State legislators from Western New York are pushing for legislation to help prevent a local tragedy from happening again. Laura Cummings' Law was created in honor of the developmentally disabled young woman from North Collins who was killed after years of mistreatment. YNN's Kaitlyn Lionti tells us more about the legislation and why legislators are calling on their colleagues to help it move forward.
"The fact that Laura Cummings suffered abuse at the hands of her own family and ultimately was killed at the hands of her own family is unconscionable. The fact that it was preventable is even more so," said State Senator Tim Kennedy (D).
A bi-partisan group from Western New York's state legislature delegation is urging their colleagues to pass the final provision of a bill designed to protect the developmentally disabled. Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed provisions of "Laura Cummings Law" into effect that allow agencies to share information about prior abuse reports and to get a court order to access a home. However, State Senator George Maziarz says the law still lacks criminal sanctions. Maziarz says the Assembly is holding up the final provision of the bill. "What we're saying is, if you deny access to the authorities of an individual that is developmentally disabled, that is being abused, you're going to pay a criminal penalty.
Senator Mark Grisanti recently announced that the Senate has passed the “Protect Our Children Act” which he sponsored to change the laws of New York State to save and protect children from cruel and repeated maltreatment.
The bill, S5862A-2011, fixes problems that allowed perpetrators of serious child abuse to receive misdemeanor and nonviolent felony charges with probationary sentences that did not deter actions or even repeat actions.
Now, prosecutors will have the option of charging felony child endangerment to protect children from serious reckless abuse as well as increasing penalties for not reporting the death of a child, obstructing the investigation into a missing child and repeat offenders.
The New York State Senate today passed legislation that givesjudges the ability to consider well-established risk factors in determiningbail or recognizance in domestic violence cases so that a victim and theirfamily can be further protected from an assailant.
The bill (S.1414A), sponsored by Senator Stephen Saland (R-I-C,Poughkeepsie), would allow the history of violence or threats of violence,prior orders of protection, and the accused’s access to guns to beconsidered by a judge, potentially affecting their release conditions andsparing many victims and their children additional harm or even death.
Senator Mark Grisanti (R, I-60) today announced that the state Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) has selected the City of Buffalo and the City of Niagara Falls police departments to each receive funding as a part of Operation IMPACT to target violent and gun crime and domestic violence. Operation IMPACT awarded $13 million to 17 counties with priority given to those jurisdictions with the highest volume of crime.