200 Bills Signed Into Law and Counting

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed one of my bills into law today. Combined with the two he signed last night I now have 200 pieces of legislation that have been signed into law since I was first elected to the New York State Assembly. I am very proud.

Here are the releases we sent out for the bills.

SCARSDALE – Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-88) is proud to announce that A.474-A/S.1170-A, legislation she authored, was signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday.

The legislation allows social services districts to offer recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) the option to complete a course in financial literacy and personal finance, with such instruction counting towards the 30-hour work activity requirement.

Additionally, the legislation authorizes social services districts to cooperate with the Department of Labor to provide workforce guidance and information regarding nontraditional careers for women to TANF recipients. This would help to encourage women to pursue and secure nontraditional careers, such as jobs in the trades, which pay above-average salaries.

The combination of promoting access to nontraditional careers and offering financial literacy courses will provide low-income women with the tools to attain greater economic security for themselves and their families.

“Encouraging women to pursue careers in higher-paying fields, that they may not have otherwise considered, can help these women to get out of poverty,” said Assemblywoman Paulin, “Similarly, the financial literacy course would provide helpful information for low-income women, particularly as they transition off TANF and into the workforce.”

SCARSDALE – Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-88) is proud to announce that A.2965/S.4172, legislation she authored, was signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday.

The legislation amends current social services law in relation to forwarding reports of abuse. The law requires reports of suspected child abuse or maltreatment of a child be provided to the social services district charged with the care, custody or guardianship of such child when the child has been placed in a home under the care, custody or guardianship of an authorized agency which is not in the social services district that placed the child.

The care and custody of a child may be transferred by a social services district to an authorized agency and the child placed in foster care. There is no requirement that the authorized agency charged with the care and custody of the child and the child’s foster home be located in the same social services district that transferred the care and custody of the child.

Problems arise, however, when the foster home is the subject of a report of child abuse or maltreatment and the foster home is not located in the social services district that placed the child in the foster home. Under the previous law, notice of such report was not required to be provided to the placing social services district. Absent information that the foster home was the subject of a report of child abuse or maltreatment, the placing social services district could continue to place children in the care and custody of that foster home.

“We needed to close gaps in communication between and among authorized agencies and social service districts responsible for the safety and welfare of our children,” Paulin said. “Placing agencies must be informed of reports of suspected abuse or maltreatment involving homes in which they have placed children so that they do not unwittingly place additional children in a situation that risks subjecting them to further abuse or maltreatment.”

Patrick Gallivan (R-59) sponsored the bill in the Senate.

SCARSDALE – Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-88) is proud to announce that A.7394-A/S.5990-A, legislation she authored, was signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday.

The legislation updates the municipal sustainable energy loan program, also known as property assessed clean energy or “PACE,” to enable municipalities to finance more renewable energy and energy-efficiency projects. Currently, PACE financing is only available for commercial properties.

The legislation addresses three barriers that have prevented the PACE program from growing and expanding into more areas of New York State. First, the current law requires that renewable energy must be “used primarily at such property,” which has prevented the use of PACE for remote net-metered and community solar projects. This legislation would update the law to remove this requirement and enable commercially owned property to use PACE for remote net-metered and community solar projects.

Second, under current law, the municipality is required to use federal grants or federal credit support to fund the loan program. However, federal assistance is not always available, or often has restrictions attached to it, which has prevented additional municipalities from participating in the program. This legislation will allow money from New York State or a state authority to be used.

Third, the law currently requires that the amount of the loan shall not exceed ten percent of the appraised value of the real property. While this is not a problem in areas of the state with high property values, in many upstate communities, this ten percent cap prevents valuable projects from moving forward. The bill would create a more flexible standard to apply only for commercially-owned property, which would allow more projects to qualify. This would enable more upstate communities to participate in the program.

“Addressing these three barriers will enable the PACE program to expand, financing more renewable energy and energy efficiency projects,” Paulin said. “It is a valuable tool for helping the State reach its renewable energy goals, and with these modifications, more commercial properties will be able to use it.”

Joe Griffo (R-47) sponsored the bill in the Senate.

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My Crib Bumper Bill Passed By The Assembly

I am proud to announce that A.4151A/S.4055-B, legislation I authored, was passed by the New York State Assembly on Wednesday.

The bill would ban the sale of crib bumpers pads and restrict their use in child care settings. This bill will prevent the deaths of and serious injury to infants which have been attributed to the use of crib bumper pads.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Institute have both issued warnings regarding the dangers of crib bumper pads and have urged parents not to use them.  Bumper pads pose a risk of death or serious injury because babies can get caught in the fabric and suffocate. In fact, the Journal of Pediatrics published a study reporting that 23 babies died in the United States between 2006 and 2012 from suffocation associated with the use of crib bumper pads.

Despite their danger, crib bumper pads remain for sale in New York, and are often showcased in store displays and included in baby bedding sets which gives parents the false impression they are safe to use.

One of the most horrifying things that can happen to a parent is suffering through the death of an infant. And if that death is caused by a crib bumper, the parents would have to live with that for the rest of their lives. They put their child in a crib, thinking they had done the right thing and created a safe environment for the baby. This legislation will ensure that infants will be safer in their cribs.

David Carlucci (D-38) sponsors the bill in the Senate.