New York passed its 2020-2021 budget Thursday despite COVID-19 uncertainties. The New York State Assembly enacted legislative reforms alongside the budget. The most notable of these reforms include legalizing commercial surrogacy and outlawing the “pink tax.”
In legalizing commercial surrogacy, the state created a Surrogates’ Bill of Rights that ensures comprehensive health insurance and pregnancy termination rights for surrogates. Regarding the “pink tax,” the overpricing of products marketed towards women, New York has banned this overpricing and requires producers to disclose pricing information.
Governor Cuomo praised the New York State Assembly’s efforts on legislative reform alongside the budget during the COVID-19 outbreak:
This is a moment in history unlike any other, and government needs to function and deliver results for the people of this state now more than ever — and that’s exactly what we did with this budget. That the legislature and the Executive got this budget done with all of these policy initiatives is an extraordinary feat, and I praise Speaker Heastie, Leader Stewart-Cousins and every member of the legislature. It would have been very easy to say, ‘Oh, this is an extraordinary year; let’s just do the bare minimum and go home.’ We did the opposite. We said there is a lot of need and there are a lot of issues that need to be addressed, and we stepped up to the plate and we got it done. That it was done this year is really extraordinary.
Complimenting these two large reforms, the New York State Assembly additionally banned hydrofracking, outlawed e-cigarettes, and tightened gun control to exclude those who committed serious crimes in others states from New York gun licensing.