Statement by City Bar President Roger Juan Maldonado on the End of the New York State Legislative Session
The 2019 New York State Legislative Session has been one of the busiest and most productive in recent memory. The Legislature and Governor Cuomo have passed a great deal of legislation that, in many cases, will change the legal landscape of New York State. Certain new measures – long supported by the City Bar and well known to the public – will mean significant change. These include crucial voting and election law reforms, greater protections for transgender and immigrant New Yorkers, changes to our criminal justice system that will make it more just and equitable, and enhancements to our reproductive health laws. No less critical are bills that passed which make changes to the day-to-day administration of the law in order to ensure New York utilizes systems that are efficient, modern and consistent with the practices of other states. These measures – like the Uniform Voidable Transactions Act, Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act, and a bill that gives judges greater discretion when extending jury deliberations – are important to our members’ daily practice. While we still have work to do, we expect to enter the next legislative session ready to promote our positions that did not ultimately pass, but that made tremendous forward progress, including bills that will modernize the administration of class actions, legalize compensated gestational surrogacy and the adult-use of marijuana, and further reform the criminal justice system. We thank our members for their work on these important issues, and now turn our sights towards the next session as we start planning how best to direct our energy and efforts towards these policy goals.