As they have with several measures that have bubbled up in recent weeks, lawmakers are reviving a bill that was vetoed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo last year with instructions that it should be a part of the budget package.
Both GOP Sen. Kemp Hannon and Democratic Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, who head their respective health committees, on Monday urged passage of a measure that would allow Medicaid to cover the cost of donated breast milk, which they said can be a life-saving nutrient to premature infants who develop necrotizing enterocolitis, a serious intestinal ailment that can hit such babies.
ALBANY — It’s an occurrence as uncommon in these parts as a bearhug from the governor or an indictment-free year.
On Monday, New York State legislators embarked a rare and rigorous five-day workweek here, the first time in nearly six years that they have been scheduled to be in the Capitol from Monday through Friday.
The prospect of spending five consecutive days at your place of employment might not be a shock for someone with, say, a job. But the lawmakers say their seemingly light legislative schedule does not take into account ample time spent on the clock in other ways: budget hearings, which can drag on; community and district events, which often occur far from Albany; fielding constituent concerns, via phone, email and the occasional screed; and researching the myriad issues they are responsible for tackling.
All of which, it can be argued, makes criticizing their lack of time in the Capitol unfair.
“It’s kind of like saying your workweek is the time you spend typing on a keyboard, or that a radio reporter’s workday is the three minutes their voice is on the air, or that a schoolteacher doesn’t spend time grading papers,” said Assemblyman Richard N. Gottfried, a Democrat from Manhattan, who is his chamber’s longest-serving member. “I can’t imagine any legislator that only works a five-day week.”
Members, supporters and advocates for the New York Civil Liberties Union rallied Monday outside the Capitol in support of several bills they say would protect and expand civil rights. Public defense funding and reform, reproductive rights, transgender discrimination, electronic privacy, and police data transparency were all on the agenda for the group’s day of action.
Speakers Jonathan Gradess, executive director of the New York State Defenders Association, and Darren Mack, a former inmate at Rikers Island prison, advocated for the Justice Equality Act (A.1903), sponsored by Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy, D-Albany.
ALBANY – House Republicans’ long-awaited plan to replace the Affordable Care Act led New York officials Tuesday to assess its impact on the state and its residents as Congress grapples with the bill’s chances of passage.
As uncertainty over the future of the federal healthcare system persists, state Senate Democrats are proposing the creation of a single-payer public health system as part of a package of bills to help the state prep for potential repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
The legislation, touted by the Minority Democrats on Wednesday, would set up the frame work for a single-payer system, tasking state health officials with the actual implementation and devising the exact funding mechanism.
I represent Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, Midtown, and parts of Murray Hill and the Lincoln Center area in the State Assembly. I have been chair of the Assembly Health Committee since 1987. During off hours, I like to write Chinese calligraphy.