NY Lawmakers on the Move, March 30, 2022

Lawmakers on the Move

Nadler Celebrates Passage of Historic Antilynching Legislation

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (Photo Credit: U.S. House Office of Photography)
U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler

U.S. Rep. and House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn) yesterday issued the following statement after President Biden signed the Emmett Till Antilynching Act, explicitly designating lynching as a hate crime under federal law:

“With the signing of this historic piece of legislation, President Biden today corrected one of the longest standing injustices in our country,” said Nadler. “The Emmett Till Antilynching Act will, for the first time, specifically designate lynching as a crime under federal law. It is vitally important that we send the strongest possible message that violence of any kind, especially acts motivated by bigotry and hate, will not be tolerated in our society. I thank Congressman Bobby Rush and the many other members and advocates who have worked tirelessly, and overcome many setbacks, to make this day possible.”

The signing of the Emmett Till Antilynching Act marks the 12th Judiciary Committee bill signed into law this Congress by President Biden, including three this month: 

The Ending Forced Arbitration Act, the Violence Against Women Act, and the Emmett Till Antilynching Act.

Meng Introduces Legislation to Improve Interactions Between First Responders and People With Disabilities

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens) announced yesterday that she introduced the Disability ID Act of 2022, a bill that would establish a new grant program for states to facilitate the placement of a discrete and voluntary disability identifier symbol on drivers’ licenses and other forms of state-issued identification in order to improve interactions between first responders and people with disabilities.  

Disabilities can be misjudged or disregarded, leaving many people with disabilities worried that their interactions with first responders may escalate. That is why it is vital to give individuals with a disability the option to have a disability identifier symbol placed on their driver’s license or ID card, while also providing first responders with training to better understand the needs of people with disabilities.   

The legislation would also provide funding for training first responders to recognize the disability identifiers and interact appropriately with such individuals.  

“This legislation will do so much to help keep our fellow Americans with disabilities safe and treated respectfully,” said Meng. “People with disabilities should not be subjected to unfair and sometimes violent treatment because of circumstances out of their control. Situations where first responders are needed often cause severe anxiety and fear, but by providing identifier symbols on different forms of ID, first responders will be better suited to use the training this bill also provides to handle complex situations with people who have disabilities. I look forward to my bill moving through the House.”     

Rozic, Reyes Price Gouging Package Passes Consumers Affairs and Protection Committee

Assembly Member Nily Rozic
Assembly Member Karines Reyes

Assemblymembers Nily Rozic (D-Queens) and Karines Reyes (D-Bronx) yesterday saw their legislative package addressing pandemic-related price gouging pass the Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection.

Bill A9193A sponsored by Rozic would triple penalties for instances of fraud in order to deter bad actors. It focuses on fraudulent conduct during an abnormal disruption of the market such as the coronavirus pandemic. Bill A5860 sponsored by Reyes would add medications facing supply shortages to the list of goods prohibited from being sold at high prices under the state’s price gouging statute.

The Federal Trade Commission estimates that New Yorkers have lost approximately $22 million to Covid-related fraud. Rozic’s bill aims to protect New Yorkers subject to such practices and offers them legal recourse.

“No New Yorker should have to deal with fraud and deception — especially during the most vulnerable times,” said Rozic, chair of the Consumer Affairs and Protection Committee. “This legislation would ensure that penalties against bad actors are a sufficient deterrent and will go a long way to protect consumers during this pandemic and beyond.” 

“When our state first faced the uncertainty of the pandemic, price gougers preyed on the fear of shocked consumers,” said Reyes. “Essential items like medicine must be secure against greedy and exploitative businesses that seek to take advantage of needy customers and a shortage. A5860A would protect New Yorkers against predatory actions of the drug industry looking to turn a profit at the expense of those with the most need.”

Addabbo Announces Maternal Health Package Passes Senate

State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.

Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Queens) announced yesterday the passage of a package of bills he co-sponsors, to boost insurance eligibility during pregnancy, enhance women’s mental health screenings, and improve the transparency of information regarding birthing facilities in New York State. 

“This legislation will ensure the health and well-being of maternal women are prioritized through greater access to valuable resources and critically important care,” Addabbo said. “These bills aim to improve the education and treatment of maternal mental health disorders while also making sure every expectant mother has access to insurance throughout their entire pregnancy especially those in vulnerable, at-risk population.”   

The package of bills co-sponsored by Addabbo and passed by the NYS Senate will: 

S.534B  – Require enhanced transparency about hospitals and birth centers provided in informational packets to expectant mothers to help them make informed decisions about prenatal care and birthing options.  

S.8241A – Allow pregnant women to enroll in health insurance during a special enrollment period without penalty. 

S.7752  – Establish a maternal mental health workgroup within the Office of Mental Health to study and issue recommendations that will improve the impacts that maternal mental health disorders have on women who give birth, their children, and their families.  

S.7753  – Direct the Office of Mental Health and the Department of Health to conduct a study detecting racial and other disparities within postpartum depression screenings, and research and analyze new ways to better detect postpartum depression. 

AG James Scores Court Victory for Consumers Defrauded by Business That Never Delivered High-End Products

Attorney General Letitia James

New York Attorney General Letitia James this week scored a court victory for consumers who were defrauded by an online business that sold gaming consoles and other high-end consumer goods but never delivered them. 

A New York County Supreme Court Judge ruled that Prestigious Marketing Concepts, Inc, (Prestigious) which is owned by Tandria Faulkner, must pay full restitution to all the consumers who were defrauded. The court order also upheld the temporary restraining order James secured last year that freezes the bank accounts of Faulkner and her businesses and stops her from taking any further orders for items she does not possess.

“This is a big win for consumers who were gamed out of Xboxes, PlayStations, and other high-end products they paid for but never received,” said James. “Defrauding consumers for personal gain is unconscionable and will not be tolerated by my office. Under the court’s order, Tandria Faulkner must finally pay back the consumers she deceived. New Yorkers can trust that my office will always fight for their hard-earned money and protect them from fraudsters.”

The court order requires Prestigious to provide the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) a full list of the names and addresses of consumers who paid for products so they can receive refunds. 

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