How They Voted (Updated)

Governor signs round of bills passed by state legislators

Through this week, Govs. Andrew Cuomo and Kathy Hochul had signed 1,046 bills passed during the 2021-22 legislative session, which ended last week. Another two await Hochul’s signature. Fifty-five have been vetoed.

Serino, Jacobson and Galef

Serino, Jacobson and Galef

Below are summaries of select laws and the votes cast by Republican Sue Serino (whose Senate district includes the Highlands), Democrat Sandy Galef (whose Assembly district includes Philipstown) and Democrat Jonathan Jacobson (whose Assembly district includes Beacon).

Abortion providers

On Monday (June 13), Hochul signed laws regulating abortion and reproductive rights that:

Shield abortion providers from liability when working with patients who traveled from states where abortion may soon be limited or illegal following an anticipated U.S. Supreme Court ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Passed by Senate, 45-18 | Serino No
Passed by Assembly, 100-49 | Galef  Yes Jacobson Yes

Authorize a study of “limited-service pregnancy centers” to determine the ability of their patients “to obtain accurate, non-coercive health care information and timely access to a comprehensive range of reproductive and sexual health care services.” These centers are typically operated by religious organizations that don’t provide abortions.

Passed by Senate, 43-20 |
Serino No
Passed by Assembly, 101-45 |
Galef  Yes Jacobson Yes

Establish a cause of action for “unlawful interference with protected rights” by allowing individuals who have been sued or charged anywhere in the U.S. with “facilitating, aiding or obtaining reproductive health or endocrine care services” to countersue in New York.

Passed by Senate, 41-22 |
Serino No
Passed by Assembly, 100-49 |
Galef  Yes Jacobson Yes

Prohibit professional misconduct charges against health care practitioners “on the basis that the provider performed, recommended or provided reproductive health care services for a patient who resides in a state where such services are illegal.”

Passed by Senate, 46-17 | Serino Yes
Passed by Assembly, 103-46 |
Galef  Yes Jacobson Yes

Prohibit medical malpractice insurance companies from taking action against a reproductive health care provider “who performs an abortion or provides reproduce health care that is legal in New York on someone who is from out of state.”

Passed by Senate, 41-22 | Serino No
Passed by Assembly, 103-46 |
Galef  Yes Jacobson Yes

Allow abortion providers, employees, volunteers, patients and immediate family members of providers “to enroll in the state’s address confidentiality program to protect themselves from threats.”

Passed by Senate, 54-9 | Serino Yes
Passed by Assembly, 135-14 |
Galef  Yes Jacobson Yes

Gun control

On Monday (June 6), less than a month after a shooting at a Buffalo supermarket left 10 people dead, Hochul enacted laws designed to restrict access to weapons. The new regulations include those that:

Require individuals to get a state license to purchase a semi-automatic rifle. Under existing state law, individuals must be at least 21 to obtain a gun license.

Passed by Senate, 43-20 |
Serino No
Passed by Assembly, 102-47 |
Galef  Yes Jacobson Yes

Ban the purchase of body armor by anyone who does not work in law enforcement or a similar job. “Unless your profession puts you at a special risk of gun violence, there is no reason you need a bulletproof vest,” said Jacobson, who sponsored the bill, in a statement. “If we can’t stop these criminals from shooting, the least we can do is take away their protection.”

Passed by Senate, 55-8 |
Serino Yes
Passed by Assembly, 105-44 |
Galef  Yes Jacobson Yes

Expand the professions that can file an “extreme risk protection order” (or red flag) for an individual who may be dangerous. It now will include physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, registered nurses, social workers, therapists and counselors who have examined the person within the previous six months.

Passed by Senate, 49-14 |
Serino No
Passed by Assembly, 119-30 |
Galef  Yes Jacobson Yes

Eliminate a provision that made it legal to possess large-capacity ammunition feeding devices if they were obtained before the NY Safe Act went into effect in 2013 or were manufactured before 1994.

Passed by Senate, 43-20 |
Serino No
Passed by Assembly, 106-43 |
Galef  Yes Jacobson Yes

Creates the crime of “making a threat of mass harm.” The law was proposed in response to an incident in 2015 in which a custodian at a Long Island middle school told a teacher that he would “shoot up the school like Columbine” on the day he was fired. He was charged with making a terroristic threat. According to the bill’s sponsors, although the custodian owned an AR-15, a state judge dismissed the charge, ruling the threat was not “imminent” because the school had no plans to fire him.

Passed by Senate, 61-2 |
Serino Yes
Passed by Assembly, 146-3 |
Galef  Yes Jacobson Yes

‘Cultural compentency’

On Dec. 21, Hochul enacted a law that requires licensed real-estate agents to complete two hours of “cultural competency training.” The law cited an investigation by Newsday that found “widespread discrimination against potential homebuyers of color on Long Island.”

Passed by Senate, 61-2 |
Serino Yes
Passed by Assembly, 146-3 | G
alef  Yes Jacobson Yes

A similar law requires agents, as part of their license renewals, to undergo two hours of training in “implicit bias,” defined as “attitudes or stereotypes that affect an individual’s understanding, actions and decisions in an unconscious manner.”

Passed by Senate, 62-1 |
Serino Yes
Passed by Assembly, 148-0 |
Galef  Yes Jacobson Yes

Outage credits

Enacted by Hochul on Dec. 22, this statute requires gas and electric companies to provide residential customers with a $25 credit for each 24-hour period they are without service during an outage that occurs for more than 72 hours following an emergency, along with reimbursement for up to $540 for spoiled food.

Passed by Senate, 48-15 | Serino No
Passed by Assembly, 124-26 | Galef  Yes Jacobson Yes

Absentee ballots

On Jan. 21, Hochul signed a law that extends until Dec. 31 a provision that allows voters to obtain absentee ballots by citing a fear of contracting COVID-19 at the polls. 

Passed by Senate, 42-21 | Serino No
Passed by Assembly, 100-45 | Galef  Yes Jacobson Yes

Whippets

Hochul on Oct. 26 enacted a law banning the sale of whipped cream chargers to anyone under the age of 21. The chargers are steel cylinders filled with nitrous oxide used in dispensers known as “whippets.” (They are sold by the canister or tank; tanks are commonly rented or purchased to blow up balloons.) Nitrous oxide is highly addictive, said the sponsors of the bill, noting that many state dental associations have treatment programs for dentists and hygienists who become addicted.

Passed by Senate, 57-6 | Serino Yes
Passed by Assembly, 135-14 | Galef  Yes Jacobson Yes

Holiday lead

This law, introduced in the Assembly by Galef and enacted by Hochul on Nov. 30, requires seasonal and decorative lighting with electrical cord casings that contain lead to include a warning label. “Lead is not readily absorbed through skin — the main worry regarding exposure stems from ingesting the traces that are left on the hands of a person after they have handled the lights,” the bill’s sponsors explained.

Passed by Senate, 51-12 | Serino Yes
Passed by Assembly, 138-9 | Galef  Yes Jacobson Yes

Gift cards

Hochul on Dec. 10 signed a law that creates a grace period to use reward points after a credit card account is closed. A similar law that passed unanimously in the Assembly and Senate prohibits fees and expiration dates on gift cards and gift certificates.

Passed by Senate, 62-1 | Serino Yes
Passed by Assembly, 148-0 | Galef  Yes Jacobson Yes

Menstrual products

On Dec. 22, Hochul signed legislation that provides free sanitary napkins, tampons and panty liners to women in homeless shelters. 

Passed by Senate, 59-4 | Serino Yes
Passed by Assembly, 147-0 | Galef  Yes Jacobson Yes

Bottle control

To reduce plastic pollution, on Dec. 21 Hochul signed a law that restricts hotels from providing guests with products such as shampoo or lotion in small bottles.

Passed by Senate, 47-15 | Serino Yes
Passed by Assembly, 113-37 | Galef  Yes Jacobson Yes

Lead in water

On Dec. 22, Hochul signed legislation that tightens the regulation of lead in school drinking water, lowering the amount that triggers remedial action from 0.015 milligrams per liter to 0.005 milligrams. The law also expands testing.

Passed by Senate, 63-0 | Serino Yes
Passed by Assembly, 147-1 | Galef  Yes Jacobson Yes

Pesticides at camp

On Dec. 22, Hochul signed a bill that bans pesticides from being applied to playgrounds and athletic or playing fields at summer camps. The practice was already illegal at schools.

Passed by Senate, 46-16 | Serino Yes
Passed by Assembly, 112-35 | Galef  Yes Jacobson Yes

Incorrigible

On May 4, Hochul signed legislation to remove references to incorrigible from education law. The word is defined by Merriam-Webster as “incapable of being corrected, not reformable” and was historically applied to girls of color for behavior that was not stereotypically feminine, according to the bill’s sponsors. 

Passed by Senate, 50-13 | Serino Yes
Passed by Assembly, 143-2 | Galef  Yes Jacobson Yes

Transcripts

On May 4, Hochul signed legislation that prohibits colleges from withholding a transcript because of unpaid debts or charging indebted students a higher fee.

Passed by Senate, 44-19 | Serino No
Passed by Assembly, 106-41 | Galef  Yes Jacobson Yes

Survivors Act

On May 24, Hochul signed a law that will create a one-year “lookback window” beginning Nov. 24 during which people who were sexually assaulted can sue their assailants regardless of any statute of limitations.

Passed by Senate, 62-0 | Serino Yes
Passed by Assembly, 141-4 | Galef  Yes Jacobson Yes

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