As part of my community engagement platform, I promised to provide a regular weekly update on what’s happening up in Albany.

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.

*Session Week Sixteen*

Rally for HEAL Act

Accessible, quality healthcare is a human right, and yet the skyrocketing hospital prices are robbing New Yorkers. My bill, the Hospital Equity and Affordability Law (HEAL) Act (S7199), aims to improve market access and increase transparency of health insurance contracts by banning certain anti-competitive provisions. It also prohibits the use of most-favored-nation provisions and allows insurers to disclose price and quality information regarding negotiated rates and other discounts with health care providers.

On May 10th, we held a lobby day in Albany to pass HEAL. I stood with advocates from 32BJ SEIU and the Coalition for Affordable Hospital to raise awareness and highlight the need for this bill.

Rally for the Warehouse Workers Protection Act

I am proud to cosponsor the Warehouse Workers Protection Act (S8922), which supports warehouse workers who currently do not have protections from inhumane work quotas and lack workplace ergonomics standards. This bill mandates employers to provide a written description of quotas to which employees are subject and states that employees shall not be required to meet quotas that prevent compliance with meal or rest periods, use of bathroom facilities, or increase the risk of musculoskeletal injuries and disorders. Warehouse companies like Amazon would be forced to disclose their productivity quotas placed to employees and their disciplinary actions if those quotas were not met if they are within reasonable expectation.

On May 10th, New York lawmakers and union leaders came together to demand the state legislature pass these protections for warehouse workers. I was proud to stand with the sponsor of this bill, Senator Ramos, and support the Warehouse Workers Protection Act. As workers are fighting for their rights, it is only right we use our power in Albany to make sure they are protected from unfair working conditions.

Session

Remember that you can watch sessions live on the NYS Senate website and follow along with session proceedings on the official NY Senate Twitter.

This week was a three day session week, and 58 bills were passed including one that I sponsored and eight that I have cosponsored.

You can view the remaining bills the Senate has passed so far this year here.

Committee Meetings

This week, I sat on the committees for Insurance, Labor, Higher Education, Judiciary, Civil Service and Pensions, Finance, and Budget on Revenue of which I am the chair. In these meetings, I voted on a number of important bills, including several of my own that I hope to see on the Senate floor soon.

Budget and Revenue

In the Budget and Revenue committee, thirteen bills were passed including the following:

Insurance

In the Insurance committee we passed seven bills including the following:

Labor

In the labor committee, we passed twelve bills including the following:

Higher Education

In the Higher Education committee, we passed twenty bills including the following:

Judiciary

In the judiciary committee, we passed fourteen bills including the following:

Civil Service & Pensions

In the Civil Service & Pensions committee, we passed twenty-three bills including six that I am sponsoring. Here are some of the bills passed within the committee:

Finance

In the Finance committee, we passed thirty-two bills including the following:

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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