NY Lawmakers on the Move June 14, 2022

Lawmakers on the Move

Rosenthal legislation protecting reproductive healthcare providers becomes law

Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal

Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D-Manhattan) announced yesterday that her two bills that will protect New York State’s reproductive healthcare providers have been signed into law by Governor Hochul. 

The bills, which were signed as part of a broad five-bill legislative package, will help to guarantee that New York remains a safe haven state for women across the country seeking abortion and other reproductive healthcare services. Rosenthal’s bills, A.9687-B and A.9718-B, will protect New York-licensed healthcare practitioners against professional misconduct charges as well as adverse medical malpractice actions for performing abortions on women coming here from other states.

“Across the country, a woman’s right to safe and legal abortion is under attack,” said Rosenthal, chair of the Committee on Social Services. “States like Oklahoma, Texas and Idaho have all recently passed laws to block access to safe abortions and deprive women of the right to make their own healthcare decisions. Now, we’re waiting with bated breath for the Supreme Court to announce its decision that will most likely overturn 50 years of well-settled precedent and place countless women in danger as they will have to overcome significant obstacles to access reproductive healthcare. 

“In anticipation of that ruling, the Legislature and Governor in New York State are pushing back and doing everything in our power to safeguard abortion access. Under my new laws, New York’s healthcare providers can continue to provide abortion and reproductive healthcare services to all women, including those traveling here from out of state, without fear of consequence.”

Lafazan proposes bill to educate Nassau County residents about rip currents 

Nassau County Legislator Joshua A. Lafazan

Nassau County Legislator Joshua A. Lafazan (D-Woodbury) announced yesterday a new bill named Alexandra’s Law after a young woman named Alexandra de Moura who died in August of 2019 after getting caught in a rip current while on vacation in Mexico. Alexandra was a graduate from Garden City High School in 2013 as well as an incredible gymnast and leader at George Washington University.

Alexandra’s mother, Josephine de Moura, has taken her and her family’s grief over the loss of her daughter and has translated that grief into action. Josephine has made it her mission to promote the importance of education about the dangers of rip currents and the potential for them to be underestimated. Alexandra was only in a few feet of water when her fight with the rip current began.

The bill mandates beaches in Nassau County display large signage stating the dangers of rip currents, as well as ways in which a person can escape a rip current. Additionally, Lafazan proposed that the Nassau County Department of Parks and Recreation create educational materials involving rip currents to be taught in schools throughout Nassau County. 

“I’m filing a bill called Alexandra’s Law in honor of Alexandra’s incredible memory and her legacy,” said Lafazan. “We must learn from this horrible tragedy and work to prevent what happened to Alexandra from happening here in Nassau. As the weather warms and residents head back to our beaches in full force, we must renew calls for conspicuous signage and conspicuous flags to warn people of the dangers of rip currents, while also developing curriculum to be taught in our schools to protect our children and prevent the next tragedy before it happens,” continued Lafazan.

Meng sees Biden sign her legislation seeking to establish Asian Pacific American Museum

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens) yesterday joined President Biden at the White House as he signed her bill that seeks to create the first national museum dedicated to preserving the history and culture of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs).   

Meng’s bipartisan legislation unanimously passed both houses of Congress recently; the House in April and the Senate in May during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

“I am ecstatic and overjoyed at this historic moment and honored and proud to have championed this crucial effort, especially after fighting for this legislation in Congress over the past seven years,” said Meng. “I thank and commend President Biden for signing my bill into law and understanding the importance of establishing a national AAPI museum. Since the beginning of his administration, President Biden has proven to be a true friend and ally of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. He has partnered with me to address the rise in anti-Asian hate and violence, listened to the concerns I have raised with him about issues impacting AAPIs, and now he has joined me in taking the first step toward memorializing our history and culture in a national museum. 

“Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have shaped our nation since its founding. From the struggles we’ve endured to the accomplishments we’ve made, it’s time for more Americans, and our future generations, to know our story. And a National Museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture would provide the physical space for people to learn how we have helped make America the country that it is today. It would help ensure that more Americans understand that Asian Pacific American history is American history. I thank all who have helped to get my bill over the finish line, from my congressional colleagues to the many groups and organizations that supported the measure, and I look forward to the study for establishing this museum beginning soon.”

Also attending the signing ceremony were Vice President Kamala Harris and several other lawmakers and organizations that supported the legislation.

Addabbo’s “New York Seawall Study Commission” legislation approved by Senate and Assembly

State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.

Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.’s (D-Queens) legislation to set up a commission to study the feasibility, costs, impacts, and best locations for the construction of a seawall around the city of New York’s coastline once again passed both the Senate and Assembly..

“Over the past decade, many parts of my district and thousands of constituents have dealt with one horrific storm after another, which is becoming increasingly more common,” Addabbo said. “New York City must prepare now for the next superstorm, to determine where a seawall might help save lives and protect vital infrastructure that could cost billions to repair. A study makes perfect sense to determine how a seawall can be vital to New York City infrastructure, vulnerable communities, and simply giving us the upper hand before the next threat arrives.” 

“We are seeing the increase in devastating hurricanes and tropical storms impacting New York City. We must be proactive in determining what measures we can take to help make our City safer from rising sea level, and deadly storm surge,” said Assemblyman Brian Barnwell (D-Queens), who sponsored the bill in the Assembly. “This bill will mandate a study to determine the costs, feasibility, and locations of where to place a sea-wall along the NYC coastline to protect our people, and our infrastructure. Other cities have installed similar structures, and we cannot continue to be re-active, we must be pro-active. This study starts that process.” 

“This legislation has been vetoed multiple times after it passed unanimously in both the Senate and Assembly, thereby hindering our efforts to solve future flooding issues, at a time when we should be moving forward to protect an individual’s home, personal property, and life,” Addabbo said. “I am hopeful that the Governor recognizes the importance of this legislation, which passed both houses again this year, finally signing the bill into law so we may proactively address future events impacting our communities.” 

More from Around New York