ALBANY, NY (January 13, 2020) -- Senator Anna M. Kaplan (D-Great Neck) has introduced four new bills aimed at combating the rising tide of anti-Semitism and hate in New York State, through education, awareness, and a stronger hate crimes statute to ensure prosecutors have the tools necessary to hold accountable those committing anti-Semitic and hate motivated crimes. Additionally, Senator Kaplan announces her full support of Governor Cuomo's efforts to combat the crisis through additional resources and security funding for law enforcement and faith based institutions, and his proposal to create a domestic terrorism law that will appropriately punish those who commit mass acts of violence motivated by hatred.
Senator Anna M. Kaplan said "As a Jewish refugee who came to this country fleeing anti-Semitic violence in my homeland, my heart aches over the out-of-control spree of anti-Semitic violence taking place here in New York. I've been proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with New Yorkers of all faiths and backgrounds as we have marched in the streets and loudly proclaimed that we will not allow anti-Semitism and hatred to take hold in New York, and today, I'm proud to announce that I am taking concrete steps to address this crisis from every direction."
S.7198, sponsored by Senator Kaplan, creates an educational program within the State Department of Education ("SED"), including curriculum, lesson plans, and resources, to educate students, parents, and school personnel about anti-Semitism and discrimination based on religion, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression, along with strategies to prevent such discrimination from taking place.
S.7199, sponsored by Senator Kaplan, directs SED to develop age-appropriate hate crime awareness curriculum and instruction tools for school districts to educate students on what discrimination and religious intolerance (including anti-Semitism) look like, as well as positive actions students can take to promote acceptance, inclusion, and the diversity of their communities.
S.7200, sponsored by Senator Kaplan, amends the criminal procedure law to allow for previous declarations and statements to be admitted as evidence to show a defendant intentionally committed a hate crime because of a person's belief or perception regarding the race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, gender identity or expression, religion, religious practice, age, disability, or sexual orientation of a person.
S.7201, sponsored by Senator Kaplan, establishes and implements a statewide campaign promoting acceptance, inclusion, tolerance, and understanding of diversity, which will incorporate all forms of media to get out the message.
In addition to these measures, Senator Kaplan expressed her strong support for Governor Cuomo's proposals to combat anti-Semitism and hate through education initiatives, funding for security and target hardening initiatives in houses of worship and faith based institutions, support and resources for law enforcement, and enactment of a new domestic terrorism law to prosecute mass acts of hate-fueled violence as was seen in the Monsey attack.
"Governor Cuomo has been relentless in his support for marginalized members of our community, particularly Jewish New Yorkers, and I'm grateful not only for his words, but for his action to make sure all of our communities are free from anti-Semitism and hate. I look forward to working with the Governor to enact a strong domestic terrorism law this session, and to provide the resources our law enforcement and our communities need to protect public safety," Senator Kaplan concluded.