From 'vampire appliances' to endangered animals: A look at laws signed by Cuomo for the New Year

AP News
December 22, 2019 - 11:46 am

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo is putting his signature on dozens of bills that the newly Democratic-controlled Legislature has passed ahead of the new year.

So far this year, Cuomo has signed over 400 of the 900 bills passed by lawmakers, while he’s vetoed several dozen bills that he has largely said lack funding. That’s a lot more bills than typically land on the governor’s desk — usually around 500 to 600, according to Cuomo spokesman Richard Azzopardi.

Cuomo typically faces a 10-day deadline to act on bills after they are passed by the Legislature, but the clock doesn’t start until they land on his desk.

Here’s a look at some bills recently signed by the governor:

HIV DRUGS: New York will now require sexual assault victims to receive the full 28-days course of an HIV-prevention medication. The governor says he and lawmakers have agreed to make sure minors, who may not be able to involve parents or guardians in their health decisions, can immediately access the regimen.

VAMPIRE APPLIANCES: State regulators will take aim at “vampire appliances” by adopting energy performance standards for certain common household appliances. Democratic Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy says it’s estimated U.S. residents spend $19 billion in electricity and energy costs from such appliances, which can remain on when not in use.

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: New York will start working on an inventory of the state’s electric vehicle infrastructure and look at any geographic gaps under a newly signed bill. Fahy says the legislation will look at where the availability of charging stations, for example, is insufficient.

DIVERSE TV WRITERS: Cuomo also signed a bill to create a tax credit for production companies that employ women and minority television writers and directors.

SEA TURTLES: Cuomo signed a bill to create a protection area for marine mammals and sea turtles around Plum Island, Great Gull Island and Little Gull Island — which are off of Long Island.

LEAD IN KIDS’ JEWELRY: Another bill signed into law creates a labeling requirement for children’s jewelry that contains lead. The governor said tweaks to the bill are needed to update the lead standard to current federal standards and make it easier for the state to enforce the requirement.

ADULT CARE FACILITIES: Residents of New York’s adult care facilities will have the right to be fully informed of their medical conditions, proposed medication or health care services, among other rights guaranteed under a recently signed bill.

AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY COMMISSION: The state is tasking a new commission with studying the 400 years of African-American history in New York and the U.S. since the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in Virginia in 1619. But Cuomo says the bill’s original timelines were too ambitious and that lawmakers have agreed to remove “financial and operations hurdles” in the bill, which he approved.

ENDANGERED ANIMAL SALES: New York environmental regulators will be able to designate a species as vulnerable and prohibit the un-permitted sale of articles made from the animals under a bill that Cuomo signed. Cuomo says he and lawmakers have agreed to change the bill so the state environmental agency can label a species as vulnerable if it could become endangered or threatened in the foreseeable future.

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