This past weekend, VISIONS Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Rockland County, paid special tribute to Senator Thomas P. Morahan at their annual Lions sponsored Family Recognition Day by opening the event with renaming the road where there offices are located after the late State Senator. Senator Morahan was a strong supporter and advocate for people with disabilities. The late Senator proudly served as Chairman of the Mental Health and Developmentally Disabilities Committee. He had a strong track record of collaborating with the many community-based organizations in his district to help improve access and enhance services available to his constituents. CEO/Executive Director Nancy Miller of VISIONS had this to say regarding the ceremony: “ Senator Morahan was an inspiration and tireless advocate for people with disabilities. As a frequent visitor and a supporter of VISIONS Center on Blindness-VCB, we are thrilled to honor the Senator and his work with the street naming. Morahan Way at VCB honors his commitment, public service, passion and incredible efforts on behalf of people who are blind and people with multiple disabilities”.
Assemblyman Zebrowski joins Stephen Powers, Counsel, to Senator Thomas P. Morahan at renaming ceremony.
Governor David A. Paterson has directed that flags on New York State government buildings be flown at half-staff on Friday, July 16, in honor of State Senator Thomas Morahan, who passed away on Monday, July 12.
“I join with all New Yorkers in expressing our sympathy to Senator Morahan’s wife, Helen, and family,” Governor Paterson said. “Tom was an exceptional public servant, dedicated to bi-partisanship and serving his constituents and all New Yorkers. Our State has lost a tireless champion for New York’s most vulnerable populations and we must learn from his example and continue his work.”
It is with great sadness that the staff of the 38th Senatorial District today announces the passing of New York State Senator Thomas Patrick Morahan, a highly respected New York State Legislator and a champion of mental health reform in the State. Senator Morahan, 78, died at New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center, after a six month struggle with Leukemia. The Senator passed peacefully with his family at his bedside. For over 11 years, Senator Morahan represented the residents of Rockland County, as well as residents in the towns of Tuxedo and Warwick in Orange County.
Each day as Americans, we enjoy the freedom of peace, prosperity and independence. These are virtues upon which the United States was built and ideals that bind us together as a nation. On Memorial Day we pause to remember that freedom comes at great cost. Throughout history, in fields, skies, and seas around the world, American military personnel have stood tall to oppose the enemies of freedom. Many of these brave servicemen and women gave their lives to defend our liberty and uphold the promise of our democracy.
Recently the Senate’s Task Force on Government Efficiency, of which I am a member, released an investigative report citing $60 million dollars in potential cost-savings at the NYS Department of Transportation (DOT), and more than $200 million in funds the Department has already wasted. The report is the third in a series of investigations into state agency spending by the Task Force.
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time to raise awareness about child abuse and neglect and encourage individuals and communities to support children and families. The consequences are wide-ranging and affect us all. Child abuse leads to other problems – long term health and mental health problems, drug addiction, runaways, juvenile violence and adult crime. Most violent prisoners in our jails were abused or neglected as children.
The New York State Senate today passed a legislative resolution, introduced by Senator Thomas P. Morahan, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Mental Health and Disabilities, calling on Governor David Paterson to proclaim March 2010 as Spread the Word to End the Word Awareness Month in the State of New York.
The Spread the Word to End the Word movement is an ongoing effort by Special Olympics and their supporters to raise the consciousness of society about the dehumanizing and hurtful effects of the word "retard(ed)" and encourage people to pledge to stop using the R-word.
Last week I was appointed by the Senate Majority to Chair the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee, a post I held previously for a number of years. As I assume this role I am very well aware of a number of mental health priorities that need to be addressed in our state.
“As the immediate relief efforts are underway and ongoing in Haiti, it is my understanding that the Governor has instructed New York State to work with our federal officials and local officials on the ground to identify resource needs. Even as our resources are mobilized as quickly as possible, it will take hours -- and in many cases days -- to get all of our first-responders and resources on the ground in a safe and orderly manner.
Several weeks ago we commemorated the eighth anniversary of the September 11th attack on our nation. At that time, during the Senate session in Albany, I introduced a bill which was passed by the New York State Senate which would include post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among the list of biologically based mental illnesses to be covered under Timothy's Mental Health Parity Law (
Today, Senator Morahan flanked by his colleagues in the Assembly joined Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo and other elected officials to announce new, bipartisan legislation that would replace the sole trustee at the New York State Common Retirement Fund with a board of trustees and eliminate pay to play in state public pension funds.
I want to make you aware of two new laws that were recently signed that will help make health insurance more accessible for New York residents. I supported and voted for both of these measures during this year’s Senate session to help make health insurance more affordable for both families and young adults as our state recovers from the current economic crisis.
I am very unhappy to report that Governor Paterson has secret plans to spend $140 million of federal stimulus money to give $200 per child “back to school” grants to welfare and food stamp recipients. The new welfare give-away reportedly was detailed in a secret memo from the Office of Temporary Disability Assistance.
I’m very pleased that the Senate has passed the most significant, sweeping legislative reforms in its history. The beneficiaries of those changes are the people of this state. As result, the Senate will be more open, transparent and accountable.
Each and every member of the Senate will now be empowered by these reforms. Every Senator will be treated fairly and given equitable resources to ensure they can effectively represent their constituents.
The days of legislative leaders dominating everything that happens in Albany is over.