Gov. David Paterson vetoed 34 bills over the weekend -- most of them unfunded grants and mandates -- and signed another 103 measures into law. "The legislature must stop passing legislation that spends money that we can no longer afford," Paterson said in a statement announcing the vetoes.
Among the bills Paterson vetoed was one that requires state agencies to report their greenhouse gas emissions, and one that requires counties to maintain a registry of people with disabilities for the purpose of evacuating and sheltering them during disasters. Another vetoed bill would have provided home cooling assistance through the low-income home energy assistance program.
Those signed into law include a version of the no-fault divorce bill, which makes it easier for couples to divorce in the state. Formerly, New York judges could grant divorce only on grounds of cruelty, adultery, abandonment or imprisonment. Divorce could be finalized only one year after a separation agreement is filed, with both sides consenting.
The new law only requires one spouse to swear under oath that a relationship has broken down for at least six months. Property division, alimony, child custody and support would have to be resolved first.
Paterson said he took the state's economic situation into account when deciding which bills to veto and which to sign into law. "We must adjust our priorities to reflect our economic reality," he said.