Assembly Passes Paulin’s Bills to Protect Children

The state Assembly passed two of Assemblywoman Paulin’s bills (A.779 and A.775B) on Monday. Both bills aim to help children.

The first is a bill that will require the Department of Environmental Conservation to update its forms used to determine whether a project may have a significant effect on the environment.

Environmental conditions can affect children differently than adults, particularly because children are still in the process of developing. The bill, which Paulin has been working on for 4 years, will ensure that kids and other sensitive populations be taken into account by the DEC when a new project with environmental consequences is proposed.

“Environmental pollution has been linked to diseases such as cancer and asthma in our kids” said Assemblywoman Paulin, “Children can’t speak for themselves on these issues. This legislation will ensure that kids be taken into account before projects are built that could hurt them.”

According to a 2005 analysis by Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, costs related to chronic diseases of environmental origin in New York’s children amount to $4.65 billion dollars a year.

The second bill, A775B, would require the Department of Health to post influenza information on their website. The legislation requires the office of children and family services, the department of education and the NYC department of health and mental hygiene to notify schools that information is available on the DOH’s website and to direct them to be print out and post the material in their schools.

“The onset of swine flu this year has emphasized the need to raise public awareness about the importance of getting immunized,” said Assemblywoman Paulin, “This bill will help educate parents about the need for immunizations, and direct them to the DOH website where they can get more information.”

In 2007, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) made changes to the childhood immunization schedule that included recommendations that all children aged six months to age 18 get the flu shot yearly.