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Policy Matters May 2016: The Heat is On


As May comes to an end, things are heating up in Albany.  Our staff and collaborators have been walking the halls of the Capitol, talking to legislators and staff, working tirelessly to educate them on our issues before the end of the Legislative session on June 16.  All in service to our mission to make the law work for all New Yorkers.

Health Care for All New York is holding their Spring Membership Meeting on June 7.  Be sure to register!

Domestic Violence
The New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence held its annual lobby day this month, and we were proud to participate.  Kristin Brown, our VP for Policy & Government Relations, spoke at the press event on the nuisance ordinance bill, which would protect domestic violence and crime victims from being harmed by nuisance ordinances.

We released a memo of support for bills that would update the domestic violence victims’ rights notice, which hasn’t changed since 1994 when New York State passed the Family Protection and Family Violence Intervention Act.

Our staff joined forces with Monroe County Clerk Adam Bello, and many other community members, to form the Monroe County Task Force on Vacant and Abandoned Properties.  Senior Attorney Rebecca Caico co-chairs the Task Force.

We contributed to a white pape r released by Americans for Financial Reform on the need to expand access to mortgage loan market for people with limited English proficiency.

New Yorkers for Responsible Lending released their white paper, Divergent Paths.  It explores the lack of uniformity in how settlement conferences play out in the foreclosure process in New York State.  The New York Law Journal talked about its release (subscription required).

Public Benefits
We submitted comments to the Food and Nutrition Service on proposed regulations for the Employment and Training Program’s monitoring, oversight and reporting measures.  The lack of reporting requirements for those who are mandated to participate in the E & T Program and people in the sanction process needs to change.

Wage Justice
The SWEAT bill passed the Assembly!  Now it’s on to the Senate – which the SWEAT Coalition got a head start on at a recent lobby day.  The SWEAT bill would give victims of wage theft the tools they n eed to collect their stolen wages.  Thank you Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal for your leadership in getting this through your chamber!

SWEAT Voting in Assembly 2016

LGBT Rights
Two huge wins: The US Department of Health issued final rules clarifying non-discrimination protections for transgender patients, and the US Departments of Justice and Education provided “significant guidance” for schools outlining their obligations to provide safe, inclusive learning environments.  Closer to home, last year we recently worked with advocates to help the New York State Education Department issue their own guidance for our schools, which was repeatedly referenced by the feds.

DAPWorks for New York campaign members came together in Albany for one last hurrah to thank legislators for supporting the increase in funding for the Disability Advocacy Program during the budget process.

The New York Times’ Editorial Board urged the CFPB to provide oversight on land contracts.

Farmworkers and allies are marching from Long Island to Albany in the March for Farmworker Justice.

The CFPB proposed rules that would prohibit mandatory arbitration clauses.

One of our former law clerks, Jessica Persaud, was recognized by t he NYS Bar Association for her pro bono work.

Our Long Island HOPP Coordinator, Maria DeGennaro, was a guest on the Long Island Business Report, speaking about a range of issues on Long Island related to fair lending, including foreclosure, banking, and language access for consumers with Limited English Proficiency.

That’s it for now! 

The Policy Team at Empire Justice Center

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