Members of the NYS Conference of Black Senators sent messages of prayers and support today, to families and friends that have been affected by the tragic earthquake that took place south of Port-Au Prince, Haiti yesterday. “The Haitian community is a very vibrant and important part of our districts and we will do everything possible to aid them during this painful time”, Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson of the 36th District (Westchester and Bronx), Chairwoman of the NYS Conference of Black Senators (CBS).
The Honorable David A. PatersonGovernor of New York StateExecutive Chamber, State CapitolAlbany, New York 12224
Dear Governor Paterson:
Thank you for your extraordinary support of School-Based Health Centers (SBHCs). We are writing to ask you to exempt SBHCs from any further State Budget cuts this year and in the 2010-11 State Budget. As you know, School-Based Health Centers had their base funding reduced by over $1.5 million in the last budget cycle. We understand that further cuts are necessary due to the current State deficit. But during these difficult financial times, underserved children and their families need more services, not less.
New York, NY –Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF, Manhattan) and State Senator Daniel Squadron announced that yesterday Governor Paterson signed into law a bill (A3378/S4077) requiring local social service districts to inform all people applying for public assistance of their option to receive information on resources for victims of sexual abuse and assault.
In the wake of a federal investigation into the administration and oversight of four secure juvenile detention facilities in New York, I am angered as well as saddened by the inhumane treatment of troubled youth, many of whom are living with mental illnesses.
Commissioner John B. MattinglyAdministration for Children Services150 William Street 18th FloorNew York, NY 10038
Dear Commissioner Mattingly:
There were a number of concerns raised at our public hearing over the proposed closure of over 120 ACS day care classrooms, and the transfer of over 3,500 four and five year old children from subsidized child care to kindergarten. Thanks to federal stimulus funding, and the intervention of the City Council, those closures were averted.
SENATORS DUANE, MONTGOMERY, HASSELL-THOMPSON AND HUNTLEY TO HOLD PUBLIC HEARINGS TO ENSURE NEW YORK COMPLIES WITH THE FEDERAL MANDATE TO FIX YOUTH DETENTION FACILITIES
Albany – Senate Health Committee Chair Thomas K. Duane (D-WFP Manhattan), Children and Family Services Committee Chair Velmanette Montgomery ( D- Brooklyn), Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections Committee Chair Ruth Hassell-Thompson (D- Mount Vernon) and Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee Chair Shirley L. Huntley (D-Jamaica) called for public hearings to ensure that the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) fully implements changes to youth detention facilities mandated by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). The call for action is the result of a damning DOJ report, made public yesterday, which outlines systemic physical and mental abuses at OCFS youth detention and residential facilities.
Organizations, Advocates, Formerly Incarcerated Women Urge Governor To End Delay And Sign Anti-shackling Bill To Protect Health And Safety Of Women And Children
On Tuesday, August 18 at 11:00am, the Correctional Association of New York’s Women in Prison Project, New York Civil Liberties Union, and Women on the Rise Telling HerStory (WORTH) will hold a protest and press conference in front of Governor Paterson’s office (630 3rd Ave between 40 and 41 Streets) to call on the Governor to sign the Anti-Shackling Bill (S.1290-A/A.3373-A), which forbids the use of restraints on incarcerated women during labor and post-delivery recovery, and restricts the use of restraints during transport to and from the hospital.
New York, NY (July 24, 2009): The New York State Senate Majority Conference has reached an agreement with Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg on New York City school governance. The Senate is expected to vote on and pass S.5887 with a chapter amendment designed to increase parental input, promote enhanced arts education, address concerns relating to school safety procedures and strengthen the oversight role of the community superintendents.
The first increase to the basic public assistance grant in nearly two decades took effect on July 1, 2009, providing more aid to individuals and families struggling in poverty during this unprecedented economic downturn. The public assistance grant will be raised again in each of the next two years, resulting in a cumulative 33 percent increase by July 2011.
Albany, NY(June 30, 2009): Today, a three-week long stalemate which had stalled all legislation in the Senate came to an end as the Senate Majority obtained the 32 votes necessary to achieve quorum and began to pass critical legislation. After obtaining a quorum through the presence of 32 members in the Chamber, and with Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins as the Presiding Officer, the Senate unanimously passed major and non-controversial legislation. If these bills were not passed, New York faced the potential loss of billions in revenue and hundreds of thousands of jobs.
The current deadlock in the New York State Senate has been characterized as a circus, a joke, a crashed clown car: but it's a tragic, high stakes power game that's gambling with the future of the State of New York. The historic first session of the New York Senate under a Democratic majority in over 40 years was distinguished by a renewed dedication to the benefit of all the people of New York, this generation and their children. The session has not been about political ambition: it has been about repairing the damage done to the state by 70 years of Republican Senate leadership.
The MTA Board is proposing to alter its agreement with Forest City Ratner Companies regarding the air rights and construction of a new rail yard for the Vanderbilt Rail Yards in Brooklyn. I urge this Committee and the MTA board to reject these changes. To approve these changes would be to continue the entirely questionable series of decision regarding this railyard and cast further doubt on the MTA’s ability and commitment to provide proper stewardship of this vital public authority. I urge you to reject these changes, cancel all contracts with FCRC, and issue a new RFP.
As a full-time State Senator who is dedicated to serving my Brooklyn constituents, I am working to forge a bi-partisan agreement that will enable the Senate to resume our business, legislative business – to continue doing the people’s work – as a unifi ed bi-partisan body.
My Democratic colleagues and I are fi rmly committed to bi-partisan governing. We desire to fulfi ll our oath of offi ce, in service to the people whom we have pledged to represent.
Albany, NY (May 20, 2009): Human rights advocates and champions of criminal justice reform joined today with sponsors of the “Anti Shackling Bill” (S.1290- A/A.3373-A) to hail the Senate and Assembly’s passage of legislation that prohibits the inhumane practice of shackling pregnant inmates who are in labor. The announcement was made at the State Capitol in Albany, New York. The “Anti-Shackling Bill” is sponsored by Senator Velmanette Montgomery (D-Brooklyn) and Assemblyman Nick Perry (D-Brooklyn). Their bill prohibits state and local correctional authorities from using restraints on a pregnant female inmate who is being transported for childbirth, during labor and delivery, and in post-natal recovery.
WHAT: Red Hook Town Hall Meeting on Public Housing
WHO: Residents of Red Hook Houses East & West, NYCHA Chairman Ricardo Elias Morales, and elected officials, including Senator Velmanette Montgomery, Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, Councilwoman Sara Gonzalez, and Margarita Lopez