Hochul vetoes Grieving Families Act after 11th hour push for changes to bill to reform NY wrongful death law

“Gov. Hochul has turned her back on the people who deserve the opportunity to seek justice the most,” said Tom Valet, president of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association and partner at Rappaport, Glass, Levine & Zullo.

“Until it is changed, the wrongful death statute will continue to deliver uneven justice for communities of color, women, children, seniors, people with disabilities, and those with low incomes,” Valet said.

The veto came late Monday, hours after Hochul publicly raised concerns about the bill and the manner in which it was passed by the Legislature in an 11th hour op-ed published by the Daily News.

Lawmakers accused the governor of failing to negotiate in good faith and noted that the bill had been debated in Albany for years after first being introduced nearly three decades ago. It was approved with bipartisan support in both houses last June.

“With the resources of the entire state government at her disposal, it’s inexplicable the governor failed to review the bill during this seven-month period,” said Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal (D-Manhattan) and Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein (D-Brooklyn) said in a joint statement.

Hoylman-Sigal and Weinstein accused Hochul of waiting “until the eleventh hour to raise the need for further statistical analysis, which would seem to be a tactic to gut the legislation or delay its implementation indefinitely.”

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