The New York state budget process for the 2021-2022 fiscal year was completed earlier this month.
In an ideal world, each year’s legislative session would be completed upon the passage of the budget. However, the real world is far from ideal, and the 2021 legislative session is not scheduled to conclude until June 10. This means that the State Legislature has several more weeks in which to inflict new damage upon the Empire State.
City & State New York recently published an article discussing the issues that the Legislature might choose to focus on during the second half of this year’s legislative session. According to the article, those issues include parole reform, a tax on greenhouse gases, and a state government takeover of health insurance. New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms is deeply concerned about the health insurance proposal. Known as the New York Health Act (NYHA) (Bill S.5474-Rivera/A.6058-Gottfried), this bill would create a government-controlled single-payer health insurance system in the State of New York. If it were passed, most private health insurance would become illegal, and New Yorkers would instead be eligible for enrollment in a New York Health program. NYCF opposes the New York Health Act due to concerns about health care rationing, religious liberty, and public health. While the bill is a priority for New York progressives, and while it has 33 Senate sponsors, the Legislature would likely have to override a veto by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to pass it. This major hurdle makes passage of the legislation in 2021 unlikely, but it is starting to move through the committee process in Albany.
NYCF is also concerned about the potential passage of physician-assisted suicide legislation (Bill A.4321-A-Paulin) during the second half of this year’s session. Assisted suicide activists are geared up for a renewed push for doctor-prescribed death, but so are we. Along with our friends at the New York Alliance Against Assisted Suicide, our organization is taking steps to make certain that that the bill does not pass this legislative session.
We also continue to be concerned about:
- The Pregnancy Center Report bill (Bill S.470-Hoylman/A.5499-Glick);
- Mandatory Sex Education legislation (Bill S.2584-A-Brouk/A.6616-Nolan); and
- Bill S.722-Hoylman, which would apply the 2010 Dignity for All Students Act to nonpublic schools.
With Democratic Supermajorities in both legislative houses and a politically wounded Governor with little appetite for vetoing legislative proposals, New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms will have our hands full for the next several weeks.