Protecting Our Children: Senator Monica R. Martinez Passes Legislation To Ensure the Safety of Our Youth

Monica R. Martinez

June 20, 2019

(Albany, NY) As the 2019 legislative session came to a close, Senator Monica R. Martinez was the lead sponsor of two pieces of legislation that strengthen protections for our children and students.

Senate bill S4862 requires fingerprinting and background checks of construction contractors who work on school grounds. Many others who are employed in schools are required to be fingerprinted and this bill will allow for the same stringent requirements for outside contractors in order to ensure children's safety. In order to protect our children, we must ensure every individual goes through the appropriate vetting process before working on school property. Importantly, under this legislation, these contracted employees will be required to facilitate the background checks themselves rather than relying on school districts to keep up with this administrative responsibility.

Senate bill S5570 clarifies that any level three sex offender shall not be paroled to residencies within 1000 feet from a school. Given the disagreement within the Appellate Division Courts in New York State, this legislation seeks to clarify that the intent of SARA is to limit all "level three" sex offenders eligible on parole from being released into housing within 1000 feet of school grounds. This is a public safety concern, and the loophole of allowing some "level three" sex offenders on parole will be closed with this measure.

“When it comes to protecting our students, children, and families, we cannot take chances. These added layers of reassurance and verification will help to ensure the safety and well being of our communities, and I am proud to champion these issues,” stated bill sponsor Senator Monica R. Martinez