It’s A Wrap: Week Fourteen Of The Legislative Session

In this edition of New York Families Action’s Weekly Wrap-up, we provide updates on topics ranging from assisted suicide to population decline to “transgender” sports participation.

April 1, 2024:

New York City Experiences Exodus

Research shows that New York City has lost population at a rapid rate since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. On April 1, the New York Post reported that Bronx County (7.2%), Kings County (Brooklyn) (5.8%), Queens County (5.7%), and New York County (Manhattan) (4.8%) lost higher percentages of their respective populations between 2020 and 2023 than any other counties in the United States did. Furthermore, a recent poll showed that only half of New York City residents intend to continue living in New York City over the next five years. According to the Post, both cost of living concerns and quality of life issues are driving the mass exodus of New York City residents.

April 2, 2024:

Presumptive Nominees Win Presidential Primaries

On April 2, the state of New York held its 2024 presidential primaries. Given that both major parties have chosen their presumptive candidates for the general election this fall, the outcomes of the two primaries were never in doubt. Unofficially, President Joe Biden won the Democratic primary with 91.5% of the vote, while author Marianne Williamson received 4.9% and U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips (who had suspended his campaign in March) received 3.6%. On the Republican side, former President Donald Trump received 82.0% of the vote. Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley received 12.9%, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie received 4.0%, and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy received 1.0%; all three had suspended their campaigns prior to the New York contest.

April 3, 2024:

Legislature Approves Repealing Law Against Adultery

On April 3, the State Senate voted 57-4 to pass a bill (Bill S.8744-Krueger/A.4714-Lavine) that would remove the crime of adultery from the New York Penal Law. The Assembly previously passed this legislation by a vote of 137-10 on March 11, 2024. The bill will now proceed to Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office.

Section 255.17 of the Penal Law reads as follows: “A person is guilty of adultery when he engages in sexual intercourse with another person at a time when he has a living spouse, or the other person has a living spouse. Adultery is a Class B misdemeanor.” A person convicted of adultery can face a fine and a jail sentence of up to 90 days. Sen. Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan), the Senate sponsor of Bill S.8744-Krueger/A.4714-Lavine, described New York’s adultery ban as “‘outdated’” and “‘antiquated,’” while Asm. Charles Lavine (D-Glen Cove) claimed that the law is “‘rooted in nothing more than hysteria’” and that those who object to repealing it are “‘sanctimonious moralizers.’”

If Gov. Hochul should sign this bill into law, the impact upon the state’s criminal justice system would be minimal. According to the New York Post, fewer than 12 individuals have been charged with adultery over the past 50 years. Nevertheless, New York Families is disappointed that the Legislature has passed this legislation. New York Families Action Executive Director Jason McGuire commented, “The fact that the law bans adultery—even if that law is almost never enforced—sends an important message. The message is this: Marriage vows are not to be taken lightly. When a married person commits adultery, that act either damages their marriage or destroys it. The consequences of adultery, especially in the lives of children, are grievous. A healthy, loving society does everything within its power to encourage the formation and continuation of healthy, loving families.”

New York Families thanks the 10 members of the Assembly who voted against this bill (Asms. David DiPietro, R-East Aurora, Jaime Williams, D-Brooklyn, Matthew Simpson, R-Queensbury, Chris Tague, R-Schoharie, Christopher Friend, R-Big Flats, Steve Hawley, R-Batavia, E. Ari Brown, R-Cedarhurst, Michael Fitzpatrick, R-Smithtown, Andy Goodell, R-Jamestown, and Brian Manktelow, R-Lyons) along with the four state senators (Sens. Joe Addabbo Jr., D-Queens, Patrick Gallivan, R-Elma, Monica Martinez, D-Brentwood, and Jim Tedisco, R-Ballston Lake) who did the same.

April 4, 2024:

Assisted Suicide Bill Sees Slight Tweak

On April 4, State Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal (D-Manhattan) and Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-Scarsdale) unveiled an amended version of their assisted suicide bill (S.2445-B/A.995-B). The amendments are nothing more than a failed attempt to make this disturbing bill appear less objectionable than it really is. The amended bill includes the following:

  • A new definition for the term “third-party health care payer”;
  • Language barring a person who holds a power of attorney or a health care proxy for a patient from serving as a witness to that patient’s request for assisted suicide;
  • Language barring a patient’s domestic partner from serving as a witness to that patient’s request for assisted suicide;
  • Language preventing health care providers and others from incurring administrative liabilities or penalties arising from participation in an assisted suicide; and
  • A provision barring insurers from denying coverage for products or services simply because a patient has or has not chosen to commit assisted suicide.

New York Families will continue to work alongside our allies at the New York Alliance Against Assisted Suicide to block the passage of this dangerous legislation.

Battle Over Blakeman’s Effort To Protect Female Athletes Progresses

As New York Families has previously noted, Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman signed an executive order earlier this year that limited males from participating in women’s and girls’ sporting events held on county-owned property. Not surprisingly, this executive order provoked outrage and indignation amongst liberal politicians and their allies. After New York Attorney General Letitia James demanded that the order be rescinded and threatened to take legal action against Nassau County, Nassau County filed a federal lawsuit asking for a restraining order (TRO) blocking the Attorney General’s cease-and-desist letter and declaring the February executive order to be legal. On April 4, the county’s request for a TRO was denied. Judge Nusrat Choudhury ruled that the county lacked legal standing to file the lawsuit. Later this month, the court will render a decision on Attorney General’s motion to dismiss the entire lawsuit.

Late State Budget Extended

Also on April 4, Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a second budget extender and asserted that the end of the state budget process was near. According to Spectrum News, leaders were continuing to negotiate over issues relating to housing. The budget was due to be completed by April 1.