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Policy Matters - July 2013


Dear Friends,

This month finds us wrapping up after the end of the state legislative session.  In the midst of summer vacations we are busy cleaning up our databases and sending out thank you notes to legislators.  We are also starting to talk in small groups about initiatives for next year and getting very excited about what we might be able to accomplish – so stay tuned!  In the meantime, we have two key pieces of legislation we are urging the governor to sign into law:

  • We are very excited to report that S4530-A/A5582-A, which will prevent NY homeowners from getting caught in the foreclosure shadow docket, has been delivered to the Governor!  We worked with our New Yorkers for Responsible Lending (NYRL) partners to request that it be delivered quickly to prevent more people from getting caught in the shadow docket, and we are so pleased that the Governor heard us!  We’ve continued to work diligently on this legislation, meeting with the Governor’s office earlier this month and generating as many letters in support of the bill to Governor as possible.  We hope to have good news on this front next week!  In the meantime, check out this great New York Times article published today
  • With respect to the child care 60-day notice bill (A.3498-A/S.5743), we are working with our partners at Winning Beginning New York to identify parents and providers who would have benefitted from more notice when their child care subsidies were reduced by their county.  We’ll be sharing this information with the Governor’s office to encourage Governor Cuomo to sign the legislation.  And just today, we sent our letter to the Governor's office asking him to sign the bill when it's delivered.

In other news, Empire Justice staff were pleased to work with reporter Tammy Kim to provide information for her in depth article on child care and welfare to work.  Here is a link to that informative article.

During the rest of the summer we’ll be:

  • Convening a group of child care advocates to inform our comments on proposed federal Child Care Development Fund regulations that affect the health and safety of children in child care.  If you would like to comment, the proposed regulations can be found here.
  • Analyzing the newly proposed HUD rule aimed at improving the implementation of the purposes and policies of the Fair Housing Act, which not only prohibits discrimination but, in conjunction with other statutes, directs HUD’s program participants to take steps proactively to overcome historic patterns of segregation, promote fair housing choice and foster inclusive communities for all.  Our goal will be to ensure that other advocates have the opportunity to weigh in on the proposal in hopes of strengthening the final rule.  Proposed regulations can be found here.
  • Working as part of several work groups providing input to the State on how to implement the myriad of changes to New York’s health care system as a result of the federal Affordable Care Act.  We are weighing in on nursing home transitions, policies related to dual eligible individuals and whether NY should choose the option of a basic health plan as part of our Medicaid Program.  We are grateful to the NYS Department of Health for inviting us to participate!
  • Meeting with advocates and policy makers in Monroe County to develop comprehensive data analysis outlining where the foreclosure crisis has hit hardest and making recommendations for how to mitigate the long term impact.  Ultimately we will develop a report similar to our Long Island analysis which was released this spring.
  • Reviewing local Departments of Social Services policies on providing burial allowances to those who need help covering burial costs to determine whether a change in policy is needed.

And so much more!

To hear more about these activities, keep an eye on our website and Facebook page, where we’ll update you as information becomes available.  Policy Matters will be taking a break during August, but it’ll be back in September.  In the meantime, enjoy the summer!

Kristin and the Empire Justice Policy Team

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