Regular Session - March 22, 2023

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 1                 NEW YORK STATE SENATE








 9                  ALBANY, NEW YORK

10                   March 22, 2023

11                      3:19 p.m.



14                   REGULAR SESSION













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

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT GOUNARDES:   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 GOUNARDES:   Thank 

 9    you.  

10                 I ask -- now we will have an 

11    invocation by His Eminence Archbishop 

12    Elpidophoros of America, of the Greek Orthodox 

13    Archdiocese.

14                 ARCHBISHOP ELPIDOPHOROS:  May we bow 

15    our heads in prayer.  

16                 In the name of God, Who asks only 

17    that we do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly in 

18    the Divine Presence.  Amen.

19                 We give You thanks and praise, 

20    O God, for gathering us together today to invoke 

21    Your blessings and mercy upon this noble Senate 

22    of New York State.  

23                 We humbly ask for Your beneficence 

24    upon every member of this Senate, who earnestly 

25    pursues the welfare of all citizens of the great 


 1    State of New York.  

 2                 We give You thanks and praise for 

 3    the recognition of the Greek War of Independence,  

 4    in the Declaration of March 2023 as Greek History 

 5    Month.  

 6                 We ask Your special grace and wisdom 

 7    upon the Senate, as you blessed the wise King 

 8    Solomon.  We beseech that You inspire their 

 9    vigilance for the people of the great State of 

10    New York, as you inspired the Judge of Israel, 

11    Deborah.  And we ask that You grant them the 

12    strength of the Judge Sampson, that they may 

13    persevere in justice and righteousness all the 

14    days of their service to the people.  

15                 Bless these lawgivers, that they may 

16    ever render wholesome and right judgments for all 

17    the citizenry, and thus render glory, reverence 

18    and Honor to You, Who are the Source and 

19    Foundation of the Law.  

20                 Amen.

21                 (Response of "Amen.")

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Reading 

23    of the Journal.

24                 THE SECRETARY:   In Senate, Tuesday, 

25    March 21, 2023, the Senate met pursuant to 


 1    adjournment.  The Journal of Monday, March 20, 

 2    2023, was read and approved.  On motion, the 

 3    Senate adjourned.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Without 

 5    objection, the Journal stands approved as read.

 6                 Presentation of petitions.

 7                 Messages from the Assembly.

 8                 Messages from the Governor.

 9                 Reports of standing committees.

10                 Reports of select committees.  

11                 Communications and reports from 

12    state officers.  

13                 Motions and resolutions.

14                 Senator Gianaris.

15                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Thank you, 

16    Mr. President.  

17                 On behalf of Senator Stavisky, I 

18    wish to call up Senate Print 1043, recalled from 

19    the Assembly, which is now at the desk.

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

21    Secretary will read.

22                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

23    153, Senate Print 1043, by Senator Stavisky, an 

24    act to amend the Education Law.

25                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Move to 


 1    reconsider the vote by which the bill was passed.

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Call the 

 3    roll.

 4                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

 5                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 52.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The bill 

 7    is restored to its place on the Third Reading 

 8    Calendar.

 9                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   I offer the 

10    following amendments.

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

12    amendments are received, and the bill will retain 

13    its place on the Third Reading Calendar.  

14                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

15    can we now move to previously adopted 

16    Resolution 580, by the distinguished 

17    Senator Gianaris, read its title only and 

18    recognize me, please.

19                 (Laughter.)

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Please 

21    take up previously adopted Resolution 580, by the 

22    incredibly distinguished Senator Gianaris, read 

23    the resolution title only, and recognize 

24    Senator Gianaris on the resolution.  

25                 The Secretary will read.


 1                 THE SECRETARY:   Senate Resolution 

 2    580, by Senator Gianaris, memorializing 

 3    Governor Kathy Hochul to proclaim March 2023 as 

 4    Greek History Month in the State of New York, in 

 5    conjunction with the commemoration of the 

 6    202nd Anniversary of Greek Independence.

 7                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

 8    Gianaris.

 9                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Thank you, 

10    Mr. President.

11                 We just heard the invocation from 

12    the leader of the Greek Orthodox Church in the 

13    Americas, His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros.  

14    And that is an honor for those of us who are 

15    members of the church and are of Hellenic 

16    descent, and that in this body includes myself 

17    and Senator Gounardes and Senator Skoufis, as 

18    well as two members of the Assembly, who 

19    collectively organized a luncheon earlier today 

20    where we heard His Eminence give remarks.  

21                 We were also honored to be joined by 

22    the Consul Generals of Greece, Konstantinos 

23    Konstantinou, who is here with us in the chamber, 

24    and of Cyprus, Michalis Firillas, who is also 

25    with us today.


 1                 This was a tradition that existed 

 2    many years ago, and then the pandemic and other 

 3    factors slowed it down.  So I want to credit 

 4    Senator Gounardes and his team for doing a lot of 

 5    the work in reestablishing a day here at the 

 6    Capitol where we honor our heritage and remind 

 7    everyone of the contributions of the Greek people 

 8    to democracy and to the life and freedoms we have 

 9    here in the United States.

10                 And this is a resolution we pass 

11    every year here in this chamber.  I'm honored to 

12    be a child of immigrants from Greece.  The -- 

13    it's a little bit of a joke, certainly in the 

14    movies, that the Greeks take credit for 

15    everything, but we do that because it's true.

16                 (Laughter.)

17                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   And whether it's 

18    democracy or science or mathematics or medicine, 

19    you can take your pick, but the ancients had a 

20    lot to do with where we are today.  And it's 

21    something that those of us who have that DNA -- 

22    including Senator Scarcella-Spanton, who's not 

23    here, she has some of it -- are incredibly proud 

24    of and work very hard to live up to those ideals 

25    and those freedoms.


 1                 So I want to thank my colleagues for 

 2    giving us the opportunity to spend a few minutes 

 3    in session today talking about this and the 

 4    importance of our history and our heritage to 

 5    New York.  I want to thank His Eminence for 

 6    joining us.  He's been here since last night; 

 7    many of us shared dinner with him last night.  

 8    And I know he visited already today with the 

 9    Governor and the leaders of the houses and many 

10    of us over in the LOB at the luncheon.  

11                 So thank you to all who were 

12    involved in this.  Thank you for supporting the 

13    Greek community here in New York.  

14                 And thank you, Mr. President, for 

15    giving me a few minutes to discuss it.

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Thank 

17    you, Senator Gianaris.

18                 Senator Skoufis on the resolution.

19                 SENATOR SKOUFIS:   Thank you very 

20    much, Mr. President.  

21                 First I want to thank Senator 

22    Gianaris, Deputy Leader Gianaris, for introducing 

23    the resolution, as well as my fellow 

24    Greek-American legislator Senator Gounardes, who 

25    played an instrumental role in organizing the 


 1    events today and even last night, in general 

 2    partnership among our small but mighty 

 3    Greek-American caucus here in the State Senate.  

 4                 And I assure all my colleagues who 

 5    are probably concerned about the remarks and the 

 6    length of the remarks that you're going to hear 

 7    from all of us Greek-Americans today that 

 8    cumulatively we will probably be a tenth of the 

 9    time that Tim Kennedy was yesterday --

10                 (Laughter.)

11                 SENATOR SKOUFIS:   -- on Irish 

12    Heritage Month -- 

13                 (Laughter; applause.)

14                 SENATOR SKOUFIS:   -- and its 

15    resolution.

16                 (Laughter.)

17                 SENATOR SKOUFIS:   I'd also like to 

18    particularly thank the archbishop for today's 

19    invocation, for being here with us as we prepare 

20    to celebrate Greek Independence Day and recognize 

21    the contributions, many of which Senator Gianaris 

22    outlined, from our Greek and Greek-American 

23    brothers and sisters.  

24                 It really is an honor to be in His 

25    Eminence's presence, and we're all grateful for 


 1    his leadership, spiritual and otherwise.  

 2                 I too am extremely proud of my Greek 

 3    heritage, Mr. President, and of the thousands of 

 4    Greek-Americans who live and work in the State of 

 5    New York.  

 6                 And I'm delighted to highlight two 

 7    of these individuals.  You know, Senator 

 8    Gianaris, as part of the celebration here in the 

 9    State Legislature, he has started his own 

10    tradition in allowing us Greek-American 

11    legislators to highlight one or a couple of our 

12    constituents and honor them as part of these 

13    proceedings.  

14                 And this year from my district I 

15    have Andy and Popi Chronopoulos, who emigrated to 

16    Highland Falls, a community in Orange County, 

17    back in the 1960s.  They brought with them 

18    terrific Greek cuisine.  They tirelessly ran an 

19    amazing restaurant in the community, which really 

20    served as a gathering place for over 37 years.  

21                 And to this day they remain staples 

22    within our tight-knit Orange County community, 

23    volunteering with local organizations, passing 

24    their legacy of quiet generosity on to their two 

25    sons and two grandkids.  


 1                 I'm honored to share their brief 

 2    story as part of the annual Greek Independence 

 3    Day celebration here in the Senate.  

 4                 My family, like so many other 

 5    immigrant families, came to this country seeking 

 6    a more promising future for themselves and their 

 7    next generations.  And to that end, there's a 

 8    traditional Greek proverb that reads:  A society 

 9    grows great when old men plant trees whose shade 

10    they know they shall never sit in.  

11                 During World War II, when the Nazis 

12    occupied Greece, the occupying forces stole the 

13    food that was grown in farming communities like 

14    the one which my family was from in the mountains 

15    of western Greece, leading to widespread famine.  

16    An estimated 300,000 Greeks died of that 

17    starvation, including my grandmother's parents.  

18    My yaya went from having two parents to being an 

19    orphan in just a matter of weeks during that 

20    period.  

21                 Years later, my grandparents made 

22    the difficult decision to take my father and his 

23    siblings to the United States.  They settled in 

24    Brooklyn.  My papu's first job, which he enjoyed 

25    until retirement, and he was very proud of, was 


 1    at the Nathan's hot dog stand in Coney Island.  

 2                 They arrived in America with next to 

 3    nothing but over decades worked hard to earn a 

 4    place in New York's working class.  My father 

 5    went on to open a Greek deli in Bay Ridge, which 

 6    Senator Gounardes still gets his feta cheese 

 7    from.  

 8                 In coming to the United States, like 

 9    to many other Greek-Americans, my family planted 

10    trees for me and my generation of relatives, some 

11    of whose shade indeed they themselves will never 

12    sit in.

13                 This resolution to recognize March 

14    as Greek History Month in the State of New York 

15    is a celebration of all who have come before us 

16    and planted trees in their stead, advancing 

17    contributions in democracy and science and 

18    theater and philosophy and so many other aspects 

19    of our day-to-day lives as Americans.  

20                 Now, as a father and a State Senator 

21    representing over 300,000 New Yorkers, I don't 

22    lose sight of the fact that it's now my turn to 

23    help plant as many trees as I can for those that 

24    come after me.

25                 I want to leave you all with one 


 1    last contribution from the Greeks that may be 

 2    less obvious, the Hippocratic oath, the guiding 

 3    principle our medical professionals still 

 4    subscribe to today.

 5                 Like the doctors who take this oath, 

 6    we as legislators have an obligation to do no 

 7    harm and to work each day to improve the lives of 

 8    New Yorkers from all backgrounds.

 9                 Thank you, Mr. President, and to all 

10    my colleagues for the moment you've given me, and 

11    Happy Greek Independence Day to all of us.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Thank 

13    you, Senator Skoufis.

14                 Senator Gounardes on the resolution.

15                 SENATOR GOUNARDES:   Thank you, 

16    Mr. President.

17                 And I want to thank Senator Gianaris 

18    and Senator Skoufis for their partnership and 

19    support in allowing us to celebrate our heritage 

20    and history today.

21                 This year we're celebrating the 

22    202nd anniversary of Greece's independence after 

23    400 years of subjugation and slavery by the 

24    Ottoman Empire. 

25                 On March 25th, 1821, revolutionary 


 1    fighters gathered together with Metropolitan 

 2    Germanos in the Monastery of Agia Lavra, in the 

 3    village of Kalavryta -- which I think is where 

 4    Senator Gianaris's family is from -- and declared 

 5    the beginning of the revolution against Ottoman 

 6    oppression. 

 7                 What followed was a seven-year war 

 8    that ended with the creation of the Hellenic 

 9    Republic, and would lead to the spread of 

10    revolutionary fervor across the European 

11    continent and would remake the world.  

12                 As a fourth-generation 

13    Greek-American, I am proud of this history. I 

14    think about the words of the Greek National 

15    Anthem, the Hymn to Liberty, by Dionysios 

16    Solomos.  

17                 "I shall always recognize you

18                 By the dreadful sword you hold

19                 As the Earth with searching vision

20                 You survey with spirit bold

21                 From the Greeks of old 

22                 Whose dying brought to life and 

23    spirit free

24                 Now with ancient valor rising

25                 Let us hail you, O Liberty!"  


 1                 Every time I hear that anthem, I 

 2    swell with pride at the poem's conclusion, a 

 3    resounding ode to the price and cost of national 

 4    freedom.  

 5                 How fitting to reflect on these 

 6    words as we see the people of Ukraine fight for 

 7    the survival of their country and paying for 

 8    their liberty with their lives. 

 9                 Today we are joined in the chamber 

10    by representatives of both the Hellenic Republic 

11    and the Republic of Cyprus, because the history 

12    and destiny of the Greek and Cypriot people are 

13    shared and linked together, and we thank the 

14    Consuls General for being with us here today. 

15                 But it's not just the history of the 

16    revolution and Greece's independence that I'm 

17    proud to celebrate; it's the contributions of the 

18    Greek-American community to our nation that are 

19    also worthy of praise and celebration. 

20                 For the past 100-plus years, Greeks 

21    have emigrated to the United States in search of 

22    peace, stability, and a better life for 

23    themselves and their families.  They came to 

24    escape the persecutions of the Ottoman Empire.  

25    They came to be spared the devastations of 


 1    World War I.  They came to be saved from the 

 2    terrors of the Asia Minor Holocaust and the 

 3    burning of Smyrna.  They came to be spared the 

 4    horrors of World War II.  They came to find peace 

 5    during the Greek Civil War.  They came to seek 

 6    safety and opportunity during the unrest of the 

 7    '60s and '70s.

 8                 For 100-plus years, Greeks have 

 9    sought out the light of freedom offered by 

10    Lady Liberty and came to the United States in the 

11    hopes of a better life.  

12                 When the United States adopted 

13    immigration quotas in 1924 and would only accept 

14    100 Greeks per year to come into this country -- 

15    and yet still our people came by the hundreds and 

16    by the thousands and tens of thousands. 

17                 And let's not forget just how 

18    unwanted Greeks were in this country.  Greek 

19    immigrants endured decades of harassment, 

20    intimidation, discrimination, and violence -- all 

21    because they looked different than other 

22    Americans, spoke a different language from other 

23    Americans, and took low-paying jobs away from 

24    other Americans.

25                 In fact, the Ku Klux Klan viewed 


 1    Greek immigrants as a threat to the 

 2    United States.  They attacked Greek businesses, 

 3    burned crosses on Greek lawns, encouraged doctors 

 4    to sterilize Greek women, and beat and even in 

 5    some cases murdered Greek immigrants. 

 6                 It was not uncommon to see "No 

 7    Greeks Wanted" signs in store windows, or even to 

 8    see Greek men flogged for having dared to date a 

 9    "white" woman.  

10                 Greek immigrants were encouraged to 

11    prove themselves of being equal to whites by 

12    taking undesirable jobs such as building 

13    railroads, cleaning sewage, laying pavement, and 

14    working in factories.

15                 And yet still our people came, 

16    enduring injustice after injustice, all in the 

17    hopes of living a better life here.  They didn't 

18    just come for themselves, but for their children 

19    and their children's children.  

20                 They came here so that one day, a 

21    hundred years later, 75 years later, 50 years 

22    later, there could be three Greek-Americans 

23    elected to serve their communities in a body as 

24    august as the New York State Senate. 

25                 And so as we stand here today 


 1    celebrating the 202nd anniversary of Greek 

 2    Independence and declare Greek History Month in 

 3    the State of New York, I am ever hopeful for the 

 4    future of our community here in America.  

 5                 And this moment represents an 

 6    opportunity for reflection.  At a time when 

 7    individuals across our country are being 

 8    subjected to violence, bigotry, and 

 9    discrimination because they come from different 

10    countries, speak different languages, have 

11    different customs, eat different foods, it's 

12    incumbent upon those of us whose ancestors 

13    endured similar treatment to stand up and condemn 

14    the ugliness of racism wherever it rears its ugly 

15    head. 

16                 That we remember the struggles of 

17    our forefathers, and we open our hands and we 

18    open our hearts to all those whose stories mirror 

19    our own and embrace our fellow human beings as 

20    true brothers and sisters. 

21                 It's with this spirit that I'm 

22    particularly proud today that we're joined as 

23    well by His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of 

24    America, the spiritual leader of the Greek 

25    Orthodox Church in the United States.  


 1                 For some of my colleagues who may 

 2    not know, the Greek Orthodox Church in America 

 3    has long played an active role in the advancement 

 4    of civil, political, and human rights in this 

 5    country.  The American Hellenic Educational 

 6    Progressive Association, better known as AHEPA, 

 7    was founded in 1922 in Atlanta, Georgia, to 

 8    counter the bigotry and racism of the KKK.  

 9                 We're also joined here by some of 

10    the national leadership from AHEPA in the 

11    gallery.  It was our own Archbishop Iakovos who 

12    joined Dr. King in Selma, attended the funeral of 

13    Reverend James Reeb, and marched across the 

14    Edmund Pettus Bridge in the fight for equality 

15    for Black Americans.  

16                 And during the protests for racial 

17    justice after the murder of George Floyd, it was 

18    Archbishop Elpidophoros who was out there in the 

19    streets, just as many of us were, marching to 

20    support the movement for Black lives. 

21                 So, Mr. President, today, on 

22    March 22nd, and with great pride and humility, I 

23    thank my colleagues for their indulgence and for 

24    their support of this resolution, and I wish all 

25    Greeks and Phil-Hellenes everywhere a Happy Greek 


 1    Independence Day. 

 2                 Zhtw h Ellas!  

 3                 Thank you.  

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Thank 

 5    you, Senator Gounardes.  

 6                 To our guests, I welcome you on 

 7    behalf of the Senate.  We extend to you the 

 8    privileges and courtesies of this house.  

 9                 Please rise and be recognized.

10                 (Standing ovation.)

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

12    Serrano.  

13                 SENATOR SERRANO:   Thank you, 

14    Mr. President.

15                 Let's please take up previously 

16    adopted Resolution 210 -- 

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

18    Serrano, I'm sorry, point of order. 

19                 The resolution was previously 

20    adopted on March 21st.

21                 Senator Serrano.

22                 SENATOR SERRANO:   Okay.  Let's take 

23    up previously adopted Resolution 210, by 

24    Senator Persaud, read the resolution title only, 

25    and recognize Senator Persaud on the resolution.


 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

 2    Secretary will read.

 3                 THE SECRETARY:   Senate Resolution 

 4    210, by Senator Persaud, memorializing Governor 

 5    Kathy Hochul to proclaim March 22, 2023, as Doula 

 6    Day in the State of New York.

 7                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

 8    Persaud on the resolution.

 9                 SENATOR PERSAUD:   Thank you, 

10    Mr. President.

11                 March 22nd to 28th is a time to be 

12    grateful for all that doulas provide.  Doula 

13    Celebration Day initially started on March 22, 

14    2011, to mark spring's equinox, also meaning the 

15    return of fertility in many different cultures.  

16                 Doulas are nonclinical personnel who 

17    provide healthcare services to pregnant women 

18    during, before and after pregnancy.  They provide 

19    individualized physical, emotional and 

20    informational support, as well as advocacy, to 

21    their clients.

22                 Doula care is an evidence-based 

23    practice that is associated with healthier birth 

24    outcomes for both a pregnant person and their 

25    newborn infant.


 1                 And there's a lack of awareness, 

 2    resources and training that is important, in that 

 3    it's underserved.

 4                 A 2013 study found that doulas serve 

 5    as the pregnant person's advocate for empowering 

 6    them to make informed decisions for themselves 

 7    and their child.  Continued support by doulas is 

 8    linked to significant reduction in childbirth 

 9    complications and cesarean births.  

10                 Doula services are also important 

11    strategies in addressing the maternal health 

12    crisis which was prioritized in the fiscal year 

13    2023 President's budget.  A 2022 issue brief by 

14    the Office of Health Policy found that doulas can 

15    mitigate racial inequity in maternal health 

16    outcomes in communicating their client's needs 

17    and assisting them in navigating the healthcare 

18    and social sectors.  

19                 Doula services have proven to be an 

20    effective strategy in addressing racial 

21    disparities in maternal healthcare by reducing 

22    severe maternal morbidity, and yet lack of 

23    awareness and access to doula services contribute 

24    to underserved communities.

25                 A study showed that overall people 


 1    who have continuous doula support services are 

 2    25 percent -- show a 25 percent decrease in 

 3    cesareans and an 8 percent increase in 

 4    spontaneous vaginal births, a 10 percent decrease 

 5    in the use of any medication for pain relief and 

 6    shortening labor by 41 minutes.  

 7                 A 2021 report by the New York City 

 8    Department of Health found that doulas face 

 9    barriers to providing services in hospital 

10    settings, such as requests to provide their 

11    and/or certifications.

12                 The presence of a doula can empower 

13    a pregnant person to make informed decisions and 

14    facilitate communication with their healthcare 

15    providers.  They also provide support and peace 

16    of mind for caring for birthing persons.

17                 Over the past few years, my 

18    colleague in the Assembly and I have been 

19    advocating for additional -- for doula services 

20    to be covered as a medical service.  So today, as 

21    we're celebrating doulas, I ask my colleagues to 

22    continue to support us as we're asking for doula 

23    services to be covered and for doulas to be 

24    compensated the way they should be compensated 

25    for the medical services that they provide -- 


 1    essential medical services that many people of 

 2    many cultures look to outside of a hospital 

 3    setting.

 4                 So again, today is Doula Recognition 

 5    Day, and I ask you again, please support us as we 

 6    are fighting to have doulas recognized for the 

 7    important work that they do for those 

 8    childbearing folks.  

 9                 Thank you, Mr. President.

10                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Thank 

11    you, Senator Persaud.

12                 Senator Brouk on the resolution.

13                 SENATOR BROUK:   Thank you, 

14    Mr. President.  

15                 And I also want to thank 

16    Senator Persaud for her leadership in introducing 

17    this resolution each year to recognize doula care 

18    not just in New York but, as she stated, around 

19    the world.  

20                 And it's hard to top that, because 

21    it was so comprehensive.  But simply put, doula 

22    care saves lives.  You all have heard it before.  

23    Doula care saves mothers' lives and babies' 

24    lives.  And I'm so proud of the work that this 

25    house has done to address the maternal mortality 


 1    crisis specifically as it relates to supporting 

 2    doula care.  

 3                 As Senator Persaud said, doulas are 

 4    especially skilled at interrupting harm that may 

 5    take place towards a birthing parent during the 

 6    birthing process.  And they are essential in 

 7    making sure that the voices of our birthing 

 8    parents are heard and considered throughout that 

 9    process.  

10                 And as we sit here as legislators in 

11    the State of New York, where Black women are 

12    five times more likely to die in giving birth -- 

13    and in a country where it is the most dangerous 

14    place in the developed world to give birth, we 

15    cannot afford to overlook the benefit that doulas 

16    and doula care can provide for our birthing 

17    people.  

18                 That's why this house has hosted 

19    public hearings.  That's why in this house's 

20    one-house budget we included an expansion of 

21    Medicaid to cover doula care at an equitable 

22    rate, as Senator Persaud pointed out.  And that's 

23    why I'm proud to stand here and show my support 

24    for all of the work that we are doing in this 

25    house.  


 1                 And I want to end with the exciting 

 2    moment we're in of having so many mothers and 

 3    women -- dare I say probably the most this 

 4    chamber has ever seen.  And not only that, but 

 5    people who have experienced doula care and who 

 6    can speak on the importance of this type of care 

 7    and be the voice for so many birthing people who 

 8    do not have the privilege of sitting in our 

 9    seats.  

10                 So I hope that this Legislature will 

11    continue to put forward these types of policies 

12    putting mothers and their babies first.

13                 Thank you.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Thank 

15    you, Senator Brouk.  

16                 The resolution was previously 

17    adopted on January 18th.

18                 Senator Serrano.

19                 SENATOR SERRANO:   Thank you, 

20    Mr. President.  

21                 Let's please take up previously 

22    adopted Resolution 543, by Senator Hinchey, read 

23    the resolution in title only, and recognize 

24    Senator Hinchey on the resolution.

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 


 1    Secretary will read.

 2                 THE SECRETARY:   Senate Resolution 

 3    543, by Senator Hinchey, commending New York 

 4    Maple Producers during the Annual Maple Weekends 

 5    on March 18-19, 2023, and March 25-26, 2023.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

 7    Hinchey on the resolution.

 8                 SENATOR HINCHEY:   Thank you, 

 9    Mr. President.

10                 The celebration of maple started as 

11    single day, Maple Sunday, in 1995, and over the 

12    last 27 years has grown to expand to four days 

13    over two weekends:  This year, March 18th and 

14    19th and our upcoming weekend, March 25th and 

15    26th.  

16                 Maple is one of New York's 

17    fastest-growing specialty crops, and we rank as 

18    the second-largest maple producer in the country, 

19    only second to Vermont.  We have the largest 

20    resource of tappable trees, and so we could be 

21    number one if we did some work to open up our 

22    state forests to maple tapping, something I know 

23    is important to the industry and also safe for 

24    our trees.  We could be number one, but we will 

25    settle happily for number two.  


 1                 We have more than 2,000 maple sugar 

 2    makers in New York, and some of these farms have 

 3    been producing continually for over 200 years.  

 4    As the New York State Maple Producers Association 

 5    says, this is agritourism at its best, these 

 6    maple weekends.  You can see how maple is 

 7    collected, you can help tap a tree, you see sap 

 8    collection, you see the boiling process, and of 

 9    course my favorite -- everyone's favorite -- you 

10    get to taste the products.

11                 There are some incredible events 

12    happening across our state this coming weekend, 

13    and I encourage all of our colleagues to check 

14    them out.  There are a few across the 41st -- 

15    Maple Leaf Sugaring in Ghent, in Columbia County; 

16    New Beginnings Farmstead in Kingston; 

17    Platte Creek Maple Farm in Saugerties, and a host 

18    of others.  

19                 I guarantee you, no matter where you 

20    live, there is one near you, and I encourage 

21    everyone to celebrate Maple Weekend and support 

22    our farmers and the farming communities that 

23    provide us with the delicious goods that we all 

24    love to enjoy.  

25                 I'm really proud to celebrate 


 1    Maple Weekend.  Thank you to all of my 

 2    colleagues.

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Thank 

 4    you, Senator Hinchey.  

 5                 Senator Borrello on the resolution.

 6                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Thank you, 

 7    Mr. President.  

 8                 I want to join Senator Hinchey in 

 9    welcoming everyone to Maple Weekend this coming 

10    weekend.  You can go to to find 

11    out locations near you.

12                 I had the privilege last year of 

13    ceremonially tapping the first tree at Sprague's 

14    Maple Farms, where Randy Sprague handed me a tool 

15    that his grandfather actually used -- and that 

16    was a lot of pressure, to make sure I didn't 

17    screw it up.  But thankfully I did not, and the 

18    tool survived my tree tapping.  

19                 But this year -- or last year, 

20    New York State produced a record 845,000 gallons 

21    of maple syrup.  That's a record, and we 

22    hopefully will see more of that.  

23                 We have innovative folks here.  I 

24    met with them at their farms throughout New York 

25    State, and even in my office here this session, 


 1    to talk about the innovation that they are doing, 

 2    the new markets that they're looking for.  Things 

 3    like maple bourbon and other things that are 

 4    going to help expand the market and the 

 5    uniqueness of New York's maple industry.

 6                 So I'd like to have everyone join 

 7    and celebrate the great maple industry here in 

 8    New York State, number two in the nation, as 

 9    Senator Hinchey mentioned.  And hope that you all 

10    have a great opportunity to get out and celebrate 

11    Maple Weekend.  

12                 Thank you, Mr. President.

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Thank 

14    you, Senator Borrello. 

15                 The resolution was previously 

16    adopted on March 15th.

17                 Senator Serrano.

18                 SENATOR SERRANO:   Thank you.  

19                 At the request of the sponsors, the 

20    resolutions are open for cosponsorship.

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

22    resolutions are open for cosponsorship.  Should 

23    you choose not to be a cosponsor on the 

24    resolutions, please notify the desk.

25                 Senator Serrano.


 1                 SENATOR SERRANO:   Thank you.  

 2                 Let's please take up the reading of 

 3    the calendar.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

 5    Secretary will read.

 6                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 7    184, Senate Print 147A, by Senator Gianaris, an 

 8    act to amend the Public Health Law.

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Read the 

10    last section.

11                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

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

13    shall have become a law.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Call the 

15    roll.

16                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Announce 

18    the results.

19                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

20    Calendar Number 184, voting in the negative:  

21    Senator Walczyk.

22                 Ayes, 60.  Nays, 1.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The bill 

24    is passed.

25                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 


 1    208, Senate Print 1054, by Senator Hinchey, an 

 2    act to amend the Agriculture and Markets Law.

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Read the 

 4    last section.

 5                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

 6    act shall take effect immediately.

 7                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Call the 

 8    roll.

 9                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

10                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Announce 

11    the results.

12                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 61.

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The bill 

14    is passed.

15                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

16    463, Senate Print 151, by Senator Gianaris, an 

17    act to amend the Criminal Procedure Law and the 

18    Civil Practice Law and Rules.

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Read the 

20    last section.

21                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 4.  This 

22    act shall take effect immediately.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Call the 

24    roll.

25                 (The Secretary called the roll.)


 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Announce 

 2    the results.

 3                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

 4    Calendar 463, those Senators voting in the 

 5    negative are Senators Ashby, Borrello, Felder, 

 6    Gallivan, Griffo, Helming, Lanza, Martins, 

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

 8    Palumbo, Rhoads, Rolison, Stec, Tedisco, Walczyk, 

 9    Weber and Weik.

10                 Ayes, 40.  Nays, 21.

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The bill 

12    is passed.

13                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

14    487, Senate Print 4467A, by Senator Mayer, an act 

15    to amend the Executive Law.

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Read the 

17    last section.

18                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2 --

19                 SENATOR SERRANO:   Lay it aside for 

20    the day, please.  

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The bill 

22    will be laid aside for the day.

23                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

24    488, Senate Print 4742, by Senator Cooney, an act 

25    to amend the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law.


 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Read the 

 2    last section.

 3                 THE SECRETARY:   Section --

 4                 SENATOR SERRANO:   Lay the bill 

 5    aside for the day, please.  

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Lay the 

 7    bill aside for the day.

 8                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 9    493, Senate Print 5262, by Senator Sanders, an 

10    act to amend the Administrative Code of the City 

11    of New York.  

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Read the 

13    last section.

14                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  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:   Ayes, 61.

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The bill 

23    is passed.

24                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

25    494, Senate Print 1296, by Senator Sanders, an 


 1    act to amend the Elder Law.

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Read the 

 3    last section.

 4                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  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:   Ayes, 61.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The bill 

13    is passed.

14                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

15    501, Senate Print 4516, by Senator Fernandez, an 

16    act to amend the General Obligations Law.

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Read the 

18    last section.

19                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

20    act shall take effect immediately.

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Call the 

22    roll.

23                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

25    Fernandez to explain her vote.


 1                 SENATOR FERNANDEZ:   Thank you, 

 2    Mr. President.

 3                 Targets of assault and 

 4    discrimination are often required to sign NDAs, 

 5    nondisclosure agreements, in order to receive 

 6    compensation for the harm that they have 

 7    experienced.  These agreements frequently include 

 8    language requiring victims to pay immense fines 

 9    if they violate the agreement.  This forces 

10    victims to choose between staying silent or 

11    pursuing justice at a huge financial cost.  

12                 This bill prevents NDAs from 

13    including liquidated damages in cases of 

14    harassment and discrimination, so victims are not 

15    deterred from coming forward with their stories.  

16    No one should be intimidated or silenced, and 

17    this bill will protect them from coming forward 

18    if they're ever a victim of harassment or 

19    discrimination.

20                 Thank you.  I vote in the 

21    affirmative.

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

23    Fernandez to be recorded in the affirmative.

24                 Announce the results.

25                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 


 1    Calendar 501, those Senators voting in the 

 2    negative are Senators Lanza, O'Mara and Walczyk.

 3                 Ayes, 58.  Nays, 3.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The bill 

 5    is passed.

 6                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 7    511, Senate Print 5186, by Senator Mayer, an act 

 8    to amend the Environmental Conservation Law.

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Read the 

10    last section.

11                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 3.  This 

12    act shall take effect immediately.

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Call the 

14    roll.

15                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Announce 

17    the results.

18                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 61.

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The bill 

20    is passed.

21                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

22    512, Senate Print 259, by Senator Serrano, an act 

23    to amend the Education Law and the Public Health 

24    Law.

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Read the 


 1    last section.

 2                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 3.  This 

 3    act shall take effect immediately.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Call the 

 5    roll.

 6                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

 7                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

 8    Serrano to explain his vote.

 9                 SENATOR SERRANO:   Thank you.

10                 This bill will require cultural 

11    awareness and competence training for medical 

12    professionals.  

13                 The communities that I represent in 

14    East Harlem and the South Bronx -- and indeed 

15    many other communities throughout the State of 

16    New York -- suffer from disproportionate health 

17    disparities, racial health disparities, continued 

18    health disparities when it comes to maternal 

19    health.  

20                 And I believe that this additional 

21    training, this cultural competency training, will 

22    ensure that there's better lines of communication 

23    between medical professionals and the communities 

24    that they represent.  And in turn, this will 

25    create better health outcomes, which will be 


 1    great for the residents of New York and the 

 2    entire State of New York.  

 3                 So I'm hopeful that my colleagues 

 4    will support this legislation.  It's extremely 

 5    important that we deal with and find different 

 6    ways to address the health disparities in our 

 7    community.

 8                 Thank you.  And I vote aye.

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

10    Serrano to be recorded in the affirmative.

11                 Announce the results.

12                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

13    Calendar Number 512, those Senators voting in the 

14    negative are Senators Ashby, Borrello, Gallivan, 

15    Griffo, Helming, Lanza, Mattera, Murray, 

16    Oberacker, O'Mara, Ortt, Palumbo, Rhoads, 

17    Rolison, Stec, Tedisco, Walczyk, Weber and Weik.  

18    Also Senator Felder.

19                 Ayes, 41.  Nays, 20.

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The bill 

21    is passed.

22                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

23    513, Senate Print 1669, by Senator Addabbo, an 

24    act to amend the Education Law.

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Read the 


 1    last section.

 2                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 3.  This 

 3    act shall take effect on the first of July.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Call the 

 5    roll.

 6                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

 7                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Announce 

 8    the results.

 9                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 61.

10                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The bill 

11    is passed.

12                 Senator Serrano, that completes the 

13    reading of today's calendar.

14                 SENATOR SERRANO:   Is there any 

15    further business at the desk?

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   There is 

17    no further business at the desk.

18                 SENATOR SERRANO:   I move that we 

19    adjourn until Thursday, March 23rd, at 11:00 a.m.

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   On 

21    motion, the Senate stands adjourned until 

22    Thursday, March 23rd, at 11:00 a.m.

23                 (Whereupon, at 3:54 p.m., the Senate 

24    adjourned.)