As your representative in the New York State Senate, I have worked to develop legislative solutions to address issues and concerns important to my constituents, our state and our nation.
In response to public health concerns and to address disparities in New York, I have spearheaded the campaign to stem the spread of HIV/AIDS among intravenous drug users through legalized needle exchange programs; and authored laws to prohibit female genital mutilation, and expand the scope of practice and licensure for nurse practitioners in New York State to address the shortage of primary care doctors.
As an advocate for criminal justice reform, I have authored laws to remove barriers by prohibiting licensing agencies from disqualifying someone from licensure as a barber or cosmetologist solely on the basis of a criminal conviction; authored a law that prohibits the shackling of a pregnant woman in prison while being transported to the hospital to deliver her baby.
I am so thankful to my constituents for their suggestions for new legislation. I am proud to sponsor laws that are a direct result of constituent input such as the “The Blair Bill,” a law that expands the protection of guide and service dogs was sponsored on behalf of Eric Blair and “The Community Board Bill” which originated from discussions with Community Board 6 members and was signed into law to allow community boards throughout the five boroughs of New York City to apply for and receive brownfield opportunity area grants.
I welcome your thoughts and ideas for new legislation. Please do not hesitate to contact my office if I can be of any further assistance.
Senator Velmanette Montgomery
25th Senate District
Creation of a personal income tax check-off box for donations to the School-Based Health Center (SBHC) Fund. Read More
Senator Velmanette Montgomery and Assemblyman Felix Ortiz visit the School Based Health Center at Sunset Park High School to celebrate passage of their new law which would create a personal income tax check-off box for donations to the School-Based Health Center (SBHC) Fund. Senator Montgomery and Assemblyman Oritz are joined by Larry McReynolds, Executive Director of Family Health Centers at NYU Langone, Victoria Antonini, Principal of Sunset Park High School and members of the Sunset Park High School community.
Every year we have to fight for SBHCS in the budget. Senator Montgomery and Assemblyman Oritz are proud to have sponsor this new law which creates a new funding opportunity for our centers by allowing individuals to donate to the fund through a personal income tax check-off box. Revenue generated would fund the expansion of medical services at existing school based health sites or to establish new sites.
Our SBHCs take an enormous burden off parents who cannot miss work or afford insurance and copayments. They provide comprehensive healthcare including vision, dental and mental health services to students at their schools regardless of ability to pay, insurance or immigration status.
To learn more about Senator Montgomery's work on School-Based Health Centers, visit:
Construction Notification Bill Read More
Governor Cuomo signed the Construction Notification Bill (S4519-A/A5823-B) into law on Friday, August 24th (Chapter No. 217).
Senator Montgomery and Assemblywoman Wright thank all the constituents and advocates who fought so hard to get this important legislation passed. Special thanks to Community Board 3, Community Board 8, the Brownstoners of Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights North Association for their support of this bill.
The new law requires the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) to provide written notification to adjoining property owners when an application for approval of construction is submitted to DOB. It would also require DOB to provide proof of such insurance and a copy of the permit to owners of adjoining property thirty days before construction, or demolition work begins except in the event that emergency work is authorized.
For brownstone homeowners and property owners of older buildings, a neighboring construction or renovation project can cause substantial and expensive property damage. They are often at a loss on what to do and who to contact to get repairs made. This law will empower them with information necessary to pursue damages and get needed repairs done.
To learn more about this issue, visit:
Ashley's Law - Family Visitation Bill Read More
Ashley's Law (the Family Visitation Bill), sponsored by NYS Senator Velmanette Montgomery (D-Brooklyn) and Assemblymember Gabriela Rosa (D-Manhattan), requires the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision to establish and maintain a public website and dedicated toll-free telephone line to provide up-to-date information regarding specific visitation rules and regulations for all individual correctional facilities throughout the state.
“While New York’s prisons allow inmates to receive visitors, the experience of being processed for visits varies greatly from one facility to another,” Senator Montgomery said.
The Family Visitation Bill was inspired by Ashley Duncan, a college student who experienced, first-hand, the inconsistencies with visiting policies and procedures when attempting to visit her father who, up until recently, was been incarcerated at various upstate correctional facilities for nearly 20 years.
Through the tireless advocacy of Ashley Duncan, the Osborne Association, the Correctional Association of New York State, the Fortune Society, and many other criminal justice advocates, Ashley’s Law now requires the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision to establish and maintain a public website and dedicated toll-free telephone line to provide up-to-date information regarding specific visitation rules and regulations for all individual correctional facilities throughout the state.
To learn more about Ashley's bill, visit https://www.nysenate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/velmanette-montgomery/legislature-approves-senator-montgomerys-bill-improve
Anti-Shackling Bill 2015 Read More
The 2015 Anti-Shackling bill strengthens the 2009 law and expands protections to women throughout all stages of pregnancy and eight weeks postpartum. The bill’s provisions would apply to all state and local correctional facilities in New York.
Current law prohibits the use of restraints on an inmate about to give birth, but does not address the use of restraints on pregnant inmates prior to or after childbirth or pregnancy outcome.
In addition to the shackling provision, the bill also prohibits the presence of any correctional staff in the delivery room unless requested by medical staff or the inmate giving birth, requires more rigorous training of all correctional staff on this policy, and institutes annual detailed reporting of all instances in which officers deem restraints necessary.
Senator Montgomery and Assemblyman Nick Perry worked closely with dozens of women’s rights, human rights and reproductive justice groups and thousands of people from around the state, including the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American College of Nurse-Midwives, NYS Association of Licensed Midwives, Family Planning Advocates of NYS, NARAL Pro-Choice NY, NOW NYC, American Association of University Women NYS, the NYCLU, the Correctional Association of NY and the Coalition for Women Prisoners to pass additional protections for pregnant incarcerated women.
For more information about this legislation, visit: