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 Week Ten.

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.

*My first major bill passed!*

Tuesday, March 19th was a day for the history books. After years fighting to increase pedestrian safety on our streets, the Senate passed my bill to substantially expand New York City’s school zone speed camera program. Previously, only 140 cameras were allowed to operate out of 1800+ schools. If you remember the news from last summer, the Senate allowed the program to expire without renewing it. My bill allows the city to place speed cameras in up to 750 school zones. Under my bill, cameras will now be operational in locations and time periods that account for just under 50% of all pedestrian fatalities and serious injuries, an increase from 15% under the old program.

Speed cameras have proven to reduce speeding by up to 63% in locations where they are operational. We know that speed is determinant of the severity of an injury received in a crash. When you slow people down, lives are saved. Period.

You can read more about the bill and its details here and you can read the bill text here.

Last Week in Albany

The week of March 18th to March 22nd was the tenth week of legislative activity and we were in session for three days. To see the full schedule of the legislation session, click here.

State Budget Process

Last week, the State Senate continued to negotiate with the State Assembly and the Governor on the final budget, which is due April 1st. Two weeks ago the Senate passed its own budget resolution, which outlines the priorities we want to included in the final budget.

I remain committed to the principles that I voted for in the Senate one-house budget resolution, including restoring cuts made to Medicaid in the Governor’s budget proposal, ensuring mass transit accessibility and accountability, equitable education funding, and election reform, and will continue to push for these core values as negotiations continue.

Committee Meetings This Week

Judiciary

The Senate Judiciary Committee met on Tuesday, March 19th. The committee considered five pieces of legislation, all of which I supported; I am also a co-sponsor of S1688, which helps regulate distressed home loans. You can watch the full video and read more information about the committee meeting here.

Civil Service and Pensions

I chaired my fourth Civil Service and Pensions committee meeting on Tuesday, March 19th. You can watch the committee meeting in its entirety here.

During this committee meeting, we considered five pieces of legislation that help support public sector employees, their families and retirees. I sponsored bills two bills and voted to support all of the bills in committee.

Legislative Session

We had three days of legislative session last week, and passed a total of twenty- four bills. Below are some of the highlights:

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