Citizen Action of New York Reacts To The End of the 2024 State Legislative Session

by | Jun 10, 2024 | Press Releases

(Albany, NY)In response to the end of the 2024 New York State legislative session, Rosemary Rivera, Executive Director of Citizen Action of New York, released the following statement:

“After a budget season defined by Governor Hochul’s deference to the ultra-wealthy and special interest donors, there was opportunity for the legislature to use the remainder of the session to pass vital and overdue policy reforms. Unfortunately, the 2024 legislative session came to an end without fulfilling this potential.

“As New Yorkers across the state continue to struggle with access to affordable health care, once again, we saw common sense policies such as Coverage For All and Stop SUNY Suing stall to the detriment of working New Yorkers. It is unconscionable that due to the inaction of the Assembly, New Yorkers of varied immigration status cannot access health insurance coverage even though the Federal government has confirmed this would incur no additional cost to our state. In addition, while data shows that the total money sought through lawsuits targeting low-income New Yorkers of color makes up less than 1% of SUNY’s total budget, the Senate has bypassed the opportunity to enforce protections against these lawsuits on behalf of the most impacted communities. This inaction by the legislature means that New Yorkers will continue to lack the necessary care they deserve and incur insurmountable debt when they cannot afford it.

“We applaud the Senate’s passage once again of the No Slavery In NY Act, which begins to end the practice of forced prison in labor by ensuring that NY eliminates the exception in the 13th Amendment that allows for legalized slavery in the carceral system. However, the Assembly has yet again failed to support the bill. For another year, we will live in a state where slavery remains legal for some, and those who are incarcerated are forced into dangerous and involuntary work conditions through coercion and threats.

“With no meaningful action on climate change in the budget cycle, we had hoped that the remainder of the session would include meaningful action to address the impending climate crisis. However, we are disappointed that only the Senate passed the NY Heat Act, and no new policies were passed to ensure a transition away from fossil fuel usage. We do applaud the legislature for the passage of the Climate Superfund Act, which acknowledges that the climate emergency has occurred due to the greed and profiteering of the biggest polluters, such as Exxon, and forcing these billion-dollar companies to pay to remediate the deadly impact on New York’s affected communities is a just and necessary step.

“We celebrate the passage of legislation decoupling working hours and eligibility for child care grants, as well as the passage of Jury of our Peers. Importantly, we have had a session that has successfully protected and implemented the transformational Public Campaign Financing system. Only through representation by those who are accountable to communities, not donors, will we win the transformational changes needed to make this state one that works for all New Yorkers – not just the wealthy few.”