ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) – Next week is anticipated to be the final week of New York State’s legislative session and the clock is ticking for lawmakers to get their bills passed before time runs out for the year.
Most of the big-ticket items like recreational marijuana and mobile sports betting got taken care of earlier in the session. But, issues like parole reform, gun control measures and extending to-go cocktails are still being worked on.
“We’ve been working with the sponsor to at least extend it for one year and we’re really trying to fine tune that to make sure that it’s focusing on to-go cocktails, made by a bartender, put into a plastic container with a lid not to be drank on the way home, but to have something when they get home with the meal that they purchased,” said Democrat Assemblyman John McDonald.
The bill has faced some opposition from liquor stores.
The Senate passed several gun controls measures this week, like making it easier to sue gun makers. McDonald says he wouldn’t be surprised if some package of gun control legislation comes out of the Assembly, but for now it’s up in the air. “We haven’t discussed anything as of recently this week, so I think that remains to be seen,” he said.
Republicans like Assemblyman Robert Smullen are opposed to the package of bills the Senate passed. “They’re specifically designed to be anti-gun and there’s also some anti-hunting bills out there as well,” Smullen said.
Other bills that have been brought up include parole reforms and “clean slate legislation” to seal records for some who have already served their time. “If you were stopped as a young kid and had, they call it a joint, and you were arrested and you have a criminal record from that and everything else indicates you’re a good kid, I think they should be expunged,” said Democrat State Senator Neil Breslin.
It seems that a bill to institute a carbon tax could be put off. “Very premature bill. We don’t even have plan how we’re going to transform the economy but we’re also planning to tax people to do so. So, I’m glad that that one’s probably going to wait until next year,” Smullen said.
For lawmakers on both sides of the aisle getting bills passed that will directly aid their districts is also a priority.