State’s legislative session ends...sort of

Published: Jun. 9, 2023 at 5:38 PM EDT
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ALBANY, New York (WWNY) - On paper, Friday is the final day of the state’s legislative session. But Assemblyman Scott Gray says it looks like discussions on controversial bills will be going on for a bit longer.

The state’s legislative session looks like it’s going to be extended. Gray tells us as of Friday evening, lawmakers were still working through a proposed Clean Slate bill that would seal certain criminal records, their first bill of the day.

“We’re jammed up with all types of bills that have to be passed. We spend a minimum of 5 hours on some of these major bills,” said Gray (R. - 116th District).

One major piece of legislation that looks like it will pass is the Birds and Bees Protection Act which bans seeds treated with a particular type of pesticide known as neonicotinoid. The move is meant to protect bees which are vulnerable to the pesticide. But it’s seeing pushback from farmers who say it’ll force them to spend more money treating crops.

“This takes away control from the experts to determine what should and should not be used on farms and turns it into a political football,” said Steve Ammerman of the New York Farm Bureau.

Gray says a proposed bill that would allow the city of Ogdensburg to tax state-owned properties like its former correctional facility will have to go back to the drawing board. Mayor Mike Skelly says the bill is crucial for keeping the city financially stable.

“We definitely need it. It could carry us through until the state can repurpose that property and we can develop it. So it’s definitely needed,” he said.

Gray expects the legislative session to continue at least through Saturday. It could possibly stretch through the weekend.