Another Productive Legislative Session
The New York State Assembly ended its session last week and I am pleased to announce that nine of the bills I authored passed both the Assembly and the Senate. Three of the bills have already been signed into law by Governor Cuomo while the other six await his signature. Here’s a closer look at the nine pieces of legislation:
SIGNED INTO LAW
Chapter 41 Military Service Pension Credit
This law removes the existing date of service limitations and expands eligibility for the military service credit to otherwise eligible veterans regardless of when they served. Previously, veterans were only eligible for military service credit if they served during specified periods of war/conflict.
Chapter 49 Female Genital Mutilation
The law provides that a person is guilty of facilitating female genital mutilation when he/she intentionally aids in the commission or attempted commission of a person circumcising, excising or infibulating female genitalia of a person under 18 years old. FGM refers to a harmful traditional practice, carried out largely on girls under the age of 18. Procedures range from clitoridectomy, the removal of part/all of the clitoris, to infibulation, in which all of the outer genitalia are removed and the vagina is sealed, often with stitches, except for a small opening. .
Chapter 61 Filling BOCES Board Vacancies
This law streamlines the process by allowing a BOCES board to fill a vacancy through appointment, regardless of the date the vacancy occurred. This will relieve BOCES of the burdensome process of filling a vacancy. The appointed person will hold the position until the next election. Additionally, removing the requirement of holding a special election will be more cost effective.
AWAITING THE GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE
A.7181/S.5100 Baby and Infant Safe-Sleep Practices
This bill will help increase public awareness and educate maternity patients about safe sleep practices regarding babies and infants. The legislation amends public health law to require that the informational leaflet provided by hospitals and birth centers to maternity patients include information relating to safe sleep. Babies die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and accidents during sleep each year in New York State. The Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) has noticed an increased number of fatalities reported to the Statewide Central Register in children, mainly infants, while they are sleeping.
A.8650-B/S.6835-B Identifying Human Trafficking Victims
This bill is designed to help physicians and health care workers better identify human trafficking victims. It would require every general hospital, public health center, diagnostic center, treatment center or outpatient department to establish written policies and procedures for the identification, assessment, and appropriate treatment or referral of persons suspected of being human trafficking victims as well as training for physicians, nurses and other clinical care personnel in service units in those facilities regarding those policies and procedures.
A.9918-A/S.6835-B Changing the Title of Acting Justice to Associate Justice
This bill would change the title of acting justice to associate justice in village court. Most village courts in the state have one elected village justice and one acting village justice, who is appointed to supplement the judicial resources of a village court with a single justice. Acting village justices hold an essential role in the village court system and this title change will help to more accurately reflect their service, as well as the recent shift towards giving them increased responsibility and authority.
A.1083/S.1422 Study of Availability of Child Day Care for Working Parents
This bill directs the Office of Children and Family Services to study and report on the availability of child day care for working parents. Lack of access to affordable, quality childcare is a major impediment for women who would like to enter and stay in the workforce. More than a quarter of the 4.3 million working women in New York are working mothers yet there are only 19,000 licensed childcare providers across the state. As a result, far too many women are forced to use less than reliable childcare options, leave their children home alone, cut their own hours at work or simply give up work altogether.
A.9690/S.7153 Tuckahoe Hotel Tax
This legislation amends the tax law in relation to the imposition of an occupancy tax in the Village of Tuckahoe. It authorizes the village to enact a room occupancy tax not to exceed three percent.
A.9723/S.7871 Bronxville Parking
This bill permits the Village of Bronxville to extend its local law allowing for a residential parking permit system for a period of a year, while a construction project is being completed.