2021 NYS Legislative Session & Bills Recap

*For the latest status of the bills listed in this article, click here.


The New York State Legislature wrapped up its session in the early hours today, closing out (at least for now) another extremely busy year of legislative work. The City Bar has an active policy and advocacy component, driven and guided by the work of our committees, and we are pleased to report that, as of today, 20 bills supported by the City Bar have passed both houses, covering issues of: criminal justice reform, nonprofit law, state court litigation, animal welfare, consumer protection, health and substance use, family law, agreements governed by LIBOR and the enforcement of foreign money judgments. A number of these bills have already been signed into law by the Governor, but the majority will need to be further advocated in the coming months to ensure they are enacted. A list of bills supported by our committees that passed the Legislature can be found below; please click on the links for a full summary and the report. This list does not include budget-related items; information on the City Bar’s work related to the budget is here

Thanks to our dedicated committee members for their hard work in drafting comprehensive and informative legislative reports. The past committee year has been an extremely productive one. Our committees have issued or reissued 53 reports commenting on or proposing State legislation. We are privileged that the City Bar is able to provide our reports to legislators for consideration as part of their deliberations. 

We will continue to provide updates on the status of these bills in the coming months, so please make sure to follow us on social media and read the 44th Street eNews and other City Bar publications for updates.

Bill Passed Both Houses, Pending Action By the Governor

  • A.5576 (AM Forrest) / S.1144 (Sen. Benjamin) – the Less is More Act, which will provide much-needed reforms to parole by, among other things, eliminating incarceration for most technical parole violations. Supported by the Corrections & Community Reentry Committee (Gregory D. Morril, Chair), Criminal Courts Committee (Terri S. Rosenblatt, Chair), Criminal Justice Operations Committee (Tess M. Cohen, Chair), and the Mass Incarceration Task Force (Sean Hecker & Sarah Berger, Co-Chairs).
  • A.868 (AM Gottfried) / S.2523 (Sen. Rivera) – will decriminalize the possession and sale of hypodermic needles and syringes. Supported by the Drugs & the Law Committee (Luke C. Schram, Chair), Mass Incarceration Task Force, Corrections & Community Reentry Committee, and Criminal Justice Operations Committee.
  • A.2653 (AM Lavine) / S.1217 (Sen. Benjamin) – will permit the court to grant post-conviction motions to vacate a judgment when the issue raised upon such motion is ineffective assistance of counsel. Supported by the Criminal Justice Operations Committee and Criminal Courts Committee.
  • A.4319 (AM Dinowitz) / S.689 (Sen. Hoylman) – will eliminate the prohibition of a right to a jury trial for B misdemeanors in New York City Criminal Courts, promoting fairness and transparency for non-citizen New Yorkers in our criminal courts. Supported by the Immigration & Nationality Law Committee (Danny Alicea, Chair), Criminal Justice Operations Committee and Criminal Advocacy Committee (Brian Adam Jacobs, Chair).
  • A.459 (AM Gottfried) / S.674 (Sen. Ramos) – the Survivors of Trafficking Attaining Relief Together (START) Act, will amend existing State law to extend the availability of post-conviction relief for survivors of sex and labor trafficking. Supported by the Corrections & Community Reentry Committee, Criminal Courts Committee, Immigration & Nationality Law Committee, International Human Rights Committee (Lauren Melkus, Chair), and Sex & Law Committee (Farah Diaz-Tello & Olympias Iliana Konidaris, Co-Chairs).
  • A.2382 (AM Weinstein) / S.153 (Sen. Thomas) – the Consumer Credit Fairness Act, which will strengthen consumer protections in consumer debt collection proceedings. Supported by the Civil Court Committee (Sidney Cherubin, Chair) and Consumer Affairs Committee (Darren A. Bowie, Chair).
  • A.1141-A (AM Paulin) / S.4817-A (Sen. Krueger) – will remove burdensome and redundant filing requirements placed on charitable 501(c)(3) organizations, and protect the privacy of donors to those organizations who do not engage in lobbying or political activities. Supported by the Non-Profit Organizations Committee (Jacqueline D. Ewenstein & Amarah K. Sedreddine, Co-Chairs).
  • A.6700 (AM Joyner) / S.6357 (Sen. Savino) – the Preserving Family Bonds Act, which will establish procedures regarding orders of post-termination visitation and/or contact between a child and such child’s parent and for modification of such orders. Supported by the Children & the Law Committee (Melissa J. Friedman, Chair), Council on Children (Dawne Mitchell, Chair), and Family Court & Family Law Committee (Michelle Burrell, Chair).
  • A.7796 (AM Meeks) / S.6498 (Sen. Bailey) – will restrict the use of restraints on children appearing before family court. Supported by the Family Court and Family Law Committee and Juvenile Justice Committee (Jennifer Marie Gilroy Ruiz & Maura A. Keating, Co-Chairs).
  • A.8040 (AM Dinowitz) / S.7093 (Sen. Hoylman) – will create a new section in the Civil Practice Law and Rules to relax the New York common law exclusion of hearsay statements of a party’s agent or employee that, if made by the party, would be admissible as admissions. Supported by the State Courts of Superior Jurisdiction Committee (Bart J. Eagle, Chair) and Tort Litigation Committee.

Constitutional Amendments; Will Be Put Before Voters in November Election

  • A.4431 (AM Vanel) / S.360 (Sen. Comrie) – will permit “no-excuse” absentee voting, which would remove from the Election Law any requirement that voters provide an excuse before being issued an absentee ballot. Supported by the Election Law Committee (Katharine G. Loving, Chair) and Government Ethics & State Affairs Committee (Edward L. Murray, Chair).
  • A.502 (AM Carroll) / S.517 (Sen. Gianaris) – will remove the 10-day advance voter registration requirement to provide for same-day voter registration. Supported by the Election Law Committee and Government Ethics & State Affairs Committee.

Signed Into Law by the Governor

  • A.164-B (AM Zebrowski) / S.297-B (Sen. Thomas) – addresses the cessation of the U.S. Dollar LIBOR, which impacts  financial contracts. Supported by the following Committees: Futures & Derivatives Regulation (Gary Edward Kalbaugh, Chair); Investment Management Regulation (Barry P. Barbash, Chair); Securities Regulation (David S. Huntington, Chair); Structured Finance (Christopher J. DiAngelo, Chair); Banking Law (Gregory J. Lyons, Chair); Commercial Law & Uniform State Laws; Real Property Law (Dorothy  Heyl, Chair); In-House Counsel (Jack Gould Lerner & Michael Patrick Hogan, Co-Chairs); and Consumer Affairs.
  • A.1248-A (AM Peoples-Stokes) / S.854-A (Sen. Krueger) – the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, which legalized the production, distribution and use of marijuana for adults over 21 in New York State, while setting up a system to regulate and tax the product. Supported by the Drugs & the Law Committee.
  • A.2277-A (AM Aubry) / S.2836 (Sen. Salazar) – the Humane Alternatives to Long Term (HALT) Solitary Confinement Act, which will restrict the use of segregated confinement and creates alternative therapeutic and rehabilitative confinement options. Supported by the Criminal Courts Committee, Corrections & Community Reentry Committee, Criminal Justice Operations Committee, and the Task Force on Mass Incarceration.
  • A.4448-A (AM O’Donnell) / S.830-B (Sen. Comrie) – will ensure that all formerly incarcerated individuals have the right to vote upon reentry into society, and it would increase clarity regarding franchise rights. Supported by the Corrections & Community Reentry Committee and Election Law Committee.
  • A.3355 (AM Paulin) / S.1351 (Sen. Hoylman) – repeals the “walking while trans” ban (loitering for the purpose of engaging in a prostitution offense). Supported by the LGBTQ Rights Committee (Geoffrey L. Wertime & Danielle King, Co-Chairs), Civil Rights Committee (Zoey Chenitz & Kevin Eli Jason, Co-Chairs), Criminal Justice Operations Committee, Immigration & Nationality Law Committee, and Sex & Law Committee.