As part of my community engagement platform, I promised to provide a regular weekly update on what’s happening up in Albany. Here’s an update from the first two weeks of the new 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.

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January 8th kicked off my first day back in Albany and it was great to be back in the Capitol with my colleagues continuing the work that we started last year. Last year’s session was one of the most productive and prolific legislative sessions in history, and there’s still so much more to do. If you would like to know more about what we accomplished together and about my goals for this year’s session, here is a link to my One Year Anniversary newsletter.

Just a couple of FYIs about this year’s legislative session. First, because this is the second year in the two year session cycle, all of the bills that we introduced last year keep their bill numbers and do not need to be reintroduced. And second, all of the bills that were not signed into law or vetoed by the Governor, get returned to their original committee.

*State of the State*

On the Senate’s first day back, January 8th, Governor Cuomo delivered his 10th annual State of the State address where he outlined his 2020 agenda. The remarks featured proposals such a newdomestic terrorism law to address the spike in hate crimes, establishing paid sick leave for working New Yorkers, expanding protections for gig economy workers, and dedicating millions of dollars to address veteran and law enforcement suicides and homelessness.

To read more about the Governor’s State of the State address, click here.

These are just some of the proposals that I am looking forward to working on this year, in addition to priorities like reforming our broken property tax system, improving MTA accountability, tightening up laws on reckless driving and hit-and-runs, fully funding our public schools and colleges, and finally enacting Verrazzano Bridge toll relief.

*Week 1*

Beginning on Wednesday, January 8th and concluding on Thursday, January 9th, the first week of the legislative session focused on improving election laws.

Some of the voting reforms passed by the Senate during week 1 include:

You can watch Wednesday’s (January 8th) legislative session and read more about Wednesday’s agenda here.

You can watch Thursday’s (January 9th) legislative session and read more about Thursday’s agenda here.

*Week 2*

Week two kicked off on Monday, January 13th for the first of three consecutive days of session. Four of my seven committees met this week and the Senate took up some important traffic safety legislation relating to safety regulations of the limousine industry.

Committee Meetings

Codes

The Senate Codes Committee was my first committee meeting of the year. Convening on the morning of the 13th, Here are a couple of the bills that we advanced out of committee:

You can read more about and watch the Senate Codes Committee meeting here.

Higher Education

The Senate Higher Education Committee meeting was my first of three committee meetings the next day, January 14th. Below are some of the bills that we voted to move out of committee:

You can read more about and watch the Higher Education Committee meeting here.

Judiciary

Next, I attended the Senate Judiciary Committee meeting. I voted in favor of all 13 bills on the agenda. Here are a few that we advanced:

You can read more about and watch the January 14th meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee meeting here.

Labor

My final committee meeting of the week was with the Senate Labor Committee. Here are some of the bills that we advanced out of committee:

You can read more about and watch the Senate Labor Committee meeting here.

Session

Thirty-one bills passed the Senate during week two. Below are some examples of bills that I voted in favor of passing:

You can watch Monday’s (January 13th) legislative session and read more about Monday’s agenda here.

You can watch Tuesday’s (January 14th) legislative session and read more about Tuesday’s agenda here.

You can watch Wednesday’s (January 15th) legislative session and read more about Wednesday’s agenda here.

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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