In a rush of bill signings before the end of the year, Gov. Hochul signed a measure on Wednesday that will allow anybody to officiate weddings in New York.
She also approved bills encouraging better roadway designs and fighting pandemic-related fraud.
Anyone over 18 who wishes to solemnize a single marriage may apply for a “one-day designation” under the new marriage law.
Sen. Alessandra Biaggi (D-Bronx), the bill’s sponsor, said in a statement: “Couples in New York will now have the option to be married by their friends or family – allowing them further to involve their loved ones on their special day.”
The new marriage law will go into effect at the end of March, just in time for spring weddings.
By increasing state funding for “Complete Streets” projects, which take a comprehensive approach to street design, another bill approved on Wednesday would encourage safer roadway designs.
States that accept “Complete Street” designs, such as roads designed with walkways, paved shoulders appropriate for use by bicyclists, lane markings, bicycle lanes, signage, crosswalks, and other traffic-calming measures, will receive additional tax money from the state.
“Complete street design is a proven component for attaining that objective if our goal is to establish robust, multi-modal walkable communities while lowering transportation-sector emissions,” the report states.
Hochul also approved a legislation package to punish con artists who use state situations.
The new legislation would strengthen punishments for those who commit fraud and price gouging during national catastrophes like the COVID-19 outbreak and improve rewards for reporting harmful behavior.
In a statement, the governor said, “We are sending a clear message: New York has zero tolerance for fraud, especially in our most critical times of need.”
“These new rules will safeguard New Yorkers, encourage people to report fraud and help with recovery efforts, and crack down on unscrupulous actors and their dishonest attempts to make money during calamities.”
The so-called “right to repair” law is one of several pieces of legislation awaiting the governor’s approval that was approved earlier this year by the Democratic-controlled Legislature.
The law would compel businesses to provide consumers, and independent repair shops access to diagnostic and repair information for digital electronic parts and equipment, including smartphones and PCs.
Despite vigorous lobbying from significant tech corporations, federal authorities have welcomed the bill, and many other states are considering similar legislation.
If Hochul enacts the New York law, it will take effect after a year.
Before the final bill is passed and becomes law, the governor may ask for modifications.
The parts forcing businesses to give repair information for autos, farm equipment, medical devices, and appliances were removed before lawmakers overwhelmingly approved the bill earlier this year.
By Wednesday at midnight, if Hochul has not ratified, modified, or vetoed the bill, it automatically becomes law.