How They Voted

Governor signs round of bills passed by state legislators

Through this week, Govs. Andrew Cuomo and Kathy Hochul had signed 1,333 bills passed during the 2021-22 legislative session, which ended in June. Another 54 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).

Voting laws

On June 24, Hochul enacted legislation that requires election workers, when the “express intent of a voter is clear,” to ignore stray marks, stains or writing that might otherwise disqualify an absentee ballot. The bill’s sponsors hoped the law would “eliminate costly legal challenges.”

Passed by Senate, 42-20 | Serino No
Passed by Assembly, 104-42 | Galef Yes  Jacobson Yes

On June 26, Hochul enacted a law that allows candidates for party delegate positions to indicate their gender as “X.” In some cases, election law required parties to list candidates by gender on nominating petitions and ballots, or that a county leader and the assistant be of different genders.

Passed by Senate, 50-13 | Serino Yes
Passed by Assembly, 102-36 | Galef Yes  Jacobson Yes

Event tickets

On June 30, Hochul enacted a law that increases fines for using “bots” to purchase event tickets online; prohibits fees on tickets delivered electronically; bans the resale of tickets that were free; and requires the price of a ticket to remain the same throughout the online purchase process. The regulations go into effect Aug. 29.

Passed by Senate, 63-0 | Serino Yes
Passed by Assembly, 149-0 | Galef Yes  Jacobson Yes 

‘Hateful conduct’

On June 6, Hochul signed legislation that requires social media networks to have mechanisms in place to restrict “hateful conduct,” defined as posts that “vilify, humiliate or incite violence against a group or a class of persons on the basis of race, color, religion, ethnicity, national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.” 

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press expressed concern about the law, noting that “vilify” and “humiliate” are vague enough that the statute could stifle discussions or criticism protected by the First Amendment. It also noted that the law’s definition of social-media network is broad enough that it could include news sites. 

Passed by Senate, 59-4 | Serino Yes
Passed by Assembly, 112-37 | Galef Yes  Jacobson Yes 

Human trafficking

On July 20, Hochul enacted a law requiring inns, hotels and motels to train employees who deal with guests to recognize signs of human trafficking. Hochul also approved bills that passed unanimously in the Senate and Assembly requiring Thruway rest stops, truck stops, airports, Port Authority bus terminals, bars and strip clubs to post information to help trafficking victims, including a national hotline number.

Passed by Senate, 61-0 | Serino Yes
Passed by Assembly, 142-2 | Galef Yes  Jacobson Yes    

Fake weapons

On Aug. 16, Hochul signed a law requiring fake weapons to be translucent or colored white or bright red, orange, yellow, green, blue, pink or purple, with some exceptions such as for props for theatrical productions.

Passed by Senate, 47-15 | Serino No
Passed by Assembly, 144-3 | Galef Yes  Jacobson Yes

Park smoking

On July 15, Hochul signed legislation that bans smoking at state-owned beaches, boardwalks, marinas, playgrounds, recreation centers and camps. The bill exempts the Adirondack and Catskill parks, as well as parking lots, sidewalks adjoining parks and areas not used for park purposes. 

Passed by Senate, 56-7 | Serino Yes
Passed by Assembly, 135-11 | Galef Yes  Jacobson Yes  

Disability rights

On July 26, Hochul signed a law allowing a person with an intellectual or developmental disability to establish a “supported decision-making agreement” with a “trusted person” that is not as restrictive as legal guardianship.

Passed by Senate, 61-0 | Serino Yes
Passed by Assembly, 145-3 | Galef Yes  Jacobson Yes 

Two other laws supported by Serino, Galef and Jacobson changed references to “mentally retarded” in statutes to “people with intellectual or developmental disabilities” and “mentally ill” to “individuals with a developmental disability.” 

Breastfeeding

On July 5, Hochul enacted a law that requires airports to provide a space for breastfeeding away from public view beyond the security screening area. 

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

Holocaust

On Aug. 10, Hochul enacted a law that requires the Education Department to survey schools to ensure they are providing appropriate lessons about the Holocaust, as has been required since 1994. The bill’s sponsors said the legislation was introduced in response to an incident in 2017 in which high school students in Oswego were assigned to make a case for the “Nazi point of view.”

Passed by Senate, 61-0 | Serino Yes
Passed by Assembly, 145-0 | Galef Yes  Jacobson Yes 

Criminal justice

On Aug. 8, Hochul signed a law that expands the hours during which parolees can work or attend school. The law’s sponsors noted that parolees often must receive substance-abuse treatment between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., which makes it hard to work or attend class only during business hours.

Passed by Senate, 61-0 | Serino Yes
Passed by Assembly, 146-0 | Galef Yes  Jacobson Yes  

Hochul also signed legislation to replace the word inmate in state laws passed after May 2021 with “incarcerated individual.” Serino voted no and Galef and Jacobson voted yes on earlier legislation that covered all state laws to that point.

Passed by Senate, 48-15 | Serino No
Passed by Assembly, 132-15 | Galef Yes  Jacobson Yes 

Tax exemption

On Aug. 8, Hochul enacted legislation that allows municipalities to increase the maximum annual income for people older than 65 and people with disabilities to receive a property tax exemption from $29,000 to $50,000.

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

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