Democrats in the New York state Senate over the last several days have outlined their priorities for the remainder of the year, approving measures meant to reduce pollution and curtail climate change as well as a measure designed to aid survivors and victims of sexual assault.
As state lawmakers wrap up the legislative session in the next six weeks, a range of issues not approved in the state budget this month could once again be aired.
There are some measures that lawmakers largely have to do given a looming expiration, such as an extension of mayoral control of New York City schools. And then there are measures lawmakers want to see approved, but have stalled, such as a bill that would make it easier for adult survivors of sexual assault to file lawsuits.
The state Senate once again approved that bill, known as the Adult Survivors Act, on Tuesday. The state Assembly is yet to follow suit.
"We have very, very prolific lawmakers and there were things that were obviously not part of the budget discussions that need to be addressed," Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said on Tuesday.
Lawmakers in the chamber also took up bills meant to study domestic violence against transgender people as well as create a system of finding missing victims of domestic violence. And lawmakers approved a bill that would require the disclosure of firearms of someone who has had an order of protection filed against them.
But current events have often surpassed legislative goals, and lawmakers this year already were pushed to react to high gas prices by suspending 16 cents of the per gallon gas tax in New York effective June 1. Stewart-Cousins said the economic uncertainty remains on the minds of her conference as well.
"We're always worried about the economy, we're always worried about the constituencies getting through this post-COVID period, student debt," she said. "We're trying to address a number of things that will matter."