Legislative session officially wraps up in Albany

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ALBANY, NY (WENY)– In the final hours of legislative session, the New York State Assembly debates a handful of bills on a variety of issues. 

Tuesday, the Assembly passed legislation that would authorize filing motions to vacate judgment for a conviction that was decriminalized.

Some Democratic lawmakers said this legislation is an important step for criminal justice reform. 

“At the end of the day, we need to take good steps forward on correcting a lot of wrongs that we’ve done in our justice system,” said Assembly Member Jonathan Rivera (D-Assembly District 149).

While some Republican lawmakers said it’s important to prevent wrongful convictions, the legislation goes too far. 

“This just seems like another policy being advanced by the Assembly and Senate democrats, their criminal justice policies, that continue to scale the justice and favor the interests of criminals over the interests of crime victims and law enforcement,” said Assembly Member Phil Palmesano (R-Corning). 

One bill taken off the table, would further the process of the Seneca Nation of Indians gaming compact. The bill would pre-authorize the Governor to sign the compact once an agreement is met. 

The Assembly Speaker announced Friday, the Assembly will not be voting on this compact.


Assembly Member Palmesano said he is supportive of the vote being pushed off.

“There’s a number of concerns and I think the idea—the news that was leaking out that the Seneca’s are looking to build a casino in the Rochester, Finger lakes area. That’s got a lot of people concerned including myself. I’m adamantly opposed to a casino being built in the Rochester, Finger lakes area,” Palmesano said. 

Lawmakers could come back for a special session to vote on this bill. 

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