Senator Steve Saland (R, I, C - Poughkeepsie) today announced several key initiatives to protect and strengthen communities across the state have been included in the 2012-13 New York State Budget.
Senator Saland has a long history of addressing domestic violence issues and has passed numerous laws over the past decade. Among the items he negotiated into this Budget:
• Family Court Domestic Violence Services - $600,000
• Domestic Violence Training for Law Enforcement and Judges - $500,000
• Law Enforcement, Anti-Violence, Anti-Drug, Crime Control, Prevention Programs - $450,000
In addition, the Budget includes funding for increases in district attorneys salaries, which are slated to increase on April 1st. Counties will continue to pay the prosecutors’ salaries up to the current level – the state will cover the increase, providing some mandate relief to the counties.
Senator Saland stated, “In the process of negotiating this budget, I was particularly sensitive to any new costs that may be imposed on local governments. I have long stated that if the State cannot fund it, we should not mandate it – I am pleased my colleagues in the Legislature agreed the State should be absorbing the cost of the increase in District Attorney salaries.”
A personal priority for Senator Saland this year was the expansion of the DNA databank. New York now requires collection of DNA on all felonies and all penal law misdemeanor convictions, providing a powerful tool to bring closure to unsolved crimes and prevent further crimes from taking place, while providing a means by which a wrongfully convicted person can be exonerated, or a suspect eliminated.
“I have long fought to strengthen the laws to protect the people of New York State,” stated Senator Saland. “As the former Chairman of the Senate Children and Families Committee and current Chairman of the Codes Committee, public protection and domestic violence issues will continue to be a key priority.”