ALBANY, NY – This week, Senator Biaggi and the Senate Democratic Majority advanced a legislative package to support survivors of domestic violence and combat human trafficking in New York State that builds on the Conference’s continued work to provide greater protections for those impacted by domestic violence and the horrors of human trafficking. This package relieves survivors of domestic violence from utility contracts, expands eligibility for the “Non-Parent” Grant, seizes firearms from perpetrators, expands the statute of limitations on domestic violence claims, aids prosecutors in identifying repeat offenders, and protects the voting records of victims of sexual and domestic violence.
In addition, this legislative package requires public posting of human trafficking information, mandates state contractors to submit human trafficking prevention statements, expands the statute of limitations on human trafficking claims, and establishes human trafficking recognition training for all lodging employees. This package also includes legislation to enact the New York State Transparency in Supply Chains Act, and increase the legal marriage age to 18.
State Senator Alessandra Biaggi (D-Bronx/Westchester) issued the following statement:
"Domestic violence and human trafficking are pervasive issues across New York State, and it is critical that we empower and protect survivors. By enacting legislation to raise awareness of the severity of these issues and make it easier for survivors to get help, New York can ease the burden for survivors seeking justice and prevent future violence."
The legislation passed by the Senate Majority, includes:
- Relief from Contracts: This bill, S.1557A, sponsored by Senator Kevin Parker, allows individuals to break contracts with utility, phone and television providers when fleeing instances of domestic violence.
- Expand Eligibility for the "Non-Parent" Grant: This bill, S.2586, sponsored by Senator Jabari Brisport, will remove the requirement of establishing paternity or a child support order for certain applicants or recipients of aid to dependent children.
- Domestic Violence Records for Prosecutors: This bill, S.404, sponsored by Senator Alessandra Biaggi, will allow prosecutors to have access to past orders of protection in domestic violence cases so they can charge abusers with criminal contempt if they violated a past order of protection.
- Seizure of Firearms Following an Order of Protection: This bill, S.6363, sponsored by Senator Shelley Mayer, requires the court to order a search and immediate seizure of certain firearms when a defendant refuses to surrender firearms upon the issuance of an order of protection.
- The Phoenix Act: This bill, S.3020A, sponsored by Senator Kevin Parker, will expand the statute of limitations for domestic violence cases.
- Voter Record Confidentiality: This bill, S.1555, sponsored by Senator Zellnor Myrie, permits a person who is a victim of domestic violence to have their voter registration records sealed upon delivering an affirmation to a board of elections, instead of applying to court.
- Sealing Voting Records For Domestic Violence Victims: This bill, S.3855, sponsored by Senator Tim Kennedy, allows victims of sexual violence protection against their attacker by enabling them to have their voter records sealed in the same manner as victims of domestic violence.
- Posting Human Trafficking Hotline Information: This bill, S.3374, sponsored by Senator Jamaal Bailey, requires signs developed by the State Liquor Authority to be posted providing human trafficking information and referral hotline numbers in all establishments selling alcoholic beverages and adult entertainment establishments.
- State Contractors to Submit a Statement on Human Trafficking: This bill, S.1216, sponsored by Senator Brian Benjamin, will require all parties submitting bids for competitively bid state procurement contracts to affirm under penalty of perjury that the goods, work or services will be supplied or performed without doing business with any organization, person or entity engaging in human trafficking and to submit their written anti-human trafficking policy, if any.
- Statute of Limitation Extension: This bill, S.672, sponsored by Senator James Sanders, Jr. extends the statute of limitations from 10 years to 15 years to give human trafficking victims more time to file a civil cause of action.
- Human Trafficking Training and Awareness: This bill, S.244A, sponsored by Senator Shelley Mayer, will require lodging facilities to provide a human-trafficking recognition training program to all employees.
- New York State Transparency in Supply Chains Act: This bill, S.748, sponsored by Senator Alessandra Biaggi, will establish the "New York State Transparency in Supply Chains Act" requiring businesses within the state to disclose their preventative measures against human trafficking.
- Increases the Age of Consent for Marriage: This bill, S.3086, sponsored by Senator Senator Julia Salazar, will increase the age of consent for purposes of marriage to the age of eighteen.