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2011 Legislative Wrap Up

While bills are still being delivered to the Governor’s office for his action, the 2011 New York State legislative term has already produced positive results for the City Bar committees who contributed to our advocacy efforts this year.  The Marriage Equality Act – supported by 20 committees - will extend the right to marry to same-sex couples in New York.  The Public Integrity Reform Act of 2011 – supported by the Government Ethics, State Affairs and Professional Responsibility Committees - will bring much needed reform to our state government.

In addition, City Bar committees saw a number of their legislative proposals enacted into law:

  • A.8297-A / S.5801, which relates to the exercise of a power of appointment and an authorized trustee's authority to invade trust principal.  This bill was proposed by the Trusts Estates and Surrogates’ Courts Committee and the Estate and Gift Taxation Committee.  
  • A.7729 / S.5519, which modifies certain formulas construed to refer to the federal estate and generation-skipping transfer tax on estates of decedents dying during 2010.  This bill was also proposed by the Trusts Estates and Surrogates’ Courts Committee and the Estate and Gift Taxation Committee.
  • Legislation which will expand the geographical jurisdiction for crimes closely related to identity theft or the unlawful possession of personal information.  This bill was proposed by the Criminal Justice Operations Committee. 


Our committees also provided comments on existing pieces of legislation which were ultimately signed into law.  Those bills include: 

  • A.2063-C / S.4454-B, the “Good Samaritan Bill”, which provides limitations on use of evidence obtained in connection with a person seeking or receiving health care for a drug overdose. This bill was supported by the Drugs and Law Committee. 
  • A.624 / S.3762, which provides that certain defenses relating to proper service on a third-party plaintiff by a plaintiff may not be asserted in the answer of a third-party defendant. This bill was supported by the State Courts of Superior Jurisdiction Committee. 

Substantive legislative changes can also appear in the annual compendium of budget bills.  This year, several committees commented on measures included in the 2011-2012 New York State Budget involving legal services funding, New York City zoning authority, changes to Medicaid coverage and juvenile justice reform.  For details on the budget provisions and committee reactions, click here.

Our committees were also engaged in advocacy at the City Council level.  The Civil Rights Committee suggested modifications to New York City Council Int. 632, which relates to unlawful discriminatory practices in the area of religious expression.  Those suggestions were largely accepted and the legislation was enacted.  The Criminal Courts, Corrections and Immigration and Nationality Law Committees supported Int. 656, which will place reasonable limits on the collaboration between the New York City Department of Corrections and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement with respect to civil immigration detainers.  The Committees provided testimony before the New York City Council’s Immigration Committee in October.  The bill was passed by the City Council on November 3rd and the Mayor has indicated his support.

The 2012 session begins in early January and the City Bar will continue to advocate committee positions until the close of session at the end of June.  Look for continuing legislative updates in the 44th St. Notes and on the City Bar’s Legislative Affairs page


November 10, 2011