WNED 970-AM: Legislators Push Criminal Provision of Laura Cummings Law

Mark Grisanti

August 23, 2011

A bi-partisan group from Western New York's state legislature delegation is urging their colleagues to pass the final provision of a bill designed to protect the developmentally disabled.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed provisions of "Laura Cummings Law" into effect that allow agencies to share information about prior abuse reports and to get a court order to access a home.

However, State Senator George Maziarz says the law still lacks criminal sanctions. Maziarz says the Assembly is holding up the final provision of the bill.

"What we're saying is, if you deny access to the authorities of an individual that is developmentally disabled, that is being abused, you're going to pay a criminal penalty. I don't see how you can water that down," said Maziarz.

Maziarz says he suspects the legislature will come back in session before the end of September to address a narrow agenda. He is pushing for Laura's Law to be part of that business.

Laura's Law was named in honor of Laura Cummings, a developmentally disabled North Collins woman who was abused by members of her family for years before being murdered by her mother Eva Cummings in January of 2010.