It’s a Wrap: Week Four of the Legislative Session

Today, New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms is launching our new Weekly Wrap-up. In the Weekly Wrap-up, we will summarize the previous week’s legislative activity in Albany on matters of concern to the Christian community. We hope that this new educational resource will be helpful to Christians throughout New York.

January 22, 2024:

  • Today, the New York State Senate majority celebrated the 51st anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision (which, thankfully, was overruled by the Supreme Court in 2022). Unfortunately, the Senate majority commemorated the horrendous Roe decision by passing two pro-abortion bills. The first was the Free Abortions for Out-of-Staters Act (Bill S.348-C-Cleare/A.361-B-Gonzalez-Rojas). The second, the Targeting Hospitals that Refuse to Abort for Subsequent Harassment (THRASH) Bill (Bill S.1003-A-Hinchey/A.733-A-Rozic), would force hospitals to inform the state of any medical procedures that they are unwilling to perform (such as abortion or “gender-reaffirming surgery,” for instance) so that the state can publicize that information. Each of these two bills passed the Senate in 2023 as well. The vote on each bill was 41-20. With the exception of pro-life Sen. Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn), every Senate Democrat voted in favor of these two bills. Every Senate Republican who was present for the votes voted against the two bills.
  • The State Legislature passed several bills relating to pregnancy and childbirth. One pro-life, pro-family bill, Bill S.201-Cleare/A.2656-Walker, passed both houses. This bill would allow pregnant women to enroll in health insurance during a special enrollment period without paying a penalty. This legislation would promote maternal and infant health by removing cost-related barriers to health care.
  • The Senate passed legislation requiring health insurance companies to cover prenatal vitamins for pregnant mothers if prescribed by their respective medical providers (Bill S.1965-A-Addabbo/A.3865-A-Gunther). This pro-life, pro-family bill is moving in the State Assembly as well.
  • Today, school choice advocates and allies celebrated School Choice Week at the Legislative Office Building in Albany.

January 23, 2024:

  • Last year, Gov. Hochul signed an intrusive and unnecessary law requiring nonpublic elementary and secondary schools—including Christian schools—to make menstrual products available in their restrooms. Today, the State Assembly passed a bill that would amend that law (Bill S.8092-Chu/A.8516-Rosenthal). Previously, the bill passed the State Senate on January 17. The proposed amendment would allow nonpublic schools to be exempted from the menstrual products requirement if they demonstrate to the commissioner of the New York State Education Department that their students are not in need of such products. Under this legislation, even if a nonpublic school is granted an exemption, it would still be required to make menstrual products available at other locations within its building.

At NYCF, we find both the 2023 law and the proposed amendment to be bizarre and unnecessary. Christian schools should be free to decide for themselves whether to provide menstrual products in their restrooms without government involvement.

January 24, 2024:

  • Gov. Kathy Hochul and other Albany politicians participated in a Planned Parenthood rally in the Legislative Office Building. For more on this story, please click here.
  • The State Assembly passed the THRASH bill today by a vote of 97-49. Assembly Democrats supported the bill by a margin of 94-4, with three Democratic members excused. Assembly Republicans opposed the bill by a margin of 45-3.
  • Unfortunately, NYCF has received information indicating that assisted suicide legislation could receive a vote in the Assembly Health Committee next month. For more information on the assisted suicide bill, please click here.