The New York State legislative session that ended in late June approved a record-breaking number of extreme leftist laws.
Here’s an overview of the Legislature’s most dubious accomplishments:
- The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act: This law forces the state’s electric grids to obtain 70 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2030. The fact that at the present time only 26 percent of our energy comes from renewables to comply with the law within a decade will cost tens of billions of dollars. Who will get stuck with picking up that tab? Ratepayers. The hardest hit will be residents in the state’s economically depressed western and northern regions. And in the unlikely event this scheme succeeds, it will have little overall impact. Ken Girardin, an analyst at the Empire Center for Public Policy, has pointed out: “New York generates just 0.47 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. If the ambitious emissions reduction goals all became a reality overnight, global emissions would be slashed by a grand total of 0.40 percent.”
- Rent Control: This ridiculous law will ensure that real estate developers will not build any new rental apartments. It will also discourage owners from making improvements in existing rentals. Expect scores of apartment buildings to be abandoned by owners because the new law prevents them from earning a fair return on their investment.
- Congestion Pricing: While this law’s tax penalties will not be known until after the 2020 elections, rest assure it will hit hardest middle-class taxpayers, who have no choice but to drive. Sadly, a delusional Gov. Cuomo dismissed the concerns of working-class folks in the city’s outer boroughs, claiming most drivers won’t be affected by the congestion tax because “only very rich people can drive into Manhattan.”
- Driver’s Licenses for illegal immigrants: Despite opposition of a majority of New Yorkers, Democrats rammed through legislation that permits illegal immigrants to obtain licenses beginning in December. State Sen. Thomas O’Mara spoke for many when he said on the Senate floor, “We are treating the people who have broken our law, who are criminals, like law-abiding citizens.” The only sane voice in the Democratic Party concerning this issue has been its state chairman, Jay Jacobs. Although he supports giving licenses “in theory,” Jacobs had the guts to say, “I think there is a measure of arrogance in forcing people to accept things they’re not willing to,” and he advised Long Island Democratic legislators not to give into demands of the “far left.”
- Criminal Justice Legislation: This legislation significantly weakens New York’s penal code and is a boon to the state’s criminal class. It eliminates cash bail for drug traffickers and burglars. It also requires district attorneys to release 15 days after defendants are arraigned the names and addresses of those who witnessed criminal activity. This will permit bad guys released without bail to intimidate citizens who have performed their civic duty. The Albany County district attorney, Democrat David Soares, has rightly complained that this legislation “has transformed the justice system into one in which the only actors handcuffed are judges and prosecutors.” He added, “Local governments will have to shoulder the impact of these impractical mandates, including the inevitable fiscal pressures. But, ultimately, it will be those whom the bill was intended to help who will pay the highest price.”
- Reproductive Health Act: Not satisfied with the state’s 1970 abortion law, radical legislators passed a law that Gov. Cuomo signed to thundering applause and a standing ovation permitting any woman to procure an abortion for almost any reason up to minutes before giving birth. Albany leftists have rejected the longtime positions of many mainstream Democrats, including U.S. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Mayor Ed Koch, that such late-term abortions are tantamount to infanticide.
Lefties gave us all this plus a $175.5 billion budget that has been growing at twice the inflation rate.
Yes, as radical Democrats in Albany are patting themselves on the back, the state is spending $5,565 per second, $480,821,971 per day, $14.625 billion per month and tens of thousands of working-class folks are leaving the state seeking saner living quarters.