The Bills Still Awaiting Kathy Hochul’s Signature Before the End of the Year

The Bills Still Awaiting Kathy Hochul’s Signature Before the End of the Year

Editorial credit: lev radin /

By Rebecca C. Lewis | October 16, 2023

The Legislature passed hundreds of bills before breaking in June. Many high-profile ones like Clean Slate and a bill to create a reparations task force have yet to be signed.

The leaves are already changing upstate, signaling that the year is quickly coming to a close – but over a third of the bills approved by both chambers of the state Legislature still await action by Gov. Kathy Hochul. She has been working her way through hundreds of pieces of legislation since the end of the scheduled legislative session in June, and she has made significant progress on the nearly 900 bills that would need her signature. In recent weeks, Hochul made her way through about 50 bills, but over 350 still need to be sent to her desk for signature – or veto.

The state Senate and Assembly jointly approved 896 pieces of legislation, which was not a record number, but impressive nonetheless. Of those, 528 have been acted on by the governor, leaving 364 that still require her signature. The remaining four were proposed constitutional amendments that the governor takes no action on. But even as the numbers continue to decline, she still has not acted on some of the most controversial bills from the past year.

Governors in New York typically take time for their office to review legislation before requesting it from the Legislature. A governor has 10 days – minus Sundays – to sign or veto a bill before it automatically becomes law once lawmakers deliver it to her desk. Although lawmakers could do that any time they want, they generally wait until the governor asks for them to send the legislation in order to ensure she has sufficiently reviewed it or engaged in any additional negotiations for amendments to the bill before signage. Bills that the Legislature hasn’t sent or that Hochul doesn’t act on before the end of the year become subject to different rules, automatically getting vetoed after 30 days rather than automatically becoming law.

As Hochul continues to get through the backlog of bills, keep up with the legislation still up in the air with our non-exhaustive list. Bills the governor signed have been removed from the list. This post was last updated on Oct. 16.

Clean Slate – A1029-C/S7551-A

Sponsored by Assembly Member Catalina Cruz and state Sen. Zellnor Myrie, the bill is known as the Clean Slate Act and would seal the criminal records of most New Yorkers after a certain number of years upon completing their sentences, provided they stay out of trouble. The legislation gained significant attention in the most recent session, when it passed both chambers for the first time after years of negotiations and near-misses. Hochul has expressed support for the intent of Clean Slate, having proposed her own version last year that criminal justice advocates opposed, but has not explicitly committed to signing the version that passed.

Reparations commission – A7691/S1163-A

Sponsored by Assembly Member Michaelle Solages and state Sen. state Sen. James Sanders Jr., this bill would establish a commission to study the historical and lasting impacts slavery has had on Black New Yorkers and potential reparations for the legacy of slavery.

Grieving Families Act – A6698/S6636

Sponsored by Assembly Member Helene Weinstein and state Sen. Brad Hoyman-Sigal, the Grieving Families Act would allow the families of wrongful death victims to receive compensation for emotional harm they suffered. The bill has a decades-old legislative history and would update the state’s 175-year-old wrongful death statute. Hochul pocket-vetoed a version passed last year earlier this year.

Challenging wrongful convictions – A2878-A/S7548

Sponsored by Assembly Member Jeffrion Aubry and Myrie, this bill would make it easier for someone wrongfully convicted of a crime to have that conviction overturned, even if that person pleaded guilty, by removing procedural barriers to having new evidence heard by the court.

Diwali holiday – A7769/S7574

Sponsored by Assembly Member Jenifer Rajkumar and state Sen. Joe Addabbo, the legislation would establish Diwali as a public school holiday in New York City.

Even year elections – A4282-B/S3505-B

Sponsored by Paulin and Skoufis, the bill would move most town, village and county elections outside of New York City to even-numbered years. The bill gained momentum at the end of the scheduled session and garnered controversy for the degree of change it would entail.

Public campaign finance tweaks – A7760/S7564

Sponsored by Assembly Member Latrice Walker and Myrie, this legislation would make changes to the state’s new public campaign finance program, including making the first $250 of any donation matchable. Currently, any donor who gives more than $250 either at once or in parts cannot have any of their donation matched in public funds unless the candidate returns the excess. The changes are opposed by good-government groups and advocates for public campaign finance, who charge that the tweaks will diminish the efficacy of the program as a means to get big money out of politics.

Noncompete ban A1278-B/S3100-A

Sponsored by Assembly Member Latoya Joyner and state Sen. Sean Ryan, the bill would ban most employers from forcing employees to sign noncompete agreements, with limited exceptions for broadcast employees. The legislation has faced fierce opposition on Wall Street and other major employers.

Medical debt on consumer reporters – A6275A/S4907A

Sponsored by Paulin and state Sen. Gustavo Rivera, this legislation would prevent medical debt from impacting a person’s credit score by prohibiting hospitals and other health care providers from giving debt information to consumer reporting agencies.

Lobbying transparency for appointments – A5786/S4152

Sponsored by Assembly Member John T. McDonald III and Gianaris, the legislation would require lobbying disclosures related to nominations subject to state Senate confirmation. Right now, lobbying law does not require such disclosures, which became the subject of scrutiny following significant outside efforts to support the failed confirmation of Hector LaSalle to chief judge of the Court of Appeals.

LLC transparency – A3484-A/S0995-B

Sponsored by Assembly Member Emily Gallagher and Hoylman-Sigal, the legislation would define limited liability company beneficiaries and require those beneficiaries’ disclosure as a means to combat anonymous corporate ownership, like when an LLC owns rental properties.

Matthew’s Law – A5200B/S2099C

Sponsored by McDonald and state Sen. Pete Harckham, the bill is named for a Westchester resident who died of a fentanyl overdose and would authorize pharmacists to distribute fentanyl testing materials, including at retail stores that contain pharmacies.

Renewing J-51 tax break – A7758/S4709A

Sponsored by Assembly Member Ed Braunstein and state Sen. Brian Kavanagh, this legislation would renew and amend the J-51 tax abatement that serves as an incentive for landlords to renovate affordable apartments. The previous version of the program expired last year.

Requiring disabled representation on the MTA board – A5404A/S5069A

Sponsored by Assembly Member Harvey Epstein and state Sen. Roxanne Persaud, the bill would require that at least one voting member of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board nominated by the governor be a “transit dependent individual,” which the bill defines as a person for whom public transit is their primary mode of transportation due to a disability.

Raising the age to use ATVs – A0150/S2702

Sponsored by Assembly Member Amy Paulin and state Sen. Pete Harckham, the bill would raise the age to operate all terrain vehicles from 10 to 14. This is the first year it passed both chambers, after the Assembly failed to approve it the past several years.

Licensure for athletic trainers – A0290-A/S0942A

Sponsored by Solages and state Sen. Jamaal Bailey, the bill would require licensure to be an athletic training, and would add athletic trainers to the list of mandatory reporters of child abuse.

Online accessibility – A0266A/S3114A

Sponsored by Assembly Member Chris Burdick and state Sen. John Mannion, this legislation would require state agencies to update their websites’ accessibility features to adhere to the most current best practices approved by the World Wide Web Consortium.

Data on sexual orientation – A0358/S3225

Sponsored by Assembly Member Harry Bronson and Hoylman-Sigal, this bill would require any state agency, commission or board that currently collects demographic information on ethnicity to also collect information on sexual orientation and gender identity. It has been vetoed twice before.

Breaking leases after death – A0458/S0548

Sponsored by Epstein and Hoylman-Sigal, the legislation would allow the estate of a dead tenant to terminate their lease agreement with the landlord after the tenant’s death.

PTSD awareness – A0793/S7274

Sponsored by Assembly Member Pamela Hunter and state Sen. Kevin Parker, the legislation would require the Office of Mental Health within the state Department of Health to establish a training program to diagnose and treat PTSD in veterans.

Electric vehicle charging – A1122/S0110

Sponsored by Epstein and state Sen. Liz Krueger, this piece of legislation would require commercial garages with electric vehicle charging stations to ensure the public has access to those charging stations.

Electric bill transparency – A1190/S0334

Sponsored by Assembly Member Jonathan Rivera and state Sen. Robert Jackson, the legislation would require utilities to provide additional information on electric bills to make billing more transparent. The bill has been vetoed once before by Hochul.

Climate expenditure tracking – A1191B/S0288C

Sponsored by Epstein and state Sen. Rachel May, the bill would require the state Department of Environmental Conservation, in coordination with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, to submit an annual climate expenditure report.

Maternal care – A1297B/S4981B

Sponsored by Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte-Hermelyn and state Sen. Samra Brouk, this legislation – nicknamed Mickie’s Law in honor of parents who suffered the loss of a fetus and struggled with medical support in the aftermath – would require hospitals to adopt and periodically update standard protocols for patient care in the wake of a miscarriage or loss of fetus.

Black youth mental health – A1510/S1861

Sponsored by Assembly Member Kimberly Jean-Pierre and Brouk, the bill would establish a Black youth suicide prevention task force that would target the mental health of Black children between five and 18 years old.

Utility billing information – A1368A/S0406A

Sponsored by Assembly Member Nily Rozic and state Sen. Kevin Parker, this legislation would allow utilities, phone companies and cable providers to give billing information to third parties at the request of customers to aide in billing notices.

Building owner transparency – A1628/S2694

Sponsored by Assembly Member John McDonald and state Sen. Neil Breslin, this bill would require the disclosure of the people behind a limited liability corporation that owns a building or property leased to the state.

Access to Housing accountability – A1686A/S3139A

Sponsored by Hunter and Mannion, the legislation would require the state Division of Housing and Community Renewal to issue annual reports on the progress of the Access to Housing Program, which helps low-income New Yorkers with disabilities make their homes or rental unit more accessible.

Monitoring drug price hikes – A1707A/S0599A

Sponsored by Assembly Member Daniel Rosenthal and state Sen. Julia Salazar, the legislation would require prescription drug companies to notify the state Department of Financial Services of their intent to raise the cost of a drug 60 days before it takes effect if the increase is at least 16% above its cost for the past two years.

Home care awareness – A1926-A/S1683-A

Sponsored by Assembly Member Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas and state Sen. Michelle Hinchey, the bill would require the state Department of Health to publish information related to home care services usage on its website, including providers of home care services and managed care plans.

Quicker insurance payouts – A2078/S5201

Sponsored by Assembly Member Steve Stern and state Sen. James Skoufis, this legislation would set standards to ensure more timely insurance payouts to claimants following natural disasters. The bill has a decade-long history, but this is the first time it passed both chambers.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the lawmaker who introduced A1707A and S1163-A.

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