At 4:42 AM on Friday, June 11, the New York State Assembly adjourned. This adjournment marked the end of the 2021 regular legislative session. The State Senate had already adjourned late the night before.
Given the plethora of ill-advised bills being considered by progressive majorities in the State Senate and the State Assembly, the session did not end as badly as it could have. Disastrous bills like physician-assisted suicide, socialized medicine, and the Pregnancy Center Report Bill (which would allow the state to harass pro-life pregnancy centers with information requests) did not come close to passage. Furthermore, no vaccine mandates or sex education bills were passed, and the Nourish New York Bill (Bill S.4892-A-Hinchey/A.5781-A-Cruz) passed both houses. Our organization is grateful for each of these victories.
On the other hand, some of the 892 bills that were passed by both houses were objectionable. Earlier this year, the Legislature passed a recreational marijuana bill and legalized mobile sports gambling. In the final days of session, the Gender Recognition Act (Bill S.4402-B-Hoylman/A.5465-D-O’Donnell) passed both houses; this bill would make it easier for “transgender” persons to change their names and their sex designations on official documents. Also, Bill S.5325-Hoylman/A.6193-Gonzalez-Rojas, which would require utility companies to use “transgender” customers’ preferred names and pronouns, passed both houses. Bill S.2523-Rivera/A.868-Gottfried, which would legalize the sale of needles and syringes and, therefore, would make it easier to abuse injection drugs, passed both houses as well.
Gov. Cuomo signed legislation allowing the Assembly to spend more time investigating allegations against the Governor. However, the Legislature has not taken decisive action to curtail the Governor’s emergency powers.
While the regular legislative session is concluded, there is a chance that the Legislature could hold a special session later this year to attend to some bills that did not make it across the finish line.