Sanders Calls on Cuomo, De Blasio to Stop Gun Violence in Southeast Queens

    State Sen. James Sanders Jr.

    State Sen. James Sanders Jr. (D-Rochdale Village, Far Rockaway), in light of recent incidents of gun violence in Southeast Queens, has joined his colleagues in government and sent a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, calling on them to increase preventative resources to help end the rash of shootings.  

    “We have lost too many lives, and especially young lives, to gun violence, and the time to take action is now,” Sanders said. “We can no longer sit on the sidelines and call for peace, we need to put into place a strategic plan consisting of a cohesive group of resources that will make a real difference in stopping these crimes.”

    These steps include re-opening local community centers and extending their hours; bolstering afterschool program partnerships with smaller community-based organizations; expanding Beacon programs; increasing funding for trauma centers and opening additional centers in Southern Queens; developing and funding anti-violence curriculum in NYC schools; and creating a universal youth employment and education program.

    Cuomo Signs Law Requiring Death Certificates to Mention Opioid Connection

    Gov. Andrew Cuomo

    Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation S.1668/A.4915 yesterday that aims to amend public health law to better track the causes of and address the opioid crisis. The law requires that death certificates specify which opioid was involved in the death, in the case of an opioid overdose. This new law intends to improve the collection of data and information to better inform policies addressing the opioid crisis. 

    “New York has taken the most aggressive actions to combat the opioid crisis of any other state in the country,” Gov. Cuomo said. “This commonsense law will go a great length to ensure we have the most accurate information to be able to stop this public health scourge once and for all.”

    Sen. John Brooks (D-Long Island, South Shore) said, “The opioid crisis we are facing has been a significant problem for far too long. Currently, there is no requirement that the death certificate include the specific opioid involved. This has led to a lack of information about which types of opioids are the most deadly. By recording this information, more data will be available to better track which opioids are causing the most deaths and more communities in need will be better equipped to combat this crisis. I applaud Cuomo for signing this bill and thank him for his leadership on this issue.” 

    Assembly Member Kimberly Jean-Pierre (D-Babylon, Long Island) said, “By requiring death certificates to list the specific types of opioids causing overdose deaths, we will have another tool in our arsenal to help combat and end the opioid epidemic once and for all. I thank Governor Cuomo for his support and for signing this critical legislation into law.”

    The legislation signed yesterday took effect immediately.

    Gillibrand Unveils Legislation to Support Family Caregivers 

    U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

    U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) unveiled the bipartisan Credit for Caring Act yesterday, legislation that would support family caregivers by helping to alleviate some of the financial challenges they may face. The Credit for Caring Act would provide a tax credit of up to $3,000  for New Yorkers who care for loved ones that have a medical or behavioral condition or disability. 

    “When family caregivers take on the expenses associated with the life and well-being of their family members, the expenses can really add up and lead to significant financial stress. Family caregivers deserve to be supported for the extra responsibilities they take on in their role,” said Sen. Gillibrand. “I am proud to be a part of this first step toward providing some much-needed relief for caregivers from some of the financial challenges they face, and I urge my colleagues to support this bill.”

    Gillibrand’s new push comes after hosting roundtables and meetings across New York with older adults and disability rights advocates and hearing directly from them about their specific needs. According to the most recently available data, there are 2.6 million unpaid caregivers throughout New York State.  

    The tax credit would help families cover the myriad of expenses associated with caregiving, such as transportation, home modifications to accommodate a family member, and training or education for the caregiver. This legislation would help allow older adults and people with disabilities continue to live independently in their homes and stay in their communities with their families.

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