It’s been an eventful six months in the State Capitol and, as both Houses of the Legislature finished up their session in the early hours of June 21st, much was accomplished.
While Governor Cuomo declared that the bulk of the work for the state was done after the passage of the 2019-20 budget, there still were hundreds of bills passed in the final days of this session. Highlights included:
- Drivers’ licenses for undocumented immigrants
- Farm workers’ labor rights
- Expansion of New York’s sexual harassment statute
- Landmark climate change legislation to dramatically reduce the state’s carbon emissions
- Decriminalization of marijuana
- Rent regulation, including expanding the law’s provisions to areas outside of New York City
Both Houses of the Legislature also passed two bills that could impact firms doing business in New York State. They are:
Extension of the Minority and Women Business Enterprise Program for another five years including:
- Increasing the “Personal Net Worth” cap from $3.5 million to $15 million;
- Requiring contractors to make a good faith effort to retain an MWBE subcontractor;
- Requiring that MWBE waivers be posted on the websites of contracting agencies; and,
- Increasing the discretionary threshold for purchasing from an MWBE from $200,000 to $500,000.
Data Breach Legislation – This bill would update the State’s current data breach statute and provide for:
- Expansion of the scope of information subject to the current data breach notification law to include biometric information, email addresses and security questions and answers;
- The notification requirement applies to any person or entity with private information on a New York resident, not just those that conduct business in New York; and
- Creates a reasonable data security requirement tailored to the size of business.