Enacted legislation helps to address the opioid crisis, fight climate change and assist municipalities
Albany, NY – New York State Senator Pete Harckham is concluding 2022 as his most productive year yet in terms of having legislation he introduced being passed and signed into law, with 23 of his bills receiving signatures from the Governor, up from 16 last year.
“New Yorkers continue to face immense challenges that demand real action, and so I made sure to draft bills that safeguarded residents, boosted our economy and assisted our municipalities,” said Harckham. “Whether it means protecting our workforce or our environment further, helping veterans and those with Substance Use Disorder in new ways, or working together to ensure a stronger future for our communities, I will keep looking for innovative and inspired approaches to being productive. I am grateful to Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, my colleagues in the State Legislature and Governor Hochul for their support.”
In total, Harckham was the prime sponsor on 176 bills that were introduced or amended, an increase from last year’s total of 137. The State Senate approved 56 of these bills and the full State Legislature approved 32 in 2022.
Notable among Harckham’s bills signed into law this year was S.7788, which requires that 100% of in-state sales of new passenger cars and trucks shall be zero-emissions by 2035, and that the state transitions to 100% percent zero-emissions from new off-road vehicles and equipment purchased beginning in 2035.
“As we work to achieve the ambitious goals in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, the best way to ramp up our fight against the climate crisis is to put more vehicles on our roadways that are entirely free of carbon and other toxic emissions,” said Harckham. “Enacting this law shows how New York can help lead the nation to positively impact our environment and jumpstart our economy.”
It should be noted that one of Harckham’s most important bills from 2022 was enacted in the FY2023 State Budget:
· S.5116C protects and regulates wetlands and critical habitat areas by removing the jurisdictional barriers that old Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) maps have created.
A number of bills introduced by Harckham and enacted this year were prompted and advanced through his work as chair of the Senate Committee on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse. This includes two signed by Governor Hochul within the last week:
· S.5690 eliminates daily co-pays for visits to Opioid Treatment programs; and
· S.7378A requires the state’s Department of Health (DOH) to publish reports on the department’s website detailing sales of opioids sold in the state and provide information to the public regarding the budget’s “Opioid Stewardship Fund” in combating the opioid overdose crisis.
Other signed bills helping to fight the overdose crisis are:
· S.7693 creates a council for treatment equity within the state’s Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) to help vulnerable populations; and
· S.8219A requires an annual report for the independent Substance Use Disorder and mental health ombudsman program.
Two of Harckham’s signed bills will help veterans statewide:
· S.7706 ensures that veterans in temporary shelters have access to information about benefits;
· S.8057 expands the scope of the Community Health Access to Addiction and Mental Health Project (CHAMP) to include representation for other agencies to help veterans, people with developmental disabilities and other populations facing additional barriers to care.
Other key Harckham bills enacted by Governor Hochul include:
· S.7548 requires same-day notification of a parent or person in parental relation of a student with a disability where certain behavioral interventions are used;
· S.2992 places Furnace Brook Lake in the Town of Cortlandt in the state’s inland waterway protection criteria;
· S.6871A allows taxpayer gifts for research and treatment of Lyme Disease;
· S.7664A offers confidentiality for kidnapping victims;
· S.8942 extends the service and efforts of the real property tax exemption task force;
· S.8772A requires alternate generated power source at gasoline outlets so they remain open during storms and emergencies; and
· S.8170 establishes the Judge James F. Reitz Memorial Courtroom in the Putnam County Courthouse.
Other Harckham bills enacted in the FY2023 State Budget, include:
· S.4688A continued a small business grant program worth up to two hundred million dollars for small businesses to address expenses during the COVID-19 pandemic; and
· S.6000 allows certain schools to experience no financial harm for reduced enrollment due to the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019; and
· S.1416 creates a pathway for “recovery living residences” to become certified by the commissioner of the Department of Mental Health (DMH) and requires DMH to make available a list of certified recovery residences on its website.
And signed into law this past week, as well, were two more important Harckham bills:
· S.6805 requires that workplace legal notices regarding worker rights and protections be made available to employees electronically; and
· S.8553A integrates 2-1-1 into the state’s disaster emergency plan.
For complete information on all legislation sponsored by Senator Harckham, please visit: www.nysenate.gov/senators/pete-harckham/legislation.