Senator Montgomery's Bills Signed Into Law

Senator Montgomery Celebrates the Passage of Ashley's Law

Senator Montgomery Celebrates the Passage of Ashley's Law with Ashley Duncan, the young person who inspired the law, and her family.

Dear Neighbor,

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.

Sincerely,

Senator Velmanette Montgomery

25th Senate District

KinCare Bill Read More

 

Senator Montgomery and Assemblywoman Jaffee's KinCare bill (Ch. 434/ S.6405) has been signed into law by Governor Cuomo. This legislation encourages the placement of youth in foster care with relatives instead of strangers by making a much-needed amendment to the Family Court Act. It expands the definition of people who are eligible to petition the court to become foster parents, who are related to the child:

  • Through blood, marriage or adoption
  • Through a half-sibling of the child through blood, marriage, or adoption and the person is or are the prospective or appointed relative guardian of the half-sibling; or
  • By a positive relationship with the child, including, but not limited to, a stepparent, godparent, neighbor or family friend.

Deed Theft Bill Signed Into Law Read More

August 19, 2019

Governor Cuomo Signs Montgomery/Weinstein “Deed Theft Bill” Into Law

Governor Cuomo signed the "Deed Theft Bill" (S1688 – Montgomery/A5615 – Weinstein) into law. This legislation provides greater protections for owners of homes that are in default or foreclosure. It also strengthens laws regulating distressed property "consultants" who provide services to prevent property loss. It will go into effect immediately. 

Fraudulent companies target seniors, homeowners struggling financially, and for whom English is not their first language. They often offer unsolicited assistance with foreclosure or modifications, sometimes claiming that the victim’s home is already up for auction. They are sophisticated operators who take advantage of loopholes in the law by associating themselves with law firms that allow them to avoid legal repercussions. 

The "Deed Theft Bill" addresses these issues by:  

  • Prohibiting abusive and deceptive behaviors such as pretending to be law enforcement or government representatives, taking temporary ownership of a deed, or engaging in harassment of the homeowner or the homeowner's family 
  • Eliminating the requirement that a homeowner post a bond in order to file a lawsuit to stop a deed transfer.
  • Prohibiting loan modification consultants from requiring upfront fees for services.
  • Extending the amount of time a homeowner has to rescind transactions with distressed property consultants from 5 days to 14 days.
  • Providing a clear legal path to restore the title of a property when there has been a criminal conviction based on fraudulent actions concerning a property transfer. 

"Passing the Deed Theft Bill is a major step forward in addressing one of the most pressing issues among homeowners, especially in communities of color. Thieves target our most vulnerable homeowners and snatch generations of wealth from our families. For every one that thinks to call their elected officials or speak out, a dozen more do not know where to turn,” said State Senator Velmanette Montgomery.I thank the Governor for signing this legislation. It will have a tremendous impact on homeowners in my district and throughout New York State."

“The bill has a simple point. A District Attorney can bring an action and find fraud, but there's not been a way to get the homeowner's home back. This allows the DA to get into court and have the illegal deed thrown out, and have the house restored to the owner. As it stands now there's no simple way to get it back,” said Assemblymember Helene Weinstein.While it's clearly good to lock somebody up, this voids the illegal transfer and allows the owner to get their  home back.”

New York State Attorney General Letitia James has indicated that her office receives more deed theft complaints from Brooklyn than the four other boroughs combined and deed fraud scams disproportionately impact homeowners of color. They are highly concentrated in the rapidly gentrifying areas of Bedford Stuyvesant, Crown Heights, Flatbush and Brownsville. “People work hard to achieve a vital piece of the American Dream, but that dream can quickly turn into a nightmare when that home is stolen out from under them,” said Attorney General James. “Deed theft has become a common tool used by scammers to illegally obtain real estate in prominent housing markets like Brooklyn, greatly harming senior citizens and destabilizing communities. I thank Senator Montgomery, Assemblymember Weinstein, and Governor Cuomo for their support, advancement, and enactment of this important law.”  

Temporary Financial Assistance for domestic violence survivors bill Read More

Senator Montgomery's bill (ch. 355 of 2019/S.6423) amends Article 4 (Support Proceedings) in Family Court, as it relates to support orders. It raises the current income cap amount used in determinations of spousal and child support from $175,000 to $184,000. This legislation also provides that where a temporary order of spousal support has not already been issued, the court may issue an order directing the parties to appear within seven days of the issuance of the Family Court order, for consideration of an order for temporary spousal support. While providing an avenue for temporary spousal support within seven days of an issuance of a temporary order of protection. Such relief will help stop economic abuse within the context of domestic violence situations

Appeal findings and recommendations notice bill Read More

Senator Montgomery's bill (Ch. 44 of 2018/ S.7333) requires the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) to publish its appeal decisions on a public website within 120 days and provide either a printed or electronic copies to the prisons throughout the state on a quarterly basis. This legislation is significant in how provides incarcerated individuals and their families the opportunity to find news on their appeal in real time, DOCCS currently had no mandate to ever publish these decisions.

Raise the Age Read More

Senator Montgomery's Bill (S.4157/A4876 Lentol, ch. 59 of 2018) which was passed in the FY 2018 Budget, raised the age of criminal responsibility and prosecution of crimes from 16 years old to 18 years old. Essentially differentiating adult offenders from youth who have made mistakes. Providing that youth offenders obtain age appropiate services to further aid them in their development as young adults. The bill also established a new classification for youth offenders called Adolescent Offenders (AOs) who are youth ages 16 and 17 that have committed felony-level offenses.

New York was previously one of only two states that automatically prosecuted 16- and 17-year-olds as adults. This injustice unfairly punished youth and prevented them from receiving the services they need to rehabilitate themselves and re-integrate into their communities. New York’s youth who commit non-violent crimes will now receive age-appropriate housing and programming to lower their risk of re-offense.

Breastfeeding Women exempt from Jury duty Read More

S748/A.5424(Ch. 380) Sponsored by Senator Montgomery and Assemblyman Crespo, provides an exemption from Jury Duty for all woman who are breastfeeding and grants them a two year postponement from having to participate in a Jury.

Jury Duty can be taxing on anyone who has been called to serve. As a breastfeeding mother to have to participate in Jury Duty at such a critical time for the development of her child is inhumane. This creates a mechanism where these women can be exempt from Jury Duty and can focus on the well-being of their child.

 

Notice of allowances for Infant Support Bill Read More

Senator Montgomery and Assemblywoman Seawright's bill (Ch. 427/ S.5514)requiring notices of allowance for infant support has been delivered to the Governor and awaits his signature. When an individual seeks to use an infant's (Person under 18) property to pay for the infants support, they must petition the court for approval and provide notice to all parties designated by the court.

While current law, only requires the infant's father to be notified. Leaving the child's mother to only be notified if the father is deceased. This bill clarifies areas in the law to provide for all parents and guardians regardless of gender, and all responsiblie parties receive equal notification. 

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.

Senator Montgomery thanks the members of the Brownstoners of Bedford-Stuyvesant for their advocacy on their Construction Notification Bill.

To learn more about this issue, visit:

https://www.nysenate.gov/newsroom/articles/velmanette-montgomery/senator-montgomerys-constructiondemolition-notification-bill

http://www.ourtimepress.com/montgomery-wright-responds-to-homeowners-cries/

https://www.nysenate.gov/newsroom/in-the-news/velmanette-montgomery/wright-montgomery-pressure-cuomo-sign-legislation-crucial

https://www.nysenate.gov/newsroom/in-the-news/velmanette-montgomery/brooklyn-pols-call-communitys-support-bill-protect

Creation of a personal income tax check-off box for donations to the School-Based Health Center (SBHC) Fund. Read More

Senator Velmanette Montgomery presents a Pen Certificate to Larry McReynolds, Executive Director of Family Health Centers at NYU Langone and the Sunset Park High School family to celebrate passage of the new law that creates the School-Based Health Center

 

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: 

https://www.nysenate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/velmanette-montgomery/governor-signs-senator-montgomerys-bill-create-school

https://www.nysenate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/velmanette-montgomery/senator-montgomery-passes-bill-create-school-based

https://www.nysenate.gov/newsroom/in-the-news/velmanette-montgomery/senator-montgomerys-bill-creating-school-based-health 

https://www.nysenate.gov/newsroom/articles/velmanette-montgomery/students-nyu-langones-school-health-programs-visit-albany 

https://www.nysenate.gov/newsroom/articles/velmanette-montgomery/senator-montgomery-urges-governor-cuomo-sign-s6012a7866

https://www.nysenate.gov/newsroom/articles/velmanette-montgomery/senator-montgomery-meets-representatives-nyu-lutheran-family

https://www.nysenate.gov/newsroom/articles/velmanette-montgomery/senator-montgomery-welcomes-representatives-brooklyn-plaza

https://www.nysenate.gov/newsroom/articles/velmanette-montgomery/nurse-practitioners-new-york-honor-senator-montgomery

https://www.nysenate.gov/newsroom/in-the-news/velmanette-montgomery/senator-montgomery-calls-15-million-hike-state-funding

https://www.nysenate.gov/newsroom/articles/velmanette-montgomery/senator-montgomery-calls-governor-restore-funding-school?tab=&page=6

 

 

 

 

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: 

https://www.nysenate.gov/newsroom/articles/velmanette-montgomery/no-more-shackling-pregnant-women

https://www.nysenate.gov/newsroom/video/velmanette-montgomery/senator-montgomerys-anti-shackling-legislation-receives-final?xid=25657%2C15700021%2C15700186%2C15700190%2C15700248&tab=&page=4 

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

Dancewave Bill Becomes Law Read More

Senator Velmanette Montgomery and Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon celebrate the passage of S6023/A7770 which provides financing and construction of capital facilities assistance to Dancewave of Brooklyn.  

Dancewave is a Brooklyn based non-profit dance organization that began in 1995 and has inspired students to express themselves by combining rigorous training and mentorship from dance professionals in a nurturing and noncompetitive environment. School enrollment has increased dramatically and larger space is needed. 

This Capital Project will allow for the building of a new community arts and cultural center at 182 4th Avenue in Brooklyn, which will offer affordable rehearsal space, community events, performances, and professional development workshops and artists talks. The new Dancewave Center will allow expansion of the current class offerings to meet demand and reduce reliance on outside studio rentals creating a new home that will accommodate Dancewave's growth and mission; providing affordable arts programming and cultural connectedness that strengthens the health and vibrancy of the community.

To view Senator Montgomery's remarks on the passage of the bill in the Senate, visit https://www.nysenate.gov/newsroom/articles/velmanette-montgomery/senator...

For more information about Dancewave, please visit http://www.dancewave.org/

Senator Montgomery Celebrates the Groundbreaking of the new Dancewave Center

Access to G.E.D. bill Read More

Senator Montgomery's bill (Ch. 431 of 2015/ S.979-B) requires the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) to offer the opportunity of obtaining a G.E.D. to all inmates serving a determinate or indeterminate sentences as well as those who are under post-release supervision. Even though DOCCS already currently provides this service at most of its facilities, this bill essentially codifies this mandate in state law. 

Ensuring that all individuals in New York state that are incarcerated and or were incarcerated can be afforded the opportunity to complete a G.E.D. program.  Education programs have been shown to be a key factor in reducing recividism. Obtaining a G.E.D. gives individuals a better chance at finding employment once released, better preparing inmates for reintegrating into their respective communities.

 

Authorized the Sale of unused State Property to a Non-profit Read More

Senator Montgomery's bill (Ch. 217 of 2014/ S7698) authorizes the Commissioner of the Office of General Services (OGS) to sell an unused state-owned property to the Northeast Brooklyn Housing Development Corporation (NEBHDCo).

The legislation essentially allows the Office of General Services to facilitate the sale of said property to the NEBHDCo, who in turn plan to use the property for a mixed-use of affordable housing for the elderly and veterans. They also plan to provied complimentary social services and a mix of creative commercial and retail uses. Ultimately, this legislation will benefit the dormant stretch of Fulton Street corridor by spurring economic development in the area.

Adoptee Rights bill Read More

Senator Montgomery's Adoptee Rights bill (CH. 491 of 2019/ S.3419) establishes a process in which Adult Adoptees can obtain a certified copy of their Birth Certificates.

Removing restrictions and barriers that would allow Adoptees to obtain information about their biological parents to help inform Adoptees of any medical issues such as diseases and or illnesses that may be prevalent within their biological family. Under previous law, adoptees regardless of age, can only receive an amended version of their birth certificates with the names of their respective adoptive parents.

Senator Montgomery said,

This has been long overdue. We owe our success to the advocacy of thousands of adult adoptees who have fought tirelessly on this issue for over 20 years. The level of support I received for this legislation from adult adoptees all across the state and the nation was astounding. It is important that they have the right to seek answers about their health, their family history and their heritage"  

Gustin L. Reichbach Retirement Bills Read More

Senator Montgomery's bills (Ch.43 of 2012/ S.6374 & Ch. 535 of 2014/ S.3760) allows for the New York State and Local retirement system to posthumously award Judge Gustin L. Reichbach with additional service credit for his service as a judge with the United Nations admistration mission in Kosovo.

Gustin L. Reichbach was a life long resident of Brooklyn and served as a New York State Supreme Court Judge. As Judge Reichbach was battling Pancreatic Cancer, he was optimistic about beating the illness. In that midset, unfortunately the Judge filed for retirement 9 days prior to losing his battle with cancer. Under current law, employees must give at least 15-days' notice of retirement in order for their pension to be collected or inherited.

Being that Judge Reichbach died a few days prior to meeting this requirement, his family was only entitled a death benefit or a disability pension which would be significantly less than his standard service pension.  This legislation corrects this benefits issue by granting the family of Judge Reichbach an additional service credit and backdating his retirement to the day before his death. Ultimately allowing for his widow to obtain  a more modest benefit.

 

Agricultural representation on the State Procurement Council Read More

Senator Montgomery's bill ( Ch. 452 of 2012/S.4855) alters the composition of the New York State Procurement Council to include a member appointed by the Governor that represents the interest of the Agriculture industry. This apointee must represent a not-for-profit New York-based organization that's engaged in the advocacy, marketing and or promotion of New York grown farm and agricultural products.

Previously, the state's Procurement Council consisted of designees from the Office of General Services, the State comptroller, Director of Budget, Chief Diversity Officer and 7 members who are current heads of other large and small state agencies chosen by the Governor. None holding a background in agriculture. This measure is an effort for New York State to commit to the procurement of agricultural products grown and processed in New York.

Nurse Practitoners to Sign Death Certificates Read More

Senator Montgomery's Bill (Ch. 153 of 2011/S.325) authorizes certified Nurse Practitioners the ability to sign death certificates. Permitting the nearly 13,000 certified nurse practitioners from across the state to sign death certificates ensuring the delivery of appropriate and medically-accurate postmortem care.

Certitifed Nurse Practitioners are New York State licensed, registered Nurses who have advanced education and are clinically trained to provide primary care, diagnose and treat acute and chronic illnesses and much more. Under law they are able to pronounce death, ascertain the cause of death and provide the medical information required for the death certificate but cannot sign a death certificate. This measure updates atiquated and allows for certified Nurse Practitioners to sign Death Certificates.

Senator Montgomery said,

Nurse practitioners are often the last caregiver in attendance when a patient dies. If the state deems them qualified to diagnose and treat a person while they are living, there is no logical reason for denying these skilled health care professionals from completing a certificate of death"

 

Withdrawal from a Run-off Election Bill Read More

Senator Montgomery's bill (Ch. 424 of 2010/S.7980) allows for a candidate who is running in a primary election that ensues in a run-off, the ability to concede prior to the run-off election commencing.

Currently, races for the office of NYC mayor, Comptroller and Public Advocate are set to commence a run-off election between the two highest vote getters, if no respective candidate gets over 40% of the votes.

This measure not only corrects a flawed system but also creates a mechanism for a candidate who is currently in a run-off and wishes to concede, the ability to legally withdraw.

Same-Sex bereavement leave bill Read More

Senator Montgomery's bill (Ch. 423 of 2010/S.6177) requires that employers who already provide funeral or bereavement leave to employees, provide the same for those in same-sex relationships.

As anyone is subsceptible to losing a loved one, there are provisions in place to allow for funeral or bereavement leave from work. However, these protections often are not granted to those in same-sex relationships. This measure amends the civil rights law, to allow for individuals who are in same-sex relationships to be granted the same workplace protections that are afforded to their co-workers.

Childhood Influenza Education bill Read More

Senator Montgomery's bill (Ch. 36 of 2010/S.4645) requires the Commissioner of the Department of Health to establish a program of influenza education and outreach for parents of children from ages 6 months to 18 years old that are enrolled in licensed and registered daycare programs, nursery schools, pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, school age child care programs, public school or non public school.

In 2007, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended that all children aged 6 months old to aproximately 5 years old be given the influenza vaccination annually. Especially as each year in the United States, about 5 to 20% of the population are infected with influenza. Young children are especially subsceptible to this illness being that they are intermingling with dozens of children  in a closed environment. This measure ensures that all parents and guardians of toddlers and school age children are to be informed of the influenza disease and the benefits of getting an annual influenza immunization.

Assistance for Youth Aging out of Foster Care Read More

Senator Montgomery's Bill (Ch.342 of 2010/S4388) amends the family court act in relation to trial discharges, allowing for extensions in permanency hearings for successive periods up to 6 months until the respective youth reaches the age of 21, if said youth is over the age of 18, his or her consent is required before discharging. The measure also contains provisions to allow those who were discharged within the past 24 months and have failed to consent to continued care, the ability to seek family court leave to return voluntarily to foster care. Essentially creating an avenue of assistance for children who are aging out of the foster care system.

This measure would not only provide adolescents with a means of obtaining assistance in making the often-difficult transition into adulthood, but would also provide an essential homelessness-prevention tool for communities and, importantly, for county and municipal social services districts. Enacting this bill empowers youth with much needed access to services and support they otherwise would not be able to get after aging out of the foster care system.
 

 

Parental Rights reinstatement Bill Read More

Senator Montgomery's Bill (Ch. 343 of 2010/ S.3868) amends the family court act and the social services law to allow for the reinstatement of a person's parental rights under certain circumstances. Under this measure, with the consent of the petitioner, respondent, and respective child in the original termination proceedings, an individual may apply to have their parental rights reinstated. Under the circumstances that 2 years have passed since the issuance of the order, the petition against the respondent must not have been based on severe and or repeated child abuse, and the child must be under the jurisdiction of the family court and have a permanency goal other than adoption.  

Authorizing Family Court the ability to grant the petition to reinstate a respondent's parental right as they deem that they are for the best interest of the respective child. This would revoke the past disposition of termination and instead leave the fact-finding upon which the original adjudication was based on.

 

Delay Termination of Rights for incarcerated parents bill Read More

Senator Montgomery's bill (Ch.113 of 2010/ S2233) allows for Foster Care Agencies to delay the petition to terminate the parental rights of incarcerated parents. Under federal law (the Adoption and Safe Family Act or ASFA), these agencies are required to begin termination proceedings agianst the parents of a respective child after being in the system for at least 15 of the last 22 months. Despite being indisposed, incarcerated parents are to fulfill the same responsiblities as non-incarcerated parents. Which can be very difficult being that an incarcerated mother has limited collect calling and visitation opportunities. As they are incarcerated they are also barred from participating in foster care planning meetings and often are unable to make it to family court proceedings. If the respective parent fails to maintain consistent contact or fails to find a non-foster care home for the child(KinCare), the presiding agency is essentially forced to begin the process of terminating the parental rights.

Considering that the median sentence for Women in New York's prisons is 36 months, incarcerated mothers are at serious and disproportionate risk of losing their parental rights. Because more children of incarcerated mothers are placed in foster homes and agencies than children of incar- cerated fathers, ASFA has a disproportionate impact on incarcerated mothers.

This measure makes New York law more responsive to the unique circumstances of families separated by incarceration. Other states' ASFA laws lessen ASFA's negative impact incarcerated parents and their children: Nebraska and New Mexico exclude incarcerated parents from ASFA's time frame if the only reason for filing a termination petition is because a parent is incarcerated; Colorado makes an exception if a child has been in foster care for longer than the prescribed 15-month period for circumstances beyond the parent's control, such as incarceration for a reasonable time.
 

Barbering Bill Read More

This bill (ch. 469 of 2007/S7723) provides applicants for license to Barber or Practice Cosmetology with criminal records not to be automatically disqualified by the Secretary of State when evaluating the applicant under the term "good moral value." This bill would allow the Secretary of State to review such criminal history information in accordance with article twenty-three-A of the correction law.

This bill gives equal evaluation to those with a criminal record when submitting a license to barber or practice cosmetology. During the application process the applicant must provide grounds for good moral character in which the Secretary of State shall approve or disqualify the applicant. In the past when evaluating an applicant, a background check must be completed. When record of criminal conviction appears it is grounds for an immediate disqualification regardless of what attempts made by the applicant to live a law abiding life after debt to society is paid. This bill allows for further review of application after record of criminal conviction appears in the applicant's background search.
 

The Community Board Bill Read More

This Bill (ch.386 of 2007/S.557) enables community boards throughout the five boroughs of New York City to apply for and receive brownfield opportunity area grants.

Community boards are local representative bodies with a formal role designated by the City Charter in such matters as land use, determining local budget priorities, and monitoring City service delivery. The NYC community boards were envisioned and established to be discrete munici- pal planning entities. Despite their important and diverse role in improving the quality of life for all New Yorkers, community boards are not currently eligible to apply for and receive state funding the brown- field opportunity area program.
 

This bill remedies this by allowing them the ability to apply and receive said funding.

Expansion of Child Victims Bills Read More

This bill (Ch.178 of 2019/ S6353) increases the services that must be provided for youth and expand the alternatives available to the court in permanency hearings in juvenile cases including: 

  • notifying non-custodial parents of the scheduling of any hearings in family court,
  • continuity of counsel to juveniles that extend past the post dispositional order,
  • concrete educational and vocational plans for juveniles once a dispositional order is reached

The Blair Bill Read More

The Bill (ch. 160 of 1999/ S1982) requires the court to order restitution, in addition to any other sentencing, to a person with a disability, where a person is convicted of harming an
animal used to assist a person with a disability in the first and second degree, trained to aid such disabled person. 

Animals trained to assist disabled individuals are an essential part of that individual's lifestyle and significantly enhance their quality of life. A loss of such an animal can have a significant economic impact, and greatly alter their lifestyle. This bill would allow a disabled person to be compensated for such losses.