It’s A Wrap: Week Twenty-Three Of The Legislative Session

New York Families Action’s Weekly Wrap-Up covers the week ending June 8, 2024. This week was the final week of the 2024 regular legislative session in Albany. This edition of the Weekly Wrap-Up includes information on assisted suicide, congestion pricing, social media, religious liberty for faith-based hospitals, and diversity training.

June 3, 2024

Legislative Update

Bill S.1211-Persaud/A.7449-Buttenschon passed the State Senate by a vote of 52-8. The bill would require correction officers, firefighters, first responders, and police officers to receive training in diversity and inclusion.

As a Christian organization, New York Families Action opposes unjust discrimination in all its forms. “An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous, but one whose way is straight is an abomination to the wicked” (Proverbs 29:27). Nevertheless, we oppose this legislation. Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts sound unobjectionable on the surface, but are often used to perpetuate a Marxist ideology that divides humanity into two groups: The oppressors and the oppressed. The brave men and women who take on the most dangerous jobs in our state should not be subjected to left-wing indoctrination. Furthermore, the mandated training would affirm homosexual and transgendered behavior, would take valuable time away from more important training topics, and could hinder recruitment efforts.

June 4, 2024

New York Alliance Against Assisted Suicide Holds Final Capitol Demonstration

Today, the New York Alliance Against Assisted Suicide (NYAAAS) held its last Capitol demonstration of the 2024 legislative session. Demonstrators from New York City, western New York, and the Capital Region gathered at the New York State Capitol to tell lawmakers and the public that assisted suicide should remain illegal. New York Families thanks all those who participated in the various NYAAAS demonstrations this year.

Legislative Update

Three bills opposed by New York Families Action passed the State Senate today. They are:

  • Bill S.4400-C-Webb, an anti-life bill that would require each of New York’s public colleges and universities to make so-called “emergency contraception” available for purchase in vending machines;
  • Bill S.7506-A-Hoylman-Sigal/A.7687-A-Bronson, the Gender “Transitions” for Minors Act, which would insulate parents and health care providers from various negative consequences arising from their roles in obtaining “gender-affirming care” (and, in some instances, abortions) for minors from other states; and
  • Bill S.4880-C-Fernandez/A.7487-B-Kelles, which would establish a state-run program allowing drug users to have their illicit drugs checked for contamination by fentanyl or other substances.

June 5, 2024

Congestion Pricing

Gov. Kathy Hochul threw the Capitol into turmoil today by announcing an indefinite pause of the congestion pricing plan for lower Manhattan that was scheduled to go into effect at the end of this month. Congestion pricing, which was signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2019, called for vehicles to be charged fees to enter Manhattan at points below 61st Street. The intent behind the plan was to encourage commuters and visitors to use mass transit instead of automobiles; in so doing, it was hoped that carbon emissions would decrease and traffic congestion in Manhattan would be alleviated. The fees charged would be used to create a $15 billion revenue stream for the troubled Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).

Gov. Hochul’s move was a surprise, as the Governor had previously expressed support for congestion pricing. The Governor indicated that she made the decision because she was concerned about the impact congestion pricing might have upon New York City’s ongoing economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Pro-congestion pricing forces intend to sue to challenge the Governor’s decision. While New York Families has not staked out a position on congestion pricing, we note that working families will likely be relieved to avoid the financial burden that its fees would have created.

Legislative Update

The following legislative activity occurred today:

  • Bill S.8892-A-Bailey/A.9811-Dais passed the Senate. The bill would direct the Office of Children and Family Services to create a center for fatherhood initiatives. New York Families supports this pro-family bill.
  • Bill S.7974-A-Hoylman-Sigal/A.8970-A-Glick passed the Senate. This bill would rename a Manhattan subway station the “Christopher Street-Stonewall National Monument station.” The bill has passed both houses of the Legislature. Our organization opposes this legislation because it commemorates the Stonewall Rebellion, a riot that broke out at a Manhattan homosexual bar in 1969. The state should not celebrate violence and lawlessness, and should not celebrate the gay rights movement that followed this particular riot.
  • Bill S.6616-A-May/A.5297-A-Paulin was approved by the State Assembly Rules Committee by a 19-9 vote. With the exception of three committeemembers who were excused from the vote, all Democratic members voted in favor of the bill; the nine Republican committeemembers opposed it. This legislation would force hospitals to allow their medical staff to provide “comprehensive information and resources” to patients about “treatment alternatives” and “available services,” including abortion and so-called gender reassignment surgery. Faith-based hospitals should remain free to require their medical staff to refrain from providing patients with information and referrals for services that are morally objectionable to those hospitals.

June 6, 2024

Legislative Update

Today, the Assembly passed Bill S.940-Bailey/A.6637-Septimo by an 82-65 vote. This bill, which passed the State Senate earlier this year, provides that “no person, agency, bureau, corporation, association, the state or any political subdivision thereof, shall require an individual to provide a copy of his or her criminal history record that he or she obtained pursuant to the rules and regulations of the division of criminal justice services.” The same prohibition would apply to educational institutions. When it comes to criminal histories, New York Families Action believes that transparency is the best policy. We are concerned that organizations of various types could be harmed by this bill.

The Senate passed two bills championed by Gov. Kathy Hochul: Bill S.7694-A-Gounardes/A.8148-A-Rozic, the Stop Addictive Feeds Exploitation (SAFE) for Kids Act; and Bill S.7695-B-Gounardes/A.8149-B-Rozic, the New York child data protection act. The bills relate to minors’ use of social media; the Governor is concerned about excessive social media consumption and its impact on adolescent mental health. While New York Families supports these bills, we have reservations about the power that they give to the New York attorney general and about certain language that limits parental involvement in their children’s social media use.

June 7, 2024

Legislative Update

The Assembly passed both of Gov. Hochul’s social media bills today.

In addition, both houses passed Bill S.9673-A-Addabbo/A.10572-Rules (Pretlow), which would set deadlines to expedite the issuance of downstate casino licenses. New York Families opposes this pro-casino, anti-family measure.

The Senate adjourned until further notice.

June 8, 2024

In the early morning hours, the 2024 regular legislative session ended when the Assembly adjourned.

Gov. Hochul’s pause on congestion pricing had a dramatic effect upon the final week of the session. While the Legislature did not come to an agreement on how to close the budget gap created by the Governor’s decision, negotiations over that budget gap may have distracted lawmakers from passing destructive bills. At times, we have seen the Lord use confusion and chaos to prevent bad laws from being passed.

The 2024 legislative session is the most successful New York Families Action has had in several years. A range of dangerous bills was blocked this year. The Nonpublic Dignity for All Students Act—which would impose various sexual and gender-related mandates upon Christian schools—did not pass either house of the Legislature. Despite the best efforts of assisted suicide advocates, assisted suicide was not legalized, either. New York Families gives thanks to the Lord for this victory. We also thank the many allies that make up the New York Alliance Against Assisted Suicide for their tireless efforts against this anti-life bill.

It is possible that the Legislature could return to Albany for a special session later this year. If that happens, we will continue to advocate for life, family, and religious liberty, and against proposals that would jeopardize them.

To our dedicated supporters: New York Families thanks you for your prayers, your sacrificial giving, for your e-mails and phone calls to legislators, for your presence at our events, and for your words of encouragement. Without you, this ministry could not exist. Please continue to stand with us as we stand for righteousness in Albany.