Updated at 12:35 to include Senate sponsor on hydrofracking moratorium.
In addition to the formal announcement of an agreement to overhaul the state’s ethics laws, both houses have plans to take up significant bills today.
The Assembly will vote on legislation that would ban hydraulic fracturing—a much-debated technique to unlock natural gas in the Marcellus Shale and other formations—until June 1, 2012.
A similar bill was vetoed last year by then-Gov. David Paterson, who subsequently issued an executive order ordering a second draft of a document that will guide the hydrofracking permitting process. That document has been under construction by the Department of Environmental Conservation since July 2008, with high-volume hydraulic fracturing on hold until it’s complete.
Sen. David Carlucci, D-Clarkstown, Rockland County, introduced the bill (which can be found here) in the Senate on Friday.
In the Senate, there are plans to take up a bill sponsored by Sen. Jeff Klein, D-Bronx, that would ban the sale of products that combine more than 6 percent alcohol content with stimulants like caffeine.
Klein has been critical of the beverages and other so-called “alcopops,” issuing a subpoena to the makers of now-caffeine-free Four Loko last week.
The Senate will also take up a Marcellus Shale-related bill sponsored by Sen. Thomas O’Mara, R-Big Flats, Chemung County. The legislation, which is sponsored by Broome County Democrat Donna Lupardo in the Assembly, would require land assessments to reflect the value of the current use of the land, and not on the potential of mineral rights underneath it—such as Marcellus gas.
Also on the Senate agenda: an extension of sales-tax rates for a number of counties, including Broome, Tompkins, Westchester, Seneca, Wayne, Dutchess, and Delaware. Both houses of the Legislature have already acted on a handful of these types of bills, which are required for counties to charge a sales tax in excess of 3 percent.