Issues: Health Care

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

Senator Griffo's Weekly Column #26: Let's End Tick-Borne Diseases

Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases are on a sudden, sharp rise in New York, causing a public health concern that has my attention and that of my Senate colleagues.

In St. Lawrence County, the frequency of Lyme disease cases jumped 41 percent in 2013, when compared to the previous three year average. It increased 34 percent in Oneida County and 4 percent in Lewis County.

Statewide, there are more than 450 new cases this year.

June 26, 2014


I supported this legislation because I believe it is about compassionate care, and will provide comfort and relief to people with serious medical conditions.

June 25, 2014

Senator Valesky Partners with Oneida YMCA and Red Cross for Blood Drive

SYRACUSE--Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) is partnering with the American Red Cross for a special “Communities That Care” blood drive on Friday, June 27, from 12:00 p.m.

June 23, 2014

The Compassionate Care Act

On the last day of the 2014 session, I was honored to have the opportunity to speak on the floor of the Senate regarding my vote in favor of the Compassionate Care Act. I am proud to have been part of a bill that will bring relief to people suffering from serious illnesses.

June 20, 2014

Sen. Krueger Passes Landmark Maternal Depression Legislation

Sen. Krueger speaks on S. 7234B, her legislation to increase education, screening, diagnosis, and treatment of maternal depression disorders. This bill passed both houses and now awaits the governor's signature. For more information, read this press release!

June 19, 2014

Gottfried-Krueger Maternal Depression Legislation Passes Both Houses, Will Help New Mothers and Families

Sen. Krueger and Assembly Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried today announced the unanimous passage of legislation in both the Senate and Assembly that would provide education and promote screening and treatment-referrals for postpartum depression and other maternal depression disorders (S. 7234B / A. 9610B). Despite the widespread nature and severity of maternal depression, our healthcare system has had no system-wide screening and referral procedure.

June 19, 2014

Senate Passes Bill to Address Lyme Disease Treatments

The New York State Senate today passed legislation that will help doctors and patients treat the symptoms of Lyme and other chronic diseases. The bill (S7854), sponsored by Senator Kemp Hannon (R, Nassau), was among the recommendations in a report released today by the Senate Majority Coalition’s Task Force on Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases. 

June 18, 2014

Senate Passes Griffo Bill To Help Utica-Watertown Region

ALBANY – The New York State Senate passed a bill (S.3468) Monday that would provide an additional $573,794 in funds to the Utica/Watertown region for job training in the health care industry.

June 17, 2014

Griffo Supports Women's Rights Bills

ALBANY – Sen. Joseph A. Griffo today helped passed bills designed to enhance women’s rights in New York.

The Senate passed a bill requiring employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with pregnancy-related medical conditions, as well as a bill to tough penalties against sex traffickers.

June 13, 2014

Senate Gives Final Passage to Bill Ensuring Medical Care for the State's Most Vulnerable Children

The New York State Senate today gave final legislative passage to a bill that would ensure that the state’s most vulnerable children receive necessary medical care in the absence of parental consent.

June 12, 2014

Senator Bonacic Attends Relay for Life in Sullivan County

Senator Bonacic visited the Sullivan County Relay for Life event, held on June 7, 2014, and sponsored by Crystal Run Healthcare.  This event honors cancer survivors, remembers those we have lost, and raises funds and awareness to fight back against cancer. 

With the Senator is (l) Mary DeFreitas, Chief Human Resources Officer for Crystal Run; and (r) Joan Patterson, RN, Director of Nursing/Rock Hill.  Deb Polin, one of the Relay for Life Team Captains is at the far right.



June 9, 2014

Senate Passes Senator Parker’s Bill to Aid Prisoners Upon their Release

(Brooklyn, NY) – Last week, the State Senate passed Senate Bill S.1353, by Senator Kevin Parker.  The bill requires that prisoners be informed of healthcare, mental healthcare and other services upon their release from state prison. In an attempt to make their reintegration into society as seamless as possible, and to safeguard our community’s public health and welfare, the former prisoners will be alerted to special programs in their communities, such as tuberculosis services, HIV/AIDS services, education, alcohol or substance abuse treatment, and other general mental health services.

June 4, 2014

Sen. Krueger, Advocates Applaud Passage of “Boss Bill” in Senate Labor Committee, Call for Floor Vote Before End of Session

Sen. Krueger applauded the Senate Labor Committee’s passage today of her legislation banning employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of their personal reproductive health decisions (S. 6578B). Sen. Krueger called on the Senate majority’s co-leaders to follow up on this positive step by allowing a floor vote on the bill before the close of the 2014 session.

June 3, 2014

Senator Griffo's Weekly Column #21: Putting More Truth in Advertising

Here’s a straightforward, but deceptively hard question: You’re deciding between two doctors for your upcoming heart surgery. One has advertised as being “board certified” by the American Academy of Cardiology. The other, you learn, was certified by the American College of Cardiology. Which one would you trust with the scalpel? (The answer is at the end of this column.)

If you’re hemming and hawing about your answer, take comfort. You are not alone. It is so easy to get confused about the qualifications of medical professionals – and your life may depend on it.

I believe the medical profession needs more truth in its advertising. I’ve introduced a bill that would protect the patient by implementing four small changes.

May 22, 2014

Organizations Representing More Than 200,000 NYS Veterans Urge Passage of Griffo, Brindisi Bill

Bill Creates Criminal Justice Framework to Ensure Veterans with Untreated Mental Health Conditions Receive Treatment & Fair Process

May 20, 2014

Senator Bonacic Meets with Compassionate Care Advocates

Senator Bonacic met with constituents (l to r) Jessica Koock, Cindy Tangney and Eileen Konieczny recently at the District Office to discuss the Compassionate Care Act (SB4406) which would legalize marijuana for a certified medical use, and could only be administered by a certified patient or designated caregiver.  The Senator advised them that he would support the bill if it came to the Senate floor. 

May 20, 2014

Griffo Asks Governor To Proclaim May As Lupus Awareness Month

"I'm pleased to once again help educate my colleagues in state government about lupus. I advocate in memory of my aunt, who was afflicted by this devastating autoimmune disease. Lupus affects more than 1.5 million Americans - 100,000 of them live right here in New York. And yet, there's so much we still don't know about it. We need to find a way to diagnose the disease quicker, to treat it effectively and to wipe it out completely." - Sen. Joe Griffo

May 12, 2014

Legislative Report with Senator Parker and Yvonne Graham, NYS DOH Associate Commissioner


April is National Minority Health Month. Senator Parker welcomes New York State Department of Health Associate Commissioner Yvonne Graham, Director, Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities Prevention.

Listen as they discuss the health inequities among various populations and how her office works plan to address these specific issues 2013-2017.

For more information about the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities Prevention, please call 518-474-2180 or visit


April 29, 2014
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