ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — This week on Empire State Weekly, state lawmakers in the Senate and Assembly passed an Amendment to the New York constitution. The amendment will be on the ballot for voters in 2024.

Erica Smitka, the Deputy Director for the League of Women Voters, explained that if passed, the amendment would update the state’s constitution to protect against discrimination based on several factors, including; gender identity, sexual orientation, and age. It also includes protecting the right to make choices on pregnancy outcomes. Smitka encouraged voters to participate in the vote to ensure the amendment is added to the state constitution.

Also this week, a recent report from the state department of health shows that opioid overdose deaths are up 14 percent from 2020. The Commissioner of the Office of Addiction Services, Chinazo Cunningham, said that the state is in the “worst place ever” when it comes to opioid overdoses and deaths. Cunningham explained that the synthetic opioid fentanyl is driving overdoses because it is being added to other drugs, and users are unaware that they are taking it.

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