2022 Legislative Session Set to Begin

In a few short weeks we will return to Albany for the 2022 Legislative Session. Among my big issues are pushing back against vaccine mandates, advocating for our farmers against a decrease in the overtime threshold and making sure we re-energize our small business community. Along with these overarching issues I have sponsored several bills that I hope are passed during the year.

A.4197 is a bill I am sponsoring aimed at expanding access to affordable and quality broadband. In the North Country and Mohawk Valley we hear far too many stories of folks with spotty-to-no internet coverage. In this day and age, that is simply unacceptable. The bill would remove the “use and occupancy fee,” or fiber optic tax.Slashing this tax will encourage more broadband infrastructure to be built, rather than taxing people right out of the market. The pandemic has taught us that high-quality broadband is a necessity.

A.4208 would guarantee Second Amendment protections for members of the U.S. military. If a member of the military is relocated to New York, this bill would ensure New York state recognizes the pistol or firearm licenses of the former state of residence for 90 days. This allows the service member to complete the New York pistol permit application process and not be found in violation of state licensing laws for that duration of time.

A.7977 is another bill I am proud to sponsor. The bill would establish a “Rural Suicide Prevention Council” to be tasked with examining the ever-growing issue of suicide in our rural communities and coming up with a comprehensive plan to address the issue.Passage of this bill is even more important as we see the negative mental health effects associated with this pandemic.

These are just a few examples of what we are going to be looking at in the coming year. As always, with input or questions on any district-related issue please reach out to my office at blankenbushk@nyassembly.gov or 315-493-3909.