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Policy Collaborations

Joint Memo of Support: Preserve the Right to Call 911
No victim of domestic violence or other person threatened with a crime in New York should be afraid to access police or emergency assistance because doing so may jeopardize their housing. Nevertheless, numerous municipalities throughout New York have passed local laws, so called “nuisance ordinances,” that have this precise result. Read More

MCCAP: Statewide Partners Maximize Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars in Federal Prescription Drug Benefits and Health Resources for Low Income Elderly and Disabled New Yorkers
The Managed Care Consumer Assistance Program (MCCAP) is a statewide program that provides essential assistance to low income seniors and people with disabilities in access health services and reducing their Medicare costs. Read More

Joint Letter of Support: Pass Legislation to Protect Crime and Domestic Violence Victims!
In New York State, and nationwide, no victim of domestic violence or other person threatened with a crime should be afraid to access police or emergency assistance because doing so may jeopardize their housing. Read More

Comments on NYSED Proposed Amendments Relating to Student Enrollment
Empire Justice Center strongly supports the New York State Education Department’s effort to protect the rights of new immigrant children to attend school, and believes that this amendment will aid that objective. Read More

LCADV Memo of Support for Legislation Providing Protections for Domestic Violence Survivors
The Lawyers Committee Against Domestic Violence strongly supports proposed legislation providing protections for victims of domestic violence from being negatively impacted by local nuisance ordinances. Read More

NYLAG Memo of Support for Legislation Providing Protections to Domestic Violence Survivors
NYLAG strongly supports legislation that would provide protections to crime victims so that they will not be negatively impacted by overbroad nuisance ordinances enacted throughout the State of New York. Read More

Comments from HCFANY and MMNY on the Draft New York State Basic Health Program Blueprint
The Blueprint lays out a promising start to the full and successful implementation of a strong BHP in New York. Our comments highlight potential consumer concerns and areas where the Blueprint could be further clarified or strengthened. Read More

HCFANY Comments on Accountable Care Organizations Proposed Regulations
Health Care for All New York (HCFANY) comments on NYS Department of Health's proposed regulations for Accountable Care Organizations. Read More

Ban the Box in Rochester: Give Everyone a Fair Opportunity to Compete for Jobs
One out of every four adults has an arrest or criminal record. Approximately 70% of employers currently ask in their job application whether an applicant has been convicted of a crime. If an applicant replies “yes”, regardless of their skills and qualifications, in most cases, they will never be considered. Such discrimination not only decreases economic opportunity and public safety, but also violates New York State law and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) fair hiring recommendations. Read More

Joint Memo of Support: Don’t Force Domestic Violence and Other Crime Victims to Choose Between Safety and Housing
Joint Memo of Support from ACLU Women’s Rights Project and Empire Justice Center: Don’t Force Domestic Violence and Other Crime Victims to Choose Between Safety and Housing—Provide Protections from “Nuisance Ordinances” Read More

Believe in Children Campaign
Providing equal opportunity for all New York’s children requires ensuring that they have access to a continuum of high-quality services that support their learning and development and meet the needs of diverse families. Read More

NHELP Letter to CMS Seeking Due Process Improvements in Medicaid Managed Care
Empire Justice signed onto the National Health Law Program's (NHELP's) letter to CMS' Cindy Mann outlining serious due process problems in the Medicaid managed care prior authorization process. Read More

Empire Justice and other NYRL members applaud OCC and FDIC for their strong guidance on deposit advance products
More than 40 members of New Yorkers for Responsible Lending signed onto a joint comment letter applauding federal regulators for issuing strong guidance to curb deposit advance products and payday lending. Read More

Empire Justice Memo of Support: Ensure Fairness in New York’s Foreclosure Process
This bill requires certification to be filed up front with the summons and complaint. The certificate must verify that the lawyer has reviewed the facts of the case and verified with the plaintiff that there is a “reasonable basis” for filing the lawsuit. Read More

Target Child Care Dollars to Support Low Wage Working Parents
Child care is in crisis. There are not enough dollars available to serve both eligible working families and families on public assistance who are provided a guarantee of child care when they are required to participate in job search or workfare. Read More

Empire Justice and Organizations Want Consumers Protected When Shopping for a Mortgage
Empire Justice Center was one of several organizations that sent a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau last month urging the CFPB to strengthen its proposed regulations around mortgage pricing and real estate closings so that consumers are better informed. Read More

Empire Justice Center and Other NY Groups Say Wells Fargo Should "Fail" Its CRA Exam
In their comment letter to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Empire Justice Center and other New York organizations cite Wells Fargo's foreclosure practices and discriminatory mortgage lending patterns and urge the OCC to give Wells Fargo a "Substantial Noncompliance" on its Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Exam. Read More

Empire Justice Center & Other NYRL Members Want Consumer Bureau to Broadly Define Who They Regulate in Certain Markets
Thirty-two members of NYRL urge the CFPB to define larger participants as broadly and as flexibly as possible, to ensure that the Bureau has maximum ability to directly supervise a wide array of institutions. Read More

NYRL Members Urge NY Courts to Go Further to Protect Homeowners in Foreclosure
In their comments on the Office of Court Administration's (OCA) amendment addressing problems with the current foreclosure process, members of New Yorkers for Responsible Lending ask the OCA to take additional steps to give homeowners a fair chance in the foreclosure process. Read More

Meidicaid Matters Memo in Opposition to Biometric Screening
MMNY submits this memorandum of opposition to A.6555D/S.4384D, which would require Medicaid beneficiaries to present a new identification card and verify their identity with a biometric device in order to access services. Read More

Comments on Integrating Care for Dual Eligibles
Empire Justice Center co-authored comments on the NYS proposal to CMS for a demonstration program integrating care for dual eligibles (Medicaid recipients that are also eligible for Medicare). Read More

Incentives for Community Based Services within Managed Long Term Care: Consumer Comments
The Managed Long Term Care program as currently proposed should increase incentives and oversight to ensure access to community-based services. Read More

Comments to the US Department of Health on Charity Care
Empire Justice and the Commission on the Public's Health System submit joint comments on the federal regulations governing the distribution of Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital Payments. Read More

Steering Committee of the Campaign to Save Foreclosure Prevention Services 2012 Budget Testimony
The Steering Committee provided written testimony to the Joint Budget Committees on funding for foreclosure prevention services in New York Read More

AFR Urges CFPB Scrutiny of Private Student Lenders
Americans for Financial Reform (AFR), of which Empire Justice Center is a member, submitted comments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau documenting concerns about the private student loan industry. Read More

New York Organizations Oppose Capital One's Acquisition of HSBC's Credit Card Business
Six New York legal services and consumer advocacy organizations, including Empire Justice Center, tell the OCC to deny Capital One's application to acquire HSBC's credit card and private label credit business. Read More

NYRL Members Urge Federal Office to Implement Insurance Data Disclosure Regulation
NYRL members urge the new Federal Insurance Office to use its authority under Dodd-Frank to implement a national homeowners insurance data disclosure regulation to hold insurers accountable and help ensure that all communities have access to fair and affordable insurance products. Read More

U.S. Senate Needs to Confirm Cordray to Lead Consumer Bureau
Empire Justice Center is among 220 organizations urging Senate to confirm Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Read More

Empire Justice Center Testimony on the New York State Department of Financial Services
Testimony at the Hearing on the Merger of the New York State Banking Department and the New York State Insurance Department into the New York State Department of Financial Services Read More

Empire Justice Testimony on Improving Access to Family Court for Kinship Caregivers & Individuals with Mental Disabilities
Our testimony will focus on the legal needs of two groups of individuals and ways to improve their meaningful access to family court: informal kinship caregivers and individuals with mental and psychological disabilities. Read More

New Yorkers for Resonsible Lending: NYS Needs Public Data to Help Identify Discrimination in the Homeowners Insurance Market
Evidence shows that insurers that write homeowners policies in New York fail to adequately serve communities of color. New Yorkers living in communities of color pay more for inferior insurance products and are more often denied private market coverage than those living in predominantly white neighborhoods. Read More

Empire Justice Center and the Legal Aid Society's Comments on Proposed Federal Regulation on Establishment of Health Benefit Exchanges
The Legal Aid Society and Empire Justice Center write jointly to provide comments on the Proposed Rule entitled “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Establishment of Exchanges and Qualified Health Plans.” Read More

Empire Justice & Legal Aid Society Comments on Proposed Federal Regulation on Medicaid Eligibility
Comments on the proposed rule entitled “Medicaid Program; Eligibility Changes Under the Affordable Care Act of 2010.” Read More

GRCRC Comments on First Niagara's Application to Purchase HSBC's Upstate New York Branches
HSBC is moving out of retail banking in upstate New York and First Niagara is seeking approval from federal regulators to purchase most of its branches. GRCRC met with First Niagara and submitted comments urging First Niagara to be a good steward in the Rochester community. Read More

GRCRC Comments on Canandaigua National Bank's CRA Performance
The Greater Rochester Community Reinvestment Coalition sent these comments to federal regulators about Canandaigua National Bank's community reinvestment performance in the Rochester, NY area. Read More

Steering Committee of Statewide Campaign to Save the Foreclosure Prevention Services Program Sends Letter to Governor Cuomo Asking for Program to be Funded in Budget
The 27 members of the Campaign Steering Committee sent a letter to the Governor asking for $25 million in the 2012 budget. The statewide program, which funds housing counselling and legal services for homeowners at risk of foreclosure is scheduled to run out of funding December 31st, 2011. Read More

Empire Justice Center signs on to NYRL Letter Supporting a Strong Ability-to-Repay Standard
Fifty New Yorkers for Responsible Lending members urge federal regulators to implement the strongest, most robust regulations possible to protect consumers from abusive loans. Read More

Highlights from the 2011 Legislative Session
After all the emails, strategy sessions, meetings, Facebook updates and trips to Albany, the 2011 Legislative session closed with a huge amount of excitement about New York’s new civil rights law. Read More

GRCRC Comments on JPMorgan Chase's CRA Performance
The Greater Rochester Community Reinvestment Coalition sent these comments to federal regulators about JPMorgan Chase's community reinvestment performance in the Rochester NY area. Read More

Joint Testimony on the Reauthorization of the Safe and Stable Families Act
Empire Justice and The National Committee of Grandparents of Children's Rights testimony on private kinship care. Read More

Prioritize Child Care Dollars to Keep Low Income Parents Working
This legislation would allow New York make best use of limited child care dollars by shifting funding to pay for child care slots for parents with jobs and allowing non working parents with children under two to care for them at home. Read More

State Budget Results: Funding for Legal Services - Cuts, Restorations and Hope for the Future
The legal services community has suffered significant losses over the past few years as state legislative funding has dropped from approximately $13 million in 2009, to $6 million in 2010 to less than $3.5 million in this year’s budget. Read More

Empire Justice Center and Other Civil Rights Organizations Urge GSE Reform That Protects Access to Affordable Loans and Housing
Sixteen civil rights organizations sign letter to House Financial Services Committee urging members to abandon piece meal approach to GSE reform. Read More

NYRL Announces Campaign to End Unfair and Discriminatory Employer Credit Checks
A growing number of employers are checking the credit histories of job applicants and employees, and using the information to deny people jobs and other opportunities. This practice blocks qualified applicants. Read More

NYRL Announces Campaign to Prevent Unfair Foreclosures
When filing a foreclosure case, servicers should be required to establish up front that they have the legal right to foreclose. Read More

NYRL Announces Campaign to Ensure Fair Debt Collection Practices
NYRL urges the passage of the NYS Consumer Credit Fairness Act to stop abuses of debt buyers. Read More

Empire Justice Center Testimony on Health & Medicaid in the 2011-12 Executive Budget Proposal
Testimony on the proposals that have emerged from the Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT), which are reflected in the Governor’s 30 day amendments and the proposed changes to the EPIC program for New York’s seniors. Read More

Empire Justice Center Testimony on Health & Medicaid in the 2011-12 Executive Budget Proposal
Testimony on the proposals that have emerged from the Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT), which are reflected in the Governor’s 30 day amendments and the proposed changes to the EPIC program for New York’s seniors. Read More

Empire Justice Center’s Comments on Proposals on the Medicaid Redesign Website
Senior Health Attorney Trilby de Jung provides analysis of six proposals posted on the Medicaid Redesign website. Read More

Empire Justice Center’s Comments at Medicaid Redesign Team Public Forum in Rochester
Empire Justice Center’s Trilby de Jung offers policy recommendations for the Medicaid Redesign Team. Read More

Empire Justice Center Testimony at the Public Protection Hearing for 2010-2011
Most years we confront the need to restore state funding to the budget. This year we confront that and so much more. We are facing a triple whammy: the elimination of over $13 million from the Executive Budget that had been in last year’s budget; a dramatic decline in funding from the Interest on Lawyer Account (IOLA) fund; and an unrelenting increase in people desperately seeking legal assistance as the economy continues to strip them of the ability to hold onto their jobs, homes and their economic stability. Read More

Empire Justice Center Testimony at Senate Hearings on IOLA Crisis
Discussion of civil right to counsel and potential funding sources for civil legal services Read More

NEDAP and Empire Justice Testimony on NYHELPs Program
We fear that low income New Yorkers who receive loans through NYHELPs and later become disabled or have difficulty finding employment will be harmed by this program. Read More

Empire Justice Center Testimony at the joint legislative hearing on health in the Executive Budget
There is no question that the Governor’s Health Budget moves us in the right direction. Low-income New Yorkers across New York will see their access to public health coverage improve as a result of proposals to simpl Read More

Legal Services Funding Alliance Testimony at the Public Protection Budget Hearing for 2009-2010
Unfortunately, the current economic crisis only intensifies the need for legal assistance – from difficulties accessing unemployment and other benefits to increased numbers of foreclosures due to job loss. This combined with waning Interest on Lawyers Account (IOLA) and foundation revenues, fundraising difficulties, and proposed cuts in state funding for civil legal services make it all too likely that this number will only increase substantially. Read More

Nassau Suffolk Law Services Testimony at the Senate Democrat Public Forum 2008
Nassau Suffolk Law Services fully recognizes and understands the severity of the current fiscal crisis. However, the needs of our clients and the needs of the new poor cannot fall between the cracks in the midst of crisis budget concerns. Read More

Volunteer Lawyer's Project Testimony at the Senate Democrat Public Forum 2008
in these very difficult economic times that the State must be more vigilant, more active and more aggressive in making sure that people in need do not fall prey to denial of life sustaining benefits, loss of their home or further injustice. Read More

Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo Testimony at the Senate Democrat Public Forum
Lisa Gradascevic, of The Legal Aid Bureau, testifies. Read More

Empire Justice Center Testimony on New York State's TANF Plan: 2009 - 2011
This testimony will focuses on areas that Empire Justice urges OTDA and, if necessary, the legislature and the governor, to adopt an array of changes. These areas are the public assistance gross income eligibility test, the resource test as applied to automobiles, the implementation of the Family Violence Option and the education and training rules. Read More

GRCRC Testimony at the Public Meeting of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
Comments on the proposed acquisition of Countrywide Financial Corporation by the Bank of America Corporation. Read More

Empire Justice Testimony on Public Protection in the 2008-2009 Executive Budget
Providing access to legal assistance is critical to the core fabric of any state’s human services delivery system. Read More

The Legal Project Testimony at the 2008 Public Protectin Budget Hearing
For many of the victims we help, it comes down to life and death struggles and we must be there to help them. Our program, and the many others who exist to provide civil legal services to those who are truly in need, must be able to rely on support through the New York State Budget. Read More