Press release: Decrim NY, legislators introduce first statewide bill to decriminalize and decarcerate sex trades in nation’s history

Today, Decrim NY and legislators unveiled Stop Violence in the Sex Trades Act, a package bill to decriminalize and decarcerate the sex trades in New York. It is the first statewide bill of its kind in the nation’s history. Decrim NY (see member list here), is a coalition of 30+ organizations working across LGBTQ, racial justice, har reduction, and immigrant rights spaces. It launched in February with heavy publicity. Since launching, the coalition has also brought 100+ sex workers, trafficking survivors, and advocates to Albany for a lobby day in May.

Protecting New York State’s Water Supply

Yesterday in Albany I joined with environmental and health advocates and other legislators to urge the immediate passage of legislation I’m sponsoring in the Assembly to protect New York’s drinking water. My bill, (A.7839), would require testing drinking water all across New York State for a list of harmful chemicals, and establish a deadline for the New York Department of Health (DOH) to conduct such testing.

Press Release: Bill Requiring Plant-Based Food Options in Hospitals Passes Legislature

ALBANY, NY – Senator Brad Hoylman (D/WF-Manhattan) and Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried’s bill to require plant-based food options in hospitals passed through both houses of the State legislature yesterday.

Times-Union: At packed hearing, NY lawmakers weigh single-payer health care

At a lengthy, packed hearing on the bill held Tuesday in Albany, lawmakers heard from hospitals, health care leaders, municipal officials, patients, advocates, union leaders and others who all agreed that its goal of providing comprehensive, universal coverage to New Yorkers is laudable. But whether single-payer is the system to achieve that was the topic of spirited debate.

WAMC Radio: NY Legislature Holds Single-Payer Health Care Hearing

The New York State legislature held a daylong hearing Tuesday on a proposal to enact single-payer health care in New York. Supporters and opponents debated whether it’s the answer to the state’s health care
gaps.

Chair Richard Gottfried, a Democrat and prime sponsor of the legislation, known as the New York Health Act, laid out the problem. Millions of New orkers have some form of health coverage, he said. But many still face financial obstacles from private insurance companies in getting the care they need, because of unaffordable co-pays or coverage denials.

CBS Radio: NY Lawmakers In Last-Minute Push To Strengthen Sexual Harassment Laws

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – With less than two weeks left in the legislative session in Albany, there’s a last-minute push from lawmakers hoping to toughen the state’s sexual harassment laws.

The newly emboldened progressives in Albany have made combating sexual harassment a top priority.
Lawmakers from both houses of the Legislature held a joint hearing on the issue in anhattan Friday, a follow-up to a hearing in February that was the first of its kind in almost 30 years.

Gothamist: NYC Sex Workers Rally In Albany For Two Decriminalization Bills

Over a hundred sex workers, activists, and allies converged on Albany yesterday to call for the passage of two bills aimed at protecting sex workers from police harassment and clearing their records of crimes traffickers forced them to commit. The trip, part of a recently-announced push to decriminalize sex work in New York State, highlighted the newfound willingness of a precarious community to publicly campaign for their rights.

Bloomberg News: New Yorkers to Pay 20 Percent Sales Tax on Vaping Products

“There’s certainly no reason why we should be taxing different nicotine delivery systems differently, whether they’re tobacco cigarettes or e-cigarettes,” said Assemblyman Richard N. Gottfried (D), who chairs the Health Committee. “The experience is pretty clear that taxing the product discourages use.”

NY Post: Barclays Center quietly stops accepting cash at most concession stands

“I have real concerns about those machines because it means that people have to stand in two lines,” Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan) told The Post. “People may show up at the counter and either have not enough money on their prepaid cards, or be stuck with more money on their card than they need.”

Gottfried’s proposed legislation requiring New York establishments to accept cash has the support of two state senators willing to sponsor a similar bill, he told The Post.

Fighting for Fair Elections and Public Campaign Financing

New York badly needs to combat the influence that big-money interests exert on State government – and I’m fighting to change the system.