Skip to Main Content
Printer Friendly

May 2012 Issue of Policy Matters


 

As the end of New York’s 2012 legislative session approaches, Empire Justice Center advocates are switching into high gear, working hard to advance legislation that benefits lower income New Yorkers and to halt bills that will harm New York consumers, Medicaid recipients and providers.

Our end of session legislative priorities include…

ACCOMPLISHED!!  A top priority this year, the Elimination of Finger Imaging for Food Stamp Applicants/Recipients was resolved at the end of last week!  Just before the release of this newsletter, Governor Cuomo announced that the finger imaging requirement for food stamp applicants in New York City would be done away with.  Click here to read the press release and to send the Governor a message thanking him for eliminating finger printing for food.

Protecting the Safety of Domestic Violence Victims When Communicating with their Health Insurance Company.  This has already passed the Senate, and would require health insurers to allow domestic violence victims to provide an alternate address for claim and billing information so that their location is not compromised. Read our memo of support for more information.
 
Ensuring that all Parties Understand the Parameters of an Order of Protection.  This legislation would require that certain orders of protection be translated by an interpreter into the native language of the parties.  We talk about this in our testimony to the New York State Bar Association, where we discussed domestic violence related concerns in the family courts. 

A Fair and Sensible Auto Resource Rule.  This legislation seeks to streamline New York’s outdated, and unnecessarily complex, two-tiered auto resource exemption which largely impacts disabled individuals, with a uniform exemption of $9300.  Our memo has more details.

Protecting the Homes of Welfare Recipients.  New York is one of only two states in the nation that allows a county to take a mortgage on the home of a welfare recipient to recover benefits paid.  With no regular accounting shared with the homeowner, counties regularly attempt to recover far more than they are owed.  Read why this draconian policy should be repealed.
 
Raising the Minimum Wage to Lift More New Yorkers Out of Poverty.  The current minimum wage of $7.25 is not nearly enough to meet the rising costs of food, shelter, transportation, child care and other essentials.  Empire Justice Center supports raising the minimum wage to $8.50 per hour in our recent testimony and memo of support for current legislation.

Eliminating Burdensome Finger Imaging for Food Stamp Applicants/Recipients.  Just before the release of this newsletter, Governor Cuomo announced that the finger imaging requirement for food stamp applicants in New York City would be done away with.  Click here to read the press release and to send the Governor a message thanking him for eliminating finger printing for food.
 
Protecting Child Care Subsidies for New York’s Working Poor.  This legislation exempts a parent or other relative of a child under the age of one from welfare work requirements.  Read how more than $16 million can be saved if households with children under one are exempted.

Empire Justice advocates are also opposing legislation that would hurt vulnerable New Yorkers.  We are working to…

Protect Medicaid Recipients from Unproven and Duplicative Biometric Screening.  Read the Empire Justice Center and Medicaid Matters New York memos of opposition to this misguided proposal.

Keep Lending by Check Cashers Out of New York.  This legislation would create an unlevel playing field by allowing check cashers to make loans that mainstream, regulated banks and credit unions are prohibited from making.  Read why Empire Justice Center and New Yorkers for Responsible Lending oppose this bill.

Stop the Legalization of Debt Settlement Scams.  This bill would allow for-profit credit counselors and debt management companies to conduct business in New York, effectively legalizing debt settlement scams in New York.  Read why this is a bad deal for New York consumers.