ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — There’s about two months left scheduled for New York State’s legislative session. While some of the most talked about measures have been adopted or handled through the budget, there are other bills lawmakers are looking to take care of in the final days.
With a Democratic Supermajority in both legislative chambers this session, lawmakers have passed measures from legalizing recreational marijuana to limiting solitary confinement. A big push from progressives heading into the final weeks is parole reform including Elder Parole and Fair & Timely Parole bills. There’s also the ‘End Predatory Court Fees Act.’ It would get rid of court fees, mandatory minimum fines, and incarceration because of unpaid fees.
“We are trapping people in a very disastrous cycle of poverty. These fines, fees, surcharges. The cost to an individual who cannot afford these things is detrimental,” said NYS Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou.
A controversial bill that’s been talked about for a few years now is Medical Aid in Dying. It’s been opposed by pro-life groups. But, that hasn’t stopped other states from enacting similar legislation.
“Legislatures across the country are moving bills that would authorize medical aid in dying for their residents. Nevada, Connecticut, Rhode Island. And likely movement in Delaware and Massachusetts. New Mexico just became the 10th state to authorize this option just two weeks ago,” said Corinne Carey with Compassion & Choices.
As the session winds down, Republican Assemblymember Josh Jensen says he’d like there to be a focus on more help for small businesses, preparedness for kids to be in the classroom for September, and addressing violent crime. “It’s across the state we’re seeing violent crime increase. And, what’s the reason for that? And my concern is… hit the summer months and the weather gets warmer, that’s only going to get worse,” Jensen said.
The last scheduled day of session is June 10th.