‘The Gray Area’ Addresses a Full Week of Voting, Discusses Pros and Cons of Certain Bills

Assemblyman Scott Gray (R-Watertown) released the latest episode of “The Gray Area” video series. In this week’s episode emphasizing the “busy week” in Albany and the high level of legislative activity, Gray discussed two of the numerous bills passed in session and their impacts on the North Country as well as two bills that haven’t gotten to the floor and their potential effects on the North Country if they were to pass.

The first bill was A.9102, or “Medicaid enhancement,” Gray stated. “It provides our emergency medical services (EMS) community with reimbursements for both vital services like treatment-in-place (TIP) and transport to destinations other than the emergency room (ER), like diagnostic or different treatment centers, such as behavioral health. On one hand, it’s a Medicaid enhancement. On the other, it’s cost containment in terms of reducing ER visits. I’m optimistic it will improve our emergency services out in the field as well as ER situations in many hospitals. The other bill is A.6136, which provides toll-free operation on state thruways for fire or emergency vehicles. This would be a cost-reduction for the EMS community in terms of operating on a thruway.

“The poorer bill is A.6353, the Better Bottle Bill, which has a lot of opposition from distributors and retailers across New York state. I am always environmentally conscientious, considering the beautiful land we have in the North Country between the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River areas. However, there is a balance, such as how we affect affordability and consumer costs like those at the grocery store. There’s a balance to be maintained with every one of these legislations. I’m not sure the bill will be coming forward given the amount of opposition. A.5322 is the widely known Packaging Reduction and Recycling Infrastructure Act. A common simplified example of what this bill might impact is the individually wrapped slices of cheese seen in grocery stores. Again, there’s a lot of cost to consumers in this bill. It really is a matter of balance between the environment, cost to consumers and timing. Both bills have a tremendous amount of opposition, so we’ll keep watching those and will let you know what’s happening.

“Look out for next week’s episode of The Gray Area as we continue to update you on what you care about. We always appreciate the opportunity to serve you and to work with you. Don’t hesitate to call my office staff with questions, comments or concerns—see you soon, and have a great weekend,” Gray concluded.

Watch the full episode here: https://youtu.be/xMtSXHDI5Wk?si=WCfxU-k-GldD1Qb8