From the Mayor: Some Substantive Bills Enacted by the New York State Legislature in 2017 Print

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By Mary C. Marvin, Mayor, Village of Bronxville


Jan. 10, 2018:  January signals the enactment of many laws passed by the New York State Legislature in its 2017 session.

Over 500 bills were signed into law with a goodly number having an effect on village residents.

When seeing 500 new laws passed, I think of the quote on less government that I often refer to, reputedly expressed by Mark Twain, that “no man’s life, liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session.” California beat us by a country mile with over 900 new laws enacted. Many were very substantive and directed to issues of great impact, including opioid addiction, domestic violence, and cancer screening.

The following is a brief description of some of the more substantive bills enacted.

Health

  • Insurers are now mandated to cover the cost of the anti-overdose drug naloxone and cover treatment of substance abuse without a preauthorization requirement.

  • Doctors can now prescribe new and often more costly drugs for serious illnesses without first waiting for the less expensive alternatives to “fail” per most insurance company protocols.

  • Individuals with emotional/drug-related problems may be committed for 72 hours for medical observation vs 24 hours.

  • County health departments now must report and make public opiate overdose data as well as the quantity of Narcan purchased and used.

  • There is now a requirement to post a human trafficking help hotline number at highway rest stops, airports, bus stations, emergency rooms, and adult entertainment establishments. (Currently, over 10 million people are being trafficked worldwide, 1 million of whom are children.)

  • The age of consent for marriage has been raised from 14 to 17.

  • Local courts in locations where a victim of domestic violence is registered to vote are authorized to issue an order to keep such information confidential and not subject to public disclosure.

  • Municipal employees are granted up to four hours of paid leave annually for cancer screening.

  • Certain restaurants, organizations, and arenas may stock epi-pens and use if administered by trained personnel.

  • Laboratories now have an affirmative duty to seek homes for animals used in research.

  • The time has been extended for filing 9/11 illness claims.

Safety

  • Motor vehicles must now pull over for EMTs and volunteer firefighters who display blue or green flashing light protocol.

  • Tinted windows restricting more than 30% of light transmitted through a windshield will now fail vehicle inspections.

  • Courts can now charge individuals involved in alcohol-related boating accidents with repeat offender status if the driver had any prior DUIs or DWIs in any vehicle type.

  • Given that 25% of inmates in New York prisons are of Hispanic descent and 10% are foreign-born, translators will now be offered at all parole hearings.

Miscellaneous

  • There is a generous tax credit for hiring veterans.

  • Uber and Lyft are not granted licenses to operate upstate.

  • The Board of Regents must now provide notice of its meetings at least seven days in advance.

  • State agencies must post proposed or revised regulations on their websites.

  • Homeowners who have graduated from a disaster preparedness course are eligible to receive insurance reduction.

The Unusual

  • Pets are allowed to be buried with their owners in certain cemeteries. (Seventy-three million American households have pets.)

  • Daily sports fantasy games have been reinstated, as they were ruled games of skill vs illegal gambling.

  • Funeral homes will now be eligible to serve beverages and “light fare” food.

  • Craft beer makers receive a tax benefit for every bottle brewed.

Stay tuned as the 2018 session begins!