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Weekly Report

Weekly Report for September 22, 2023

Legislative Policy Forum speaker announced for NYSAR’s Fall Business Meetings
NYSAR’s Legislative Policy Forum will be held in-person on Tuesday, October 3 at 8:30 a.m. in the “Mohawk” room as part of NYSAR’s Fall Business Meetings at Turning Stone Resort. We are pleased to have as our guest speaker Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente. Additionally, NYSAR Director of Government Affairs Mike Kelly will be providing a state and federal legislative update.

Republicans win a temporary freeze in New York’s redistricting legal challenge
Republicans won a preliminary round in the latest legal challenge over New York’s congressional districts: the state’s top court on Tuesday declined to force the Independent Redistricting Committee to immediately start drafting new lines. The maps drawn in 2022 were tossed when the courts concluded Democrats did not take the proper steps before enacting them, leading to court-drawn lines that helped Republicans flip three House seats in the state. Democrats have since argued that they should now be allowed to redraft the maps for 2024 rather than rely on the existing ones for the remainder of the decade. The state Court of Appeals is due to hear arguments Nov. 15. Read more here.

Gov. Hochul signs law expanding voting by mail
On Wednesday, Governor Kathy Hochul signed a package of election law bills that includes a measure allowing all registered voters in New York to cast an early voting ballot by mail. A lawsuit challenging the new law was filed by Republicans immediately following the signing of the bill. Another bill signed into law allows New Yorkers to register to vote and cast their ballots at their polling place on the same day on the first day of the early voting period. Read more here.

Cannabis banking bill SAFER Act heads to Senate committee next week
State-sanctioned cannabis businesses would be able to access banks and credit unions under the latest version of a bill supported by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. If passed, the bill, known as the Secure and Fair Enforcement Regulation Banking Act, would allow cannabis operations to make deposits and access insurance and other financial services – activities that are currently illegal under federal law, despite 47 states legalizing some form of medical or recreational cannabis. Read more here.

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