Assemblymember Steck’s Statement on the Close of the Legislative Session

"Wednesday night, my colleagues and I closed out the 2023-2024 Legislative Session. While not every single one of my priorities passed this session, I am extremely pleased to report that I was able to pass three bills that will have a direct impact on my constituents and all New Yorkers.

“It is rare in New York that fees or taxes are eliminated, especially on things that affect all citizens.So, I am especially proud to have passed a bill to remove the $20 fee required to be collected for each burial, removal, or transfer permit issued on and remitted to the State in order to fund the State's Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS). This fee amounts to a perpetual $20 per death tax collected by the state and paid for by funeral homes. The fee is no longer needed since it was supposed to fund the establishment of the EDRS and the EDRS has been established.

“I was able to pass legislation that modernizes and streamlines the regulation of commercial insurance by expanding the types of insurance that can be written without the Department of Financials’ prior approval of rates. This law has been proven successful in ensuring that commercial policyholders have as much flexibility as possible in negotiating policies with insurers that are tailored to their needs. This does not affect consumer-oriented policies.

“I also passed a bill that would require sellers of property to remove restrictive covenants prior to the sale of property, which discriminates based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, familial status, marital status, disability, national origin, source of income, or ancestry. Restrictive covenants are provisions in a deed, mortgage, or other housing document that exclude classes of persons who may acquire property ownership.

"Due to numerous chapter amendments requested by the Governor, which cause bills already passed to be brought up again for debate, the New York State Assembly was not able to pass as many bills as we did last year. My legislation to allow the 14 New York State inpatient addiction treatment centers to provide concomitant treatment for the mental health and health care needs of individuals admitted for a substance use disorder unfortunately was not able to get a vote on the floor. This legislation passed the Senate unanimously and my committee, the Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Committee unanimously, and was included in the Assembly Budget Resolution. I remain fully committed to ensuring this legislation passes next session. The reason it did not make it in the final budget was because the Governor generally does not wish to hire additional state employees, and this bill would require spending $3-5 million per year to hire psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical social workers, and psychiatric nurses.

“I call on my colleagues and the Governor to continue to support meaningful legislation that will ensure our state lives by the values set by our former Governor and esteemed President Franklin D. Roosevelt.