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Policy Matters February 2016: Keeping Pace


We’ve hit our stride here in Albany with state budget negotiations well underway!  Empire Justice staff from around the state are hitting the pavement to push our budget priorities and set the stage for our legislative work once the budget is passed.  In the coming month of March, we’ll be working hard to make sure that the final budget includes our priorities, making the law work for all New Yorkers.

Child Care

Winning Beginning NY has a campaign to urge legislators to include critical funding for child care programs in the 2016 budget to implement new federally mandated health and safety regulations.  Without #ChildCare190, working families will lose access to affordable child care – approximately 22,000 children could lose their child care slots!  Be sure to watch our facebook and twitter pages for information on how you can take part!

 child care for Policy Matters

Domestic Violence

Even though the budget is our main focus this time of year, we’re still busy pushing legislative issues.  When married victims of intimate partner violence seek protection in family court, they are also often the victims of economic abuse.  This bill would offer further protections by providing an economic safety net.


You may hav e heard that Key Bank and First Niagara Bank are planning a merger.  There are many steps to the process and many areas of concern for advocates.  We submitted comments, along with our partners, to make sure that the voices of every-day people were not lost in the fray.

Justice in Action: Check out our staff at the Capitol!


legislative meetings pic

Elizabeth Koo has been a road warrior, travelling to Albany twice from our Rochester office this past month.  That’s her on the left of each picture.  Eòghann Renfroe and Kristin Brown Lilley join Elizabeth in the picture on the left.  In the picture on the right, we have from the left, Don Friedman (Long Island office), Senator Leroy Comrie, and Eòghann again.

Civil Legal Aid

Members of the New York Legal Services Coalition are at the State Capitol today, talking with legislators about how important the funding in the Office of Court Administration budget is to meeting the civil legal needs of low income new Yorkers!


The application deadline for our Summer Diversity Clerkship opportunity in Rochester is Monday, March 7.

Milo Primeaux was profiled in CUNY Law’s Public Square.

The Movement Advancement Project and the Center for American Progress released Unjust: How the Broken Criminal Justice System Fails LGBT People.  We were extremely proud to contribute to the report.

Paula Arboleda from New York Legal Assistance Group talked about the importance of the Managed Care Consumer Assistance Program – one of our budget priorities this year.

Governor Cuomo banned LGBT conversion therapy – a truly barbaric practice – by prohibiting health insurers from covering the process in New York State.

Two of our staff – Amy Schwartz and Barbara Weiner – contributed to updated chapters of the Lawyer’s Manual on Domestic Violence.

That’s it for now! 

The Policy Team at Empire Justi ce Center

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