State Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson (D-Bronx/Westchester) today criticized the Governor’s veto of a waiting list for adults with mental illnesses seeking community housing and supportive services. The waiting list legislation, supported by a broad coalition of mental health providers, advocates, and concerned citizens, called for the creation of a monthly list to identify the number of people with serious mental illnesses waiting for supportive housing.
Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson (D-Bronx/Westchester) recently unveiled proposals to provide affordable health insurance to New York’s 500,000 uninsured children, lower the costs of prescription drugs for those without health insurance, and combat rising asthma rates in low-income neighborhoods.
"Treatable and preventable childhood illnesses often go undiagnosed in low-income, uninsured families," said Senator Hassell-Thompson. "If we don’t help our kids to get medical care now, chances are we will be paying more later on for emergency room visits and hospital care."
State Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson (D-Bronx/Westchester) today called on the State Board of Elections and the U.S. Department of Justice to work together in implementing the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) law in New York State as quickly as possible. The issue of full and timely implementation of HAVA is currently in front of a federal judge overseeing a lawsuit filed by the Department.
Saying that "reading is one of the most important, rewarding and enjoyable learning experiences for children," State Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson (D-Bronx/Westchester) today announced that she is launching a children’s summer reading program to encourage youngsters to keep learning while school is out.
Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson (D-Bronx/Westchester) today praised the Legislature for voting to override Governor Pataki’s veto of $1 billion in tax credits for New York’s working families. Unfortunately, the Governor has threatened to withhold the funds until constitutional issues are resolved.
The override restores funds for the newly created Empire State Child Credit, and the School Tax Relief (STAR) Plus Rebate program. Both programs are part of a tax reduction package supported by the SenateMinority Conferenceto provide tax relief for New York’s working families.
State Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson (D-Bronx/Westchester) reported that New Yorkers will no longer have to pay the State sales tax on purchases of clothing and footwear $110 or less, as of April 1 of this year. On that date, New York joined Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont in exempting clothing from the sales tax base.
State Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson (D-Bronx/Westchester) and the Senate Minority today released a package of budget and debt reform bills meant to open up Albany’s secretive state budget process and end slight-of-hand budget practices that have nearly doubled state debt over the past decade.
"I am urging my colleagues in both the Senate and Assembly to embrace these common sense reform measures to save the next generation of New Yorkers–our children and grandchildren–from being saddled with this dangerously out of control state debt," said Senator Hassell-Thompson.
Saying that "the importance of informed food choices and sound eating habits cannot be overemphasized as part of a planned regimen for staying healthy," State Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson (D-Bronx/Westchester) today reminded her constituents that March is National Nutrition Month, and is an ideal time to evaluate their nutritional intake and habits.
State Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson (D-Bronx/Westchester) today announced that February is American Heart Month. She noted that heart disease is the leading cause of death among Americans, and that an estimated 1.2 million people will experience either their first or a recurrent heart attack this year.
"How fitting it is that during the month that contains the ‘Holiday of the Heart’ - Valentine’s Day - we are reminded of the importance of a healthy heart," Senator Hassell-Thompson remarked.
Earlier this year, State Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson (D-Bronx/Westchester) demanded that the State take action to keep prescription drugs affordable for low-income seniors during the transfer to the Medicare Part D program.
Today, Senator Hassell-Thompson announced the passage of a bill to achieve this by providing emergency drug coverage to seniors enrolled in both Medicaid and Medicare until problems with the new program are resolved.
With February as Black History Month, State Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson (D-Bronx/Westchester) says it’s an opportunity to recognize the many contributions and accomplishments of African Americans throughout our history. "Not only is this a chance to recognize some of the great contributions of African Americans, but it is also a chance to celebrate the diverse history of our country," Senator Hassell-Thompson said.
State Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson (D-Bronx/Westchester) today announced a new charitable program that will help to save the lives of hundreds of abandoned pets. The program sponsored through the pet store chain, PetSmart, will cost nothing–just a donation of used ink cartridges. Each cartridge sent or brought in will provide $2.00 to PetSmart Charities and go a long way in saving abandoned animals. "This is a very unique and innovative program. We all use printers, whether it be at work or home, and we are left with seemingly useless empty ink cartridges.
Following the Governor’s annual State of the State Address, Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson (D-Bronx/Westchester) called on the Legislature to pass sweeping reform measures meant to improve our public schools, strengthen Medicaid, lower taxes, create jobs and allow state government to better serve New Yorkers.
State Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson (D-Bronx/Westchester) today announced that low-income New Yorkers are just a few keystrokes away from getting the help they need to work through legal issues they might encounter.