It’s a Wrap: Week Five of the Legislative Session

In this week’s Weekly Wrap-up from Albany, we provide information on assisted suicide, gender identity, criminal justice, and upcoming elections.

January 29, 2024:

  • On Monday, January 29, a bill that would accommodate the destructive ideology of gender fluidity moved toward a potential vote in the State Senate. Bill S.1110-A-Comrie relates to state agency and local government documents and forms. It would require state agencies and local governments to modify any documents and forms that request individuals to identify their gender or sex. The bill would require such documents and forms to be changed so that “an ‘X’ gender marker [would] be available for utilization by any person completing the form who does not identify as male or female.” The State Senate Finance Committee voted 18-4 to approve this legislation, which is now positioned for a vote by the full Senate in the near future. This bill passed the State Senate last year. A person’s sex is not a matter of choice or a matter of feelings. It is a matter of biological fact. Furthermore, sex is a binary construct; each person is either male or female. This reality makes the proposed use of an “X” gender marker false and misleading. While New Yorkers should be caring and compassionate towards our neighbors who struggle with gender dysphoria or other forms of gender confusion, the state should not dishonestly adjust government documents to accommodate that confusion.
  • Also on January 29, the State Senate Finance Committee voted 22-0 to advance a bill designating March 21 as Down Syndrome Awareness Day. The United Nations has observed March 21 as World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) since 2012. The date was chosen because the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome causes Down syndrome. Bill S.2241-Weik/A.5674-DeStefano passed the Senate last year, but died in the Assembly. Our organization calls upon each house of the Legislature to pass the bill in 2024. It is hoped that greater recognition of persons with Down syndrome will help motivate more moms of Down syndrome babies to choose life. Individuals with Down syndrome are no less worthy of love and protection than the rest of God’s children.

January 30, 2024:

  • On January 30, 2024, the New York City Council voted to override Mayor Eric Adams’s vetoes of two criminal justice bills. The first bill, known as the How Many Stops Act (Introduction 586-A), mandates additional law enforcement paperwork on investigative stops of civilians. The second bill (Introduction 549-A) limits the use of emergency lock-ins and solitary confinement in New York City’s jails. The Council voted 42-9 to override Mayor Adams’s vetoes and to enact the two measures. Supporters of the two measures view the veto overrides as a victory for transparency, accountability, and fairness, while opponents take the view that the new laws will make city jails less safe and cause police officers to be bogged down in administrative tasks. The veto overrides represent a major setback for Mayor Adams, a pro-law enforcement figure who made strong efforts to persuade the City Council to uphold his vetoes.
  • Also on January 30, State Sen. Neil Breslin (D-Delmar) announced that he will not seek re-election this fall. Sen. Breslin, 81, is the senior member of the New York State Senate, having held office since 1997. According to the Albany Times Union, Assemblymember Patricia Fahy (D-Albany) has already received the support of the Albany County Democratic Committee in her bid to succeed Sen. Breslin.

January 31, 2024:

  • On January 31, the Albany Times Union published an informative article on Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Stillwater), who represents New York’s 21st district in the U.S. House of Representatives. Many political observers believe that if former President Donald Trump receives the Republican presidential nomination this year, Rep. Stefanik will be on his short list of potential running mates. However, Rep. Stefanik is seeking re-election to Congress this fall. The Times Union explained that if Rep. Stefanik is chosen as President Trump’s running mate, she will be required to withdraw her bid for re-election to her current seat in Congress.
  • A New York pro-assisted suicide advocacy group announced that Sen. Jose Serrano (D-Bronx) has signed on as a supporter of its dangerous legislation. Have you written to your state legislators to express your opposition to the assisted suicide bill? If not, please visit our Legislative Action Center and contact your elected officials today.