Regular Session - January 10, 2022

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 1                NEW YORK STATE SENATE

 2                          

 3                          

 4               THE STENOGRAPHIC RECORD

 5                          

 6                          

 7                          

 8                          

 9                  ALBANY, NEW YORK

10                  January 10, 2022

11                      3:51 p.m.

12                          

13                          

14                   REGULAR SESSION

15  

16  

17  

18  SENATOR JAMAAL T. BAILEY, Acting President

19  ALEJANDRA N. PAULINO, ESQ., Secretary

20  

21  

22  

23  

24  

25  


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

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   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 BAILEY:   In the 

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

10    moment of silent reflection and/or prayer as we 

11    remember and honor the victims of yesterday's 

12    tragic fire in the Bronx that claimed the lives 

13    of far too many people, many of which were 

14    children.  

15                 The Book of Matthew 5:4 says 

16    "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be 

17    comforted."  

18                 (Whereupon, the assemblage respected 

19    a moment of silence.)

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

21    reading of the Journal.

22                 THE SECRETARY:   In Senate, Sunday, 

23    January 9, 2022, the Senate met pursuant to 

24    adjournment.  The Journal of Saturday, January 8, 

25    2022, was read and approved.  On motion, Senate 


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 1    adjourned.

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Without 

 3    objection, the Journal stands approved as read.

 4                 Presentation of petitions.

 5                 Messages from the Assembly.

 6                 Messages from the Governor.

 7                 Reports of standing committees.

 8                 Reports of select committees.

 9                 Communications and reports from 

10    state officers.

11                 Motions and resolutions.

12                 Senator Gianaris.

13                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

14    there will be an immediate meeting of the Rules 

15    Committee in Room 332.

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   There 

17    will be an immediate meeting of the 

18    Rules Committee in Room 332.

19                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   The Senate will 

20    stand at ease.

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

22    Senate will stand at ease.

23                 (Whereupon, the Senate stood at ease 

24    at 3:52 p.m.)

25                 (Whereupon, the Senate reconvened at 


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 1    4:10 p.m.)

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

 3    Senate will return to order. 

 4                 Senator Gianaris.

 5                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

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

 7    desk.  Can we please take that up.

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

 9    Secretary will read.

10                 THE SECRETARY:   Senator  

11    Stewart-Cousins, from the Committee on Rules, 

12    reports the following bills:  

13                 Senate Print 253, by Senator Myrie, 

14    an act to amend the Election Law; 

15                 Senate Print 284A, by Senator Myrie, 

16    an act to amend the Election Law; 

17                 Senate Print 492, by 

18    Senator Hoylman, an act to amend the 

19    Election Law; 

20                 Senate Print 557, by Senator May, an 

21    act to amend the Election Law; 

22                 Senate Print 1126B, by 

23    Senator Gianaris, an act to amend the 

24    Election Law; 

25                 Senate Print 1283, by 


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 1    Senator Kaminsky, an act to amend the 

 2    Election Law; 

 3                 Senate Print 2951, by 

 4    Senator Kavanagh, an act to amend the 

 5    Election Law; 

 6                 Senate Print 4658, by 

 7    Senator Parker, an act to amend the Election Law; 

 8                 Senate Print 6214, by Senator Myrie, 

 9    an act to amend the Election Law; 

10                 Senate Print 7565B, by 

11    Senator Biaggi, an act to amend the Election Law; 

12                 Senate Print 7619, by Senator Mayer, 

13    an act to amend Chapter 60 of the Laws of 2021; 

14                 Senate Print 7623A, by 

15    Senator Gaughran, an act to amend Chapter 417 of 

16    the Laws of 2021; 

17                 Senate Print 7631, by the 

18    Independent Redistricting Commission, an act to 

19    amend the State Law; 

20                 Senate Print 7632, by the 

21    Independent Redistricting Commission, an act to 

22    amend the State Law; 

23                 Senate Print 7633, by the 

24    Independent Redistricting Commission, an act to 

25    amend the State Law; 


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 1                 Senate Print 7634, by the 

 2    Independent Redistricting Commission, an act to 

 3    amend the State Law; 

 4                 Senate Print 7689, by 

 5    Senator Hinchey, an act to amend the 

 6    Public Service Law; 

 7                 Senate Print 7690, by 

 8    Senator Skoufis, an act to amend the 

 9    Public Health Law; 

10                 Senate Print 7691, by Senator Mayer, 

11    an act to amend the County Law; 

12                 Senate Print 7692, by 

13    Senator Breslin, an act to amend the 

14    Insurance Law; 

15                 Senate Print 7693, by 

16    Senator Harckham, an act to amend the 

17    Mental Hygiene Law; 

18                 Senate Print 7694, by 

19    Senator Rivera, an act to amend the 

20    Public Health Law; 

21                 Senate Print 7695, by 

22    Senator Sepúlveda, an act to amend a chapter of 

23    the Laws of 2021; 

24                 Senate Print 7696, by Senator Brouk, 

25    an act to amend the Public Health Law and the 


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 1    Environmental Conservation Law; 

 2                 Senate Print 7697, by 

 3    Senator Hinchey, an act to amend the 

 4    Social Services Law; 

 5                 Senate Print 7698, by 

 6    Senator Comrie, an act to amend the Real Property 

 7    Actions and Proceedings Law; 

 8                 Senate Print 7699, by 

 9    Senator Stavisky, an act to amend the 

10    Education Law; 

11                 Senate Print 7700, by Senator Mayer, 

12    an act to amend a chapter of the Laws of 2021; 

13                 Senate Print 7701, by 

14    Senator Kaminsky, an act to amend the 

15    Public Housing Law;

16                 Senate Print 7702, by 

17    Senator Kaminsky, an act to amend the 

18    Environmental Conservation Law; 

19                 Senate Print 7703, by 

20    Senator Bailey, an act to amend the 

21    Correction Law and the Mental Hygiene Law; 

22                 Senate Print 7704, by 

23    Senator Breslin, an act to amend the 

24    Insurance Law; 

25                 Senate Print 7705, by 


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 1    Senator Hoylman, an act to amend the Penal Law; 

 2                 Senate Print 7706, by 

 3    Senator Harckham, an act to amend the 

 4    Executive Law and the Public Health Law; 

 5                 Senate Print 7707, by Senator Ryan, 

 6    an act to amend the Alcoholic Beverage Control 

 7    Law; 

 8                 Senate Print 7708, by 

 9    Senator Rivera, an act to amend the 

10    Public Health Law; 

11                 Senate Print 7709, by 

12    Senator Kaminsky, an act to amend a chapter of 

13    the Laws of 2021; 

14                 Senate Print 7710, by 

15    Senator Kaplan, an act to amend the 

16    Executive Law; 

17                 Senate Print 7711, by 

18    Senator Parker, an act to amend a chapter of the 

19    Laws of 2021; 

20                 Senate Print 7712, by Senator Ramos, 

21    an act to amend the Social Services Law; 

22                 Senate Print 7713, by Senator Ortt, 

23    an act to amend the Executive Law; 

24                 Senate Print 7714, by Senator Mayer, 

25    an act to amend the General Business Law; 


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 1                 Senate Print 7715, by 

 2    Senator Skoufis, an act to amend the 

 3    Economic Development Law; 

 4                 Senate Print 7716, by 

 5    Senator Persaud, an act to amend the 

 6    Education Law and the State Finance Law; 

 7                 Senate Print 7717, by 

 8    Senator Kavanagh, an act to amend the 

 9    Public Health Law; 

10                 Senate Print 7718, by 

11    Senator Hinchey, an act to amend a chapter of the 

12    Laws of 2021; 

13                 Senate Print 7719, by 

14    Senator Kennedy, an act to amend a chapter of the 

15    Laws of 2021;

16                 Senate Print 7720, by 

17    Senator Thomas, an act to amend the 

18    General Business Law; 

19                 Senate Print 7721, by 

20    Senator Kennedy, an act to amend the Tax Law; 

21                 Senate Print 7722, by 

22    Senator Comrie, an act to amend a chapter of the 

23    Laws of 2021; 

24                 Senate Print 7723, by 

25    Senator Gaughran, an act to amend the 


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 1    Environmental Conservation Law; 

 2                 Senate Print 7724, by 

 3    Senator Biaggi, an act to amend the Banking Law; 

 4                 Senate Print 7725, by 

 5    Senator Bailey, an act to amend the Labor Law;

 6                 Senate Print 7726, by 

 7    Senator Skoufis, an act to amend the 

 8    Public Health Law;

 9                 Senate Print 7727, by 

10    Senator Kavanagh, an act to amend the 

11    Public Housing Law;

12                 Senate Print 7728, by Senator 

13    Gaughran, an act to amend the State Finance Law;

14                 Senate Print 7729, by Senator 

15    Skoufis, an act to amend the Real Property Law; 

16                 Senate Print 7730, by Senator 

17    Skoufis, an act to amend the Real Property Law; 

18                 Senate Print 7731, by Senator 

19    Skoufis, an act to amend the Real Property Law; 

20                 Senate Print 7732, by 

21    Senator Gaughran, an act to amend a chapter of 

22    the Laws of 2021;

23                 Senate Print 7733, by 

24    Senator Biaggi, an act to amend the Executive 

25    Law; 


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 1                 Senate Print 7734, by 

 2    Senator Skoufis, an act to amend the 

 3    Public Officers Law and the Civil Rights Law; 

 4                 Senate Print 7735, by Senator Liu, 

 5    an act to amend the General Obligations Law and 

 6    the Real Property Law; 

 7                 Senate Print 7736, by 

 8    Senator Kaplan, an act to amend the Penal Law; 

 9                 Senate Print 7737, by 

10    Senator Kaminsky, an act to amend the 

11    Environmental Conservation Law; and 

12                 Senate Print 7738, by 

13    Senator Brooks, an act to amend the County Law.

14                 All bills reported direct to third 

15    reading.

16                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Move to accept 

17    the report of the Rules Committee.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   All 

19    those in favor of accepting the report of the 

20    Rules Committee signify by saying aye.

21                 (Response of "Aye.")

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Opposed, 

23    nay.

24                 (No response.)

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The Rules 


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 1    Committee report is accepted.

 2                 Senator Gianaris.

 3                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   At this time, 

 4    Mr. President, we're going to stand at ease for 

 5    just five minutes while the desk gets its votes 

 6    in order.

 7                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

 8    Senate will stand at ease.

 9                 (Whereupon, the Senate stood at ease 

10    at 4:16 p.m.)

11                 (Whereupon, the Senate reconvened at 

12    4:18 p.m.)

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

14    Senate will return to order.

15                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Please take up 

16    the reading of the calendar, Mr. President.  

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

18    Secretary will read.

19                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 1, 

20    Senate Print 253, by Senator Myrie --

21                 SENATOR LANZA:   Lay it aside.

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Lay it 

23    aside.

24                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 2, 

25    Senate Print 284A, by Senator Myrie, an act to 


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 1    amend the Election Law.

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Read the 

 3    last section.

 4                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 3.  This 

 5    act shall take effect immediately.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Call the 

 7    roll.

 8                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Announce 

10    the results.

11                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

12    Calendar 2, those Senators voting in the negative 

13    are Senators Akshar, Borrello, Boyle, Gallivan, 

14    Griffo, Helming, Jordan, Lanza, Martucci, 

15    Mattera, Oberacker, O'Mara, Ortt, Palumbo, Rath, 

16    Ritchie, Serino, Stec, Tedisco and Weik.

17                 Ayes, 43.  Nays, 20.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The bill 

19    is passed.

20                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 3, 

21    Senate Print 492, by Senator Hoylman, an act to 

22    amend the Election Law.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Read the 

24    last section.

25                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 4.  This 


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 1    act shall take effect immediately.

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Call the 

 3    roll.

 4                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

 5                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

 6    Hoylman to explain his vote.

 7                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Thank you, 

 8    Mr. President.

 9                 It is terrific to be back here in 

10    Albany with the start of the legislative session 

11    and to explain my vote on S492 to secure ballot 

12    drop boxes.

13                 You know, Mr. President, throughout 

14    our nation we're witnessing a massive, 

15    coordinated attack on voting rights in other 

16    states.  In fact, over the last few years more 

17    than 400 anti-voter bills have been introduced in 

18    48 states, and more seem to be proposed on a 

19    weekly basis.

20                 The deluge of these anti-democracy 

21    pieces of legislation have made it harder for 

22    millions of Americans to have their voice heard 

23    in government.  But here in New York, with this 

24    package of bills, under the leadership of Andrea 

25    Stewart-Cousins and our Elections chair, Zellnor 


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 1    Myrie, we are charting a different course.  We're 

 2    focused on making voting as accessible as 

 3    possible, ensuring that every eligible voter has 

 4    a clear and simple method to fulfill this most 

 5    basic and sacred act of democracy.

 6                 I'm proud today also we're 

 7    supporting legislation to ensure ballot drop 

 8    boxes.  You know, there are over 30 states that 

 9    currently have ballot drop boxes that make it 

10    easy for voters who are busy, who have kids, who 

11    have jobs, to simply drop off their ballot at a 

12    secure location.  

13                 We know that's important not just 

14    because of the fact that we have so many working 

15    New Yorkers who have a hard time getting to the 

16    polls, but we know that if you're voting 

17    absentee, the postal service isn't always 

18    reliable.  We saw that in '20 and '21, how 

19    crucial absentee ballots are to the health of our 

20    community.  You should be able to go to a ballot 

21    drop box and deposit your vote.

22                 You know, not only are we, with this 

23    legislation, allowing ballot drop boxes to be 

24    instituted in the State of New York, but we're 

25    also pushing back on states that are rolling back 


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 1    ballot drop boxes -- states like Texas, Michigan, 

 2    Wisconsin, Florida.  We say to them today:  You 

 3    are not benefiting the residents of your state, 

 4    you are not benefiting democracy by rolling back 

 5    voter protections -- you're undermining 

 6    democracy.  

 7                 We're doing the opposite today, and 

 8    for those reasons I vote aye.  

 9                 Thank you, Mr. President.

10                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

11    Hoylman to be recorded in the affirmative.

12                 Announce the results.

13                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

14    Calendar 3, those Senators voting in the negative 

15    are Senators Akshar, Borrello, Boyle, Gallivan, 

16    Griffo, Helming, Jordan, Lanza, Martucci, 

17    Mattera, Oberacker, O'Mara, Ortt, Palumbo, Rath, 

18    Ritchie, Serino, Stec, Tedisco and Weik.  

19                 Ayes, 43.  Nays, 20.

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The bill 

21    is passed.

22                 The Secretary will read.

23                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 4, 

24    Senate Print 557, by Senator May --

25                 SENATOR LANZA:   Lay it aside.


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 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Lay it 

 2    aside.

 3                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 5, 

 4    Senate Print 1126B, by Senator Gianaris, an act 

 5    to amend the Election Law.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Read the 

 7    last section.

 8                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 6.  This 

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

10    shall have become a law.

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Call the 

12    roll.

13                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

15    Jackson to explain his vote.

16                 SENATOR JACKSON:   Thank you, 

17    Mr. President.

18                 My colleagues, I rise this afternoon 

19    in order to speak about several bills.  That's 

20    S253, which safeguards the constitutional right 

21    of absentee voters to have their votes counted 

22    when there are stray marks or writing on an 

23    absentee ballot, as long as the express intent of 

24    the voter is clear, and S492, which authorizes 

25    boards of elections to establish absentee ballot 


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 1    drop-off locations, and S 1126B, to ban political 

 2    spending by foreign-influenced businesses in 

 3    New York State and local elections.

 4                 So I rise to speak on this.  And as 

 5    legislators we swore to protect democracy.  We 

 6    were elected, among many things, to make sure our 

 7    constituents' right to vote is protected, whether 

 8    expanding their access to a ballot or giving 

 9    people more choices about where and when they 

10    vote.  And I'm proud to stand here today as part 

11    of a commitment to ensure that this grand 

12    experiment called democracy is genuinely for all.

13                 And after we saw the previous year, 

14    there is a clear attempt nationwide to go all out 

15    in limiting voting rights, specifically that of 

16    Black, brown and working class communities.  Too 

17    many people in this country are still talking 

18    about voter fraud, voter machine malfunctions, as 

19    if they genuinely care about the strength of our 

20    democracy, when it is clear that their concerns 

21    about safeguarding is their political power.

22                 The bills we vote on today walk the 

23    walk by positively contributing to both security 

24    of our elections and the ease of casting a 

25    ballot.  


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 1                 And many thanks to all my colleagues 

 2    who put forward these bills today.  Let us 

 3    continue to demonstrate our commitment to 

 4    ensuring that eligible New Yorkers can access the 

 5    ballot box and become involved in civic life and 

 6    the future of our nation.  Allowing more people 

 7    to participate is the right path to forge a 

 8    healthy and robust democracy.  After all, we can 

 9    all agree that democracy is healthier when 

10    everyone's participation is constructive.  

11                 And I vote aye, Mr. President.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

13    Jackson to be recorded in the affirmative.

14                 Announce the results.

15                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

16    Calendar 5, those Senators voting in the negative 

17    are Senators Akshar, Boyle, Gallivan, Griffo, 

18    Helming, Jordan, Mattera, Oberacker, O'Mara, 

19    Ortt, Rath, Ritchie, Stec, Tedisco and Weik.

20                 Ayes, 48.  Nays, 15.

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The bill 

22    is passed.

23                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 6, 

24    Senate Print 1283, by Senator Kaminsky, an act to 

25    amend the Election Law.


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 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Read the 

 2    last section.

 3                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

 4    act shall take effect on the first of January.

 5                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Call the 

 6    roll.

 7                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Announce 

 9    the results.

10                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

11    Calendar 6, those Senators voting in the negative 

12    are Senators Akshar, Borrello, Boyle, Gallivan, 

13    Griffo, Helming, Jordan, Lanza, Martucci, 

14    Mattera, Oberacker, O'Mara, Ortt, Rath, Ritchie, 

15    Serino, Stec, Tedisco and Weik.

16                 Ayes, 44.  Nays, 19.

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The bill 

18    is passed.

19                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 7, 

20    Senate Print 2951, by Senator Kavanagh, an act to 

21    amend the Election Law.

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Read the 

23    last section.

24                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

25    act shall take effect immediately.


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 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Call the 

 2    roll.

 3                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Announce 

 5    the results.

 6                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

 7    Calendar Number 7, 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 BAILEY:   The bill 

15    is passed.

16                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 8, 

17    Senate Print 4658, by Senator Parker, an act to 

18    amend the Election Law.

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Read the 

20    last section.

21                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 4.  This 

22    act shall take effect January 1, 2024.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Call the 

24    roll.

25                 (The Secretary called the roll.)


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 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Announce 

 2    the results.

 3                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

 4    Calendar Number 8, those Senators voting in the 

 5    negative are Senators Akshar, Borrello, Boyle, 

 6    Gallivan, Griffo, Helming, Jordan, Lanza, 

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

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

 9    Weik.

10                 Ayes, 43.  Nays, 20.

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The bill 

12    is passed.

13                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 9, 

14    Senate Print 6214, by Senator Myrie, an act to 

15    amend the Election Law.

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Read the 

17    last section.

18                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 4.  This 

19    act shall take effect immediately.

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Call the 

21    roll.

22                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Announce 

24    the results.

25                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 


                                                               67

 1    Calendar Number 9, those Senators voting in the 

 2    negative are Senators Akshar, Borrello, Boyle, 

 3    Gallivan, Griffo, Helming, Jordan, Lanza, 

 4    Mattera, Oberacker, O'Mara, Ortt, Palumbo, Rath, 

 5    Ritchie, Serino, Stec, Tedisco and Weik.

 6                 Ayes, 44.  Nays, 19.

 7                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The bill 

 8    is passed.

 9                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 10, 

10    Senate Print 7565B, by Senator Biaggi, an act to 

11    amend the Election Law.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Read the 

13    last section.

14                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 4.  This 

15    act shall take effect immediately.

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Call the 

17    roll.

18                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

20    Rath to explain his vote.

21                 SENATOR RATH:   Thank you, 

22    Mr. President.  I rise to explain my vote because 

23    I have two primary concerns with this bill.  

24                 First, I believe there are serious 

25    constitutional questions.  It goes beyond the 


                                                               68

 1    limits of who can qualify for an absentee ballot.  

 2    The Constitution authorizes this Legislature to 

 3    provide a manner for qualified voters to cast an 

 4    absentee ballot, but this authority is offered 

 5    with limitations.  

 6                 Once again, it is offered with 

 7    limitations.  A risk or a fear of illness goes 

 8    above and beyond those limitations.  

 9                 Second, I am concerned it is overly 

10    vague and appears to be another attempt at 

11    no-excuse absentee voting -- which, I remind my 

12    colleagues, 55 percent of New Yorkers rejected 

13    this past November.

14                 I believe we have a responsibility 

15    to listen to the will of the voters who spoke 

16    loud and clear on November 2nd.  Voting on a bill 

17    in January to address an unpredictable 

18    environmental factor in the months to come, with 

19    fear as the only rationale, is not in the best 

20    interests of the people of the State of New York.

21                 And for these reasons, I vote in the 

22    negative.

23                 Thank you, Mr. President.

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

25    Rath to be recorded in the negative.


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 1                 Announce the results.

 2                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

 3    Calendar 10, those Senators voting in the 

 4    negative are Senators Akshar, Borrello, Boyle, 

 5    Felder, Gallivan, Griffo, Helming, Jordan, Lanza, 

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

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

 8    Weik.

 9                 Ayes, 42.  Nays, 21.

10                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The bill 

11    is passed.

12                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 11, 

13    Senate Print 7619, by Senator Mayer, an act to 

14    amend Chapter 60 of the Laws of 2021.

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Read the 

16    last section.

17                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

18    act shall take effect immediately.  

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Call the 

20    roll.

21                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Announce 

23    the results.

24                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

25    Calendar 11, those Senators voting in the 


                                                               70

 1    negative are Senators Akshar, Borrello, Felder, 

 2    Gallivan, Griffo, Helming, Jordan, Lanza, 

 3    Martucci, Oberacker, O'Mara, Ortt, Palumbo, Rath, 

 4    Ritchie, Stec, Tedisco and Weik.

 5                 Ayes, 45.  Nays, 18.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The bill 

 7    is passed.

 8                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 13, 

 9    Senate Print 7631, by the Independent 

10    Redistricting Commission, an act to amend the 

11    State Law.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Read the 

13    last section.

14                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 5.  This 

15    act shall take effect immediately.

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Call the 

17    roll.

18                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Announce 

20    the results.

21                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

22    Calendar 13, those Senators voting in the 

23    negative are Senators Addabbo, Akshar, Bailey, 

24    Biaggi, Borrello, Boyle, Breslin, Brisport, 

25    Brooks, Brouk, Cleare, Comrie, Cooney, Felder, 


                                                               71

 1    Gallivan, Gaughran, Gianaris, Gounardes, Griffo, 

 2    Harckham, Helming, Hinchey, Hoylman, Jackson, 

 3    Jordan, Kaminsky, Kaplan, Kavanagh, Kennedy, 

 4    Krueger, Lanza, Liu, Mannion, Martucci, Mattera, 

 5    May, Mayer, Myrie, Oberacker, O'Mara, Ortt, 

 6    Palumbo, Parker, Persaud, Ramos, Rath, 

 7    Reichlin-Melnick, Ritchie, Rivera, Ryan, Salazar, 

 8    Sanders, Savino, Sepúlveda, Serino, Serrano, 

 9    Skoufis, Stavisky, Stec, Stewart-Cousins, 

10    Tedisco, Thomas and Weik.

11                 Nays, 63.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The bill 

13    is defeated.

14                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 14, 

15    Senate Print 7632, by the Independent 

16    Redistricting Commission, an act to amend the 

17    State Law.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Read the 

19    last section.

20                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 5.  This 

21    act shall take effect immediately.

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Call the 

23    roll.

24                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Announce 


                                                               72

 1    the results.

 2                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

 3    Calendar 14, those Senators voting in the 

 4    negative are Senators Addabbo, Akshar, Bailey, 

 5    Biaggi, Borrello, Boyle, Breslin, Brisport, 

 6    Brooks, Brouk, Cleare, Comrie, Cooney, Felder, 

 7    Gallivan, Gaughran, Gianaris, Gounardes, Griffo, 

 8    Harckham, Helming, Hinchey, Hoylman, Jackson, 

 9    Jordan, Kaminsky, Kaplan, Kavanagh, Kennedy, 

10    Krueger, Lanza, Liu, Mannion, Martucci, Mattera, 

11    May, Mayer, Myrie, Oberacker, O'Mara, Ortt, 

12    Palumbo, Parker, Persaud, Ramos, Rath, 

13    Reichlin-Melnick, Ritchie, Rivera, Ryan, Salazar, 

14    Sanders, Savino, Sepúlveda, Serino, Serrano, 

15    Skoufis, Stavisky, Stec, Stewart-Cousins, 

16    Tedisco, Thomas and Weik.  

17                 Nays, 63.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The bill 

19    is defeated.

20                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 15, 

21    Senate Print 7633, by the Independent 

22    Redistricting Commission, an act to amend the 

23    State Law.

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Read the 

25    last section.


                                                               73

 1                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 5.  This 

 2    act shall take effect immediately.

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Call the 

 4    roll.

 5                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

 7    Lanza to explain his vote.

 8                 SENATOR LANZA:   Thank you, 

 9    Mr. President.

10                 You know, I've anticipated or we've 

11    all been waiting to see where the vote was going 

12    on these redistricting bills.  I don't think 

13    anyone's surprised in terms of what's happening 

14    here.  I think it's been the worst-kept secret in 

15    Albany, if not the entire country, that this 

16    Independent Redistricting Commission was never 

17    going to be allowed to remain independent.

18                 I'm going to vote in favor of this, 

19    and the next, because it's my understanding that 

20    these two pieces of -- these two maps handed down 

21    by the IRC are the closest to a consensus that 

22    came out of that commission.

23                 This commission was put in place by 

24    the people of the State of New York.  They wanted 

25    independence in the process of writing political 


                                                               74

 1    maps in the State of New York.  

 2                 I'm sure we'll hear about how 

 3    Republicans didn't do it that way years ago -- 

 4    but if that's the case, neither did the 

 5    Democrats, because Republicans never controlled 

 6    both houses and the Executive.  Past abuses or 

 7    past issues should not be the reason why the 

 8    wrong thing should happen to the people of State 

 9    of New York today.  

10                 I wouldn't have written any of these 

11    maps the way they are written, but that's exactly 

12    the point.  They ought not be written by one 

13    person, and they ought not be written by one 

14    party.  And we all know that's where this is 

15    going.  And it's wrong.  

16                 There was a recent -- there was a 

17    recent attempt to undo what the people had 

18    already put in place, which led to this 

19    Independent Redistricting Commission.  It was put 

20    on the ballot, and the voters rejected it.  And 

21    they rejected it soundly.  Because this is what 

22    they want.  They want that commission to do their 

23    work in as independent a fashion as is humanly 

24    possible.  

25                 With all its flaws, with all the 


                                                               75

 1    issues in that commission, I stand here firmly 

 2    believing that the best thing that could happen 

 3    for the people of New York is for that commission 

 4    to draw the maps that will determine the 

 5    districts that people will be allowed to vote in 

 6    in the State of New York, and not one politician 

 7    or one political party.

 8                 And that's why, Mr. President, I'm 

 9    going to be voting in favor of this, if only to 

10    send the message that I support the independence 

11    of that commission and not the partisanship of 

12    what is clearly coming our way in the State of 

13    New York.

14                 Mr. President, I vote in the 

15    affirmative.

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

17    Lanza to be recorded in the affirmative.

18                 Senator Gianaris to explain his 

19    vote.

20                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Thank you, 

21    Mr. President.

22                 I had to get up because the 

23    hypocrisy is raining off these walls at a pace 

24    that I've not seen in my many years in this 

25    chamber, so I had to correct the record.


                                                               76

 1                 The -- my colleague who just spoke 

 2    just finished voting no on the maps that were 

 3    drawn by the commissioners appointed by 

 4    Democrats, but is now voting yes on the maps 

 5    drawn by commissioners appointed by Republicans, 

 6    and yet he's trying to claim that that was -- 

 7    that the Republican version is the independent 

 8    version.  

 9                 Of course we're sitting here under a 

10    process developed by the Senate Majority.  At the 

11    time -- because I've been here long enough, as 

12    has Senator Lanza, to have remembered the last 

13    time we went around and around on this -- these 

14    flaws in the setup of the commission and 

15    structure were pointed out by me, in fact, and 

16    other members of the Minority at the time.  And 

17    yet this was the process the then-Majority 

18    insisted upon, because they knew it would come to 

19    this.  

20                 They knew that we would take the 

21    majority, and they set up a commission that was 

22    designed to be political.  In fact, a court 

23    denied the Board of Elections the right to use 

24    the word "independent" when it was placed on the 

25    ballot because it was so clear that that's what 


                                                               77

 1    the then-Majority did.

 2                 So let's not play games.  If Senator 

 3    Lanza was sitting in this chair he would not have 

 4    made the speech he just made from that chair.  He 

 5    had the chance to do that 10 years ago and chose 

 6    not to.

 7                 So we are doing the best we can.  

 8    The commission exists now.  We are being 

 9    respectful of it, we are giving it its 

10    opportunity to do its best and send us its 

11    proposals, we are considering them, and we will 

12    consider its plans again in less than 15 days.  

13    But don't try and paint a picture that's not 

14    true, especially a picture that was largely drawn 

15    by yourself.

16                 So we are doing the best we can with 

17    the process, the flawed process that was given to 

18    us by you.  Let's just be clear that that's 

19    what's happening.  

20                 I vote in the negative on this map.

21                 Thank you.

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

23    Gianaris to be recorded in the negative.

24                 Announce the results.

25                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 


                                                               78

 1    Calendar 15, those Senators voting in the 

 2    negative are Senators Addabbo, Bailey, Biaggi, 

 3    Breslin, Brisport, Brooks, Brouk, Cleare, Comrie, 

 4    Cooney, Felder, Gallivan, Gaughran, Gianaris, 

 5    Gounardes, Harckham, Hinchey, Hoylman, Jackson, 

 6    Jordan, Kaminsky, Kaplan, Kavanagh, Kennedy, 

 7    Krueger, Liu, Mannion, May, Mayer, Myrie, Parker, 

 8    Persaud, Ramos, Reichlin-Melnick, Rivera, Ryan, 

 9    Salazar, Sanders, Savino, Sepúlveda, Serrano, 

10    Skoufis, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousins, Tedisco and 

11    Thomas.

12                 Ayes, 17.  Nays, 46.

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The bill 

14    is defeated.

15                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 16, 

16    Senate Print 7634, by the Independent 

17    Redistricting Commission, an act to amend the 

18    State Law.

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Read the 

20    last section.

21                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 5.  This 

22    act shall take effect immediately.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Call the 

24    roll.

25                 (The Secretary called the roll.)


                                                               79

 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Announce 

 2    the results.

 3                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

 4    Calendar 16, those Senators voting in the 

 5    negative are Senators Addabbo, Bailey, Biaggi, 

 6    Breslin, Brisport, Brooks, Brouk, Cleare, Comrie, 

 7    Cooney, Felder, Gaughran, Gianaris, Gounardes, 

 8    Griffo, Harckham, Hinchey, Hoylman, Jackson, 

 9    Kaminsky, Kaplan, Kavanagh, Kennedy, Krueger, 

10    Liu, Mannion, May, Mayer, Myrie, Parker, Persaud, 

11    Ramos, Reichlin-Melnick, Rivera, Ryan, Salazar, 

12    Sanders, Savino, Sepúlveda, Serrano, Skoufis, 

13    Stavisky, Stewart-Cousins and Thomas.

14                 Ayes, 19.  Nays, 44.

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The bill 

16    is defeated.

17                 Senator Gianaris, that completes the 

18    reading of today's noncontroversial calendar.

19                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Thank you, 

20    Mr. President.

21                 Can we now go to the reading of the 

22    controversial calendar, please.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

24    Secretary will ring the bell.

25                 The Secretary will read.


                                                               80

 1                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 1, 

 2    Senate Print 253, by Senator Myrie, an act to 

 3    amend the Election Law.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

 5    Rath, why do you rise?

 6                 SENATOR RATH:   Yes, thank you, 

 7    Mr. President.  Will the sponsor yield for some 

 8    questions?  

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

10    Myrie, will you yield?  

11                 SENATOR MYRIE:   Yes.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

13    sponsor yields.  

14                 SENATOR RATH:   Thank you.

15                 According to the bill text, this 

16    legislation will require boards of elections 

17    employees to review (1) express intent and (2) 

18    substantial compliance.

19                 Can the sponsor please elaborate on 

20    what measures would qualify as making the express 

21    intent of a voter unclear?

22                 SENATOR MYRIE:   Thank you, 

23    Mr. President.  

24                 And let me just first say "Happy 

25    New Year" to everyone here in the chamber.  And 


                                                               81

 1    of course our hearts remain with those who lost 

 2    their lives in the fire in the Bronx tragically 

 3    yesterday.

 4                 Let me also note that we are passing 

 5    these bills within a national context where 

 6    legislatures all over the country are restricting 

 7    the franchise, in direct juxtaposition with the 

 8    State of New York that in the past three years 

 9    has passed nearly 80 laws that have helped expand 

10    the franchise.

11                 This bill in particular, the 

12    standard being that the intent of the voter be 

13    unambiguous, really is suggesting that voters 

14    should have their vote counted when they want it 

15    to.  

16                 As my friend on the other side is 

17    well aware of, any review of a ballot, of an 

18    absentee ballot, is done on a bipartisan basis.  

19    It's not just a Democrat or a Republican, but 

20    both have to review that ballot and both have to 

21    come to a conclusion about whether that ballot is 

22    going to come into question.  

23                 Should there be a question around 

24    whether the voter's intent is clear, that then 

25    would be litigated, just as any other issue with 


                                                               82

 1    absentee ballots are litigated.  And I'd again 

 2    point the Senator to the language stating that 

 3    the intent has to be unambiguous for it to count.

 4                 SENATOR RATH:   Thank you, 

 5    Mr. President.  Will the sponsor continue to 

 6    yield?  

 7                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Does the 

 8    sponsor continue to yield?

 9                 SENATOR MYRIE:   Yes.

10                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

11    sponsor yields.

12                 SENATOR RATH:   The second part of 

13    my question is this.  What is the basis for 

14    substantial compliance?

15                 SENATOR MYRIE:   So that term exists 

16    already in our Election Law.  It is the same term 

17    that has been construed by the courts and under 

18    which there is a significant amount of case law, 

19    and it is the same standard by which we measure 

20    affidavit ballot validity.

21                 SENATOR RATH:   Thank you, 

22    Mr. President.  Will the sponsor continue to 

23    yield?  

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Will the 

25    sponsor yield?


                                                               83

 1                 SENATOR MYRIE:   Yes.

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

 3    sponsor yields.  

 4                 SENATOR RATH:   Is it fair to say 

 5    that asking Board of Election employees to start 

 6    analyzing express intent and substantial 

 7    compliance is beyond their current duties and job 

 8    descriptions?  

 9                 SENATOR MYRIE:   Through you, 

10    Mr. President, I would argue that it is not, and 

11    it is fairly similar to the process by which we 

12    examine signatures.  It is fairly similar to all 

13    of the other examinations of our absentee ballots 

14    by our Board of Elections administrators.  

15                 And I would underscore that this is 

16    not done on a partisan basis, but that the system 

17    set up to examine these ballots ensures that 

18    there is not a partisan bent to the examination, 

19    but one that is done holistically.  

20                 So I believe it is fully in the 

21    scope of the Board of Elections to examine 

22    whether or not a ballot is ambiguous in the 

23    voter's intent.

24                 And just so the public is clear on 

25    what this is, we are talking about stray marks 


                                                               84

 1    that have served as disqualifiers for ballots 

 2    where the voter has been very clear on what they 

 3    want their intention to be.  We've had litigation 

 4    around pizza stains on ballots.  Even though 

 5    everything else is clear, this has had to go to 

 6    the courts for one reason or another in 

 7    challenging that ballot.  

 8                 And so this bill is about making it 

 9    clear that if a voter is clear on their intent, 

10    that that ballot should count.

11                 SENATOR RATH:   Mr. President, will 

12    the sponsor continue to yield?  

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Will the 

14    sponsor yield?

15                 SENATOR MYRIE:   Yes.

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

17    sponsor yields.

18                 SENATOR RATH:   When asking Board of 

19    Elections employees to examine the thoughts and 

20    intentions of voters, is there a concern that the 

21    integrity of the ballot review process could be 

22    jeopardized?

23                 SENATOR MYRIE:   Through you, 

24    Mr. President.  The statute does not call for 

25    Board of Elections to divine what the intent is.  


                                                               85

 1    The statute says the express intent -- "express" 

 2    being the operative word there -- that as 

 3    expressed on the ballot, that the intent is 

 4    clear.

 5                 SENATOR MYRIE:   Mr. President, on 

 6    the bill.

 7                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

 8    Rath on the bill.

 9                 SENATOR RATH:   Expanding voting 

10    rights is a necessary yet challenging endeavor.  

11    Undoubtedly, we as elected representatives want 

12    every eligible voter to participate.

13                 It is equally important that we have 

14    the basic measures in place to preserve security.  

15    Removing simple requirements for dating the 

16    ballot envelope, and measures so easy and 

17    necessary for ballot integrity at the BOE -- it 

18    is mind-boggling that we would remove that.  

19    Mind-boggling.

20                 Absentee ballots currently have 

21    clear instructions on how to be handled.  

22    Voters are smart, and current Board of Elections 

23    processes exist to protect the accuracy of each 

24    and every ballot.  For these reasons, I'll be 

25    voting in the negative.  


                                                               86

 1                 Thank you, Mr. President.

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Thank 

 3    you, Senator Rath.

 4                 Are there any other Senators wishing 

 5    to be heard?

 6                 Seeing and hearing none, debate is 

 7    closed.  

 8                 The Secretary will ring the bell.

 9                 Read the last section.

10                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 3.  This 

11    act shall take effect immediately.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Call the 

13    roll.

14                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

16    Myrie to explain his vote.

17                 SENATOR MYRIE:   Thank you, 

18    Mr. President.

19                 I just want to not just speak on 

20    this bill, but to speak to what the Majority is 

21    doing today.  This is of course the fourth year 

22    that we are starting off this session with 

23    defending our democracy, but we do so in a 

24    different context than we've done in the past.  

25                 Last week we unfortunately had to 


                                                               87

 1    commemorate the insurrection that took place in 

 2    our nation's Capitol on January 6th, and the 

 3    unfortunate reality is that that insurrection 

 4    has continued in legislative houses throughout 

 5    the rest of the nation.

 6                 So while New York is expanding 

 7    today, with Senator May's bill, options to vote 

 8    early, we've seen states like Georgia and Texas 

 9    and Iowa restrict the early voting period and 

10    make it shorter during the days where you could 

11    vote.  Where we are, thanks to Senator Hoylman, 

12    making an attempt to authorize ballot drop boxes, 

13    states like Indiana have just passed laws to 

14    remove those ballot boxes from the public.  

15                 We are making an attempt today, with 

16    Senator Parker's bill, to get more young people 

17    involved and to make it easier for them to 

18    register and participate, and in other states 

19    like Florida and Kansas and Montana they have 

20    made it harder for individuals to register to 

21    vote.  

22                 And of course with this bill and 

23    some of the other bills that we have passed, we 

24    are making it easier for folks to vote by mail, 

25    making it easier for those votes to count, and in 


                                                               88

 1    other places like Arizona and Idaho, they are 

 2    making it easier to discard those absentee 

 3    ballots.  

 4                 So make no mistake, this Majority 

 5    will continue to defend our democracy.  We will 

 6    continue our journey from worst to first because 

 7    it is more important now than ever.  That is why 

 8    I'm voting in the affirmative. 

 9                 Thank you, Mr. President.  

10                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

11    Myrie to be recorded in the affirmative.  

12                 Senator Ramos to explain her vote.

13                 SENATOR RAMOS:   Thank you, 

14    Mr. President.  

15                 It's such an honor -- it feels great 

16    to be back in the chamber.  I'm very eager to get 

17    to work with all of my colleagues this year and 

18    to be able to cast this vote in the affirmative 

19    in support of the bill that my colleague Senator 

20    Zellnor Myrie championed, is championing for our 

21    conference and for the people of New York.  

22                 I have to say that the margins of 

23    ballots that are tossed by election officials, 

24    particularly in down-ballot elections, can make a 

25    significant and meaningful difference.  And we 


                                                               89

 1    saw this firsthand in Queens.  Senator Gianaris 

 2    might remember a certain Queens district 

 3    attorney's race not too long ago in Queens where, 

 4    out of roughly 2800 affidavit ballots cast, more 

 5    than 80 percent of those ballots were thrown 

 6    away.  And that ended up being with only 487 

 7    votes that were counted.

 8                 And that, unfortunately, 

 9    disenfranchised many of our neighbors who wanted 

10    to feel heard, who expressed their intent and 

11    their desire for their candidate to win the 

12    election, but unfortunately their votes had been 

13    cast aside because of really silly marks, because 

14    of some mistakes that can be curable, which this 

15    body has already made a lot easier for voters.  

16                 And I just can't be more thankful to 

17    my colleagues, to this body, and to Senator Myrie 

18    for making sure that these mistakes don't ever 

19    happen again and that every single voter gets the 

20    opportunity to cast their ballot and sincerely be 

21    heard.

22                 That's what this is all about, 

23    making sure that more New Yorkers are engaged in 

24    the political process, that they're voting, that 

25    they are active participants of our democracy.  


                                                               90

 1    And we should not be hindering that participation 

 2    in any way, shape or form.

 3                 So thank you, Mr. President, for the 

 4    opportunity to speak on the bill.  It's good to 

 5    see everyone.  Thank you.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

 7    Ramos to be recorded in the affirmative.

 8                 Announce the results.

 9                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

10    Calendar 1, those Senators voting in the negative 

11    are Senators Akshar, Borrello, Boyle, Gallivan, 

12    Griffo, Helming, Jordan, Lanza, Martucci, 

13    Mattera, Oberacker, O'Mara, Ortt, Palumbo, Rath, 

14    Ritchie, Serino, Stec, Tedisco and Weik.

15                 Ayes, 43.  Nays, 20.

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The bill 

17    is passed.

18                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 4, 

19    Senate Print 557, by Senator May, an act to amend 

20    the Election Law.

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

22    Borrello.

23                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Mr. President, 

24    will the sponsor yield for a question.

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Will the 


                                                               91

 1    sponsor yield for a question?  

 2                 SENATOR MAY:   Yes, of course.

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

 4    sponsor yields.  

 5                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Thank you.  

 6    Through you, Mr. President.  

 7                 Hello, Senator May.  Happy New Year.  

 8    Welcome back.

 9                 You know, I read through this bill 

10    and I know we've voted on this before; it's back 

11    again.  But unfortunately, I don't see any 

12    changes to the law -- to the bill as it's 

13    written, I should say.  And it's very vague in a 

14    lot of ways.  

15                 My first question is, you know, what 

16    exactly does a portable polling site look like?  

17    It's really not defined in the bill.  I mean, you 

18    know, I'm in the restaurant business.  Are we 

19    talking about a food truck kind of thing where, 

20    instead of a gourmet grilled cheese, I'm going to 

21    cast a ballot?  I mean, what will a portable 

22    polling site in New York look like?  

23                 SENATOR MAY:   So this is something 

24    that is done in at least eight other states.  

25                 And it can look like a food truck.  


                                                               92

 1    You can put the -- now that we have electronic 

 2    poll books, you can put it in a vehicle, like a 

 3    bookmobile kind of thing, and bring it to a site.

 4                 You could also set them up in an 

 5    office somewhere, in a polling location.  You can 

 6    create a new polling location for a certain 

 7    period of time.

 8                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Mr. President, 

 9    will the sponsor continue to yield?  

10                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Will the 

11    sponsor continue to yield? 

12                 SENATOR MAY:   Of course.

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

14    sponsor yields.

15                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Well, you know, 

16    now you're talking about something that's 

17    portable.  Right?  So there is certainly the 

18    issue of now wherever that facility is, whether 

19    it's on wheels or it's at an office, we're going 

20    to have to have these poll books.  And how are 

21    these poll books -- are we going to ensure that 

22    they're -- obviously they have the information 

23    they need on the spot, no matter where they are.  

24                 And who's going to essentially 

25    ensure that without showing a voter I.D. that 


                                                               93

 1    those people that show up are actually going -- 

 2    are actually -- are who they say they are?

 3                 SENATOR MAY:   Well, I don't know if 

 4    you have voted in an early voting option, but 

 5    these poll books are in use for early voting all 

 6    across the state already.  They have been 

 7    remarkably effective not only in accelerating the 

 8    voting process, making the lines move faster, but 

 9    the poll workers say they really like them 

10    because they feel that they are not only secure 

11    but really user-friendly.

12                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Mr. President, 

13    will the sponsor continue to yield.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Will the 

15    sponsor continue to yield?  

16                 SENATOR MAY:   Of course.

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

18    sponsor yields.

19                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Yes, I'm 

20    familiar with the electronic poll books.  They 

21    use them at the regular sites even on 

22    Election Day.

23                 But my concern is, you know, with 

24    early voting -- you brought up early voting -- is 

25    we actually have to print a live ballot on the 


                                                               94

 1    spot.  And with it moving around, you know, I'm 

 2    concerned about the fact that how do we know 

 3    that, you know, we -- again, we're not setting 

 4    any standards.  Right?  We're not saying what the 

 5    hours should be.  

 6                 So if someone shows up with the 

 7    portable polling truck at 2 o'clock in the 

 8    morning, how do we know that they're printing a 

 9    live ballot for somebody that's actually there or 

10    not?  

11                 SENATOR MAY:   Well, I remind you 

12    that the way this works is this creates an option 

13    for counties to create these portable polling 

14    places.  

15                 That means the Democrat and the 

16    Republican of the election commissioners have to 

17    agree to do it.  This isn't just some rogue thing 

18    that's going to happen in the middle of the 

19    night.  They are going to set the times and the 

20    locations, I believe 14 days in advance, in order 

21    to make sure that the public knows to show up at 

22    these locations.

23                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Mr. President, 

24    will the sponsor continue to yield.

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Will the 


                                                               95

 1    sponsor continue to yield?  

 2                 SENATOR MAY:   I will.

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

 4    sponsor yields.

 5                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Now, I 

 6    understand that you feel that right now we have 

 7    this system where we have a Republican and a 

 8    Democrat in every county.  

 9                 I will remind you that it's been 

10    said many times on the floor and in public that 

11    we need to professionalize, quote, unquote, our 

12    boards of elections, which would essentially 

13    eliminate that in most counties, particularly 

14    downstate.  

15                 So I'm not sure that we're going to 

16    continue to have that process of an equal 

17    bipartisan effort when it comes to who's going to 

18    determine where this portable voting truck is 

19    going to go and for how long and for how many 

20    hours.  It could be 10 hours in one area and two 

21    hours in another.  

22                 So I'm -- again, I'm concerned about 

23    that.  Without having this spelled out 

24    specifically in the legislation, how do we ensure 

25    that these live ballots that are being printed 


                                                               96

 1    are not being abused?

 2                 SENATOR MAY:   Through you, 

 3    Mr. President.  As is stated in the bill, all of 

 4    the preexisting rules and regulations pertaining 

 5    to the boards of elections still apply in these 

 6    cases.  

 7                 And they are already doing a very 

 8    good job, actually, of making sure that the 

 9    printed ballots are the right ballots.  We 

10    haven't heard of significant errors in that case 

11    anywhere in the state.

12                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Mr. President, 

13    will the sponsor continue to yield.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Will the 

15    sponsor yield?

16                 SENATOR MAY:   I will.

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

18    sponsor continues to yield.

19                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Thank you.  

20                 So if we're going to have this 

21    idea -- we've got early voting, we've got people 

22    that are participating, obviously, for 10 days of 

23    voting, and now we're going to create this voting 

24    food truck scenario, what would be the problem 

25    with a voter I.D.?  Why wouldn't we want them to 


                                                               97

 1    show an I.D. when they come to vote at the voter 

 2    food truck?  

 3                 SENATOR MAY:   Through you, 

 4    Mr. President.  That is a completely separate 

 5    issue from what we are talking about here, which 

 6    is just adding some locations for early voting in 

 7    places where people are and would want to vote.

 8                 For example, on the weekends in a 

 9    shopping area or on weekdays at a community 

10    college.  Those are -- or in rural areas where 

11    people might not be able to get to the distant 

12    polling place for early voting that they 

13    otherwise would be restricted to.

14                 So we're not addressing the other 

15    parts of Election Law here.

16                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Mr. President, 

17    on the bill.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

19    Borrello on the bill.

20                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   First of all, 

21    Senator May, thank you very much.  Appreciate it.

22                 You know, I think it's interesting 

23    to note that we want to make things easier, and I 

24    get that.  But not at the expense of our election 

25    integrity.  And the idea that we could have an 


                                                               98

 1    elections food truck show up in a Walmart parking 

 2    lot for people to vote is a pretty scary 

 3    proposition when you're not going to be able to 

 4    present an I.D. 

 5                 And that's really the crux of the 

 6    situation here.  My colleagues on the other side 

 7    of the aisle are opposed to the simple idea of 

 8    showing an I.D. to vote.  And the excuses I've 

 9    heard is we're going to exclude certain people by 

10    doing that.  

11                 Well, there's a recently published 

12    study -- I know we like to reference studies 

13    often -- in November of 2021 in the quarterly 

14    Journal of Economics that said showing an I.D. 

15    has no impact, does not suppress anyone from 

16    voting.  A very detailed study.  

17                 Also, we also -- my colleagues on 

18    the other side of the aisle love to compare us to 

19    Europe.  Well, all of the European nations, with 

20    the exception of certain parts of the 

21    United Kingdom, actually have voter I.D. laws.

22                 So if we're going to make it -- 

23    we'll say easier to vote, why would we not ask 

24    for the simple action of showing an I.D.?  If 

25    it's a question of constitutionality, well, we 


                                                               99

 1    certainly have a constitutional right to bear 

 2    arms, and we should still show an I.D. to 

 3    purchase a gun.  So I don't understand how those 

 4    two things don't go together.  

 5                 It's important that we understand 

 6    that whether you like it or not, there are 

 7    millions and millions of people who have lost 

 8    faith in the integrity of our election process.  

 9    And just because we can point to something and 

10    say it wasn't harmful now doesn't mean we can't 

11    pass new laws that really take the brakes off and 

12    all the safeties off of all of our elections and 

13    think that that's still not going to create a 

14    problem.  

15                 That's like saying I jumped out the 

16    window of the first floor and didn't get hurt, 

17    I'm sure the same philosophy applies if I jumped 

18    out of the 10th floor window.  And right now 

19    Senator Gianaris is asking maybe I should jump 

20    out the 10th floor window.

21                 So, folks, we need to preserve the 

22    integrity of our elections.  That's first and 

23    foremost.  Access is important.  But the 

24    foundation of our democracy, our representative 

25    democracy, is absolutely that people have faith 


                                                               100

 1    that our election process is fair and that they 

 2    can count that their vote will be counted.

 3                 Ladies and gentlemen, we are taking 

 4    steps to undermine the election integrity here in 

 5    New York State, and that's why I'll be voting no 

 6    on the voter food truck bill.

 7                 Thank you.

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Are there 

 9    any other Senators wishing to be heard?

10                 Seeing and hearing none, debate is 

11    closed.  The Secretary will ring the bell.

12                 Read the last section.

13                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

14    act shall take effect on the first of January.

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Call the 

16    roll.

17                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

19    May to explain her vote.

20                 SENATOR MAY:   Thank you, 

21    Mr. President.  And thank you, Senator, for the 

22    debate.

23                 I want to say in general about this 

24    package of bills that it comes at a time when 

25    there is a concerted effort in this country to 


                                                               101

 1    make voters distrust elections and to distrust 

 2    the results of elections, to discourage people 

 3    from voting and to make it harder to register and 

 4    to vote.

 5                 I'm disturbed that in this debate we 

 6    heard an equivalence drawn between casting a 

 7    ballot and buying a gun.  I think we should think 

 8    about voting as a right and a privilege, but also 

 9    a duty of American citizens, and it -- that 

10    comparison really disturbs me.

11                 I do want to say that I'm very proud 

12    to be part of this Senate Majority that is 

13    working to not just make it easier to vote and 

14    easier to register, to bring voting to the 

15    people, but also to help voters understand that 

16    their votes will be counted.  That when they show 

17    up at a polling place or when they submit an 

18    absentee ballot, they can have a much higher 

19    degree of confidence that that ballot actually 

20    will count in the election.  

21                 And that is something that we need 

22    to reassure people about, because this campaign 

23    to make people afraid of our elections, to make 

24    people afraid of voters and of election results, 

25    is deeply damaging to our democracy.


                                                               102

 1                 So on this bill and on all the other 

 2    bills, I have been proud to vote aye, and I thank 

 3    you very much, Mr. President.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

 5    May to be recorded in the affirmative.

 6                 Announce the results.

 7                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

 8    Calendar 4, those Senators voting in the negative 

 9    are Senators Akshar, Borrello, Boyle, Gallivan, 

10    Griffo, Helming, Jordan, Lanza, Martucci, 

11    Mattera, Oberacker, O'Mara, Ortt, Palumbo, Rath, 

12    Ritchie, Serino, Stec, Tedisco and Weik.

13                 Ayes, 43.  Nays, 20.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The bill 

15    is passed.

16                 Senator Gianaris, that completes the 

17    reading of the controversial calendar.

18                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Is there any 

19    further business at the desk?

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   There is 

21    no further business at the desk.

22                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Move to adjourn 

23    until tomorrow, Tuesday, January 11th, at 

24    3:00 p.m.

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   On 


                                                               103

 1    motion, the Senate stands adjourned until 

 2    Tuesday, January 11th, at 3:00 p.m.

 3                 (Whereupon, at 5:10 p.m., the Senate 

 4    adjourned.)

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