Senator Rachel May (D-Onondaga, Madison, Oneida) is proud to announce the passage of three of her bills in the Senate:
- S.557– Establishes portable polling locations for early voting
- S.6334 – Relates to local solid waste management plans, requiring plans to include methods to increase waste diversion.
- S.5959 – Makes mandatory quarterly meetings of the Canal Recreationway Commission not subject to the call of the chairperson
Portable Polling Locations: Unlike many states around the country, New York has taken steps to make voting easier and less confusing. One of the major steps toward greater ballot access is early voting. Creating a broader window for people to cast their ballot is a proven way to increase voter turnout; however, fully accessible allocation of polling places has proven difficult to achieve.
A simple solution to this is to add portable early voting polling places to the regular polling places designated by counties. Portable early voting sites have proven very effective in other states, especially in allowing for expanded access by rural and elderly voters. This legislation creates the option for counties to run two or more portable sites for three consecutive days during the early voting period, allowing them the flexibility to bring early voting to harder-to-reach parts of their districts.
Increased Recycling Programs: Municipalities are responsible for the development of plans to meet the state’s policy to reduce the amount of waste generated, reuse material if possible, recycle and compost. New York state generates about 14 million tons of waste per year, roughly half of which is sent to approximately 30 landfills across the state.
Recycling and composting are essential tools for the diversion of waste from landfills, which produce greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. This legislation ensures that municipalities are considering how to increase recycling and composting in their local solid waste management plans.
Canal Mandatory Meetings: The Canal Law establishes the Canal Recreationway Commission as one of the core governing bodies of New York’s Erie Canal system. This body is made up of stakeholders in areas related to canal usage and development, including representatives of canalway communities, the tourism industry, local planning and economic development agencies and those involved with historic preservation and educational efforts.
Despite ongoing efforts to reimagine and redevelop the Erie Canal, the commission has not met since 2017. This bill will take one small step toward greater collaborative governance of the Erie Canal by reinvigorating the Canal Recreationway Commission.
“Something I love about my job is the variety each day brings,” May said. “This week the Senate is passing several of my bills. So far, my bills to create portable polling locations for early voting, expand municipal recycling plans and improve the Erie Canal administration have passed the Senate. I am very proud of each of these bills which serve my constituents with enhanced government services.”