Legislature Passes Package of Voting Reforms
This week a monumental package of voting reforms passed in the Senate and Assembly. The package of reforms included
early voting, same day voter registration, no-excuse absentee voting, pre-registration for 16 and 17 year olds, primary consolidation, state-wide voter registration transfer, and closing the LLC loophole.
We were active at the Capitol the whole day and had League members from NYC, Syracuse, Saratoga, and Albany come for the day to watch the proceedings. Thank you to those who came to witness the historic event! The League's former Legislative Director, Barbara Bartoletti, made the trip to the Capitol to come and watch. She was recognized by a several legislators, including the new Senate Majority Leader, Andrea Stewart Cousins, for her decades of advocacy on these issues.
We participated in a large press conference and
rally alongside our good government partners and a number of social justice organizations. It was truly a momentous day and we are still buzzing from the excitement.
The bills have been delivered to the Governor and he has 10 days to sign them (now 7 as some time has passed). The bills cannot be enacted until he has signed them. Once they are signed some of these reforms will be enacted as early as this year. You can read the League's statement of support here.
Governor Releases Executive Budget Proposal
On Tuesday the Governor released his executive budget plan for fiscal year 2019. The Governor highlighted his Democracy Agenda which includes voting reforms such as making Election Day a state holiday, automatic voter registration, and his own early voting proposal. Unfortunately, his budget does not include funding for any of these reforms nor the reforms passed by the legislature. You can find his full budget proposal here.
We will once again lobby the legislature to ensure funding is allocated for these reforms. Last session the Governor added $7 million for early voting in his 30-day amendments. The funding was not included in the one-house budgets of the Senate and Assembly.
The League will be holding a phone call to update members on the process and our plans for this budget cycle. Keep an eye on your emails and our social media pages for updates.