What you might have missed in New York politics this week
New York has seen a flurry of bills and laws this week to remove the abortion law from the penal code, pass a DREAM Act and pass early voting. Here’s what else you might have missed in New York politics this week.
NEW YORK DEMOCRATS ADOPT LEGISLATION TO STRENGTHEN ABORTION RIGHTS
(New York state passed legislation Tuesday night to codify federal abortion law into state law. Zack Fink / NY1).
New York State Tuesday Night enactment of a law to codify the federal abortion law into state law, exactly 46 years since the Roe v. Wade of the Supreme Court that legalized abortion in the United States.
What does that mean:
By passing the Reproductive Health Act (RHA), both houses of the legislature removed New York’s abortion law from the criminal code. The bill also allows late abortions at the discretion of a health care provider and allows physician assistants to perform certain abortions.
Lawmakers have said it is necessary to codify Roe v. Wade into state law because President Donald Trump wants the United States Supreme Court to overturn the landmark decision and because the court is now a majority conservative.
The Senate and State Assembly also passed the Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act and the so-called “Boss Bill,” both of which require employers and health care providers to cover contraceptive services. abortion and contraception.
SUPREME COURT TO HEAR ARMS RIGHTS CASE – AND NYC IS AT THE CENTER OF THE STRUGGLE
(Under a municipal rule, anyone holding a “premises license” for a handgun must keep the weapon at home and is limited to where they can carry it. This rule is now being challenged in front of the house. the High Court. Zoe Slemmons / NY1).
The United States Supreme Court said on Tuesday it would hear its first gun rights case in nine years, a New York City ban challenge by carrying a licensed, locked and unloaded handgun outside the city limits.
Lower courts have already sided with the city, but the Supreme Court has said it will take the case this fall.
What does that mean:
Under city rule, anyone with a “locals license” for a handgun must keep the weapon at home and can essentially only transport it to a licensed range within the city limits. . The plaintiffs said, in part, that some gun owners in the city were arrested if they carried their handguns at shooting ranges outside the five boroughs.
The court’s decision to hear the appeal could signal a renewed interest in gun rights by a more conservative court, perhaps more willing to take on a gun rights case now that Judge Anthony Kennedy retired and was replaced by Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
NEW YORK LAWMAKERS PASS DREAM ACT FOR NON-DOCUMENT STUDENTS
(State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, center, speaks at a DREAM Act press conference on Wednesday with Evelyn Peralta, left of Heastie. Evelyn Peralta is the widow of the ‘Former Senator Jose Peralta, who was the sponsor of Bill. Zack Fink / NY1).
New York state lawmakers voted on Wednesday to extend state financial assistance students brought into the country illegally as children.
What this means for “Dreamers”:
The so-called Dream Act will ensure that children in New York will have the same access to state loans and grants regardless of their legal status as US citizens. To be eligible, a person must have a New York high school diploma or equivalent or meet the tuition requirements in the state.
IT’S OFFICIAL: EARLY VOTING ARRIVES IN NEW YORK
(Governor Andrew Cuomo, left, and actor Ben Stiller shake hands after the governor signed a bill allowing early voting on Thursday. The bill will allow New Yorkers to vote by Day of the Day. poll to improve his low voter turnout. Stiller had lobbied for the new law. Mark Lennihan / AP).
Governor Andrew Cuomo approved changes to New York election laws Thursday which are designed to make voting easier. The Senate and State Assembly passed the legislation 10 days earlier.
What are the new laws and what will they do?
The new regulations include:
- Advance voting – voters can vote 10 days before polling day.
- A unified primary day – the September primary date will be removed and will take place on the same day as the federal primary in June.
- Closing the LLC Loophole – this would limit the ability of companies to open Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) and make virtually unlimited contributions to the political campaign.
Supporters – and many frustrated voters every year – have demanded a major reform of all of New York’s previously outdated election laws, stressing chaos that can ensue on voting sites. Supporters say early voting will increase turnout and reduce lines on election day. New York was among the top 10 worst-off states in terms of turnout in the 2016 and 2018 elections, continuing a long trend of below-average voter turnout.
NYC SAYS IT WOULD ILLEGAL PARKING IN BUS TRACKS
(The city says it will crack down on vehicles parked in bus lanes).
Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Thursday the NYPD would begin to crack down on vehicles illegally parked in bus lanes. In 2012, the NYPD issued 7,756 bus lane violation summons. But law enforcement fell and in 2017 there were only 2,020 tickets written.
The mayor says he is trying to turn things around by having seven new police tow truck teams deploy to the city to make sure bus lanes are clear for buses.
The city may need to get tough on itself, as some of the worst offenders are city workers, or people with official or official-looking parking signs, parking in bus lanes. The anonymous “Placard Corruption” Twitter account posted a photo of a car with a sign blocking a cycle lane which it said was taken after the mayor’s press conference on illegal parking in bus lanes.
De Blasio said he would have a plan to tackle abuse of parking signs in February.
CUOMO APPEARS TO GET ANOTHER MTA WINNER – THIS TIME IN TARIFF HIKES
(After months of public hearings, the MTA board decided to delay voting on proposed fares and toll increases, shortly after the governor spoke out against them.)
In an unexpected move on Thursday, members of the board of directors of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) waved to postpone the vote on the proposed tariffs and toll increases to consider other options before taking up the issue again at their February meeting – a day after Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he did not support the tariff increase, and called for more reforms to the MTA.
Recap of the governor’s recent apparent influence over the MTA:
Less than 24 hours after Cuomo said he did not support the rate hike, one of its appointed board members launched a new proposal: to tie a rate hike to service improvements.
The board suddenly said it needed more time to think about how to move forward. Unsurprisingly, it was a decision backed by Cuomo later in the day.
Acting MTA chairman Fernando Ferrer said he had not heard Cuomo staff talk about delaying the vote, but the delay Thursday was the second time in the past month that Cuomo appeared to be successful with the MTA .
The MTA is about to moving forward with governor’s new plan for the L train repairs that would avoid a complete shutdown of long-planned service between Brooklyn and Manhattan. A source at MTA told NY1 last week that the MTA board should no longer have to approve the new train plan L. Cuomo had requested an emergency meeting of the MTA board of directors so his new L train plan could move forward, but when he announced his plan three weeks ago, he appeared to indicate he could bypass the MTA board’s approval for the new plan.
CUOMO SIGNS LAW TO PROHIBIT TRANSGENDER DISCRIMINATION IN NEW YORK
(The governor continued his bill signing blitz on Friday, signing a law that lawmakers passed 10 days ago to make it illegal to discriminate against transgender and non-binary New Yorkers. Zack Fink / NY1).
Governor Andrew Cuomo was in the West Village on Friday to sign a law known as Genre Expression Non-diskElimination law (GENDA), which prohibits discrimination against transgender and non-binary New Yorkers.
What does the law do?
The Anti-Discrimination Bill adds gender identity and gender expression to existing law prohibiting discrimination based on sex, age, religion, race or sexual orientation.
In addition to GENDA, the governor also signed a bill banning conversion therapy for minors, in which a therapist attempts to change the sexual orientation of a young person.
A few years ago, Cuomo signed an executive order that banned discrimination against covered transgender New Yorkers. But advocates have said that to make these protections permanent, it must be done through legislation and signed into law. It happened on Friday.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this story.
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