Landmark Law is the Result of Oppenheimer’s Career of Bi-partisan Partnerships
New York State Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-WFP, Mamaroneck) held a press conference today to announce that the cancer tracking and mapping bill she originated with Assemblyman Richard Brodsky and co-sponsored this year has now become law. Senator Oppenheimer was joined by Assembly Member Richard Brodsky, Jon B. Schandler, President and CEO, White Plains Hospital Center, and Denise Raptoulis, Patient Service Manager, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society-Hudson Valley Chapter.
Governor David Paterson recently signed the Cancer Mapping Bill into law. The new law requires the New York State Health Department and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to gather and monitor data and map areas throughout the state for incidents of cancer, to analyze whether or not there are trends that the medical community should be aware of, to keep a data base of this information, and to post cancer information on their websites.
Senator Oppenheimer originally introduced this legislation with Assemblyman Brodsky in 1999. In 2007 Senator Oppenheimer joined forces with Senator Thomas Libous (R-C-I, Binghamton), who became the lead sponsor in order to advance the bill in the Republican controlled Senate.
Senator Oppenheimer said, “I am proud to say that New York State will now have a state-wide system to track cancer diagnoses and clusters of cancer that might occur in specific areas of the state. This information will better help physicians and hospitals throughout the state to monitor the number of people who are diagnosed with cancer and to track whether or not there are trends in specific communities that could set off alarm bells that would generate further investigations by the Department of Health and the Department of Environmental Conservation. This legislation was made possible through the bipartisan partnership of Senator Libous, Assembly Member Richard Brodsky, and Governor David Paterson.”
Assembly Member Richard Brodsky (D-Westchester) said “I am pleased to join my colleague Senator Oppenheimer in commemorating the signing of this law. This is an historic effort to give the public access to info the State has had for decades. We need to know more about these bizarre cancer clusters all over New York and the Cancer Mapping Program will help us focus our research on places we need to investigate. Suzi did a terrific job in reaching out and working with Senate Republicans to get their support to pass our bill. In the past Suzi has extended herself by bringing Democrats and Republicans together to pass important laws on other issues such as protecting Long Island Sound and the environment, Kieran’s Law, which allows background checks for caregivers who take care of children, healthcare laws that cover insurance coverage for mastectomies, and prostate cancer research.”
Senator Oppenheimer enlisted the support of Senator Libous for sponsorship of the bill. Senator Oppenheimer was the lead co-sponsor. Senator Libous represents a district in New York State’s Southern Tier which has experienced large numbers of people who have developed cancer, possibly as the result of contaminated industrial sites. Governor Paterson wholeheartedly supported this bill and he signed it into law on September 26th. The law took effect immediately.
Senator Oppenheimer was first elected to the Senate in 1984 and represents the cities of New Rochelle, Rye, and White Plains, and the towns of Harrison, Mamaroneck, New Castle, North Castle, Ossining, Rye, and Scarsdale.