Regular Session - January 11, 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 11, 2022

11                      3:41 p.m.

12                          

13                          

14                   REGULAR SESSION

15  

16  

17  

18  SENATOR ROXANNE J. PERSAUD, 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 PERSAUD:   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 PERSAUD:   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 PERSAUD:   The 

14    reading of the Journal.

15                 THE SECRETARY:   In Senate, Monday, 

16    January 10, 2022, the Senate met pursuant to 

17    adjournment.  The Journal of Sunday, January 9, 

18    2022, was read and approved.  On motion, the 

19    Senate adjourned.

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   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 Gaughran 


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 1    moves to discharge, from the Committee on Rules, 

 2    Assembly Bill Number 8591 and substitute it for 

 3    the identical Senate Bill 7623A, Third Reading 

 4    Calendar 12.

 5                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   The 

 6    substitution is so ordered.  

 7                 Messages from the Governor.

 8                 Reports of standing committees.

 9                 Reports of select committees.

10                 Communications and reports from 

11    state officers.

12                 Motions and resolutions.

13                 Senator Gianaris.

14                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Thank you, 

15    Madam President.  

16                 I move to adopt the Resolution 

17    Calendar.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   All in 

19    favor of adopting the Resolution Calendar please 

20    signify by saying aye.

21                 (Response of "Aye.")

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   Opposed, 

23    nay.

24                 (No response.)

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   The 


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 1    Resolution Calendar is adopted.

 2                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Please take up 

 3    the reading of the calendar.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   The 

 5    Secretary will read.

 6                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 12, 

 7    Assembly Print Number 8591, by 

 8    Assemblymember Thiele, an act to amend 

 9    Chapter 417 of the Laws of 2021.

10                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   Read the 

11    last section.

12                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

13    act shall take effect immediately.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   Call the 

15    roll.

16                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   Senator 

18    Gaughran to explain his vote.

19                 SENATOR GAUGHRAN:   Thank you, 

20    Madam President.  

21                 This legislation, on just a 

22    temporary basis, will give our school districts, 

23    towns, cities, villages the options to hold 

24    remote meetings pursuant to the Governor's 

25    orders.


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 1                 We have to face reality that with 

 2    Omicron, this virus is spreading faster than it 

 3    ever has before.  And we have situations now 

 4    where our school boards and our municipalities 

 5    may not even have quorums to operate.  So this is 

 6    just an emergency measure as we get through this 

 7    period, which I hope ends as quickly as possible.  

 8                 And yes, it does also apply to the 

 9    State Legislature, and that we, pursuant to our 

10    own rules, may meet remotely.  The purpose of 

11    that is that again, with Omicron, you can have 

12    members of the State Legislature who will not be 

13    able to be present, perhaps for a month or more, 

14    simply because either their health is impacted or 

15    they're required to quarantine because of a 

16    contact they may have.  And that means that the 

17    people that we represent will not have their 

18    voices heard on so many important matters that 

19    will be coming before this Legislature.

20                 Now, I do believe as it relates to 

21    government and local governments, our 

22    municipalities, that we should be looking at 

23    other ways to take advantage of this technology 

24    that we have so that when we move out of this 

25    COVID situation, we can enhance public 


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 1    participation:  Meetings can be held in town hall 

 2    with remote opportunities as well.

 3                 So again, this is a temporary 

 4    measure.  And I vote in the affirmative, 

 5    Madam President.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   Senator 

 7    Gaughran to be recorded in the affirmative.

 8                 Senator Helming to explain her vote.

 9                 SENATOR HELMING:   Thank you, 

10    Madam President.  

11                 I rise today to explain my vote in 

12    opposition to this legislation.

13                 Madam President, I am voting no 

14    because it is my strongly held belief that the 

15    ability for a public body -- such as a school 

16    board, a local town board, village board, city 

17    council -- the decision whether or not to host a 

18    remote meeting should not be tied directly or 

19    specifically to the Governor's State of Emergency 

20    Declaration.  

21                 These bodies and the people who 

22    elect these bodies to serve should have the 

23    ability to make these decisions independent of 

24    the Governor's actions.

25                 For these reasons, I am voting in 


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 1    the negative.

 2                 Thank you, Madam President.

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   Senator  

 4    Helming to be recorded in the negative.

 5                 Senator Hoylman to explain his vote.

 6                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Thank you, 

 7    Madam President.

 8                 First I want to thank 

 9    Senator Gaughran for this important piece of 

10    legislation and for his leadership on it.  

11                 You know, when the pandemic made it 

12    unsafe to conduct public business in person, 

13    New York City community boards, many of which I 

14    represent -- six, to be exact -- and many other 

15    public bodies successfully transitioned to video 

16    conferencing software to host their meetings.  In 

17    the process, these public bodies have 

18    demonstrated how useful these tools are for all 

19    who wish to participate in our democracy.  

20                 We saw participation levels, 

21    diversity in participation, increase in these 

22    important deliberative bodies.  Parents with 

23    children, who might not otherwise have been able 

24    to take hours off of their evenings at community 

25    board meetings before now, Zoom in to discuss 


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 1    local concern.  Those with disabilities and 

 2    mobility issues, who have previously struggled to 

 3    get around town to a church basement or a high 

 4    school cafeteria, now have the opportunity to 

 5    easily attend public meetings to have their 

 6    voices heard.

 7                 Videoconferencing has been a boon to 

 8    our democracy and empowered countless New Yorkers 

 9    to participate in their communities more fully.  

10    And while these incredible benefits have helped 

11    so many, the primary goal has been to keep 

12    New Yorkers healthy during this deadly pandemic.  

13                 With the statute enabling these 

14    remote meetings expiring on June 15th, something 

15    had to be done.  Senator Gaughran's bill to 

16    extend those important provisions and tie them to 

17    the current State of Emergency Declaration is 

18    going to help New Yorkers stay safe while we 

19    experience this ongoing surge of Omicron.

20                 This will allow remote options to 

21    continue as long as public health conditions 

22    require such options to exist.  As new 

23    technologies emerge to improve the way we 

24    communicate and interact as a society, we must 

25    adapt and ensure our statutes reflect the new 


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 1    reality.  

 2                 The benefits we have seen from 

 3    allowing videoconferencing have been critical 

 4    during this pandemic, but could continue to 

 5    benefit New Yorkers long after the pandemic is a 

 6    distant memory.  I believe that we should provide 

 7    a long-term solution for public bodies consisting 

 8    of volunteer officials to continue to use 

 9    videoconferencing.  And I've introduced 

10    legislation to permanently empower New York City 

11    community boards and other voluntary 

12    organizations to continue to use 

13    videoconferencing.  

14                 I vote aye, Madam President.

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   Senator 

16    Hoylman to be recorded in the affirmative.

17                 Announce the results.

18                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

19    Calendar 12, those Senators voting in the 

20    negative are Senators Akshar, Borrello, Boyle, 

21    Gallivan, Helming, Jordan, Lanza, Martucci, 

22    Oberacker, O'Mara, Ortt, Rath, Serino, Stec, 

23    Tedisco and Weik.

24                 Ayes, 47.  Nays, 16.

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   The bill 


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 1    is passed.

 2                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 17, 

 3    Senate Print 7689, by Senator Hinchey, an act to 

 4    amend the Public Service Law.

 5                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   Read the 

 6    last section.

 7                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

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

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

10                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   Call the 

11    roll.

12                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   Senator  

14    Helming to explain her vote.

15                 SENATOR HELMING:   Thank you, 

16    Madam President.

17                 I rise today to explain my vote in 

18    favor of this legislation.  

19                 While I voted against the original 

20    bill, I believe that my concerns and the concerns 

21    of local broadband developers have been 

22    addressed.  This is definitely a step in the 

23    right direction.

24                 However, if we truly want to expand 

25    services to more areas of the state, this body 


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 1    needs to take at least a second step.  And that 

 2    second step, in my opinion, is passing Senate 

 3    Bill 2659, which repeals the fiber optic tax.  

 4    That tax, if you recall, was incorporated into 

 5    the State Budget by our former Governor.

 6                 By eliminating the fiber optic tax, 

 7    we can reduce the cost of broadband buildouts and 

 8    encourage the further expansion of broadband 

 9    service to every single area of New York State.

10                 Now, many times on this floor you 

11    have heard me talk about the concerns of rural 

12    New Yorkers.  But the truth is we have broadband 

13    and also cellular dead zones in many of our 

14    cities and suburban areas, as well as our rural 

15    communities.  

16                 My bill, Senate Bill 2659, the fiber 

17    optic tax repeal legislation, was introduced in 

18    July of 2020.  It's been sitting in the 

19    Transportation Committee for 18 months.  Everyone 

20    in this body understands the importance of 

21    providing equitable broadband services to all 

22    New Yorkers.  We all want to improve and grow 

23    access for individuals, businesses and students, 

24    for health, education and economic reasons.  

25                 That's why I urge the Majority and 


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 1    the chair of Transportation to bring S2659 to 

 2    this body for a vote.  Let's repeal the fiber 

 3    optic tax and expand broadband services.  

 4                 I vote aye on this amended 

 5    legislation.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   Senator 

 7    Helming to be recorded in the affirmative.

 8                 Senator Stec to explain his vote.

 9                 SENATOR STEC:   Thank you, 

10    Madam President.  I too rise to -- in support of 

11    this amendment.  

12                 However, I was in the affirmative on 

13    the original bill because I feel that not only 

14    what we're doing here today, but more is required 

15    to facilitate pole erection and replacement on 

16    new poles.  That process needs to be streamlined.  

17    I think that this bill still allows for that 

18    process to happen, but more needs to be done.  

19                 And my colleague just mentioned one 

20    important aspect I want to reiterate -- and we 

21    talked about this in the budget on debate last 

22    year -- that the fiber tax, which was enacted in 

23    the 2019 budget, is an impediment on building out 

24    the rest of broadband throughout the rural parts 

25    of New York State.  We are not all at 99 percent, 


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 1    as the previous Governor had touted on his way 

 2    out the door, and more work needs to be done.

 3                 I think it's important to point out 

 4    to this body that while I've heard from many 

 5    fiber suppliers that they are not building out 

 6    because of the fiber tax, in the three years 

 7    since we enacted that in the 2019 budget, only 

 8    $8 million has been collected -- 8 million with 

 9    an M.  

10                 So it's not a big revenue generator, 

11    but it is preventing -- we've put in a half a 

12    billion dollars in the first round of broadband 

13    programs which were built out, and unfortunately 

14    a lot of that money did go to make-ready and pole 

15    replacement, which is what this bill is talking 

16    about.  

17                 But the other aspect we're falling 

18    short on is that we have a lot of fiber optic 

19    costs that are turning away our companies wanting 

20    to build out the rural parts of the state.  And 

21    $8 million on a half-a-billion-dollar investment 

22    that the taxpayers made -- Governor Hochul in her 

23    State of the State mentioned that she wants to 

24    put in an additional billion dollars.  And I 

25    applaud that.  We need to finish the job, so I 


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 1    applaud the Governor for wanting to move this 

 2    forward.  

 3                 But again, this $8 million over 

 4    three years that we've collected is enough right 

 5    now where it is preventing fiber suppliers from 

 6    building out in the rural parts of the state.  

 7                 So I would encourage -- there's a 

 8    few bills out there that would get this done.  

 9    Senator Helming just mentioned hers.  But that, 

10    and another thing that is not in legislation but 

11    the Senate should be aware of is that recently, 

12    on its own, without legislation, the Department 

13    of Transportation has required broadband 

14    suppliers to perform surveys on all state 

15    highways when they're -- not the cable companies, 

16    not the power companies, not the phone companies, 

17    but fiber optic companies that are laying the 

18    broadband, they're required to survey for DOT 

19    where they're building out.  And that is another 

20    significant impediment to building out.  

21                 So while this bill and this chapter 

22    amendment is a step in the right direction, 

23    there's two more pieces of the puzzle that 

24    absolutely have to be addressed:  The fiber tax, 

25    which was done in the budget and has only raised 


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 1    $8 million, and the survey costs.  Those two 

 2    things are preventing investment in our 

 3    broadband.  

 4                 So with that, I will support this 

 5    bill, but again I encourage the body to look for 

 6    more ways to continue to move this ball forward.  

 7                 Thank you, Madam President.

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   Senator 

 9    Stec to be recorded in the affirmative.

10                 Announce the results.  

11                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   The bill 

13    is passed.

14                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 19, 

15    Senate Print 7691, by Senator Mayer, an act to 

16    amend the County Law.

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   Read the 

18    last section.

19                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

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

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

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   Call the 

23    roll.

24                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   Announce 


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 1    the results.

 2                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   The bill 

 4    is passed.

 5                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 21, 

 6    Senate Print 7693, by Senator Harckham, an act to 

 7    amend the Mental Hygiene Law.

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   Read the 

 9    last section.

10                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 3.  This 

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

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

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   Call the 

14    roll.

15                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   Announce 

17    the results.

18                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   The bill 

20    is passed.

21                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 26, 

22    Senate Print 7698, by Senator Comrie, an act to 

23    amend the Real Property Actions and Proceedings 

24    Law.

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   Read the 


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 1    last section.

 2                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

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

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

 5                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   Call the 

 6    roll.

 7                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   Announce 

 9    the results.

10                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

11    Calendar Number 26, those Senators voting in the 

12    negative are Senators Akshar, Borrello, Boyle, 

13    Gallivan, Griffo, Helming, Jordan, Lanza, 

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

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

16    Weik.

17                 Ayes, 43.  Nays, 20.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   The bill 

19    is passed.

20                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 32, 

21    Senate Print 7704, by Senator Breslin, an act to 

22    amend the Insurance Law.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   Read the 

24    last section.

25                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 


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 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 PERSAUD:   Call the 

 4    roll.

 5                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   Announce 

 7    the results.

 8                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   The bill 

10    is passed.

11                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 33, 

12    Senate Print 7705, by Senator Hoylman --

13                 SENATOR LANZA:   Lay it aside.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   Lay it 

15    aside.

16                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 36, 

17    Senate Print 7708, by Senator Rivera, an act to 

18    amend the Public Health Law.

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   Read the 

20    last section.

21                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 3.  This 

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

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

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   Call the 

25    roll.


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 1                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   Announce 

 3    the results.

 4                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

 5                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   The bill 

 6    is passed.

 7                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 37, 

 8    Senate Print 7709, by Senator Kaminsky, an act to 

 9    amend a chapter of the Laws of 2021.

10                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   Read the 

11    last section.

12                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

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

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

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   Call the 

16    roll.

17                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   Announce 

19    the results.

20                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

21    Calendar Number 37, voting in the negative:  

22    Senator Akshar.  

23                 Ayes, 62.  Nays, 1.

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   The bill 

25    is passed.


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 1                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 39, 

 2    Senate Print 7711, by Senator Parker, an act to 

 3    amend a chapter of the Laws of 2021.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   Read the 

 5    last section.

 6                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

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

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

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   Call the 

10    roll.

11                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   Announce 

13    the results.

14                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

15    Calendar Number 39, those voting in the negative 

16    are Senators Lanza and Ortt.

17                 Ayes, 61.  Nays, 2.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   The bill 

19    is passed.  

20                 Senator Gianaris, that completes the 

21    reading of today's calendar.

22                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Let's take up 

23    the controversial calendar at this time.

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   The 

25    Secretary will ring the bell.


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 1                 The Secretary will read.

 2                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 33, 

 3    Senate Print 7705, by Senator Hoylman, an act to 

 4    amend the Penal Law.

 5                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   Senator 

 6    Lanza, why do you rise?

 7                 SENATOR LANZA:   Madam President, I 

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

 9    waive the reading of that amendment and ask that 

10    you recognize Senator Tedisco to be heard.

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   Thank 

12    you, Senator Lanza.  

13                 Upon review of the amendment, in 

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

15    nongermane and out of order at this time.

16                 SENATOR LANZA:   Accordingly, 

17    Madam President, I appeal the ruling of the chair 

18    and ask that Senator Tedisco be recognized.

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   The 

20    appeal has been made and recognized, and 

21    Senator Tedisco may be heard.

22                 Senator Tedisco.

23                 SENATOR TEDISCO:   Thank you, 

24    Madam President, for recognizing me.

25                 As I put forth this amendment, I'd 


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 1    just like to mention to those members on the 

 2    other side of the aisle who are not in the room 

 3    today -- for the obvious reasons, but who are 

 4    watching -- that the contents of this amendment 

 5    is actually a bill.  It's a piece of legislation.  

 6    It's a piece of reform legislation.  In the 

 7    Senate, it's S01521.  In the Assembly it's A1705.  

 8                 And it's bipartisan.  It's sponsored 

 9    by Republicans and it's sponsored by Democrats, 

10    because we're all one when it comes to public 

11    safety.

12                 The bill for reform that is before 

13    you right now relates to reforming an agenda that 

14    has failed miserably over the last three years 

15    that has emanated from the other side of the 

16    aisle.  And that's just a fact.  It can't be 

17    refuted.  

18                 It can't be refuted because as I 

19    pick up these articles from -- well, locally it's 

20    the Times Union, it's the Gazette, there's the 

21    Democrat and Chronicle -- 319,000 New Yorkers 

22    walked out of the State of New York in this past 

23    census year, voted with their feet.  New York, of 

24    the 50 states in the nation, was number one in 

25    outmigration, irrefutable, at the bottom of the 


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 1    list in population growth.  

 2                 You don't have an agenda that's 

 3    working for the people of your state when year 

 4    after year after year -- and as the Times Union 

 5    says this time around, from July '20 to July 

 6    2021, New York's population fell by 319,000 

 7    people, the largest numeric decline of any state 

 8    in the country, according to the Census Bureau 

 9    estimates.

10                 Now, there's a lot of parts of why 

11    your agenda has failed over the last three years, 

12    and I imagine it's going to continue to fail.  

13    But this addresses, this amendment, the most 

14    important failure that's taken place.

15                 I don't know about the calls you're 

16    getting in your office or what you're seeing on 

17    your social websites.  People are afraid to leave 

18    their homes, they're afraid to walk the 

19    streets -- they're certainly afraid in the big 

20    city of New York City -- they're afraid to go to 

21    the grocery store.  And it's not the pandemic, 

22    and it's not the weather in New York.  This has 

23    been happening before the pandemic ever took 

24    place, this exodus.  

25                 And you know what?  There was a deep 


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 1    dive just before the pandemic looking at why we 

 2    were number one in outmigration in around 2019.  

 3    Fifteen percent of the population -- number one 

 4    in outmigration -- who left, you know where they 

 5    went?  New Jersey.  My colleagues and the 

 6    citizenry watching, New Jersey's not exactly the 

 7    sunny, balmy place in the Northeast.  Nobody's -- 

 8    well, I shouldn't say nobody.

 9                 The reason why they're leaving, and 

10    the most important part of this reform -- relates 

11    to why everything else pales in its sight -- and 

12    it's public safety.

13                 You passed the so-called criminal 

14    justice reform cash bail bill.  And I looked in 

15    the dictionary.  "Reform" means to make something 

16    better and work more effectively.  There's 

17    another word which really relates to what you've 

18    done.  It's deform.  You've deformed public 

19    safety in New York State.  

20                 It's a revolving door of danger and 

21    disaster.  It's a get-out-of-jail-free card.  

22    It's a catch and release.  It's endangering the 

23    very individuals which you made the argument for 

24    that we need these reforms.  You said individuals 

25    in low-income and minority neighborhoods need 


                                                               128

 1    this because they're being discriminated against.  

 2    You know who's being discriminated against?  The 

 3    people who are breaking the law from those 

 4    neighborhoods who judges have to release because 

 5    you took all discretion away from them.

 6                 Unfortunately, there are high levels 

 7    of crime in neighborhoods with minorities and 

 8    low-income individuals.  And they're going back 

 9    to those neighborhoods and innocent law-abiding 

10    citizens -- which you said you were going to 

11    protect and make justice be equal because of this 

12    reform you've put forth.

13                 Now, the way it happened is you went 

14    behind closed doors, you went in secret.  Law 

15    enforcement, the judiciary, district attorneys -- 

16    you gave them lip service, the professionals.

17                 I've got a question for you.  I've 

18    got a question for the other side of the aisle as 

19    I present this amendment.  The one voice from one 

20    political affiliation, from one region of the 

21    state -- that's you, who control the Senate, the 

22    Assembly and the Governor's office.  I want to 

23    ask you this question.  

24                 Three hundred nineteen thousand 

25    people left the state.  When enough people leave 


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 1    the State of New York, go to that U-Haul -- who 

 2    happens to be doing very well as a business, one 

 3    of the top businesses now because they're really 

 4    using those U-Hauls -- when those people, enough 

 5    of them, go to U-Haul, pack up those trucks and 

 6    leave the State of New York, who is going to pay 

 7    for a $212 billion budget -- the infrastructure, 

 8    education, healthcare, the disabled, the mental 

 9    health needs that we have, all the programs built 

10    into that?  

11                 You know who's going to be left?  

12    You know what the statistics show?  We have a 

13    large increased percentage of seniors in New York 

14    State, and we're lower expectations for births.  

15    Why?  Because young people and their families are 

16    leaving the State of New York, young people and 

17    their families are not coming to the State of 

18    New York because you're not incentivizing them to 

19    come.

20                 I want to ask you, how are you going 

21    to pay for all those services when year after 

22    year we're number one in outmigration?  Now let's 

23    look what happened in regards to that.  It's not 

24    only that they've left.  We're one of seven 

25    states, because of that outmigration, who lost 


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 1    another representative in Washington.  I hear on 

 2    this floor many times:  Why don't we bring home 

 3    the bacon?  Why aren't our congressmen bringing 

 4    home money?  

 5                 We're losing representation because 

 6    we're losing population, because people are 

 7    voting with their feet.  They're afraid.  It's 

 8    the top issue.  Everything pales when you neglect 

 9    public safety.  We're behind Florida now.  We 

10    were number three in population; we're number 

11    four now.

12                 Add to that this.  I think my 

13    colleagues understand what this is, but maybe the 

14    viewers don't understand when I say this.  We are 

15    number one in Tax Freedom Day in New York State.  

16    Number one.  Add to this all the population -- 

17    we're number one in Tax Freedom Day.  You know 

18    what Tax Freedom Day is?  It's the middle of May, 

19    for anybody and everybody who works in New York 

20    State, who actually takes $1 home to pay their 

21    mortgage, pay their car payments, pay their 

22    tuition, put food on their table.

23                 January, February, March, April, 

24    May -- that's five months of socialization, five 

25    months of the State of New York taking their tax 


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 1    dollars before they let them take one tax dollar 

 2    home.  I don't think that's a good record.  That 

 3    might have something to do with U-Haul doing so 

 4    well and the people walking out of the State of 

 5    New York.

 6                 Look.  If this continues, if your 

 7    agenda continues, if you don't make it safer and 

 8    don't support this amendment to do it -- and I'll 

 9    explain it, it's pretty simple, right now -- 

10    we're not going to be the Empire State, we are 

11    moving towards the Empty State.  People are 

12    leaving in droves.  It's not "I Love New York" 

13    anymore, it's "I Leave New York" or "I Left 

14    New York."

15                 We do love New York.  We want it to 

16    be a better place.  But the agenda has to change.

17                 Now, Governor Hochul -- I'm not the 

18    only one to mention 319,000 people leaving the 

19    state.  She mentioned it in her State of the 

20    State message.  She also touched on public 

21    safety, but she really didn't give you an answer.  

22                 I'm going to give you an answer.  

23    Give discretion back to judges.  Give discretion 

24    back to judges.  Give discretion back to judges 

25    to consider the individuals before them being a 


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 1    danger to themselves or others in their 

 2    community.

 3                 Do I say give back the discretion 

 4    they had before?  Look, I know the audience I'm 

 5    talking to.  I know you're never going to support 

 6    that.  But this makes eminent common sense.  And 

 7    let me tell you the three areas that it deals 

 8    with.

 9                 Under the present circumstances, 

10    someone breaks the law -- now, you've got a whole 

11    bunch of crimes now which you classify as 

12    nonviolent.  You know, home break-ins, 

13    burglaries, carjackings.  Okay, you've done that.  

14    But if somebody comes before a judge and we allow 

15    the judge -- this is one of these areas to give 

16    them discretion -- is able to look in that 

17    person's background and they have a serious 

18    felony -- not arrest.  An arrest, a conviction 

19    and paid the penalty for a serious violent 

20    felony -- the judge should have the ability to 

21    consider whether they're a danger to themselves 

22    or others in confinement.  Cash bail, get them 

23    off the streets.  

24                 Two other areas this bill would give 

25    them the opportunity to have consideration if 


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 1    they're a danger to themselves or others.

 2                 You know, we're giving them one bite 

 3    at the apple.  They're coming before the judge, 

 4    the judge's hands are tied, they're released.  

 5    Three thousand five hundred individuals, just 

 6    over the last year, recommitted serious crimes.  

 7    Three thousand five hundred.  Now, it's many more 

 8    because our law enforcement individuals can only 

 9    catch maybe 50, 60, 70 percent of those who break 

10    the law.  So it's above 3,500.  

11                 As the good Senator Ortt, our 

12    leader, says:  You guys have the habit of saying 

13    if it impacts one person's life.  This impacted 

14    3,500 individuals' lives, and their families.  

15    And of course above that, because there's a lot 

16    more people who broke the law that they probably 

17    didn't catch.  

18                 This bill says this reform:  If we 

19    give you a bite at the apple, we give you a 

20    ticket, we let you go, no cash bail, you have a 

21    timetable to show up and you break the law again, 

22    why should not the judge have the discretion in 

23    that particular case to say "We gave you a 

24    chance," look at the case, consider whether 

25    they're a danger to themselves or others, and say 


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 1    "Cash bail, we're going to confine you"?  

 2                 The third case is this.  We've let 

 3    people go -- thanks for the applause, Lanza.  

 4    We've let people go.  And what have they done?  

 5    They have run.  Now here's what's happening.  Our 

 6    law enforcement officials who arrested these 

 7    people, who are limited in case -- and don't 

 8    forget about the fact that you want to unfund the 

 9    police.  Oh, don't tell you didn't mean it.  You 

10    broke it, it's yours now.  Okay?  

11                 You want to diminish the men and 

12    women out there, but yet you release these people 

13    where they have to chase the individuals they 

14    arrested once and are breaking the law again, and 

15    then you have to chase them because they're 

16    running.  Because they know if they run, many 

17    times when they come back they're released again.  

18                 In cases where you've given them 

19    that responsibility to come, and they run, why 

20    shouldn't the judge have the opportunity to 

21    consider the fact that you would be a danger to 

22    yourself or a danger to others?  

23                 In those three limited areas, if I 

24    had my druthers, would I repeal and bring the 

25    professionals in?  Listen I'm not against 


                                                               135

 1    criminal justice reform.  I think it's a good 

 2    idea to do the best we can for our victims and, 

 3    to be fair, to those who are alleged predators 

 4    and criminals.  But this is not working.  You 

 5    can't deny it.  Three thousand five hundred 

 6    individuals recommitted crimes.  People are 

 7    afraid to walk the streets.  I'm sure they're 

 8    calling your office like they're calling my 

 9    office.

10                 Madam President and my colleagues, 

11    if you've got a better idea than this to reform 

12    if, I'd love to vote for it.  But as it is right 

13    now, it's failing miserably.  I move the 

14    amendment and I ask for your consideration.

15                 Thank you so much.

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   Thank 

17    you, Senator.  

18                 I want to remind the house that the 

19    vote is on the procedures of the house and the 

20    ruling of the chair.  

21                 Those in favor of overruling the 

22    chair, signify by saying aye.

23                 SENATOR LANZA:   Request a show of 

24    hands.

25                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Madam President, 


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 1    we have agreed to waive the showing of hands and 

 2    record each member of the Minority in the 

 3    affirmative, as we have throughout the pandemic.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   Without 

 5    objection, so ordered.

 6                 Announce the results.

 7                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 20.

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   The 

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

10    is before the house.

11                 The Secretary will read.

12                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 33, 

13    Senate Print 7705, by Senator Hoylman, an act to 

14    amend the Penal Law.

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   Read the 

16    last section.

17                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 3.  This 

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

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

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   Call the 

21    roll.

22                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   Announce 

24    the results.

25                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 


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 1    Calendar Number 33, those Senators voting in the 

 2    negative are Senators Akshar, Borrello, Gallivan, 

 3    Griffo, Helming, Jordan, Lanza, Oberacker, 

 4    O'Mara, Ortt, Rath, Ritchie, Stec and Tedisco.

 5                 Ayes, 49.  Nays, 14.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   The bill 

 7    is passed.

 8                 Senator Gianaris, that completes the 

 9    reading of today's controversial calendar.

10                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Is there any 

11    further business at the desk?

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   There is 

13    no further business at the desk.

14                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Move to adjourn 

15    until tomorrow, Wednesday, January 12th, at 

16    11:00 a.m.

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   On 

18    motion, the Senate stands adjourned until 

19    Wednesday, January 12th, at 11:00 a.m.

20                 (Whereupon, at 4:14 p.m., the Senate 

21    adjourned.) 

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