Ruth Hassell-Thompson's Press releases

Low and Middle Income New Yorkers are Hurt the Most by Budget Cuts

New York is on a dangerous path of pricing out our low-income and middle-income New Yorkers.  The Executive and Senate Republican’s trickle down approach to right-sizing our economy will hit our working and middle class families, our children and seniors the hardest.   Further, the refusal to include the Emergency Tenant Protection Act (ETPA) in the budget coupled with the drastic reduction of the Advantage Rental Assistance program, and shrinking public services is a direct assault on our most vulnerable citizen

April 1, 2011
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Extending and Expanding Tenant Protections to Avert an Impending Housing Crisis

 Senate and Assembly Democrats Join with Housing Advocates to Call for Saving and Strengthening of Rent Regulations in the State Budget

March 23, 2011
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STATEMENT FROM SENATOR RUTH HASSELL-THOMPSON ON MAYOR BLOOMBERG

Chairwoman of the New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus

“Mayor Bloomberg claims activist parents were disrespecting him simply because they questioned his continued unilateral control of the public schools. The mayor’s irresponsible commentary fails to truly address the concerns articulated by parents and students.

“It is particularly ironic to hear the mayor’s complaints of disrespect after Cathie Black proposed population control as a means to reduce overcrowding, and reportedly sat through important meetings focused on her blackberry, not the content of the conversations.

February 16, 2011
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Senate Moves to Protect Child Witnesses in Trial

On February 8, 2011, the New York State Senate unanimously passed legislation (Senate Bill 1433) which will allow children to testify via closed circuit television in murder and attempted murder cases. 

February 15, 2011
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Statement from Senator Hassell-Thompson During Teen Dating Violence (DV) Prevention and Awareness Month

This year marks the second anniversary of Congress dedicating February as Teen Dating Violence (DV) Prevention and Awareness Month.  During this month, many organizations and individuals nationwide will come together to highlight the need to educate young people about healthy relationships and to raise awareness about this devastating type of abuse.

February 11, 2011
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Senator Hassell-Thompson Recognizes February as American Heart Month

Urges New Yorkers to be proactive about their heart health 

February 10, 2011
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2010 End of the Year Memo to Friends and Colleagues

Dear Colleagues and Friends:The 2010 Legislative Session year has come to a close and the New York State Senate Conference of Black Senators had a very productive year. As a Conference, we selected 23 high priority legislative Signature bills that would have significant impacts on our communities of color. Out of the 23 bills, we were able to get 16 of these passed in both houses and signed by the Governor. These Signature bills have provided our communities with some reprieve from this current economic depression. It is my hope that for the 2011 Legislative year that we will continue to put forth Signature Legislative bills that will help our communities.

February 7, 2011
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STATEMENT FROM SENATOR RUTH HASSELL-THOMPSON ON NATIONAL BLACK HIV/AIDS AWARENESS DAY

“In the midst of ongoing state budget negotiations and health care cuts, we are reminded today on this, the 11th National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, that Black-Americans continue to have the highest rates of HIV infection in the state and nation.

“Blacks make up just 14 percent of the U.S. population, yet account for almost half of those living with HIV/AIDS in this country.

“As we pause to reflect on the lives touched by, and lost to, this disease let us also renew our resolve to do whatever is necessary in ending this epidemic. Each of us must play our part in this fight.

February 7, 2011
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STATEMENT FROM SENATOR RUTH HASSELL-THOMPSON ON NATIONAL BLACK HIV/AIDS AWARENESS DAY

“In the midst of ongoing state budget negotiations and health care cuts, we are reminded today on this, the 11th National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, that Black-Americans continue to have the highest rates of HIV infection in the state and nation.   

February 7, 2011
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Governor Gets High Marks on First State of the State, But More Needs to be Done for Communities of Color

By Senator Ruth Hassell-ThompsonChairwoman - New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative CaucusLow-income and middle-income New Yorkers are hurting from the combined effects of high property taxes, unemployment and underemployment, health care premium increases, and cuts to public services. While it is within the responsibilities of the New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus ("the Caucus") to protect services and resources for the most vulnerable New Yorkers, we understand full well the immediacy of the fiscal challenges facing our state. We are committed to partnering with Governor Andrew Cuomo to balance a budget that is fair going forward.

February 7, 2011
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SENATOR RUTH HASSELL-THOMPSON PUSHES BILL THROUGH SENATE TO SECURE 1.8 MILLION DOLLARS FOR RAPE CRISIS CENTERS

(Albany, New York) On the last day of the legislative session and overshadowed by high profile debates on Hydro-fracking and whether to empower the SUNY Board of Trustees to raise tuition at select college campuses, Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson’s budget bill to provide $1.8 million dollars to rape crisis centers throughout New York State passed unanimously and without debate.

August 11, 2010
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Governor Paterson Signs Four MWBE Bills into Law

Governor Paterson Signs Four MWBE Bills into Law

Governor David A. Paterson signed four ground-breaking bills into law, including legislation that will establish a level playing field for Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) in New York State. Three of the bills were Governor’s Program Bills. 

July 19, 2010
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History of The New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus

HISTORY

In 1917, The New York State Assembly elected its first Black American legislator, Mr.Edward A. Johnson, and in 1937 Assemblyman Oscar Garcia Rivera was the first American of Puerto Rican heritage to be elected in the State Assembly. From those small victories, slowly, two became three, three became four, and four became many. Presently the Caucus has a total of 48 members within the State Assembly and Senate.

July 16, 2010
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Majority Boosts Minority and Women-Owned Businesses

Majority Passes the 2010 Business Diversification Act; the New York State MWBE Asset Management and Financial Institution Strategy Act and Secures Budget Reform to Ensure MWBEs Get Fair Access to Capital for Expansion

(Albany, NY) The Senate Democratic Majority, promoting new opportunities for the business growth and expansion of minority and women-owned business enterprises (MWBE), has passed a legislative package (S8314, S8313, S8312) which will:

· Ensure fairness in the contract awarding process for minority-owned and women-owned businesses.

· Require more stringent reporting requirements for agencies and prime contractors.

July 13, 2010
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MAJORITY MANDATES LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE FOR CHILD KILLERS

Child Protection Act of 2010 Strengthens Penal Law, Establishes New Penalties for Murder & Rape of a child

(Albany, NY) The Senate Democratic Majority passed some of the strongest laws in the country making those responsible for the intentional death of a child punishable to the very fullest extent of the law – life without the opportunity for parole.

The Majority’s legislation, the Child Protection Act of 2010 (S7705/Hassell-Thompson) establishes the class A-I felony of aggravated murder of a child; under this charge the sentence is life imprisonment without parole. Aggravated murder includes:

July 8, 2010
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Providing All Students With A Safe Learning Environment

Senate Passes Landmark ‘Dignity For All Students Act’ 

(Albany, NY) Committed to ensuring that all students have a safe environment in which to learn, free from harassment and discrimination, the Senate Democratic Majority passed the ‘Dignity for All Students Act’ (S1987B/ Duane). This legislation aims to provide all students with a safe school environment conducive to learning by putting an end to harassment and discrimination based on but not limited to race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender, or sex.

June 24, 2010
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Public Protection Budget Ensures Equal Justice For All New Yorkers

Majority adopts Interest On Lawyer Account funding in legislation

(Albany, NY) Recognizing the need to give all New Yorkers equal access to our justice system, the Senate Democratic Majority passed budget legislation on June 21, 2010 that fully funds the $15 million Judiciary appropriation for civil legal services for poor New Yorkers.

Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson (D-Mt. Vernon), Chair of the Committee on Crime Victims, Crime and Correction and Conference Chairwoman said, “We needed to stabilize Civil Legal Services in New York State and we did. Now New Yorkers who need legal assistance to stop foreclosure actions, to fight for unemployment benefits, to fight against housing evictions, debt collection and scores of other actions will have access to competent counsel.”

June 22, 2010
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Majority Stands Together with Domestic Violence Survivors

Legislative package establishes stronger rights, strengthens services 

June 22, 2010
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MAJORITY BRINGS MARRIAGE LAW INTO 21st CENTURY

Package ends NY’s status as only state lacking no-fault divorce, guarantees significant protections for women

(Albany, NY) The Senate Democratic Majority passed a legislative package which fundamentally restructures matrimonial law to improve the process and outcome of divorce for all New Yorkers, particularly women and children who are often the most vulnerable when marriages are dissolved.

The requirement under current law to determine who is at fault for causing the divorce has significant financial and emotional costs, and unnecessarily forces couples in deteriorating relationships to rehash the bitter, painful and embarrassing reasons for divorce.

June 16, 2010
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SAVING JOBS: Majority REQUIRES ESDC TO MAKE RE-DEVELOPMENT PLANS FOR CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES


(Albany, NY) Continuing its commitment to economic growth and good jobs throughout the state, the Senate Democratic Majority today unanimously approved legislation requiring the redevelopment and reuse of state prison facilities considered for closure.

The legislation (S7068/Hassell-Thompson) requires the Commissioner of Economic Development to issue an adaptive reuse plan for state prison facilities that are scheduled to be shut down.

June 15, 2010
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