Jay J.’s Law Passes through Senate Committee, Moves toward Full Senate Vote

Senate Codes Committee approves Jay J.’s Law at their meeting Tuesday, a critical step toward passing the legislation in full Senate

ALBANY, N.Y. – Senator Timothy M. Kennedy, D-58th District, announced the Senate Codes Committee approved Jay J.’s Law at their meeting Tuesday morning. Now that it has passed through committee, Jay J.’s Law begins moving toward the Senate floor for a vote of the full chamber.

Jay J.’s Law is named for Jay J. Bolvin, a little boy from Western New York who suffered severe physical abuse at the hands of his own father. The violent attacks left Jay J. with 11 fractured bones, a severe seizure disorder and developmental delays, but his abuser – who had previously been convicted of abusing another one of his children – was let off with a relatively light sentence due to a gap in state law. Jay J.’s Law, sponsored by Senator Kennedy and Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak, will crackdown on repeat child abuse and enact far stiffer penalties for violent offenders who repeatedly hurt children.

For months, Jay J.’s family has been leading a grassroots advocacy campaign, urging the State Legislature to pass Jay J.’s Law and protect children across the state. Last week, Jay J., his grandparents and guardians, Joseph and Tabitha Retzer, and Uncle Kevin and Aunt Chris Retzer visited Albany to lobby state lawmakers for support.

“When we were in the State Capitol last week, we secured commitments from several key lawmakers who said they would support Jay J.’s Law. We’re thrilled to see the State Senate already making good on their word and passing Jay J.’s Law through the Codes Committee,” said Jay J.’s Uncle Kevin Retzer. “We want to thank Senator Stephen Saland and the entire Senate Codes Committee for putting their support behind the bill and helping us move Jay J.’s Law another step closer to a Senate vote. We also want to thank Senator Kennedy, Assemblyman Gabryszak and the Western New York Delegation for working so hard on behalf of Jay J.

“We’re getting closer to passing Jay J.’s Law, and we can’t let up now,” he added. “We hope even more of our friends and neighbors in Western New York and across the state will speak up for Jay J. and all children and help us pass this important bill.”

“Jay J. and his family have been the driving forces behind the movement to pass Jay J.’s Law,” said Senator Kennedy. “The bravery of little Jay J. in his recovery from the abuse he suffered and the boundless support of his family – those are the reasons Jay J.’s Law is moving closer to passing the full Senate. We’re encouraged by the progress, and we’re going to keep pushing forward with our efforts to ensure Jay J.’s Law moves through both chambers of the Legislature and onto the Governor’s desk for his signature this session. I thank my colleagues in the Senate and Assembly for supporting Jay J.’s Law in our collective efforts to protect New York’s children.”


Senator Timothy M. Kennedy represents the New York State Senate’s 58th District, which is comprised of the towns of Cheektowaga, Eden, Hamburg and West Seneca, the city of Lackawanna and parts of the city of Buffalo. More information is available at kennedy.nysenate.gov.