In this week’s New York state government news, lawmakers stretch Memorial Day weekend into a week off, the New York Court of Appeals takes up physician-assisted suicide, and Uber and Lyft prepare to expand upstate.
Lawmakers will take a break this week before returning June 5 for the final three weeks of their annual session.
The last dash is usually a frantic time when lawmakers rush to pass hundreds of bills and forge last-minute deals on tough issues. This year, however, many of the top priorities for Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders were included in the state budget passed in April — leaving a relatively short list of items for June.
Among the remaining high-profile bills is one that raises the minimum age of marriage to 17. Current law allows children as young as 14 to get married with parental and judicial consent.
Stronger governmental ethics proposals and measures to authorize advance voting are also languishing on the agenda, but there’s little sign of momentum going into the session’s final days.
New York’s highest court on Tuesday will hear oral arguments in a court case that seeks to authorize physician-assisted suicide — a contentious issue that appears to be going nowhere this year in the Legislature.
A proposal before lawmakers would allow someone with a terminal illness to request life-ending medication from a physician. Two physicians would have to certify that the patient’s condition is terminal and that they are mentally competent.
Mr. Cuomo is expected to sign legislation this week to allow Uber and Lyft to begin picking up passengers upstate June 29, rather than ten days later as the state budget permitted.
Uber and Lyft had been limited to the New York City area.