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The State Assembly has again passed legislation that would protect transgender New Yorkers under the state's human rights law by a vote of 85-46.

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The Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act expands the definition of hate crimes in the state to explicitly include transgender people. The Assembly has passed the bill annually since 2003 but the Senate has failed to do so.

Debate on the Assembly floor yesterday mostly focused on theoretical bathroom situations — something Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell of Manhattan was not amused by. "Spare me your arguments about godamned bathrooms!" he told the chamber.

The bill's sponsor, Assemblyman Richard Gottfrfied of Manhattan, read a statement from Albany Police Cheif Steven Krokoff to the chamber on how Albany's GENDA legislation has not caused any major problems in the city.

Krokoff addressed a group of GENDA lobbyists earlier in the day saying, "I'm proud to be here today! Thank you for allowing me to come here and champion this cause." Gender expression non-discrimination has been law in Albany since 2004.

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Following the Deutsche Bank fire in August of 2007, Sen. Daniel Squadron and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried championed legislation that created the New York State Taskforce on Building and Fire Safety.

This summer, the taskforce issued a report that found discrepencies that allow state-owned buildings in New York City to be exempt from certain fire regulations.

Now both legislators are pushing the City Council to act to plug those gaps. Squadron and Gottfried will be holding a press conference at noon outside of the former Deutsche Bank building on Greenwhich and Liberty streets. Following the conference both legislators will testify at the City Council hearing.

Photo of response to Deutsche Bank fire by Brian Fountain.