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Policy Matters - June 2013


Dear Friends,

June is always a busy month here in Albany, with the legislative session drawing to a close.  Our policy staff is in full swing, working on issues of critical importance to low income New Yorkers - at both the state and federal levels.  Here's this month's update:

As we gear up for the last week of the legislative session, these are the priority bills we’ll be working on intensely until the final hours of session: 

We were pleased to participate in the NYS Assembly Legislative Disabilities Awareness Day, hosted by the Task Force on People with Disabilities.  Our staff talked to participants about the Disability Advocacy Program and about two bills that will have a positive impact on people with disabilities: legislation to ensure that welfare recipients are not punished for being disabled and a bill to create a fair and realistic auto resource rule so that disabled welfare recipients are not discriminated against.

We organized a very successful child care lobby day for Winning Beginning’s Child Care Subsidy Committee.  Our 10 advocates from Rochester, Westchester, Long Island and the Capital District got a positive reception from legislators and/or their staff about our top child care priorities, as noted above.

At the federal level…

Empire Justice staff presented testimony to federal regulators about New York State’s child care plan and how New York could expand child care subsidies to certain underserved populations.

We were one of 40 members of New Yorkers for Responsible Lending (NYRL) that applauded federal regulators for proposing strong guidance to curb deposit advance products and payday lending.

We are honored to have been invited to work with NY Immigration Coalition’s Legal Advisory Committee on comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level and look forward to being involved in that effort both now and during the implementation phase.

And speaking of comprehensive – we've been doing some great health care policy work at both the state and federal level…

We continue to work with colleagues across the state and country to educate people about the unique challenges of our country’s 10 million “dual eligibles,” those eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare.  Empire Justice was one of a dozen organizations involved in drafting and signing joint comments on the Expansion of New York's Fully Integrated Duals Advantage (FIDA) Program Demonstration, urging the NYS Department of Health to add additional safeguards in its proposed expansion of the program.  Also, we are proud to be part of Voices for Better Health, a project of Community Catalyst, to develop a strong system through the Affordable Care Act that meets the needs of dual eligibles.  To see more about the Voices for Better Health project, watch this great video.

And as usual that’s just a snapshot!  Keep an eye on our website and facebook page for current updates on our policy work!

All the best and stay dry!

Kristin and the Empire Justice Policy Team

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