As part of my community engagement platform, I promised to provide a regular weekly update on what’s happening up in Albany. This is an update from the first two weeks of the 2021–2022 Legislative Session.

You can always email me directly at gounardes@nysenate.gov if you have any other questions, ideas, or want more information about what’s happening in Albany or the district.

* The 2021–2022 Legislative Session*

January 1, 2021 marks the beginning of a new legislative session as well as my second term as your Senator. I am honored to have been reelected to continue to represent our community. Some of the priorities I will be focusing on this year are recovering from Covid-19 and bolstering small businesses most affected by the pandemic, reinvesting in and reimaging the role of our City University in a post-Covid economy, continuing our work on pedestrian and street safety, reforming state sexual harassment laws, pushing for comprehensive property tax reform, and of course, supporting our public workers.

*Committee Assignments*

For the 2021–2022 term, I will once again be Chair of the Civil Service and Pensions Committee. I have also been assigned to the following committees: Judiciary, Higher Education, Labor, Consumer Protection, Insurance, and Cities 1.

The Civil Service and Pensions Committee has jurisdiction over anything concerning public employees and retired public employees. This ranges from legislation related to employee benefits to amendments to the Retirement and Social Security Law.

The Judiciary Committee has jurisdiction over a broad array of matters, including changes to the state constitution, anything that affects our court system, the uniform commercial code, debtor and creditor laws, trusts and estates law, general construction laws, real property laws, and others.

The Higher Education Committee has jurisdiction over matters concerning the licensing of professionals and semi-professionals, as well as anything that affects higher education in the state. As a proud CUNY alum, I’m very excited to serve on this committee.

The Labor Committee has jurisdiction over any issues that deal with the workforce, employer’s liability, unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation.

The Consumer Protection Committee has jurisdiction over concerns related to unfair, deceptive, and fraudulent business practices, especially those regarding online conduct that affects consumers.

The Insurance Committee has jurisdiction over all lines of insurance including property/casualty, health, and life.

The Cities 1 Committee has jurisdiction over city laws specific to New York City, such as the NYC Charter, Property Tax Law affecting NYC, and General Business Law relating to NYC.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about the committees and the work we will be focused on during the legislative session, please email my office.

*First Weeks of Session!*

Committee Meetings

Judiciary Committee

On January 11th, we had the first meeting of the Judiciary Committee. During this meeting, I voted in favor of the following measures:

You can watch our Judiciary Committee meeting (including a brief appearance by our newest family member, Evan!) here.

Session

Election Reform Bills

We kicked off the 2021 session on Monday, January 1th by doubling down on democracy and passing a series of 10 bills to make it easier and better for New Yorkers to vote:

You can see all the bills the Senate has passed so far this year here.

State of the State

This week, Governor Andrew Cuomo gave his State of the State address. As anticipated, much of his speech focused on how to safely navigate through the continued COVID-19 pandemic while simultaneously increasing economic activity. I look forward to working with the Governor on his budget plan in the coming months. You can watch all four segments of the State of the State on the Governor’s YouTube page here.

*Looking Forward*

2020 was a hard year for all of us. I am excited and motivated to continue working hard for our neighborhoods to help with the burdens created by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as look to the future to pass laws that will positively impact our community beyond the pandemic. I am grateful that you have entrusted me to continue to serve as your State Senator, and can’t wait to continue the work.

Thanks for reading! As always, you can email me directly at gounardes@nysenate.gov or call my office as 718–238–6044.

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NYS Senator, District 22.

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Senator Andrew Gounardes

Senator Andrew Gounardes

NYS Senator, District 22.

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