Regular Session - February 13, 2020

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 1                NEW YORK STATE SENATE

 2                          

 3                          

 4               THE STENOGRAPHIC RECORD

 5                          

 6                          

 7                          

 8                          

 9                  ALBANY, NEW YORK

10                  February 13, 2020

11                     11:14 a.m.

12                          

13                          

14                   REGULAR SESSION

15  

16  

17  

18  SENATOR SHELLEY B. MAYER, 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 MAYER:   The Senate 

 3   will come to order.  

 4                I ask everyone present to please 

 5   rise and recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

 6                (Whereupon, the assemblage recited 

 7   the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.)

 8                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Pastor Ed 

 9   Ilarraza, from New Life Tabernacle in New City, 

10   will give today's invocation.

11                PASTOR ILARRAZA:  Good morning.  

12                Omnipotent, omniscient, eternal, 

13   omnipresent Father, we acknowledge Your mercy and 

14   grace that You shower on each and every one of 

15   us.  

16                Father, we pray that each legislator 

17   and person in this chamber may have Your hand of 

18   protection upon them.  May Your holy spirit 

19   provide each legislator with such wisdom that 

20   each decision made will truly reflect the mind 

21   and heart of God.  

22                May their ears be inclined towards 

23   You so they may hear You speak wisdom and 

24   knowledge to their hearts and minds.  May they 

25   trust in You with all their hearts, and not lean 


                                                               809

 1   on their own understanding, but in all their ways 

 2   acknowledge You.

 3                May they legislate with compassion 

 4   upon the less fortunate.  May they always walk in 

 5   the light, because there is no fellowship between 

 6   light and darkness.  May they always dwell in 

 7   what is true, what is honorable, what is right, 

 8   what is pure, what is lovely, whatever is of good 

 9   repute.  May they dwell in excellence, which is 

10   worthy of praise.

11                May they be prudent.  May they walk 

12   securely, in integrity blessed.  May every 

13   decision made be birthed in an abundant 

14   atmosphere of prayer with much ponderance and 

15   counsel.  

16                O God, we are living in such 

17   unsettling times.  Protect our citizens, our 

18   cities, our counties, our state, our nation from 

19   the enemy's attack.  Lord, we pray that You keep 

20   their families safe while they are away from 

21   home.  Holy Spirit, when they are away from their 

22   spouses and children, You be there to comfort, 

23   guide, and protect them.  

24                We pray this in the name that's 

25   above all names, the powerful and matchless name 


                                                               810

 1   of Jesus.  Amen.

 2                (Response of "Amen.")

 3                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Reading of 

 4   the Journal.

 5                THE SECRETARY:   In Senate, 

 6   Wednesday, February 12, 2020, the Senate met 

 7   pursuant to adjournment.  The Journal of Tuesday, 

 8   February 11, 2020, was read and approved.  On 

 9   motion, Senate adjourned.

10                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Without 

11   objection, the Journal stands approved as read.

12                Presentation of petitions.

13                Messages from the Assembly.

14                Messages from the Governor.

15                Reports of standing committees.

16                Reports of select committees.

17                Communications and reports from 

18   state officers.

19                Motions and resolutions.

20                Senator Gianaris.

21                SENATOR GIANARIS:   At this time, 

22   Madam President, can we take up the reading of 

23   the calendar.

24                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   The 

25   Secretary will read.


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 1                THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 2   124, Senate Print 6445, by Senator Jackson, an 

 3   act to amend the Arts and Cultural Affairs Law.

 4                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Read the 

 5   last section.

 6                THE SECRETARY:   Section 3.  This 

 7   act shall take effect immediately.

 8                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Call the 

 9   roll.

10                (The Secretary called the roll.)

11                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Announce 

12   the results.

13                THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 50.

14                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   The bill 

15   is passed.

16                THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

17   155, Senate Print 4429, by Senator Parker, an act 

18   to amend the Economic Development Law.

19                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Read the 

20   last section.

21                THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

22   act shall take effect immediately.

23                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Call the 

24   roll.

25                (The Secretary called the roll.)


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 1                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Announce 

 2   the results.

 3                THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 50.

 4                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   The bill 

 5   is passed.

 6                THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 7   210, Senate Print 5338A, by Senator Comrie, an 

 8   act to amend the Public Authorities Law and the 

 9   Economic Development Law.

10                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Read the 

11   last section.

12                THE SECRETARY:   Section 3.  This 

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

14   shall have become a law.

15                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Call the 

16   roll.

17                (The Secretary called the roll.)

18                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Announce 

19   the results.

20                THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 50.

21                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   The bill 

22   is passed.

23                THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

24   239, Senate Print 1079, by Senator Persaud, an 

25   answer requiring the Department of Labor to 


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 1   produce a report regarding summer youth 

 2   employment programs.

 3                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Read the 

 4   last section.

 5                THE SECRETARY:   Section 3.  This 

 6   act shall take effect immediately.

 7                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Call the 

 8   roll.

 9                (The Secretary called the roll.)

10                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Announce 

11   the results.

12                THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

13   Calendar 239, voting in the negative:  

14   Senator Akshar.  

15                Ayes, 49.  Nays, 1.

16                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   The bill 

17   is passed.

18                THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

19   338, Senate Print 5433A, by Senator Benjamin, an 

20   act to amend the Banking Law.

21                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Read the 

22   last section.

23                THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

24   act shall take effect immediately.

25                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Call the 


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 1   roll.

 2                (The Secretary called the roll.)

 3                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:    

 4   Senator Akshar to explain his vote.

 5                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Madam President, 

 6   thank you very much.  I appreciate your 

 7   indulgence.  

 8                This bill -- the sponsor and I had 

 9   an opportunity last year to debate the bill.  I 

10   just want to make a couple of points, if I may.  

11                I really think that we're setting a 

12   very foolish precedent in the state in terms of 

13   the State Legislature dictating to the financial 

14   service who they can and who they can't do 

15   business with.

16                The banking industry in the State of 

17   New York, a $4 trillion a year system.  And, you 

18   know, my fear is is that this bill is part of a 

19   long line of the Legislature enacting policy or 

20   dealing with policy really that has some type of 

21   social issue.  You saw DFS do this with the gun 

22   industry, with Remington and others.  You saw 

23   climate change being dealt with in the banking 

24   industry, in the insurance industry.  

25                And the Department of Financial 


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 1   Services is very clear.  In their declaration of 

 2   policy, it says that it's their policy to ensure 

 3   the safe and sound conduct of business, to ensure 

 4   the continued safety and soundness of New York's 

 5   banking, insurance and financial services 

 6   industry.  To ensure a continued solvency, 

 7   safety, soundness, and prudent conduct of 

 8   providers of financial products and services.  

 9                That is their role.  So I don't 

10   think it should be the role of this body to 

11   dictate to those in the financial sector who they 

12   can and who they can't invest their money with.

13                Madam President, when it comes time 

14   to vote, I'll be voting no.

15                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:    

16   Senator Akshar to be recorded in the negative.

17                Senator Benjamin to explain his 

18   vote.

19                SENATOR BENJAMIN:   Sure.  Thank 

20   you, Madam President.  I want to just say a few 

21   things.  

22                Number one, I want to thank our 

23   leader, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, for bringing this 

24   bill to the floor, particularly during Black 

25   History Month.  


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 1                You know, it is no -- everyone is 

 2   well aware of the scourge of mass incarceration 

 3   in our country, and I strongly believe that a 

 4   part of that is the private prison industry.  

 5                I feel very strongly that private 

 6   prisons should not be allowed in any way, shape 

 7   or form, for one simple reason:  The profit 

 8   incentive.  When you run a private business, as 

 9   I've done in my past, your job is to make sure 

10   you keep your business alive and growing.  In 

11   this case, when you're talking about private 

12   prisons, the product are people, and you are 

13   looking to incarcerate people in order to make a 

14   living.  I think that is not a business that the 

15   private sector should be anywhere near involved.

16                So in the State of New York, we do 

17   not permit private prison activity, and I think 

18   that's the right thing to do.  But I think it's 

19   also important to say if you're a state-chartered 

20   bank, you should not have the right to lend money 

21   to private prisons.  

22                Why is that so important?  Right now 

23   we are debating marijuana in the State of 

24   New York, whether we legalize it or not.  We 

25   presently have a medical marijuana industry here, 


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 1   and guess what?  Banks don't lend to them.  Why?  

 2   Because, they say, the federal statute -- it's 

 3   illegal.

 4                So I think it's appropriate to say 

 5   if there are businesses and industries that we 

 6   define as illegal, or things that we shouldn't 

 7   participate in, that it is well within our right 

 8   to say banks that are chartered in the State of 

 9   New York should not lend to them.

10                And so I'm humbled that this bill is 

11   on the floor today.  I think this should be a 

12   signal for other people.

13                Let me just say also, with all due 

14   respect, because I do believe in business in the 

15   State of New York -- we introduced this bill last 

16   year.  It passed on this floor.  A year later, 

17   not one bank has issued a letter of opposition to 

18   this bill.  You would think if this is something 

19   that state-chartered banks in New York were so 

20   concerned about, we would at least have received 

21   at least one letter.  To this point, we have 

22   received nothing.  

23                Numerous large banks -- Chase, Bank 

24   of America, Wells Fargo -- all have said, We 

25   don't want anything to do with the private prison 


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 1   industry.  They've backed off.  Two 

 2   state-chartered banks, by the way, Barclays and 

 3   BNP Paribas, both have said when their 

 4   relationships end, they will no longer -- when 

 5   their current commitments expire, they will not 

 6   reup.  

 7                So clearly, the private industry on 

 8   its own has said, We don't want to be in this 

 9   space.  

10                I think it's important in statute to 

11   make it clear where our values are.  And I think 

12   this is the kind of thing that people expect from 

13   a progressive government, to say we believe that 

14   certain businesses should not be in the hands of 

15   the private sector because of the nature of what 

16   is going on.  

17                So thank you so much for this time 

18   on the floor, and I want to thank my colleagues 

19   for their support of this bill.  

20                Thank you, Madam President.  

21                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Senator 

22   Benjamin to be recorded in the affirmative.

23                Announce the results.

24                THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

25   Calendar 338, those Senators voting in the 


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 1   negative are Senators Akshar, Amedore, Borrello, 

 2   Boyle, Flanagan, Funke, Griffo, Helming, Jordan, 

 3   Lanza, Little, Ortt, Ritchie, Robach and Tedisco.

 4                Ayes, 38.  Nays, 15.

 5                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   The bill 

 6   is passed.

 7                THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 8   378, Senate Print 5808A, by Senator Montgomery, 

 9   an act to establish a task force on educator 

10   diversity in New York State.

11                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Read the 

12   last section.

13                THE SECRETARY:   Section 4.  This 

14   act shall take effect immediately.

15                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Call the 

16   roll.

17                (The Secretary called the roll.)

18                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Announce 

19   the results.

20                THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 53.

21                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   The bill 

22   is passed.

23                THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

24   379, Senate Print 7635, by Senator Liu, an act to 

25   amend the Education Law.


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 1                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Read the 

 2   last section.

 3                THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

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

 5   shall have become a law.

 6                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Call the 

 7   roll.

 8                (The Secretary called the roll.)

 9                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Announce 

10   the results.

11                THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 53.

12                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   The bill 

13   is passed.

14                THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

15   380, Senate Print 7642, by Senator Jackson, an 

16   act to amend the Education Law.

17                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Read the 

18   last section.

19                THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

20   act shall take effect immediately.

21                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Call the 

22   roll.

23                (The Secretary called the roll.)

24                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Announce 

25   the results.


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 1                THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 53.

 2                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   The bill 

 3   is passed.

 4                THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 5   383, Senate Print 2406A, by Senator Serrano, an 

 6   act to amend the Education Law and the Public 

 7   Health Law.

 8                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Read the 

 9   last section.

10                THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

11   act shall take effect immediately.

12                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Call the 

13   roll.

14                (The Secretary called the roll.)

15                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Senator 

16   Serrano to explain his vote.

17                SENATOR SERRANO:   Thank you, 

18   Madam President.  

19                I'd like to thank all my colleagues 

20   for considering this bill.  

21                I believe cultural competency in the 

22   medical professions is something that is of 

23   critical importance for the entire State of 

24   New York.  Ensuring that medical professionals 

25   have a minimum basic training and understanding 


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 1   of the vast and diverse communities that they 

 2   serve I think brings about much better medical 

 3   outcomes in everything from infant mortality 

 4   through geriatric care.  

 5                I think that this is a really basic 

 6   bill that will make the care and communication 

 7   between patients and doctors much better, and 

 8   thereby creating the better health outcomes that 

 9   we're looking for here in the State of New York.

10                So I thank you all for your support, 

11   and I vote yes.

12                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Senator 

13   Serrano to be recorded in the affirmative.

14                Announce the results.

15                THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

16   Calendar 383, those Senators voting in the 

17   negative are Senators Akshar, Amedore, Borrello, 

18   Flanagan, Funke, Griffo, Jordan, Lanza, O'Mara, 

19   Ortt, Ritchie and Tedisco.

20                Ayes, 43.  Nays, 12.

21                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   The bill 

22   is passed.

23                THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

24   386, Senate Print 6788A, by Senator Bailey, an 

25   act relating to creating the commission on 


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 1   affordable college education to study the 

 2   participation of community colleges.

 3                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Read the 

 4   last section.

 5                THE SECRETARY:   Section 8.  This 

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

 7   shall have become a law.

 8                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   Call the 

 9   roll.

10                (The Secretary called the roll.)

11                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:    

12   Senator Bailey to explain his vote.

13                SENATOR BAILEY:   Thank you, Madam 

14   President.  I'll be brief.  

15                I thank my colleagues for supporting 

16   this important piece of legislation.  The EOP 

17   program, Educational Opportunity Program, has 

18   been a godsend in no other terms to so many 

19   people that I've attended college with.  

20                I was a student at the University at 

21   Albany, and many of my friends who were in the 

22   EOP program were often more successful than some 

23   of us who were not in the EOP program.  It gives 

24   structure and guidance to so many people in 

25   four-year schools, but we need to make sure that 


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 1   this is available in all the two-year schools.  

 2                In my opinion, having this 

 3   commission to study the feasibility of it in 

 4   two-year schools is critically important, because 

 5   these two-year schools often serve as a 

 6   springboard towards a four-year school for so 

 7   many students from underserved backgrounds and 

 8   abilities.  And they just want a chance, an 

 9   opportunity, which is in the EOP program's 

10   mission.  

11                So I thank you, Madam President.  I 

12   thank my colleagues for supporting this important 

13   piece of legislation.  

14                I vote aye, Madam President.

15                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:    

16   Senator Bailey to be recorded in the affirmative.

17                Announce the results.

18                THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

19   Calendar 386, those Senators voting in the 

20   negative are Senators Amedore, Borrello, Funke 

21   and Serino.

22                Ayes, 51.  Nays, 4.

23                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   The bill 

24   is passed.

25                Senator Gianaris, that completes the 


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 1   reading of today's calendar.

 2                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Madam President, 

 3   is there any further business at the desk?

 4                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   There is 

 5   no further business at the desk.

 6                SENATOR GIANARIS:   I move to 

 7   adjourn until Monday, February 24th, at 

 8   3:00 p.m., with intervening days being 

 9   legislative days.

10                ACTING PRESIDENT MAYER:   On motion, 

11   the Senate stands adjourned until Monday, 

12   February 24th, at 3:00 p.m., intervening days 

13   being legislative days.

14                (Whereupon, at 11:29 a.m., the 

15   Senate adjourned.)

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