New York's 2019 Legislative Session comes to an end

New York Legislature
Posted at 9:44 AM, Jun 22, 2019

ALBANY, N.Y. (WKBW) — New York's 2019 Legislative Session came to an end Friday morning with a flurry of last minute activity, so what passed?

  • Decriminalizing marijuana - a bill to decriminalize marijuana possession was passed, low-level criminal charges will now receive civil tickets similar to a parking ticket and it create a process for expunging past marijuana convictions for those arrested for small amounts.
  • Hemp regulation - a bill to regulate hemp was passed, which will establish growers, manufacturers and extractor licenses in regards to industrial hemp and builds in protections for consumers.
  • Pay equity - a bill which prohibits pay differentials based on protected class status was passed.
  • Buffalo School Board elections - a bill which changes the Buffalo Board of Education elections from May to November was passed in an effort to address the low voter turnout issue.
  • Erin's Law - a bill mandating all children in grades kindergarten to eighth grade receive instruction designed to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse was passed and will be known as Erin's Law.
  • Land alienation in Amherst - a bill which authorizes the Town of Amherst to alienate the Audobon Golf Course for ownership by Mensch Capital in exchange for ownership of the Westwood Country Club and creation of a 'central park" was passed.
  • Eliminate the gay and trans panic defense - a bill that closes a loophole in New York State Law in which individuals could claim a gay and trans panic defense after attacking another based on gender, gender identity or sexual orientation.
  • Farmworkers Bill of Rights - a bill which establishes a bill of rights for farmworkers and allows overtime pay, rest day and right to unionize.

Governor Cuomo said this is the most productive legislative session in modern history.

Six months ago we laid out our 2019 Justice Agenda - an aggressive blueprint to move New York forward - and today I'm proud to say we got it done. At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is what you accomplish, and this was the most progressively productive legislative session in modern history. The product was extraordinary, and we maintained our two pillars - fiscal responsibility and economic growth paired with social progress on an unprecedented and nation-leading scale.
Governor Cuomo