik.

 4                 Ayes, 49.  Nays, 14.

 5                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 6    bill is passed.

 7                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 8    981, Senate Print 6172, by Senator Hoylman, an 

 9    act to amend the Environmental Conservation Law.

10                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

11    the last section.

12                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 4.  This 

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

14    shall have become a law. 

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

16    the roll.

17                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

19    Announce the results.

20                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

21    Calendar Number 981, voting in the negative:  

22    Senator Oberacker --

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Oh, oh, 

24    oh, hold on.  

25                 Senator Brisport to explain his 


                                                               4514

 1    vote.

 2                 SENATOR BRISPORT:   Thank you, 

 3    Mr. President.

 4                 A recent study by the United States 

 5    Environmental Protection Agency determined that 

 6    emission controls have been removed from over 

 7    500,000 heavy-duty vehicles in the last decade, 

 8    resulting in excess emissions of more than 

 9    5,000 tons of nitrogen oxides and 5,000 tons of 

10    particulate matter.

11                 EPA estimates that in New York, more 

12    than 13,000 heavy-duty vehicles have disabled or 

13    removed emission controls, resulting in excess 

14    emissions of over 13,000 tons of nitrogen oxides 

15    and over 100 tons of particulate matter.  

16                 This bill prohibits the tampering 

17    with devices for emission control systems on 

18    motor vehicles.  We know this is necessary 

19    because there have been scandals in recent years 

20    where certain car manufacturers were involved in 

21    a major scandal where they cheated pollution 

22    emissions tests in order to boost their profits.

23                 Transportation emissions from the 

24    combustion of diesel fuels results in particle 

25    pollutants that have been linked to lung and 


                                                               4515

 1    heart disease.  Low-income communities and 

 2    communities of color face increased levels of 

 3    vehicle pollution, as these communities are often 

 4    intersected by heavily trafficked areas, 

 5    transportation corridors, expressways, and routes 

 6    populated by heavy-duty vehicles such as ports.

 7                 Requiring pollution control devices 

 8    to be intact will help reduce this 

 9    disproportionate emissions burden, thereby 

10    improving health outcomes.  This bill recognizes 

11    that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of 

12    cure and seeks to avoid adverse health outcomes 

13    for New York residents.  This also underscores 

14    the necessity of preventative care, something 

15    that New York residents all too often can't 

16    afford or access under our for-profit healthcare 

17    system.  

18                 Just as we need to pass this bill 

19    before us today, we also need to pass the 

20    New York Health Act.  I'm voting aye and urge my 

21    colleagues to join me in demanding the New York 

22    Health Act.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

24    Brisport to be recorded in the affirmative.

25                 Announce the results.


                                                               4516

 1                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

 2    Calendar Number 981, voting in the negative:  

 3    Senator Oberacker.

 4                 Ayes, 62.  Nays, 1.

 5                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 6    bill is passed.

 7                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 8    984, Senate Print 6532A, by Senator Kaminsky, an 

 9    act to amend the Environmental Conservation Law.

10                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

11    the last section.

12                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 5.  This 

13    act shall take effect immediately.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

15    the roll.

16                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

18    Palumbo to explain his vote.

19                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Thank you, 

20    Mr. President, for allowing me to interrupt the 

21    proceedings for the purposes of explaining my 

22    vote.

23                 I certainly would like to commend 

24    the chairman of the Environmental Conservation 

25    Committee and sponsor.  This is a bill that I put 


                                                               4517

 1    in in the Assembly last year.  When I submitted 

 2    it here, he called me, was kind enough to include 

 3    me as a sponsor, and said, "We need to move 

 4    this," being a fellow Long Islander.  

 5                 This bill gives authority to 

 6    Suffolk County to cultivate kelp in the 

 7    aquaculture industry.  We have a nitrogen problem 

 8    on Long Island.  In the Peconic Bay estuary, 

 9    which are the Peconic Bays and Gardiner Bays, we 

10    basically have Miracle Grow with the extensive 

11    nitrogen, which creates to the -- to algal blooms 

12    flourishing, fish die-offs, and many other very 

13    significant and concerning environmental factors.  

14                 And it's essentially a crop that's 

15    usually grown on buoy lines.  It's set in the 

16    fall, and they retrieve them in the spring.  But 

17    this winter crop provides a complement to the 

18    oysters of Long Island that many of the 

19    leaseholders are currently farming.  Kelp is 

20    enjoyed around the world and there is growing 

21    local interest by culinary experts, brewers and 

22    others looking to incorporate fresh, locally and 

23    sustainably grown aquaculture ingredients to 

24    their menus and recipes.  

25                 So this legislation is also 


                                                               4518

 1    supported by the Long Island shellfish 

 2    aquaculture community, by a wide group of 

 3    ocean-health advocates, including the scientific 

 4    community, and Stony Brook University School of 

 5    Marine and Atmospheric Sciences.  This also 

 6    received unanimous support from the New York 

 7    State Marine Resources Advisory Council.  

 8                 So I thank you for allowing me the 

 9    opportunity to speak.  I'm proud to be a 

10    cosponsor on this bill, and I vote in the 

11    affirmative.  

12                 Thank you, Mr. President.

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

14    Palumbo to be recorded in the affirmative.

15                 Senator Brisport to explain his 

16    vote.

17                 SENATOR BRISPORT:   Thank you, 

18    Mr. President.

19                 As the bill's authors point out, 

20    kelp has significant health benefits and is a 

21    nutritious food with a growing market.  

22                 The lack of affordable, nutritious 

23    food is a problem for so many communities in 

24    New York, and this bill would help us change 

25    that.  Because kelp contains large amounts of 


                                                               4519

 1    iodine, it is also used to produce supplements 

 2    for treating hypothyroidism, a condition 

 3    affecting approximately one in every 300 people 

 4    in the State of New York.

 5                 Hypothyroidism is a very serious and 

 6    potentially life-threatening condition, since the 

 7    thyroid glands produce the hormones regulating 

 8    metabolism, mental functions and energy level.  

 9    Yet kelp-based iodine supplements are rarely an 

10    adequate or even appropriate solution to this 

11    condition.  

12                 While a healthy diet is important, 

13    New Yorkers need preventative healthcare, 

14    affordable prescription drugs, and routine, 

15    stable access to medical service -- all things 

16    that they are often denied under the current 

17    system.  Kelp can help, if it's paired with a 

18    single-payer healthcare system.  

19                 I'm voting aye, and I urge my 

20    colleagues to demand the New York Health Act.

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

22    Brisport to be recorded in the affirmative.

23                 Announce the results.

24                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 


                                                               4520

 1    bill is passed.

 2                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 3    1003, Senate Print 5724A, by Senator Thomas, an 

 4    act to amend the Civil Practice Law and Rules.

 5                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

 6    the last section.

 7                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 7 --

 8                 SENATOR LANZA:   Lay it aside.

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Lay it 

10    aside.

11                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

12    1054, Senate Print 4413, by Senator May, an act 

13    to amend the Election Law.

14                 SENATOR LANZA:   Lay it aside.

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Lay it 

16    aside.

17                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

18    1070, Assembly Bill 1237, substituted earlier by 

19    Assemblymember Paulin, an act to amend the 

20    Business Corporation Law.

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

22    the last section.

23                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

24    act shall take effect immediately.

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 


                                                               4521

 1    the roll.

 2                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

 4    Announce the results.

 5                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 7    bill is passed.

 8                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 9    1139, Assembly Bill 1228A, substituted earlier by 

10    Assemblymember Paulin, an act to amend the 

11    Public Officers Law.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

13    the last section.

14                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

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

16    shall have become a law.

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

18    the roll.

19                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

21    Announce the results.

22                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

24    bill is passed.

25                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 


                                                               4522

 1    1165, Senate Print 5909, by Senator Kaminsky, an 

 2    act to amend the Insurance Law.

 3                 SENATOR LANZA:   Lay it aside.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Lay it 

 5    aside.

 6                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 7    1179, Senate Print 6455C, by Senator Kaminsky, an 

 8    act to amend Part B of Chapter 173 of the Laws of 

 9    2013.

10                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

11    the last section.

12                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 8.  This 

13    act shall take effect immediately.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

15    the roll.

16                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

18    Announce the results.

19                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

20    Calendar Number 1179, those Senators voting in 

21    the negative are Senators Akshar, Griffo, Ortt, 

22    Palumbo and Serino.

23                 Ayes, 58.  Nays, 5.  

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

25    bill is passed.


                                                               4523

 1                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 2    1192, Senate Print 3683B, by Senator Felder, an 

 3    act to amend the Family Court Act.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

 5    the last section.

 6                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 3.  This 

 7    act shall take effect immediately.

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

 9    the roll.

10                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

12    Announce the results.

13                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

15    bill is passed.

16                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

17    1209, Assembly Bill 7688, substituted earlier by 

18    Assemblymember Paulin, an act to amend the 

19    New York State Medical Care Facilities Finance 

20    Agency Act.

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

22    the last section.

23                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

24    act shall take effect immediately.

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 


                                                               4524

 1    the roll.

 2                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

 4    Announce the results.

 5                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 7    bill is passed.

 8                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 9    1262, Senate Print 6256A, by Senator Hinchey, an 

10    act to amend the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law.

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

12    the last section.

13                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 4.  This 

14    act shall take effect on the 90th day after it 

15    shall have become a law.

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

17    the roll.

18                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

20    Brisport to explain his vote.

21                 SENATOR BRISPORT:   Thank you, 

22    Mr. President.

23                 COVID has been devastating for 

24    New Yorkers' livelihoods as much as for their 

25    health.  Estimated job losses in the state due to 


                                                               4525

 1    the pandemic range from 500,000 to 1 million.  

 2    New York City lost 13.6 percent of its payroll 

 3    jobs -- twice the national rate, and more than 

 4    the next 14 largest U.S. cities.  

 5                 Before the pandemic, New York 

 6    breweries supported more than 20,000 jobs.  For 

 7    each one of those jobs, there are significant 

 8    costs that are incurred paying for employees' 

 9    healthcare.  

10                 The bill that's under review right 

11    now would support breweries in New York by 

12    allowing them to open immediately without waiting 

13    for certain licenses to be issued.  Not waiting 

14    on licenses can be a big deal for small 

15    businesses.  Having healthy employees without 

16    having to shoulder the cost of health insurance 

17    would go even further.  

18                 I vote aye and invite my colleagues 

19    to join me in demanding the New York Health Act.

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

21    Brisport to be recorded in the affirmative.

22                 Announce the results.

23                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

25    bill is passed.


                                                               4526

 1                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 2    1264, Senate Print 396A, by Senator Oberacker, an 

 3    act relating to legalizing, validating, ratifying 

 4    and confirming a transportation contract of the 

 5    Oneonta City School District.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

 7    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    Brisport to explain his vote.

15                 SENATOR BRISPORT:   Thank you, 

16    Mr. President.

17                 Mistakes happen.  This bill 

18    recognizes that simple fact and would validate 

19    two transportation contracts for a school 

20    district notwithstanding a late filing of 

21    paperwork, so that the school district can get 

22    necessary transportation aid.  

23                 I rise as a recent public 

24    schoolteacher because this bill acknowledges a 

25    mistake in certain paperwork is not a legitimate 


                                                               4527

 1    reason to deny funding to a school district for a 

 2    necessary expense.  Some things are more 

 3    important than the existing rules and procedures 

 4    as they currently exist.  We need to be able to 

 5    get our children to their schools because 

 6    education is a basic right.  

 7                 The idea that an error in paperwork 

 8    can lead to a denial of a necessity is all too 

 9    familiar to the residents of New York.  Our 

10    current healthcare system, with private insurance 

11    middlemen, creates situations like this every 

12    day.  Much like the situation that led to this 

13    current legislation, it is very common today for 

14    someone to see an error in paperwork lead to the 

15    denial of their healthcare.  I have seen 

16    firsthand what happens when a child's basic 

17    rights are denied.  

18                 I'm happy that the Legislature is 

19    acting on this bill today to clarify that 

20    children should not be denied basic rights with 

21    respect to the education, and I hope that the 

22    Legislature will similarly act with respect to 

23    healthcare.  No child should live with a 

24    treatable illness because their family is 

25    struggling to pay a bill or to manage their care 


                                                               4528

 1    across multiple providers and platforms.  The 

 2    fact that children and adults alike are denied 

 3    healthcare because of errors in paperwork should 

 4    be troubling to us all.  

 5                 By passing the New York Health Act, 

 6    we can drastically streamline the way healthcare 

 7    is paid for and distributed in New York, taking 

 8    the onus off the patient to grapple with the 

 9    system designed to deny them essential care.  We 

10    can recognize that providing basic rights is our 

11    guiding principle.  

12                 I vote aye and invite my colleagues 

13    to join me in demanding the New York Health Act.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

15    Brisport to be recorded in the affirmative.

16                 Announce the results.

17                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

19    bill is passed.

20                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

21    1349, Senate Print 5985B, by Senator Palumbo, an 

22    act to amend the authorizing the Town of 

23    Southampton, County of Suffolk, to alienate 

24    certain parcels of land used as parkland. 

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   There 


                                                               4529

 1    is a home-rule message at the desk.

 2                 Read the last section.

 3                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 7.  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:    

 9    Announce the results.

10                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

12    bill is passed.

13                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

14    1373, Assembly Bill 6500, substituted earlier by 

15    Assemblymember Abbate, an act to amend the 

16    Retirement and Social Security Law.

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   There 

18    is a home-rule message at the desk.

19                 Read the last section.

20                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

21    act shall take effect immediately.

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

23    the roll.

24                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    


                                                               4530

 1    Announce the results.

 2                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 4    bill is passed.

 5                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 6    1382, Assembly Bill 5386A, substituted earlier by 

 7    Assemblymember Lupardo, an act to amend the 

 8    Agriculture and Markets 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    Hinchey to explain her vote.

18                 Oh.  Calendar 1382, Senator Hinchey.

19                 (Discussion off the record.)

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

21    May to explain her vote.

22                 SENATOR MAY:   Thank you, 

23    Mr. President.

24                 My daughter, who hated mushrooms as 

25    a child, has spent the last year working in 


                                                               4531

 1    regenerative agriculture, and she discovered the 

 2    astonishing richness, variety and importance of 

 3    fungi and the underground mycelium they spring 

 4    from.  In short, she now loves mushrooms.  

 5                 We are only beginning to understand 

 6    the complexity of what goes on in healthy soil 

 7    and how important it is to healthy ecosystems and 

 8    a healthy planet.  I want to thank Senator 

 9    Hinchey for bringing this bill forward and my 

10    colleagues for supporting it, and I vote aye.

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

12    May to be recorded in the affirmative.

13                 Senator Hinchey to explain her vote.

14                 SENATOR HINCHEY:   Thank you, 

15    Mr. President.

16                 Agriculture is the only industry 

17    that can be carbon-negative.  And our farmers are 

18    on the front lines in our fight against climate 

19    change in the middle of the climate crisis that 

20    we are all facing.  And the partnerships between 

21    our environmental advocates on our environmental 

22    side and our agriculture side is one that needs 

23    to be strengthened.  When we work together, we 

24    can solve these complex, very difficult problems.  

25                 And this soil health bill is 


                                                               4532

 1    transformational in what it will mean for our 

 2    fight against climate change.  If we have a 

 3    healthy soil, we are capturing more carbon, we 

 4    have healthier food and we have a better economy.

 5                 So this bill is something that I'm 

 6    incredibly passionate about.  I thank everyone 

 7    who has worked on this bill, my partner in the 

 8    Assembly, Assemblywoman Lupardo, and all of the 

 9    advocates across the industries, from our 

10    agriculture industry to our environmental 

11    industry, to make sure that this bill came to the 

12    floor and passed both houses today.  It is 

13    something that we need to be focusing more on, 

14    and this is a real step that we will be working 

15    on now in our fight against climate change.  

16                 So thank you very much.

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

18    Hinchey to be recorded in the affirmative.

19                 Just as a reminder, masks are still 

20    required in the chamber.

21                 Announce the results.

22                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

24    bill is passed.

25                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 


                                                               4533

 1    1473, Assembly Bill 7576, substituted earlier by 

 2    Assemblymember Jean-Pierre, an act to amend the 

 3    Education Law.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

 5    the last section.

 6                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

 7    act shall take effect immediately.

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

 9    the roll.

10                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

12    Announce the results.

13                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

14    Calendar 1473, those Senators voting in the 

15    negative are Senators Borrello, Jordan and Ortt.  

16                 Ayes, 60.  Nays, 3.  

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

18    bill is passed.

19                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

20    1478, Senate Print 311, by Senator Liu, an act to 

21    amend Chapter 802 of the Laws of 1947.

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

23    the last section.

24                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

25    act shall take effect immediately.


                                                               4534

 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

 2    the roll.

 3                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

 5    Announce the results.

 6                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

 7    Calendar 1478, those Senators voting in the 

 8    negative are Senators Akshar, Borrello, Boyle, 

 9    Gallivan, Griffo, Helming, Jordan, Lanza, 

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

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

12    Weik.

13                 Ayes, 43.  Nays, 20.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

15    bill is passed.

16                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

17    1481, Senate Print 951, by Senator Gaughran, an 

18    act to amend the Navigation Law.

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

20    the last section.

21                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

22    act shall take effect immediately.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

24    the roll.

25                 (The Secretary called the roll.)


                                                               4535

 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 2    Gaughran to explain his vote.

 3                 SENATOR GAUGHRAN:   Thank you, 

 4    Mr. President.

 5                 In 2020, New York had the highest 

 6    fatal boating accidents recorded in nearly two 

 7    decades:  31 people.  That is an astonishing 

 8    number.

 9                 Since 2005, about 25 percent of all 

10    boating deaths resulted from actions of 

11    intoxicated boaters.  That is intolerable.  More 

12    people are getting out on the water, but they 

13    must do it safely.  That means we must have a 

14    zero-tolerance policy for drunk boating.

15                 Today's bill will revoke a person's 

16    driver's license if they are convicted of drunk 

17    boating.  Because if someone is reckless enough 

18    to operate a boat while intoxicated, they'll be 

19    reckless enough to drive drunk.

20                 This bill will act as a deterrent to 

21    those irresponsible enough to put lives at risk 

22    by getting behind the wheel of a boat or a car 

23    while intoxicated.  Today's bill will keep our 

24    waterways and our roads safe.

25                 I vote in the affirmative, 


                                                               4536

 1    Mr. President.

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 3    Gaughran to be recorded in the affirmative.

 4                 Announce the results.

 5                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

 6    Calendar 1481, those Senators voting in the 

 7    negative are Senators Akshar, Hinchey, Myrie, 

 8    Savino and Serino.

 9                 Ayes, 58.  Nays, 5.

10                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

11    bill is passed.

12                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

13    1482, Assembly Print 2140B, substituted earlier 

14    by Assemblymember Griffin, an act to direct the 

15    Department of Environmental Conservation and 

16    other state departments and agencies to conduct a 

17    study on the quality of life and human health 

18    impacts at John F. Kennedy International Airport.  

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

20    the last section.

21                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

22    act shall take effect immediately.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

24    the roll.

25                 (The Secretary called the roll.)


                                                               4537

 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 2    Brisport to explain his vote.

 3                 SENATOR BRISPORT:   Thank you, 

 4    Mr. President.

 5                 I rise in defense of people like my 

 6    brother, Mel.  As a child I heard him coughing so 

 7    often that it seemed like just a part of who he 

 8    was.  As an adult, I understand that Mel was 

 9    struggling to breathe because of his asthma, and 

10    that it is no coincidence that it is so often 

11    black boys from the city like Mel who end up with 

12    asthma.  

13                 People in transportation hubs across 

14    the state experience respiratory issues as a 

15    result of the poor air quality caused by planes, 

16    cars and buses.  In New York State, 210 out of 

17    every 100,000 children experience respiratory 

18    issues, and the rates are even higher near 

19    transportation hubs.  

20                 This bill is an important stop into 

21    looking at the health impacts caused by some of 

22    our transportation centers.  But what about the 

23    people in the Bronx or my home borough of 

24    Brooklyn who live near tens of intersecting bus 

25    routes and experience twice the statewide rates 


                                                               4538

 1    of childhood asthma?

 2                 As we work to protect the health of 

 3    future children, we cannot abandon those already 

 4    living with asthma to a healthcare system 

 5    designed to profit off of their struggle to 

 6    breathe.  We need to ensure that the people who 

 7    are already impacted have the care they need to 

 8    treat their respiratory issues.  

 9                 I vote aye and invite my colleagues 

10    to join me in demanding the New York Health Act.

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

12    Brisport to be recorded in the affirmative.

13                 Announce the results.

14                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

15    Calendar 1482, those Senators voting in the 

16    negative are Senators Akshar, Borrello, Griffo, 

17    Jordan, Oberacker, O'Mara, Ortt, Rath, Serino and 

18    Stec.

19                 Ayes, 53.  Nays, 10.

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

21    bill is passed.

22                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

23    1488, Senate Print 4981, by Senator Lanza, an act 

24    directing the Port Authority of New York to study 

25    the alignment of the Outerbridge Crossing.


                                                               4539

 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

 2    the last section.

 3                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  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:    

 9    Announce the results.

10                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

12    bill is passed.

13                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

14    1489, Senate Print 5027A, by Senator Kavanagh, an 

15    act to amend the Environmental Conservation Law.

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

17    the last section.

18                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 4.  This 

19    act shall take effect one year after it shall 

20    have become a law.

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

22    the roll.

23                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

25    Announce the results.


                                                               4540

 1                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

 2    Calendar 1489, those Senators voting in the 

 3    negative are Senators Akshar, Borrello, Felder, 

 4    Griffo, Helming, Jordan, Oberacker, O'Mara and 

 5    Rath.

 6                 Ayes, 54.  Nays, 9.

 7                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 8    bill is passed.

 9                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

10    1491, Assembly Bill 5399, substituted earlier by 

11    Assemblymember Jacobson, an act to amend the 

12    General City Law.

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

14    the last section.

15                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

16    act shall take effect immediately.

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

18    the roll.

19                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

21    Announce the results.

22                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

24    bill is passed.

25                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 


                                                               4541

 1    1493, Senate Print 5406, by Senator 

 2    Reichlin-Melnick, an act in relation to 

 3    authorizing Harvey Eilbaum to file a request for 

 4    change of beneficiary with the New York State and 

 5    Local Employees' Retirement System.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

 7    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, 63.

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

17    bill is passed.

18                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

19    1495, Senate Print 6223, by Senator 

20    Reichlin-Melnick, an act in relation to 

21    authorizing Thomas Collins to file a request for 

22    change of benefit coverage with the New York 

23    State Teachers' Retirement System.

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

25    the last section.


                                                               4542

 1                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 3.  This 

 2    act shall take effect immediately.

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

 4    the roll.

 5                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

 7    Announce the results.

 8                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

10    bill is passed.

11                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

12    1497, Senate Print 6331, by Senator Palumbo, an 

13    act to amend Chapter 1001 of the Laws of 1966.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   There 

15    is a home-rule message at the desk.

16                 Read the last section.

17                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

18    act shall take effect immediately.  

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

20    the roll.

21                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

23    Announce the results.

24                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

25    Calendar Number 1497, voting in the negative:  


                                                               4543

 1    Senator Skoufis.  

 2                 Ayes, 62.  Nays, 1.

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 4    bill is passed.

 5                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 6    1522, Senate Print 760, by Senator Biaggi, an act 

 7    to amend the Banking Law.

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

 9    the last section.

10                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 5.  This 

11    act shall take effect on the 180th day after it 

12    shall have become a law.  

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

14    the roll.  

15                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

17    Announce the results.

18                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

19    Calendar Number 1522, voting in the negative:  

20    Senator Serino.  

21                 Ayes, 62.  Nays, 1.

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

23    bill is passed.

24                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

25    1523, Senate Print 1019A, by Senator Kaminsky, an 


                                                               4544

 1    act to amend the Education Law.

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

 3    the last section.

 4                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 4.  This 

 5    act shall take effect on the first of July.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

 7    the roll.

 8                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

10    Announce the results.

11                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

13    bill is passed.

14                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

15    1524, Senate Print 1022A, by Senator Ramos, an 

16    act to amend the Workers' Compensation Law.

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

18    the last section.

19                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

20    act shall take effect on the 90th day after it 

21    shall have become a law.

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

23    the roll.

24                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   


                                                               4545

 1    Announce the results.

 2                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

 3    Calendar 1524, those Senators voting in the 

 4    negative are Senators Akshar, Borrello, Boyle, 

 5    Gallivan, Jordan, Lanza, Martucci, Oberacker, 

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

 7    Stec, Tedisco and Weik.  

 8                 Ayes, 46.  Nays, 17.  

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

10    bill is passed.

11                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

12    1525, Senate Print 1165, by Senator Kaminsky, an 

13    act to amend the General Municipal Law.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

15    the last section.

16                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 10.  This 

17    act shall take effect one year after it shall 

18    have become a law.

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

20    the roll.

21                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

23    Announce the results.

24                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

25    Calendar Number 1525, voting in the negative:  


                                                               4546

 1    Senator Ritchie.

 2                 Ayes, 62.  Nays, 1.

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 4    bill is passed.

 5                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 6    1527, Assembly Bill 1953, substituted earlier by 

 7    Assemblymember Cruz, an act to amend the 

 8    Mental Hygiene Law.

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

10    the last section.

11                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

12    act shall take effect on the 90th day after it 

13    shall have become a law.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

15    the roll.

16                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

18    Announce the results.

19                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

21    bill is passed.

22                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

23    1528, Senate Print 3081, by Senator Salazar, an 

24    act to amend the General Business Law.

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 


                                                               4547

 1    the last section.

 2                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

 3    act shall take effect immediately.  

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

 5    the roll.

 6                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

 7                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 8    Salazar to explain her vote.

 9                 SENATOR SALAZAR:   Thank you, 

10    Mr. President.

11                 Every year there are reports of 

12    New Yorkers dying essentially due to drug 

13    shortages.  We also know that many deaths due to 

14    drug shortages still go unreported.  Most of 

15    these cases involve the price gouging of 

16    life-saving generic drugs that ordinarily would 

17    be inexpensive.

18                 In many cases, drugs sold to 

19    hospitals by secondary distributors are marked up 

20    by 650 percent.  In an extreme case reported by 

21    the Premier Healthcare Alliance, a vendor was 

22    offered a generic drug for high blood pressure -- 

23    normally priced at $25.90 per dose -- for $1200 

24    per dose.  

25                 Too many Americans go without the 


                                                               4548

 1    medicine that they need because drug companies 

 2    constantly raise prices, extend patents 

 3    unnecessarily, and focus on extracting as much 

 4    profit as they can possibly get away with.  

 5    Recent studies have found that Americans pay much 

 6    more for the exact same medications than 

 7    consumers in other countries do.

 8                 Since the beginning of the COVID-19 

 9    pandemic last year, drug manufacturers have 

10    announced further price increases at an average 

11    cost of triple the rate of inflation for more 

12    than 500 different medications.  And while 

13    New York's families are struggling to pay rent 

14    and healthcare bills, the pharmaceutical industry 

15    is raising prices on the medicines they need to 

16    survive.

17                 We cannot allow the price gouging of 

18    medicine to continue.  Passing the New York 

19    Health Act is the only action we can take in our 

20    state to make sure that medically necessary drugs 

21    are available to patients without a copay.

22                 Nonetheless, in passing this bill 

23    today, we can take an important step to curb 

24    price gouging, to protect consumers and hopefully 

25    even save people's lives.


                                                               4549

 1                 Mr. President, I vote aye.

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 3    Salazar to be recorded in the affirmative.

 4                 Announce the results.

 5                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 7    bill is passed.

 8                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 9    1529, Senate Print 3160A, by Senator Comrie, an 

10    act to amend the Public Authorities Law.

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

12    the last section.

13                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

14    act shall take effect immediately.

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

16    the roll.

17                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

19    Announce the results.

20                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

22    bill is passed.

23                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

24    1530, Senate Print 3227, by Senator Persaud, an 

25    act to amend the Agriculture and Markets Law.


                                                               4550

 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

 2    the last section.

 3                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  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:    

 9    Announce the results.

10                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

11    Calendar 1530, those Senators voting in the 

12    negative are Senators Akshar and Helming.

13                 Ayes, 61.  Nays, 2.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

15    bill is passed.

16                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

17    1531, Senate Print 3345, by Senator Felder, an 

18    act to amend the Education Law.

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

20    the last section.

21                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

22    act shall take effect on the first of September.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

24    the roll.

25                 (The Secretary called the roll.)


                                                               4551

 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

 2    Announce the results.

 3                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 5    bill is passed.

 6                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 7    1532, Senate Print 3468A, by Senator Kennedy, an 

 8    act to amend the Executive Law.

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

10    the last section.

11                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

12    act shall take effect April 1, 2022.

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

14    the roll.

15                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

17    Kennedy to explain his vote.

18                 SENATOR KENNEDY:   Thank you, 

19    Mr. President.

20                 This legislation that I stand in 

21    support of today will create the Office of Racial 

22    Equity and Social Justice here in New York State, 

23    with the goal of improving opportunities and 

24    outcomes for all people in our great state.

25                 The Office of Racial Equity and 


                                                               4552

 1    Social Justice will serve as the official state 

 2    planning and coordinating office for changes in 

 3    policy, practice and allocation of state 

 4    resources so that race or social constructs do 

 5    not predict an individual's success.

 6                 Local jurisdictions across the 

 7    country such as Kings County, Washington, and 

 8    Montgomery County, Maryland, have already 

 9    established offices focusing on equity and social 

10    justice but we will be the first state in the 

11    nation to do so.

12                 With this legislation we are putting 

13    the State of New York at the forefront of 

14    addressing systematic racism, inequality and 

15    disparities nationwide.  This office will help us 

16    as policymakers fight against institutional 

17    racism and biases, to help us create a more 

18    equitable state for everyone in New York 

19    regardless of their race, gender, age, ethnicity, 

20    religious background, sexual orientation or 

21    socioeconomic status.

22                 This office will help all 

23    departments and agencies create more inclusive 

24    policies and procedures and will ensure all state 

25    employees are educated about the values of equity 


                                                               4553

 1    and social justice.

 2                 I'm proud to carry this legislation 

 3    alongside a historic majority leader, my great 

 4    friend Crystal Peoples-Stokes in the Assembly, 

 5    and I want to give special thanks to Hazel Dukes, 

 6    the president of the New York State chapter of 

 7    the NAACP for her support of this legislation and 

 8    tireless advocacy for equity and social justice.  

 9                 I also want to recognize the 

10    extraordinary work of the Racial Equity 

11    Roundtable in Buffalo, who played a significant 

12    role in this bill moving forward here today.

13                 And finally, Mr. President, I'd like 

14    to thank Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins 

15    for bringing this bill to the floor and her 

16    commitment to ensuring opportunities for all 

17    people in our state are equitable, regardless of 

18    where they come from or what they look like.

19                 Creating an Office of Racial Equity 

20    and Social Justice demonstrates our commitment to 

21    our values and reaffirms who we are as 

22    New Yorkers.  With that, Mr. President, I vote 

23    aye.

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

25    Kennedy to be recorded in the affirmative.


                                                               4554

 1                 Announce the results.

 2                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

 3    Calendar 1532, those Senators voting in the 

 4    negative are Senators Akshar, Borrello, Boyle, 

 5    Gallivan, Griffo, Helming, Jordan, Lanza, 

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

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

 8    Weik.

 9                 Ayes, 43.  Nays, 20.

10                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

11    bill is passed.

12                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

13    1534, Senate Print Number 3759, by 

14    Senator Kaplan, an act to amend the 

15    Retirement and Social Security Law.

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   There 

17    is a home-rule message at the desk.

18                 Read the last section.

19                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 4.  This 

20    act shall take effect immediately.  

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

22    the roll.

23                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

25    Announce the results.


                                                               4555

 1                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 3    bill is passed.

 4                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 5    1535, Senate Print 4110A, by Senator Breslin, an 

 6    act to amend the State Finance Law.

 7                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

 8    the last section.

 9                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 3.  This 

10    act shall take effect on the 60th day after it 

11    shall have become a law.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

13    the roll.

14                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

16    Announce the results.

17                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

19    bill is passed.

20                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

21    1536, Senate Print Number 4150B, by 

22    Senator Reichlin-Melnick, an act to amend the 

23    Public Health Law.

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

25    the last section.


                                                               4556

 1                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 3.  This 

 2    act shall take effect on the 120th day after it 

 3    shall have become a law.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

 5    the roll.

 6                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

 7                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

 8    Announce the results.

 9                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

10                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

11    bill is passed.

12                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

13    1537, Senate Print 4254, by Senator Gianaris, an 

14    act to amend the Insurance Law.

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

16    the last section.

17                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

18    act shall take effect on the 90th day after it 

19    shall have become a law.

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

21    the roll.

22                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

24    Announce the results.

25                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 


                                                               4557

 1    Calendar 1537, those Senators voting in the 

 2    negative are Senators Borrello, Gallivan, Griffo, 

 3    Helming, Jordan, Martucci, Mattera, Oberacker, 

 4    O'Mara, Ortt, Palumbo, Rath, Serino and Stec.

 5                 Ayes, 49.  Nays, 14.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 7    bill is passed.

 8                 There is a substitution at the desk.

 9                 The Secretary will read.

10                 THE SECRETARY:   Senator Mayer moves 

11    to discharge, from the Committee on Rules, 

12    Assembly Bill Number 4742B and substitute it for 

13    the identical Senate Bill 4410C, Third Reading 

14    Calendar 1540.

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

16    substitution is so ordered.

17                 The Secretary will read.

18                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

19    1240, Assembly Print Number 4742B, by 

20    Assemblymember Woerner, an act to amend the 

21    Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Law.

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

23    the last section.

24                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

25    act shall take effect immediately.


                                                               4558

 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

 2    the roll.

 3                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

 5    Announce the results.

 6                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

 7                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 8    bill is passed.

 9                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

10    1541, Assembly Print 3965, substituted earlier by 

11    Assemblymember Abinanti, an act to amend the 

12    Tax Law.

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

14    the last section.

15                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

16    act shall take effect on the 60th day after it 

17    shall have become a law.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

19    the roll.

20                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

22    Announce the results.

23                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

25    bill is passed.


                                                               4559

 1                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 2    1542, Senate Print 4535, by Senator Gaughran, an 

 3    act to amend the Public Authorities Law.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

 5    the last section.

 6                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 5.  This 

 7    act shall take effect immediately.

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

 9    the roll.

10                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

12    Announce the results.

13                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

15    bill is passed.

16                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

17    1543, Senate Print 4687B, by Senator Mayer, an 

18    act to amend the Public Officers Law.

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

20    the last section.

21                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

22    act shall take effect on the 60th day after it 

23    shall have become a law.

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

25    the roll.


                                                               4560

 1                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

 3    Announce the results.

 4                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

 5    Calendar 1543, those Senators voting in the 

 6    negative are Senators Helming and Ortt.

 7                 Ayes, 61.  Nays, 2.

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 9    bill is passed.

10                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

11    1544, Senate Print 4697, by Senator Breslin, an 

12    act to amend the General Obligations Law.

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

14    the last section.

15                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 3.  This 

16    act shall take effect immediately.  

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

18    the roll.

19                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

21    Announce the results.

22                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

24    bill is passed.

25                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 


                                                               4561

 1    1547, Senate Print 5199, by Senator Hinchey, an 

 2    act to amend the Public Health Law.

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

 4    the last section.

 5                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

 6    act shall take effect immediately.

 7                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

 8    the roll.

 9                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

10                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

11    Announce the results.

12                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

14    bill is passed.

15                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

16    1548, Assembly Bill 6249A, substituted earlier by 

17    Assemblymember Buttenschon, an act to amend the 

18    Education Law.

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

20    the last section.

21                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 4.  This 

22    act shall take effect July 1, 2022.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

24    the roll.

25                 (The Secretary called the roll.)


                                                               4562

 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

 2    Announce the results.

 3                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 5    bill is passed.

 6                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 7    1549, Senate Print 5286, by Senator Parker, an 

 8    act to amend the Social Services Law.

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

10    the last section.

11                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

12    act shall take effect on the 120th day after it 

13    shall have become a law.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

15    the roll.

16                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

18    Announce the results.

19                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

20    Calendar 1549, those Senators voting in the 

21    negative are Senators Akshar, Borrello, Helming, 

22    Martucci and Tedisco.

23                 Ayes, 58.  Nays, 5.

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

25    bill is passed.


                                                               4563

 1                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 2    1550, Senate Print 5389, by Senator Parker, an 

 3    act to amend the Real Property Tax Law.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

 5    the last section.

 6                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 3.  This 

 7    act shall take effect immediately.

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

 9    the roll.

10                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

12    Announce the results.

13                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

14    Calendar 1550, those Senators voting in the 

15    negative are Senators Akshar, Cooney, Gaughran 

16    and Weik.

17                 Ayes, 59.  Nays, 4.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

19    bill is passed.

20                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

21    1552, Assembly Print 7214A, substituted earlier 

22    by Assemblymember De La Rosa, an act to amend the 

23    Public Service Law.

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

25    the last section.


                                                               4564

 1                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

 2    act shall take effect on the 60th day after it 

 3    shall have become a law.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

 5    the roll.

 6                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

 7                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

 8    Announce the results.

 9                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

10                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

11    bill is passed.

12                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

13    1553, Senate Print 5872, by Senator Savino, an 

14    act to amend the General Business Law and the 

15    Penal Law.

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

17    the last section.

18                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 3.  This 

19    act shall take effect immediately.  

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

21    the roll.

22                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

24    Announce the results.

25                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 


                                                               4565

 1    Calendar Number 1553, voting in the negative:  

 2    Senator Brisport.

 3                 Ayes, 62.  Nays, 1.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 5    bill is passed.

 6                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 7    1555, Senate Print 6156, by Senator Boyle, an act 

 8    to amend the Highway Law.

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

10    the last section.

11                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 3.  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:    

17    Announce the results.

18                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

19    Calendar Number 1555, voting in the negative:  

20    Senator Brisport.

21                 Ayes, 62.  Nays, 1.

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

23    bill is passed.

24                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

25    1556, Senate Print 6194B, by Senator Brouk, an 


                                                               4566

 1    act to amend the County Law.

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

 3    the last section.

 4                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 3.  This 

 5    act shall take effect immediately.  

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

 7    the roll.

 8                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

10    Brouk to explain her vote.

11                 SENATOR BROUK:   Thank you.

12                 Today I rise to explain the 

13    importance of this bill that we're passing today.  

14    As chair of the Mental Health Committee, I have 

15    spent the better part of the past year talking to 

16    people about the increasing crisis of mental 

17    health in this state.

18                 One of the key parts of that crisis 

19    is that we currently do not have a way for 

20    someone who is in a mental health crisis to call 

21    for help.  The only choice we are giving to 

22    people who are in a substance abuse crisis, an 

23    overdose situation or other mental health crisis 

24    is that they call 911.  And too often we have 

25    seen that they are not given an option that is 


                                                               4567

 1    both compassionate and will care for them in the 

 2    way that they need and give them the support that 

 3    they need to get better.

 4                 That's why the passage of this bill 

 5    is so crucial.  "988" is going to be a short 

 6    code, easy-to-remember number that anyone in a 

 7    mental health crisis can either call or text when 

 8    they know that they need that type of care.  They 

 9    can now call a number where there will be trained 

10    counselors and mental health professionals ready 

11    to help them deescalate this crisis and make sure 

12    they get to a cool, calm moment.

13                 The reason it's so important that we 

14    pass this bill today is because New York State 

15    cannot delay another moment in building the 

16    necessary infrastructure, hiring the necessary 

17    employees, making sure that as of July 2022, when 

18    a federal mandate has called for this state to 

19    have 988 up and running, that New York State will 

20    be ready.  And by passing this bill this year, we 

21    are allowing that to happen.

22                 I'm grateful to the staff for 

23    helping us get to this point and for helping us 

24    put this important bill forward.  And today as I 

25    cast my vote aye on this bill, I also do so in 


                                                               4568

 1    remembrance of two Rochester men who lost their 

 2    lives because we didn't act quick enough on 

 3    passing something like a 988:  And that's 

 4    Tyshon Jones and Daniel Prude.

 5                 Thank you.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 7    Brouk to be recorded in the affirmative.

 8                 Announce the results.

 9                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

10                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

11    bill is passed.

12                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

13    1558, Assembly Print 3766, substituted earlier by 

14    Assemblymember Dickens, an act to amend the 

15    Social Services Law.

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

17    the last section.

18                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

19    act shall take effect June 30, 2022.

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

21    the roll.

22                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

24    Announce the results.

25                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.


                                                               4569

 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 2    bill is passed.

 3                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 4    1559, Senate Print 6310B, by Senator Ryan, an act 

 5    to amend the Real Property Tax Law.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

 7    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:   Senator 

14    Ryan to explain his vote.

15                 SENATOR RYAN:   Thank you very much 

16    for allowing me an opportunity to explain my 

17    vote.

18                 Way back in the Carter 

19    administration, interest rates were 12 to 

20    18 percent, and there was a problem getting 

21    people to pay their property taxes because they 

22    could take that money and put it into a 

23    certificate of deposit and make the spread.  

24                 Things have changed a lot since 

25    then, and now interest rates are well below 


                                                               4570

 1    3 percent, but the delinquency rate allowed to be 

 2    charged by municipalities is still stuck in the 

 3    Carter administration.  We have a state law that 

 4    mandates that every municipality charge no less 

 5    than 12 percent interest on delinquent property 

 6    taxes.  

 7                 What this does, it leads to the 

 8    interest rates being greater than the principal 

 9    originally owned, and it's leading to 

10    dispossessions of houses all over New York State.  

11                 We generously fund projects that we 

12    started, you know, during the last financial 

13    crisis to help keep people in their houses and we 

14    were afraid of the zombie homes -- but right now, 

15    more than 50 percent of what we call the HOPP 

16    money designed to prevent foreclosures is not 

17    going to mortgage foreclosures from banks, it's 

18    going to foreclosures from municipalities.  It 

19    strips communities of generational wealth, and 

20    it's an all-around bad idea.  

21                 So this bill just does a little 

22    inversion.  Under the current law, you have to 

23    charge at least 12 percent interest.  Under this 

24    bill, it will be so you cannot charge more than 

25    7.5 percent interest.  And we are hoping that 


                                                               4571

 1    will make it so that people who get behind on 

 2    their tax bills can catch up and not be subjected 

 3    to unreasonable and unnecessary foreclosures, 

 4    dispossession of their homes, but also 

 5    sacrificing generational wealth that should stay 

 6    in the community.

 7                 Thank you so much for giving me the 

 8    opportunity to vote, and I cast my vote in the 

 9    affirmative.

10                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

11    Ryan to be recorded in the affirmative.

12                 Announce the results.

13                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

15    bill is passed.

16                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

17    1560, Assembly Print 7192A, substituted earlier 

18    by Assemblymember Lupardo, an act to amend the 

19    Vehicle and Traffic Law.

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

21    the last section.

22                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 3.  This 

23    act shall take effect on the 120th day after it 

24    shall have become a law.

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 


                                                               4572

 1    the roll.

 2                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

 4    Announce the results.

 5                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

 6    Calendar 1560, those Senators voting in the 

 7    negative are Senators Felder, May and Skoufis.

 8                 Ayes, 60.  Nays, 3.

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

10    bill is passed.

11                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

12    1561, Assembly Print 7176A, substituted earlier 

13    by Assemblymember Jean-Pierre, an act to amend 

14    the Social Services Law.

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

16    the last section.

17                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

18    act shall take effect immediately.  

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

20    the roll.

21                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

23    Announce the results.

24                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 


                                                               4573

 1    bill is passed.

 2                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 3    1562, Assembly Bill 7485A, substituted earlier by 

 4    Assemblymember Ramos, an act to amend Chapter 719 

 5    of the Laws of 1982.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   There 

 7    is a home-rule message at the desk.

 8                 Read the last section.

 9                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

10    act shall take effect immediately.  

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

12    the roll.

13                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

15    Announce the results.

16                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

18    bill is passed.

19                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

20    1563, Senate Print Number 6445A, by 

21    Senator Reichlin-Melnick, an act to amend the 

22    General Municipal Law.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

24    the last section.

25                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 4.  This 


                                                               4574

 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, 63.

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 9    bill is passed.

10                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

11    1564, Senate Print 6486B, by Senator Parker, an 

12    act to amend the Environmental Conservation Law.

13                 SENATOR LANZA:   Lay it aside.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Lay it 

15    aside.

16                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

17    1566, Senate Print 6548, by Senator Gallivan, an 

18    act to amend the Highway Law.

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

20    the last section.

21                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 3.  This 

22    act shall take effect immediately.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

24    the roll.

25                 (The Secretary called the roll.)


                                                               4575

 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

 2    Announce the results.

 3                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

 4    Calendar Number 1566, voting in the negative:  

 5    Senator Brisport.

 6                 Ayes, 62.  Nays, 1.

 7                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 8    bill is passed.

 9                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

10    1567, Senate Print 6676A, by Senator Brouk, an 

11    act to amend the Real Property Tax Law.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

13    the last section.

14                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

15    act shall take effect on the first of January.

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

17    the roll.

18                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

20    Brouk to explain her vote.

21                 SENATOR BROUK:   Thank you, 

22    Mr. President, for allowing me to explain my vote 

23    on this bill that has a lot of local significance 

24    as well.

25                 Throughout COVID-19, so many of us 


                                                               4576

 1    talked about our frontline workers, our essential 

 2    workers, the first responders that answered when 

 3    we needed help.  Two of those groups include 

 4    firefighters and ambulance personnel.  In 

 5    Monroe County, a number of our ambulance and 

 6    firefighters are all volunteers.  That means that 

 7    they are putting their lives at risk every day, 

 8    under strenuous physical circumstances, to serve 

 9    us, our loved ones and our families and our 

10    neighborhoods.  

11                 Especially during COVID-19, when we 

12    dealt with a respiratory illness, these brave 

13    people ran into burning buildings to help us and 

14    save our lives.  Meanwhile, our ambulance 

15    personnel have been on the front lines even when 

16    COVID-19 was at its height.  

17                 That's why this bill is a way that 

18    we can say thank you for the service that they 

19    are providing our communities.  In Monroe County 

20    alone, we are seeing a decline in volunteer 

21    firefighters and volunteer ambulance personnel.  

22    This property tax break is a way to say thank you 

23    for the work that they're doing and to encourage 

24    more folks to enter this incredibly crucial line 

25    of work.  


                                                               4577

 1                 I'm grateful to have carried this 

 2    legislation in the Senate, and I'm grateful to 

 3    our local leaders who have brought this to our 

 4    attention.  And I'm grateful to our leadership in 

 5    the Senate for passing it today and showing these 

 6    essential workers that they are worth it and that 

 7    they are valued.  

 8                 For those reasons, I vote aye.  

 9    Thank you.  

10                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

11    Brouk to be recorded in the affirmative.

12                 Announce the results.

13                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

15    bill is passed.

16                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

17    1569, Senate Print 6702, by Senator Rath, an act 

18    to incorporate the East Amherst Fire Department 

19    Benevolent Association.

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

21    the last section.

22                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 8.  This 

23    act shall take effect immediately.

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

25    the roll.


                                                               4578

 1                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

 3    Announce the results.

 4                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

 5                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 6    bill is passed.

 7                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 8    1570, Senate Print 6708, by Senator Parker, an 

 9    act to amend the Labor Law.

10                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

11    the last section.

12                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

13    act shall take effect January 1, 2022.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

15    the roll.

16                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

18    Announce the results.

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   In 

20    relation to Calendar 1570, those Senators voting 

21    in the negative are Senators Akshar, Borrello, 

22    Boyle, Gallivan, Griffo, Helming, Jordan, Lanza, 

23    Mattera, Oberacker, O'Mara, Ortt, Ritchie, Stec 

24    and Tedisco.

25                 Ayes, 48.  Nays, 15.


                                                               4579

 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 2    bill is passed.

 3                 Calendar Number 1571 is high and 

 4    will be laid aside for the day.

 5                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 6    1572, Senate Print 6744, by Senator Salazar, an 

 7    act to amend the Education Law.

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

 9    the last section.

10                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 5.  This 

11    act shall take effect immediately.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

13    the roll.

14                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

16    Announce the results.

17                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

18    Calendar 1572, those Senators voting in the 

19    negative are Senators Akshar, Borrello, Lanza, 

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

21    Palumbo and Weik.

22                 Ayes, 53.  Nays, 10.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

24    bill is passed.

25                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 


                                                               4580

 1    1573, Senate Print 6781A, by Senator Kavanagh, an 

 2    act to amend the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law.

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

 4    the last section.

 5                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

 6    act shall take effect immediately.  

 7                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

 8    the roll.

 9                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

10                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

11    Announce the results.

12                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

14    bill is passed.

15                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

16    1574, Senate Print 6799, by Senator Oberacker, an 

17    act to amend the Highway Law.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

19    the last section.

20                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 3.  This 

21    act shall take effect immediately.  

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

23    the roll.

24                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    


                                                               4581

 1    Announce the results.

 2                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

 3    Calendar Number 1574, voting in the negative:  

 4    Senator Brisport.

 5                 Ayes, 62.  Nays, 1.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 7    bill is passed.

 8                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 9    1575, Senate Print 6825, by Senator Mayer, an act 

10    to amend the Education Law.

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

12    the last section.

13                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 3.  This 

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

15    shall have become a law.

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

17    the roll.

18                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

20    Announce the results.

21                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

23    bill is passed.

24                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

25    1576, Senate Print 6839, by Senator Kaminsky, an 


                                                               4582

 1    act to amend the Vehicle and Traffic Law.

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

 3    the last section.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   There 

 5    is a home-rule message at the desk.

 6                 Read the last section.

 7                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

 8    act shall take effect immediately.

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

10    the roll.

11                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

13    Announce the results.

14                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

15    Calendar 1576, those Senators voting in the 

16    negative are Senators Lanza and Skoufis.

17                 Ayes 61.  Nays, 2. 

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

19    bill is passed.

20                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

21    1579, Senate Print 6893, by Senator Liu, an act 

22    to amend Chapter 602 of the Laws of 1980.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

24    the last section.

25                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 3.  This 


                                                               4583

 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, 63.

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 9    bill is passed.

10                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

11    1580, Senate Print 6959A, by Senator Cooney, an 

12    act in relation to certain credits for any future 

13    application for a license to sell alcohol.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

15    the last section.

16                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

17    act shall take effect immediately.  

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

19    the roll.

20                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

22    Announce the results.

23                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

25    bill is passed.


                                                               4584

 1                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 2    1581, Senate Print Number 6961A, by 

 3    Senator Reichlin-Melnick, an act in relation to 

 4    authorizing the Cong Yeshiva Zera Yakov, Inc., to 

 5    file an application for a real property tax 

 6    exemption.

 7                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

 8    the last section.  

 9                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

10    act shall take effect immediately.

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

12    the roll.

13                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

15    Announce the results.

16                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

17    Calendar Number 1581, voting in the negative:  

18    Senator Akshar.

19                 Ayes, 62.  Nays, 1.

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

21    bill is passed.

22                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

23    1582, Senate Print 6976, by Senator Gounardes, an 

24    act to amend the Retirement and Social Security 

25    Law.


                                                               4585

 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   There 

 2    is a home-rule message at the desk.

 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                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

10    Brisport to explain his vote.

11                 SENATOR BRISPORT:   Thank you, 

12    Mr. President.

13                 It should be the right of all 

14    workers to retire with dignity.  It should be the 

15    right of workers to have healthcare.  Retirement 

16    and pension programs provide a necessary safety 

17    net for workers and their families.  We should 

18    continue to expand these programs.  

19                 However, we must go beyond just 

20    expanding these programs in this instance.  

21    Healthcare is a human right.  That is why our 

22    public-sector safety net should be expanded to 

23    all New Yorkers.  

24                 I'm voting aye and urge my 

25    colleagues to join me in demanding the New York 


                                                               4586

 1    Health Act.

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 3    Brisport to be recorded in the affirmative.

 4                 Announce the results.

 5                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 7    bill is passed.

 8                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 9    1583, Senate Print 7010C, by Senator Kaminsky, an 

10    act to amend the Environmental Conservation Law.

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

12    the last section.

13                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 5.  This 

14    act shall take effect immediately.  

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

16    the roll.

17                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

19    Announce the results.

20                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

22    bill is passed.

23                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

24    1584, Assembly Print 7671, substituted earlier by 

25    Assemblymember Pheffer Amato, an act to amend the 


                                                               4587

 1    Private Housing Finance Law.

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

 3    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                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

10    Announce the results.

11                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

13    bill is passed.

14                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

15    1585, Senate Print 7027, by Senator Parker, an 

16    act in relation to maintaining the continued 

17    viability of the state's existing large-scale 

18    renewable energy resources.

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

20    the last section.

21                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 4.  This 

22    act shall take effect immediately.  

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

24    the roll.

25                 (The Secretary called the roll.)


                                                               4588

 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

 2    Announce the results.

 3                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

 4    Calendar 1585, those Senators voting in the 

 5    negative are Senators Akshar and Ortt.

 6                 Ayes, 61.  Nays, 2.

 7                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 8    bill is passed.

 9                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

10    1586, Assembly Bill 2396A, substituted earlier by 

11    Assemblymember Woerner, an act to amend the 

12    Public Service Law.

13                 SENATOR LANZA:   Lay it aside.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Lay it 

15    aside.

16                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

17    1589, Assembly Print 7729, substituted earlier by 

18    Assemblymember Peoples-Stokes, an act to amend 

19    the Executive Law.

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

21    the last section.

22                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

23    act shall take effect immediately.  

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

25    the roll.


                                                               4589

 1                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

 3    Announce the results.

 4                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

 5                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 6    bill is passed.

 7                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 8    1590, Senate Print 7089, by Senator Liu, an act 

 9    to amend Chapter 188 of the Laws of 1978.

10                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

11    the last section.

12                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

13    act shall take effect immediately.  

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

15    the roll.

16                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

18    Announce the results.

19                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

21    bill is passed.

22                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

23    1591, Assembly Print 3149, substituted earlier by 

24    Assemblymember Hevesi, an act to amend the 

25    Social Services Law.


                                                               4590

 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

 2    the last section.

 3                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

 4    act shall take effect on the 90th day after it 

 5    shall have become a law.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

 7    the roll.

 8                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

10    Announce the results.

11                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

12    Calendar 1591, those Senators voting in the 

13    negative are Senators Akshar, Borrello, Boyle, 

14    Griffo, Jordan, Oberacker, O'Mara, Ortt, Rath, 

15    Serino, Stec, Tedisco and Weik.

16                 Ayes, 50.  Nays, 13.

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

18    bill is passed.

19                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

20    1592, Assembly Print 7388B, substituted earlier 

21    by Assemblymember Barrett, an act to amend the 

22    Real Property Tax Law.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

24    the last section.

25                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 


                                                               4591

 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, 63.

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 9    bill is passed.

10                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

11    1593, Assembly Bill 7714, substituted earlier by 

12    Assemblymember Hunter, an act to amend the Social 

13    Services Law.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

15    the last section.

16                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 3.  This 

17    act shall take effect June 30, 2021.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

19    the roll.

20                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

22    Announce the results.

23                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

25    bill is passed.


                                                               4592

 1                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 2    1595, Senate Print 7149, by Senator Krueger, an 

 3    act to amend the Private Housing Finance Law.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

 5    the last section.

 6                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 4.  This 

 7    act shall take effect immediately.

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

 9    the roll.

10                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

12    Announce the results.

13                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

15    bill is passed.

16                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

17    1596, Assembly Print 7390, substituted earlier by 

18    Assemblymember Williams, an act to amend the 

19    Executive Law.

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

21    the last section.

22                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

23    act shall take effect immediately.

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

25    the roll.


                                                               4593

 1                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

 3    Announce the results.

 4                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

 5                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 6    bill is passed.  

 7                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 8    1597, Senate Print 7155, by Senator 

 9    Reichlin-Melnick, an act in relation to 

10    authorizing NYSARC, Inc., Rockland County Chapter 

11    to file with the Town of Clarkstown assessor an 

12    application for certain real property tax 

13    exemptions.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

15    the last section.

16                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

17    act shall take effect immediately.  

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

19    the roll.

20                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

22    Announce the results.

23                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

24    Calendar 1597, those Senators voting in the 

25    negative are Senators Akshar and O'Mara.


                                                               4594

 1                 Ayes, 61.  Nays, 2.

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 3    bill is passed.

 4                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 5    1598, Senate Print 7156, by Senator 

 6    Reichlin-Melnick, an act to authorize the 

 7    assessor of the Town of Clarkstown, County of 

 8    Rockland, to accept from the Nyack Union Free 

 9    School District an application for exemption from 

10    real property taxes.

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

12    the last section.

13                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

14    act shall take effect immediately.

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

16    the roll.

17                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

19    Announce the results.

20                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

21    Calendar 1598, those Senators voting in the 

22    negative are Senators Akshar and O'Mara.

23                 Ayes, 61.  Nays, 2.

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

25    bill is passed.


                                                               4595

 1                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 2    1599, Senate Print 7157, by Senator Parker, an 

 3    act to amend the Public Service Law and the 

 4    General Business Law.

 5                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

 6    the last section.

 7                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 6.  This 

 8    act shall take effect immediately.  

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

10    the roll.

11                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

13    Brisport to explain his vote.

14                 SENATOR BRISPORT:   Thank you, 

15    Mr. President.

16                 This bill recognizes that our 

17    safety, our physical dignity is more important 

18    than a private profit, that it is wrong to keep 

19    people trapped in an abusive relationship just so 

20    a company can make a profit.  

21                 You have no doubt heard from your 

22    own constituents who have remained in violent 

23    marriages, often with children in the home, 

24    because their choices were to stay or go without 

25    health insurance.  We have heard of abusive 


                                                               4596

 1    husbands manipulating their spouses with the 

 2    health insurance, threatening to cut it off for 

 3    them or their kids.  

 4                 Every place our social safety net 

 5    fails is a vacuum where violence festers.  People 

 6    don't stay in abusive marriages because of their 

 7    Spectrum packages.  They do stay because their 

 8    abusive husband is the only source of healthcare 

 9    for them and their kids.  

10                 As we vote for this bill, we are 

11    making a choice and saying that the phone 

12    company's profits are not as important as your 

13    safety.  The cable company's bottom line is worth 

14    less than your life.  I think you would have a 

15    hard time saying otherwise.  

16                 And yet every day we choose to 

17    maintain the American health system, we are 

18    making the opposite choice.  We are saying that 

19    your lives are less important than Aetna's 

20    quarterly profits.  Endure violence in your own 

21    home so that United can exceed its growth 

22    targets.  

23                 We cannot throw up our hands and 

24    pretend we don't have a choice.  There is a 

25    better way -- the only way -- and that is 


                                                               4597

 1    publicly funded health insurance via the New York 

 2    Health Act.  

 3                 I am voting aye, and urge my 

 4    colleagues to join me in demanding the New York 

 5    Health Act.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 7    Brisport to be recorded in the affirmative.

 8                 Announce the results.

 9                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

10                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

11    bill is passed.

12                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

13    1600, Senate Print 7159, by Senator Gounardes, an 

14    act to amend the Administrative Code of the City 

15    of New York.  

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

17    the last section.

18                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 5.  This 

19    act shall take effect July 1, 2021.

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

21    the roll.

22                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

24    Announce the results.

25                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.


                                                               4598

 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 2    bill is passed.

 3                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 4    1601, Senate Print 7160, by Senator Gounardes, an 

 5    act to amend the Real Property Tax Law.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

 7    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:    

14    Announce the results.

15                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

17    bill is passed.

18                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

19    1606, Senate Print 7177, by Senator Krueger, an 

20    act to amend the Workers' Compensation Law.

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

22    the last section.

23                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

24    act shall take effect immediately.  

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 


                                                               4599

 1    the roll.

 2                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

 4    Announce the results.

 5                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 7    bill is passed.

 8                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 9    1608, Senate Print 7185, by Senator May, an act 

10    to amend the Public Authorities Law.

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

12    the last section.

13                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 5.  This 

14    act shall take effect immediately.  

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

16    the roll.

17                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

19    Announce the results.

20                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

21    Calendar Number 1608, voting in the negative:  

22    Senator Ortt.

23                 Ayes, 62.  Nays, 1.

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

25    bill is passed.


                                                               4600

 1                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 2    1609, Senate Print 7186, by Senator Brooks, an 

 3    act to amend the General Municipal Law.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

 5    the last section.

 6                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 4.  This 

 7    act shall take effect on the 90th day after it 

 8    shall have become a law.

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

10    the roll.

11                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

13    Announce the results.

14                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

15    Calendar 1609, those Senators voting in the 

16    egative are Senators Brisport and Skoufis.

17                 Ayes, 61.  Nays, 2.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

19    bill is passed.

20                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

21    1611, Senate Print 7189, by Senator Mayer, an act 

22    to amend the Education Law.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

24    the last section.

25                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 8.  This 


                                                               4601

 1    act shall take effect on the same date and in the 

 2    same manner as a chapter of the Laws of 2021.

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

 4    the roll.

 5                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

 7    Announce the results.

 8                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

10    bill is passed.

11                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

12    1612, Senate Print 7194, by Senator Rivera, an 

13    act to amend the State Finance Law.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

15    the last section.

16                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 6.  This 

17    act shall take effect immediately.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

19    the roll.

20                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

22    Rivera to explain his vote.

23                 SENATOR RIVERA:   Thank you, 

24    Mr. President.

25                 This is a fantastic bill that I am 


                                                               4602

 1    incredibly happy to be able to pass today on the 

 2    floor of the Senate, Mr. President.

 3                 As we all know, the opioid crisis 

 4    has struck around the country, and in many 

 5    instances you've had people who were victims of a 

 6    system that pushed prescription drugs on them, 

 7    pain medication on them that became highly 

 8    addictive.  We have seen the scourge of this 

 9    around the country, certainly in the State of 

10    New York.

11                 And so now that we are in a position 

12    to understand that private corporations, for 

13    profit, cause damages in communities all across 

14    the state and all across the country, we want to 

15    make sure we hold those companies accountable.  

16    And our Attorney General, Letitia James -- not 

17    only the first woman to be in that position, the 

18    first Black woman to be in that position, and 

19    somebody who's doing an amazing job -- is 

20    negotiating along with other states to hold those 

21    companies accountable.  And eventually there will 

22    be an agreement that is reached with those 

23    companies and a settlement that will be reached 

24    with these companies.  

25                 And when this money is there, we 


                                                               4603

 1    want to make sure, Mr. President, that that money 

 2    gets to the places that can help us to actually 

 3    repair the harm that has been caused by these 

 4    private companies, who again -- for profit, 

 5    Mr. President -- caused pain and deaths across 

 6    the entire country.

 7                 And so to make sure that this money 

 8    is not used for other purposes, doesn't -- as 

 9    many times happens, settlements go into the 

10    General Fund and are used for whatever purpose, 

11    to cover whatever different thing that the 

12    Governor might have an interest in at that 

13    particular moment.  We want to make certain that 

14    this money is utilized to repair the harm that 

15    has been caused by these companies.

16                 And so the bill that we are passing 

17    today, Mr. President, will make sure and 

18    guarantee that that is the case, that when this 

19    settlement is reached that it actually goes 

20    directly to the purposes of repairing that harm.  

21    To increase harm reduction services, to increase 

22    treatment, to increase beds for folks who have 

23    substance abuse issues.  

24                 That is the reason why we need to 

25    pass this bill today, Mr. President.  And I'm 


                                                               4604

 1    incredibly proud to have worked along with the 

 2    Attorney General and her staff to make sure this 

 3    happens.  

 4                 And just quickly as I finish, 

 5    Mr. President, I just want to give a special 

 6    shout out to a particular staffer in my office, a 

 7    brilliant knucklehead by the name of Jay Baez.  

 8    He is a young man who joined my staff a few years 

 9    ago and always told me -- he started as one of my 

10    schedulers, and he was somebody who always 

11    expressed an interest in doing something for 

12    policy.  He has now risen to become my policy 

13    director.  

14                 Not only that, Mr. President, a 

15    brilliant, brilliant young man who worked 

16    tirelessly with the Attorney General's office to 

17    make sure we got this right.  

18                 I'm incredibly proud to vote for 

19    this today.  I'm incredibly proud to be able to 

20    mention that Jay is a big part of this.  

21                 Mr. President, I proudly vote in the 

22    affirmative.  Thank you.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

24    Rivera to be recorded in the affirmative.

25                 Senator Akshar to explain his vote.


                                                               4605

 1                 SENATOR AKSHAR:   Mr. President, 

 2    thank you.  

 3                 It must be something in the water, 

 4    because this is like the second or third or 

 5    fourth time in the last 30 days that 

 6    Senator Rivera and I have agreed on a particular 

 7    matter.

 8                 You know, addiction is an insidious 

 9    disease.  It has claimed far too many lives in 

10    every corner of this state, and it has impacted 

11    New Yorkers regardless of race, regardless of zip 

12    code, regardless of your income level.  And I've 

13    said this many times, that it is my opinion that 

14    it is the state's really fundamental obligation, 

15    and we have a moral obligation to take care of 

16    those that are suffering, invest in their issue 

17    to ensure that we can get them the help that they 

18    so desperately need.

19                 And it is incumbent upon all of us, 

20    regardless of our politics, to ensure that every 

21    dollar of any settlement that this state may 

22    enter into actually gets into the hands of 

23    community-based providers who are providing these 

24    life-saving services.

25                 I think about VOICES Recovery back 


                                                               4606

 1    at home in Binghamton.  This year a very, very 

 2    tough budget year.  They had to lay staff off 

 3    because there just simply weren't the dollars.  

 4    And if you look back at McKinsey and this 

 5    settlement, the truth is -- to Senator Rivera's 

 6    point -- that McKinsey, Purdue Pharma took 

 7    advantage of Americans, they took advantage of 

 8    New Yorkers for 20 years.  

 9                 And the Attorney General got this 

10    settlement, got this agreement in which they were 

11    held accountable financially.  Our friend Senator 

12    Harckham described that as blood money.  That's 

13    exactly what that was.

14                 The unfortunate part, though, is 

15    that this Executive swept $21 million of that 

16    settlement.  And who knows what it's going to be 

17    spent on -- filling a pothole, building a bridge, 

18    planting a tree?  I have no idea.  What I do know 

19    is that it didn't get to where it needed to be.

20                 So, Senator Rivera, I stood in this 

21    very place, you and I had a very spirited debate 

22    around the budget process, and you told me that 

23    day that we were going to continue to look into 

24    this issue.  I believed you, but I also submitted 

25    my own bill, very similar to this.  


                                                               4607

 1                 But my mother raised me right.  It 

 2    doesn't matter who gets the credit.  What matters 

 3    is that we're here today and we in fact are 

 4    advancing a bill that would put all future 

 5    settlements into a lockbox and ensure that that 

 6    money gets into the hands of these dedicated 

 7    community-based providers that are saving lives.

 8                 So, Senator Rivera, you describe it 

 9    as a fantastic bill.  I second that.  This is 

10    exactly what we are supposed to be doing.  

11                 So, Mr. President, I proudly vote 

12    aye.

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator  

14    Akshar to be recorded in the affirmative.

15                 Announce the results.

16                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

18    bill is passed.

19                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

20    1613, Senate Print 7196, by Senator Myrie, an act 

21    to amend the General Business Law.

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

23    the last section.

24                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 4.  This 

25    act shall take effect immediately.


                                                               4608

 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

 2    the roll.

 3                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 5    Brisport to explain his vote.

 6                 SENATOR BRISPORT:   Thank you, 

 7    Mr. President.

 8                 Look, y'all, my constituents are 

 9    dying, all of our constituents are dying.  

10    They're dying because of the gun violence.  

11    They're dying because of COVID.  They're dying 

12    because of homelessness.  But increasingly, what 

13    I've seen compounding is that they are dying from 

14    lack of access to healthcare.  And if we don't 

15    address this now, their deaths will be upon us.  

16                 Downstairs in the food court there's 

17    a woman who works there who has suffered from 

18    cancer in her jaw whose colleagues are currently 

19    doing a GoFundMe to raise money so she can pay 

20    for the surgery that her insurance does not 

21    cover.  She has likely served food to legislators 

22    who do not support her right to universal 

23    healthcare.  

24                 So I know you're all probably tired 

25    of hearing my voice at this point, but I don't 


                                                               4609

 1    know what else to do when my constituents are 

 2    dying and we are not voting on the bill which I 

 3    know could save so many of them, the New York 

 4    Health Act. 

 5                 I'm voting aye on this bill, and I 

 6    urge my colleagues to join me in demanding the 

 7    New York Health Act.

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 9    Brisport to be recorded in the affirmative.

10                 Announce the results.

11                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

12    Calendar 1613, those Senators voting in the 

13    negative are Senators Akshar, Borrello, Boyle, 

14    Gallivan, Griffo, Helming, Jordan, Lanza, 

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

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

17    Weik.

18                 Ayes, 43.  Nays, 20.

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

20    bill is passed.

21                 Senator Gianaris, that completes the 

22    reading of today's calendar.

23                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Can we now take 

24    up the supplemental calendar, please.

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 


                                                               4610

 1    Secretary will read.

 2                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 3    1617, Senate Print 699B, by Senator Hoylman, an 

 4    act to amend the Environmental Conservation Law.

 5                 SENATOR LANZA:   Lay it aside.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Lay it 

 7    aside.

 8                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 9    1624, Senate Print 2122A, by Senator Rivera, an 

10    act to amend the Public Health Law.

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

12    the last section.

13                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

14    act shall take effect one year after it shall 

15    have become a law.

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

17    the roll.

18                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

20    Jackson to explain his vote.

21                 SENATOR JACKSON:   Thank you, 

22    Mr. President.  Is this regarding S2122?  

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Yes, 

24    sir.

25                 SENATOR JACKSON:   Thank you, 


                                                               4611

 1    Mr. President.

 2                 So I rise to explain my support for 

 3    Senator Rivera's bill S2122.  The bill before us 

 4    today builds on important grassroots work done in 

 5    Community Education Council 6 in my district -- 

 6    my chief of staff, Johanna Garcia, and another 

 7    member, Cory Frye, who were both members of the 

 8    CEC 6 -- and other parent leaders throughout 

 9    New York.

10                 Several years ago parents demanded a 

11    better response from the Department of Education 

12    to the crisis of lead in school water.  The 

13    community demanded DOE to disclose testing 

14    methodologies contrasting proper public health 

15    experts' testing methods.  DOE would flush the 

16    water for a long period of time before testing 

17    it.  But parent activists demanded lead results 

18    without flushing, because kids don't flush the 

19    water when they drink it, they just go to a water 

20    fountain, they turn it on and they drink it.

21                 CEC 6 pushed the DOE to stop 

22    cherry-picking when they tested water and for 

23    centralized results from these tests.  Comparing 

24    this crisis to the water crisis started in Flint, 

25    Michigan, parent activists highlighted testimony 


                                                               4612

 1    of medical doctors in the community who reported 

 2    that the Department of Education thresholds for 

 3    triggering remediation were too high and would 

 4    lead to developmental impact in children.

 5                 Supporting this bill is a 

 6    no-brainer, Mr. President.  By expanding water 

 7    testing in schools, increasing testing frequency, 

 8    removing testing exemptions and lowering the lead 

 9    levels, our state will provide our children with 

10    drinking water in schools that is truly safe and 

11    free of lead contamination.  

12                 I vote aye in support of this bill 

13    because our children have the right to clean 

14    water in their schools.

15                 Thank you, Mr. President.

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

17    Jackson to be recorded in the affirmative.

18                 Senator Rivera to explain his vote.

19                 SENATOR RIVERA:   Thank you, 

20    Mr. President.

21                 It's great to speak after 

22    Senator Jackson, because I think that he, in the 

23    great loud way that he always does, explained it 

24    very well.  At the end of the day, Mr. President, 

25    this is about making sure that we test schools 


                                                               4613

 1    all across the state for lead.  

 2                 We don't have to go over all 

 3    obviously the damages that lead can cause to a 

 4    young person's mind, to a young child's mind.  

 5    And so making sure that we test it, we test it 

 6    often, is the way to make sure that we can 

 7    identify the places that it needs to be 

 8    remediated.  

 9                 And I will also say, Mr. President, 

10    that I'm very glad to say that this is one -- I 

11    believe another one that that brilliant 

12    knucklehead that I mentioned earlier was very 

13    busy with.  Because I don't think, Mr. President, 

14    that I've ever had a bill that has as many 

15    support memos as this one does.  

16                 So I'm very proud to be voting in 

17    the affirmative, Mr. President.  Thank you.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator  

19    Rivera to be recorded in the affirmative.

20                 Announce the results.

21                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

23    bill is passed.

24                 Senator Gianaris, that completes the 

25    reading of today's supplemental calendar.


                                                               4614

 1                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Thank you, 

 2    Mr. President.  

 3                 We're going to stand at ease 

 4    momentarily because we're waiting for our 

 5    Judiciary chair to arrive for the nominations.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 7    Senate will stand at ease.

 8                 (Whereupon, the Senate stood at ease 

 9    at 3:13 p.m.)

10                 (Whereupon, the Senate reconvened at 

11    3:19 p.m.)

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

13    Senate will return to order.  

14                 Senator Gianaris.

15                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

16    there's a report of the Judiciary Committee at 

17    the desk.  Please take it up and recognize 

18    Senator Hoylman on that report.

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

20    Secretary will read.

21                 THE SECRETARY:   Senator Hoylman, 

22    from the Committee on Judiciary, offers the 

23    following nominations.  

24                 As Associate Judges of the Court of 

25    Appeals:  Madeline Singas and Anthony Cannataro.


                                                               4615

 1                 As judges of the Court of Claims:  

 2    Damaris E. Torrent; Rhonda Ziomaida Tomlinson; 

 3    Philippe Solages; Ramon E. Rivera; Gary Francis 

 4    Miret; Honorable Linda Kelly Mejias; Honorable 

 5    Debra L. Givens; and Alicia Gerez.  

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 7    Hoylman.

 8                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Thank you, 

 9    Mr. President.  

10                 I move the nominations to the floor.  

11                 Please recognize any Senator wishing 

12    to speak on said nominations.

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

14    Jackson on the nominations.

15                 SENATOR JACKSON:   Mr. President, 

16    what nomination are we referring to?

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   All the 

18    judicial nominations that were just recognized by 

19    Senator Hoylman.

20                 SENATOR JACKSON:   Thank you.  Thank 

21    you, Mr. President.

22                 So I rise this afternoon to explain 

23    my support for the nomination of Justice Anthony 

24    Cannataro to the Court of Appeals.  

25                 First of all, let me congratulate 


                                                               4616

 1    the Majority counsel and our Senate leader for 

 2    moving the process of confirming the nomination 

 3    of Justice Cannataro along with such civility 

 4    that I believe speaks well of the New York State 

 5    Senate.

 6                 The decision concerning 

 7    Justice Cannataro's nomination was an easy one 

 8    for me to make.  As some of you know, 

 9    Justice Cannataro has been a continuing legal 

10    education instructor on many vital topics, 

11    including ethics, LGBT, custody law, child 

12    welfare law, and municipal litigation.  He is the 

13    citywide administrative judge for the Civil Court 

14    of the City of New York, and he has held several 

15    judicial offices, being first elected to the 

16    Civil Court in 2011 and the Supreme Court in 

17    2007.  

18                 Before serving on the bench, 

19    Justice Cannataro served as a law clerk to the 

20    Supreme Court in New York County and assistant 

21    corporation counsel in the Tort Division of the 

22    City Law Department.

23                 In addition, he is cochair of the 

24    Richard C. Failla LGBTQ Commission of the State 

25    Courts and serves on other judicial committees.


                                                               4617

 1                 Given the background, I'm happy to 

 2    vote for Justice Cannataro based on his resume, 

 3    professional conduct, because we have known each 

 4    other for quite some time now and he's a 

 5    constituent of mine.  And I know him to be a good 

 6    person, an honorable man, and one of good moral 

 7    character.  There is absolutely no doubt in my 

 8    mind that Justice Cannataro is qualified to sit 

 9    on the highest court in the State of New York.

10                 Moreover, he seems to have the 

11    comportment and the temperament that makes for a 

12    good judge.  He is humble, personally decent, and 

13    respectful of different points of view.  

14                 Therefore, Mr. President, I vote yes 

15    to confirm Justice Anthony Cannataro.

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   

17    Senator --

18                 SENATOR JACKSON:  Mr. President --

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Oh, 

20    sorry.

21                 SENATOR JACKSON:   -- I have a 

22    statement regarding the other Supreme Court 

23    nominee.  Do I continue or wait?

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

25    Continue, please.


                                                               4618

 1                 SENATOR JACKSON:   Thank you, 

 2    Mr. President.

 3                 So I take this vote today to confirm 

 4    nominees for the highest court in the State of 

 5    New York very seriously.

 6                 Having been before the Court of 

 7    Appeals on three different times in the Campaign 

 8    for Fiscal Equity lawsuit as a plaintiff myself 

 9    during CFE, to cast a vote on these nominations 

10    as a State Senator is a full-circle moment for 

11    me.  

12                 I rise to explain my no vote for 

13    Madeline Singas' nomination to the Court of 

14    Appeals.

15                 During District Attorney Singas' 

16    career as a prosecutor, she has too often sided 

17    with destructive criminal justice policies that 

18    have disproportionately harmed Black and Brown 

19    communities.

20                 It would be a mistake to appoint a 

21    prosecutor with no appellate legal experience who 

22    has shown nothing but antagonism toward reforms 

23    we've made to our unjust criminal justice system.  

24    It is well documented that she opposed the 

25    historic bail reform legislation we passed in 


                                                               4619

 1    2019.

 2                 District Attorney Singas has 

 3    consistently advocated for increased punishment, 

 4    even for nonviolent offenses.  Her refusal to 

 5    press charges against eight police officers who 

 6    were caught on video physically assaulting fellow 

 7    Nassau County resident Akbar Rogers troubles me.  

 8    As a man of principle and as a legislator of 

 9    conscience committed to dismantling systemic 

10    racism rooted within our criminal justice system, 

11    I cannot ignore District Attorney Singas' record 

12    on harm to communities like mine.

13                 I vote no, Mr. President, on 

14    District Attorney Singas' nomination.  I do not 

15    believe that she is the right fit to serve on our 

16    state's highest court.

17                 Thank you.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

19    Gaughran on the nominations.

20                 SENATOR GAUGHRAN:   Thank you, 

21    Mr. President.

22                 First I would like to offer my 

23    congratulations to all of the nominees and to 

24    thank them for their willingness to provide 

25    service to this great state.  In particular, 


                                                               4620

 1    though, I would like to rise in support of the 

 2    nomination of Madeline Singas to the Court of 

 3    Appeals.  

 4                 I know our district attorneys across 

 5    this state face many difficulties, and every day 

 6    they have to make life-changing decisions.  They 

 7    have the unique power to revoke somebody's 

 8    liberties, and they also have the tremendous 

 9    responsibility of being a voice for the 

10    voiceless.

11                 And that's who Madeline Singas is.  

12    And in Nassau County we have one of the best 

13    attorneys in the State of New York.  She has been 

14    a lifelong voice for the voiceless.

15                 Madeline Singas is a career public 

16    servant who has worked long and hard to 

17    effectuate change.  She's spent almost her entire 

18    career championing equity for all, especially 

19    furthering the rights of the disenfranchised.  A 

20    daughter of immigrants, Madeline Singas 

21    understands the difficulties facing those who 

22    come to our nation to seek a better life.  And as 

23    a mother and as a prosecutor, she has been a 

24    fierce advocate for women's rights.

25                 From her work in the Domestic 


                                                               4621

 1    Violence Bureau, it was this day-to-day 

 2    commitment to work and to public service that 

 3    brought Madeline Singas to Nassau County, where 

 4    she created the Special Victims Bureau, a unit 

 5    committed to helping all, because she has been 

 6    fighting her whole life.

 7                 So today I have the true honor of 

 8    casting my vote in favor of Madeline Singas to 

 9    the Court of Appeals, where I am confident she 

10    will be a fair and impartial judge.

11                 Mr. President, I vote in the 

12    affirmative.

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

14    Rivera on the nominations.

15                 SENATOR RIVERA:   Thank you, 

16    Mr. President.

17                 I rise to speak on two nominations 

18    that are before us, one for Madeline Singas for 

19    the Court of Appeals, and one for Rhonda Ziomaida 

20    Tomlinson, Esquire, for the Court of Claims.  I 

21    will speak on the latter very quickly.  And this 

22    is actually in relationship to both of these 

23    nominations.  

24                 We have to certainly consider who 

25    the people are as individuals.  And from 


                                                               4622

 1    everything that I've heard certainly about 

 2    Ms. Singas -- or let's say District Attorney 

 3    Singas, she seems to be a very wonderful person, 

 4    wonderful mother, et cetera.  

 5                 My goal as a legislator, however, 

 6    and the responsibility that I believe we all have 

 7    is to make a determination about whether we 

 8    should agree with an appointment from the 

 9    Governor based on what her actions have actually 

10    been while in office, what her actions have been 

11    professionally, Mr. President.  

12                 And I believe that in both cases 

13    there have been actions which, to my view, 

14    disqualify both of these individuals from serving 

15    either in the Court of Claims or in the Court of 

16    Appeals.

17                 In the case of Ms. Tomlinson, when 

18    she served as an administrative law judge for 

19    Rikers, there's many reports that she was 

20    actually encouraging folks to find technical 

21    violations to make sure that people stayed in 

22    Rikers, as opposed to figuring out how these 

23    folks could be actually bailed out.

24                 But most specifically for 

25    Ms. Singas, there's just a few instances that 


                                                               4623

 1    I'll mention.  Earlier today there was a 

 2    Judiciary meeting in which she was asked directly 

 3    whether she -- and this is a recent report of 

 4    a -- a recent article, I should say, that talks 

 5    about a report which she edited, which she 

 6    admitted that she had done so.  And although 

 7    certainly it happened many years ago and she 

 8    could not remember every single page in this 

 9    report, it was made clear by one of my 

10    colleagues -- as was made clear by one of my 

11    colleagues, there was an acknowledgement of this 

12    editing, and then some of the sections that were 

13    edited out of this report had information that 

14    was ultimately used to exonerate the three people 

15    who were found -- who were convicted earlier in 

16    Ms. Singas' career.  

17                 That is not in question.  These 

18    folks were convicted.  They were later 

19    exonerated.  And the information that was edited 

20    out of this report, which she admitted today she 

21    edited, was information that was used to 

22    exonerate.  That is incredibly problematic, 

23    Mr. President.

24                 And then if we consider what we've 

25    done in the last couple of years in trying to 


                                                               4624

 1    change our criminal justice system to one that is 

 2    not purely punitive -- and we certainly have had 

 3    a lot of debates, both privately and publicly and 

 4    on the floor of this Senate about changing the 

 5    criminal justice system -- there's instances in 

 6    which she has not only expressed resistance to 

 7    some of the changes that we've done but, as has 

 8    also been reported and has not been -- it has not 

 9    been -- she has not denied that this has 

10    occurred, senior attorneys in her office are 

11    actually teaching district attorneys around the 

12    state, after we passed our bail reform, how to 

13    make sure that we could keep those pesky 

14    criminals still in prison and make sure that 

15    we're not -- that folks that were not eligible 

16    for bail would still -- we can figure out how to 

17    teach you how to work around the system.  This 

18    was something that was reported at the time after 

19    we approved our changes.

20                 So bottom line, again, she might be 

21    a wonderful person, and I know that there are -- 

22    that there are some communities which feel that 

23    they have not had representation at this level 

24    and that they are seeking to do so, and I'm proud 

25    for them.  And she certainly has been somebody 


                                                               4625

 1    who has been -- who has achieved a lot, and I do 

 2    not question her professional achievements.

 3                 However, I do think that at this 

 4    moment we should ask ourselves not only whether 

 5    she is a good mom or whether she is for a 

 6    particular ethnic community, but more importantly 

 7    what are her actions, what are her stances, and 

 8    ultimately what do we think -- we have to judge 

 9    what her potential actions might be as a Court of 

10    Appeals judge.

11                 And I believe that every action that 

12    I've seen her take tells me that this is not 

13    someone that we should appoint.  So I will be 

14    voting in the negative.

15                 Thank you, Mr. President.

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

17    Biaggi on the nominations.

18                 SENATOR BIAGGI:   Thank you, 

19    Mr. President.

20                 I rise today to explain my 

21    opposition to District Attorney Madeline Singas's 

22    nomination to the New York State Court of 

23    Appeals.  

24                 In a moment I believe when our state 

25    and our country really are experiencing not only 


                                                               4626

 1    this unprecedented and long overdue racial 

 2    justice reckoning, but our judiciary across this 

 3    country is experiencing a national reckoning.  

 4    And I think it's extremely harmful to appoint a 

 5    judge who shown an active resistance to a 

 6    criminal equitable legal system -- equitable 

 7    criminal legal system, excuse me.

 8                 Throughout D.A. Singas's long career 

 9    as a prosecutor, what has occurred to me is that 

10    she has sided with harmful criminal justice 

11    policies.  And let me give you an example.  

12    Earlier today I had the opportunity to question 

13    D.A. Singas directly during the Senate Judiciary 

14    meeting.  I asked D.A. Singas about a police 

15    report she had worked on that contained 

16    information crucial to the exoneration of three 

17    innocent men in another case in Queens.

18                 Why is this important?  Because 

19    somebody who does not have experience on the 

20    judiciary, you have to look at their other 

21    experience.  And her other experience is as a 

22    prosecutor in the Queens D.A.'s office.

23                 Okay.  After confirming that she was 

24    involved in redacting the report, she would not 

25    speak to whether she knew that the redacted 


                                                               4627

 1    information could have helped with an 

 2    exoneration.  If she redacted the report, we can 

 3    only assume that she was aware of the evidence in 

 4    it that would have exonerated three innocent men.

 5                 Instead, Gary Johnson, George Bell 

 6    and Rohan Bolt spent 24 years in prison.  

 7                 One of the most basic 

 8    responsibilities of any lawyer, and most 

 9    especially prosecutors, is to speak up when they 

10    know that something is wrong.  Through her 

11    career, she has sided with tough-on-crime 

12    policies, opposed bail reform, and supported 

13    policies that increased incarceratory punishment.

14                 The New York State Court of Appeals, 

15    our state's highest court, is entrusted with 

16    issuing decisions that shape the fundamental 

17    rights of all New Yorkers.  And I cannot in good 

18    faith vote in favor of D.A. Singas's nomination.  

19    I believe her past support of her for maintaining 

20    harmful criminal justice policies renders her 

21    unfit to serve on the Court of Appeals.  

22                 And so today I vote nay and 

23    encourage my colleagues to do the same.

24                 Thank you very much.

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator  


                                                               4628

 1    Kaminsky on the nominations.

 2                 SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Thank you, 

 3    Mr. President.

 4                 I rise to speak in favor of nominee 

 5    District Attorney Madeline Singas for the Court 

 6    of Appeals.  

 7                 And I have a bit of a different 

 8    perspective from which to evaluate District 

 9    Attorney Singas's ability to serve on the court, 

10    because she was my first boss when I served as an 

11    assistant district attorney in Queens.  And as 

12    the deputy bureau chief of the Domestic Violence 

13    Bureau, I learned a lot from Madeline Singas.  

14    And the important things I learned were it's not 

15    about winning and losing, it's about justice and 

16    fairness.

17                 There's never a question with 

18    Madeline Singas about what to do when there's 

19    information you either can or cannot turn over.  

20    The answer is always turn it over.  There's never 

21    a question about what to do when you could sneak 

22    that extra advantage in the case.  The answer is 

23    you don't do it, you play fair.

24                 That's always how Madeline Singas 

25    has acted, and that's why she's enjoyed the 


                                                               4629

 1    respect of her peers, the people for whom she's 

 2    worked, defense attorneys on the other side of 

 3    the aisle, and the bar and the judiciary across 

 4    counties, whether that is Queens or in Nassau.

 5                 Madeline has achieved tremendous 

 6    heights based on her tenacious approach, her hard 

 7    work, but above all her ability to level set, be 

 8    fair with everyone she comes into contact with.  

 9    That's enabled both the Nassau DA's office to be 

10    one of the most forward-looking offices, but also 

11    to keep Nassau County as safe as possible 

12    throughout lot of different turbulence.

13                 So I have no question whatsoever 

14    that Madeline Singas will be a good judge, a fair 

15    judge, that she will not be bringing baggage with 

16    her.  She will evaluate everything fairly, 

17    afresh, and follow the facts and the law wherever 

18    they dictate, regardless of who that may help or 

19    harm.

20                 So, Mr. President, I rise to 

21    announce my vote in support of Madeline Singas 

22    and this excellent slate of judges that were put 

23    forward today, including Alicia Gerez from my 

24    city of Long Beach, who is going to do us proud 

25    as a Court of Claims judge, and I 


                                                               4630

 1    enthusiastically vote in the affirmative.

 2                 Thank you.

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 4    Thomas on the nominations.

 5                 SENATOR THOMAS:   Thank you, 

 6    Mr. President.  I rise in support of the 

 7    nomination of D.A. Madeline Singas.  

 8                 There's been a lot said about her 

 9    during these couple of weeks since the nomination 

10    came out.  I know her as a fair individual, a 

11    good human being, a good district attorney.  

12    Listen, she's had a very tough job.  Her 

13    number-one priority was to the County of Nassau 

14    as their top law enforcement officer.

15                 The district attorney has some very 

16    important roles in Nassau County, and that is to 

17    protect our constituents.  And she's done that in 

18    a very, very effective way.

19                 With a tough job comes certain 

20    criticisms.  But she has been as progressive as 

21    she can be in a county such as Nassau.  She has 

22    enacted reforms that would allow individuals to 

23    have a second chance.  During our judicial 

24    hearing I asked her straight out whether she had 

25    anything to do with the rise in incarcerations in 


                                                               4631

 1    Nassau, and she responded by saying no.  The 

 2    reforms she put in place gave individuals a 

 3    second chance and actually lowered the 

 4    incarcerations.

 5                 Now, her being a judge in the top 

 6    court here in New York has nothing to do with her 

 7    role as a prosecutor.  We need to look to see 

 8    whether she can do a great job.  And she can.  

 9                 She's going to be fair, she's going 

10    to be effective.  She's got a great head on her 

11    shoulders.  And I am proud to vote yes on her 

12    confirmation.

13                 Thank you.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

15    question is on the nominations.  All in favor --

16                 Senator Lanza.

17                 SENATOR LANZA:   Mr. President, I 

18    request a slow roll call on this vote.  I ask 

19    that five members stand in support of that 

20    request.  And I see that five of our members are 

21    standing, supporting that request.

22                 Now, I know during these COVID times 

23    the protocol in place here in the chamber does 

24    not allow us to do a lot of things that we would 

25    normally be able to do.  And the Majority has 


                                                               4632

 1    been, led by the leader and Senator Gianaris, 

 2    extremely accommodating in allowing us to work 

 3    around the protocol here.

 4                 So what I would ask of the Majority, 

 5    of you, Mr. President, Senator Gianaris, is that 

 6    you allow this slow roll call to be recorded in 

 7    the same way we've done it with respect to other 

 8    matters, by having paper being filed by each 

 9    member recording the individual members' votes up 

10    or down.

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

12    Lanza, a slow roll call is not in order on a 

13    nomination.

14                 Senator Gianaris.

15                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Thank you, 

16    Mr. President.

17                 As you point out, the specific 

18    procedure that Senator Lanza is seeking is not 

19    provided for in the rules.  

20                 I think what we are prepared to do 

21    is, as we did on yesterday's nominations, anyone 

22    that wishes to record their vote in the negative, 

23    please record it with the desk or with the 

24    Majority or Minority counsel staff, and it will 

25    be in the Journal for public information.


                                                               4633

 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   It is 

 2    so ordered.

 3                 The question is on the nominations.  

 4                 All in favor signify by saying aye.

 5                 Senator Lanza.

 6                 SENATOR LANZA:   Thank you, 

 7    Mr. President.

 8                 Just so I understand, so will each 

 9    member of this chamber's votes, either in the 

10    affirmative or negative, be recorded on the 

11    Journal?  

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

13    Gianaris.

14                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

15    we're not here to have a debate on the procedure.  

16                 But the procedure is exactly the 

17    same as we used yesterday.  Negative votes will 

18    be recorded in the Journal, and anyone wishing to 

19    be recorded in the negative please let the floor 

20    counsel staff know or the desk know.

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

22    Senator Serino.

23                 SENATOR SERINO:   Thank you, 

24    Mr. President.  I would like to explain my vote.  

25                 My no vote on all and any of the 


                                                               4634

 1    candidates has nothing to do with their 

 2    qualifications but everything to do with the 

 3    Governor that is under investigation for 

 4    impeachment.  He should not be allowed to appoint 

 5    anyone.  

 6                 And I know that the majority of our 

 7    body, both sides, have actually asked for him to 

 8    resign.  So we should not be bringing these 

 9    appointees forward.  So I am a no vote.

10                 Thank you.

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

12    Borrello on the nominations.

13                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Thank you, 

14    Mr. President.

15                 I agree that this is a process 

16    that's extremely flawed.  We were handed these 

17    resumes, which were mostly whitewashed and 

18    redacted, and asked to vote on them in a very 

19    short period of time.

20                 So I am also going to be recorded as 

21    a no on all of them, despite the fact that I feel 

22    that there are some very qualified people that 

23    have been nominated.  It's the process that is 

24    flawed.  It is not transparent.  We need more 

25    time to do our own investigation, to vet these 


                                                               4635

 1    candidates, because this is certainly not being 

 2    done for us by this Governor, who is so steeped 

 3    in controversy.  He's actually nominating people 

 4    that could potentially be jurors if we ever do 

 5    have an impeachment trial here in this chamber.

 6                 So while I have confidence in many 

 7    of the nominees, I lack confidence in the process 

 8    and certainly lack confidence in this Governor to 

 9    put forth honest nominations.  

10                 I will be recorded in the "no."  

11    Thank you, Mr. President.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

13    Rath on the nominations.

14                 SENATOR RATH:   Thank you, 

15    Mr. President.

16                 I will also be recorded in the 

17    negative over objections to the process.

18                 We in the State Senate are members 

19    of a deliberative body, a body that should take 

20    its time, put in its due diligence and do the 

21    work necessary and make decisions accordingly.  

22    We have not had the chance to do the work 

23    necessary to make a decision.  

24                 Although I am not questioning at all 

25    the qualifications of any one of these judicial 


                                                               4636

 1    nominees -- in fact, many of them are very 

 2    qualified -- this process is broken.  And with a 

 3    broken process, with a clear conscience I cannot 

 4    vote in favor, so I will be in the negative on 

 5    all of them.

 6                 Thank you, Mr. President.

 7                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 8    Stec on the nominations.

 9                 SENATOR STEC:   Thank you, 

10    Mr. President.  I rise to explain my vote on 

11    these nominations.  

12                 I too will be voting in the negative 

13    on this slate.  My concerns are regarding 

14    process.  We are living in unusual times.  We are 

15    all in unusual times.  Everyone in this room is 

16    wearing a mask.  We're in a hundred-year 

17    pandemic.  All of our procedures are out of the 

18    norm.  All of our procedures are unique this 

19    year.  And with less than 20 percent of the body 

20    present in this room, it's impossible to do a 

21    true fast roll call vote.  

22                 And so for those reasons -- we are 

23    looking at a Governor that is now in a position 

24    where he is looking at a potential impeachment, 

25    and he is in a position to appoint people that 


                                                               4637

 1    will serve as jurors.  So this whole situation is 

 2    unprecedented.  

 3                 And I don't think it's an 

 4    unreasonable request at all for our conference to 

 5    ask for a slow roll call vote on this.  So for 

 6    all those reasons and the process and getting to 

 7    pick your own jury, I will be voting against this 

 8    slate of nominees.

 9                 Thank you.

10                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

11    Griffo on the nominations.

12                 SENATOR GRIFFO:   Thank you, 

13    Mr. President.

14                 It's challenging, obviously, under 

15    these circumstances, and I appreciate the flow of 

16    the chamber.  I will also be casting a vote in 

17    the negative.  And I am concerned for the reasons 

18    that you've heard my colleagues say.  

19                 At a time when there are so many 

20    clouds of uncertainty, to be making these type of 

21    nominations where they could be putting the 

22    judiciary in a situation where they have to be 

23    judging the individual that was appointing the 

24    appointing officer is very problematic.

25                 But beyond that, it's the process 


                                                               4638

 1    itself.  And we've talked about that in the past 

 2    here on both sides of the aisle.  To think that 

 3    we are confirming candidates to the highest court 

 4    in the State of New York on the same day as they 

 5    appear just does not make a lot of sense.  

 6                 And it's something that I have long 

 7    expressed my concerns and frustrations over, and 

 8    yet it continues again today, that the Executive 

 9    just puts these nominations before this body in 

10    the remaining days of session, and as a result 

11    we're making votes and decisions on very 

12    significant positions in our government.  

13                 When you talk about the balance of 

14    power between the Executive, the Judiciary and 

15    the Legislature, three coequal branches of 

16    government, these appointments for our 

17    consideration under advice and consent are 

18    crucial.

19                 So for those reasons and the way the 

20    Court of Appeals was put together today, I will 

21    be casting a negative for all of the nominees, 

22    not as a reflection on their capacity or talents, 

23    but on the process and the situation and the 

24    circumstances that currently exist.

25                 Thank you, Mr. President.


                                                               4639

 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 2    O'Mara on the nominations.

 3                 SENATOR O'MARA:   Thank you, 

 4    Mr. President.  

 5                 I rise again today to vote nay on 

 6    these nominations to be appointed to the Court of 

 7    Claims and to the highest Court in New York 

 8    State, the Court of Appeals -- two of which of 

 9    these judges are to be to be appointed to the 

10    Court of Appeals for 14-year terms.

11                 These names were just submitted to 

12    the Legislature, the Senate last week.  There has 

13    not been ample time to investigate and to vet 

14    these candidates' lengthy histories, lengthy 

15    resumes that they have submitted.  There's no 

16    doubt there's qualified candidates here, but this 

17    process is just plain wrong.

18                 And to not even have a recorded vote 

19    in this chamber appointing two justices to the 

20    highest court of the state for 14-year terms -- 

21    it's not even clear from the way this vote is 

22    being taken as to whether there's even a majority 

23    of votes to approve these appointments.

24                 We need a full showing of the votes 

25    of the members of this chamber to show to the 


                                                               4640

 1    people of New York State that these justices are 

 2    being appointed by a majority of the New York 

 3    State Senate.  There is no evidence or proof of 

 4    that under this process that we're following here 

 5    today.

 6                 And I object to that, and therefore 

 7    I vote no to every one of these appointments.

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 9    Boyle on the nominations.

10                 SENATOR BOYLE:   Thank you, 

11    Mr. President.

12                 As the ranking Minority member on 

13    the Judiciary Committee, I had the opportunity to 

14    listen to all the nominees today.  And really 

15    impressive resumes and backgrounds.  Good people.

16                 My problem, as with my colleagues on 

17    this side of the aisle, is with the process.  To 

18    give you some idea of how crazy this is, the 

19    question I had asked the two Court of Appeals 

20    nominees was to ask them if they could be 

21    impartial, because they were being nominated by 

22    someone who may be sitting in this chamber -- may 

23    be sitting in this chamber a few months from now 

24    with an impeachment trial.  And they will 

25    potentially be jurors on the trial of the guy who 


                                                               4641

 1    nominated them.

 2                 Is that a bad process or is that a 

 3    bad process?  It doesn't get worse than that.

 4                 It's unfortunate that we had to do 

 5    this at this late hour.  We should have had more 

 6    time.  I personally think that these nominees 

 7    should not have been put forward by the sitting 

 8    Governor.  We could have waited on some of these, 

 9    and it would have been a much better process with 

10    more vetting.

11                 For that, Mr. President, I'm going 

12    to vote nay on all the nominees except for 

13    Madeline Singas, the district attorney of 

14    Nassau County, who I have the greatest respect 

15    for.  Thank you.

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

17    Gianaris.

18                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

19    in consultation with our counsel at the top, and 

20    in consideration of the request, both the ayes 

21    and the nays will be recorded in the Journal.  

22                 It will be treated the way that 

23    noncontroversial votes are treated.  If someone's 

24    in the bank and they're not absent, they will be 

25    considered an aye.  If someone's indicating to 


                                                               4642

 1    the desk or the floor counsel that they are a no, 

 2    that will be recorded as well.

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 4    Lanza.

 5                 SENATOR LANZA:   Mr. President, I 

 6    just want to say I know it's difficult, these are 

 7    very trying times, and the protocol under which 

 8    we are operating has made this perhaps one of the 

 9    most different sessions in recent history.  

10                 I want to thank the Majority and 

11    thank Senator Gianaris for that accommodation.  

12    And by unanimous consent, obviously, we accept.

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   So 

14    ordered.

15                 Senator Helming on the nominations.

16                 SENATOR HELMING:   Thank you, 

17    Mr. President.  I rise to explain my vote on the 

18    appointments to the Court of Appeals and the 

19    Court of Claims.

20                 I will be voting no to all 

21    appointments.  As some of my colleagues have 

22    said, this is a flawed process.  It's not a 

23    transparent process at all.

24                 This week we have voted on a number 

25    of pieces of legislation that mandate that local 


                                                               4643

 1    governments take certain actions to become more 

 2    transparent, to make sure that the public has 

 3    more opportunity to view what's going on and to 

 4    weigh in.  

 5                 And I truly believe that the 

 6    New York State Senate should lead by example, and 

 7    we're not doing that.

 8                 So as I said, I will be voting no 

 9    because it's a rushed process, it's not 

10    transparent, and also because I just think that 

11    it's plain wrong, that the way the process works, 

12    the appointments will be made, finalized by the 

13    Governor, and then you know what, a few weeks 

14    later we may see that these same people are asked 

15    to take a position on impeaching the Governor.

16                 So for those reasons and others, I 

17    vote no.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

19    question is on the nominations.

20                 All in favor say aye.

21                 (Response of "Aye.")

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

23    Opposed?  

24                 (Response of "Nay.")

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 


                                                               4644

 1    nominees are confirmed.

 2                 Senator Gianaris.

 3                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Okay.  Thank 

 4    you, Mr. President.

 5                 Now let's go on to the controversial 

 6    calendar.  I know we have a number of bills that 

 7    are up for debate, beginning with Calendar 1165.

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 9    Secretary will ring the bell.

10                 The Secretary will read.  

11                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

12    1165, Senate Print 5909, by Senator Kaminsky, an 

13    act to amend the Insurance Law.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

15    Lanza, why do you rise?

16                 SENATOR LANZA:   Mr. President, I 

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

18    waive the reading of that amendment and ask that 

19    Senator Borrello be recognized and heard.

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Thank 

21    you, Senator Lanza.  

22                 Upon review of the amendment, in 

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

24    nongermane and out of order at this time.

25                 SENATOR LANZA:   Accordingly, 


                                                               4645

 1    Mr. President, I appeal the chair's ruling and 

 2    ask that Senator Borrello be recognized.

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 4    appeal has been made and recognized, and 

 5    Senator Borrello may be heard.

 6                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Thank you, 

 7    Mr. President.

 8                 Today I rise to appeal the ruling of 

 9    the chair.  This amendment is germane because the 

10    bill-in-chief deals with the insurance laws, and 

11    the Governor's used his extraordinary powers in 

12    this pandemic, using his executive orders, to 

13    amend these insurance laws several times.  So it 

14    is germane, in my opinion.

15                 You know, we are certainly in 

16    extraordinary times, as we just witnessed.  But 

17    back on March 3rd of 2020, more than 15 months 

18    ago, I stood on the floor of this chamber and I 

19    said that any Legislature that would cede this 

20    much power to the Executive will be very 

21    reluctant to take it away.

22                 And here we are more than 15 months 

23    later dealing with the fallout of that day.  And 

24    there was some hope back on March 5th of 2021 

25    when the Majority told us they were going to 


                                                               4646

 1    repeal the Governor's executive authority.  And 

 2    what have we seen since then, in the three months 

 3    that have passed?  More chaos.  A Governor that 

 4    has been so embroiled in scandal that he is now 

 5    using the executive authority granted by this 

 6    body as a foil, a political foil against us and 

 7    against the people of New York State.

 8                 I'm fielding calls right now from 

 9    angry parents about this ridiculous mask mandate 

10    that he's been flip-flopping on.  Superintendents 

11    that don't know what they're supposed to do.  

12    Stories of children literally passing out because 

13    during the height of this pandemic they didn't 

14    have to wear a mask, and now they do.  For what 

15    reason?  What science?  What justification?

16                 Today we have an amendment, the 

17    47th time that myself and my colleagues have 

18    presented this amendment to truly repeal the 

19    Governor's executive powers.  

20                 This pandemic has been unusual, but 

21    what has been more unusual is the fact that we've 

22    let something that's supposed to be used for a 

23    natural disaster to extend for nearly a year and 

24    a half, with no end in sight.  

25                 Until we do this, until we end the 


                                                               4647

 1    state of emergency, there is no end in sight for 

 2    this ridiculous and archaic one-man rule in 

 3    New York State.

 4                 You know, yesterday we did a press 

 5    conference and I made a reference to the Governor 

 6    and the way he's acting being like a scene out of 

 7    the Game of Thrones.  Well, ladies and gentlemen, 

 8    today's the day.  We need to dethrone the Mad 

 9    King and pass this amendment.

10                 Thank you, Mr. President.

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Thank 

12    you, Senator Borrello.

13                 I want to remind the house that the 

14    vote is on the procedures of the house and the 

15    ruling of the chair.

16                 Those in favor of overruling the 

17    chair signify by saying aye.

18                 SENATOR LANZA:   Request a show of 

19    hands.

20                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

21    we have agreed to waive the showing of hands and 

22    record each member of the Minority in the 

23    affirmative.

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Without 

25    objection, so ordered.


                                                               4648

 1                 Announce the results.

 2                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 20.

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

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

 5    is before the house.

 6                 Are there any other Senators wishing 

 7    to be heard?

 8                 Seeing and hearing none, debate is 

 9    closed.  The Secretary will ring the bell.

10                 Read the last section.

11                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 4.  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:    

17    Announce the results.

18                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

20    bill is passed.

21                 The Secretary will read.

22                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

23    725, Assembly Print Number 126A, by 

24    Assemblymember Gottfried, an act to amend the 

25    Public Health Law.


                                                               4649

 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 2    Borrello.

 3                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Yes, thank you, 

 4    Mr. President.  Would the sponsor yield for some 

 5    questions.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 7    the sponsor yield?

 8                 SENATOR SKOUFIS:   Yes.

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

10    sponsor yields.

11                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Yes, thank you.  

12    Through you, Mr. President.  Senator Skoufis, 

13    thank you very much.  Appreciate it.

14                 So I understand the purpose here to 

15    try and identify potential contaminants.  And I 

16    think we all want to know that our water is safe.  

17    But I'm just curious, out of this list of 

18    contaminants that you presented, how many of them 

19    have been confirmed to be actually dangerous by 

20    either the EPA or the DEC?

21                 SENATOR SKOUFIS:   Through you, 

22    Mr. President, I appreciate the question.  

23                 And when we are dealing with 

24    contaminants and how to regulate contaminants, 

25    I'm a big believer in following the science and 


                                                               4650

 1    following the scientists.  And in this case this 

 2    bill deals with 40 particular contaminants.  And 

 3    I break it into two different categories.  The 

 4    first category are 13 contaminants that are on 

 5    the EPA's Third Unregulated Contaminant 

 6    Monitoring Rule, UCMR 3.  The next category are 

 7    27 PFAS contaminants that will be listed in the 

 8    forthcoming UCMR 5.  

 9                 And so all 40 of these contaminants 

10    are -- you know, we're not just pulling these out 

11    of the sky and guessing, oh, well, this one's 

12    harmful, this one's not harmful.  All 40 of these 

13    are listed by the EPA as emerging contaminants.  

14                 And furthermore -- through you, 

15    Mr. President -- you know, I will note that it is 

16    the -- if you'll bear with me, the Agency for 

17    Toxic Substances and Disease Registry that states 

18    that PFAS exposure has a whole host of 

19    potentially dangerous issues associated with 

20    them, including increased cholesterol levels, 

21    decreased vaccine response in children, changes 

22    in liver enzymes, increased risk of high blood 

23    pressure, especially in pregnant women, small 

24    decreases in infant birth weights and increased 

25    risk of kidney and testicular cancer as 


                                                               4651

 1    carcinogens.

 2                 And so for all these reasons, these 

 3    40 emerging contaminants ought to be tested in 

 4    New York State's water systems, and that's what 

 5    we look to do in this bill.

 6                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Thank you, 

 7    Mr. President.  Will the sponsor continue to 

 8    yield.

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

10    the sponsor yield?

11                 SENATOR SKOUFIS:   Yes.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

13    sponsor yields.

14                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   So you mentioned 

15    PFAS as a class.  Are you familiar with the 

16    recent decision in Vermont about the regulating 

17    and the ability to regulate PFAS as a class?

18                 SENATOR SKOUFIS:   Through you, 

19    Mr. President, please enlighten me.

20                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   (Laughing.)  I 

21    guess briefly on the bill to enlighten the 

22    Senator.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

24    Borrello on the bill.

25                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   So the Vermont 


                                                               4652

 1    Agency of Natural Resources issued a decision 

 2    late last year concluding that it's currently not 

 3    feasible to regulate PFAS as a class based on 

 4    available peer reviewed literature and available  

 5    toxicological data.  

 6                 So what does that mean?  That means 

 7    that we are trying to hit a moving target that 

 8    ultimately will result in having to identify and 

 9    mitigate something that they actually cannot 

10    determine is going to be able to be able to be 

11    identified and mitigated.  

12                 We're making our local governments 

13    and those folks that are in charge of our water 

14    supplies try to hit a moving target that, as you 

15    said, the science can't really prove can be 

16    identified properly.

17                 So with that said, could I ask the 

18    sponsor to yield for another question.

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

20    the sponsor yield?

21                 SENATOR SKOUFIS:   Yes, 

22    Mr. President.  But if I may first make a comment 

23    in response and be on the bill for a moment.

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

25    Skoufis on the bill.


                                                               4653

 1                 SENATOR SKOUFIS:   So just briefly 

 2    in response, there are a couple of issues raised 

 3    there.

 4                 First, yes, my colleague is 

 5    absolutely correct, in that the PFAS family is 

 6    expansive, it's extensive, and the 40 chemicals 

 7    that we're looking for here, including the 

 8    27 PFAS chemicals on the UCMR 5, is the tip of 

 9    the iceberg.

10                 However, these 40 have been 

11    identified.  We talk about, well, we can't 

12    identify all of them.  These 40 have been 

13    identified.  They have been classified as 

14    potentially dangerous -- in some cases, very 

15    dangerous for New Yorkers and all people.  And 

16    importantly, though, all 40 of these can be 

17    tested for.  

18                 So obviously, you know, we're not 

19    going to require testing of PFAS chemicals if 

20    there is no approved test to identify those 

21    chemicals.  All 40 of these in fact can be tested 

22    with seven EPA-approved tests.  

23                 And furthermore, through you, 

24    Mr. President, I'll just note cost was raised.  

25    And certainly as someone who comes from a town 


                                                               4654

 1    board and has been at this in Albany for a number 

 2    of years, I'm sensitive to costs that we push 

 3    onto local governments.

 4                 I will just note that the UCMR 3, 

 5    the 13 contaminants that if you have water 

 6    systems with more than 10,000 customers, you're 

 7    already testing for, but the UCMR 3 tests, we're 

 8    talking $50 to about $400 per sample per testing 

 9    method.  We're not talking tens, hundreds of 

10    thousands of dollars.  We're talking literally 

11    dollars in the hundreds range to make sure that a 

12    water system's drinking water is safe.

13                 And the other 27 PFAS chemicals, 

14    we're talking 300 to 600 dollars for a test 

15    sample.

16                 So no one is breaking the bank under 

17    this bill.  And this is a negligible cost to make 

18    sure that New York's water systems are safe.

19                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   I guess before 

20    you go on to the question, on the bill.

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

22    Borrello on the bill.

23                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Well, I 

24    understand that the testing may be negligible in 

25    your opinion.  But having just recently dealt 


                                                               4655

 1    with this in my district, it's not the testing, 

 2    it's the mitigation for something that is 

 3    inherently unproven to be a true contaminant.  We 

 4    had a situation where it was millions of dollars 

 5    and people went without water for a significant 

 6    amount of time for a particular chemical that is 

 7    not on the list for the EPA or the DEC as an 

 8    actual proven contaminant.

 9                 So we can point to a lot of things 

10    that we feel would be a contaminant in our air, 

11    our water, our ground, but we have to actually 

12    have some due diligence.  

13                 And with that, I will ask if the -- 

14    on that same note, I will ask if the sponsor will 

15    yield.

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

17    the sponsor yield?

18                 SENATOR SKOUFIS:   Yes.

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

20    sponsor yields.

21                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   So through you, 

22    Mr. President.

23                 The current Drinking Water Quality 

24    Council is already required to review emergent 

25    contaminants, are they not?  Isn't this 


                                                               4656

 1    legislation duplicative?

 2                 SENATOR SKOUFIS:   Through you, 

 3    Mr. President, the answer to the first part of 

 4    your question is yes, they exist.  

 5                 The reason -- the answer to the 

 6    second part of your question is no, it's not 

 7    duplicative, because the Department of Health and 

 8    this council have completely dropped the ball and 

 9    have been derelict in their responsibilities on 

10    this issue.

11                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Mr. President, 

12    will the sponsor continue to yield.

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

14    the sponsor yield?

15                 SENATOR SKOUFIS:   Yes.

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

17    sponsor yields.

18                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Through you, 

19    Mr. President.  Well, I understand your concern, 

20    but if you're concerned about the Drinking Water 

21    Quality Council being administered under the 

22    Department of Health, how is DOH possibly going 

23    to issue regulations for up to 4,000 different 

24    chemistries in this class for the PFAS?  I mean, 

25    you're already saying that they've dropped the 


                                                               4657

 1    ball.  Now you're basically burdening them with 

 2    something even further.

 3                 You know, right now this has got to 

 4    be enforced by the Department of Health no matter 

 5    what.  So isn't this going to be an even further 

 6    burden?

 7                 SENATOR SKOUFIS:   Through you, 

 8    Mr. President.  So this bill mandates 

 9    implementation.  It does not have some open-ended 

10    actionable requirement here.  In fact, we amended 

11    the bill to try and accommodate the work that 

12    would be necessary for implementation at the 

13    Department of Health.  

14                 And so the DOH will have 90 days 

15    upon enactment of this bill.  And it's not to 

16    promulgate regulations and implement this 

17    legislation and add these emerging contaminants, 

18    the 4,000 that were mentioned.  No.  We're 

19    looking at 40 here.  And I think that even for 

20    the Department of Health, they have the 

21    wherewithal and the capacity to implement 40 new 

22    contaminants and add them to their emerging list.

23                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Mr. President, 

24    will the sponsor continue to yield.

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 


                                                               4658

 1    the sponsor yield?

 2                 SENATOR SKOUFIS:   Yes.

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 4    sponsor yields.

 5                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   All right.  

 6    Well, in that case, does the DEC or the EPA have 

 7    any data indicating the presence of these 

 8    40 contaminants in our state's drinking water?

 9                 SENATOR SKOUFIS:   Through you, 

10    Mr. President, that's an excellent question.  And 

11    no, this was raised on the previous debate on the 

12    first version of this bill.  

13                 And what I can tell you is that 

14    again, referring back to those two categories 

15    that are within the bill, the 13 and the 27, all 

16    13 in that first category have been found 

17    someplace in some water system in New York State.  

18    And so -- and the 27 are on a forthcoming EPA 

19    list.  And so those haven't hit the stream of 

20    testing yet throughout the country.

21                 But on the list that exists, all 13, 

22    found in New York.  

23                 And so this is not some 

24    hypothetical.  These are real chemicals.  They're 

25    found throughout the state, throughout the 


                                                               4659

 1    country.  And it's important to know where they 

 2    are so we can best protect people's drinking 

 3    water.

 4                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Mr. President, 

 5    on the bill.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 7    Borrello on the bill.

 8                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   First of all, 

 9    thank you, Senator Skoufis, for the engagement 

10    today.  

11                 You know, we all want safe water, 

12    there's no question of that.  But we have a 

13    process here.  And I would say that the New York 

14    State Department of Environmental Conservation 

15    and all the other commissions and agencies have 

16    created the highest standard in the nation when 

17    it comes to the safety of our water.  And they 

18    have experts.  And they have a due diligence 

19    process.  And they look at these things 

20    methodically.  

21                 And with the consultation with the 

22    EPA, we do have in New York, and really in the 

23    United States of America, probably the safest 

24    drinking water in the world.

25                 But then you get politics involved.  


                                                               4660

 1    And the politics here is that we're going to try 

 2    and put the cart before the horse.  That we're 

 3    going to send our local water suppliers, which 

 4    are usually, in my area, small municipalities, 

 5    out to chase after so-called contaminants that we 

 6    really can't prove are actually going to cause 

 7    harm.  We can't produce an actual impacted 

 8    victim.  But yet we're going to spend millions of 

 9    dollars -- and actually, in some cases, put 

10    people at risk of not having clean water -- in 

11    order to put forth this political agenda.

12                 But there's also -- there's 

13    something in this bill that does trouble me, and 

14    we see this in a lot of the bills here that pass 

15    in this chamber, and that's the right of personal 

16    action.  We're going to allow people to sue.  

17    We're going to allow the vultures out there to 

18    sue our water suppliers for things that we can't 

19    actually prove harm anyone.

20                 So what does that mean?  Well, that 

21    means that the taxpayers and the ratepayers are 

22    going to pay.  They're going to pay to settle 

23    lawsuits for things that we cannot really point 

24    to as truly causing harm.  

25                 So we want clean water.  We want 


                                                               4661

 1    clean air.  But we also want people to be able to 

 2    afford those things.  And by putting this bill 

 3    forth today, basically overruling the DEC and the 

 4    process that we have to ensure these contaminants 

 5    are actually proven to be harmful, we are 

 6    basically putting the trial lawyers in charge 

 7    once again.  And that's going to be costly to the 

 8    people who supply the most basic of all of our 

 9    needs, and that's water.

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

11    Thank you.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Are 

13    there any other Senators wishing to be heard? 

14                 Seeing and hearing none, debate is 

15    closed.  The Secretary will ring the bell.

16                 Read the last section.

17                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

18    act shall take effect immediately.

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

20    the roll.

21                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

23    Skoufis to explain his vote.

24                 SENATOR SKOUFIS:   Thank you very 

25    much, Mr. President.


                                                               4662

 1                 And I appreciate my colleagues for 

 2    considering their support of this legislation.

 3                 You know, water is something that we 

 4    take for granted when things are going well.  We 

 5    use it to cook, we use it to bathe, we obviously 

 6    use it to drink.  Then you have Hoosick Falls 

 7    happen.  Then you have the City of Newburgh 

 8    happen.  Most recently you have many wells in 

 9    Rockland County found with PFAS.  And now 

10    suddenly that natural resource that we all depend 

11    on, day in and day out of our lives, we no longer 

12    take for granted.

13                 The challenge is those situations 

14    where you think everything is okay but in fact 

15    things are not.  And that's why testing is so 

16    crucial, that's why this bill is so necessary, to 

17    make sure that all New Yorkers -- regardless of 

18    the size of their water system, regardless of 

19    which emerging contaminants list is coming out of 

20    the EPA -- we have testing in place so that both 

21    the constituents of ours as well as the 

22    communities who can do something about this have 

23    the wherewithal and the knowledge to act.

24                 And so this bill creates a safer and 

25    healthier New York State and makes sure that we 


                                                               4663

 1    have far fewer Hoosick Falls and City of 

 2    Newburghs and so on and so on.

 3                 Thank you very much, Mr. President.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 5    Skoufis to be recorded in the affirmative.

 6                 Announce the results.

 7                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

 8    Calendar 725, those Senators voting in the 

 9    negative are Senators Akshar, Borrello, Gallivan, 

10    Griffo, Oberacker, O'Mara, Ortt, Rath and Stec.

11                 Ayes, 54.  Nays, 9.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

13    bill is passed.

14                 Senator Gianaris.

15                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Thank you.  

16                 The next bill we're taking up is 

17    Calendar 1617, please, Mr. President.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

19    Secretary will read.

20                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

21    1617, Senate Print 699B, by Senator Hoylman, an 

22    act to amend the Environmental Conservation Law.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

24    Stec.

25                 SENATOR STEC:   Mr. President, will 


                                                               4664

 1    the sponsor please yield.

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

 3    Sponsor, do you yield?

 4                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Yes.

 5                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 6    sponsor yields.  

 7                 SENATOR STEC:   Good afternoon, 

 8    Senator Hoylman, how are you?

 9                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Well, thank you.

10                 SENATOR STEC:   Through you, 

11    Mr. President, if the sponsor would yield, I have 

12    just a few questions I'd like to ask.  

13                 The first question would be does the 

14    Department of Environmental Conservation Law 

15    currently as staffed have the resources to 

16    implement the terms of this legislation?

17                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Yes.  Through 

18    you, Mr. President, thank you.  Thank you to my 

19    colleague for this question.

20                 Let me just start off by saying what 

21    this bill does, if I could indulge you.  This 

22    bill provides targeted, science-based 

23    restrictions on the use of pesticides called 

24    neonicotinoids, and then requires the New York 

25    City -- apropos to your question -- Department of 


                                                               4665

 1    Environmental Conservation, directs them to study 

 2    and identify practicable and feasible 

 3    alternatives to such pesticides.  

 4                 And the reason we need to focus on 

 5    neonicotinoids -- or neonics, which is a little 

 6    easier to say -- through this legislation, which 

 7    by the way is called the Birds and the Bees 

 8    Protection Act.  I never thought we'd be talking 

 9    about the birds and the bees here on the floor of 

10    the Senate.  

11                 But neonics are everywhere.  They're 

12    persistent, they're toxic, they're 48 times more 

13    harmful to insects than any other insecticide 

14    that has been used by mankind.  They broadly 

15    contaminate water, soil and plants, and they kill 

16    bees.  A study showed recently from Cornell that 

17    this has had an enormous impact on bee colonies.  

18    Forty percent of New York beekeepers have -- 

19    excuse me, New York beekeepers have lost more 

20    than 40 percent of their bee colonies nearly 

21    every year for the last decade.  

22                 And they also kill birds.  If a bird 

23    ingests one seed that's been coated with 

24    neonicotinoids, it will kill them.  

25                 So it is a persistent and enormous 


                                                               4666

 1    problem.  That's why Canada, that's why Europe 

 2    have banned completely neonicotinoid use.  But we 

 3    here are providing a targeted, science-based 

 4    restriction on their uses because of a report 

 5    published by Cornell University in 2020 that 

 6    suggested that neonicotinoids pose the greatest 

 7    threat to pollinators while providing little to 

 8    no benefit to users, or that are easily 

 9    replicable with safer alternatives.

10                 That said, does DEC have the 

11    resources to do what this bill sets out to do, 

12    which would require them to look for acceptable 

13    alternatives by 2024, in this "safe harbor" 

14    provision and determine if there were 

15    unreasonable costs associated with them banning 

16    neonicotinoids?  Yes.  They can survey the 

17    literature, they can speak to scientists within 

18    their own department, and they can also look to 

19    uses for alternatives in other jurisdictions such 

20    as have been used in Canada and Europe.

21                 SENATOR STEC:   Thank you.

22                 Mr. President, through you.

23                 So does the DEC --

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Are you 

25    asking the sponsor to yield?  


                                                               4667

 1                 SENATOR STEC:   Do you yield?  I'm 

 2    sorry.  

 3                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   I do, 

 4    Mr. President.

 5                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:  The 

 6    sponsor yields.  

 7                 SENATOR STEC:   I'm sorry.  Thank 

 8    you, Mr. President.

 9                 Does the DEC -- in the meantime, 

10    before 2024, what would the condition of the use 

11    of neonics be in the industry in New York State?  

12    Would they be allowed or not allowed during this 

13    study period?  

14                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   They would not 

15    be -- they would not be -- the ban on the sale, 

16    distribution and purchase of neonicotinoid- 

17    treated seeds -- by the way, it's only for a 

18    select group of seeds, for corn, soybean and 

19    wheat crops, the only seeds that are going to be 

20    banned for the sale.  That would begin in 2024.  

21                 And then at that point there's a 

22    safe-harbor provision that keeps the prohibition 

23    from taking effect if the department determines 

24    that there are no acceptable alternatives that 

25    exist that would not result in unreasonable costs 


                                                               4668

 1    to farmers.

 2                 SENATOR STEC:   Mr. President, if 

 3    the sponsor would please yield.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Will 

 5    the sponsor yield? 

 6                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   I do.  Thank you, 

 7    Mr. President.

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 9    sponsor yields.

10                 SENATOR STEC:   To that point, 

11    though, does the bill define "unreasonable"?  I 

12    mean, everyone -- it's all in the eye of the 

13    beholder.  Does the bill define "unreasonable"?  

14    And specifically, does it factor in the added 

15    cost for getting nontreated -- now we're asking 

16    for specialty seeds that -- I mean, New York is a 

17    big ag state but it isn't the Midwest.  So now 

18    we're going to be expecting seed providers to, 

19    what, make a New York blend for us?  That could 

20    be more expensive.  Certainly other pesticide 

21    uses are going to have to increase.  Yields are 

22    going to go down.  We're going to be using more 

23    acreage.  

24                 So now while the seeds are going to 

25    be more expensive, we're going to be using more 


                                                               4669

 1    acreage, we're going to be having lower yields.  

 2    So there's other costs that are going to factor 

 3    in.

 4                 So does that all get factored into 

 5    what falls under "unreasonable"?  

 6                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Yes.  So the 

 7    question -- through you, Mr. President, the 

 8    question whether unreasonable cost is defined, it 

 9    is that -- unreasonable cost is determined in 

10    consultation with the Department of Ag & Markets, 

11    after having a public hearing.  

12                 Obviously unreasonable costs is a -- 

13    could be a moving target.  But we need to 

14    determine that at the time that the agency makes 

15    that determination, so they would seek 

16    consultation with the Department of Ag & Markets 

17    and have a hearing in connection with that 

18    determination.

19                 SENATOR STEC:   Mr. President, 

20    through you, if the sponsor would yield.

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

22    the sponsor yield?

23                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   I do.

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

25    sponsor yields.


                                                               4670

 1                 SENATOR STEC:   All right, thank 

 2    you.

 3                 Now, has this -- you mentioned the 

 4    Cornell report a couple of times.  Has that been 

 5    officially peer-reviewed?  

 6                 And furthermore, it's my 

 7    understanding that the Biden EPA is currently 

 8    studying this.  I mean, I'm sure you get a little 

 9    nervous about New York, you know, standing out so 

10    far that we put ourselves in an awkward position 

11    where we're hurting our farms, you know, 

12    needlessly compared to our neighboring states.  

13                 So part two of the question about 

14    the peer-reviewed part is, wouldn't it be wise to 

15    wait for the Biden EPA to come up with something 

16    so it's a level playing field and we don't hazard 

17    our New York farms against the rest of the 

18    industry in the country?  

19                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Well, this 

20    important study by Cornell, obviously one of 

21    New York's finest institutions, is based on 

22    peer-reviewed data.  

23                 And I think it's important that 

24    New York act and not wait for the federal 

25    government, given the enormous destructive power 


                                                               4671

 1    of neonicotinoids, the fact that it's been 

 2    showing up in state water testing.  Thirty 

 3    percent of Long Island groundwater samples are 

 4    indicating a very high probability that these 

 5    pesticides are causing ecosystem-wide damage here 

 6    in New York.

 7                 It is a crisis that needs to be 

 8    averted now.

 9                 SENATOR STEC:   Thank you.  

10                 Mr. President, if the sponsor would 

11    continue to yield.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

13    the sponsor yield?

14                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Yes.

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

16    sponsor yields.

17                 SENATOR STEC:   I want to follow up, 

18    because I heard you say that the Cornell report 

19    was generated using other peer-reviewed material.  

20    But I didn't hear you answer my question if the 

21    Cornell report itself has been peer-reviewed.

22                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Through you, 

23    Mr. President, the Cornell study is a summary of 

24    hundreds of peer-reviewed studies, so it 

25    therefore stands on its own in that regard.


                                                               4672

 1                 SENATOR STEC:   Mr. President, if 

 2    the sponsor would yield for just a couple more 

 3    quick questions.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 5    the sponsor yield?

 6                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   I do.

 7                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 8    sponsor yields.

 9                 SENATOR STEC:   You said earlier 

10    that this was limited to a handful of seeds.  So 

11    specifically, if you could list those again.  

12                 And I want to make crystal-clear, 

13    does that have any application, then, in the 

14    forest industry?  Are there any forest products 

15    that are going to be caught up in this ban?  

16                 And for time's sake, if I could, so 

17    what would the procedure be if our future DEC 

18    determines through a public hearing process that 

19    this isn't a good -- we're not heading down the 

20    right path, it's too expensive, it's not 

21    reasonable?  How do we unring this bell if 

22    there's been damage done to the ag industry 

23    because we just increased the price of their 

24    seeds tenfold?  

25                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Through you, 


                                                               4673

 1    Mr. President.  Let's be clear that this is a 

 2    targeted, science-based restriction on the use of 

 3    these pesticides containing neonicotinoids, which 

 4    are linked, again, to massive losses of bees and 

 5    other pollinators, pollinators that farmers need.  

 6                 And we've seen the impact on those 

 7    pollinators.  It is really undercutting the 

 8    future of New York State agriculture to not 

 9    address this problem now.

10                 These pesticides, Mr. President, 

11    only came about in the 1990s.  It's not like 

12    farmers have been using these for that many years 

13    to begin with.  

14                 But in terms of will it have a -- 

15    what is their other application, let's be clear, 

16    we are talking about only several types of seeds.  

17    This would be -- as I said earlier, it would only 

18    affect the family of soy, wheat and corn as 

19    seeds.  

20                 And in terms of forestry products, I 

21    do want to point out, Mr. President, that this 

22    legislation would also ban the direct application 

23    of pesticides containing neonicotinoids on 

24    outdoor ornamental plants and turf starting in 

25    2023.  So that's the direct application of 


                                                               4674

 1    neonicotinoids on these outdoor ornamental 

 2    plants.

 3                 The reason this is important is 

 4    because the pesticide runs off into the ground, 

 5    and it impacts the soil and the groundwater.  

 6    Which is why we are talking about seeds for those 

 7    three types of crops, and ornamental plants as it 

 8    pertains to direct application.

 9                 SENATOR STEC:   All right, thank 

10    you.  

11                 Mr. President, if the sponsor would 

12    continue to yield.

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

14    the sponsor yield?

15                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   I do.

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

17    sponsor yields.

18                 SENATOR STEC:   I apologize, I'm not 

19    familiar with your district, but hopefully it 

20    won't surprise you to know that my district has a 

21    awful lot of agriculture going on, from 

22    Washington County all the way to the Canadian 

23    border.  I've talked to a lot of farmers.  

24    Farmers tell me that like a -- a good analogy 

25    might be antibiotics.  You know, that you don't 


                                                               4675

 1    want to become overreliant, you want to have as 

 2    many available to you so that you don't have the 

 3    body become resistant to one type of antibiotic.  

 4    And they make that akin to pesticides, that the 

 5    more that are legal and regulated gives them more 

 6    flexibility so that you don't start to develop a 

 7    resistance to that.  And so they would prefer a 

 8    diversified pesticide offering to them.

 9                 Do you think that eliminating a 

10    class of pesticides will benefit farmers in that 

11    regard?

12                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Well, I think -- 

13    through you, Mr. President, I do think that we've 

14    seen overuse of neonicotinoids, a blanket usage 

15    of them as -- on treated seeds.  And that is 

16    creating the analogy that you raise, that our 

17    colleague raises about resistance.  

18                 I think that I would agree that we 

19    need to look for alternatives, because we see 

20    that the current product being used, 

21    neonicotinoid, is devastating to pollinators -- 

22    namely, bees.  And we've seen that colonies 

23    decline, and we've seen colony collapse as a 

24    phenomenon, not just in different parts of the 

25    world but here in New York State.  


                                                               4676

 1                 And that's why we have such strong 

 2    support from a wide range of environmental 

 3    organizations, including Audubon, Catskill, Earth 

 4    Justice, Friends of the Earth, NRDC, Sierra Club 

 5    and more, because of their dangers.  

 6                 So this is meant to prompt the 

 7    market, Mr. President, to disrupt the market, for 

 8    New York State to say to the private market:  You 

 9    have to find some cost-effective alternatives, 

10    because this isn't working for our environment 

11    and you're undermining one of the key components 

12    of our agricultural industry, which is the 

13    pollinators themselves.  Which we rely on, both 

14    bees and colonies that are kept by keepers, but 

15    also wild bees, which borrow in the ground, where 

16    these seeds are so dangerous due to that runoff I 

17    mentioned earlier.

18                 SENATOR STEC:   Mr. President, if 

19    the sponsor would continue to yield.

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

21    the sponsor yield?

22                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   I do.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

24    sponsor yields.

25                 SENATOR STEC:   I certainly 


                                                               4677

 1    appreciate that a lot of environmental groups are 

 2    supportive of this.  Are there any farm 

 3    organizations in New York State -- or anywhere in 

 4    the country, for that matter -- that are in 

 5    support of this legislation?  Is the New York 

 6    State Farm Bureau supportive?  I mean, they have 

 7    an interest in a healthy pollinator population.  

 8    They know better than all of us how the birds and 

 9    the bees work.

10                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Through you, 

11    Mr. President, we have -- if you notice, this is 

12    a B print, which means B as in --  

13                 (Laughter.)

14                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   -- "bee."  And 

15    because of that B print, we have had many 

16    conversations with the Farm Bureau and made 

17    significant amendments to the legislation to 

18    address their concerns.

19                 SENATOR STEC:   Mr. President, 

20    through you, if the sponsor would yield.

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

22    sponsor yields.

23                 SENATOR STEC:   All right, in the 

24    interests of time I'll take that last answer as 

25    no, the Farm Bureau is not in support.


                                                               4678

 1                 But I just -- to wrap up, do we have 

 2    estimates on what this will do?  Like I said 

 3    before, the seed manufacturers are going to have 

 4    to say, All right, we've got to shut down and 

 5    make the New York version of the corn seed that 

 6    they want to buy, because they have special 

 7    restrictions on us.  

 8                 You know, a changeover like that in 

 9    a small market is going to add to cost.  Do we 

10    have any estimates, do you have any estimates for 

11    soy, wheat and corn, what it will do to the cost 

12    of seed and to the yields of those three crops in 

13    New York State?

14                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Through you, 

15    Mr. President.  Well, you know, that's part of 

16    what the Cornell University report looked at, was 

17    cost-benefit analysis to show that while on the 

18    one hand neonicotinoids provide the greatest 

19    threat to pollinators, they provide little to no 

20    benefit to users or they are easily replaceable.  

21    There are many organic farmers that use no 

22    treated seeds.  

23                 But we are allowing the market to 

24    emerge, and that's what's I think creative about 

25    this bill, is that we're telling the good folks 


                                                               4679

 1    who treat -- who create insecticides that, you 

 2    know, this is an opportunity for you to come up 

 3    with something that's safer for pollinators, 

 4    safer for our food products, more productive for 

 5    the industry, because we want to preserve those 

 6    pollinators, and frankly healthier for the 

 7    environment and our children's future overall.  

 8                 SENATOR STEC:   Mr. President, if I 

 9    can go on the bill, please.  

10                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

11    Stec on the bill.

12                 SENATOR STEC:   All right, thank 

13    you.  I appreciate my colleague's time in 

14    answering my questions.  

15                 I think it's clear from my line of 

16    questioning I have a lot of concerns.  The 

17    farmers that I represent in the six counties of 

18    Northern New York that I represent are very 

19    concerned about this.  

20                 I'm concerned that we're moving 

21    forward with legislation that the Farm Bureau is 

22    saying is not a good idea.  

23                 I'm concerned about what it's going 

24    to do -- I'm concerned about making our 

25    agriculture community a guinea pig or a canary, 


                                                               4680

 1    if you will, in the mine with the rest of this 

 2    country.  There's not another state that's 

 3    regulating these neonics in this way, and I think 

 4    we're putting an awful lot of burden on our small 

 5    family farms by doing something that's 

 6    experimental -- and well-intentioned, but, you 

 7    know, certainly -- again, I think the farmers 

 8    should be listened to and should be heard when we 

 9    craft legislation so that we don't in Albany, in 

10    places that don't represent a lot of farms, say 

11    "We know best how to operate your farm," and have 

12    that roll down to the good folks that are growing 

13    our food and dealing with, you know, everything 

14    that Mother Nature throws at them and Albany.

15                 So for that reason, I'll be opposed 

16    to this legislation and encourage my colleagues 

17    to vote in the negative.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

19    Borrello.

20                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Thank you, 

21    Mr. President.  Will the sponsor yield for some 

22    questions.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

24    the sponsor yield?

25                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Yes.


                                                               4681

 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 2    sponsor yields.

 3                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Thank you.  

 4                 Senator Hoylman, appreciate this.  

 5                 First of all, I know in the borough 

 6    of Manhattan there's probably not a lot of 

 7    farmers, but I appreciate your interest in this 

 8    issue.  And unfortunately I think it's horribly 

 9    misguided, and that's why the Farm Bureau and 

10    some of the others are against this.  

11                 But you mentioned the Cornell 

12    report.  I'm just curious, do you -- this report, 

13    did it actually do a risk analysis to understand 

14    the risk that farmers undertake when choosing 

15    whether or not to use treated seeds?  

16                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Through you, 

17    Mr. President.  Yes, they did a cost-benefit 

18    analysis.

19                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Mr. President, 

20    will the sponsor continue to yield.

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Will 

22    the sponsor yield?

23                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Yes.

24                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   No, this is 

25    on --


                                                               4682

 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 2    sponsor yields.

 3                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Thank you.  I'm 

 4    sorry.

 5                  -- risk analysis.  According to 

 6    what I've read, there's really no risk analysis 

 7    done as to the -- what the impact will be on our 

 8    farmers.  Could you speak to that in that Cornell 

 9    study?  

10                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Well, through 

11    you, Mr. President, the approach that we see 

12    here, according to the report they say, quote:  

13    In contrast to neonicotinoid applications in 

14    fruit and vegetable crops, routine use of 

15    neonicotinoid -- and everyone has to say that 

16    five times fast -- 

17                 (Laughter.)

18                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   -- neonicotinoid- 

19    treated seeds does not consistently increase net 

20    income for New York field corn or soybean 

21    producers.  That's on page 21 of the report.  

22                 They also go on to say while seed 

23    treatments benefit farmers where there is high 

24    early season pest pressure, these benefits are 

25    limited to a small proportion of the fields.


                                                               4683

 1                 So this supports the bill's 

 2    restriction of certain neonic-treated seeds -- as 

 3    we said, corn, soybean and wheat crops.  This is 

 4    extremely tailored to a certain class of seeds 

 5    for New York State's agricultural uses.

 6                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Mr. President, 

 7    will the sponsor continue to yield.

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Will 

 9    the sponsor yield?

10                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Yes.

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

12    sponsor yields.

13                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Thank you.  

14    Through you, Mr. President.  

15                 Well, what about neonics that need 

16    to be applied to manage our forests and the pests 

17    in our forests?  What will happen there?  

18                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Well, this bans 

19    the -- through you, Mr. President.  This has no 

20    application to forests.  The only direct 

21    application that this bill would ban would be on 

22    outdoor ornamental plants and turf starting in 

23    2023.

24                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Mr. President, 

25    will the sponsor continue to yield. 


                                                               4684

 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 2    the sponsor yield?

 3                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   I do.  

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 5    sponsor yields.

 6                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Well, sir, by 

 7    the reading of -- by me reading the bill, it does 

 8    not seem that it's going to actually apply to 

 9    forests.  I guess I'm -- you know, there is this 

10    application for ornamental trees, but how 

11    specifically would that speak to -- you know, to 

12    these neonics?  And again, we can say what we 

13    want here, but I'm talking about when this is 

14    enforced and this becomes an issue, how are we 

15    guaranteed that we will be able to use proper 

16    pest management on our forests and fields?

17                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Through you, 

18    Mr. President.  I'm having a hard time 

19    understanding the Senator, maybe because of his 

20    mask.  But are you saying "in forest," or 

21    "enforced"?

22                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Both.  So 

23    enforced, when it's being enforced in our forests 

24    and our fields.

25                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Okay.  It's 


                                                               4685

 1    not -- let's be clear, this is not -- through 

 2    you, Mr. President, not -- we are not discussing 

 3    neonicotinoids in the context of use in forests.

 4                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Thank you, 

 5    Mr. President.  Would the sponsor continue to 

 6    yield.

 7                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Yes.

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 9    sponsor yields.

10                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   So are you 

11    familiar with actually how these seeds are used, 

12    how farmers use them and the process that they go 

13    through to ensure that they're used to minimize 

14    the impact on our pollinators?  

15                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Through you, 

16    Mr. President, yes.

17                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Mr. President, 

18    will the sponsor continue to yield.

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

20    the sponsor yield?

21                 SENATOR BORRELLO:  So they're 

22    already using the proper due diligence and best 

23    practices.  You said you were familiar with it.  

24                 Do you feel that this is a flawed 

25    practice at the Farm Bureau and those folks that 


                                                               4686

 1    actually are in the business of ensuring they 

 2    minimize the impact?  Because pollinators are 

 3    incredibly important to our farmers, as you 

 4    mentioned.  Is their process flawed and somehow 

 5    this bill -- you know better than the farmers 

 6    about how they could be used?

 7                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Through you, 

 8    Mr. President.  I don't pretend to know anything 

 9    better than farmers.  I will tell you that 

10    through my entire childhood I baled hay every 

11    summer and lived amongst farms, so I know 

12    something about the hard work that New York's 

13    farmers undertake.  

14                 But I'll say that the use of treated 

15    seeds, generally speaking, is inconsistent, 

16    Mr. President, with the fundamental tenet of 

17    integrated pest management, which stresses that 

18    the use of pesticides should only be in response 

19    to an actual pest infestation, not as a 

20    prophylactic measure.  

21                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Mr. President, 

22    will the sponsor continue to yield.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

24    the sponsor yield?

25                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Yes.


                                                               4687

 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 2    sponsor yields.

 3                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   So you believe 

 4    we should use pesticides after the crops are 

 5    destroyed instead of before?  

 6                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   I'm sorry, would 

 7    you repeat that?

 8                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Yes.  You said 

 9    not to use it in a prophylactic manner.  But 

10    that's the whole point, isn't it?  We're not 

11    going to wait until after the crops are destroyed 

12    to use a pesticide, are we?

13                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Through you, 

14    Mr. President, no.  No one thinks that.  

15                 But an integrated pest management is 

16    one that gets in front of the problem.  Not in 

17    response to an actual -- actual infestation, not 

18    prophylactically, which is what coated seeds, the 

19    approach using neonicotinoids on coated seeds 

20    would point to.

21                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Mr. President, 

22    will the sponsor continue to yield.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

24    the sponsor yield?

25                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Yes.


                                                               4688

 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 2    sponsor yields.

 3                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Through you, 

 4    Mr. President.  So neonicotinoid pesticides were 

 5    developed to replace older, less safe products 

 6    for farmers and foresters.  Could you tell me 

 7    what products will be used in place of the 

 8    treated seeds now, if we're going to ban them?  

 9    And are they any better?  

10                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Through you, 

11    Mr. President.  Well, we don't know for sure.  

12    That's part of what this safe harbor would 

13    determine, if there were acceptable alternatives 

14    that were cost-effective.

15                 But there are a number of pesticides 

16    less problematic than neonicotinoids, because 

17    they are not systemic in plants and not as 

18    persistent in the environment.  Pyrethroid 

19    pesticides is one that Cornell has identified as 

20    a potential.  

21                 Again, we're going to jump-start the 

22    market with this legislation and ensure that 

23    alternatives do come to market before 2024.

24                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Mr. President, 

25    will the sponsor continue to yield.


                                                               4689

 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Will 

 2    the sponsor yield?

 3                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   I do.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 5    sponsor yields.

 6                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   So if there 

 7    was -- you mentioned the Cornell study 

 8    previously.  If there was a study that 

 9    contradicted that, should we take that into 

10    consideration as part of this?  

11                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Through you, 

12    Mr. President, I think it would depend on if it 

13    came from a reputable independent entity that 

14    used peer-reviewed journals and data, as the 

15    Cornell report does.

16                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Mr. President, 

17    will the sponsor continue to yield.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

19    the sponsor yield?

20                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   I do.

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

22    sponsor yields.

23                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Well, in fact 

24    through the EPA we have something called the 

25    Growing Matters coalition, which has pointed out 


                                                               4690

 1    numerous flaws in the study that you're citing 

 2    from Cornell -- including, as I mentioned before, 

 3    the risk assessment, but also just some basic 

 4    flaws in how this calculus was made to determine 

 5    the impact on our pollinators.  

 6                 So I would think that to rely on one 

 7    study -- and I realize you said peer-reviewed, 

 8    but we determined earlier with Senator Stec that 

 9    it was not itself peer-reviewed, even though 

10    there are peer-reviewed studies within the 

11    study -- that we would have a tremendous reason 

12    not to really do something that's going to 

13    ultimately dramatically harm our agriculture 

14    industry in New York State.  Wouldn't you agree?

15                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Through you, 

16    Mr. President.  Look, the Cornell study of the 

17    economic value of the neonicotinoid use was based 

18    on data from over 5,000 field trials.  It was 

19    based on 400 peer-reviewed scientific studies on 

20    the toxicity of neonics.  And I think it is 

21    widely hailed as a report that points toward the 

22    way of how we can address this growing problem of 

23    neonicotinoids.  

24                 We've had beekeepers in this state 

25    who have seen their hives diminish, and the 


                                                               4691

 1    connection to neonicotinoids has been proven time 

 2    and time again.  So we have to act now.

 3                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Mr. President, 

 4    will the sponsor continue to yield.

 5                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 6    the sponsor yield?

 7                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Yes.

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 9    sponsor yields.

10                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   I heard you 

11    comment that you feel that this is going to be a 

12    disrupter to the market, that somehow New York 

13    State's crops are going to somehow set a new 

14    standard and make the industry that creates these 

15    seeds, you know, modify them.

16                 Do you have any idea what percentage 

17    or what fraction that New York's corn and 

18    soybeans are of the entire U.S. market?  

19                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Through you, 

20    Mr. President, I don't have that information.  

21    But I'm happy to hear it.

22                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Sure.  

23    Mr. President, I guess briefly on the bill.

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

25    Borrello on the bill.


                                                               4692

 1                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Thank you.  

 2                 Well, New York State accounts for 

 3    1/90th of the entire market, so a small fraction.  

 4                 I've been in business a long time.  

 5    I actually was in the manufacturing business for 

 6    a long time, and I can tell you that nobody is 

 7    going to be changing what they do for 1/90th of 

 8    the entire market.  That's number one.

 9                 Number two, we are now putting 

10    farmers at further risk.  Because the only 

11    disruption that's going to occur in the market is 

12    the disruption to our food supply chain.  We 

13    learned how fragile it was here in New York State 

14    during the pandemic when folks down in New York 

15    City and the food banks, people that had 

16    food-insecurity issues, couldn't get food because 

17    of the disruption in the supply chain from the 

18    farms in upstate New York.  

19                 We're losing our farms at a record 

20    level, and now we're going to put them in a 

21    position where they cannot protect their crops 

22    and in turn create the food that our folks so 

23    desperately need here in New York State.  

24                 And since there's not going to be 

25    any change to the seeds -- I think we can all 


                                                               4693

 1    agree on that, there is not going to be any 

 2    market disruption -- what's going to happen is 

 3    our competitors in places like Pennsylvania and 

 4    Ohio, right on our border, are going to be 

 5    supplying the food at the expense of New York.  

 6    And they'll be using those new neonicotinoids, we 

 7    can be assured of that.

 8                 So with that being said, I think 

 9    we -- I just have to ask one more time, do you 

10    believe --

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Are you 

12    asking the sponsor to yield for a question?  

13                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Yes, sir.  Will 

14    the sponsor continue to yield?  

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

16    the sponsor yield?

17                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   I do.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

19    sponsor yields.

20                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   So I'm going to 

21    ask it, do you understand how this seed industry 

22    actually works?

23                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Through you, 

24    Mr. President.  Yes.  I will admit, though, as a 

25    legislator and not a farmer, we do rely on the 


                                                               4694

 1    advice, consultation and understanding of others.  

 2    That's why we've spoken to farmers, that's why 

 3    we've amended the legislation, and that's why, 

 4    frankly, there is no food chain disruption.  

 5                 That is almost ludicrous to suggest, 

 6    as we've seen in places like Canada, where 

 7    neonicotinoids are banned outright, in Europe, 

 8    where neonicotinoids are banned outright.  There 

 9    is no disruption to the food chain.  They have 

10    found alternatives.  They have in some cases not 

11    used neonicotinoids or any alternatives; that's 

12    organic farming.

13                 So all due consideration, 

14    Mr. President, to my colleague -- who's on the 

15    same side of the aisle.  I used to say 

16    differently, the other side of the aisle --

17                 (Laughter.)

18                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   -- the fears of 

19    moving to a neonicotinoid-free farming with corn, 

20    soybean and wheat crops are way overblown.

21                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Mr. President, 

22    on the bill.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

24    Borrello on the bill.

25                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Senator Hoylman, 


                                                               4695

 1    thank you for the engagement.

 2                 I know that the Senator has said he 

 3    has spoken to farmers.  I don't think he's spoken 

 4    to any farmers that I am aware of that are 

 5    supporting this.  The Farm Bureau, which 

 6    represents the majority, the vast majority of 

 7    farmers in the state, are vehemently opposed to 

 8    this.

 9                 But, you know, he brings up Canada 

10    and Europe.  Well, the United States is the 

11    breadbasket of the world in so many ways, and we 

12    supply corn and soybeans to many European 

13    nations.  And I believe we certainly export -- we 

14    did at some point, unless there's restrictions, 

15    tariff restrictions -- into Canada.  And New York 

16    State is a part of that because of where we are 

17    geographically located.  

18                 So we have seen so many things that 

19    have harmed our farmers in New York State.  The 

20    pandemic certainly was a part of that, but even 

21    before that.  The impact of everything, the 

22    harmful things that have happened in this chamber 

23    and in this State Legislature.  And they have 

24    persisted, they have been resilient.  And here we 

25    are, we're presenting them with one more 


                                                               4696

 1    challenge.  And how are they going to have to 

 2    face this challenge?  Because they are resilient.  

 3    What they're going to do is they're going to turn 

 4    to pesticides that are going to be far more 

 5    harmful to our environment, far more harmful to 

 6    the ecological balance.

 7                 Because of neonicotinoids, and 

 8    particularly these treated seeds, our farmers use 

 9    ounces -- ounces of pesticides, versus gallons, 

10    per acre.  So we're going to send them back to 

11    that.  We're going to send them -- because 

12    they're going to have to survive, and that's how 

13    they're going to have to survive.

14                 So what are we going to do next?  

15    Well, then we're going to try and ban that.  

16                 And the reality is our pollinators 

17    are certainly at risk.  I understand that, I've 

18    spoken to many folks that are beekeepers.  I 

19    understand.  But there are a lot of factors 

20    involved.  

21                 It's not -- in fact, this is at the 

22    bottom of the list, quite frankly.  The health of 

23    our hives really depends on a number of things:  

24    Hive management, number one.  Parasites.  

25    Disease.  Loss of habitat.  Which we are doing, 


                                                               4697

 1    by the way -- every time we tear down our forests 

 2    and fields and take away our productive farmland 

 3    to put up these ridiculous renewable energy 

 4    projects, that's probably doing more harm to the 

 5    habitat of our pollinators than anything else.  

 6    Not to mention the millions of birds that are 

 7    slaughtered by these wind turbines.  

 8                 So what are we going to do?  We're 

 9    going to change the seeds.  I don't think that's 

10    the answer.  

11                 So the research has shown time and 

12    time again that these pesticides can actually be 

13    adjusted, that there are proper times to apply 

14    them so that we minimize the impact on birds and 

15    bees.  Banning them, being the only state in the 

16    United States to ban them is going to create such 

17    a tremendous burden that it's going to have a 

18    negative impact even on our birds and bees.

19                 This is the problem that we have 

20    here in Albany.  Instead of talking to the people 

21    that are actually in the business, that are the 

22    boots on the ground -- literally, in our 

23    agriculture industry -- we sit in our conference 

24    rooms in Albany and New York City and decide what 

25    we think is good for somebody after never 


                                                               4698

 1    actually setting foot in their business or on 

 2    their property.

 3                 That's the fundamental problem we 

 4    have here in Albany.  And that's the fundamental 

 5    problem with this bill.  We are going to harm our 

 6    agriculture industry.  That's why they don't 

 7    support it.  And to sit here with suits on in 

 8    this nice air-conditioned chamber and decide what 

 9    a farmer should be doing is ridiculous.  And 

10    that's what we're doing today.  

11                 So I'll be voting no.  Thank you, 

12    Mr. President.

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Are 

14    there any other Senators wishing to be heard?

15                 Seeing and hearing none, debate is 

16    closed.  The Secretary will ring the bell.

17                 Read the last section.

18                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 4.  This 

19    act shall take effect on the 90th day after it 

20    shall have become a law.

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

22    the roll.

23                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:    

25    Announce the results.


                                                               4699

 1                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

 2    Calendar 617, those Senators voting in the 

 3    negative are Senators Akshar, Borrello, Gallivan, 

 4    Griffo, Helming, Jordan, Lanza, Mannion, 

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

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

 7    Weik.

 8                 Ayes, 43.  Nays, 20.

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

10    bill is passed.

11                 Senator Kaminsky.

12                 SENATOR KAMINSKY:   We are now 

13    picking up Calendar 978 for debate, please.  

14                 And I ask that you recognize 

15    Senator Stec.

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

17    Secretary will read.

18                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

19    978, Senate Print 4630B, by Senator Kaminsky, an 

20    act to amend the Environmental Conservation Law.

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

22    Stec.

23                 SENATOR STEC:   Thank you, 

24    Mr. President.  If the sponsor would please yield 

25    and perhaps provide an explanation.


                                                               4700

 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 2    the sponsor yield?

 3                 SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Yes.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 5    sponsor yields.

 6                 Please provide an explanation.  

 7                 SENATOR STEC:   If the sponsor would 

 8    care to explain the legislation, please.

 9                 SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Yes, thank you, 

10    Mr. President.  Through you, this bill would ban 

11    the added use of certain flame retardants in 

12    mattresses, furniture and electronic enclosures.  

13    It would take effect for certain products on 

14    January 1, 2024.

15                 SENATOR STEC:   Thank you, 

16    Mr. President.  If the sponsor would yield for a 

17    few questions.

18                 SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Yes.

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

20    the sponsor yield?

21                 SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Yes.

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

23    sponsor yields.

24                 SENATOR STEC:   Thank you.  Through 

25    you, Mr. President.  


                                                               4701

 1                 Senator, if I could -- certainly I 

 2    think everyone in the room appreciates the work 

 3    and the risk that our firefighters take for us 

 4    every day, and I think we all want to accommodate 

 5    them.  And I note that there are many groups of 

 6    firefighters that have expressed their support 

 7    for the legislation.  

 8                 However, there's a part of it that I 

 9    wanted to explore a little bit with you that is 

10    unique to New York and a little concerning that I 

11    think merits a little questioning, and that is 

12    the ban on electronics.  

13                 If you could, I guess my first 

14    question would be have any other states banned 

15    electronics -- the use of flame retardants in 

16    electronics?  

17                 SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Through you, 

18    Mr. President, I think it's important to take 

19    just a bit of a step back here and understand 

20    what these flame-retardant chemicals do.  

21                 They are endocrine disrupters.  They 

22    cause cancer.  They cause cancer in the 

23    population of firefighters, who contract cancer 

24    at a far higher rate than the rest of the 

25    population.  And they also harm children, result 


                                                               4702

 1    in IQ loss and other developmental disabilities.  

 2                 We've had testimony and comments 

 3    from medical professionals.  You know, on the one 

 4    hand you'll hear this from the chemical 

 5    companies; on the other hand, that from another 

 6    group.  The science is clear.  It's not a he 

 7    said, she said, or she said, she said, it is 

 8    clear that studies show that flame retardants do 

 9    not do really anything to prevent fires, but it 

10    is very clear what they do to the human body.  

11    And so it's important that we attack these 

12    chemicals wherever they are.  

13                 The direct answer to your question, 

14    Senator Stec, which I appreciate, is no other 

15    state does this, but the entire European Union 

16    does this.  So with respect -- and we are on the 

17    same timeline really that they are.

18                 So it's important to note that the 

19    major companies we're talking to already have to 

20    comply if they sell an item overseas.  Many 

21    electronic companies don't even use some of these 

22    chemicals.  So if you ask Sony, for example, in 

23    their televisions they don't use any of these 

24    chemicals.  Apple has told us they don't have a 

25    problem with what's contained in this bill.  


                                                               4703

 1                 And to the extent companies are 

 2    using these dangerous products, they have years, 

 3    literally, to figure out how to build their 

 4    products without these dangerous, harmful 

 5    chemicals.

 6                 SENATOR STEC:   Thank you, 

 7    Mr. President.  If the sponsor would continue to 

 8    yield.  

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

10    the sponsor yield?

11                 SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Yes.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

13    sponsor yields.  

14                 SENATOR STEC:   Through you, 

15    Mr. President.  I appreciate that.  

16                 A couple-part question, just 

17    circling back to your mention that the European 

18    Union has banned these.  It's my understanding, 

19    and correct me if I'm wrong, that this was done 

20    recently and that about a year ago litigation was 

21    filed in Europe to put the kibosh on that.  

22    That's part one of the question.

23                 Part two would be -- you mentioned 

24    the sale in New York, so the -- granted, New York 

25    does not manufacture much of anything anymore, 


                                                               4704

 1    especially electronics.  So this would affect 

 2    U.S. companies selling into New York?  Or would 

 3    this be a ban on all electronics made anywhere in 

 4    the world not using these materials in products 

 5    that are sold in New York?

 6                 SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Through you, 

 7    Mr. President.  So for the record, I think kibosh 

 8    is a universal word, not just a European Union 

 9    word.  I think it's widely understood.

10                 But the law went into effect in 

11    March of this year.  There hasn't been anything 

12    stopping it, it's moving forward.  And I think 

13    that we should do the same here, in light of the 

14    ability of these products, both when they burn 

15    but also just when they are existing in a room or 

16    whether a child handles it or breathes in the 

17    air, in light of the particles they give off, 

18    they are unsafe and should not be contained in 

19    any household.

20                 SENATOR STEC:   Through you, 

21    Mr. President.  My second part of my question, if 

22    the sponsor would yield, was what about where 

23    these products originated.  If they're made in 

24    China and sold in New York, can they have this -- 

25    what does the origin of the manufacturing have to 


                                                               4705

 1    do with what's being sold in New York?  

 2                 SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Through you, 

 3    Mr. President, it does not.  They cannot be sold 

 4    in New York if they contain these chemicals.

 5                 SENATOR STEC:   All right, thank 

 6    you.  Mr. President, if the sponsor would 

 7    continue to yield, please.

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 9    the sponsor yield?

10                 SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Yes.

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

12    sponsor yields.

13                 SENATOR STEC:   So through you, 

14    Mr. President, so the bill excludes appliances 

15    but not other electronics.  Can you explain what 

16    we're doing there, or how did we evolve so the 

17    bill reads that way?  

18                 SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Through you, 

19    Mr. President, it matches the language of the 

20    European Union.  

21                 We obviously try to be as consistent 

22    as we can so that the business community has 

23    level ground to play on.  And it may come to a 

24    point where we think that appliances are giving 

25    off enough of these chemicals that it warrants 


                                                               4706

 1    regulation, but we figure this is a good place to 

 2    start and we'll take it from here, and at least 

 3    major manufacturers will be on an even playing 

 4    field whether they sell in Europe or here.

 5                 SENATOR STEC:   Thank you, 

 6    Mr. President.  Through you, if the sponsor would 

 7    yield.

 8                 SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Yes.

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

10    the sponsor yield? 

11                 The sponsor yields.

12                 SENATOR STEC:   Thank you, 

13    Mr. President.

14                 So -- but it's my understanding that 

15    in your legislation, "appliance" is not defined.  

16    And as the bill doesn't define "appliances," the 

17    term will likely have to be defined by I would 

18    assume DEC.  And would that create confusion 

19    amongst all the thousands of electronic products 

20    made around the world as to who is and isn't 

21    included or excluded in the term "appliance"?

22                 SENATOR KAMINSKY:   One moment.

23                 Through you, Mr. President, this 

24    also matches the language in the European Union.  

25                 We have not had any problems with 


                                                               4707

 1    companies that we've talked to, and we've talked 

 2    to many, knowing what an appliance is or is not.  

 3    And the regulations, we think, will be 

 4    interpreted fairly clearly along those lines.

 5                 SENATOR STEC:   All right.  

 6    Mr. President, if the sponsor would continue to 

 7    yield.

 8                 SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Yes.

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

10    sponsor yields.

11                 SENATOR STEC:   Thank you, 

12    Mr. President.  Through you.  So is exercise 

13    equipment included specifically, like a Peloton 

14    or a NordicTrack?  Treadmills, they have screens; 

15    these would have to conform with this.  Are they 

16    captured under this bill?  

17                 SENATOR KAMINSKY:   There's a size 

18    limitation on the screen.  But many of those 

19    products that you are mentioning don't use those 

20    chemicals.

21                 So I know -- the chemical lobby has 

22    sometimes said to people, Oop, you know, you pass 

23    this bill, someone's going to come take away your 

24    Peloton.  As a proud Peloton rider -- and I'll be 

25    proud to put my output up against most of you, 


                                                               4708

 1    although not Senator Liu -- 

 2                 (Laughter.)

 3                 SENATOR KAMINSKY:   -- I just think 

 4    these are scare tactics.  Many of those products 

 5    don't have these chemicals in them at all.  And, 

 6    you know, they -- all the companies are on clear 

 7    notice that if they have a screen big enough, 

 8    they cannot contain these chemicals.  

 9                 If they already do, which we think 

10    is few and far between, they have a few years to 

11    get them out of their products.  No one's coming 

12    into anybody's home taking their products, 

13    causing a problem.  There's a lot of scare 

14    tactics involved in this line of debate.

15                 SENATOR STEC:   Well, I appreciate 

16    that.

17                 Mr. President, if the sponsor would 

18    continue to yield.  

19                 SENATOR KAMINSKY:   And just one 

20    more thing to add, Mr. President.  

21                 You know, Peloton, for example, is 

22    sold in the European Union.  I know this because 

23    some of my favorite Peloton instructors are 

24    broadcasting classes from the European Union.  

25    And so they already have to comply with this 


                                                               4709

 1    anyway.

 2                 SENATOR STEC:   Mr. President, 

 3    through you, the bill limits this --

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Are you 

 5    asking for the sponsor to yield?

 6                 SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Yes.

 7                 SENATOR STEC:   I thought he had, 

 8    and then he --

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:  Will the 

10    sponsor yield?

11                 SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Yes.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

13    sponsor yields.  

14                 SENATOR STEC:   Thank you, 

15    Mr. President.  Through you, the bill is limited 

16    to residential spaces, not offices and cars.  Is 

17    that accurate?  

18                 SENATOR KAMINSKY:   That's accurate, 

19    Mr. President.

20                 SENATOR STEC:   So, Mr. President, 

21    through you, if the sponsor would yield.  

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Will 

23    the sponsor yield?

24                 SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Yes.

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 


                                                               4710

 1    sponsor yields.

 2                 SENATOR STEC:   So an electronic 

 3    device -- the same electronic device, one's in a 

 4    residential space and one's in an office space, 

 5    is the risk of fire similar?  

 6                 SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Through you, 

 7    Mr. President.  I think the argument is a little 

 8    bit too rich to say we don't want this anywhere, 

 9    but why isn't it everywhere?  Which I think is 

10    what the Senator's saying, is hey, we don't -- we 

11    have a problem with this in households, why 

12    aren't you doing it in offices?  

13                 You know, the household environment 

14    is something we have a little bit more control 

15    of.  We're obviously much more worried about 

16    children crawling on the floors of homes, putting 

17    products in their mouths, sitting on top of 

18    mattresses and furniture.  So we thought it was 

19    appropriate to limit this to the household 

20    sphere.

21                 SENATOR STEC:   Okay, Mr. President, 

22    if the sponsor would continue to yield for one or 

23    two more questions.

24                 SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Yes.

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 


                                                               4711

 1    the sponsor yield?

 2                 SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Yes.

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 4    sponsor yields.

 5                 SENATOR STEC:   All right, so -- 

 6    well, I just -- the point of my previous question 

 7    is I always find that there's value in being 

 8    consistent, and physics doesn't change from one 

 9    environment to another.

10                 Does this bill affect internet sales 

11    coming into the state?  I mean, anything that you 

12    buy -- this isn't just stuff that's bought here, 

13    but if you order it from somewhere else and it's 

14    coming into New York, then how are we going to 

15    enforce that?  

16                 SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Through you, 

17    Mr. President, this concerns products sold in 

18    New York.  There is no regulation over the type 

19    of products that Senator Stec references.

20                 SENATOR STEC:   All right.  

21    Mr. President, if the sponsor would yield for one 

22    more question.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

24    the sponsor yield? 

25                 SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Yes.


                                                               4712

 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 2    sponsor yields.

 3                 SENATOR STEC:   Thank you, 

 4    Mr. President.

 5                 So firefighters are generally 

 6    overwhelmingly supportive of this, and certainly 

 7    these chemicals are of great concern.  But I 

 8    wonder -- again, I want to circle back to -- I 

 9    think it's similar to the earlier question that I 

10    asked.  Why is it that no other state has jumped 

11    on the "let's limit them in electronics"?  

12                 These electronic devices have 

13    ignition sources.  I've seen videos, I'm sure you 

14    have as well, of just how fast an electronic 

15    device can catch on fire.  I mean, the difference 

16    between that and furniture, which is where these 

17    bans are more common, is that furniture generally 

18    doesn't have an ignition source unless you bring 

19    it with you in the form of a cigarette.  But, you 

20    know, electronic devices, we've seen a lot of 

21    videos where they can malfunction, overheat, and 

22    they have an ignition source.  

23                 So why is New York State the only 

24    state that seems to be concerned with this, and 

25    other states apparently have considered it and 


                                                               4713

 1    rejected it?

 2                 SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Through you, 

 3    Mr. President.  You know, flame retardants often 

 4    delay ignition for only a few seconds and can 

 5    make fires even more dangerous due to increased 

 6    smoke and toxic gases.  And when organohalogen 

 7    flame retardants are present, fires will produce 

 8    halogenated dioxins and furans which may 

 9    contribute to elevated risks of cancer.  

10                 And it's important to note that when 

11    you want to talk to the authority about whether 

12    something will create a fire hazard, we normally 

13    turn to our fire departments.  And in this state, 

14    both the volunteer and paid fire departments are 

15    in unison in supporting this bill, because they 

16    know that flame retardants are mildly helpful in 

17    only certain circumstances, but very detrimental 

18    when it comes to getting in their gear, getting 

19    into their equipment, inhaling it, and how much 

20    it harms children as well.  

21                 And when weighing those things out, 

22    they have come to the conclusion that they are 

23    far more harmful and that they want to protect 

24    themselves and fellow firefighters from what 

25    these inhalants do to their bodies.  


                                                               4714

 1                 Now, why other states haven't 

 2    tackled this yet, I'm not sure.  But I've stood 

 3    in this chamber many times when we have been the 

 4    first to take on important environmental 

 5    initiatives, and New York's always proud to lead 

 6    in those areas.  Because the European Union has 

 7    done this, because many other states have done 

 8    the mattresses and the furniture part, it's not 

 9    exactly true that this bill is the first of its 

10    kind.  

11                 But we know what the science says, 

12    and there's no need to wait anymore.  We know 

13    what our firefighters say, and there's no need to 

14    wait anymore.  It's time to pass the Firefighter 

15    and Family Protection Act.

16                 SENATOR STEC:   Mr. President, if 

17    the sponsor would yield for one final question.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

19    the sponsor yield?

20                 SENATOR KAMINSKY:   I've heard that 

21    before, but yes.

22                 (Laughter.)

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

24    sponsor yields.  

25                 SENATOR STEC:   Thank you, 


                                                               4715

 1    Mr. President.  That's why I emphasized it.  I 

 2    apologize, I said final question, but just 

 3    listening to your answer -- so the -- similar to 

 4    the previous bill's debate where we talked about 

 5    New York's going to make a change of something 

 6    that's not manufactured in New York on an 

 7    industry -- in this case, a worldwide industry -- 

 8    saying if you want to sell this in New York, you 

 9    have to change your manufacturing process to meet 

10    our standards.  And we're a small part of the 

11    market.

12                 So what do you foresee is going to 

13    happen with the manufacturers in China, Japan, 

14    elsewhere in the world that are making electronic 

15    products for everyone else, and New York might be 

16    1/90th of that market?  Are they -- is the 

17    expectation that they're going to change how they 

18    make it for everyone else on the planet, or are 

19    they going to have their own version of a product 

20    that they're going to sell in New York and, you 

21    know, the obvious inefficiencies and costs of 

22    that?  

23                 I'm just curious what you envision 

24    the reaction of the world manufacturing community 

25    will be.


                                                               4716

 1                 SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Through you, 

 2    Mr. President.  You know, Senator Stec, that's a 

 3    good question.  That's something that we have 

 4    grappled with.  

 5                 I pride myself as being a legislator 

 6    that tries to do research, speak to the groups 

 7    about -- you know, on whom we're passing 

 8    regulations.  We've talked to lots of businesses 

 9    about this.  

10                 And when you survey the field, they 

11    are already doing this, (A) Because they don't 

12    want to be responsible for hurting people, but 

13    also because the European Union demands this.  

14                 So, you know, it's a pretty large 

15    market when you consider how are you going to 

16    produce products for a tremendous part of the 

17    globe.  And we believe that we are on the curve 

18    of a trend of where everyone will be soon.  

19                 Will this cause some disruption?  

20    I'm sure it will.  We've made the decision that 

21    the health of our firefighters and children are 

22    more important.  Companies are already adjusting 

23    and will adjust.  And that by 2024 we'll all be 

24    watching TVs or looking at screens that are going 

25    to look no different than you think they should 


                                                               4717

 1    look, except they're not going to contain these 

 2    dangerous chemicals within them.

 3                 SENATOR STEC:   Mr. President, on 

 4    the bill, please.

 5                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 6    Stec on the bill.

 7                 SENATOR STEC:   Thank you, 

 8    Mr. President.  I appreciate the sponsor's time 

 9    here today and his work on this bill.  I know 

10    he's been working on it very hard.  

11                 And certainly I think we all want 

12    the best for all of our firefighters, and we want 

13    their safety first and foremost.  And I know that 

14    this is a significant cause of concern for them.  

15                 Again, I just -- I am always 

16    cautious about the tail wagging the dog in 

17    New York, you know, under the guise of we're 

18    going to lead and everyone else is going to 

19    follow.  I hope we're right and I think that 

20    we're not doing other harm that could be avoided 

21    in other aspects.  But certainly for the health 

22    of our firefighters, I think we all want to do -- 

23    to make the best decisions we can to make sure 

24    that these men and women that serve and protect 

25    us go home safely.  So I appreciate and respect 


                                                               4718

 1    the sponsor's work in that regard.

 2                 Thank you.

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Are 

 4    there any other Senators wishing to be heard?

 5                 Seeing and hearing none, debate is 

 6    closed.  The Secretary will ring the bell.

 7                 Read the last section.

 8                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 4.  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    Kaminsky to explain his vote.

15                 SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Thank you, 

16    Senator Benjamin.  Thank you, Mr. President.

17                 It is quite weird that the last two 

18    debates I've had in here, my debate opponent has 

19    voted for the bill.  Just weird.  But it's nice, 

20    I guess.  Thank you, Senator Stec.

21                 I am very proud of this bill and I'm 

22    very proud to work with the firefighters across 

23    New York State to protect their health, to 

24    protect the health of our children and make sure 

25    that when things burn, which is bad enough, 


                                                               4719

 1    they're not giving off toxic gases that years 

 2    later will cause cancer in the heroes who look 

 3    after us.  

 4                 And certainly we want our children 

 5    to develop as healthy as possible and not be 

 6    putting dangerous chemicals in their bodies.  

 7    That's what this bill will do.

 8                 I predict in a few years you'll see 

 9    many states joining us, as this is where things 

10    are headed, and I'm very proud of what we've been 

11    able to achieve.  

12                 I want to thank Majority Leader 

13    Stewart-Cousins for her vision in seeing this 

14    bill through, and I look forward to seeing this 

15    become the law.

16                 Thank you very much, Mr. President.  

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

18    Kaminsky to be recorded in the affirmative.

19                 Announce the results.

20                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

22    bill is passed.

23                 Senator Kaminsky.  Senator Kaminsky.  

24                 SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Yes.  We would 

25    now like to call Calendar 1003.  


                                                               4720

 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 2    Secretary will read.

 3                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 4    1003, Senate Print 5724A, by Senator Thomas, an 

 5    act to amend the Civil Practice Law and Rules.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 7    Palumbo.

 8                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Thank you, 

 9    Mr. President.  Will the sponsor yield for a few 

10    questions, please.

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

12    the sponsor yield? 

13                 SENATOR THOMAS:   Yes.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

15    sponsor yields.

16                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Thank you, 

17    Senator Thomas.  Good evening.

18                 With respect to this bill, this 

19    reduces -- just a general discussion regarding 

20    the A print and some amendments is that this bill 

21    ultimately, and please correct me if I'm wrong, 

22    reduces the interest rate for judgments against 

23    consumers, and only consumers, to 2 percent from 

24    the statutory interest rate of 9 percent.  Is 

25    that accurate?  


                                                               4721

 1                 SENATOR THOMAS:   Through you, 

 2    Mr. President, yes.  This is for consumer- 

 3    debt-related cases.  

 4                 So student loans, credit card debt, 

 5    medical debt, anything dealing with personal 

 6    household debt, that's what -- this reduces the 

 7    judgment interest from 9 percent to a cap of 

 8    2 percent.

 9                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Would the sponsor 

10    continue to yield.

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Will 

12    the sponsor yield?

13                 SENATOR THOMAS:   Through you, 

14    Mr. President, yes. 

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

16    sponsor yields.

17                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Through you, 

18    Mr. President.  This is a new iteration.  It was 

19    at 1.0, is that correct, in the previous version 

20    of this bill?  

21                 SENATOR THOMAS:   Through you, 

22    Mr. President, we had amended it to cap it at 

23    2 percent.  

24                 We had, in the other version of the 

25    bill, the interest rate pegged at the Treasury 


                                                               4722

 1    one-year.

 2                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Would the sponsor 

 3    continue to yield.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

 5    the sponsor yield?

 6                 SENATOR THOMAS:   Yes.

 7                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 8    sponsor yields.

 9                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Thank you.  

10    Through you, Mr. President.

11                 Would the interest rate that's less 

12    than 2 percent apply retroactively to debts that 

13    are currently in existence?

14                 SENATOR THOMAS:   Through you, 

15    Mr. President.  If I heard you correctly, does 

16    the 2 percent cap on judgment interest that's 

17    being executed right now, does it apply if it's 

18    being executed right now, is that what the 

19    question is?

20                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Correct.

21                 SENATOR THOMAS:   Yes, it does.

22                 So what would happen here is the 

23    judgment creditor would inform the agency that is 

24    collecting on this debt, and they will then 

25    recalculate.  And they are given, I believe, 


                                                               4723

 1    60 days to amend and make sure the judgment 

 2    debtor knows about this as well.

 3                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Would the sponsor 

 4    continue to yield.

 5                 SENATOR THOMAS:   Yes.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   He 

 7    yields.  The sponsor yields.

 8                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Senator, how 

 9    specifically is the up-to-2-percent new interest 

10    rate calculated under this bill?  

11                 SENATOR THOMAS:   Through you, 

12    Mr. President, it is just 2 percent.  So it is 

13    not up to 2 percent, it is a cap of 2 percent.  

14    And most of the time the plaintiff's firm will 

15    calculate this.  They have various programs to do 

16    it.  They've been doing this for a number of 

17    years.  And they are more than capable of 

18    reducing the interest from 9 percent to 2 

19    percent, amending the execution and sending it to 

20    the debtor.

21                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Would the sponsor 

22    continue to yield.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Will 

24    the sponsor yield?

25                 SENATOR THOMAS:   Yes.


                                                               4724

 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 2    sponsor yields.

 3                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   So as far as that 

 4    2 percent is concerned -- through you, 

 5    Mr. President -- is the 2 percent compounded 

 6    annually, daily, or something else?

 7                 SENATOR THOMAS:   Through you, 

 8    Mr. President, the 2 percent is compounded 

 9    annually.  It's simple interest.

10                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   I'm sorry?

11                 SENATOR THOMAS:   It's simple 

12    interest.  Compounded yearly.

13                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Understood.  

14    Would you continue to yield, please.

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

16    the sponsor yield?

17                 SENATOR THOMAS:   Yes.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

19    sponsor yields.

20                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   So, 

21    Senator Thomas, in an example that I have a 

22    $100,000 judgment against me, I've been paying at 

23    9 percent for several years, I have only $10,000 

24    left to pay -- in the event the judgment interest 

25    that I've been paying for many years, plus the 


                                                               4725

 1    principal payments that I've been paying, exceed 

 2    the new calculation at 2 percent, what do we do 

 3    with the extra money that's been paid to the 

 4    judgment creditor, please?  

 5                 SENATOR THOMAS:   Through you, 

 6    Mr. President.  The whole reason why there is a 

 7    judgment in the first place is to make the 

 8    plaintiff whole.

 9                 Now, if through an execution -- now, 

10    remember, this isn't any simple type of execution 

11    here, this deals with a default judgment or a 

12    default on a stipulation.

13                 To your example, if you are in the 

14    middle of an execution and you are paying 

15    voluntarily and not through a garnishment of some 

16    sort, which is where the marshals usually come 

17    through -- if they have taken more than is 

18    required under the law after this is passed, they 

19    have to refund you.  If it's more than the 

20    judgment.  All right?

21                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Will the sponsor 

22    continue to yield.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

24    the sponsor yield?

25                 SENATOR THOMAS:   Yes.


                                                               4726

 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 2    sponsor yields.

 3                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   So in the event 

 4    this company owes the creditor -- because we 

 5    recalculate it now at 2 percent -- over time, 

 6    they have paid at 9 percent, so I owe money to 

 7    now this creditor, how is that money going to be 

 8    returned if they don't pay?  Will there be a 

 9    judgment entered against the company for the 

10    overpayment?  

11                 SENATOR THOMAS:   Through you, 

12    Mr. President, I don't understand your question.  

13                 Are you saying that if there is more 

14    money taken after the recalculation, that somehow 

15    the plaintiff creditor here, the judgment 

16    creditor somehow goes out of business and they 

17    cannot return the payment?  Like I'm unsure as to 

18    where you're going with this.

19                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   If you would 

20    continue to yield, I'll rephrase that, please, 

21    Senator.

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

23    the sponsor yield?

24                 SENATOR THOMAS:   Yes.

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 


                                                               4727

 1    sponsor yields.

 2                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   And I apologize.  

 3    I think I mixed up debtor and creditor.  

 4                 And let me point you to the section 

 5    of the bill that I'm referring to.  On page 5, 

 6    down at -- near the bottom, line 49:  "Provided, 

 7    however, that if a judgment creditor issues an 

 8    amended execution pursuant to Section 5230 of 

 9    this article because the applicable interest rate 

10    changes pursuant to Section 5004 of this chapter, 

11    any money collected in excess of the judgment 

12    amount shall be promptly returned to the debtor."

13                 So my question really on that 

14    section as well is if there is an overpayment, 

15    and I'm a corporation, as the creditor, and I owe 

16    money to the debtor, if I fail to pay that, how 

17    is that remedied under this bill?

18                 SENATOR THOMAS:   Through you, 

19    Mr. President, I would say through a routine 

20    lawsuit where the debtor can bring an action for 

21    a refund.

22                 But knowing how this usually works, 

23    it's not really the corporation that is 

24    collecting the debt, it is a plaintiff's firm 

25    that represents the corporation.  And they 


                                                               4728

 1    usually have this money in escrow, and I'm sure 

 2    that they can work out some sort of agreement 

 3    here before it gets to that stage.

 4                 And one more bit of item here.  When 

 5    these judgments are entered, they are not for 

 6    $100,000 amounts.  The average judgments are 

 7    anywhere between $2,000 to $5,000.  And these 

 8    affect the poorest of the poor here in the state.  

 9                 And that 9 percent judgment interest 

10    was there since the '80s, when the interest rate 

11    was, you know, common.  It is now around 

12    2 percent.  It is unconscionable to continue to 

13    put this burden on our fellow constituents, our 

14    fellow New Yorkers.  They're going through so 

15    much.  

16                 That's one of the reasons, one of 

17    the primary reasons why we're doing this today, 

18    to update the laws here in New York and to 

19    protect consumers and give them a lending hand 

20    and a second chance.

21                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Would the sponsor 

22    continue to yield.

23                 SENATOR THOMAS:   Yes.

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

25    sponsor yields.


                                                               4729

 1                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Through you, 

 2    Mr. President, is the sponsor at all concerned 

 3    about the situation where there's a secondary 

 4    market where certain companies or law firms or 

 5    plaintiff's law firms, whoever it may be, that is 

 6    the creditor is actually paying, on a secondary 

 7    level, a 9 percent interest judgment and the 

 8    creditor pays the law firm, the law firm then 

 9    continues to pay off that other debt.  

10                 In the event that only the consumer 

11    credit debt is going to be reduced to 2 percent, 

12    do you have any sort of remedy for those 

13    individuals, who are actually paying by way of a 

14    third party, for example, a third party action of 

15    some kind?

16                 SENATOR THOMAS:   Through you, 

17    Mr. President.  I mean, usually the debt is 

18    collected by a law firm.  Right?  There is an 

19    agreement where the big company here that is -- 

20    that hired the plaintiff's firm, you know, they 

21    have a bulk of accounts, there is an agreement 

22    here, and then they sue on those accounts.

23                 Now, if they lose some sort of money 

24    based off of this, it's the cost of doing 

25    business and they can rebrand how they do this 


                                                               4730

 1    next time around.

 2                 But I don't see anything too 

 3    complicated here for them to actually, you know, 

 4    go forward with.

 5                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Thank you, 

 6    Senator.  And would you yield for another 

 7    question, please.

 8                 SENATOR THOMAS:   Yes.

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

10    the sponsor yield?

11                 The sponsor yields.

12                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   So I know that 

13    you are describing the usual case.  And through 

14    you, Mr. President, that the sponsor certainly 

15    understands that this -- the intent of this is of 

16    course to have some sort of a hammer, I'm 

17    assuming, over the creditor so that they have a 

18    vested interest in paying the credit -- or paying 

19    the debt and getting rid of it versus being, you 

20    know, almost usurious rates where it's just 

21    untenable at 9 percent.  

22                 Am I accurate in saying that that's 

23    really your intent, from what I read from the 

24    memo of this bill?

25                 SENATOR THOMAS:   Absolutely.


                                                               4731

 1                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Okay, thank you.  

 2                 Would you continue to yield for 

 3    another question, please.

 4                 SENATOR THOMAS:   Yes.

 5                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Will 

 6    the sponsor yield? 

 7                 The sponsor yields.

 8                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   So my concern is 

 9    that there are certain situations when there are 

10    even larger amounts, for example, there's a 

11    third-party indemnification.  Someone saying -- 

12    for example, I have a contractual agreement with 

13    someone, I'm sued, and a 9 percent judgment is 

14    entered against me.  But I have, say, like a 

15    contractor-subcontractor situation where you now 

16    have this person is responsible for that debt for 

17    various reasons, contractually, under common law.  

18    They're only paying me 2 percent, yet I have to 

19    pay 9 percent.  So I'm basically playing bank for 

20    a judgment that's not my responsibility.  

21                 And can you tell me if that's 

22    reconciled in any way in this legislation?  

23                 SENATOR THOMAS:   Through you, 

24    Mr. President, that's the cost of doing business.  

25    Right?  This is how things work here in this 


                                                               4732

 1    state, where we see something that is so 

 2    unconscionable, like that interest rate, and we 

 3    want to change what's happening here and we lower 

 4    it.  It's the cost of doing business.

 5                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Thank you, 

 6    Mr. President.  Thank you, Senator.

 7                 On the bill, please.

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 9    Palumbo on the bill.

10                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Mr. President -- 

11    and I get that.  And the lack of a better 

12    explanation than that's just tough and that's the 

13    cost of doing business is not some way that I 

14    think we should be legislating.  

15                 I think that we need to keep in mind 

16    that, yes, we do want to help the little guy.  

17    But oftentimes the little guy -- maybe a small 

18    business is owed money for services, for goods 

19    that they provided, and someone is not paying it.  

20                 We have a system of justice.  And 

21    now, quite frankly, having practiced law for many 

22    years, 9 percent may be a little much.  But to 

23    retroactively apply it I think is a huge mistake, 

24    because there are going to be so many unintended 

25    consequences and so many small businesses and 


                                                               4733

 1    smaller companies and individuals that will be 

 2    hurt by this, that that far outweighs the 

 3    benefits of just basically forgiving debt.  

 4                 Because that's about what we're 

 5    doing.  Two percent interest is pretty much 

 6    nothing at this point.  

 7                 So quite frankly, if a credit card 

 8    were to sue me and crank up their 18, 19 percent 

 9    interest rates, I would just confess judgment.  

10    It's the best investment I have.  Crank up my 

11    credit cards, max them out, say come get me, and 

12    then invest it -- maybe by cryptocurrency.  Or 

13    maybe just put it in the market.

14                 So there needs to be a balance here.  

15    And unfortunately -- I understand there's a 

16    laudable intent by the sponsor, but unfortunately 

17    I don't think this is the way to do it.  

18                 Thank you again, Mr. President.

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Are 

20    there any other Senators wishing to be heard?

21                 Seeing and hearing none, debate is 

22    closed.  The Secretary will ring the bell.

23                 Read the last section.

24                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 4.  This 

25    act shall take effect immediately.


                                                               4734

 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

 2    the roll.

 3                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 5    Thomas to explain his vote.

 6                 SENATOR THOMAS:   Thank you, 

 7    Mr. President.

 8                 I want to thank the leader for 

 9    bringing this important legislation to the floor.  

10    This could not be more timely, as New Yorkers 

11    recover from the harsh economic impacts of the 

12    COVID-19 pandemic.

13                 Now more than ever, we need to 

14    protect New Yorkers from further financial 

15    hardship.  For far too long the judgment interest 

16    rate on consumer debt has been widely out of step 

17    with current market rates.  Under current law, an 

18    unpaid judgment accrues interest at the rate of 

19    9 percent in New York State.  The rate has not 

20    been amended since 1981, when the average rate 

21    for a one-year U.S. Treasury bill was over 

22    14 percent.  

23                 Today's rates are significantly 

24    lower, remaining under 2 percent for the last 

25    20 years.  This disparity has directly 


                                                               4735

 1    contributed to an epidemic of abusive debt 

 2    collection lawsuits, which have inundated 

 3    New York courts since the early 2000s.  These 

 4    lawsuits are notoriously lacking in basic 

 5    information, and sometimes filed against the 

 6    wrong people.  

 7                 Predatory debt buyers exploit our 

 8    laws, knowing that the burden will fall on 

 9    consumers to prove that the suits are frivolous 

10    and unsubstantiated.  In the vast majority of 

11    these cases, consumers do not have access to the 

12    legal knowledge or information needed to protect 

13    themselves.  

14                 Thousands of New Yorkers have lost 

15    jobs or incomes in the past year as a result of 

16    the pandemic, rendering them unable to pay down 

17    credit card debt, student loans, auto loans and 

18    mortgages.  In the majority of these cases, 

19    consumers are forced to make the impossible 

20    choice of putting food on the table over paying a 

21    debt.  

22                 These lawsuits disproportionately 

23    harm communities of color, low- and middle-income 

24    New Yorkers.  That is why it is so critical that 

25    we make a much-needed update to our laws.  


                                                               4736

 1                 This legislation lowers the interest 

 2    rate that defendants pay on consumer judgments 

 3    and accrued claims, through a much fairer rate 

 4    that is consistent with market rates at 2 

 5    percent.  In doing so we can both reduce the 

 6    number of predatory and fraudulent lawsuits in 

 7    our courts and ensure that vulnerable New Yorkers 

 8    are protected against these exceptionally 

 9    challenging times.

10                 I vote in the affirmative.  Thank 

11    you, Mr. President.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

13    Thomas to be recorded in the affirmative.

14                 Announce the results.

15                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

16    Calendar 1003, those Senators voting in the 

17    negative are Senators Akshar, Borrello, Boyle, 

18    Gallivan, Griffo, Helming, Jordan, Lanza, 

19    Martucci, Oberacker, O'Mara, Ortt, Palumbo, Rath, 

20    Serino, Stec, Tedisco and Weik.

21                 Ayes, 45.  Nays, 18.

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

23    bill is passed.

24                 Senator Gianaris.

25                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 


                                                               4737

 1    at this point let's move on to Calendar 1054.

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 3    Secretary will read.

 4                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 5    1054, Senate Print 4413, by Senator May, an act 

 6    to amend the Election Law.

 7                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 8    Rath.

 9                 SENATOR RATH:   Thank you, 

10    Mr. President.  Would the sponsor yield for a few 

11    questions.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

13    the sponsor yield?

14                 SENATOR MAY:   Absolutely.

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

16    sponsor yields.

17                 SENATOR RATH:   Thank you, Senator 

18    May.  I have a few process questions.  

19                 Under the current Election Law, 

20    county boards of elections are empowered to apply 

21    their own rules for designating petitions.  Under 

22    this proposed legislation, there would be a 

23    standardized process, of which filing and 

24    disposition of petitions would be the same across 

25    all of New York State.


                                                               4738

 1                 So my first process question is:  In 

 2    crafting this legislation, were any elections 

 3    commissioners consulted?  

 4                 SENATOR MAY:   Well, the State Board 

 5    of Elections was definitely consulted.  

 6                 And otherwise, what we have found is 

 7    that there have been a number of lawsuits because 

 8    the procedures across the state are so different 

 9    and so complicated.  

10                 So this bill is designed to simplify 

11    and standardize those procedures so that 

12    candidates can understand if their petitions have 

13    been challenged or not.  And boards of elections 

14    can -- they're already applying these rules to 

15    state-level races, so it would just simplify 

16    things for them as well.

17                 SENATOR RATH:   Through you, 

18    Mr. President, will the sponsor continue to 

19    yield.

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

21    the sponsor yield?

22                 SENATOR MAY:   Absolutely.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

24    sponsor yields.

25                 SENATOR RATH:   Were any small or 


                                                               4739

 1    large urban or rural area elections commissioners 

 2    consulted in this proposed legislation?  

 3                 SENATOR MAY:   Through you, 

 4    Mr. President.  I have been in touch with the 

 5    Onondaga County Board of Elections, the 

 6    Democratic elections commissioner, who is in 

 7    favor of this.  But I'm not aware of others being 

 8    consulted.

 9                 SENATOR RATH:   Through you, 

10    Mr. President, will the sponsor continue to 

11    yield?  

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

13    the sponsor yield?

14                 SENATOR MAY:   Absolutely.

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

16    sponsor yields.

17                 SENATOR RATH:   Were commissioners 

18    from both Republican and Democrat parties 

19    consulted in this proposed legislation?  

20                 SENATOR MAY:   I don't know the 

21    answer to that.  Through you, Mr. President.

22                 SENATOR RATH:   Through you, 

23    Mr. President, will the sponsor continue to 

24    yield.

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 


                                                               4740

 1    the sponsor yield?

 2                 SENATOR MAY:   Absolutely.  

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 4    sponsor yields.

 5                 SENATOR RATH:   Thank you.

 6                 Does the New York State Election 

 7    Commissioners Association have a position on this 

 8    bill?

 9                 SENATOR MAY:   So not that I'm aware 

10    of.  Through you, Mr. President.  

11                 But I -- these are the regulations 

12    in this state.  They are already implementing 

13    these regulations.  They are working.  They are 

14    not subject to the number of lawsuits that we are 

15    seeing about the idiosyncratic options that 

16    different boards of elections have been 

17    employing.  

18                 And so this is a streamlining effort 

19    that should be welcomed by the boards of 

20    elections all across the state.

21                 SENATOR RATH:   Mr. President, on 

22    the bill.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

24    Rath on the bill.

25                 SENATOR RATH:   I have serious 


                                                               4741

 1    concerns about this bill, as it does not appear 

 2    that our county boards of elections across 

 3    New York State have had adequate input regarding 

 4    these proposed election changes.

 5                 A standardized one-size-fits-all 

 6    approach does not recognize the very diverse 

 7    needs of our diverse boards of elections all 

 8    across our great state.

 9                 If the goal is to improve our 

10    election process, we should be speaking to the 

11    very individuals who are empowered to administer 

12    our elections.  And based on the responses I 

13    heard here today, those people were not consulted 

14    with.

15                 I believe the due diligence that is 

16    necessary was not applied to this legislation, 

17    and for these reasons I'll be voting in the 

18    negative.

19                 Thank you, Mr. President.

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Are 

21    there any other Senators wishing to be heard?

22                 Seeing and hearing none, debate is 

23    closed.  The Secretary will ring the bell.

24                 Read the last section.

25                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 


                                                               4742

 1    act shall take effect on the 90th day after it 

 2    shall have become a law.

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

 4    the roll.

 5                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 7    May to explain her vote.

 8                 SENATOR MAY:   Thank you, 

 9    Mr. President.  And thank you to my distinguished 

10    colleague for your questions.

11                 I want to say about this bill that 

12    right now we make it incredibly difficult for 

13    candidates to get on the ballot in some areas of 

14    this state.  

15                 And this particular issue of 

16    candidates not knowing if a petition -- if their 

17    petition signatures have been challenged causes 

18    enormous difficulties for people who have worked 

19    very hard to get -- to cross that hurdle to get 

20    themselves on the ballot.

21                 There are places in the state where 

22    they just have to hang around outside the Board 

23    of Elections and keep asking and asking and 

24    asking.  And they might get the information, they 

25    might not.


                                                               4743

 1                 It is a system designed to make it 

 2    difficult for people.  And we want to improve our 

 3    democracy by making it clear what it takes for a 

 4    candidate to get on the ballot.

 5                 So I am proud of this bill.  I think 

 6    streamlining these regulations makes sense 

 7    statewide.  I think every Board of Elections is 

 8    already implementing these rules for some races, 

 9    and it is not going to be a difficulty for them 

10    to implement them across the board.

11                 So I am proud of this bill, and I 

12    vote aye.

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

14    May to be recorded in the affirmative.

15                 Announce the results.

16                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

17    Calendar 1054, those Senators voting in the 

18    negative are Senators Akshar, Borrello, Griffo, 

19    Helming, Lanza, Martucci, Ortt, Rath, Ritchie, 

20    Serino, Stec, Tedisco and Weik.

21                 Ayes, 50.  Nays 13.

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

23    bill is passed.

24                 Senator Gianaris.

25                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   And I believe 


                                                               4744

 1    last -- but not least -- Calendar 1586, please.

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 3    Secretary will read.

 4                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 5    1586, Assembly Print Number 2396A, by 

 6    Assemblymember Woerner, an act to amend the 

 7    Public Service Law.

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 9    Palumbo.

10                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Thank you, 

11    Mr. President.  Would the sponsor yield for a few 

12    questions, please.

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

14    the sponsor yield?

15                 SENATOR HINCHEY:   Yes.

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

17    sponsor yields.

18                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Thank you, 

19    Senator Hinchey.  Good evening.  How are you?

20                 I just have a few questions that 

21    were brought to my attention, because obviously 

22    we know broadband is a very significant issue in 

23    the upstate region.  

24                 So just kind of as a general 

25    discussion, under current law, when someone is 


                                                               4745

 1    attaching to a utility pole -- the attacher, I 

 2    guess, as we will call them -- who typically 

 3    would bear that expense under current law in the 

 4    event that there were costs incurred?  Maybe a 

 5    pole needed to be replaced, for example.

 6                 SENATOR HINCHEY:   Through you, 

 7    Mr. President.  Right now if a pole is needing to 

 8    be replaced, the attacher pays for that pole to 

 9    be replaced, even though they are much smaller 

10    companies.  

11                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Through you, 

12    Mr. President, will the sponsor continue to 

13    yield, please.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

15    the sponsor yield?

16                 SENATOR HINCHEY:   Yes.

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

18    sponsor yields.

19                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   So, Senator, 

20    basically the short answer for what this 

21    legislation would do, it would then require the 

22    pole owner to bear those costs.  Is that 

23    accurate?  And if not, please correct me.

24                 SENATOR HINCHEY:   Through you, 

25    Madam President -- Mr. President, I'm sorry.  But 


                                                               4746

 1    I haven't been here with you before, my 

 2    colleague.

 3                 (Laughter.)

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   No 

 5    problem.  No problem.  

 6                 SENATOR HINCHEY:   Automatic 

 7    response.

 8                 Right now, through the PSC, yes, we 

 9    are looking -- the attacher has to -- would pay 

10    that cost, and this bill is looking to change 

11    that.  

12                 We are actually looking to be more 

13    in line with federal regulations because we know 

14    that the way the law is currently written, 

15    hinders broadband buildout in more rural 

16    communities.

17                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Will the sponsor 

18    continue to yield, please.  

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

20    the sponsor yield?

21                 SENATOR HINCHEY:   Yes, 

22    Mr. President.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

24    sponsor yields.

25                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Now, as far as 


                                                               4747

 1    broadband companies there are some nonprofits, 

 2    but a lot of them -- and the vast majority of 

 3    them -- are for-profit businesses, is that 

 4    accurate?  

 5                 SENATOR HINCHEY:   Many of the small 

 6    broadband companies -- many of the broadband 

 7    companies are very small, especially in our rural 

 8    communities, which is what we are looking to 

 9    help.  They represent 20,000 or fewer homes.  So 

10    you can imagine that their customer base and 

11    their revenue sources are very small.

12                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   And would the 

13    Senator continue to yield, please.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Will 

15    the sponsor yield?

16                 SENATOR HINCHEY:   Yes, 

17    Mr. President.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

19    sponsor yields.

20                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   And this bill 

21    would be applicable statewide, is that accurate?

22                 SENATOR HINCHEY:   Through you, 

23    Mr. President, yes, it would be statewide.

24                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Would the sponsor 

25    continue to yield.


                                                               4748

 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Will 

 2    the sponsor yield?

 3                 SENATOR HINCHEY:   Yes, 

 4    Mr. President.

 5                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 6    sponsor yields.

 7                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Have you had any 

 8    opportunity to consult with utility companies to 

 9    possibly find maybe a happy medium?  Versus this 

10    bill, which requires the owner of the poles to 

11    bear all the costs of the attachment.

12                 SENATOR HINCHEY:   Through you, 

13    Mr. President.  Yes, we have met with utility 

14    companies and the broadband companies.  And what 

15    we know is that the utility companies have a plan 

16    for when these poles need to be replaced.  They 

17    have a calendar knowing when each pole is going 

18    to be out of order, when it's aged out and needs 

19    to be replaced.  Therefore, those utility 

20    companies are currently charging ratepayers for 

21    those replacements.

22                 When an attacher or a new broadband 

23    company comes along wanting to attach to build 

24    out broadband in rural communities, those utility 

25    companies then charge the broadband company for 


                                                               4749

 1    the replacement of the pole, therefore being paid 

 2    twice for the pole replacement.  

 3                 What this bill does -- and we've 

 4    talked to the utility companies.  They're paid 

 5    twice for these poles.  And so what this bill 

 6    does is if the utility company attracted any 

 7    money from ratepayers to replace a pole, that 

 8    amend of money is not put on the new broadband 

 9    provider.

10                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Will the sponsor 

11    continue to yield.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

13    the sponsor yield?

14                 SENATOR HINCHEY:   Yes, 

15    Mr. President.  

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

17    sponsor yields.

18                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Is the Senator 

19    aware of the approximate costs that were -- well, 

20    let me say they were represented to me.  

21    Replacement of a pole could be anywhere from 

22    $3500 to $35,000.  In light of all the costs -- 

23    primary wires, primary switches, transfer, 

24    risers, the labor, the drawout -- it could be up 

25    to $35,000 to replace a pole.  And that these 


                                                               4750

 1    utility companies are required to inspect every 

 2    pole every five years.

 3                 SENATOR HINCHEY:   Through you, 

 4    Mr. President, yes, we do.  And that's exactly 

 5    why this bill is so important.  

 6                 These utility companies know -- they 

 7    inspect them every five years.  They know when 

 8    poles need to be replaced.  Therefore, they are 

 9    already -- and they know how expensive each pole 

10    will be.  Therefore, they are already putting 

11    that cost onto ratepayers -- and then making an 

12    additional amount of money by charging the 

13    independent broadband companies for that 

14    replacement as well.

15                 That's why this bill is so 

16    important, to remove that double dipping through 

17    payment for how high of a cost these poles are.

18                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Will the sponsor 

19    continue to yield.

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

21    the sponsor yield?

22                 SENATOR HINCHEY:   Yes, 

23    Mr. President.  

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

25    sponsor yields.


                                                               4751

 1                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Is the sponsor 

 2    suggesting that the utility companies replace 

 3    every pole every five years, and that's how 

 4    they're getting double paid for it?  Or that 

 5    they're just collecting a rate based upon their 

 6    actual attrition of the average cost in the life 

 7    of a pole?

 8                 SENATOR HINCHEY:   Through you, 

 9    Mr. President.  No, they are not replacing every 

10    pole.  But they know when the poles will need to 

11    be replaced.

12                 To be clear, if an attacher, if a 

13    broadband company needs to attach to a pole that 

14    does not need to be replaced, that broadband 

15    company, that attacher, still pays for the cost 

16    of attaching to the pole.  

17                 If that broadband company, if that 

18    attacher needs to attach to a pole that is due to 

19    be replaced, and the utility company has been 

20    collecting money for that replacement from the 

21    ratepayers, then that cost cannot be shifted also 

22    to the broadband company.

23                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Will the sponsor 

24    continue to yield, please.

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 


                                                               4752

 1    the sponsor yield?

 2                 SENATOR HINCHEY:   Yes, 

 3    Mr. President.  

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 5    sponsor yields.

 6                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Thank you, 

 7    Senator.

 8                 And really one more area.  I would 

 9    just like to see if we can reconcile the concerns 

10    that were expressed to me.  

11                 That under the United States Code, 

12    it's 47 USC 224, it reads:  "A utility providing 

13    electric service may deny a cable television 

14    system or any telecommunications carrier access 

15    to its poles, ducts, conduits or rights-of-way on 

16    a nondiscriminatory basis where there is 

17    insufficient capacity, and for reasons of safety, 

18    reliability and generally acceptable engineering 

19    purposes."  

20                 So how do you reconcile this 

21    legislation, which now requires the utility to 

22    pay?  And of course just so we're clear, they're 

23    a nice villain.  I don't love -- we're not saying 

24    that we necessarily love -- for everybody on 

25    Long Island, LIPA is, you know, not everybody's 


                                                               4753

 1    favorite, I guess, because you have to pay that 

 2    bill.  We understand.

 3                 But the problem is those costs, when 

 4    they're incurred by the utility, they're 

 5    ultimately ours, they're yours and mine.  And the 

 6    ratepayer ultimately has to eat that.  

 7                 So under the federal law, they can 

 8    deny access to the broadband, and that may be the 

 9    problem upstate, that they can deny them access 

10    to the pole because from an engineering 

11    standpoint, the pole is too low, there's not 

12    enough head space, the pole's too weak that with 

13    the extra weight it may not survive a storm.

14                 So with all of that being 

15    considered, how do you reconcile this bill, which 

16    mandates payment, with federal law?

17                 SENATOR HINCHEY:   Through you, 

18    Mr. President.  Federal law still stands.  That 

19    we still have to comply with federal law.  

20                 And federal law actually allows 

21    states to regulate in this area.  That's part of 

22    that federal law.  That's why, as you started 

23    off, right now current law favors the utility 

24    company.  It does not favor buildout for the 

25    broadband companies.  


                                                               4754

 1                 What our bill does is switches that 

 2    premise, making sure that it's easier for smaller 

 3    broadband companies to build out in rural areas, 

 4    which is much more in line with federal 

 5    regulations and federal guidelines already.

 6                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Thank you, 

 7    Senator.  Just a few more questions on a related 

 8    area, if I may.  Would you continue to yield?  

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Does 

10    the sponsor yield?

11                 SENATOR HINCHEY:   Yes, 

12    Mr. President.

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

14    sponsor yields.  

15                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Thank you, 

16    Senator Hinchey.  

17                 Now, this bill is effective 

18    statewide?  

19                 SENATOR HINCHEY:   Through you, 

20    Mr. President, yes, this bill is effective 

21    statewide.  

22                 We know that there are communities 

23    across this state that are experiencing 

24    hindrances with broadband buildout.

25                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Would you 


                                                               4755

 1    continue to yield for one last question.  

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Will 

 3    the sponsor yield?

 4                 SENATOR HINCHEY:   Yes, 

 5    Mr. President.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 7    sponsor yields.  

 8                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Senator, based on 

 9    the concerns regarding the costs to ratepayers, 

10    would you be certainly willing to keep an open 

11    mind in the event that this would be done 

12    possibly in a limited area, maybe for a period of 

13    a few years?  Because that's what I believe some 

14    changes were proposed, at least to my office, 

15    that I'd like to convey to you.  Would you be 

16    willing to consider that, in the event this 

17    ultimately gets passed?

18                 SENATOR HINCHEY:   Through you, 

19    Mr. President.  I believe we probably saw those 

20    same proposals.  You know, we are happy to always 

21    continue the conversation.

22                 But that said, there are communities 

23    downstate and upstate that are struggling with 

24    access to broadband.  And what we've seen through 

25    this pandemic -- which if you live in a community 


                                                               4756

 1    without internet, you knew this before -- but I 

 2    think what everybody has seen through this 

 3    pandemic is that there are people who live 

 4    without it who have to make impossible choices:  

 5    Do they take their car to work or do they go to a 

 6    library so their kid can access -- can do 

 7    schoolwork?  Right?  How do they check their bank 

 8    account if they're being told not to go into a 

 9    bank teller?  

10                 You know, we know that is happening 

11    across this state, and so we have to do, as a 

12    body, everything we can to make sure people have 

13    access to the internet.  What this bill does is 

14    makes it a lot easier to do that.  

15                 So we are always open for 

16    conversations, but the bill as it is makes sure 

17    that it is easier for people to get internet 

18    access.

19                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   Thank you, 

20    Senator.  I appreciate your time.  

21                 On the bill, please, Mr. President.

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

23    Palumbo on the bill.

24                 SENATOR PALUMBO:   And I thank the 

25    sponsor for her time and this exchange to clarify 


                                                               4757

 1    this.  And in the interests of full disclosure, 

 2    I'm voting for this.  Broadband is a problem.  

 3    And particularly during this pandemic -- not 

 4    necessarily down by me, but up north -- there 

 5    were students who had to do exactly that.  They 

 6    had to go to the library.  They had to go to the 

 7    Starbucks to do their schoolwork.  

 8                 This needs to be addressed.  My only 

 9    suggestion is this.  This bill is not perfect.  

10    It's nowhere near perfect, in my opinion, because 

11    ultimately the ratepayer will bear this cost.

12                 Because there are reasonable -- they 

13    can apply -- under this bill, the utilities can 

14    apply to the Public Service Commission for 

15    reasonable costs.  And quite frankly, if they're 

16    mandated to extend broadband into the 

17    St. Lawrence River, then that would probably be a 

18    reasonable cost when they need to build 

19    engineeringly appropriate telephone poles to 

20    sustain the weight and the extension.

21                 So that's the wrinkle that I'm 

22    really concerned with.  And I would suggest that 

23    we possibly consider doing this with a sunset 

24    period, have just a few years where we do it or 

25    we do it in certain areas of the state to see how 


                                                               4758

 1    it's going, or to take the enacting clause and 

 2    move it to April and put a grant on it, and put 

 3    real money on it so that those folks who don't 

 4    have broadband in New York state get it.  

 5                 Because we're all concerned about 

 6    that very, very issue.  And I know the upstate 

 7    delegations are more concerned than most, because 

 8    obviously they don't live in as densely populated 

 9    an area.

10                 So I certainly appreciate the 

11    laudable intent of this bill.  We need -- this is 

12    a good start to the conversation.  And I would 

13    just ask that some of those considerations be 

14    discussed and digested.  

15                 Thank you again, Mr. President.

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Are 

17    there any other Senators wishing to be heard?

18                 Seeing and hearing none, debate is 

19    closed.  The Secretary will ring the bell.

20                 Read the last section.

21                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

22    act shall take effect on the 90th day after it 

23    shall have become a law.

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

25    the roll.


                                                               4759

 1                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 3    Hinchey to explain her vote.

 4                 SENATOR HINCHEY:   Thank you, 

 5    Mr. President.

 6                 And just to start with a comment on 

 7    my colleague's comments.  Thank you for the 

 8    debate and for your support on this bill and for 

 9    knowing how important broadband buildout is.

10                 The ratepayers are already paying 

11    this cost.  The problem is these companies are 

12    also charging the broadband companies, making it 

13    harder to build out into rural areas.

14                 A quick story.  Margaretville 

15    Telephone Company is a broadband provider in my 

16    district and around our region.  They had a 

17    program to build out high speed internet to 

18    13,000 homes that were fully unserved with 

19    internet.  And their final project cost totaled 

20    four times the budgeted amount because of 

21    unforeseen pole replacement costs.  

22                 That then forced them to halt the 

23    buildout so that they could manage cash flow, 

24    because they are a small provider.  Meaning more 

25    households were left without internet for longer 


                                                               4760

 1    than they were supposed to be because of the 

 2    unforeseen costs put upon them by the utility 

 3    companies.

 4                 That is a travesty.  We are living 

 5    in a world where internet is no longer a luxury, 

 6    it is effectively a utility.  It is a necessity 

 7    for everyone to live their lives at the way that 

 8    we expect them to live them.

 9                 And we have to be doing as a body 

10    everything that we can to make sure every single 

11    household across this state has reliable, 

12    high-speed access to the internet.  

13                 This is a bill that supports the 

14    broadband providers to build out, because they 

15    have been taking costs that they cannot afford, 

16    hindering the broadband buildout.  

17                 I thank my colleague for the debate.  

18    I thank leadership in the Senate for taking up 

19    this incredibly important bill.  And I'm 

20    incredibly proud to vote aye.

21                 Thank you very much.

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

23    Hinchey to be recorded in the affirmative.

24                 Announce the results.

25                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 


                                                               4761

 1    Calendar 1586, those Senators voting in the 

 2    negative are Senators Helming, Martucci and 

 3    Mattera.

 4                 Ayes, 60.  Nays, 3.

 5                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

 6    bill is passed.

 7                 Senator Serrano, that completes the 

 8    reading of the controversial calendar.

 9                 SENATOR SERRANO:   Thank you.  

10                 Mr. President, with unanimous 

11    consent, I move to remove Calendar Number 1564 

12    from the controversial calendar and restore it to 

13    the noncontroversial calendar.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Without 

15    objection, so ordered.

16                 SENATOR SERRANO:   Now let's take up 

17    Calendar Number 1564 on the noncontroversial 

18    calendar.  

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

20    Secretary will read.

21                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

22    1564, Senate Print 6486B, by Senator Parker, an 

23    act to amend the Environmental Conservation Law.

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Read 

25    the last section.


                                                               4762

 1                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 7.  This 

 2    act shall take effect immediately.

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Call 

 4    the roll.

 5                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

 7    May to explain her vote.  

 8                 SENATOR MAY:   Thank you, 

 9    Mr. President.

10                 The deep cold waters of the Finger 

11    Lakes and the massive basin of Lake Ontario, 

12    these are treasures of global significance.  Over 

13    the years they have also been attractive 

14    locations for fossil fuel power plants that need 

15    large amounts of water for cooling.  Many of 

16    these power plants have gone offline as demand 

17    for the energy has waned due to greater energy 

18    efficiency and the shift away from fossil fuel 

19    sources.  

20                 But lately they have become 

21    attractive to global currency speculators who 

22    need lots of energy and cooling water to run 

23    high-speed computers around the clock to generate 

24    digital signatures that can be monetized as 

25    cryptocurrency.


                                                               4763

 1                 In other words, in order to make a 

 2    quick profit, these operations incur enormous 

 3    environmental costs.  The small number of jobs 

 4    they create, the limited local benefits they 

 5    provide are minuscule compared to the damage they 

 6    do.  

 7                 For example, the Greenwich Plant on 

 8    Seneca Lake takes more than a million gallons of 

 9    cold water every day out of the lake, heats it up 

10    and returns it to the lake, where it harms trout 

11    fisheries and threatens more harmful algal 

12    blooms.

13                 If we are serious about combating 

14    climate change, if we care about our freshwater 

15    treasures, if we care about tourism and the 

16    quality of life on our lakes, we need to make 

17    sure this industry submits to a full 

18    environmental review.

19                 I wanted to thank the Senate 

20    sponsor, Senator Parker, and the Assembly 

21    sponsor, Assemblymember Kelles, and the 

22    leadership and my colleagues for supporting this 

23    bill, and I proudly vote aye.

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   Senator 

25    May to be recorded in the affirmative.


                                                               4764

 1                 Announce the results.

 2                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

 3    Calendar 1564, those Senators voting in the 

 4    negative are Senators Akshar, Benjamin, Borrello, 

 5    Cooney, Gallivan, Gaughran, Griffo, Helming, 

 6    Jordan, Kennedy, Lanza, Martucci, Mattera, 

 7    Oberacker, O'Mara, Ortt, Palumbo, Rath, 

 8    Reichlin-Melnick, Ritchie, Savino, Serino, 

 9    Skoufis, Stavisky, Stec, Tedisco and Weik.

10                 Ayes, 36.  Nays, 27.

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   The 

12    bill is passed.

13                 Senator Serrano.

14                 SENATOR SERRANO:   Mr. President, is 

15    there any further business at the desk?

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   There 

17    is no further business at the desk.

18                 SENATOR SERRANO:   I move to adjourn 

19    until Wednesday, June 9th, at 12:00 p.m.

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:   On 

21    motion, the Senate stands adjourned until 

22    Wednesday, June 9th, at 12:00 p.m. 

23                 (Whereupon, at 5:44 p.m., the Senate 

24    adjourned.)

25