The Governor’s “Protection for People with Special Needs Act” continues to be the top legislative priority for the Governor heading into the end of the session. The session is scheduled to conclude on or around June 21. NYSARC strongly supports the bill. The State Senate has passed it, but the Assembly has yet to introduce the measure. It is hoped that the Assembly will also pass the measure.
NYSARC, along with other developmental disabilities associations (CP of NYS, The Long Island Alliance, The IAC and DDAWNY) have been actively meeting with Governor’s Office and both houses of the Legislature. Key items of discussion include definitions of abuse to ensure that truly serious allegations are differentiated from less serious allegations; the cost implications of transferring responsibility for investigations to the State from non-profits; relevance of the bill to non-certified programs; and recent laws aimed at informing providers whether or not a perspective employee is the subject of a substantiated allegation of abuse.
Also, the State Assembly wants the Justice Center to maintain a greater degree of independence from the Governor but it is not clear for now how that would be achieved.
Meanwhile the Governor’s Office is conducting events across the State to promote the Governor’s proposed Justice Center.
Judy O’Rourke, NYSARC’s Developmental Center Chairperson, will introduce Lt. Governor Duffy at today’s event at the University of Buffalo’s Center for Tomorrow. Last week Sandy Gumerove, NYSARC’s Governmental Affairs Chairperson, spoke at a presentation held on Long Island (See Link).
See links to related press releases from the Governor’s Office: