Lyme Disease continues to spread throughout New York State. Since 1986, about 100,000 cases have been confirmed in New York. It seems that everyone has had a personal experience with Lyme Disease or knows someone who has been infected with this illness, which in some cases can be seriously debilitating.
The New York State Senate Task Force on Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases has just issued an important report and action plan designed to enhance research, prevention, diagnosis and treatments for harmful tick-borne illnesses. The report’s recommendations focus on the need for:
• Additional research and data about past, current and future disease trends;
• Increased public awareness as the diseases spread to new communities;
State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I – Schenectady) announced the New York State Senate gave final legislative passage today to legislation (S7883) that would help alleviate a backlog of cases in the state’s family courts by creating 25 new family court judgeships. One new judgeship would be established in each of 16 counties, and nine in New York City.
New family court judges would be elected in 2014 in Albany, Broome, Chautauqua, Franklin, Nassau, Oneida, Oswego, Schenectady, Suffolk, Ulster and Westchester counties, and take office January 1, 2015.
New family court judges would be elected in 2015 and seated in 2016 in Delaware, Dutchess, Erie, Monroe, and Warren counties.
State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I – Schenectady) reports the New York State Senate passed a comprehensive package of bills to address the growing heroin and opioid crisis. The measures target prevention, treatment, and enforcement issues raised during extensive testimony provided by dozens of experts, parents, and concerned New Yorkers at the 18 forums held by the Senate Majority Coalition’s Joint Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction.
State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I – Schenectady) announced thhe New York State Senate passed legislation (S7734A) that would clarify a state law related to the crime of Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree, that was declared unconstitutional by the state Court of Appeals last year.
The bill addresses concerns cited by the Court and restores Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree, which was a charge used thousands of times in cases of domestic violence. The Court ruled the law was vague and too broad.
This bill approved by the Senate will criminalize harassing communications that threaten to cause physical harm to a victim or the victim’s property where a defendant knows or should know that the communication will cause the victim to fear such harm.
State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I – Schenectady) reported that he and his colleagues in the New York State Senate recently passed legislation (S7262A) that authorizes schools to have and administer the life saving medicine, epinephrine, when a student has a severe allergic reaction.
According to Food Allergy Education and Research, food allergies affect one in every 13 children in the United States -- estimated to be two children per classroom. Allergic reactions can range from mild skin rashes to severe anaphylaxis -- a full-body and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that can stop respiration and heartbeat within seconds. Among these children who have food allergies, 40 percent have already experienced severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis.
State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I – Schenectady) reports the New York State Senate Task Force on Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases recently released a report and legislation that provides a comprehensive set of recommendations for a state action plan to enhance research, prevention, diagnosis and treatment for harmful tick-borne illnesses. To date in 2014, more than 450 new cases of Lyme disease have been reported in New York alone, and the number is expected to continue rising each year as disease-laden ticks spread to more communities.
State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I – Schenectady) reported that he and his colleagues in the New York State Senate recently gave final legislative passage to a bill that protects children from identity thieves who steal information to establish fraudulent financial accounts. The bill (S6682B) helps stop identity thieves from victimizing children by requiring credit agencies to place a credit record freeze on the account of a minor when requested by a parent or guardian.
Millions of Americans are victims of identity theft each year. These criminals can even target children – using a minor’s Social Security number to apply for government benefits, open bank and credit card accounts, apply for a loan or utility service, or rent a place to live.
State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I – Schenectady) reported that he and his colleagues in the New York State Senate recently gave final passage to a measure that will create a Homeless Veterans Assistance Fund to support military servicemen and women who need help with housing. The bill (S4760A) allows New Yorkers to contribute to the fund when filing their personal income taxes.
State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I – Schenectady) reports that he and his colleagues in the New York State Senate passed legislation recently that would enable high school students to be trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the use of automated defibrillators (AEDs).
According to the American Heart Association, about 400,000 people have sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital every year, and only about 10 percent of them survive, most likely because they don’t receive timely CPR. Given right away, CPR doubles or triples survival rates.
State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I – Schenectady) reports that he and his colleagues in the New York State Senate recently passed five bills to make college more affordable for students and their families, while setting students up for success. These bills provide opportunities to help New York students thrive by increasing awards in the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) to equal the cost per semester of SUNY and CUNY tuition, alleviating student loan debt, giving access to free community college to eligible students, and providing targeted work-training programs.
The college affordability bills approved by the Senate today include the following legislation:
Saturday, June 14th, is Flag Day. This day is meant to reflect on the true meaning and history of the American flag. Our forefathers stood up for freedom and liberty, creating the United States of America. The flag represents this struggle for independence. Our American flag has long exemplified the spirit of those who lost their lives in battle, as well as those who fought valiantly and survived. As a former teacher and a history enthusiast, Senator Farley would like to share a few Flag Day and flag facts.
State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I – Schenectady) reports that he and his colleagues in the New York State Senate today unanimously passed legislation to save lives by preventing the exploitation of children and adults who are victims of human trafficking. The Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act (S5879B) toughens penalties against those who buy and sell young women, men and children and reduces the stigma defendants may face when they are victims of the massive $32 billion sex trafficking industry.
State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I - Schenectady) recently enjoyed a bicycling tour with his family and would like to take this opportunity to remind constituents of the importance of bike safety.
"I've seen many people enjoying the local trails such as Fulton County's FJ&G Bike-Hike Trail, Schenectady County's Mohawk-Hudson Bike Hike Trail and the Town of Ballston's Veterans' Memorial Bike Path," Senator Farley said. "Whether you want to explore trails in one of our region's parks or ride in your own neighborhood, safety is something to always consider."
State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I – Schenectady) reported that he and his colleagues in the New York State Senate recently passed the “Buy From the Backyard Act” to promote the purchase of locally grown and produced food. The bill (S978) would require that state agencies allocate 20 percent of their total contracts for food from within New York State.
The bill expands upon an existing law, which creates a program that encourages the purchase of local food products by state agencies. Mental health facilities, prisons, universities and state institutions that have food contracts would need at least 20 percent of the purchases to be grown, produced, harvested or processed in New York State.
State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I - Schenectady) had the pleasure of inducting David T. Wallingford of Malta into the New York State Senate’s Veterans’ Hall of Fame on May 20th at a ceremony at the Legislative Office Building in Albany.
State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I – Schenectady) reported that he and his colleagues in the New York State Senate recently passed legislation criminalizing any school employee or volunteer who has sexual contact with a student, even if that student is at the age of consent. The bill (S1358A) is intended to further protect full-time students of elementary and secondary schools from employees who engage in inappropriate relationships.
This bill deems an elementary or secondary school student incapable of consenting to sexual conduct with a school employee -- banning sexual conduct between a school employee and a student. Violations would be a Class E felony and carry a sentence of up to 4 years in prison.
State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I - Schenectady) had the pleasure of naming Constance Glasgow of Clifton Park as a New York State Senate Woman of Distinction. A ceremony will take place in Albany on May 13th.
“Dr. Glasgow has an extremely busy career, but takes time to volunteer in her community and also to mentor young women who are interested in going in the health care field,” Senator Farley said. “She is a remarkable woman and I am proud to honor her as a Senate Woman of Distinction.”
The Senate's "Women of Distinction" program was created in 1998 to honor New York women who exemplify personal excellence, or whose professional achievements, acts of courage, selflessness, integrity or perseverance serve as an inspiration to all New Yorkers.
It’s hard to believe, but it is true. Fifty years after the 1963 Equal Pay Act was signed into law, pay discrimination in the workplace still exists in America.
In June, the Senate unanimously passed legislation to strengthen New York’s laws and ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work. However, action is still needed by the State Assembly on this bill.