On Sunday, March 27, 2011, NYS Senator Eric Adams, joined by religious leaders in the Jewish and Muslim communities, held a press conference to urge Albany to reinstate funding to the Office of the Medical Examiner. Access to the Medical Examiner is of the utmost importance to those who follow the Jewish and Muslim faiths, as burials must occur within 24 hours of an individual’s passing. Current budget proposals are calling for a substantial decrease in staff and resources. Without the available staff, the ability to uphold religious tenets would become difficult, and service would be impacted not just for those religious communities, but for all New Yorkers.
Senator Adams stated: “It is troubling to me that Albany would play politics with the religious practices of others. While I understand all too well the fiscal issues that New York State is currently facing, it is abhorrent to balance the budget on the backs of those who rely on the Medical Examiner during vulnerable periods, such as the passing on of loved ones."