Examining Lesser-Publicized Bills Passed By State
A flurry of last minute activity at the end of the legislative session in Albany often results in several pieces of legislation that get passed under the radar. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.
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In the final week of the legislative session, the focus was on teacher evaluations and what portion of them would be made public.
The last-minute push by the parties to reach a deal dominated news coverage. No deal was ever reached, although the governor's version of a compromise was ultimately passed and signed.
But in those final hours, a number of bills get voted on, including some that have a big impact, like a bill that would make kindergarten mandatory in New York City. The bill passed both the Senate and the Assembly.
City Council speaker Christine Quinn championed the legislation and helped find Albany sponsors.
"The best way to make sure children can succeed academically is to have robust early education," she said. "And five, in some studies, they would tell you that's too late to even start at mandatory. But we weren't even there."
Other lesser-known bills include a ban on the sale of smokeless cigarettes, known as electronic cigarettes, to children under the age of 18.
"The problem with electronic cigarettes is that they are totally unregulated," said Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal. "We don't know what chemicals are in them and we don't know how much nicotine is in each brand of cigarette."
Finally, a bill passed increasing the tax credit for film post-production. The credit is currently 10 percent. The bill kicks it up to 30 percent. It is aimed at keeping post-production work, such as film editing, in New York.
"There is always a tension in New York between residents and film crews and how disruptive that can be," said Assemblywoman Deborah Glick. "This is not intended to target that part of the business."
According to an analysis by the New York Public Interest Research Group, there were fewer bills passed in Albany this year than in any year since 1914. That said, there are still some outstanding issues, such as a tax abatement for co-op and condo owners, which may be taken up in a special session before the end of the year.