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Policy Matters: The First Day of Legislative Session


Many of us here in the Empire took some much-needed time off at the end of December, but now we’re back and ready to get things started!  A new legislative session starts today, with new challenges and new opportunities to make the law work for all New Yorkers.

Public Benefits
The Home Stability Support initiative is gaining  momentum.  Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi penned an editorial outlining the proposal, and the New York State Conference of Mayors recently endorsed the plan, along with Assemblymember Barnwell and US Representative Joe Crowley.  Most recently, New York City’s Public Advocate, Letitia James, offered her support in a piece in the New York Daily News.

LGBT Rights
We released an updated version of our Know Your Rights Guide, now available in Spanish!

Our LGBT Rights Project hosted three name change clinics in Rochester, which helped more than 50 people.

Civil Legal Aid
The Fund for Modern Courts released their report, Achieving a Consistent and Legally Sound U Visa Certification Process in New York Family Courts.  It found inconsistencies in the way U Visas were being certified, clarifies current laws and makes recommendations on ways to clarify the process.

The DAPWorks for NYS campaign is underway and has updated materials.

There are still many former Everest  students  entitled to have their student loans discharged, but the government is still trying to collect.  Thanks to Staff Attorney Maggie Robb for contributing to this Bloomberg story.

The Community Land Trust for Long Island started an affordable homes program, which will buy vacant properties, renovate them, then sell them to income eligible buyers.

The Immigrant Defense Project made its Know Your Rights with ICE resources available in simplified and traditional Mandarin.

The White House Legal Aid Interagency Roundtable released its first report to the President.

That’s it for now! 

The Policy Team at Empire Justice Center

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