Friday, June 18, 2021

NYS legislative session: It’s a wrap

boat inspectionsThe state legislative session is over. What a weird, hybrid year of remote meetings and some in-person, masked meetings. The Capitol remained closed to the public, but more lobbyists held press conferences outside these last few months. Some of my colleagues continued to work out of the Legislative Correspondents Association offices in the Capitol while others, such as myself, worked from home. Everyone adapts.

Now that the whirlwind is over, though, we can reflect on what was done and what wasn’t. In the last flurry of bills this week, lawmakers made an aquatic invasive species inspection law permanent for the Adirondack Park. The bill also gave more authority to the state Department of Environmental Conservation do require these inspections and boat washes. The bill received unanimous support in both houses–a perhaps rare example of an Adirondacks issue that rallied bipartisan support, environmental groups’ support and local governments’ support. Now the governor has to sign off and make it official.

We did not see a conservation design bill get passed, something I wrote about in a previous issue of our magazine. You can read about the bill here, too, on our website. The bill was intended to give more teeth to the Adirondack Park Agency when reviewing proposals for large-scale subdivisions, something more at the forefront of some green groups’ minds as the owner of the 36,000-acre Whitney property begins the application process to split his land into 11 parcels. 

We did not see a constitutional amendment get first passage for Hamilton County to gets its emergency communications tower on Cathead Mountain, among other proposals still waiting in the wings.

Up in Ray Brook, the Adirondack Park Agency approved a new office building for the Olympic Regional Development Authority. Administrative offices in the Olympic Center will relocate for the 2023 World University Games.

Some of you have written me about a proposed quarry near White Lake, which a colleague wrote about here.

Though the legislative session is over, there are plenty of stories to follow and write this summer. Our July/August issue of the magazine will be going to press soon, too.

Editor’s note: This first appeared in Gwen’s weekly “Adirondack Report” newsletter. Click here to sign up.

Adirondack Watershed Institute photo

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Gwen is the environmental policy reporter for Adirondack Explorer.

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