Advocates push Governor to sign off on set of bills passed over the summer

State Legislature

ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — Some advocates and Democrat lawmakers are calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign off on COVID related measures that were passed over the summer. They say the legislation will especially benefit poor New Yorkers and New Yorkers of color.

“We are calling on Governor Cuomo to do one very simple thing. Sign these bills that passed the legislature months ago,” said Center for Community Alternatives NY Statewide Organizer Marvin Mayfield. 

One of the measures, called the Contact Tracing Confidentiality Act, which unanimously passed the Senate, aims to block law enforcement from obtaining contact tracing data to preserve confidentiality. 

As some judicial proceedings have moved back to in-person proceedings from virtual, another measure called the Protect Our Courts Act would prevent ICE from making arrests at or by courthouses unless there’s a judicial warrant or order authorizing the arrest. 

The third bill called the Driver’s License Suspension Reform Act would block licenses from becoming suspended because of unpaid traffic tickets. Supporters say it’s especially critical during this economy and when it comes to drive-thru testing. 

“Allow people to have a chance to live and thrive and succeed and in order for them to be able to do that let them have a payment plan in order to take care of their obligation for these fines and fees,” said Assemblymember Pam Hunter.

The last measure, called the Proximity Bill, would allow incarcerated individuals to be moved to the closest state prison to where their children live.

“As we mourn this time of togetherness, I just want us to think about the people who are forcibly separated every day, those people who are currently incarcerated, and the people who love them,” said advocate Whitney Hollins.

All four pieces of legislation have not yet been delivered to the Governor, according to the State Senate’s website. 

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