The month of May is here, and that means that legislative battles are heating up in earnest. Typically, the months of May and June are the months when destructive social-issue proposals gain traction in Albany. Here is an update on legislative developments over the past week:
On May 9, by an 81-46 margin, the New York State Assembly passed the Bathroom Bill. The Assembly has passed this ill-advised bill nine times since 2008. Apparently, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s transgender executive action earlier this year has not quelled the desire of LGBT activists to impose bathroom insanity upon our state through legislative action. NYCF appreciates the Assemblymembers who argued against the Bathroom Bill on the Assembly floor, as well as those who voted against it. Thankfully, the Bathroom Bill has never received a floor vote in the New York State Senate; NYCF does not expect that it will receive a vote this year, either. The bill has been referred to the Senate Investigations and Government Operations Committee, where we will monitor it closely.
On May 10, the New York State Senate passed Bill S.7395-Felder/A.10007-Colton. This common-sense legislation would bar cities from requiring a permit for individuals and groups to recite the Pledge of Allegiance or sing “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The bill was introduced in response to a recent occurrence at the 9-11 Memorial in New York City in which security guards directed a North Carolina school choir to stop singing the national anthem because they had not obtained a permit to do so. NYCF applauds the Senate for passing this legislation, which upholds freedom of expression and respect for our American heritage. We call upon the Assembly to pass this bill forthwith.
On May 11, advocates of physician-assisted held a rally at the New York State Capitol. At that time, legislators announced that the two pending assisted-suicide bills were being combined into one bill: Bill S.7579-Savino/A.10059-Paulin. Opponents of physician-assisted suicide held a counterdemonstration at the rally; many of the counterdemonstrators wore “Not Dead Yet” T-shirts to show their concern about the impact a physician-assisted suicide law could have upon vulnerable people and groups. “‘Contrary to the story out here, [physician-assisted suicide is] not about pain,’” said Adam Prizio, Manager of Government Affairs with the Center for Disability Rights. “‘It’s about societal attitudes about having a disability and the idea that having a disability is a good reason to die.’”
Interestingly, Sen. John Bonacic (R-Mt. Hope)—the Senate Republican listed as the sponsor of one of the existing assisted-suicide measures—is not listed as a sponsor of the new legislation and was not present at the press conference. While Sen. Bonacic has been reluctant to address this issue publicly in recent weeks, NYCF believes that the Senator—who has faced heavy pressure due to his sponsorship of assisted suicide—is seeking a quiet way to withdraw his support from the measure.
Also on May 11, four pro-life bills were scheduled to be considered in the Assembly Health Committee. Those bills were: In re: Parental Notification of Abortions Performed Upon Unemancipated Minors (A.6473-Murray), In re: Parental Notification of Abortions Performed Upon Unemancipated Minors (A.7119-Lawrence), In re: Requiring Testing for a Fetal Heartbeat Prior to Abortion (A.3725-DiPietro), and New York Ultrasound Informed Consent Act (A.3717-DiPietro). Unfortunately, all four of the bills were blocked from advancing. It is particularly outrageous that the Assembly will not even consider legislation to mandate that parents be notified before abortions are performed upon their minor children. NYCF will continue to advocate for the unborn in Albany despite the staunch pro-abortion stance of most Members of the Assembly Majority.