Senate Passes Legislation to Protect Children and Strengthen Meth Penalties

David J. Valesky

May 02, 2014

The Senate passed two important pieces of legislation this week, both of which I co-sponsored, aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse and at strengthening the penalties for manufacturing methamphetamine. “Erin Merryn’s Law” (S.2367) would require schools to add child sex abuse prevention to existing curriculum for child abduction. In addition to prevention, this change would give critically important information to victims–many of whom do not know there is a way out of their horrific situation.

I also signed on as a supporter of the Central New York Darkness to Light Collaboration’s Stewards of Children Campaign, an initiative spearheaded by McMahon Ryan Child Advocacy Center and the YMCA to provide education to adults about the steps they can take to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. The Collaboration’s goal is to train 18,000 adults in Central New York—5 percent of the population. More than 1,000 people have completed the training already. For more information, visit

The growing use and manufacture of methamphetamine is particularly pervasive in rural counties in Upstate New York. S.3639 increases the penalties for those caught making the drug and is intended to deter production. In addition, I sponsor a bill (S.4652) that makes it more difficult to purchase large quantities of the ingredients used to make methamphetamine that can be found in medicines containing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, and phenylpropanolamine available over the counter in retail establishments.

Help Make Central New York an Age-Friendly Community

F.O.C.U.S. Greater Syracuse and SUNY Oswego’s Active Aging and Community Engagement Center are conducting a community-wide survey on how to make our community age-friendly. They want to learn what our community needs to do to help people continue to live in Central New York as significant, productive lifelong citizens. They want to hear from people who live in the heart of the city as well as the suburbs and farmlands. The final results will be shared with governments, businesses, academia, nonprofit, philanthropic, and citizen engagement organizations. Take the survey at

It’s Not Too Late to Volunteer at State Parks on “I Love My Park Day”

The third annual “I Love My Park Day” is Saturday, May 3, 2014. A record number of volunteers—nearly 3,000—have already registered and the state is expecting almost 6,000 participants. Those who would like to support clean-up and renovation efforts at sites across the state can register at

Volunteers of all ages can help improve parks and historic sites through hundreds of projects ranging from general park clean-up, such as debris and trash pick-up, and invasive plant and species removal to beautification efforts such as planting flowers and trees, weed removal, reseeding, painting, assembly and installation of benches and picnic tables, trail maintenance, and much more.

Local participating parks include Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum, Clark Reservation State Park, Green Lakes State Park, Lorenzo State Historic Site, Old Erie Canal State Park, and Madison County Corridor (Oneida).

Shred Your Confidential Documents for Free

Do you have confidential papers that you want to clear out of your house? OCRRA's Shred-o-Rama Event is Saturday, May 10, from 8 a.m. to noon at NBT Bank Stadium. Confidential documents include anything with account or social security numbers, bank or medical statements, tax documents, etc.

Adelphi NYS Breast Cancer Hotline Is There to Help

The Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline and Support Program in holding its annual Mother’s Day campaign to urge women to call the hotline if they have any concerns about breast cancer. For more information and to locate an accredited mammography facility nearby and local breast cancer programs, call the Adelphi New York Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline and Support Program at 800-877-8077. Callers can also get emotional support from the hotline’s specially trained volunteers—women who have had breast cancer. Or, visit the program website.