“Organizations like Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson, they travelled across the Hudson Valley, and I was one of them, travelling across the Hudson Valley to Poughkeepsie, to Kingston, to New Paltz, to the City of Newburgh, to Middletown, to Beacon. City of Newburgh was the first fair and welcoming community in Orange County and only the second in the Hudson Valley, and we were proud to be that. We were only one of the few cities to get municipals IDs. We’re proud, we’re hoping to get that with the leadership of our city council [Newburgh City Council approved such IDs],” Lujan says. “But it was all about driver’s licenses. It was all about shedding light on an issue that was so important, about people that were living in fear, fearful of being able to get to work, to take their children to school or just being able to go from point A to point B. It’s always been about driver’s licenses. And this has been a battle we’ve been fighting for years.”
Seven Senate Democrats voted against the bill; six from Long Island and one from the Hudson Valley — James Skoufis of the 39th District. He did not return a request for comment in time for this broadcast. Republican State Senator Sue Serino of Hyde Park says she listened to both sides of the debate on a bill she calls extreme. Serino says county clerks charged with administering the licenses have made it clear that they do not have the resources necessary to effectively verify identities using foreign documents as they would be required to do under the new law.