The New York State Senate today gave final passage to a variety of legislation that has already passed in the Assembly and will be sent to the Governor for review. The legislation would help new mothers, benefit hard-working families, provide assistance to the elderly, protect children, and enhance local communities.
Among the bills receiving final passage are:
- S5183 sponsored by Senator Kemp Hannon (R, Nassau) would update the Breastfeeding Mothers’ Bill of Rights to add a provision that allows women to take reasonable, unpaid breaks at work in order to pump breast milk for up to three years following childbirth. Including this in the Breastfeeding Mothers’ Bill of Rights, which is publically posted in maternal healthcare facilities, nurseries, maternity floors, and post-delivery rooms, would ensure that women are aware of this right and would prevent employers from discriminating against them based on their decision to express breast milk at work.
- S5419 sponsored by Senator Sue Serino (R-C-I, Hyde Park) would create a simpler application form for people applying for child care assistance. This benefit would help support parents and guardians who are working and would like to continue to work but would not otherwise have the opportunity without child care assistance.
- S5091 sponsored by Senator Patricia Ritchie (R-C, Heuvelton) would create a child care regulatory review task force consisting of relevant state agencies to identify ways to streamline and maintain compliance with the various federal and state regulatory, licensing, and quality enhancement program requirements of child care providers.
- S5173 sponsored by Senator Michael Nozzolio (R-C, Fayette) relates to Ignition Interlock Devices (IIDs). This measure would amend the law to provide that when a sentence requires an IID to be installed and maintained on a vehicle the defendant owns or operates, and when a declaration of delinquency is later filed, the sentence condition will continue throughout the period of any delinquency. It also provides that the court may extend the installation period by the period of the delinquency.
- S1531 sponsored by Senator Mike Ranzenhofer (R-C-I, Amherst) would limit the time state agencies would have to appeal certain judgments regarding freedom of information (FOIL) violations to create an expedited process. Under current law, a denial of request for records may be overturned by a court, but the agency may file a notice of appeal and has up to nine months to submit the appeal. This delay, in some circumstances, may create an unfairness or a restriction of the rights of an individual.
- S3483 sponsored by Senator Andrew Lanza (R-C-I, Staten Island) would expand the list of topics the Department of Health can include in education and outreach programs for consumers, patients, and health care providers to include female genital mutilation. This legislation would help increase the public’s awareness regarding the physical, sexual, and psychological consequences of undergoing female genital mutilation.
- S5260 sponsored by Senator John Bonacic (R-C-I, Mount Hope) would allow the use of a psychiatrist, employed by the state, to testify in court during “Kendra's Law” hearings in counties with populations under 80,000. Kendra's Law requires a psychiatrist to be in court for hearings scheduled by the judge within 72 hours of a petition being filed. In more rural areas of the state, finding a psychiatrist can be very difficult.
- S4081A sponsored by Senator Martin Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn) would increase certain special accidental death benefits for all widows or widowers of police officers and firefighters killed in the line-of-duty by extending the escalation of a cost of living increase of approximately 3 percent for 2015-2016. There is no cost to local localities as the state would reimburse for this small increase.
- S5509 sponsored by Senator Joseph Robach (R-C-I, Rochester) would extend the Demonstration Program to allow nursing homes to operate a physician practice that serves community-based seniors in their homes.
- S5540A sponsored by Senator Terrence Murphy (R-C-I, Yorktown) would authorize affiliates of licensed operators of adult care facilities and assisted living residences in good standing to utilize a new streamlined application process. This new process is a substantial improvement over past practice, and holds great promise for the assisted living industry.