‘The Gray Area’ Unpacks the Enacted State Budget, Discusses Egregious Bills Introduced in Assembly

Assemblyman Scott Gray (R-Watertown) released the latest episode of “The Gray Area” video series. In this week’s episode, Gray unpacks language changes and updates within the enacted 2023-24 state budget. Gray also highlights Assembly bills that were on the agenda this week, including a bill that will provide medical care to minors for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) without parental or guardian consent, and a bill that would prohibit landlords from reporting a late rent payment to a consumer credit reporting agency.

“Now that the state budget is passed, it’s important to unpack it so the public understands what exactly has happened and how the decisions made will affect both their state and their own lives. The Concealed Carry Improvement Act has undergone language changes allowing people to use firearms for historical reenactments, military ceremonies, funerals, honor guards and some other services. While this legislation is generally bad, this change takes a bad bill and makes it a little bit better,” Gray said.

“Another big update in the budget is the expansion of NYPA’s footprint. The New York Power Authority is now allowed, and encouraged, to go into other renewable energy projects such as wind and solar. I want to assure you I am listening to your concerns regarding this change. I met with NYPA representatives and expressed these concerns—about taxation, monopolizing this sector and more—on behalf of my constituents in the 116th district. I will continue to advocate for local control of land-use with regard to renewable energy projects as this is critically important to communities around the 116th and around the state in general.”

“This week, some concerning bills were introduced in the Assembly, which had my phone ringing off the wall. Assembly Bill 276A will allow for minors to receive medical care for STDs without the consent or knowledge of their parents or a guardian, and non-disclosure from insurance companies. Why are we taking away the rights of parents to actually parent their children? This is not acceptable; the state should not know more about children than their own parents. Another huge issue is Bill A.2192, which would prohibit a landlord from reporting a late rent payment to a consumer credit reporting agency. Fortunately, through bipartisan opposition to this bill, it was pulled.

“On a lighter note, it was a great week for visitors at the Capitol and a pleasure to see Homeschool New York, NYSCOPBA, and Independent Producers of New York here. We also welcomed the new president of Fordham University, Tania Tetlow, the first woman to lead the university. Adirondack Day was this week, a great experience that brought the Adirondacks to the Capital Region. Look out for next week’s episode of The Gray Area as we continue to update you on what you care about. As always, I look forward to seeing you in Albany and back in the district. Don’t hesitate to call my office staff with questions, comments or concerns—it is our privilege to serve you,” Gray concluded.