Hundreds of bills from the last session are still awaiting Kathy Hochul’s signature. Here are some of the main ones.
Governor Kathy Hochul ticked one of many outstanding bills off her to-do list last week by signing New York City’s class size legislation. Starting next year, public schools will have to limit class sizes to 20 students in kindergarten through third grade, 23 students in fourth through eighth grade, and 25 students for high school students. The bill officially became law after being passed by the Senate and State Assembly three long months ago.
It’s not the only pending bill awaiting the governor’s signature. As state lawmakers continue their rift with the state Capitol, approximately 450 bills have passed both houses and are awaiting consideration by the governor on Sept. 9. These include those that would establish a moratorium on cryptocurrency mining and require prescription drug insurance coverage to prevent HIV.
The governor has 10 days (less Sundays) to sign or veto a bill once it is sent to his office. If the bills are never sent to the governor’s office, they will expire at the start of the 2023 legislative session in January. Hochul also has the power to request that invoices be sent to him before the start of the next session. There are many reasons why the governor may wait a while before asking for controversial bills, including the upcoming general election in November.
Here’s a breakdown of what some of the remaining unpaid bills would do.
Establish a moratorium on cryptocurrency mining
This invoice, sponsored by State Senator Kevin Parker and Assemblywoman Anna Kelles, would establish a two-year moratorium on cryptocurrency mining that would prevent the state from approving new permits for new mining factories. cryptocurrency mining. As digital currencies become wildly popular amid carbon emissions concerns, the bill would also require crypto operations to undergo an environmental impact review. With the increased presence of cryptocurrency lobbying in Albany, the bill faced a major setback. Hochul has been aloof regarding the legislation and did not elaborate on her position on it.
Require insurance coverage to prevent HIV infection
This invoice, sponsored by State Senator Brad Hoylman and Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell, would require all prescription drug insurance policies to include coverage for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and prophylaxis post-exposure (PEP) to prevent HIV infection. PrEP is known to be extremely effective in slowing the transmission of HIV. PEP can help protect against transmission of the virus following possible exposure.
Require public hearings for utility rate hikes
This invoice, sponsored by State Senator John Brooks and Assemblyman Kimberly Jean-Pierre, would require utility companies to include notices of all public hearings about rate increases on consumer bills. For years, climate change has led to extreme heat in the summer months and increased utility bills. With utility bills already rising with the additional increases from rate hikes, consumers can feel the impact on their wallets. If passed, this bill would provide consumers with information about future rate increases and prevent them from being blindsided by increases in utility bills.
Ban state agencies from charging extra interest on student debt
This invoice, sponsored by Sen. Jamaal Bailey and Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski, would prohibit state agencies from charging additional interest on student loans. Under current law, the state charges an additional 22% interest when a student fails to pay SUNY schools on top of the interest they have already been charged. This law would protect students from accumulating additional debt when they are unable to repay their loans.
Establish the definition of “serious mental illness” for inmates
This invoice, sponsored by State Senator Luis Sepúlveda and Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry, would establish the definition of serious mental illness for inmates. Prisoners considered seriously mentally ill cannot legally be placed in solitary confinement. In New York, the effects of this bill are easily visible. Amid concerns over the treatment of inmates on New York’s Rikers Island and pressure from Mayor Eric Adams to reverse bail reform, nearly half of those incarcerated at Rikers suffer from some form of mental illness. This bill would provide additional protection for these inmates.
Require state disaster preparedness for medical supplies
This invoicestate sponsored Sen. James Gaughran and Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, demands that the state’s emergency plan include how medical supplies and drugs will be delivered to pharmacies, hospitals and nursing homes in the event of an emergency. It’s been ten years since Hurricane Sandy ravaged New York communities. The bill highlights the difficulty of getting medical supplies to hospital patients when the Port Authority closed access to the bridges for non-emergency vehicles.