When New York lawmakers introduce legislation, they do so for a two-year period, such as the "2023-2024 legislative session." But the "legislative session" ended on June 21, 2023. How can both of these be true?
The answer lies in the difference between a "session" and a "meeting" in the context of the New York State Legislature. Even though "session" is often used instead of "meeting," the terms are distinguishable. A session is a longer period of time that covers the entire term of the legislators, while a meeting is a shorter period of time that occurs within a session. A session can have multiple meetings, but a meeting can only belong to one session.
The current legislative session began on January 4, 2023, and will end on December 31, 2024. The session is divided into two years because members of legislature are elected to two-year terms. This means that the same legislators who are elected in 2022 will serve in both 2023 and 2024.
The legislature only meets for a few months each year, as determined by the legislative calendar. The first meeting of the current session started on January 4, 2023, and ended on June 21, 2023. The second meeting of the current session will start on January 3, 2024, and end on June 20, 2024. These meetings are also known as regular sessions, as opposed to special sessions that can be called by the governor or by a majority of the members of each house. A special session can be used to address urgent or important matters that cannot wait until the regular session. For example, Governor Hochul announced an extraordinary session of the New York State Legislature on June 30, 2022, to pass new gun safety legislation in response to the United States Supreme Court's decision in NYSRPA v. Bruen.
Bills that are introduced in the first year of a two-year legislative session (such as 2023) are automatically carried over to the second year (such as 2024), unless they are passed, vetoed, or withdrawn. This means that bills that are not acted upon in 2023 can still be considered and voted on in 2024, without having to be reintroduced. However, bills that are introduced in the second year of a session (such as 2024) do not carry over to the next session (such as 2025-2026), and have to be reintroduced if they are not passed, vetoed, or withdrawn by the end of the year.
In conclusion, the two-year legislative session in New York is designed to allow legislators to work through a variety of issues over an extended period of time. By dividing the session into two years, legislators can continue to work on bills that may not have been acted upon in the first year, without having to reintroduce them. This model has been in place for many years and has proven to be an effective way to ensure that important legislation is given the time it needs to be properly considered and debated.
I wrote this blog post with the help of an AI assistant, Bing AI, an advanced algorithms and machine learning technology.