The New York State Assembly ended its session on Friday and I am pleased to announce that 16 of the bills that I introduced passed both the Assembly and the Senate and will, at some point, be sent to the governor to be signed into law.
Here are some of the highlights regarding the legislation about which I am extremely proud:
7188A Visitation and Custody
This bill terminates the parental rights of a convicted rapist. While it may seem like common sense, current law doesn’t restrict the rapist’s visitation or custody rights. So the bottom line, right now, is that if a woman is sexually assaulted and a child is the result of that assault then the possibility exists that she would be forced to raise her child with the person who raped her.
8071A Human Trafficking
Anyone who has paid close attention to what I’ve been working on for many months knows that one of my objectives is bringing an end to the practice of human trafficking. While the majority of what I wanted to get done got stalled as part of Governor Cuomo’s 10-Point Women’s Agenda, this provision was voted on as a stand alone and it passed. This will provide that local criminal courts shall treat and retain persons 16 and 17 who commit certain prostitution offenses as Persons In Need Of Supervision (PINS) rather than treating them as criminals. The victims in these crimes are most often young women, girls really, who have had their childhood stolen and their lives left in ruin because of greedy, depraved individuals. My goal is to help all of these women and provide them with an opportunity to rejoin society and recapture as normal a life as possible. Remember, People Are Not For Sale.
7642 Adult Protective Services Best Practices
This bill provides best practices guidelines for adult protective services. When we think of abuse in the home, our thoughts often go to how children are mistreated. Adults are often the targets of abuse, too. This bill will aid in providing those adults, many of whom are elderly, with the care and protection that they can’t give themselves.
2288A Eastchester Fire Elections
The Eastchester Fire District will be held during the general election in November rather than on a separate day in December. As a former League of Women Voters president, I strongly believe in franchising voters. By moving the election to Election Day in November, voters will have longer hours to vote in their usual polling places. The goal is an increase in voter turnout for the fire district election.
490A Hannah’s Law
Named after Yorktown resident Hannah Devane, this bill requires that every health insurance policy or contract which provides coverage for prescription drugs include coverage for the cost of enteral formulas administered orally or via feeding tube. This legislation is critical because it will mean children like Hannah will no longer have to use an invasive feeding tube simply because it is the only method the insurance company covers. Children who suffer from these types of diseases already have a difficult time. Why needlessly make their lives and the lives of their family members more traumatic?
5114B Pet Lemon Law
As a pet owner, I am always looking for a way to ensure the safety and well being of the animals that mean so much to us. This bill discourages pet store owners from buying dogs from puppy mills. It also helps protect the rights of the consumer once an animal is purchased.
7197 BOCES Lease Extension
This bill will help keep property taxes down by saving school districts money. BOCES will be allowed to enter into 20-year lease agreements instead of 10-year agreements and BOCES lease payments will now match State reimbursements.
6366 Fuel Cell Remote Net Metering
This bill encourages the use of fuel cells, an alternative energy source, by allowing customers to apply credits generated in one building to the meter of another. Remote net metering is already permitted for solar, wind, farm waste and micro hydro-electric generating equipment.
493A State E-Bonds
This bill will save municipalities and school districts money by allowing them to submit sealed bids electronically in the bond-bidding process instead of using paper bids. It would extend the cost savings of electronic bidding currently used by Westchester County to every municipality in the State.
2116C Restaurant Grading
Customers will be able to make a more informed decision as to where they want to eat based on how many violations a particular restaurant has received. The bill requires local Departments of Health to post restaurant inspection results on their respective websites for the most recent three-year period.
Just because session has ended doesn’t mean I have stopped working for the people of my District and the rest of New York State. I will be continuing my work through the summer months as part of my position as NYS Energy Committee Chair. In fact, I will be participating in the Legislative Energy Horizon Institute program next month in Washington State. It’s a 60-hour program that will provide me with greater knowledge as to how energy is produced, distributed and delivered to consumers. It will also provide me with an improved ability to address the energy needs in New York State.
As always, feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns you might have regarding any of these or other issues.