The New York State Assembly ended its session this week and I am pleased to announce that 18 of the bills I authored passed both the Assembly and the Senate and are awaiting the governor’s signature. Some highlights include:
A506/S7 Strengthening our response to Human Trafficking
This bill expands human trafficking laws by, among other things, increasing the accountability of buyers and traffickers, providing law enforcement with additional investigative tools to identify traffickers, increasing awareness among law enforcement regarding recognition of trafficking victims and referral of services, and providing victims recourse to recover damages from their traffickers.
A134/S3483 Female Genital Mutilation public awareness campaign
Provides for public outreach and education about female genital mutilation (FGM), including “vacation cutting,” a practice in which girls are sent out of state or the country, typically during school vacation, to undergo FGM and the physical, sexual and psychological consequences.
A2469-A/S4394-Waives Mandatory Charges for sex-trafficking victims
Requires the court to waive all mandatory charges and fees where sex trafficking victims are convicted of a misdemeanor or a violation. These charges usually result in the victim’s trafficker paying the required amounts, further chaining the victim to her trafficker, and continuing the cycle of commercial sexual exploitation.
A86/S3486 Provides Information to Sex Offense and Child Pornography Victims
This bill promotes counseling programs for victims of sexual offenses and child pornography. These victims face trauma-related psychological disorders, including depression and alienation that may affect them for years.
A1233A/S76A Open Meetings On-line
Requires meetings open to the public be broadcast on-line sparing citizens from burdensome travel, preventing misinformation, and reducing FOIL requests.
A1438-B/S533-B Awards Attorney Fees in Freedom of Information Cases
Requires attorneys’ fees to be awarded when there is a material violation of Freedom of Information Law (FOIL), promoting transparency, incentivizing disclosure and making it easier for individuals to challenge unreasonable denials.
A123-B/S4739-A Pharmacists may Administer Immunizations
Authorizes pharmacists and nurse practitioners to administer immunizations to prevent shingles, meningitis, tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough, and continues their ability to immunize against influenza. This will make access to these immunizations easier, and increase their effectiveness.
A.8174-A/S.5937 Veterans’ Equality Act
This bill recognizes the service of all of our veterans by allowing them to purchase up to three years of service credit in the state retirement systems.