Senate OK's worker-safety bills sponsored by Staten Island's Savino

 

    Published: Monday, May 14, 2012, 6:55 PM


    By Judy L. Randall Staten Island Advance


     


    Staten Island Advance photoTwo worker safety measures sponsored by State Sen. Diane Savino have passed the state Senate.


    STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Two worker safety bills sponsored by state State Sen. Diane Savino have passed the Senate.


    The first bill would establish the crime of vehicular assault and vehicular manslaughter in an active work zone and intrusion into an active work zone. It amends the Vehicle and Traffic Law by creating a class B misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of three months imprisonment and/or a fine of between $250 to $500. It also amends the Penal Law by creating the crime of vehicular manslaughter in various felony-degree classes.


    Currently, there are no penalties for intrusions into work zones that do not result in injury or death.


    "Driving on Staten Island can be precarious if you are in a car," said Ms. Savino (D-North Shore/Brooklyn). "Imagine if you were just working in a work zone. Men and women working to improve our streets ... have a right to feel safe at work and go home every night without constant fear of death by a reckless driver."


    The second bill, which Ms. Savino sponsored with state Sen. Martin Golden (R-Brooklyn), would equate attacking a social worker or prison guard with assault on a police officer by establishing a second-degree assault charge punishable by up to seven years in prison.


    SAFE HARBOR


    Also on the Albany front, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis is co-sponsoring bi-partisan legislation that would provide a safe harbor for victims of domestic violence to report abuse without fear of losing custody of their children. She noted that abusive spouses often threaten that Child Protective Services will remove children from the home to keep victims from seeking help.


    "These crimes can destroy families and rip children out of their homes, away from the loving parent who was courageous enough to take action against the abusive spouse," said Ms. Malliotakis (R-East Shore/Brooklyn). "This legislation won't just save lives, but entire families."


    BEST-CARE OPTION


    Elsewhere, at a recent Lupus Awareness Day event, Assemblyman Matthew Titone highlighted a bill he is co-sponsoring that would permit doctors and patients to seek the best care option instead of the least-expensive one by ending the current "fail-first policy," which requires the pursuit and failure of the cheapest course of treatment before more expensive medical treatment is employed.


    Titone (D-North Shore) noted that while the legislation does not apply exclusively to Lupus, he said its victims are "particularly hurt by current restrictions."


    'STEP UP & CLEAN UP'


    And back home, Titone's Republican challenger in the fall election, Paul Saryian, and supporters teamed with a group of Port Richmond High School students for a "Step Up & Clean Up" initiative. The candidate said the endeavor "combined volunteer efforts to improve the quality of life and promote a cleaner North Shore and Staten Island."


    "I am so proud of these young adults," said Saryian. "They represent the future leaders in our community, and we must encourage, support and emulate them because they are making a difference."