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  • Writer's pictureNYS Assembly (R) Offices of Research and Public Policy

Albany Legislative Update - March 1, 2024



Floor News


Congressional Redistricting


• Following the defeat of the Congressional district lines drawn by the Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC) (A.9304, vote: 48-98), the Assembly and Senate passed a bill (A.9310-A, vote: 118-30) to establish new Congressional district lines with a Message of Necessity.


Court Review for Redistricting Challenges


• The Assembly and Senate passed a bill (A.435-B) that requires a proceeding challenging apportionments by the Legislature to be filed in the designated court in one of the following counties in a judicial department where at least one petitioner resides:

~ First Judicial Department: New York County;

~ Second Judicial Department: Westchester County;

~ Third Judicial Department: Albany County; or

~ Fourth Judicial Department: Erie County (vote: 98-48).


• During the debate, Assembly Republicans, led by Assemblyman Durso, offered a Floor Amendment to add four additional counties in which an action challenging reapportionment can be commenced (Bronx, Richmond, Saratoga, and Monroe), which was rejected by Assembly Democrats (vote: 47-101).


Congressional Petitioning


• The Assembly and Senate passed a bill with a Message of Necessity (A.9313) that moves the petitioning starting date, from February 27th to February 29th, for Congressional offices (vote: 148-0).


Housing Vacancy Survey Civil Penalty


• The Assembly and Senate passed a bill (A.8499) enacting a chapter amendment to Chapter 698 of the Laws of 2023, which requires owners of housing accommodations, when requested by municipalities or designees as part of a study to determine vacancy rates, to provide information on rent rolls and vacancies for the preceding 36 months. This chapter amendment authorizes a municipality to impose a civil penalty of up to $500 when an owner or agent refuses to participate in such vacancy survey or if the owner or agent knowingly and intentionally submits false vacancy information (vote: 97-51).


Committee News


Banks

• Despite unanimous Republican opposition, the Banks Committee reported the following bills:

~ A.4124-A – Requires all banking organizations to have a notary public available on the premises during business hours and gives such banking organizations the option to charge a nominal fee for any notary services provided.

▪ This bill was reported to the Floor.


~ A.8999-A – Prohibits banking organizations or operators or owners of ATMs from charging fees for any benefit banking services involving the use of an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card. Benefit banking services is defined to mean any service rendered through a bank relating to the use of an EBT card, including deposit; disbursement via electronic fund transfer, checks, or other mechanisms; reconciliation; reporting; or electronic cash management for benefit programs.

▪ This bill was reported to the Floor.


Social Services


• The Social Services Committee reported a bill (A.8431) that establishes a fiscal cliff task force to study fiscal cliffs throughout the state’s public assistance programs and to make recommendations on how to reduce or eliminate them. This legislation was vetoed in 2023 along with 31 other commissions and task forces. (Veto #62).

~ This bill was reported to Ways and Means.


Energy


• The Energy Committee reported a bill (A.8489) enacting a chapter amendment to Chapter 759 of the Laws of 2023, which directs the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to undertake actions it deems necessary or convenient to develop a “Clean Energy Outreach and Community Planning Program,” in an ongoing effort to comply with the 2019 Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. This chapter amendment renames the program the “Renewable Energy Outreach and Community Planning Assistance Program.” It also reduces the number of reporting criteria that NYSERDA must annually disclose to the Governor, the Temporary President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the Assembly starting April 1, 2025.

~ This bill was reported to the Floor.


Week In Focus


• On Wednesday, Assembly Republicans held a press conference along with their Senate Republican Colleagues, to highlight “Laken’s Law” (A.9167, Gandolfo) which would restore cooperation between New York courts and law enforcement agencies with federal immigration authorities. To view CLICK HERE


• On Wednesday, Assembly Republican Members held a press conference calling for the passage of “Melanie’s Law” (A.6026, originally A.3277, Beephan) to empower our courts to issue orders of protection for immediate family members or household members of the named victims, regardless of age.


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