Now that it appears that winter is finally behind us I wanted to give you a mid-session legislative update.
We passed the fourth consecutive on-time budget. I am pleased that our work resulted in increased school aid for all the schools in my Assembly district. The budget also includes additional funds for child care statewide, which will eliminate waiting lists, and monies to support the Safe Harbor Act which protects sexually exploited children.
Thanks to all my constituents who contacted me to weigh-in on the proposed NYS budget as your opinion certainly helped to inform my advocacy.
With the budget behind us I continue my work as Chair of the Assembly Energy Committee and to pass legislation. Because the practice of human trafficking remains a societal scourge, the Trafficking Victims Justice and Protection Act remains on the top of my to-do list this session. This builds on a law I passed last year to protect people from traffickers and seeks to protect 16-and 17-year olds who are caught up in prostitution.
As an advocate for families and their children, my Parent and Child Security Act remains a priority. Many New Yorkers face the heartbreak of infertility. My bill would allow for in-state surrogacy arrangements and provide for legal certainty for all parties to the arrangement.
As I am sure you know, during last session the legislature passed the SAFE Act to address issues relating to gun violence. There is a loophole, however, and my safe storage legislation requires that all gun owners safely store their guns in safes or render them incapable of being fired by using a gun locking device or cap. This bill is named for a child who was shot by a 12-year-old friend with his father’s unsecured gun.
This common-sense legislation has been found to reduce accidental shootings of children and is the law in 27 states.
Finally, I am supporting the effort to legalize medical marijuana in New York. As with all legislation, it is a matter of weighing the risks and benefits and in this case the benefits that would come with making medical marijuana a tightly regulated “medicine” far outweigh the objections. Not only could we ease the suffering of the terminally it, we could help those with a host of conditions not helped by other medication. As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office if I can be of assistance.
Wishing all a Happy Passover and Easter!