Issues: Families

Senator O’Brien, women’s rights advocates announce bill to minimize harmful impact of Hobby Lobby decision

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Senator Ted O’Brien, joined by leading women’s rights advocates from the Rochester and Finger Lakes region, announced his co-sponsorship of legislation that would require employers to notify their employees before changing their insurance plans to restrict access to contraception. The bill comes in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision allowing corporations to exclude certain forms of contraception from their health care coverage.

August 18, 2014
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Senator Valesky Congratulates Art Contest Winner

Congratulations to Tyler O'Connor, 7, for winning Senator Valesky's Summer Art Contest in the 10 and under category out of all entries from the Town of Sullivan Playground Program. Tyler's winning artwork is shown in the inset.

August 15, 2014
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Senator Valesky Donates Backpacks and School Supplies

Senator Valesky stopped at the First Presbyterian Church in Chittenango to donate backpacks full of school supplies to the Chittenango Area Association of Churches school supplies drive held in August. Midge Daviau, chair of the school supplies drive, and her grandkids Aime and Tyler accepted the donation.

August 15, 2014
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2nd Annual AutismUp Kite Flite

I was pleased to join AutismUp for its second annual Kite Flite on Saturday morning at Rothfuss Park in Penfield. AutismUp has quickly become our area's leading autism organization, supporting individuals and families dealing with the Autism Spectrum Disorder. Thanks to everyone who came out in support or donated to Kite Flite. For more information visit www.autismup.org.

Click here to see more photos from this great event.

August 11, 2014
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Senator Parker Announces Support For New Mothers And Their Families

(Brooklyn, NY) - Senator Kevin Parker today announced new support by New York for post-partum services to new mothers and their families. The legislation signed into law today was introduced by Senator Liz Krueger, cosponsored by Senator Parker and five other Senators, and passed both houses of the Legislature with bi-partisan support.

August 7, 2014
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Senator Kennedy Announces New Law to Increase Mandated Child Abuse Reporters Working in Schools

Governor Signed Bill that Senator Kennedy Cosponsored to Expand and Clarify the Ranks of Mandated Reporters Looking out for Children in School and after School.

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Senator Tim Kennedy, D-Buffalo, today announced a new law that will increase the ranks of mandated reporters working in schools across the state. The legislation, which Senator Kennedy cosponsored, will expand and clarify the school officials required to report suspected child abuse by designating school coaches as mandated reporters. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed this bill into law today.

August 6, 2014
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Roosevelt Avenue Is 'Epicenter' of NYC Sex Trafficking, Officials Say

As reported by DNA Info:

QUEENS — Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights is “a mecca of human trafficking” where women from countries including Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela are being sexually exploited, elected officials said Thursday.

And Queens is the center of the city's trafficking problem, with nearly 60 percent of the city's victims who come forward looking for help.

Roosevelt Avenue has a number of brothels, state Sen. Jose Peralta, who represents Corona, Elmhurst and Jackson Heights, said at a press conference where he discussed an initiative to provide foreign-born victims of sex trafficking with free legal representation on immigration issues.

“Roosevelt Avenue is a mecca of human trafficking in Queens and throughout the five boroughs,” Peralta said.

For full article, click here.

July 22, 2014
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Anuncian Proyecto Para Víctimas de Tráfico Humano

Según ha informado Telemundo 47:

En queens, un proyecto contra el trafico humano, trata de proteger a inmigrantes, para que no caigan en las redes del trafico sexual. Funcionarios, activistas y sobrevivientes lo presentaron frente a la corte criminal de queens. Yaima crespo nos trae los detalles.

Las victimas de trafico humano en la ciudad de nueva york, en su mayoria mujeres hispanas que se convierten en esclavas sexuales, ahora tendran acceso a representacion legal gratis de reconocidas firmas de abogados y ademas recibiran asesoria para legalizar su estatus migratorio. "Ellos me ayudaron con mi caso de inmigracion, me hicieron mi estatus legal en este pais, que yo estaba en deportacion , y a recuperar la a mis hijas."

Para el vídeo completo, haga clic aquí.

July 22, 2014
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Opinions on Immigration Issues

As reported by NY1:

Kathy Hochul is not backing down from her position that immigrants who are here illegally should be prevented from obtaining driver's licenses. She opposed the plan in 2007, citing national security concerns, and reiterated the point in an interview on Inside City Hall Thursday.

"I'm not sure what's changed in that dynamic," Hochul said.

That's a tall order for some Latino officials, who were told Hochul's views would evolve much like they have on gun control. Once a strong Second Amendment supporter, Hochul now says she favors tougher gun laws.

For full article, click here.

July 22, 2014
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Little Helpers, Senator O'Brien help School #33 with books, food

In April, the Little Helpers of Pittsford and I teamed up to supply food and books to deserving students at School 33 in my district, as pictured here.

A profile in the July 17 edition of the Brighton-Pittsford Post highlighted some of the Little Helpers' other charitable activities.  I am proud to have worked alongside them on a number of those activities, and I encourage local parents whose children are interested in volunteering to visit the Little Helpers Facebook page.

July 21, 2014
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$10.9 Million Awarded for After-School Programs

New grants, totaling $10.9 million have been awarded to 68 Advantage After School Programs (AASPs) across New York State, providing thousands of school-age children with quality youth development opportunities for three hours at the end of each school of school-age children with quality youth development opportunities for three hours at the end of each school day.

July 21, 2014
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Kennedy, Peoples-Stokes, Wisniewski Family Call for GPS Stalking Bill, Known as Jackie’s Law, to be Signed into Law

Legislation Prompted by Jackie Wisniewski’s Story Now Awaits Governor’s Signature to Become Law.

Prior to her death, Jackie found a GPS device installed on her car, tracking her whereabouts. Legislation passed by Kennedy and Peoples-Stokes updates NY’s stalking laws to crackdown on GPS stalking.

This legislation aims to combat domestic violence – in 2012 over 6,300 Erie County residents became victims of domestic violence, and over 4,000 of those victims were women.

July 17, 2014
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Third Annual Jay-J Day Picnic Celebrates Boy Who Inspired Law to Toughen Penalties Against Child Abusers

After Hearing Jay-J’s Story, Senator Kennedy Authored Jay-J’s Law and Ushered It Through Legislature.

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Senator Tim Kennedy joined the Retzer family and Jay-J Bolvin today for the third annual Jay-J Day Picnic. This annual event serves as an opportunity to celebrate Jay-J, a four-year-old boy whose story inspired a new law – Jay-J’s Law – to strengthen penalties against child abusers.

July 12, 2014
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Legislative Notebook: State Initiatives of Interest to Veterans

Here is a partial listing of bills I have supported this session to aid New York’s former servicemen and servicewomen. These initiatives will now go to Governor Cuomo for final action.

-- Legislation I co-sponsored was passed by both houses (S.7839, first introduced as S.4714)) to extend the Military Service Credit Law of 2000 to all veterans who have served in the military. Right now, public employees who served in the armed forces may purchase up to three years of pension credit only if their military service occurred during specified conflicts. This measure will expand this opportunity to public employee veterans who also served their country in peacetime.

June 26, 2014
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Senator Kennedy Secures Approval of Bill to Help NY Families Find the Right Afterschool and Summer Programs for their Children

Senate and Assembly Passed Legislation Sponsored by Senator Kennedy and Assemblywoman Mayer that Establishes New Online Tool to Help Parents across New York State Track Down the Best Afterschool and Summer Learning Programs in their Neighborhoods.

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Senator Tim Kennedy, D-Buffalo, and Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer, D-Yonkers, have secured Senate and Assembly approval of their legislation to establish a new online tool that will help parents across New York State find the right afterschool and summer learning programs for their children.

June 26, 2014
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Senator Kennedy's Bill to Improve Statewide Child Abuse Hotline Passed Through State Legislature

Senator Kennedy’s Legislation Will Improve State Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment by Enacting Strong Requirements for Tracking of Repeat Reports.

Senate, Assembly Approved Key CPS Reform Pushed by Kennedy.

State review of Erie County CPS found 72 percent of existing reports involved families with previous history of CPS investigations within the past four years.

June 23, 2014
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Senate Passes Seward Bill To Combat Heroin & Opioid Crisis

ALBANY, 06/19/14 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) today spoke on the senate floor in support of legislation to fight the growing heroin and opioid abuse epidemic.  The senate passed a package of eleven bills that were part of a three-way agreement between the senate, assembly and governor.  The package includes senate bill 7912, sponsored by Senator Seward, to improve access to insurance coverage for substance abuse treatment and dependency services.

June 19, 2014
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Bill Pushed By Kennedy to Improve CPS Transparency, Caseload Oversight Passes State Legislature

Following Conflicting Reports Related to Caseload Levels for CPS Workers, Kennedy Secures Approval of Bill to Improve Transparency by Requiring Disclosure of CPS Caseloads.

Kennedy-backed bill requires local CPS agencies to outline steps they’ll take to reduce caseloads.

Kennedy: As Erie County Adds More Workers, This Bill Will Shed Light on Future Needs to Reduce Caseloads.

June 19, 2014
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Griffo-Rozic Foster Care Bill Heading To Governor

Passed Legislation to Protect Children in Foster Homes

June 19, 2014
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Seward Bill Key Component Of Legislative Agreement To Combat Heroin

ALBANY, 06/18/14 -- State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) today announced an agreement between legislative leaders and the governor on several bills aimed at fighting the growing heroin and opioid abuse epidemic.  The package includes a bill, sponsored by Senator Seward, to improve access to insurance coverage for substance abuse treatment and dependency services.

June 18, 2014
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