NYS Seal Updated:
December 6, 2006


2006 Legislative Session Summary



Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) Program Eligibility This bill will allow seniors to retain their eligibility in the EPIC program if they have previously qualified but are no longer eligible because of an increase in a public or private pension or Social Security benefit. (A.302-A; Passed Assembly / S.201-A; Aging)

STAR Extension This bill would allow local governments to grant senior citizens a five-day extension to pay their real property taxes and remain eligible for the STAR program. (A.399; / S.62; Chapter 161)

Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) Program This bill excludes certain medical treatment expenses from the definition of "income" when determining eligibility for the SCRIE Program. The SCRIE program exempts individuals who are 62 years of age or older with yearly incomes below $25,000 from all or some increases in rents, carrying charges, capital assessment or voluntary capital contributions. (A.5264; Passed Assembly)

Free ID Card for Persons 62 or Older on SSI Benefits This bill would require the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue non-driver ID cards free of charge to persons 62 years or age or older receiving SSI benefits who have no drivers' licenses or whose drivers' licenses are surrendered or expired. (A.5790/S.1195; Chapter 575)


Food Safety Certification Requirements This bill would require retail food establishments to employ personnel who have completed an eight-hour food safety course. Under the bill, retail food stores would be mandated to ensure that only employees serving in a management capacity complete the food safety program and state and federal agencies would be among those entities authorized to provide food safety education training. (A.9314 / S.6354; Chapter 80)

Food Safety Transportation This bill would prohibit the transportation of food products under conditions whereby they may become adulterated, such as when trucks haul freight or chemicals or cleaning supplies in one direction and food on the return trip. (A.338; Passed Assembly)

Pricing Accuracy This bill would require retail businesses to price merchandise being sold to the public accurately. Under the measure, retail merchants would be required to disclose the selling price of an item in their store and to charge the correct price at the checkout. (A.564-E / S.6562-B; Chapter 665)

Feed Inspection The bill would require feed manufacturing plants to be licensed by the commissioner of Agriculture and Markets and to undergo an annual inspection. The bill also establishes a special revenue fund for licensing fees to finance such inspections and authorizes the commissioner to enter into agreements with localities for enforcement. (A.196-A / S.7558; Chapter 554)

Pet Dealer Inspections This bill would allow state inspectors of pet stores and certain breeding facilities to determine more accurately how many dogs or cats these businesses sell to the public each year. (A.9576-A/S.7213-A; Chapter 687)

Boarding Kennels and Groomer Regulations The bill would establish minimum standards of care for any animal brought to a kennel or groomer, relating to housing, sanitation, feeding, watering, handling and veterinary care. The legislation also would require kennel owners and groomers to maintain detailed records of each animal boarded; obtain a license to operate; and require the Department of Agriculture and Markets to conduct annual inspections. Under the bill, violators would face civil penalty fines of up to $1000. (A.4253-C; Passed Assembly / S.2164-C; Rules)

Genetically Engineered Seeds Disclosure The bill would require the state Agriculture Department to establish rules and regulations for the sale of genetically engineered seeds. There is growing concern that the food being grown comes from seeds known as Genetically Modified Organism (GMO). Farmers are concerned that cross pollination will mean GMO crops on their fields, even if they don't want them. GMO crops are patented and farmers also fear litigation against them by large corporations charging patent infringement. (A.8344-A; Passed Assembly /S.6625-A; Consumer Protection)

Increased Producer Security Fund Protection This bill would provide increased payment protection to New York's dairy farmers and farm product producers by increasing the maximum statutory fund amount for the Milk Producer Security fund and the maximum amount of surety bond required of farm products dealers. (A.11451 /S.7827; Chapter 273)

Slaughter House License Suspension The bill would require the Department of Agriculture and Markets to suspend the license of a slaughter house when it fails three consecutive inspections. The measure aims to crack down on those facilities that take no corrective action and continue their operations despite violating state laws. The legislation also would require slaughterhouses to post the results of their most recent inspection conspicuously. (A.1280-B; Passed Assembly / S.2517-B; Rules)


Unsolicited Checks Prohibited This bill would ban the banking institutions from issuing checks to consumers whose endorsement constitutes acceptance of an unsolicited loan. The measure aims to protect consumers from these unsolicited checks that are sent through the mail and are at risk of being cashed by an unauthorized individual leaving the consumer liable for the full amount. (A.4063; Passed Assembly)

Credit Card Inactivity Fee This legislation would protect consumers from excessive credit card account inactivity penalties by approving legislation that would require financial institutions to notify consumers in writing, 30-days before a late fee could be assessed (A.349; Passed Assembly), and prohibit inactivity fees in excess of $5.00 (A.350; Passed Assembly).

Home Equity Theft Prevention Act This bill would enact the Home Equity Theft Prevention Act. The bill would protect home owners from unknowingly transferring their home's equity and title to another person. (A.10057-A/S.4744-A; Chapter 308)

Holocaust Victims Package This legislation is aimed at making the state's Holocaust Claims Processing Office more effective in its efforts to help individuals recover assets stolen from them during the Holocaust. The legislative package includes measures that would:

  • require all banks doing business in New York State to inform account holders of the existence and purpose of the state's Holocaust Claims Processing Office (A.1912; Passed Assembly);

  • create the New York State Banking Holocaust Advisory Board that will, after consulting with the appropriate organizations, make recommendations on how better to serve the victims and families of Holocaust survivors (A.2326; Passed Assembly / S.2478; Banks); and

  • mandate the state superintendent of banks to submit annual reports on the activities of the Holocaust Claims Processing Office (A.1911; Passed Assembly/ S.2479; Chapter 249).

Veteran Financial Education This bill would authorize the state Banking Department to establish a financial literacy program to help New Yorkers serving in the military and their families become better informed about such financial instruments as rental leases, mortgage contracts, credit-card agreements and loan obligations. (A.7420; Passed Assembly)


Child Protective and Abuse Prevention Package The Assembly approved a series of bills aimed at protecting children and preventing child abuse:

Family Court Access To Abuse Records This bill would provide child protective investigators 24-hour access to family court so that they will have the tools they need to get a order to gain access to children named in a child abuse report when the parents have denied an investigator access to the child and the investigator suspects the child's life or health are in immediate danger (A.11852-A / S. 8344; Chapter 740);

Educational Neglect Reporting This bill would require the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) and the State Education Department to create model policies and procedures for the reporting and investigation of educational neglect by April, 2007 and that local districts provide written policies and procedures regarding the reporting and investigation of educational neglect in their districts to OCFS (A.11571-A / S.8183; Chapter 543r);

Child Protective Services (CPS) Training The bill would require all CPS workers complete six hours of continuing education annually, that all CPS supervisors receive enhanced supervisory training and that the OCFS set standards for educational and field experience in order to qualify for a position as a CPS supervisor (A.11574-A / S.7816-A; Chapter 525);

Fatality Review The bill would expand the scope of child fatality review to include fatalities of all children involved in the child welfare system; expands the members of the team; requires an annual report from each fatality review team; and requires that autopsy reports for all children for whom a fatality review is conducted to be provided to the appropriate entities (A.10023-B / S.6703-B; Chapter 485);

Child Protective Services Reports The bill would require that certain reports of child abuse and maltreatment be referred to the appropriate local law enforcement and for certain investigations be conducted by an approved multidisciplinary investigative team or jointly with local law enforcement where a county does not have an approved multidisciplinary team (A.11854/ S.7042-A; Chapter 494);

Foster Parent Criminal Checks The bill would require that FBI background checks be conducted on prospective foster parents (A.10144/S.6681; Chapter 668);

Children Exploited By Prostitution The bill would create services for sexually exploited youth and provides that children under the age of 16 be treated as a Person In Need of Supervision (PINS), if they are charged with prostitution (A.11365; Passed Assembly);

Child Abuse Zero Tolerance Campaign This bill would establish an educational campaign to increase public awareness about the signs of child abuse and what can be done to prevent the maltreatment of children. (A.11635 / S.8131; Chapter 539)

Loss Of Parental Rights This bill would allow for the termination of parental rights on the grounds of homicide of a parent or a sibling of the child (A.11582 / S.5392B; Chapter 460); and

Child Abuse Reporting This bill would require firefighters to report child abuse or maltreatment (A.8621 / S.2413; Veto 81).

One Family, One Judge The bill would ensure "one family, one judge" in court proceedings, such as adoption, surrender and termination of parental rights. This bill would establish continuity in cases where the court aims to provide children in foster care with a permanent home through adoption or return to their families. (A.8655-A / S.7888; Chapter 185)

Attorney Independence This bill requires that no attorney or law firm shall represent both adoptive or birth parents and authorized agencies in the placement of abandoned children. (A.8690 / S.2890-A; Veto 98)

Clergy Reporting This bill would add clergy to the list of individuals who are required by law to inform the state child abuse hotline when they become aware of these types of incidences. The measure also would require information of abuse committed by an official of a religious organization to be reported to law enforcement. Under the bill, violators who fail to report incidents of child abuse would face a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail. (A.912-B; Passed Assembly)

Crime of Incest This bill would charge sex offenders, without regard to how closely they are related to the victim, who engage in sex with a child under 12-years of age with a class B felony and prison sentence of up to 25 years and no chance of probation. In addition, the bill would provide that sex with a child less than 15 years of age would be a class D felony offense. The bill closes the incest loop hole in the law that provided lenient treatment to offenders who assaulted children who were related to them. (A.9305-B / S.6277-B; Chapter 320)

Assaults Against Certain Transportation Employees This bill would provide that assaults against certain transportation employees (signal persons) shall constitute the crime of assault in the second degree, a class D felony. (A.8351/S.6330; Chapter 100)


Budget Municipal Aid Package This budget bill would provide an additional $77.4 million above what was allocated in the governor's budget to help municipalities meet their financial needs and reduce the tax burden borne by property owners. Under the legislative budget, every city, town and village in the state would benefit from an increase. The budget includes a $127 million across-the-board increase in local assistance for all cities, towns and villages outside New York City. Towns and villages would receive 20 percent more, and small cities will receive from 16 to 24 percent more. The budget would provide additional funding to the cities of Yonkers, Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse. The legislation appropriated $11,750,685 for the city of Yonkers, $12 million for Rochester, $9 million for Syracuse and $13,644,637 for Buffalo. (A.9550-C / S.6450-C; Chapter 50)

Counterfeit Cigarette Tax Stamps This bill would impose a maximum penalty of two hundred dollars on retailers found to be in possession of counterfeit cigarette tax stamps. (A.8032 / S.4575; Chapter 458).

Cigarette Tax Refunds This bill extends the time frame from 90 days to two years in which a New York City retailer could be reimbursed for unused cigarette tax stamps. This bill would provide New York City retailers the same reimbursement time frame as provided to the rest of the state. (A.8034 / S. 4658; Chapter 586)

Reduced Water Charges For Charitable Institutions This bill would extend the reduction in water rates charged to charities, hospitals and certain educational institutions operating in the City of New York until 2008. (A.10291 / S.7048; Chapter 229)


Rockefeller Drug Law Reform II This bill would reform the state's drug laws by requiring drug-abuse treatment for most drug-addicted defendants, moderating potential sentences for certain lower-level, non-violent drug offenders and increasing sentences for major drug dealers.

Under the bill, prosecutors would get the first chance at deciding whether less serious drug offenders would be diverted from prison to drug-treatment programs, such as the prosecutor-run Drug Treatment Alternatives to Prison (DTAP) programs.

Judges also would have discretion to sentence offenders to a Court Approved Drug Abuse Treatment (CADAT) program in certain circumstances. Persons charged with certain crimes, including some involving a minor or crimes involving violence, would be disqualified from CADAT. The bill provides for drug abuse treatment in prison, as well as post-release treatment and supervision, including on-going testing for drug abuse.

The legislation would allow certain class B drug offenders currently in prison to seek re-sentencing under sentencing reforms enacted in 2004. The legislation increases the weight threshold for certain class B, C and D-level narcotic offenses in a manner similar to the changes made for more serious offenses in the 2004 reform. Sentences of supervised probation are authorized for certain offenders convicted of crimes involving possession of less than one-eighth of an ounce of a narcotic drug. The current evidentiary "presumption," which applies to other occupants present when a controlled substance is found in either an automobile or room, is changed to a "permissible inference."

The legislation also creates three new crimes: 1) trafficking through a controlled substance organization, addressing the most serious offenders and drug 'kingpins'; 2) criminal possession of a weapon while selling or attempting to sell a controlled substance; and 3) selling or attempting to sell a controlled substance with the aid of a minor.

In addition, the bill requires the state comptroller to determine the monetary savings created by the enactment of these provisions so that the state may reinvest these savings in treatment and other criminal justice programs. (A.8098-A; Passed Assembly)

DNA Databank Expansion This bill would expand the state's current DNA databank by requiring all the individuals convicted of a felony crime or any one of a number of misdemeanors, including the most common misdemeanor crime of petit larceny, to submit DNA sample to the state a DNA databank. The measure seeks to use the most modern, crime fighting tool available to serve justice and solve crimes while protecting the innocent. (A.11951-A / S. 8446; Chapter 2)

Sex Crime Lifetime Sentence The bill would authorize a life sentence where the perpetrator caused serious physical injury, threatened the use of a weapon, committed the crime against multiple victims, was previously convicted of a felony sex crime or is an adult who committed the crime against a child under the age of 13, regardless of any other aggravating circumstance. (A.8939-A / S.8459; Chapter 107)

Civil Commitment This bill would establish the process of civil commitment by which persons convicted of certain sex crimes could be kept in custody after completion of the sentence for mental-health treatment. The process would begin with the state attorney general, who, after attaining a psychiatric evaluation of a sexual predator as well as input from mental-health professionals, would then petition the courts for civil commitment. This bill is the subject of a joint Assembly and Senate conference committee that has been convened to resolve differences between each house's respective bills and reach an agreement. (A.9282; Passed Assembly)

Civil Commitment This bill would ensure that a sexual predator is locked up in all cases and that those who are not deemed sexual predators will have a jury decide whether to subject them to post-release supervision after their sentence is completed. (A.11991; Passed Assembly)

Sex Offender/Megan's Law Legislative Package The Assembly continued its efforts to protect the public from sexual offenders by approving legislation that would:

  • require lifetime registration for Level 3 offenders and persons designated as a sexual predator, sexually violent offender or predicate sex offender. The bill would eliminate the possibility of these high-risk offenders ever coming off the state sex offender registry. (A.9472 / S.6409; Chapter 1)

  • provide that offenders who fail to register or verify their status as sex offenders will have the period of this failure to register or verify added to the duration of registration after the completion of any new jail or prison term (A.1342-A; Passed Assembly);

  • establish a special indictment procedure for suspects identified only by DNA evidence, thereby ensuring prosecution when the "John Doe" suspect is ultimately caught (A.7607; Passed Assembly); and

  • mandate that police officers visit the residence of any sex offender subject to the Megan's Law registration requirements who does not file a timely verification form confirming the offender's address (A.7707; Passed Assembly).

Electronic Monitoring Of Sex Offenders This bill would provide that in cases involving a sex offense against a person under age 16, a person serving a period of probation who is designated a Level 3 offender must be subject to electronic monitoring throughout the probationary period, unless the court determines that electronic monitoring is unnecessary. (A.8507; Passed Assembly)

Statute of Limitation Elimination This bill would eliminate the criminal statute of limitations on Class B felony sex crimes, extending the authority to prosecute for a wide range of sexual crimes, including first-degree rape, first-degree criminal sexual act, first-degree aggravated sexual abuse and first-degree course of sexual conduct against a child.

In addition, throughout the session, the Assembly pushed the Senate to eliminate the civil statute of limitations for serious sex crimes, but the Senate would only agree to extend the statute to five years from one year. (A.12012/ S.8441; Chapter 3)

Sex Offender Registration Extension This bill would empower district attorneys to petition sentencing courts to extend the period of registration under Megan's Law in 10-year increments to a maximum life term for any offender not already subject to lifetime registration under the statute (A.8369; Passed Assembly)

Tracking Sex Offenders This bill would require persons acquitted of sex crimes by reason of insanity to register nonetheless under Megan's Law after release from custody and in-patient treatment. (A.966; Passed Assembly)

Sex Offender Internet Notification This bill would expand the distribution of information on Level two offenders (those determined by the court to be at moderate risk of re-offense) by posting it on the Internet. The legislation also would permit notification concerning Level 1 (low risk of re-offense) offenders to schools and other institutions serving vulnerable populations. (A.8370 / S.8457; Chapter 106)

Sex Offender Saturation This bill would address the limited housing options available to sex offenders that results in some communities becoming over saturated with sex offenders living in their neighborhoods. This bill seeks to remedy this situation by requiring the various agencies to consider over concentration and other relevant factors when investigating and approving the residences of sex offenders. (A.11851; Passed Assembly)

Human Trafficking This bill would create a new crime of human trafficking to crack down on those offenses where humans are forced into labor or sexual servitude. The bill would establish the Anti-Human Trafficking Act, a series of new class D through class B felony crimes that carry a prison sentence of up to 25 years in prison. The bill also would assure a range of services and assistance to victims of labor or sexual servitude. (A-1898-D; Passed Assembly)

Child Luring This bill would criminalize the act of luring a child for the purpose of committing a serious crime. Under the bill, individuals convicted of child luring could be convicted of a class D or C felony and sentenced to up to 15 years in prison. (A.2467; Passed Assembly)

Good Conduct Ban This bill would eliminate the ability of violent felons to receive a "certificate of good conduct" or a "certificate of relief from disabilities" in order to carry a gun legally. Currently, convicted felons may lawfully possess a rifle or shotgun and obtain a firearm license if they obtain a certificate of good conduct. (A.1170; Passed Assembly / S.2187; Codes)

Felony Pursuit / "Craig Todeschini" Bill The bill would toughen the penalty for drivers who flee a police officer after being directed to stop their motor vehicle. Under the bill, violators would face charges ranging from a class A misdemeanor to a class D felony with a prison sentence of up to seven years. (A.11935-B / S.8445; Chapter 738)

Domestic Violence Fire Arms This bill would require that judges in a criminal or family court proceeding inquire if the defendant owns a firearm and the location of the gun. Judges could then order the surrender of the firearm as a condition of any order of protection issued. (A.2404; Passed Assembly / S.1929; Codes)

Assault Weapon Ban This bill would expand the legal definition of assault weapons to strengthen the state's law that prohibits these deadly, military-style guns. (A.2466-A; Passed Assembly)

Sniper Rifle Ban This bill would ban the civilian possession, sale and use of military style .50-caliber weapons. These sniper rifles are capable of disabling armored personnel carriers used by the military and can shoot down aircraft at more than a mile away. (A.4471-A; Passed Assembly)

Armor-Piercing Bullets This bill would strengthen the civilian ban on "armor-piercing ammunition," as well as outlaw "frangible ammunition" and "devastator ammunition." This type of ammunition is designed to fragment or explode on impact. (A.2837; Passed Assembly / S.7693; Codes)

Ballistic Identification Databank This bill would mandate that law-enforcement personnel utilize the ballistic identification databank to promote effective investigations of gun trafficking and related crimes. (A.2213; Passed Assembly/S.6346; Finance)

Children's Weapon Accident Protection Act This bill would help protect children from accidental shootings by establishing new crimes involving the negligent storage of a weapon. The legislation also would require gun retailers to alert consumers about the new safe weapons storage requirements. Under the bill, individuals convicted of failing to store safely a firearm where a serious injury results could face prison sentences of up to seven years. (A.673-A; Passed Assembly)

Childproofing Firearms This bill would make it a class A misdemeanor for retailers to sell guns that are not child resistant. The measure would require that guns be equipped with certain safety features designed to make it difficult for an average five-year-old child to fire the weapon. (A.2302; Passed Assembly)

School Bus Firearm Ban The bill would expand the current law that bans firearms on the property of schools, colleges or universities to include school buses. (A.9272 / S. 4164; Chapter 199)

Community Policing

To ensure that the state and local law enforcement officers receive the support, guidance and incentives necessary to fight crime effectively, the Assembly approved legislation that would:

  • provide police officers in cities with a population of 100,000 or more an incentive to live in those cities by offering preferential access to certain forms of housing (A.2805; Passed Assembly);

  • authorize a salary increase for New York City police officers who speak foreign languages to help attract officers who can better communicate with the city's immigrant population (A.2486-A; Passed Assembly);

  • amend the law regarding the use of "no-knock" search warrants and enact other limited reforms of the search-warrant process (A.6896; Passed Assembly); and

  • authorize the state attorney general to investigate and prosecute instances of alleged police misconduct (A.2413; Passed Assembly).

Crime Victims Assistance The Assembly legislation to address the needs of individuals victimized by crime would:
  • allow parents who lost wages because of time spent with a hospitalized child injured in a crime to be compensated for their loss of earnings through the state Crime Victims Board (A.2941-A; Passed Assembly);

  • establish a crime victims assistance education program to ensure fully trained and knowledgeable personnel are available to assist victims (A.3690-A; Passed Assembly);

  • create a Crime Victim's Ombudsman, who would be authorized to investigate complaints brought by crime victims regarding mistreatment or improper handling of their claims (A.3577; Passed Assembly / S.3780; Finance); and

  • standardize procedures for victims to be notified by police and district attorneys to ensure they are aware of their rights and of the availability of assistance programs (A.3691 / S.2830; Chapter; 173).

Swastika Graffiti / Cross-Burning Crime This bill would increase the penalty for the crime of drawing a swastika, thereby vandalizing and damaging property, as well as burning or desecrating a cross for the purpose of harassing or terrorizing individuals to a class E felony with a prison sentence of up to four years. (A.7027 / S.4120; Chapter 49)

Parole Release For Deportation This bill would clarify that the Parole Board has the authority to grant early parole release for deportation, but only when the inmate is to serve determinate sentence and such a release has the potential to save New York millions of collars in corrections costs without compromising the public's safety. (A.11917/S.8368; Veto #411)


Pool Alarms This bill would require swimming pools to be equipped with alarms to detect when a child has accidentally fallen into a swimming pool. Under the bill, businesses selling or installing swimming pools must notify consumers of the mandate to outfit their pools with a pool alarm. (A.11799 / S.2601; Chapter 450)

Rebate Offer Standards This bill would require that rebate offers be clearly and conspicuously available for printing either on the Internet page where the product is purchased or on a page accessible by a hyperlink from such page. The bill aims to ensure that consumers do not have to experience an unreasonable, lengthy and cumbersome rebate policy as a way to discourage consumers from seeking the discounted price. (A.9454 / S.6355; Chapter 81).

Credit Card No Balance Fee The bill would prohibit credit card, debit card or secured credit card issuers from imposing a finance charge on a card holder who elects not to carry a credit balance from one billing cycle to the next. (A.3558; Passed Assembly)

Sunscreen Effective Date The bill would require sunscreen products to be labeled conspicuously with a 'best if used before' date and storage recommendations. The bill aims to inform consumers when a sun-screen product is no longer providing protection from the harmful rays of the sun. (A.983-B; Passed Assembly / S.5475-A; Consumer Protection)

Anti-Phishing Act of 2005 This bill would establish the Anti-Phishing Act of 2005 to allow the attorney general, or any person engaged in the business of providing Internet access, to bring a civil action against "phishers." Under the bill, phishers are individuals who send e-mail messages to unsuspecting Internet users falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise in an attempt to scam the user into disclosing private information that could be used for identity theft. (A.8025-C / S. 5370-C; Chapter 64)

Social Security Number Protections The Assembly approved a range of bills aimed at protecting the privacy of New Yorker's Social Security Numbers (SSN), including measures that would:

  • restrict the ability of businesses to require an individual to disclose his or her SSN and prohibit businesses from refusing any service, privilege or right based on a consumer's refusal to disclose his or her number, unless such disclosure is required by federal or state law or regulation (A.638; Passed Assembly / S.250; Consumer Protection);

  • prohibit state agencies from using SSNs as a means of identifying employees unless authorized by law (A.10074; Passed Assembly / S.6911; Investigations and Government);

  • ban businesses from making an individual's SSN available to the general public. The bill also would restrict businesses from printing an individual's SSN on mailings or on any card or tag required to access products, services or benefits; prohibit businesses from requiring an individual to transmit his or her unencrypted SSN over the Internet; and require businesses who possess SSN information to implement appropriate safeguards and limit unnecessary employee access to such records (A.10076-D / S. 6909-C; Chapter 676); and

  • outlaw the practice of private employers using an employee's SSN for identification purposes. (A.8067-C; Passed the Assembly)

Personal Information Restrictions This bill would restrict businesses from filing personal identifying information as part of a public record that is not relevant or necessary to comply with the filing requirements of federal, state or local laws. (A.7670-D; Passed Assembly)

Public Document Private Information Protection This bill would provide state and local agencies with the authority to reject from submission any document containing personal identifying information and set forth an avenue for the public to request that an agency remove personal identifying information from a record posted on the agency's Internet website. The bill also would require agencies to remove personal identifying information from a document prior to making the document available to the public on the Internet by December 31, 2010. (A.10075-A; Passed Assembly / S.6910-A; Investigations and Government Operations)

Information System Design To Protect Privacy The bill would require government agencies, when designing an information retrieval system, to do so in a manner that permits the segregation and retrieval of information. The bill requires retrieval systems to be designed in a way that allows as much access to public information as possible without compromising personal information. (A.8007 / S.4896; Veto#257)

Private Information Disposal The bill would require businesses to take appropriate steps in the disposal of personal identifying information, including shredding records before disposal; destroying personal information contained in the record before disposal; modifying the record to make personal information unreadable or taking action consistent with commonly acceptable industry practices that it reasonably believes will ensure no unauthorized person will have access to personal information contained in the record. (A.8456-B / S.5178-A; Chapter 65)

Right To "Freeze" Consumer Credit Reports This bill would guard against identity theft by providing consumers with the ability to prohibit access to the personal information maintained in their consumer credit reports unless they expressly consent to it, thus preventing identity thieves from taking out new loans and credit in their name. (A.7349-D / S.6805-B; Chapter 63)

Credit Card Default Policies This bill would prohibit credit card issuers from penalizing consumers by increasing the interest rate or imposing a fee upon an account holder based on indebtedness or late payments to other creditors that are not related to the account. (A.809-A / S.5665-A; Veto #320)

Protect Mortgage Shoppers This bill would prohibit credit reporting agencies from lowering a consumer's credit score because a consumer comparison shopped for a lower mortgage rate. According to the sponsor, the lower the credit rating is the more likely a consumer will be charged a higher mortgage rate. The measure aims to protect consumers from being penalized because they were trying to save money. (A.6303-B; Passed Assembly / S.3220-B; Consumer Protection)

Debit Card Hold Notification This bill would require gas stations to notify consumers of their "debit card hold" policy. Under the bill, stations that place a hold amount on customer debit cards to ensure payment would be required to post this policy conspicuously. The bill aims to protect consumers from unknowingly incurring disruptive and costly overcharge fees as a result of insufficient funds. The bill would fine violators up $1,000. (A.9130-B; Passed Assembly / S.7763; Rules)

Magazine Renewal Notification This bill would require that all magazine subscription renewal notices sent to existing subscribers indicate the month and year of the subscription's expiration. The bill aims to protect magazine readers from unnecessarily renewing magazine subscriptions that have not expired. (A.9595 / S.7394; Chapter 204)

Laser Pointers This bill would prohibit the sale of laser pointers to persons under the age of 18. (A.935-A; Passed Assembly)


Rate Hike Hearing This bill would require utility companies seeking to increase their rates to notify consumers of scheduled rate hike hearings through the monthly utility bill. The sponsor believes that the current system for informing consumers about public hearings is inadequate and would be greatly improved when consumers are alerted about hearings through their monthly bill. (A.172; Passed Assembly / S.1248; Energy and Telecommunications)

Modem Hijacking Crack Down This bill would establish the Modem Hijacking Deterrence Act. The legislation would protect Internet users who are vulnerable to downloading software inadvertently. This 'high-jacking' takes place through a pop-up advertisement screen that then takes over a computer's dial-up modem and steals the user's phone number, resulting in a series of unapproved, international long-distance phone-call charges. (A.5608-D / S.3249-D; Chapter 650)

Unlisted Telephone Number This bill would provide an unlisted telephone number at no additional charge to victims of domestic violence with an order of protection. (A.617; Passed Assembly/S.1553; Energy & Telecommunications)

Nuclear Emergency Preparedness This bill would direct the Public Service Commission (PSC) to calculate the local, county and state government fiscal impacts and actual costs for planning implementing and maintaining radiological emergency preparedness for nuclear generating facilities within the state and to assess licensed entities operating a nuclear generating facility fees to defray such costs. (A.2099; Passed Assembly / S. 241; Energy and Telecommunications)

Waterfront Commission To protect the operations of the state's Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor from being infiltrated by terrorists or members of organized crime, the Assembly, as part of its continuing efforts to strengthen the state's security following the September 11 attacks, approved legislation that would:

  • empower the Waterfront Commission to deny an application for license or registration or revoke a current license or registration based upon association with certain criminal organizations (A.10489-B / S.6822-B;Chapter 340);

  • authorize the Waterfront Commission to suspend an administrative hearing if a hearing would prejudice an ongoing investigation or prosecution and to bar a registrant or license holder if he / she has been convicted of intent to distribute a controlled substance (A.10555-A / S.7109-A;Chapter 355); and

  • enable the commission to revoke, suspend or disapprove a license, registration or application based upon the licensee, registrant or applicant having been convicted of possession, possession with intent to distribute, sale or distribution of a controlled substance or if the licensee, registrant or applicant has been convicted of a similar offense in New Jersey (involving a controlled substance, commonly known as a designer drug.) (A.11252-A / S.7181-A; Chapter 360)

Telecommunication Deregulation This bill would require the PSC to report to the governor and legislative officials on what effects proposed changes to laws and regulations would have on universal access to adequate and affordable telephone service, consumer protection and service quality. The measure also directs the PSC to examine what action may be necessary to protecting consumers from the adverse effects of deregulation. (A.9807-B; Passed Assembly / S.6787-B; Rules)

LIPA Rate Increases This bill would require LIPA to provide notice to the PSC and to complete an evidentiary hearing process prior to implementation of rate increases exceeding two and one-half percent over a 12-month period or extension or re-establishment of any portion of a temporary rate increase over two and one-half percent. (A.10073-A; Passed Assembly / S.6827; Energy and Telecommunications)

Share Holder Voting This bill would allow shareholders who own stock in a company or corporation to vote at a shareholder meeting remotely, by way of electronic or other means. (A.2135-A; Passed Assembly / S.8377; Rules)


Power For Jobs This bill would continue the highly successful Power for Jobs program and the Economic Development Power program until June 30, 2007. The $100 million appropriation for these two cheap-power programs will be utilized by industries across the state that rely on these programs to support more than 400,000 jobs. (A.12013 / S. 8440; Chapter 465)

Economic Development Assistance Programs This bill would require state economic development agencies to provide preferences to small businesses and entrepreneurs in the economic development assistance programs that they administer. (A.521-B; Passed Assembly/S.2823-B; Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business)

"Come Home To New York" This bill would create the "Come Home To New York" program to encourage the return of native New Yorkers to the state through a network of local outlets and resources designed to assist them in returning to or starting a small business in New York. (A.8506 / S.2829-A; Chapter 756)

500 Ft. Rule Exemptions Banned The bill would prohibit any further exceptions to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law's 500 ft. rule, which was designed to prevent more than three on-premise establishments from being within 500 feet of each other. The bill would exempt from its provisions establishments existing before the measure becomes law. It also would allow the State Liquor Authority (SLA) to issue an exception to the 500 ft. rule if it determines a new license would benefit the community and if the local elected body approves that decision. (A.10191-B; Passed Assembly)

Alcoholic Beverage Control Law Enforcement The bill would establish an "alcoholic beverage control problem premises task force" to ensure the rigorous enforcement of existing laws to prevent illegal activities at premises that sell alcoholic beverages. (A.3050; Passed Assembly)

Community Input On Alcoholic Beverage License Application This bill would require the SLA to notify the municipality and community board of all its meetings related to the alcoholic beverage license application process to ensure the community's voice is heard throughout the decision process. (A.1628; Passed Assembly)

Liquor License Standards This bill would authorize the SLA to set stipulations that must be complied with as a condition for an on-premise liquor license to be granted. (A.3265; Passed Assembly / S.2133; Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business)

Liaison Between NYC and SLA This bill would establish an SLA liaison position for each community board in the City of New York. The liaison would act as an intermediary between the SLA and the city, ensuring that the boards are up to date concerning liquor license approvals and renewals as well as keeping the SLA aware of the community's concerns during the approval process. (A.3937; Passed Assembly)

Indoor Fireworks Display Ban This legislation would prohibit indoor fireworks or pyrotechnic displays without a permit. Under the bill, the liquor license of an establishment, where an indoor fireworks display occurs without a permit, could be suspended, canceled or revoked. (A.5669-A / S.4502-A; Chapter 655)

Earlier Sunday Beer Purchases This bill would allow for an earlier time to purchase beer legally on Sundays. Under the bill, the current prohibition on Sunday retail beer purchases would still begin at 3:00 a.m., but instead of extending through 11:00 a.m., it would be lifted at 8:00 a.m. (A.914-A / S.5343; Chapter 312)


Budget Education Aid This bill would provide a $1.362 billion increase in education funding over last year, $631 million more than what the governor had proposed. The enacted budget also addresses the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit with regard to capital needs. The Assembly's Expanding our Children's Education and Learning (EXCEL) program provides $2.6 billion in capital funding to meet statewide capital needs and of that $1.8 billion is allocated for New York City. A total of $2.2 billion in capital funding is allocated for high-need school districts through the EXCEL Program. In addition, the enacted budget increases the cap for New York City Transition Finance Authority by $9.4 billion to help fund the cost of New York City's current capital plan and secures building aid payments to the city to support the increase. (A.9553 / S. 6453; Chapter 53)

Fuel Cost Relief For School Districts This bill would allow school districts to exclude the year-to-year increase in fuel costs when calculating their total spending under a contingency budget.

This legislation would provide relief from escalating fuel costs, which are clearly out of the control of school districts. (A.879-A/S.2731-A; Veto Memo #2)

Shaken Baby Syndrome The bill would allow for the parenting skill courses provided to high school students to include information about the consequences and prevention of shaken baby syndrome. ( A.6832-B / S.4088; Chapter 177)

Whistle Blower Protections, School Employees This bill would provide protections to school employees who, having reasonable cause to suspect that fiscal practices violate the law, report this information. The measure would protect whistleblowers from civil liability and retaliation from their employer or other employees. (A.8925 / S.5816; Chapter 118)

Dignity For All Students Act This bill would enact the "Dignity For All Students Act" to prevent harassment and discrimination of students on school grounds, based on a person's actual or perceived race, national origin, ethnic group, religion, disability, sexual orientation or gender. (A.4963; Passed Assembly / S.1454; Rules)

School District Surplus Fund This bill would increase the amount a school district may retain in the surplus fund balance from two percent to three and a half percent to help meet all unexpected demands, including emergency building repairs or special education costs. (A.949-A / S.6383; Veto Memo 220)

Preventing The Scheduling Of State Mandated Exams On Religious Holidays This bill would direct the State Education Department to make bona fide effort to schedule state mandated examinations on days other than days of religious observation. (A.11550-A / S.l7461-A; Chapter 276)

Burden of Proof This bill would maintain New York's longstanding policy that the burden of proof should be on school districts in a dispute on a student's special education placement to ensure that all students of New York State are afforded the quality education that they need and deserve. (A.11965 / S.8354; Veto Memo #286)


Public Campaign Financing Reform Act 2005 This bill would allow statewide and state legislative candidates running in primary and general elections to be eligible for public financing. Under the bill, the races would be funded by a $3 check-off on state income tax returns. The bill also would restrict private and special interest contributions to candidates in primaries and general elections for these offices and allow localities to request the authority to create their own optional public campaign financing programs.

In addition, the bill would ban fundraisers held on behalf of candidates for statewide office or legislative candidates within 40 miles of the Capitol building in Albany during the legislative session, which usually runs from January to July. (A.4-B; Passed Assembly)

Polling Places This bill would require polling places to be accessible to voters with physical disabilities. (A.120; Passed Assembly)

Braille Voter Ballots This bill would require that voting ballots be made available in Braille upon the request of a blind or visually impaired voter (A.1852; Passed Assembly).

Domestic Violence Victim Confidentiality This bill would protect victims of domestic violence by authorizing that their election registration records be kept confidential. (A.1221; Passed Assembly / S.2914; Rules)


Reauthorization Of Article X This bill would reinstate the power plant siting process to facilitate the construction of new electric generation to meet the energy and reliability needs of the state's energy consumers. It would make improvements by enhancing health, safety and environmental protections, strengthen community participation provisions and provide for certain health and environmental impact studies. (A.10371-C; Passed Assembly).

Capping The Gas Sales Tax The measure would cap the state sales taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel at 8-cents per gallon, effectively freezing the tax at the $2 per gallon rate. A separate rate of 0.75 cents per gallon would be imposed in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) region, bringing the total state rate to 8.75 cents in the New York City metropolitan area.

Lawmakers made the decision to eliminate the price-sensitive sales tax in order to insulate consumers from higher taxes due to increases in the price of gas. Companies that fail to pass along the savings from the reduction in tax receipts to consumers in the form of a lower price would be subject to fines of up to $5,000 per day. Under the legislation, local governments had the option to keep their local sales tax at its current rate or could choose to convert to a cents-per-gallon rate of $2 per gallon multiplied by their local sales tax rate, or $3 per gallon multiplied by their local rate. (A.11331/S.7909; Chapter 35)

Bio-Diesel Tax Credit This bill would provide consumers with a tax credit for the purchase of home heating oil that contains bio-diesel fuel. The credit would be equal to the percentage of bio-diesel contained in the fuel, i.e. a 10-cent-per-gallon credit for heating fuel containing 10 percent bio-diesel. The bill also provides a tax credit equal to 50 percent of the purchase and installation costs, not to exceed $500, for the purchase of energy efficient residential home heating systems. (A.11331 / S.7909; Chapter 35)

Bio-Heat Tax Credit This bill would provide a tax credit for residential home heating. Under the bill, a credit would be applied against the corporate franchise tax and personal income tax of $0.01 for every percentage of a gallon that is comprised of bio-diesel fuel and is purchased during the period July 1, 2006 through June 30, 2007. The credit is capped at $.20 per gallon. (A.11331 / S.7909; Chapter 35)

Bio-Fuel Tax Credit This bill would establish a refundable credit of 15 cents per gallon after the first 40,000 gallons of bio-fuel is produced and brought to market. The credit is capped at $2.5 million per bio-fuel plant for up to four consecutive taxable years. The measure aims to increase the availability of bio-diesel and ethanol fuels to operate motor vehicles and home heating systems. (A.11331 / S.7909; Chapter 35)

New York City Fuel Sales Tax Elimination This bill would allow the City of New York to eliminate the local sales and use tax on residential energy sources, including fuel oil, wood, propane, natural gas, electricity, steam and gas and gas-electric services. (A.11331 / S.7909; Chapter 35)

Facilities Of Refuge/ Distributed Generation This bill would create facilities of refuge throughout the state to assure the public of the continuous provision of electricity, heat and other necessary utility services in times of disruption due to natural or man-made disasters. The bill would encourage the utilization of new technologies, such as clean cogeneration, to protect the public and meet some of the energy needs of the system. This program would receive financial support from the Power Authority of the State of New York (PASNY), the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to reduce the burden on localities in integrating these facilities into local disaster preparedness plans. (A.5812; Passed Assembly / S.7707; Energy and Telecommunications).

HEAP Funding The bill would authorize a $100 million emergency appropriation for the Home Energy Assistance program (HEAP), an initiative to help low-income families and seniors pay for the cost of home heating fuel to assist these vulnerable groups during winter (A.9564 / S.6464; Chapter 6).

Financial Assistance For Summer Cooling Costs This bill would assist individuals and families with high energy costs in the summer by authorizing the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance to develop a program modeled after HEAP to help eligible households meet their home cooling needs. The measure aims to protect working families and seniors from the dangerous health impacts of extreme heat (A.6794 / S.1354; Social Services Children and Families).

Effective Planning For The State's Energy Supply This bill would reestablish and improve the state energy plan. It would address shortcomings in the lapsed energy planning law by requiring comprehensive studies of the state's energy needs, including regional market analysis and recommendations and an examination of least-cost means of meeting the state's energy needs. (A.10372; Passed Assembly).

Portfolio Management For Utility Companies This bill would enact portfolio management requirements for utility companies and would impose new requirements for utility companies to protect their customers from increasing volatility and spikes in energy prices. The companies would be required to consider a range of alternatives to supply their customers' needs and to utilize a mix or "portfolio" of resources, including long- and short-term contracts, energy efficiency and renewable resources. (A.10370; Passed Assembly).

Emergency Response Plans This bill would require gas and electric corporations to prepare plans for a response to interruptions in service to minimize to the greatest extent practicable damages to customers and all residents in the service area (A. 4107; Passed Assembly).

Limit Automatic Rate Adjustments This bill would require increased oversight by PSC regarding the types and amounts of costs that could be recovered through automatic adjustments to gas and electric rates. This measure would provide better controls on extreme price volatility, especially during peak summer demand (A.2718; Passed Assembly).

Energy Price Transparency For Consumers This bill would improve the ability of New York's consumers to make informed energy choices by requiring the PSC to maintain a current price list and service terms offered by the state's electric and gas utility companies (A.7426; Passed Assembly).

Pre-paying Customer Protections This bill would mandate that any company that contracts with customers for electric or gas commodity service and requires the prepayment for such service, maintain financial instruments or other assurances to guarantee reimbursement to the customer of all prepaid amounts in the event the company cannot meet its obligations under the contract. (A.7427-B; Passed Assembly)

Anti-slamming This bill would provide protections to residential utility service customers from "slamming," or the unauthorized transfer of a customer account from one company to another (A.7428; Passed Assembly).

Appliance Efficiency Improvement This bill would promote the use of energy-saving refrigerators in order to reduce electricity demand significantly as well as to cut electricity bills for tenants in certain multiple dwellings. Under the bill, PASNY would finance the purchase of energy-efficient refrigerators, with repayment over 10 years to come from the consumer's accrued energy savings (A.4052-B; Passed Assembly).

Net Energy Metering For Schools And Libraries This bill would allow public schools and libraries to participate in net energy metering for solar electric generating systems to encourage the use of this renewable resource and to mitigate the high cost of energy to these entities. Currently, net energy metering is only available to residential customers and farm waste electric generating systems (A.7979; Passed Assembly / S.1285; Energy and Telecommunications).

Facilitate Consumer Choice For Rural Cooperatives This bill would allow rural electric cooperatives to provide power choices to additional customers by establishing a mutual agreement provision to be worked out either by the cooperative and the utility company, or the PSC in order to create a more equitable playing field for the cooperative with investor-owned and municipal utilities (A.650; Passed Assembly / S.3443; Energy and Telecommunications).

Alternative Fuel Refueling Stations This bill would require the NYSERDA and the Department of Environmental Conservation to conduct a study on the feasibility and construction of alternative fuel facilities at gasoline stations located along the New York State Thruway Authority. The measure would require the study be completed by December 31, 2006 with implementation by December 31, 2007. (A.11331 / S.7909; Chapter 35)

Farm Electricity Efficiency This bill would prohibit electric utilities from imposing any fee, penalty or charge or any restriction on farmers using an on-site electric generating power unit to meet their energy needs. This prohibition would apply whether or not the farmer continues to be connected to the electric distribution system. (A.2720; Passed Assembly / S.4824; Energy and Telecommunications)

Energy Reliability Standards The bill requires the PSC to conduct proceedings to establish minimum reliability standards for New York State's electric systems and to enforce those standards. The standards must meet a certain minimum level of reliability and require mandatory compliance in order to avoid major power failures such as the Blackout of 2003 or the Queens blackout earlier this summer. (A.5811; Passed Assembly)


Environmental Protection Fund Budget This bill provides a record $225 million for the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), which represents a $75 million increase over the State Fiscal Year 2005-06 budget and $45 million more than proposed by the executive in January. The appropriations provide much-needed funding for traditional EPF programs, such as municipal parks, waterfront revitalization, municipal recycling, non-point source pollution control and agricultural and farmland protection, as well as the ability to fund new purposes, such as ocean and Great Lakes protection, water quality improvement and invasive species management and control. In addition, 25 percent of the funding for municipal parks and waterfront access was set aside for low-income communities that are underserved by open space. (A.12044 / S. 8470; Chapter 108)

Wetland Protections This bill would strengthen and enhance the state's wetland protection laws by expanding the DEC's regulatory jurisdiction. The current law restricts DEC's oversight of wetlands to areas that exceed 2.4 acres. Under the bill, DEC would be authorized to oversee wetland areas of 1 acre (or smaller, if adjacent to a body of water or of special significance), in order to ensure the continued protection of wetlands, which were previously regulated by the federal government. (A.2048; Passed Assembly/ S.2081; Environmental Conservation)

Environmental Protection Fund Enhancement This bill would increase the deposits from the Real Estate Transfer Tax to EPF to bring total annual EPF funding to $300 million. (A.9283-A; Passed Assembly/ S.6356-A; Finance)

Diesel Emissions Reduction Act This bill would help address the public health threat posed by the combustion of diesel fuel by requiring that all state-owned heavy duty vehicles and those under contract with the state use ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel. It also requires these vehicles to be fitted with best available retrofit technologies to reduce tailpipe emissions further. (A.11340 / S. 8185; Chapter 629)

Great Lakes Compact This legislation would ratify New York's participation in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact, a multi-state agreement on the management of the Great Lakes that creates a system for cooperatively managing water withdrawals and use of water from the Basin. (A.11968; Passed Assembly/ S.8187; Rules)

Earth Day Package

Bottle Bill Expansion The bill would expand the bottle bill to include all beverage containers with the exception of those containing liquor, wine, infant formula and milk. In addition, the measure requires the return of unclaimed deposits on beverage containers to the state, which would be deposited in the EPF. (A.2517-D; Passed Assembly /S.1290-D; Environmental Conservation)

Ocean And Great Lake Ecosystem Protection Act This bill would provide for the protection of New York's ocean and Great Lakes coastal resources. The New York Ocean and Great Lakes Ecosystem Conservation Council would be established to integrate and coordinate the state's programs, institutions and activities to protect, conserve and restore those resources. (A.10584-B / S. 8380; Chapter 432)

Open Burning This bill would prohibit the open burning of household waste which has been shown to release a myriad of toxic pollutants into the air. (A.3073; Passed Assembly)

Landlord Notification Of Contamination This bill would require landlords to notify tenants or prospective tenants of known contaminants on the property. (A.10120-C / S.7301-A; Veto #342)

Environmental Test Reporting This bill would require the DEC to notify property owners of environmental contamination and potential exposure to potential health risks. (A.10633-A / S.7636-A; Chapter 707)

Urban Pesticide Use This bill would establish an Urban Pesticide Board to investigate the sale and use of industrial strength pesticides in urban areas. The board would also make recommendations regarding the enforcement of existing restrictions and educate the public about the hazards of using pesticides in the home. (A.6448-A; Passed Assembly / S.635-A; Environmental Conservation)

Light Pollution This bill would provide for the management of outdoor night lighting to protect the nighttime environment, enhance safety and security and conserve energy. (A.7404; Passed Assembly / S.4474; Rules)

Mercury Switches in Vehicles This bill would require motor vehicle manufacturers to develop plans to collect mercury switches from end-of-life motor vehicles to prevent the release of mercury into the water and soil due to improper disposal. (A.3336-B; Passed Assembly / S.4256-B Environmental Conservation)

State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) The bill would allow individuals to challenge SEQRA determinations without regard to whether the project affects an individual or the public at large. (A.114-A; Passed Assembly/S.2380-A; Environmental Conservation)

Smart Growth The bill would establish the state Smart Growth Public Infrastructure Policy Act to ensure that the use of state funds for infrastructure projects is consistent with "smart growth principles." The legislation aims to ensure that the development of land is done in a way that uses existing infrastructure and is compatible with the development plans of local governments and also makes economic and environmental sense. (A.3574; Passed Assembly / S.2070; Environmental Conservation)

Dam Safety Measures To ensure the safety of the communities that host the more than 5,000 dams in New York State and to protect residents from the loss of life and widespread property damage, the Assembly approved bills that would:

  • require the state DEC to provide dam safety inspection reports to local government officials where intermediate- or high-hazard dams are located. The measure would allow local officials to assess their community's readiness to provide an effective emergency response in the event of a dam failure (A.9517-A / S.6417-A; Chapter 17);

  • enhance New York's dam safety program (A.11586; Passed Assembly); and

  • mandate the periodic inspection of intermediate and high-hazard dams and require the owners of these dams to report maintenance and operation plans (A.9515-B; Passed Assembly and A.9516-A; Passed Assembly).

Internet Availability of Environmental Information This bill would improve public access to information about environmental conditions throughout the state by requiring DEC to make the contents of the Environmental Notice Bulletin searchable by zip code, GPS coordinates and street addresses. (A.11479-A / S.1773-B; Veto #290)

Phasing Out Hazardous Creosote The use of creosote has been linked to a number of health problems for workers and the contamination of surface and ground water. This bill would phase-out the manufacturing, sale and use of creosote and regulate its disposal. (A.10737 / S.7804; Delivered to governor)

Mercury-Free Vehicles This bill would phase-out the use of mercury-added components in motor vehicles over two years. Under the bill, a state purchasing preference would be granted for vehicles that are mercury-free. (A.10621-A / S.7961; Chapter 611)

Wireless Telephone Recycling This bill would require retailers of wireless telephones to accept the telephones for recycling or reuse. (A.3390-A/ S.8182-A; Chapter 730)

Regulating Vehicle Dismantlers This bill would protect the environment by regulating vehicle dismantlers, including placing restrictions on the storage and processing of vehicles as well as setting reporting requirements. (A.7633-B/ S.8405; Chapter 180)

Peconic Bay Region Watershed Protection Act This bill would encourage and support initiatives to protect the natural resources of the Peconic Bay watershed, one of the state's richest natural treasures. (A.7893-D / S.1365-D; Chapter 289)

Seagrass Task Force Seagrass is regarded as an essential habitat for marine species and vitally important to restoring Long Island's finfish, shellfish, crustacean and waterfowl populations. This bill would establish a Seagrass Research, Monitoring and Restoration Task Force to examine and make recommendations on means of preserving and properly managing seagrass. (A.11523 / S.8052; Chapter 404)

Hazardous Substance Spills Reporting This bill would require the DEC to notify communities affected by hazardous spills within 48 hours of the department being notified of the problem. (A.10757-B / S.7307-B; Chapter 616)

Deer Hunting This bill would increase penalties for the illegal taking of deer. In addition, any person who illegally takes deer more than once would lose his or her hunting license for 10 years. (A.10113-A / S.6826-A; Veto 263)

Hudson River Greenway This bill would add areas of Ulster County within the Catskill Park to the Hudson River Valley Greenway. (A.11338 / S.7013; Chapter 271)

Saratoga-Washington Partnership This bill would create a Historic Saratoga-Washington on the Hudson Partnership to address such issues as collaborative agriculture, open space protection, tourism and recreational development, the protection of natural and cultural heritage and the revitalization of main streets. (A.11839-B / S.8444; Chapter 737)

Fishing Promotion Program This bill would establish a fishing promotion program to promote fishing within New York State. (A.5808-C/S.3232-A; Chapter 576)

Environmental Justice The Assembly passed a package of environmental justice bills that would:

  • require the state to factor in disproportionate or inequitable environmental burdens on minority communities or economically distressed areas when making decisions under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (A.1808; Passed Assembly);

  • establish an environmental justice interagency coordinating council and a permanent environmental justice advisory group. The bill also would require state agencies to adopt and abide by effective environmental justice policies (A.4190; Passed Assembly); and

  • require the DEC to publish a list of those areas in the state that are most adversely affected by existing environmental hazards (A.5982; Passed Assembly).

Local Recycling This bill clarifies the obligations of waste haulers regarding the handling of recyclable materials and specifies materials that are to be separated for recycling. (A.4793; Passed Assembly)


Pay Equity Package For the eighth consecutive year, the Assembly has taken action on a legislative package in an effort to end wage discrimination. Included in the package is legislation that would:

  • help achieve pay equity for all New Yorkers by implementing a state policy of equal compensation for work of comparable worth for employees in state service (A.305 Passed Assembly);

  • make it a discriminatory practice for public employers to compensate employees of opposite sexes differently for work that is of comparable worth (A.1470; Passed Assembly);

  • prohibit discriminatory salary practices, especially in traditionally female-dominated occupations (A.2825; Passed Assembly); and

  • enact the New York State Fair Pay Act to ensure pay differentiation is not based on a person's sex, race or national origin (A.3637; Passed Assembly).

Consultant Contract Disclosure This bill would require the state Department of Civil Service to publish an annual report revealing the number of employees hired contractually to perform services for state agencies; expand the types of contracts for consulting services that are required to be reported and mandate the reports include information about the number of employees hired under those contracts; and provide more reporting and public disclosure involving other types of services contracted for by the state. (A.9421 / S.6479; Chapter 10)

Public Pension Fund Assets This law increases from 15 percent to 25 percent the portion of public pension fund assets that may be invested according to the prudent investor standard. (Chapter 22)

Word Trade Center Accidental Death Benefit This bill would provide accidental death benefits for municipal employees who, as responders to the World Trade Center, were exposed to toxic substances in the aftermath of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. (A.11255-A / S.7885-C; Chapter 445)

Early Retirement Incentive This bill would provide an early retirement incentive to Tier II, III and IV members of the public employee retirement system. Under the bill, there would be two 90-day periods, beginning June 3, 2006 and June 1, 2007 for members who have reached the minimum age of 55 with at least 25 years of state service to retire without a reduction in their pension benefit. (A.11805 / S.8408; Veto #226)

Retirement Benefits This bill would prohibit the reduction of health-insurance benefits for public employee retirees. (A.3216-B / S.5758; Veto 45)


Ethics Reform This bill would prohibit gifts from lobbyists to public officials. Under the bill, public officials would be banned from accepting honoraria and high-ranking legislative employees would be prohibited from lobbying the Legislature for a minimum of one year after leaving their position. The bill would require the Legislature and each state agency to provide ethics training for its members and employees. In addition, the measure would direct the state Board of Elections to issue regulations that would address the personal use of campaign funds as well as recommend legislative changes. (A.11900-B; Passed Assembly)

FOIL Compliance This bill would increase public access to information by strengthening agency compliance with the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL). Under the bill, a state agency could be held liable to pay attorney's fees and other litigation costs incurred by a FOIL petitioner if a court determines the agency had no reasonable basis for denying access to the information or if the agency failed to respond to a request or appeal within the time defined in the law. (A.11449-A / S. 7011-A; Chapter 492)

Ballistic Data The bill would help identify guns that are involved in crimes by requiring law enforcement personnel to submit ballistic information to the new state ballistic identification databank whenever bullet shell casings or guns come into their possession (A.2213; Passed Assembly).

Open Meetings Law This bill would strengthen the open meetings law by providing courts an alternative sanction to impose when any aspect of a meeting is closed in violation of the law. Under the bill, the court would be able to stay the implementation of an action decided behind closed doors and require that the measure be reconsidered in a public forum. The court also would be able to impose a fine of up to $500 for a violation of the open meetings law. (A.1258; Passed Assembly)

First Responder Mapping Information The bill would establish a statewide first responder building mapping information system task force. The task force would make recommendations on how to design and operate a statewide system to help emergency rescue personnel locate buildings. (A.8072 / S.5025-A; Veto 112)

Elizabeth Cady Stanton Day This bill would establish November 12 as Elizabeth Cady Stanton Day. The bill aims to honor Stanton and her lifetime advocacy for women's rights. Stanton, who was born in Johnstown, New York, and Susan B. Anthony established the National Women's Suffrage movement that was instrumental in securing a women's right to vote and to own property. (A.4452-A / S. 6269-A; Chapter 23)

Disaster Preparedness Plans To Include Pets This bill would require local disaster preparedness plans to encompass household pets, including, but not limited to, evacuation, transportation and shelters. (A.9292-A / S.6913-A; Chapter 677)

Emergency Announcements This bill would require the Disaster Preparedness Commission to develop public service announcements (PSA's). The measure would ensure that the state is prepared to communicate in multiple languages, through television, radio and other media formats, critical disaster relief information to New Yorkers. (A.2808-A / S.184-A; Chapter 171)

Gold Star Mothers This bill would designate the last Sunday in September as Gold Star Mothers Day. The legislation would honor the mothers of the men and women who made the supreme sacrifice in service to our nation. (A.4576-A / S. 7077; Chapter 48)

Flag Of The United States Of America This bill would require state parks with developed facilities for public use to display the flag of the United States of America. (A.6809-B/S.7217-A; Chapter 688)

Background Check This legislation would enable potential employers to obtain the criminal history background check on care givers to the elderly and persons having an illness or disability if the caregiver consents to the check (A.2817; Passed Assembly / S. 3861; Finance) and authorizes the state Department of Criminal Justice to release FBI criminal history information to residents requesting information about a home caregiver (A.3257; Passed Assembly / S.4743; Finance).

Domestic Violence Victims Discrimination Ban This bill would prohibit discriminatory housing practices against victims of domestic violence and those who are perceived to be victims. The measure would ensure that persons are helped, not punished, when suffering from domestic violence. (A.6282-B; Passed Assembly / S.4112-B; Investigations And Government Operations)

Electronic FOIL Requests This bill would provide the public electronic access to state government records. Under the bill, residents would be able to request and receive FOIL information via e-mail from government agencies if it is reasonable for the agency. (A.7993-B / S.5668-A; Chapter 182)

Recording Equipment Allowed In Public Meetings This bill would permit the use of photographic and electronic recording equipment to record or broadcast the proceedings of any meeting of a public body. Under the bill, efforts to photograph or broadcast the meeting of a public body would be allowed providing that it is not disruptive to the meeting. In addition, the measure would authorize a public body to adopt rules and regulations governing the use of this equipment during meetings. (A.9812; Passed Assembly / S. 7196; Rules)

Carbon Monoxide Detectors This bill would require that carbon monoxide detectors be installed in dwellings constructed or offered for sale after July 30, 2002 that have appliances, devices or systems that may emit carbon monoxide. (A.9346/S.6381; Chapter 202)


Medicaid Inspector General This bill would establish the office of Medicaid inspector general, who would be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the governor. Under the bill, the Inspector General would be responsible for improving Medicaid fraud detection and control, and for establishing a medical provider compliance program. (A.12015 / S.8450; Chapter 442)

Organ Donation The Assembly approved a 12-bill package aimed at encouraging greater organ donation participation by creating better public awareness. The legislation are measures that would:

  • require the state Transplant Council to study the issue of a presumed consent standard in organ donations (A.11842 / S.8256; Chapter 638);

  • establish for donors and their families income tax credits for up to $10,000 (A.3072 / S.759; Chapter 565);

  • provide that driver's licenses and renewals issued to a person making an anatomic gift include a prominently printed statement confirming the organ donor status (A.3995 / S.8281; Chapter 568); and

  • create an anatomical gift information program to promote public awareness of organ donation (A.9902-B / S.8312; Chapter 598).

Medicare Part D This bill would step in and pay drug claims for disabled and low-income elderly until problems with the federal program are fixed. Once the problems are corrected, the state will bill the federal government and the various drug plans for costs incurred. (A.9462 / S. 6410; Veto #1, Over Ridden, Delivered to the Secretary of State)

Stem Cell Research The bill would establish the New York State Institute for Stem Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine, a public benefit corporation. It would be funded with $300 million for two years to foster stem cell research support of vital explorations in the treatment of chronic degenerative diseases, regenerative medical treatments, therapies and cures. (A.6300-A; Passed Assembly)

Emergency Contraception This bill would allow women needing Emergency Contraception (EC) - or the morning after-pill -- to access it through a pharmacist or registered nurse without a prescription. (A.116 / S.3661; Veto #47)

Residential Health Care Facility Emergency Energy Assistance This bill would provide funds to the state's public and private nursing homes to help offset increasing energy costs incurred by these facilities. (A.11496-A / S. 8076; Veto Memo 216)

Pharmaceutical Company Gift Disclosure This bill would require the state Department of Health (DOH) to collect information on pharmaceutical company expenditures incurred in the marketing of prescription drugs. The measure also would require DOH to create a free guide on pharmaceutical drug manufacturer and wholesaler gifts to health-care providers in order to inform consumers. (A.5574-E; Passed Assembly / S. 696-E; Finance)

Patient Safety And Quality Improvement This bill would provide grants to hospitals for support capital, personal and administrative initiatives aimed at implementing procedures to improve patient outcomes and / or reduce patient care errors or train direct- care staff in the delivering of enhanced quality of care. (A.11497-A / S. 8077; Veto Memo 217)

Family Health Care Decisions The bill establishes procedures to review sensitive case in which there is a need to resolve disputes involving patients who lack the capacity to make health-care decisions for themselves. The legislation promotes the wishes and interests of incapacitated patients by establishing a process for determining incapacity, a priority list of those who may act as a surrogate. (A.5406-B; Passed Assembly)

Immunizing Children This bill would require children born on or after January 1, 2005 to be immunized for invasive pneumococcal disease prior to being admitted to any school and allows the commissioner of health to develop and execute an immunization, surveillance and testing program for such disease. (A.8761-B/S.8341-A; Chapter 189)

Defibrillator Training The legislation would require that facilities that can hold more than 1,000 people have at least one person trained in the proper operation of a cardiac defibrillator device. (A.112 / S.1074; Veto 23)

Breast Cancer Patient Support The bill would provide post-diagnosis support programs to individuals battling breast cancer. The legislation aims to improve the availability of support measures, such as education and outreach programs that help increase survival rates so patients can make knowledgeable decisions about treatments and therapies that are best for them. (A.2069; Passed Assembly / S.1140; Health)

Breast Cancer Data This bill would authorize the use of funds from the Breast Cancer Research and Education Fund to be used by DOH to pay for the mapping of incidences of breast cancer. In addition, the bill would require that commercial pesticide applicators and sellers of restricted use pesticides to file their reports in electronic format or on scannable forms. This would significantly reduce the costs of administering the program and allow the state to produce a more timely and accurate annual report. (A.2264; Passed Assembly)

Medicaid Drug Rebates This bill would establish a Medicaid drug rebate remittance demonstration program within DOH to maximize prescription drug rebate revenue to the state. (A.8869 / S.5835; Veto 66)

Insurance Coverage This bill would require insurers providing family health insurance to offer coverage for the domestic partner of an insured person. (A.2224; Passed Assembly)

Health Insurance Premium Hike This bill would mandate that the State Insurance Department (SID) conduct public hearings to review proposed insurance premium increases submitted by health maintenance organizations and not-for-profit and commercial insurers. (A.2518-A; Passed Assembly / S.2712-B; Insurance)

Midwives Authorization This bill would extend professional privileges granted by hospitals to licensed midwives. (A.4121; Passed Assembly / S.4616; Health)

Medical Records This bill would provide notification to patients about the availability of their medical records for a period of six years, and that they cannot be denied copies if they are unable to pay a processing charge. (A.464; Passed Assembly/S.5018; Health)

Flavored Cigarettes The bill would prohibit the sale of flavored cigarettes. The bill bans the sale of flavored cigarettes to protect the health of minors and to prevent young people from being lured into the habit of smoking with the same marketing and product packaging strategies that are used to sell candy. (A.3983; Passed Assembly/ S.1952; Health)

Chemical Additives in Cigarettes This bill would require cigarette manufacturers to disclose chemical additives in cigarettes. (A.1162; Passed Assembly)

Smoking Ban This bill would prohibit smoking in dormitories, residence halls and other group residential facilities. (A.420-B; Passed Assembly)


Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) Adjustments This bill would authorize financial aid officers in conjunction with the Higher Education Services Corporation to make income adjustments for special circumstances when determining a student's income for an award. Under the legislation, award adjustments would be permissible in the following situations: the catastrophic illness death or permanent or total physical or mental disability of the applicant, spouse, parent or legal guardian; the spouse being called into active military duty; the divorce or separation of the applicant; and an involuntary change in employment status of the applicant. (A.9239-A; Passed Assembly / S.4984-B; Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs)

Elimination Of TAP Penalty For Returning Students This bill would provide for the adjustment of TAP awards for students who received not more than two semesters of aid prior to the 1989-90 academic year and who have returned to full-time undergraduate study. These students would be deemed to have received their first award in the academic year in which he or she returns to full-time study. (A.9268; Passed Assembly/S.1090; Higher Education)

SUNY Board Of Trustees Membership This bill would increase the SUNY Board of Trustees membership from 16 to 17. The additional member would include the president of the University Faculty Senate as a non-voting ex-officio member. In addition, the president of the Student Assembly of the State University would become a voting and ex-officio member of the board. (A.679-A/S.839-A;Chapter 127)

State University Construction Fund This bill would provide that contracts involving the state university construction fund for $75,000 or more will be approved by at least two trustees of the state university construction fund. (A.8666-A / S.2453-A; Chapter 292)

Professional Licensing Examination Or Reexamination On A Day Of Religious Observance This bill would direct the Education Department to accommodate applicants for special administration of a professional licensing examination or reexamination when the examination is on a day of religious observance. (A.8706; Passed Assembly)

Authorizes Physical Therapy Treatment To Be Rendered Without Referral This bill would authorize access to physical therapy treatment without a referral in certain instances. (A.5622-B /S.3169-C; Chapter 127)

Nurse Title Protection This bill would provide that no one would be allowed to use the title nurse unless he or she is registered as a professional nurse or licensed practical nurse authorized to practice nursing. (A.5816-A/S.6326-A; Chapter 323)


Mitchell-Lama Tenant Protections This bill would protect Mitchell-Lama tenants by extending the Emergency Tenant Protection Act of l974 to cover buildings owned by limited-profit housing companies that voluntarily dissolve. This bill would ensure that existing tenants can continue to afford to live in their current apartments, while enabling project owners to collect rent increases more easily. (A.458; Passed Assembly)

Assembly Mitchell-Lama Housing Legislation

Mitchell-Lama Preservation This bill would encourage housing companies to remain in the Mitchell-Lama program and protect those tenants in post-1974 Mitchell-Lama developments by subjecting their unit to rent stabilization if an owner buys out of the program. (A.2454; Passed Assembly/S.2061; Housing) (A.459; Passed Assembly)

Mitchell-Lama Protection Extension This bill would protect tenants living in Mitchell-Lama buildings initially occupied after January 1, 1974 by allowing localities in Nassau, Westchester and Rockland counties to extend rent stabilization to these buildings when they leave the supervision of the state as a result of building owners 'buying out' of the Mitchell-Lama program. (A.2522; Passed Assembly)

Home Closing Costs This bill would allow SONYMA to issue and insure second mortgages for down-payment and closing-cost assistance to potential home owners. (A.8286; Passed Assembly / S. 4327; Rules)

Housing Preservation Development This legislation would: extend the ability of New York Housing Preservation Development (HPD) to restructure rents in multiple dwellings that are receiving Article 8-A rehabilitation loans (A.9860 / S.6654; Chapter 134);

  • continue the HPD rent-restructuring authority in buildings that are part of urban development action area projects and are rehabilitated with municipal loans (A.9993 / S.6653; Chapter 121); and

  • extend HPDs authority to restructure rents in residential buildings that have received low-interest, municipally financed rehabilitation loans under Article 8 of the Private Housing Finance Law (A.10433 / S.6652; Chapter 133)

Housing For The Disabled This bill would establish the Access to Home Program in state law. The program provides financial assistance to property owners and renters to make existing dwelling units accessible for low- and moderate-income persons with disabilities. (A.11687-A / S.7847-A; Chapter 159)

SONYMA Bonding This bill would increase SONYMA's bonding authority by $200 million and extend its authority to run its programs until July 16, 2007. (A.11688 / S.8007; Chapter 386)

NY Housing Development Corporation (HDC) This bill would increase HDC's bonding authority by $600 million. (A.11696 / S.7710; Chapter 386)

Housing Finance Authority This bill would increase the bonding authority of the Housing Finance Authority by $1.1 billion. (A.11732 / S. 8005-A; Chapter 398)

Building Rehabilitation Financing This bill would extend for two years, from July 23, 2006, until July 23, 2008, the definition of "rehabilitation loan" within the Mortgage Insurance Fund. Under the bill, the standard requirement that 25 percent of a loan be used for the cost of rehabilitation is reduced to 20 percent. This reduction has resulted in SONYMA's insurance product matching more closely the needs of some of its primary users without negatively affecting the policies or financial integrity of the fund. This measure is key to the ability of SONYMA to promote new construction and rehabilitation of affordable housing and its authority to insure rehabilitation loans. (A.11735 / S.8006; Chapter 137)

Housing For Special Needs Population This bill would exempt community residences, as defined under the Mental Hygiene Law and other residential facilities under the jurisdiction of the Department of Mental Hygiene, from the minimum rehabilitation percentage requirement to qualify under the definition of rehabilitation loan within the Mortgage Insurance Fund. The proposed change would both facilitate the financing of quality affordable housing for a special needs population and fulfill a significant public purpose of the Department of Mental Hygiene. (A.11739 / S.8032-A; Chapter 402)

Mortgage Buy-Outs This bill would require housing companies that receive loans under Mitchell-Lama to notify their tenants of the possibility of a mortgage buy out and the potential for rent increases within 12 months prior to the proposed dissolution. (A.459; Passed Assembly)

Limited-Profit Housing Companies This bill would extend from 20 to 50 years the time before which certain limited-profit housing companies (Mitchell-Lama) may not voluntarily dissolve without consent of the commissioner or of the supervising agency. (A.460 Passed Assembly)

Eviction Notice This bill would exclude non-business days, Saturday and Sunday, from the required 72 hour eviction-notice process. (A.1490; Passed Assembly/S.2652; Judiciary)


"Timothy's Law" This bill would require health-insurance companies to provide a level of coverage for the treatment for mental illnesses, emotional disorders and alcoholism and substance abuse that is comparable to the coverage currently provided for other physical ailments. The bill would eliminate the discriminatory practices of the health insurance industry that limit coverage for mental-health and chemical- and substance-abuse treatment. (A.2912; Passed Assembly)

Genetic Information This bill would prohibit insurance companies from denying or canceling coverage based upon genetic information. (A.720-A; Passed Assembly/S.3845-A; Insurance)

New York Property Insurance Underwriters Association (NYPIUA) This bill would make permanent the authority of NYPIUA to write homeowners' insurance/catastrophe insurance coverage, thereby ensuring that property owners in locations deemed to be "high risk" areas by insurance companies have continued access to property and casualty insurance. (A.750-A; Passed Assembly)

Auto Theft Prevention This bill would establish the automobile anti-theft program to educate drivers about strategies and techniques that will protect vehicles from being stolen. Under the bill, car owners who participate in an official police department program designed to prevent motor vehicle theft would be eligible for a reduction in car insurance premiums. (A.3697; Passed Assembly)

Boater Safety This bill would grant liability insurance rate reductions to boat owners who successfully complete an approved boating safety course. These courses are aimed at reducing the number of boating accidents. (A.5207; Passed Assembly / S.4465; Insurance)

Theft Claim Privacy Protection This bill would provide personal-privacy protections by restricting insurers from demanding intrusive personal, financial and tax information from insurance policy holders. The measure would address the routine processing of ordinary theft claims in which no special circumstances exist to warrant a demand for this information. (A.1226-A; Passed Assembly / S.7060; Insurance)

Discrimination In Offering Insurance Policies This bill would prohibit discrimination because of sexual orientation in offering insurance policies. The legislation would prohibit insurers from inquiring about an applicant's race, color, creed, sexual orientation and national origin or disability. (A.3268; Passed Assembly)


Child / Spousal Support Payment Failure The bill would impose penalties on individuals who intentionally violate court orders of child or spousal support. Under the bill, custodial parents and recipients of support would be compensated for the losses they incur when there is a deliberate failure to make timely payments. (A.3268; Passed Assembly)

Matrimonial Action Protections This bill would prohibit both individuals involved in a matrimonial dispute from dispersing assets for the purpose of denying their spouse access to property to which each may be entitled. (A.8180; Passed Assembly)

HMO Reform This bill would hold HMOs accountable for making health-care decisions. (A.8180 / S. 1548-A; Passed Assembly / Senate Rules)


Breast Feeding This bill would protect women who need to express milk for the nourishment and health of their child during work-day hours. The bill would require employers to make reasonable efforts to provide a location for women employees to express milk in privacy and also would ensure a woman's right to express breast milk at work. (A.252; Passed Assembly)

Farmer Workers Protections The bill would create The Farm Workers Fair Labor Practices Act. The legislation would provide farm workers with basic employment rights, including being allowed one day of rest for every calendar week of work and receiving overtime pay when required to work in excess of eight hours a day. In addition, the measure would allow farm workers to be covered by Worker's Compensation Insurance. (A.1172-B; Passed Assembly / S. 5130; Labor)

Minimum Wage For Public Employees This bill would ensure that state and municipal government employees are eligible for the same fair wage provision of the minimum wage law enacted in 2004 to which employees in the private sector are entitled. (A.3162-A; Passed Assembly)

Prevailing Wage This legislation would ensure that all employees on public work projects and building service employees are entitled to the protections of the prevailing wage law and the state Department of Labor. The measure would require the disclosure of prevailing wage payment records as well as a written notification to workers that public projects require the payment of the prevailing wage. (A.6485-A / S.3251-A; Veto 117) (A.6625 / S.3284; Veto 85)

Whistleblower Protections In The Workplace This bill would provide greater protections for "whistleblower" employees who disclose information about illegal activities of their employers. (A.7185; Passed Assembly/S.3893; Labor)

Workplace Violence This law requires certain employers to develop and implement programs to prevent workplace violence. Under the bill, public employers must evaluate the potential risks for violence within their workplace and develop and implement a written violence prevention program to prevent and minimize the hazards of workplace violence to their employees. (A.9691 / S.6441; Chapter 82)


Revolving Loan Fund This bill would establish a low-interest revolving loan fund to help improve public library facilities. (A.3498-B; Passed Assembly)


Comptroller Audit Response This bill would require that public entities such as municipal corporations and industrial development agencies provide a written response to audits performed by the Office of State Comptroller. The measure would ensure that the recommendations included in the state comptroller's audits, which evaluate the spending of taxpayer's money, are not ignored. (A.3112; Passed Assembly)

Medical/Legal Investigation Training Requirements for Coroners, Coroner's Deputies, Medical Examiners And Deputy Medical Examiners This bill would establish medical/legal investigation training requirements for coroners, coroner's deputies, medical examiners and deputy medical examiners. This training must be completed by these persons on or before January 1, 2008. Persons assuming any of these offices after the bill's effective date must complete the training prior to taking office. (A.687-A / S.6255; Passed Assembly)

Land Use Approval This bill would require applicants seeking land use approval from a municipal corporation to certify compliance with applicable state zoning and building requirements. (A.3528 / S.1840; Passed Assembly)

Transfer Tax On Real Property Transactions This bill authorizes cities and towns in New York State to adopt (after a referendum) a transfer tax on real property transactions of up to two percent for the purpose of establishing a community preservation fund to be used for land conservation and historic preservation. (A.6450-B; Passed Assembly)

Clothing And Footwear Exemption This bill allows a county or city to opt in and provide the clothing and footwear exemption effective June 1, 2006. In addition, the bill allows a county or city that has elected to provide the exemption to opt out of this exemption by adopting a local law or resolution no later than June 30, 2006. (A.10569 / S.7193; Chapter 25)

Industrial Development Agencies Reform This bill would increase the accountability and improve the efficiency and transparency of the operations of industrial development agencies. (A.10787-A / S.7391-A; Passed Assembly)

Industrial Development Agencies Extender This bill would extend the expiring provisions of the Industrial Development Agency statute until July 1, 2007. (A.11894 / S.8335; Chapter 142)

Volunteer Firefighter Legislation

Defense And Indemnification This bill would require municipalities and fire districts to provide defense and indemnification for actions taken by volunteer firefighters, provided that the acts did not involve willful negligence or malfeasance. (A.1600-A / S.3246-B; Chapter 559)

Reimbursement for Hazardous Material Remediation This bill establishes a procedure to provide reimbursement to fire companies for costs associated with responding to spills of hazardous materials. (A.7279-D / S.891-E; Passed Assembly)

Mutual Aid Provisions For Volunteer Ambulance Companies This bill would clarify provisions regarding mutual aid for volunteer ambulance companies by providing the same mutual aid liability provisions to these companies as are currently provided to volunteer fire companies. (A.8974-A / S.7273; Chapter 191)

Fire Company Scholarship Eligibility This bill would extend provisions related to volunteer firefighter scholarships and changes the eligibility requirements to permit scholarship recipients to live outside the 50 mile radius requirement, under certain conditions. (A.10279 / S.6604; Chapter 125)

Lung Disease Presumption This bill establishes a presumption that death or disability from lung disease in volunteer firefighters results from actions taken in the line of duty. (A.10384 / S.6623; Chapter 606)

Publication of Firefighter Training Standards This bill requires the state Office of Fire Prevention and Control to promulgate rules and regulations governing firefighter training, including the process by which training hours are allocated to counties and a uniform procedure for requesting additional training hours. (A.10724 / S.7740; Chapter 615)

Emergency Services Revolving Loan Cooperation This bill encourages regional cooperation by authorizing applicants to apply jointly for funding from the Emergency Services Revolving Loan Fund and increases the loan amounts available to joint applicants. (A.10725 / S.7753; Chapter 72)

Increased Availability Of Long Distance Learning This bill would require the state Office of Fire Prevention and Control to make firefighter training available by video or computer to the maximum extent practicable. (A.5414; Passed Assembly)

Volunteer Firefighter Accountability Provisions

Audits Of Fire Districts And Companies This legislation would require fire districts and companies to undergo audits, require auditors to be selected following a competitive bidding process and limit the length of contracts with auditors. (A.10478 / S.7548; Chapter 237)

Audit Authorization This bill would increase oversight of fire companies by expanding the state comptroller's auditing authority. (A.10473 / S.7700; Chapter 233)

Fire District Capital Reserve Funds This bill would require additional public oversight of money fire districts can place in capital improvement reserve accounts by making the creation of reserve funds subject to voter approval. (A.10474 / S.7739; Chapter 234)

Training For Fire District Commissioners This legislation would establish training requirements for fire district commissioners. The state comptroller would approve the creation of a training program involving legal, fiduciary, financial, procurement and ethical responsibilities for fire district commissioners. (A.10484 / S.7547; Chapter 242)

Volunteer Firefighter Length of Service Award Program (LOSAP) Reforms

A 2001 audit by the state comptroller and recent Newsday stories have highlighted potential problems with the volunteer firefighter service award programs. The bills listed below are intended to address those problems:

Authorizes the comptroller to post information about firefighter Length of Service Award Program (LOSAP) vendors on a single website in order to make it easier for sponsors to select the appropriate vendor. (A.10484 / S.7876; Chapter 262)

Requires service award program sponsors or administrators to obtain an annual audit by a certified public accountant or an independent public accountant. Also requires plan information to be provided to sponsors and participants annually. (A.10983 / S.7877; Chapter 620)

Creates a 13-member Temporary Volunteer Firefighter Service Award Program Task Force to examine LOSAP funding and accountability issues. (A.10984 / S.7875; Passed Assembly)

Establishes an optional state-administered service award program for volunteer firefighters. (A.10985 / S.7878; Chapter 714)


Mental Hygiene Programs This bill would enhance the accountability of mental hygiene programs subject to licensure by the Office of the Department of Mental Hygiene. Under the bill, the Department would be required to pay greater attention to the management and usage of public funds committed to providing the highest quality of mental health services. (A.152; Passed Assembly)

Planning And Notification This bill would establish a process for planning and notification in the event of the planned closure or reduction in services at a state-operated facility or research institute of the Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities. (A.5385/S.3522; Veto #325)

Mental Hygiene Medical Review Board This bill would authorize proceedings before the mental hygiene medical review board to be disclosed within 60 days to a patient or resident in a mental hygiene facility upon the written request of a patient or resident's legal guardian. (A.7686-A; Passed Assembly)

OMH Housing Waiting List This bill would require the commissioner of the Office of Mental Health (OMH) to establish a community housing waiting list. The purpose of this bill is to provide the state with a mechanism for tracking the waiting time for persons with psychiatric disabilities seeking supported, supportive, supervised or congregate housing services in the OMH service system. (A.2895-A / S.3653; Veto #323)

Mental Hygiene Services To improve the planning and delivery of services to the state's mentally disabled population, the Assembly approved legislation that would:

  • establish the Inter-Office Coordinating Council (IOCC) to ensure that the annual mental hygiene planning process that reflects a partnership between the state and local governments addresses how gaps in services for the mentally disabled will be remedied. It also would ensure that appropriate and adequate services to the multiply disabled are in place and functioning (A.8165-B; Passed Assembly / S. 4646-C; Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities);

  • require the advisory boards of OMH to identify the problems and challenges affecting services and include in OMH's annual five-year plan a review and evaluation of the current and planned use of Medicaid funding for mental-health services (A.9778; Passed Assembly / S.8259; Rules); and

  • mandate OMH to provide to the governor and the Legislature by October 1, 2008 a report that identifies populations with high rates of unmet mental-health needs and include recommendations for improving mental-health services to these identified populations. (A.9781; Passed Assembly / S.8254; Rules)


Internet And Cell Phone Betting The bill would allow wagers to be placed via cell phone and the Internet at events sponsored by New York race tracks or simulcast races broadcast at local Off-Track Betting Corporations (OTB). The bill expands the current law allowing bets to be made over the telephone and does not authorize "off-shore" Internet betting sites to operate legally in this state. According to the sponsor, Internet wagering reduces the cost of processing bets significantly, thereby increasing profits and allowing more money to be paid to winning bettors and to support the operation of state and local governments. (A.8688-A / S.5391-A; Chapter 34)


Property Tax Breaks This bill would provide a personal income tax (PIT) credit to eligible home owners for school property taxes paid in 2006. Under the bill, taxpayers could claim their tax credit when they file their 2006 personal income tax form. For 2006 only, property owners have the option of filing for their tax credit early by filing a claim form to the Department of Taxation and Finance by November 15, 2006. The credit would be $9,000 multiplied by the taxpayer's real property tax rate for the 2004-05 school year. Under the legislation, the New York City school tax reduction credit would be increased from $125 to $230 for married couples filing jointly and from $62.50 to $115 for single filers and heads of household. In addition, the tax credit for seniors with incomes under $67,850 would be increased by 67 percent. (A.11804 / S.8174; Chapter 105)

Tax Exemptions for Solar, Wind, or Farm Waste Energy Systems This bill would extend expiration of certain provisions of law relating to tax exemptions for solar, wind or farm waste energy systems until January 1, 2011. (A.9888/S.5966-A; Chapter 129)

Single-Room-Occupancy Housing This bill would extend until December 31, 2011, the date by which owners rehabilitating single-room-occupancy housing (SROs) are eligible to receive tax benefits. (A.10568 / S.7190; Chapter 609)

School District Surplus Fund This bill would increase the amount a school district may retain in the surplus fund balance from two percent to three and one-half percent to help meet all unexpected demands, including emergency building repairs or special education costs. (A.879-A/S.2731-A; Delivered to Governor - Memo Veto 2 - Tabled)


Pollution Compliance Assistance Fund This bill would establish the Small Business Clean Environment Fund to assist small businesses in obtaining loans from financial institutions for the acquisition of pollution-control equipment to achieve pollution prevention and/or compliance with federal and state environmental laws. (A.2657-A; Passed Assembly)

Industrial Effectiveness Program This bill would assist small businesses through the Industrial Effectiveness Program in pursuing pollution-prevention funding opportunities and complying with federal and state environmental laws. (A.262; Passed Assembly)

Pollution Prevention Assistance The bill would require the regional offices of the Department of Economic Development to offer information and assistance to small businesses on environmental compliance and pollution prevention. It also would be required to provide technical and financial assistance to promote compliance with environmental standards. (A.6332; Passed Assembly)

Small Business Inventions And Discoveries This bill provides grants to small businesses and research institutions to translate discoveries and inventions into commercially viable products in New York State. (A.6431-A; Passed Assembly / S.7399; Finance)

Small Business Innovation Grants This will would provide small businesses with grants to commercialize energy and environmental technology innovations in state. (A.6758-A;Passed Assembly)

Energy Conservation Loans This bill would provide zero- and low-interest loans or loan interest rate reduction for energy improvement projects to stimulate the growth and development of small businesses and jobs. (A.8352>; Passed Assembly)


Basic Education Bill This bill would expand access to basic, general education(GED) programs for public-assistance recipients. (A.5283; Passed the Assembly)

Food Assistance Program The bill would repeal the eligibility requirements for Food Assistance Program that violate constitutional equal protection rights. The measure would ensure that certain immigrants who are in need of food assistance, but are still ineligible for federal food stamps, can receive the assistance to which they are entitled. (A.7639-A; Passed Assembly)


State Official Ban From Media Advertising This bill would prohibit statewide elected officials from appearing in television, radio, Internet or print public-service announcements paid for by taxpayers. Under the bill, the likeness, picture or voice of a statewide elected official or a member of the official's family would be prohibited from appearing in public-service announcements produced or distributed by the state. In addition, the bill also would require state agencies to submit a 12-month advertising inventory to the governor, Assembly and Senate that fully discloses a public-service announcement's content, cost and distribution. (A.1231; Passed Assembly)


Omnibus DWI Bill This bill would establish the new crime of "Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)" for drivers with blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels of 18 percent or higher; permanently revoke the driver's licenses of persistent offenders; authorize higher felony charges for persons who drive drunk or impaired by drugs and seriously injury or kill another person, if other factors are involved, such as multiple victims, prior convictions or high BAC levels; impose longer license revocation periods and higher fines for chemical test refusals; and require alcohol- and drug-abuse assessment and treatment of certain offenders. (A.11963 /S.8232; Chapter 732)

Bill Leaf-Brandi Woods Law This law would crack down on drunk drivers involved in accidents causing physical injury or death and who have been convicted of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs in the previous 10 years. The bill adds a new subdivision to the law for first-degree vehicular assault, a class D felony that carries a penalty of up to seven years in prison and first degree vehicular manslaughter, a class C felony that carries a penalty of up to 15 years. The legislation is named after Brandi Woods and Bill Leaf. Woods, a teenager from Memphis, New York, and Leaf, a Syracuse radio station sportscaster, were both killed by drunk drivers who had a history of drunk driving related convictions. (A.10619-B/ S.7233-A; Chapter 245)

Prior Out Of State Convictions This bill would require that prior out-of-state convictions for driving while intoxicated (DWI) or while ability impaired (DWAI) be given the same weight as a prior conviction for the equivalent violation in New York State, when determining penalties for a DWI or DWAI conviction in New York State. (A.10369-A/S.7216-A; Chapter 231)

BWI/BWAI Penalties This bill would make the penalties for Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) and Boating While Ability Impaired (BWAI) convictions the same as those imposed for equivalent Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) and Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) convictions. (A.11458-B/S.7154-B; Chapter 151)

Drowsy Driving This bill would require the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee to develop and implement an outreach campaign to inform the general public about the dangers of driving while drowsy and the Department of Transportation to study the safety and availability of highway rest stops. (A.4473-A/S.3512-A; Chapter 651)

DMV Driver Reexamination This bill would authorize the courts to issue orders requiring a person convicted of leaving the scene of an accident to submit to rex-examination by the Department of Motor Vehicles if the person is a repeat offender and the court has reasonable grounds to believe he or she is not qualified to drive a motor vehicle. (A.1632-A; Passed Assembly / S.2908-A;Rules)

Vehicular Homicide This bill would create the new crime of vehicular homicide when a person causes the death of another person in the operation of a motor vehicle while committing a major traffic violation and the driver has at least two previous convictions for major traffic violations or has had his or her license revoked for a previous homicide or assault while operating a motor vehicle. (A.1653; Passed Assembly)

Traffic-Control Devices This bill would require the State to fund the installation of traffic-control devices at entrances to schools. (A.1728/S.4749; Chapter 560)

Convex Mirrors This bill would require certain trucks, tractors and tractor-trailer or semitrailer combinations that are operated on local New York City streets to be equipped with convex mirrors. (A.9704; Passed Assembly / S.2210-B; Transportation)

New York City Red Light Cameras This bill would authorize the City of New York to utilize an additional 50 red light cameras. The bill also would require the use of technologies to prevent images of a vehicle's occupants and contents from appearing in red light camera photographs; prohibit owner liability if the vehicle was operated without his or her consent; expand the reporting requirements to include accident data and expenses incurred for the program and require the annual issuance of the report; and create a defense to any prosecution if traffic-control signals were malfunctioning at the time of the alleged violation. (A.8038-C/S.5357-B; Chapter 658)

Failure To Yield The Right Of Way This bill would require the mandatory suspension or revocation of drivers' licenses if failure to yield the right of way in a motor vehicle which causes the death or serious physical injury of another. (A.4914-B/S.3410-B; Chapter 571)

Back Seat Passengers This bill would require the use of seat belts by all motor vehicle passengers, age 16 or older riding in the rear seats. (A.2157-A; Passed the Assembly / S.3582-A; Transportation)

Disability Parking Permits This bill would require that the last three digits of the number on the applicant's drivers license, non-driver ID card or of any identifying number established by DMV for applicants lacking a driver's license or non-driver ID, be placed on parking permits for the disabled. (A.2147-A/S.7962; Veto Memo 245)

School Bus Safety

"P.J.'s Law" This bill would require school bus attendants and school bus drivers serving students with disabilities to receive training and instruction relating to the special needs of these students. (A.10071-A; Passed Assembly/S.7469-A; Transportation)

Pre-School Driver Qualifications This bill would impose school bus driver qualification standards and requirements upon operators of vehicles transporting pre-school and nursery school-aged children. (A.1692; Passed Assembly)

School Bus Safety This bill would authorize DMV to direct and implement a "school bus motorist education program" to educate motorists on the dangers of passing a stopped school bus. It also would redirect the surcharges collected for illegally passing a stopped school bus into a fund for this program and for grants to study and develop proposals to reduce the number of these violations. (A.2555-A; Passed Assembly)

School Bus Passenger Safety This bill would prohibit the operation of school buses with a capacity of 10 or fewer passengers unless all passengers are properly restrained in seat belts or child safety or booster seats. (A.3740-A; Passed Assembly)

Organ And Tissue Donation

Organ Donor This bill would require that driver's licenses and renewals issued to persons making an anatomical gift have prominently printed on the front the statement "ORGAN DONOR." (A.3995/S.8281; Chapter 568)

Voluntary Contribution On Driver Forms This bill would direct DMV to develop driver's license and renewal application forms that solicit a voluntary $1 donation to be deposited into the "Life Pass It On" Trust Fund. The "Life Pass It On" Trust Fund revenues are to be used for organ donation, transplant research and education projects and grants to increase and promote organ and tissue donation awareness. (A.4294-A/S.4610-A; Chapter 570)

Child Passenger Safety Package

Passengers In Truck Cargo Areas This bill would prohibit the operation of a truck with passengers under the age of 18 in the truck's cargo area. (A.96; Passed Assembly)

Front Seat Passengers This bill would prohibit the operation of any motor vehicle with a passenger under the age of seven seated in the front seat. (A.6971-A; Passed Assembly / S.3980-A; Transportation)

Dangerous Driver Package

Notation Of Death Or Serious Physical Injury This bill would require police officers to note, in the "description of violation" section of a uniform traffic summons issued for all violations rising out of an accident whether a death or serious physical injury occurred. (A.130 / S.3646; Chapter 553)

DWI Surcharges This bill would require the mandatory surcharges imposed for DWI convictions to be deposited into the county STOP-DWI programs. (A.953-A; Passed Assembly)

Conditional Use License Violations This bill would direct the deposit of fines imposed for violating the conditions of a conditional use license to be deposited into the county STOP-DWI programs. (A.1688; Passed Assembly)

Prioritization of Accident Reports This bill would require DMV, when processing accident reports, to give priority to those involving serious physical injury or death. (A.8169; Passed Assembly)

Transportation Measures For The Disabled

Metered Parking Waivers This bill would require localities to issue metered parking waiver permits to individuals with certain severe disabilities that would entitle them, under certain circumstances, to park at metered parking spaces at no cost. (A.10563-A; Passed Assembly / S.7815-A; Transportation)

Disabled Access To Parking This bill would phase in the requirement that shopping centers with at least one retail store and off-street parking provide parking spaces reserved for individuals with disabilities (A.5737; Passed Assembly)

Disability Access Aisles This bill would require that parking spaces and access aisles reserved for the disabled be a minimum of eight feet wide. (A.7337; Passed Assembly / S.4873; Transportation)

Markings On Disabled Parking Spaces This bill would require that access aisles of disabled parking spaces be marked with "No Parking Anytime" signs and diagonal stripes. (A.7338-A; Passed Assembly / S.4871-A; Transportation)

Franchised Dealer Alternative Dispute Resolution This bill would establish, as an alternative to litigation, a "Motor Vehicle Franchise Board" to hear disputes between franchised auto dealers and motor vehicle franchisors involving violations of the Motor Vehicle Franchise Act. (A.7536-A; Passed Assembly / S.4643-A; Finance)


Vietnam Veterans This bill would change the beginning date of the Vietnam War from December 22, 1961 to February 28, 1961, in order to coincide with the federal government date. The date grants recognition of wartime service to veterans who served in Vietnam beginning in 1961, when American advisers began accompanying South Vietnamese troops. The date the war began can be a factor in determining a veteran's eligibility for such government programs as housing subsidies, civil service exam credits and real property tax exemptions.(A.6944; Passes Assembly / S.4141; Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs)

Disabled Veterans This bill would exempt real property owned by a person certified to receive a Department of Veterans Affairs disability pension to be exempted from real property taxes. In addition, the bill would allow an award letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs to be submitted as proof of the disability. (A.6892; Passed Assembly)

Congressional Medal Of Honor Monument This bill would provide for the creation of a monument dedicated to the memory of all New York residents who have received the Congressional Medal of Honor. The monument would be located in the Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza or Capitol Park in the city of Albany. (A.11651/S.7228-A; Chapter 690)

Small- And-Medium-Sized Business Relief This bill would provide financial assistance to small- and-medium businesses that have been adversely affected by the absence of an owner, manager or key employee called to active military duty. (A.727/S.1318; Chapter 164)

Purchase Of Military Decorations This bill would exempt from the payment of sales tax the purchase of certain military decorations, provided that the purchaser offer the vendor proof of actual military service, such as discharge papers or other official documentation showing his or her veterans status. (A.6486/S.2319; Chapter 291)

Military Spouses 10 Days Leave This bill would provide the spouses of members of the United States National Guard and reservists who have been deployed during a period of military conflict up to ten days of unpaid leave from their place of employment. This legislation would allow the wives and husbands of our men and women in uniform a period of vacation time when their spouse returns from serving in a combat zone. (A.10883-B/S.7175-B Chapter 495)

State Of Military Decorations This bill would prohibit the sale of military decorations found in safe deposit boxes deemed to be abandoned. Under the bill, such military awards, medals or decorations would be sent to the New York State military museum and veterans research center under the jurisdiction of the division of military and Naval Affairs, where they shall be retained (stored and displayed) indefinitely until claimed by the lessee of the safe deposit box or the lessee's estate or released to a person or entity lawfully entitled to possession of the medals. (A.7100-B/S.3091-B; Chapter 297)

Veterans Credit Exam Addition This legislation would allow eligible individuals whose names are on the Civil Service exam list to add veteran's credits. The bill addresses those cases in which a member of the military has already taken the exam and currently has a place on the eligible list, but under the current law he or she is not able to add the veteran's credits to their civil service examine status. This legislation would allow individuals who become eligible for veteran's credits subsequently to add those credits after their name has been placed on the current eligibility list. (A.10038/S.6908;Veto #262)

Gift Shop Located In A Veteran's Home This bill would exempt from sales and compensating use taxes retail sales of tangible personal property by gift shops located in New York State veterans' homes. (A.8883-B/S.3027-B; Chapter 296)

Military Voting This bill would extend for one year the provision in the Election Law to allow military ballots to be cast and counted if signed and dated by the voter and one witness. It also would extend the time for receipt of the general ballot to 13 days after the election, as compared to 7 days for a primary or special election. (A.11728/S.7911; Chapter 528)

Limitation For Phenoxy Herbicide This bill extends the statute of limitation for lawsuits relating to exposure to phenoxy herbicide by armed forces personnel who served in Indo-China for two years. (A.9755/S.7212; Chapter 39)

Vietnam Veterans Tuition Awards Program The bill would extend the date for eligible veterans to apply for state college tuition assistance. Under the bill, veterans would have until September 1, 2008 to file an application form for the Vietnam, Persian Gulf and Afghanistan Tuition Assistance Program. (A.9650 / S.7416; Chapter 208)

Transfer of the Real Property Tax Exemption In Cases Of Veterans Moving Within The Same Municipality This bill would authorize municipalities to adopt a local law or ordinance allowing the assessor to transfer and prorate a real property tax exemption granted a veteran when the veteran sells property receiving the exemption and purchases property within the same municipality. (A.974/S.7384; Chapter 166)

Expand Real Property Tax Exemption For Those Eligible For Pecuniary Assistance The purpose of this bill is to include seriously disabled veterans who are eligible to receive monetary assistance from the federal government to acquire or adopt a home to their needs in the category of those qualified for the eligible funds exemption under Section 458(3) of the Real Property Tax Exemption. (A.2747/S.1500; Chapter 46)

Military Health The purpose of this legislation is to assist members and veterans in obtaining treatment for exposure to toxic materials or harmful physical agents, such as depleted uranium, and to establish a task force to study the effects of health problems due to military service, such as depleted uranium. (A.9116-B/S6964-A; Chapter 743)

Local County Veterans Service Agencies The purpose of this bill is to require a local office veterans' service agency in counties having a population of 300,000 or more to occupy physical office space that is separate and apart from any other agency, department, division, bureau, board, commission, council, authority or other body of a public entity. (A.10236-B/S.6963-B; Veto #282)

Constitutional Amendment This measure would amend the state Constitution to eliminate a requirement that disabled veterans receive disability payments to qualify for additional credit points on a civil service exam for appointment or promotion in the Civil Service system. (A.9957/S.6726; Delivered to the Secretary of the State)


Budget Reform The bill would reform the state's budget process by providing for expanded public disclosure and enhanced accountability as well as timely budget agreements.

Among the highlights of the bipartisan reform legislation are provisions that would improve the Legislature's ability to adopt on-time budgets by changing the state fiscal year from April 1 to May 1, provide the Legislature with additional time to conduct open and public budget hearings and conference committees and to evaluate the revenue the state receives after the April 15 income tax deadline. Under terms of the reform legislation, the governor, Legislature and the comptroller would be required to begin annual discussions about revenue forecasts and spending projections for the current and upcoming fiscal years by December 5.

Also included in the bill are provisions that would establish an independent budget office responsible for providing the Legislature and public with an analysis of revenues and expenditures; create a binding revenue estimate, determined by the comptroller, that would only be used if the Legislature failed to reach an agreement by March 1; and require that a three-year fiscal plan for the state be submitted along with the executive budget, which would be updated 60 days after a new budget is adopted. (A.11995 / S.8414; Veto #319)

Indian Cigarette Sales Tax Collection The bill would require that any cigarette wholesaler or agent wishing to obtain a new sales license must submit, under penalty of perjury, a statement that the applicant has not sold untaxed cigarettes in violation of the law. Under the bill, violators would be subject to disciplinary action by both the Department of Taxation and Finance and local district attorneys. In addition, the bill forbids the department from selling tax stamps to any agent who has sold unstamped cigarettes, including sales to any Native-American reservation. The measure responds to the governor's failure to enforce the current law requiring the collection of the sales tax on cigarettes sold by Native-American businesses. (A.10859A / S.7568A; Veto #347)