New York State Senate Majority Leader John J. Flanagan today announced the appointment of Senator Chris Jacobs (60th District) to the Senate Task Force on Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases. The Task Force is charged with improving prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of these diseases to better protect the health of New Yorkers and their families.
Senate Majority Leader John J. Flanagan said, “It’s an honor to name Senator Jacobs to this important and innovative Senate Task Force and support his efforts to protect the well-being of his fellow Western New Yorkers. Since its creation in 2013, the Senate has worked tirelessly on enhancing research, prevention, diagnosis and treatment for harmful tick-borne illnesses.”
Senator Jacobs said, “I want to thank Senator Flanagan for appointing me to the Senate Task Force on Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases. Lyme and tick-borne diseases are a very serious public health problem on the rise in New York State, and one that has the potential to grow larger because of the warmer winter we just experienced. So many Western New York families have been impacted, and now I am looking forward to getting to work with my colleagues to develop policies and identify resources to improve outcomes for families affected by these illnesses.”
While the Northeast United States continues to be one of the hardest-hit regions for Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, the Senate has been actively working to reverse this trend. This year alone the Task Force successfully secured $400,000 in the newly-adopted state budget for research, education, and prevention efforts.
The Task Force will continue to engage stakeholders and develop legislation to address Lyme disease. It will build upon past legislative successes, including two new laws passed last year that require the Department of Health to design a Lyme and tick-borne disease prevention program, and require the state to create age-appropriate educational materials that would be readily available to schools. Students will learn how to identify ticks, the procedures for safe removal, and the best practices for protection from ticks.
For more information about the Task Force’s ongoing efforts to combat Lyme and Tick-Borne diseases, please visit: https://www.nysenate.gov/committees/task-force-lyme-and-tick-borne-diseases