Tag hearings

Gay City News: Assembly holds hearing on legalizing pot

By Nathan Riley, January 18

BY NATHAN RILEY | Demanding that New York State stop racist law enforcement patterns by legalizing adult use of marijuana, advocates told members of the State Assembly, including Health Committee chair Richard N. Gottfried, a Chelsea Democrat, that police stops are traumatizing black and brown New Yorkers.

At a January 11 hearing in Lower Manhattan, speaker after speaker insisted that being searched, handcuffed, marched into court, and chained to other arrestees in the morning is often traumatizing.

“Marijuana decriminalization has fallen short and will continue to do so,” Kassandra Frederique, the New York State director of the Drug Policy Alliance, contended.

Even with reductions in stop and frisk, it remains up to the police officer to distinguish between private possession and possession in public view, which can trigger a criminal arrest. Those nabbed, overwhelmingly black and Latino New Yorkers, are fingerprinted and given retinal scans. Police officers have no immediate way of knowing if their victim faces deportation or loss of a job or a scholarship, but no matter what the arrestee is left cowed and confused.

Fox 5 NY: Legal marijuana in New York? Lawmakers hold hearing

By Jessica Formoso, January 11 (with video)

– The New York State Assembly held a public hearing Thursday to discuss the proposed Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, a bill that would legalize the production, distribution, and use of marijuana for adults over 21.

Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, the chair of the health committee, said several states now tax and regulate recreational marijuana.

“I think that’s long overdue here in New York,” he said.

Over the past 20 years, more than 800,000 people in New York State have been arrested for possessing small amounts of marijuana.

“In New York City in 2016, 18,000 arrests for marijuana procession alone,” the Law Enforcement Action Partnership’s Neill Franklin said. “$325 a day to incarcerate somebody in the city. That’s a lot of money.”

Crain’s: What should marijuana legalization look like in New York?

By Caroline Lewis, February 12

Although it’s uncertain if a bill to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol could become law in New York, a state Assembly hearing Thursday showed that lawmakers are taking the prospect of legalizing “adult use” seriously.

Rather than simply focusing on whether the state should end the prohibition of recreational marijuana, Assembly members asked pointed questions about what legalization should look like.

Advocates from the Drug Policy Alliance, Vocal-NY and a range of other advocacy groups said that full legalization in New York should address the harm that prohibition has caused to communities of color, whose members are disproportionately arrested for marijuana possession. One approach is to proactively diversify license recipients.

AM New York: Marijuana legalization debated by New York State Assembly

By Ivan Pereira, January 11

Lawmakers had the dubious task Thursday of opening the floor to arguments for the legalization of marijuana in New York.

In light of growing national support over for legalizing pot — a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday found that 58 percent of Americans want it decriminalized — State Assemb. Richard Gottfried, who chairs the assembly’s health committee, said the state needed to take a serious look at its antiquated drug enforcement laws.

“We want to hear from a diverse group” Gottfried said.

City & State: Legislation could provide more funding to adult home care providers in exchange for quality of care improvements

By Dan Rosenblum, October 19

Adult home care providers are urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign a bill that would increase subsidies for those who house and care for seniors and adults with disabilities. Advocates for residents say any subsidy boost should be tied to additional oversight measures to guard against excessive salaries for facility managers, poor quality programs and fiscal mismanagement.

Press Advisory – 9/19 Adult Home Hearing

Contact:                                                     For Immediate Release

Mischa Sogut                                              September 18, 2017

(518) 455-4941


Ensuring Adult Home Safety & Quality:  
Assembly Public Hearing Will Review Quality, Oversight,
Funding of Adult Homes

On Tuesday, September 19, the Assembly Committees on Health, Aging, and Social Services will hold a public hearing in New York City on safety and quality of adult homes (“adult care facilities”)  A second will be held in Syracuse on September 28 at 11 AM at the John J. Hughes State Office Building.

Adult homes house both aging individuals and those with complex medical or mental health needs, providing supportive services for independent living.  They offer services less medical than nursing homes or enhanced assisted living, but more so than senior living.  Adult homes are funded largely by Medicaid and the New York State Supplement Program (SSP), which provides financial support to the aged and disabled.  Advocates are concerned that the current SSP rate is too low, shortchanging facilities and affecting quality of care.

The hearing will examine the availability and quality of adult home services, including the impact of increased funding for such programs.  Witnesses are expected to include adult home residents, advocates, and operators.


NYS Assembly public hearing on adult homes


-NYS Assembly Committees on Health, Aging, and Social Services
-Adult home residents
-Resident advocates including self-advocates
-Adult home operators

Assembly Hearing Room
19th Floor
250 Broadway

New York, NY 10007

The hearing will also be webcast live at:



Tuesday, September 19
11 AM


CNHI: Home health aide shortage leaves some without care

By Joe Mahoney, 3/3/17

ALBANY — Across upstate New York, agencies that provide health care services to home-bound patients say they are struggling to recruit and retain health aides, a shortage that is expected to become more acute as the population ages.

Home health aides are the lowest-paid workers in New York’s health care system, with many earning less than $13 an hour for work that often involves late-night and weekend shifts helping the home-bound with bathing, meal preparation and other personal needs.

Times-Union: Lawmakers hear of crisis in home care

By Casey Seiler, 2/27/17

The system that provides home care for New York’s ailing, elderly and disabled populations is in crisis due primarily to economic pressures, including a state reimbursement formula that has pushed some rural care providers to the brink of not being able to make payroll.

That was the message conveyed by dozens of witnesses who attended a Capitol hearing Monday called by the Assembly committees on health, aging, labor and health. The Legislature returns to Albany on Tuesday to begin the final month of negotiation of the budget.

Oneonta Daily Star: More testing looms in aftermath of tainted tap water

By Joe Mahoney, CNHI News Service (via Daily Star), 9/26/16

ALBANY — A string of water pollution incidents blamed on industrial chemicals is prompting calls for more money to detect whether New Yorkers are exposed to unregulated but “emerging” contaminants from their faucets.

Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, D-Manhattan, chairman of the Assembly Health Committee, said in an interview he hopes there will be “more funding for expanded investigation of possible contamination” in next year’s budget.

The influential architect of much of the health-related programs advanced at the Capitol said money is needed because small communities often cannot afford testing.

 “And millions of New Yorkers get their water from either very small systems or from private wells,” he said.

Niagara Gazette: Hoosick Falls’ water woes lead to scrutiny for health officials

By Joe Mahoney,9/19

ALBANY — Residents of Hoosick Falls compare the water contamination in their village of 3,500 people with the crisis in Flint, Michigan, where lead-laced drinking water created a public health emergency.

State health officials say they’re doing all they can to help the village on the Vermont border deal with toxic chemicals in the groundwater. But residents and several state lawmakers are steamed, saying more people could have been sickened in the time it took the state to react.

“The lesson for all Americans here is that people need to know what’s in their drinking water, and know what state officials are doing to keep it safe,” said Michele Baker, an organizer of a grassroots group focused on the contamination. “New York state knew what was in our water and allowed us to keep drinking water with contaminants for months.”

 Baker said the pollution is the result of years of dumping harmful chemicals used in manufacturing — complicated by government inertia.