In the News-New York State
Governor Hochul is the 57th Governor of New York
New York Governor Kathy Hochul was sworn in for her first elected term on January 1st, 2023. She is the first woman elected Governor of the State of New York. In her inaugural speech, in the Empire State Plaza Convention Center, she declared “First we must and will make our streets safer.” Her stated goals are to increase public safety and to make the state more affordable.
During her address, the Governor said “As the sign says, I didn’t come here to make history. I came here to make a difference. And to pursue the worthy causes, pursue them together. And as your Governor, I’ll keep fighting for you every single day. And this is what I know about New Yorkers, just like the Lieutenant Governor, Lieutenant Governors do a lot of traveling. I know every corner of this state. New Yorkers are tough. They’re undeterred. They’re unafraid. We’re also innovators and creators. We can be optimists and realists, dreamers and doers. But above all, when we are united, there’s no stopping us. And there is no fight for what is right that we will ever back down from.
Now those of you who’ll gather with us in a little over a week, I’ll be presenting an ambitious State of the State, so I won’t go into policy today, save up for that one. It’ll even be longer. But right now, there’s some fights we just have to take on. The affordability crisis in housing and energy and everything. It’s making life just too damn hard for New Yorkers.
And the gun violence epidemic, my gosh. The loss of lives goes on and on.
The rise in hate crimes. What happened here? Especially antisemitism, Asian hate, anti LGBTQ hate and the systemic racism that still persists to this day. Those are the fights we are called to take on. We must.
And we’re still dealing with the lingering effects of the pandemic that disrupted every aspect of our lives. The loss of learning for our children, the loss of jobs for our workers, the tear in the social fabric that led to mental health challenges and increases in crime. We’re still reeling from all this.
And while we’re doing it, we still have to fight back against the Supreme Court’s hostile assault on basic rights such as a woman to make decisions about her own body. We are in this fight. We’re in this fight to the end.
And just as we are reflecting on history today, when history looks back on our time, the question will be to all of us, in the present, the question will be whether we rose up to meet these challenges today and challenges yet unknown. Whether we took the torch that was passed to us from those trailblazers and made it burn even brighter before we passed it off to the next generation. They’ll ask whether we advanced the causes of social justice and the progressive values that have set us apart from all the rest. Standing before you, I know the answer is yes.”
The Albany event also featured the inaugurations of Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado, State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, and State Attorney General Letitia James.
2023 New York State Legislative Session Begins
The State Senate and Assembly opened the 2023 New York State Legislative session on Wednesday, January 4th. Both houses engaged in what were primarily ceremonial sessions. Both elected the legislative leaders, Speaker Carl Heastie and Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins in a smoothly organized fashion. Each house adopted rules and elected various officers.
Committee Chairs were announced:
- Cordell Cleare, Chair of the Senate Committee on Aging
- Michelle Hinchey, Chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture
- Nathalia Fernandez, Chair of the Senate Committee on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse
- James Sanders, Chair of the Senate Committee on Banks
- Andrew Gounardes, Chair of the Senate Committee on Budget and Revenue
- Jabari Brisport, Chair of the Senate Committee on Children and Families
- Luis Sepulveda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Cities 1
- Rachel May, Chair of the Senate Committee on Cities 2
- Robert Jackson, Chair of the Senate Committee on Civil Service and Pensions
- Jamaal Bailey, Chair of the Senate Committee on Codes
- Sean Ryan, Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Economic Development, and Small Business
- Kevin Thomas, Chair of the Senate Committee on Consumer Protection
- Leroy Comrie, Chair of the Senate Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions
- Julia Salazar, Chair of the Senate Committee on Crime Victims, Crime, and Corrections
- Jose M. Serrano, Chair of the Senate Committee on Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation
- John Mannion, Chair of the Senate Committee on Disabilities
- Shelley Mayer, Chair of the Senate Committee on Education
- Zellnor Myrie, Chair of the Senate Committee on Elections
- Kevin Parker, Chair of the Senate Committee on Energy and Telecommunications
- Peter Harckham, Chair of the Senate Committee on Environmental Conservation
- Neil Breslin, Chair of the Senate Committee on Ethics and Internal Governance
- Liz Krueger, Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance
- Gustavo Rivera, Chair of the Senate Committee on Health
- Toby Stavisky, Chair of the Senate Committee on Higher Education
- Brian Kavanagh, Chair of the Senate Committee on Housing, Construction, and Community Development
- Neil Breslin, Chair of the Senate Committee on Insurance
- Kristen Gonzalez, Chair of the Senate Committee on Internet and Technology
- James Skoufis, Chair of the Senate Committee on Investigations and Government Operations
- Brad Hoylman, Chair of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary
- Jessica Ramos, Chair of the Senate Committee on Labor
- Iwen Chu, Chair of the Senate Committee on Libraries
- Monica Martinez, Chair of the Senate Committee on Local Government
- Samra Brouk, Chair of the Senate Committee on Mental Health
- John Liu, Chair of the Senate Committee on New York City Education
- Jeremy Cooney, Chair of the Senate Committee on Procurement and Contracts
- Joseph Addabbo, Chair of the Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering
- Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Chair of the Senate Committee on Rules
- Roxanne Persaud, Chair of the Senate Committee on Social Services
- Tim Kennedy, Chair of the Senate Committee on Transportation
- Jessica Scarcella-Spanton, Chair of the Senate Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security, and Military Affairs
- Lea Webb, Chair of the Senate Committee on Women’s Issues
- Chair, Aging Ron Kim
- Chair, Agriculture Donna A. Lupardo
- Chair, Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Phil Steck
- Chair, Banks Pamela J. Hunter
- Chair, Children & Families Andrew Hevesi
- Chair, Cities Edward C. Braunstein
- Chair, Codes Jeffrey Dinowitz
- Chair, Consumer Affairs Nily Rozic
- Chair, Corporations, Authorities & Commissions Kenneth Zebrowski
- Chair, Correction Erik M. Dilan
- Chair, Economic Development Harry B. Bronson
- Chair, Education Michael Benedetto
- Chair, Election Law Latrice Walker
- Chair, Energy Didi Barrett
- Chair, Environmental Conservation Deborah J. Glick
- Chair, Ethics & Guidance Jo Anne Simon
- Chair, Governmental Employees Stacy Pheffer Amato
- Chair, Governmental Operations John T. McDonald III
- Chair, Health Amy Paulin
- Chair, Higher Education Patricia Fahy
- Chair, Housing Linda B. Rosenthal
- Chair, Insurance David I. Weprin
- Chair, Judiciary Charles D. Lavine
- Chair, Labor Latoya Joyner
- Chair, Libraries & Education Technology Carrie Woerner
- Chair, Local Governments Fred W. Thiele, Jr.
- Chair, Mental Health Aileen M. Gunther
- Chair, Oversight, Analysis & Investigations Clyde Vanel
- Chair, People with Disabilities Rebecca A. Seawright
- Chair, Racing & Wagering J. Gary Pretlow
- Chair, Real Property Taxation Jaime R. Williams
- Chair, Science & Technology Steven Otis
- Chair, Small Business Al Stirpe
- Chair, Social Services Maritza Davila
- Chair, Tourism Daniel J. O’Donnell
- Chair, Transportation William B. Magnarelli
- Chair, Veterans Affairs Kimberly Jean-Pierre
Governor Kathy Hochul will deliver her second State of the State Address on Tuesday, January 10th, and her 2023-2024 State Budget must be released by February 1st. Two immediate issues facing the legislature include the approval or disapproval of Honorable Hector D. LaSalle as the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals by the Senate and a decision regarding the potential expulsion of Assemblyman Lester Chang by the Assembly.
For your convenience the 2023 Legislative calendar is included on the next page.
Chapters of the Laws of 2022
Chapter 782 — Sponsored by AM Cusick/Senator Savino — Provides a special accidental death benefit to the parents of certain deceased members under certain conditions.
Chapter 783 — Sponsored by AM Abbate/Senator Gounardes — Relates to extending the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) benefit for public employee death benefits.
Chapter 795 — Sponsored by Senator Kavanagh/AM Englebright — Establishes a carpet collection program; creates a carpet stewardship advisory board
Chapter 810 — Sponsored by AM Fahy/Senator Breslin — Enacts the digital fair repair act.
Chapter 811 — Sponsored by AM Stern/Senator Gaughran — Authorizes certain regional off-track betting corporation to host video lottery gaming devices.
Chapter 814 — Sponsored by Senator Rivera/AM Gottfried — Enacts the “New York state living donor support act” to provide state reimbursement to living organ donors
Chapter 818 — Sponsored by Senator Kennedy/AM Bronson — Requires blanket health insurance policies to provide coverage for outpatient treatment by mental health practitioners (mental health counsellors, marriage and family therapists, creative arts therapists and psychoanalysts)
Chapter 827 — Sponsored by Senator Ryan/AM Magnarelli— Establishes a registration system for contractors and subcontractors engaged in public work and covered projects
Chapter 834 — Sponsored by AM Lunsford/Senator Ramos — Extends the length of time that childcare assistance is available to eligible families.
Chapter 835 — Sponsored by AM Joyner/Senator Gounardes — Relates to limiting the effect of determinations by the board of workers’ compensation.
Chapter 839 — Sponsored by AM Zebrowski/Senator Reichlin-Melnick — Relates to limiting the effect of determinations by the board of workers’ compensation. Relates to restoring the oversight of certain contracts by the State Comptroller.
Chapter 841 — Sponsored by Senator Stewart-Cousins /AM Heastie — Increases the salary of members of the legislature to one hundred forty-two thousand dollars per annum; limits the outside earned income by such members; provides that an intentional violation of outside income provisions is a class A misdemeanor.
Bills Vetoed by the Governor
Veto 152 — Sponsored by AM Fernandez/Senator Biaggi — Relates to the maximum age at which a homeless youth can continue to receive shelter services; raises the age from twenty-one to twenty-four..
Veto 155 — Sponsored by AM Darling/Senator Brook — Authorizes the village of Freeport, County of Nassau, to alienate and discontinue the use of certain parklands.
Veto 163 — Sponsored by AM Peoples-Stokes/Senator Kennedy — Relates to establishing the office of racial equity and social justice.
Veto 170 — Sponsored by AM Bronson/Senator Gounardes — Relates to protections for freelance workers.
Veto 180 — Sponsored by AM Dilan/Senator Ramos — Relates to modular construction work.
Veto 182 — Sponsored by Senator Kennedy/AM McMahon — Allows certain customer-generators who generate solar electricity to donate credit for such electricity to low-income families.
Veto 185 — Sponsored by AM Steck/Senator Ryan — Relates to eliminating the electronic death registration system fee for funeral directors and undertakers.
Veto 188 — Sponsored by AM Bronson/Senator Gounardes — Defines temporary total disability as the injured employee’s inability to perform his or her pre-injury employment duties or any modified employment offered by the employer that is consistent with the employee’s disability.
Veto 190 — Sponsored by Senator Savino/AM Gunther — Relates to the hours worked by nurses
Veto 191 — Sponsored by AM Reyes/Senator Savino — Relates to claims for mental injury premised upon extraordinary work-related stress incurred at work.
Veto 193 — Sponsored by AM Joyner (Senator Ramos) — Relates to restrictions on consecutive hours of work for nurses.
Veto 197 — Sponsored by Senator Comrie (AM Englebright) — Enacts the “unmarked burial site protection act”, to regulate the discovery of burial grounds, human remains and funerary objects.
Bills Introduced by the Council
Int 873 — By Council Members Borelli, Holden, Vernikov, Ariola, Yeger and Paladino — A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to designating Times Square a crime free zone.
Int 874 — By Council Member De La Rosa (by request of the Mayor) — A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to health insurance coverage for city employees, city retirees, and their dependents.
Referred to the Committee on Civil Service and Labor, which has scheduled a hearing on January 9, 2022 at 9:30am.
Int 875 — By Council Member Sanchez (by request of the Mayor — A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, the New York city plumbing code, the New York city building code, the New York city mechanical code and the New York city fuel gas code, in relation
to technical corrections, clarifications and modifications to provisions of the New York city construction codes.
Int 876 — By Council Member Sanchez (by request of the Mayor) — A Local Law to amend the New York city charter and the administrative code of the city of New York in relation to green building standards and repealing section 224.1 of the New York city charter in relation thereto.
23rd Assembly Race Decided
After a manual hand recount and court cases to ensure that every voter’s voice was heard and every vote counted, Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato has been re-elected to represent the 23rd District in Queens.
“I know this has been a long and difficult process for everyone involved,” said Assemblywoman Pheffer Amato. “The wheels of our American democracy do not always turn as quickly as we’d like, but preserving the integrity of our elections, ensuring the accuracy of the count, and defending the right of every voter’s voice to be heard is more important than expediency.”
The counting of 74 newly-cured absentee ballots, 4 affidavit ballots, and 11 ballots with votes cast for the two candidates all added to Assemblywoman Pheffer Amato’s lead, securing her re-election by a final margin of 15 votes.
Assembly Names New Higher Education Committee Chair
The State Assembly has named Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy (D – Albany) as the new chair of the Higher Education Committee. Longtime Chair, Assemblymember Deborah Glick, left the Higher Education Committee to become Chair of the Environmental Conservation Committee.
Mayor Adams’ Statement On President Biden’s Announcement To Better Manage Asylum Seekers Coming In From Southern Border
New York City Mayor Eric Adams today released the following statement after President Joseph Biden announced new measures to better manage the flow of asylum seekers entering the southern border — most coming from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela: “For months, New Yorkers have seen an influx of asylum seekers from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, and every day since, we have far surpassed our moral and legal mandates to serve the more than 36,400 asylum seekers who have arrived here. We have, largely on our own, provided shelter, clothes, food, education, health care, legal support, and a host of other services to asylum seekers — more than any other city in this country. But, as we have said for months, we cannot continue to maintain this flow.
“President Biden’s announcement today to expand the humanitarian program to allow more asylum seekers to travel to the United States safely, legally, and in a more controlled manner, is an important, positive step in ensuring our federal partners can better address this humanitarian crisis. We appreciate this administration’s partnership and response to our request for action, and we are hopeful this policy will help better control the flow of asylum seekers arriving at the southern border. At the same time, we still need a long-term and proactive strategy to manage the crisis we are seeing. This must include legislation that will allow asylum seekers to legally work while waiting on their asylum applications, a true decompression strategy and resettlement program that ensures asylum seekers are being spread out across the nation and not just sent to a handful of cities, and emergency financial relief for our city. Finally, we ultimately need a bipartisan effort to deliver true, long-awaited immigration reform so we can offer people a safe, legal path to the American dream. We know the members of our state’s delegation in Washington, D.C., are willing to lead these efforts and, indeed, many have been immigration reform champions for decades.”
New York State
Monday, January 9th
Assembly Session, New York State Capitol Building, Assembly Chamber, Albany, 2 p.m.
Senate Session, New York State Capitol Building, Senate Chamber, Albany, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, January 10th
Governor Kathy Hochul’s 2023 State of the State
New York State Capitol, Albany, 1 p.m.
Virtual via www.governor.ny.gov
Assembly Session, New York State Capitol Building, Assembly Chamber, Albany, TBD
Senate Session, New York State Capitol Building, Senate Chamber, Albany, TBD
New York City
Monday, January 9th
Committee on Civil Service and Labor, Council Chambers – City Hall, 9:30 a.m.
Committee on Rules, Privileges and Elections, 250 Broadway – Committee Room, 14th Floor, 10 a.m.
Thursday, January 12th
Joint – Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Intergroup Relations & Immigration, Council Chambers – City Hall, 10 a.m.
Oversight – NYC’s Immigrant Communities and the Arts.
Committee on Technology, Committee Room – City Hall, 10 a.m.
Oversight – Access to Technology and Digital Literacy Programs in New York City.