The New York State Legislative Session came to an end, for now, when the State Assembly was the last House to officially adjourned on Saturday, June 4. The legislature ended the session having passed 1,007 bills, which is the most in legislative history.
Both Houses passed legislation largely in reaction to several issues on the federal level. These include:
- Legislation to implement new gun safety measures, such as requiring that a person obtain a license prior to purchasing a semiautomatic rifle and raising the age to purchase a semiautomatic gun from 18 to 21;
- Legislation to enhance protections for those seeking abortion care, including prohibiting New York state from cooperating with out of state legal cases involving abortion; and,
- Legislation requiring political subdivisions (e.g., local governments, local board of elections and school districts) with a history of voter disenfranchisement to obtain clearance prior to making certain changes to their election laws.
The session also passed several pieces of legislation that will affect the procurement process in New York State. A legislative package sought to help bolster the state’s MWBE program: one bill would allow MWBE firms to use funding from the MWBE lending program to pay off debt while another bill sought to address fraud in the MWBE program that could hurt many legitimate MWBEs by denying them opportunities as a result of unscrupulous subcontractors.
Another piece of legislation that awaits Governor Hochul’s approval, would restore the Office of the State Comptroller’s review of certain state contracts. The Comptroller’s independent contract review is seen as an important step to increase oversight, accountability and transparency in state procurement.
While the Governor and legislators went home to campaign for their re-election, many observers believe that both Houses may return after the November general election to take up additional issues.