Senate Acts to Protect New York's Most Vulnerable Children and Adults

Hugh T. Farley

May 25, 2011

State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I - Schenectady) announced that he and his colleagues in the New York State Senate passed a measure on May 24th to prevent child and adult abuse and expand the authority of protective workers to enable full investigations into allegations of abuse. The bill (S.3306B) is due to the murder and abuse of Laura Cummings, a mentally and physically challenged young adult from Erie County.

Twenty-three-year-old Laura Cummings was murdered last year by her mother and suffered a lifetime of physical, mental, and sexual abuse by her mother and half-brother. The abuse was reported to Social Services officials on numerous occasions but no actions were taken to prevent the terrible conditions Laura endured.

The measure improves government response and crucial access to children and impaired adults who may be victims of abuse by enhancing the investigative authority of Child and Adult Protective Services. It would ensure that repeated reports of serious abuse of children or impaired adults are fully investigated by allowing officials entry to the place where abuse is alleged and, if individuals interfere with abuse investigations by restricting access to the premises, charge those individuals with a class A misdemeanor. The bill also enables Child and Adult Protective Services to share important information about reports of abuse and other relevant records.

The bill has been sent to the Assembly.