After votes on successive days this week in the Assembly and the Senate, the bill crossed the finish line just before the June 10 close of the legislative session and is now headed to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s desk. If signed, the law would be the second such piece of digital library legislation to pass, following Maryland's.
Notably, New York’s version of the library e-book law could take effect before Maryland’s. Maryland’s law doesn’t take effect until January, 2022, while New York’s legislation would go into effect just 19 days after it is signed into law. The governor has 10 days to sign or veto a bill if that bill was passed during the legislative session—which this bill was. And if the governor doesn’t sign or veto the bill within the allotted time frame, the bill automatically becomes law.
The wild card, observers told PW, is exactly when the bill will be delivered to the governor. While the law must be presented for signing by the end of the calendar year, legislators have some discretion as to when to send the bill to the governor’s desk, and it is not uncommon in New York to hold bills and send them along in packages for the governor’s signature.
Jeremy Johannesen, executive director of the New York Library Association, said he was "absolutely cautiously optimistic" that Cuomo will sign the bill, citing the overwhelming strength of the vote count. “But until it is signed, it’s not signed, and we will continue to advocate.”
At the AAP's annual meeting June 2, AAP CEO Maria Pallante reiterated those claims, accusing library lobbyists and “tech-funded” special interest groups of working to “divert copyright protection away from Congress to state assemblies,” and of spinning a “false narrative.”