Assemblywoman Hunter Delivered for CNY in the 22-23 Legislative Session

“In the wake of a challenging two years battling the COVID-19 pandemic, the rising cost of essential goods, and an increase in crime, I have prioritized the needs of working families this legislative session while providing historic investments to our state that will help the Syracuse area.

“I am incredibly proud to have passed many measures that will directly impact the 128th Assembly District. After conferring with administrators at a nearby school, I passed legislation that would allow a family restaurant in Lyncourt to have a full liquor license. This will allow the restaurant to generate alcohol revenue despite being close to a school.I also worked with the Salina Consolidation Fire District No. 2 to have an exemption from the forty-five percent limit on non-resident members. This ensures that the department can recruit enough members to have safe, fast, and effective responses to nearby emergencies. I worked with my colleagues to included $1.1 billion in the 2022-23 budget to tear down Interstate 81 in Syracuse and replace it with a street-level boulevard. The money stems from the capital plan for infrastructure projects funded by the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure law passed by Congress last year.

“The COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain issues, and Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine have caused the price of crude oil to skyrocket. I helped pass a measure in the 2022-23 state budget that removes the 16-cent per gallon state tax on gas. This suspension began June 1 and will last through the end of the year. The suspension of the state gas tax will help save New York drivers an estimated $585 million. In addition to the gas tax, the budget accelerates tax cuts for middle-class families. The accelerated middle-class tax cuts will save working families $162 million in the fiscal year 2022-23.

“On top of these historic tax cuts, I passed several pieces of legislation that will help working families save more money. To help make home insurance more affordable, homeowners are now only required to cover the mortgager’s interest in a property, and they will have the ability to purchase more insurance if desired. This specific action will help bring down the cost’s homeowners in New York face.

“The pandemic has demonstrated that affordable childcare continues to be inaccessible to many families. To that end, I passed legislation encouraging the new construction of daycare facilities to qualify under PILOT programs. Having more daycare facilities at places of employment will bring down the cost and create more childcare options for Central New Yorkers.

“Supporting our veterans is one of my top priorities in Albany. We owe it to our veterans to ensure that they get the care and compensation they deserve for the injuries they sustained while serving our country. This year, I sponsored and passed legislation making action in New York courts for Agent Orange exposure permanent. This bill will ensure that all veterans of the Vietnam War will be able to have their voices heard. Furthermore, I worked with my colleagues this session to require the Department of Health to create a form for coroners and medical examiners to use while reporting on the death of a veteran by suicide. Having more data on veteran suicides will better inform efforts for prevention. Additionally, we provided $7.6 million to expand counseling services for veterans, and we extended the Hire-a-Vet tax credit to incentivize companies to employ veterans.

“As crime rates have risen in many areas in New York, I worked with my colleagues in the Assembly to help tighten our bail laws and stem gun violence. In the 2022-23 budget, we gave judges more discretion in deciding bail based on several factors; history of gun use, whether they were charged with causing serious harm, and if they violated a restraining order. We have also allowed judges to make it easier to charge someone with illegal gun trafficking and to order someone who is a danger to themselves or the community to be committed. 

“In the wake of the horrific recent mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, my colleagues and I took bold steps to protect New Yorkers and prevent gun violence. We passed a package of bills that would raise the age to buy a semiautomatic rifle to 21, ban most civilians from purchasing bullet-resistant vests, and strengthen the state's red flag laws. I am proud that New York is the first state in the country to take decisive action following the unconscionable and monstrous tragedies we have faced.

“Life insurance policyholders were able to surrender policy for a fixed interest rate. Unfortunately, these rates were sometimes higher than what investments were getting elsewhere. The difference was being paid out by funds from other policyholders within the insurance pool. This would incentivize policy surrenders, making families more vulnerable to losing coverage. I passed legislation that would align policy surrenders with market conditions and keep retained policies sustainable with good returns in the long run. Additionally, I passed legislation allowing insurance policy terms to accommodate freelance/ride-sharing jobs and simplifying the excess line insurance placement affidavit requirements.

“Additionally, I passed several pieces of legislation that would ensure a notice of basic rights posted in social service offices, increased funding for our school districts in the 128th district, and invested in our health care workforce. I am proud to have delivered significant results to the people this legislative session and will continue to help and fight for working families.”