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

Albany Legislative Update - March 8, 2024



Floor News


Lithium-Ion Battery Safety


• The Assembly passed the following measures relating to the safety of lithium-ion batteries:


~ A.4938-C – Prohibits the sale or manufacture of lithium-ion batteries or second-use lithium-ion batteries intended for use in a micromobility device (e.g., electric scooter, skateboard, unicycle, or similar wheeled device), bicycle with electric assist, or moped unless such battery has been certified by an accredited testing laboratory for compliance with certain standards and specifications (vote: 137-8).

~ A.6811-C – Requires the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), in consultation with the Department of Environmental Conservation, to develop and administer a program to provide rebates or new lithium-ion batteries for powered mobility devices (e.g., bicycle with electric assist, electric scooter, limited use motorcycle, skateboard, unicycle, or similar wheeled device) at reduced cost or no cost to eligible individuals (vote: 97-46).

~ A.8102-A – Requires sellers and manufacturers of a micromobility device, bicycle with electric assist, or moped to include a red tag affixed to the charging cord of such device or vehicle, which clearly and conspicuously states “unplug when not in use” (vote: 145-0).

~ A.9337 – Incorporates training and guidance regarding emergency response to incidents involving lithium-ion batteries into the Office of Fire Prevention and Control’s Specialized Hazardous Materials Emergency Response Training Program (vote: 145-0).

~ A.9338 – Directs the Department of State, in consultation with the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services and the NYSERDA, to develop and maintain safety resources, information, and protocols in regard to fire hazard prevention and the safe use and charging of lithium-ion batteries, second-use lithium-ion batteries, bicycles with electric assist, mopeds, and micromobility devices (vote: 145-0).


Board of Regents Resolution


• The Assembly and Senate adopted a concurrent resolution (C.905) that provides for the election and re-election of six Regents of the University of the State of New York:

~ Hasoni Pratts from the second Judicial District for a term of one year commencing immediately;

~ Dr. Seema Rivera from the third Judicial District for a term of five years commencing on April 1, 2024;

~ Patrick A. Mannion from the fifth Judicial District for a term of two years commencing immediately;

~ Dr. Christine D. Cea (incumbent) from the thirteenth Judicial District for a term of five years commencing on April 1, 2024;

~ Dr. James E. Cottrell (incumbent) from New York County as an at-large Regent for a term of five years commencing on April 1, 2024; and

~ Wade S. Norwood (incumbent) from Monroe County as an at-large Regent for a term of five years commencing on April 1, 2024 (vote: 121-24).


Renewable Energy Outreach and Community Planning Assistance Program


• The Assembly and Senate passed a bill (A.8489) enacting a chapter amendment to Chapter 759 of the Laws of 2023, which directs 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.” In part, it reduces the number of reporting criteria that NYSERDA must annually disclose to the Governor, Temporary President of the Senate, and Speaker of the Assembly starting April 1, 2025 (vote: 124-20).


Committee News


Health


• Despite unanimous Republican opposition, the Health Committee reported a bill (A.7494-A) that requires all retail food stores, delis, bakeries, sandwich shops, ice cream parlors, cafeterias, and food trucks to label their prepackaged food items that are prepared on-site with a list of ingredients and labeling for major food allergens.

~ This bill was reported to the Floor


Environmental Conservation


• The Environmental Conservation Committee reported two bills of note:

~ A.4943-A – Broadens the ban on expanded polystyrene foam and polystyrene loose-fill packaging by prohibiting, beginning January 1, 2026, any covered food service provider, manufacturer, or store from selling or distributing expanded polystyrene containers designed for cold storage that are not wholly encapsulated or encased within a more durable container. Exempts from this prohibition such containers used for drugs, medical devices, biological materials, and other medical substances.

▪ This bill was reported to Codes.

~ A.5906-A – Reduces the amount of food scraps generated in order to be considered a food scraps generator, thereby expanding the number of businesses and other entities required to be engaged in food donations and food scraps recycling. Increases, from 25 to 50 miles, the maximum distance where a food scrap generator must be from an organics recycler to donate excess food scraps.

▪ This bill was reported to Ways and Means


Week In Focus

• On Tuesday, the Assembly adopted a Resolution (K.906) memorializing the Governor to proclaim March 2024 as Women’s History Month in New York State.


• On Tuesday, the Assembly and Senate adopted a concurrent resolution (C.905) that provides for the election and re-election of six Regents of the University of the State of New York.

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