Hochul needs to act on 100+ bills passed by state lawmakers

It was a busy year for New York state lawmakers who passed more than a thousand bills this legislative session.

But with only a few weeks to go until the end of the year, Governor Kathy Hochul still has more than 100 bills to sign.

One bill waiting for Hochul’s signature would ban the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits at pet stores.

Some New York City pet stores insist that they use breeders not puppy mills, but Deborah Howard, President of the Companion Animal Protection Society argues that this is not the case.

The bill has been in the works for more than 4 years.

"This is really the most effective way to crack down on the pet shop puppy mill industry," Howard explained. "We're not saying go out of business. You can still be a pet supply store. You can offer animals for adoption."

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Another highly watched bill would require that the state comptroller review state contracts before they are approved in an effort to cut down on corruption.

Some have argued that this policy would have prevented Hochul from overpaying for COVID tests during the height of omicron.

Hochul has so far not committed to signing the bill, but many good government groups have been stressing the urgency.

"Transparency is important, enforcement is more important," Blair Horner, with the New York Public Interest Research Group said. "You can have the best laws in the world, but if there's no cop walking the beat, then you're gonna still have problems."

Hochul waited until after the election to start vetoing bills, but once mid-November hit, Hochul struck down almost 40 bills.

One piece of legislation some business leaders are urging Hochul to veto is called the Justice for Injured Workers Act.

If signed, a worker who is partially disabled due to a workplace injury would receive the full benefit awarded to employees with a total disability throughout their recovery.

Attorney Peter Walsh who represents a number of businesses throughout the state argues this would devastate small employers.

"If you're self-insured municipality that's going to come out of your taxes," Peter Walsh, Attorney at Walsh and Hacker LLP explained. "So your taxes will go up in certain counties and municipalities. If you're a small business, your insurance premiums going to go up."

Another interesting bill that is also waiting for Hochul’s signature would legalize the composting of human remains.

Advocates argue this is greener and less costly than traditional burial or cremation.