It was a busy end of session for Assemblyman Joe Lentol, this past week. As the State Legislature wound up its business, three Lentol sponsored bills passed both houses of the Legislature and are expected to be signed into law by the Governor.
The first closed a loophole in State law that allowed for the viewing of child pornography, provided that no further action, such as saving files, occurred. The new legislation, in line with Federal standards, made it a crime just to access such material.
Seeking to better protect victims of domestic violence, Lentol’s second bill created new measures, such as the introduction of a new class “A” misdemeanor for the “aggravated harassment” of a family member and expansion of class “E” felonies to include second time offenders. The legislation also protects victims’ addresses from their abusers and allows judges to consider whether a defendant had violated an order of protection or had a history of firearm use when determining whether to release a person or set bail.
Lentol’s third sponsored legislation took aim at restoring the tax credit given to in-State breweries that was recently declared unconstitutional by the State Supreme Court. Under the new law, licensed NYS breweries will receive a 14 cent tax credit for each gallon they brew, up to 6.2 million gallons. The court’s reversal of the earlier credit, which affected breweries making less than 200,000 barrels per year cost brewers tens of thousands of dollars in unexpected taxes. As a result, prices were raised and jobs were lost as the brewers sought to offset the hit.
“I’m happy to see that we were able to come together to pass legislation for the good of New York,” said Lentol. “It’s our responsibility to safeguard the victims of domestic violence and to keep our children safe from predators. It’s also our job to encourage job creation and promote small business success. That’s why New York’s economy is coming back faster than other states.”
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