About Velmanette Montgomery
Chair of Committee on Children and Families
Senator Velmanette Montgomery is recognized for her effective leadership and steadfast commitment to her constituents of North and Central Brooklyn. Senator Montgomery’s career as a New York State Legislator includes tireless advocacy for youth, public education, criminal justice reform, environmental preservation and civil rights.
As the Chair of the New York State Senate Standing Committee on Children and Families, Senator Montgomery has been committed to helping young people achieve positive outcomes through reform of the State’s juvenile justice, foster care and adoptive care systems. Senator Montgomery is the recipient of numerous awards, most recently she received the Barbara M. Clark Kinship Champion Award in recognition of her longtime advocacy on the issue of kinship care.
Prior to elected office, Senator Montgomery worked as a teacher, adjunct professor, and day care director as well as the co-founder of the Day Care Forum of New York City. Senator Montgomery obtained a Master’s degree in Education from New York University and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Law from St. Joseph's College in Brooklyn.
In the 2019 Legislative Session, Senator Montgomery authored legislation that not only made it into the Governor’s 2019 budget, but also passed both houses and currently awaits the Governor’s signature:
SCR Bill S6427A Montgomery/A8060AJaffee: This bill addresses some very important issues that have persisted with the State Central Registry:
- Creates a higher standard of evidence for child abuse and neglect findings.
- Allows indicated cases of neglect to be conditionally sealed for purposes of employment after 8 years
- Provides parents with an opportunity for a fair hearing
Clean Bill of Adoptee Rights S3419/A8059: Provides adoptees over the age of 18 with the opportunity to access a non-redacted version of their original birth certificate.
Kinship Bill S6405/A8059: Amends the Family Court Act to expand the definition of people who are eligible to petition the court to become foster parents, who are related to the child:
- Through blood, marriage or adoption
- Related to a half sibling of the child through blood, marriage, or adoption and the person is or are the prospective or appointed relative guardian of the half sibling; or
- An adult with a positive relationship with the child, including, but not limited to, a stepparent, godparent, neighbor or family friend.
Civic Education Bill S3951/A7202: Creates a fund to be utilized by community-based organizations, non-profits, and other non-traditional organizations to implement civic education projects.
Juvenile Delinquency Bill S5516B/A8092: This legislation relates to the determination of a juvenile’s capacity to stand trial in delinquency proceedings in family court.
Permanency Hearing Bill S6535/A7940: This bill would increase the services that must be provided for youth and expand the alternatives available to the court in permanency hearings in juvenile cases including:
- notifying non-custodial parents of the scheduling of any hearings in family court,
- continuity of counsel to juveniles that extend past the post dispositional order,
- concrete educational and vocational plans for juveniles once a dispositional order is reached
Family Support Services - Legislation that Senator Montgomery authored regarding Family Support Centers made it into the Governors 2019 New York State budget to reinvest some of the resources currently used for Persons In Need of Supervision out of home detention and placement to support a model of effective community-based intervention.
SENATOR MONTGOMERY’S BILLS SIGNED INTO LAW INCLUDE:
RAISE THE AGE - Raises the Age of criminal responsibility in New York State (Chapter 59)
NATIVE AMERICAN CHILD WELFARE ACT - Allows Native American tribes to use their own tribal courts in foster care and child custody proceedings (Chapter 462)
DEED THEFT PROTECTION BILL - Provides greater protections for owners of homes that are in default or foreclosure and strengthens laws regulating distressed property "consultants" who provide services to prevent property loss (Chapter 167)
SCHOOL-BASED HEALTH FUNDING BILL – Creates a personal income tax check-off box for donations to the School-Based Health Center (SBHC) Fund (Chapter 293)
THE BLAIR BILL - Expands the protection of guide and service dogs (Chapter 150)
COMMUNITY BOARD BILL - Allows community boards throughout the five boroughs of New York City to apply for and receive brownfield opportunity area grants (Chapter 386)
CONSTRUCTION NOTIFICATION BILL - Requires the NYC Department of Buildings (NYC DOB) to provide written notification to adjoining property owners when an application for approval of construction is submitted and requires NYC DOB to provide proof of such insurance and a copy of the permit to owners of adjoining property thirty days before construction, or demolition work (Chapter 217)
NURSE PRACTITIONER BILL – spearheaded and co-sponsored legislation to expand the scope of practice and licensure for nurse practitioners in New York State to address the shortage of primary care doctors (Chapter 293)
DEATH CERTIFICATE BILL - Allows nurse practitioners to sign death certificates (Chapter 153)
TIME OF DAY METERING BILL – Requires utilities to offer Time-Of-Day metering to residential customers to conserve energy and save consumers money (Chapter 303)
LEGALIZATION OF NEEDLE EXCHANGE PROGRAMS - Spearheaded the campaign to stem the spread of AIDS among intravenous drug users and co-sponsored legislation that legalized needle exchange programs.
FAMILY VISITATION BILL (ASHLEY’S LAW) - Ensures families have easy access to correctional visitation information (Chapter 286)
BARBERING BILL - Prevents New Yorkers from being arbitrarily denied a license to barber or practice cosmetology just because they spent time in prison (Chapter 469)
ANTI-SHACKLING LAW - Prohibits incarcerated pregnant women from being handcuffed and shackled while in labor (Chapter 411 and Chapter 570 )
GED BILL - Requires the Department of Correctional Services to provide incarcerated individuals with an opportunity to complete a GED prior to release (Chapter 431).
FEMALE GENITAL MUTILIATION BILL – Spearheaded campaign and co-sponsored legislation to ban female genital mutilation of minors in New York State (Chapter 618)
BEREAVEMENT LEAVE FOR SAME-SEX COUPLES - Prohibits employers from discriminating in the granting of funeral or bereavement leave to its employees who are in a committed same-sex relationship (Chapter 423)
PROCUREMENT BILL - Supports New York’s primary industry, agriculture, by requiring the State’s Procurement Council to include a member of a non-profit organization that represents New York’s farming communities. (Chapter 452 )
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. COMMISSION BILL – created State Commission to organize the Annual Commemoration and celebration of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (Chapter 811)
PARENTAL NOTIFICATION BILL – requires notice to parents prior to issuance of temporary removal for a child (Chapter 527)
BREASTFEEDING BILL - Provides breastfeeding mothers with up to a 2 year postponement from jury duty (Chapter 380)
DAYCARE PROVIDERS PROTECTION ACT - Prevents the NYS Office of Children and Families from posting the home address or personal information of day care providers on the Internet
EXPANDING DEFINITION OF CHILD VICTIM to include victims less than 18 years old, who suffer physical, mental or emotional injury, loss or damage because of any violation committed against or witnessed by a child. This legislation ensures children who witness a violation committed against somebody else, but are not victims of the crime themselves, are eligible for compensation and assistance (Chapter 178)
TEMPORARY SPOUSAL SUPPORT BILL in conjunction with temporary and final orders of protection in family court and calculation of maintenance cap in family and Supreme Court to favor the family who has young children and the gap that may come from the lapse in this determination (Chapter 355)