Assemblywoman Buttenschon Passes Legislation to Support New York Businesses, Study New Ways to Protect Public Health

Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon (D, I-Utica/Rome) announced that legislation she sponsored to enact the Marketing and Expanding Export Trade – New York (MEET-NY) Act and direct the state Department of Health (DOH) to study the use of solid antimicrobial materials for touch surfaces in public buildings passed the Assembly (A.1177; A.998-A).

“I was happy to see my colleagues in the Assembly join me in supporting the MEET-NY Act. It’s important that we not only assist our New York businesses in recovering from the effects of the pandemic, but also to thrive and grow,” Buttenschon said. “This legislation will help provide new opportunities for New York businesses to open up new markets in the region, across the country and around the globe. I want to thank all those businesses and local farmers that joined in my round-table discussions to determine the best way to support and promote New York State products in our national and global economy. The MEET-NY Act is here to assist our businesses and farmers."

The MEET-NY Act will assist export trade development projects that encourage and assist businesses, industrial firms, or industry groups to engage in export trade regionally and globally, in addition to coordinating state economic development programs with such projects (A.1177). As chair of the Assembly Export Trade Subcommittee, Buttenschon made helping small businesses her priority and has worked to expand distribution of products that were grown and made in New York throughout the state and farther. Buttenschon has also hosted tours of local farms and agribusinesses for downstate Assembly members and has worked with businesses statewide to utilize more New York-based products.

“Additionally, I am looking forward to the study examining solid antimicrobial materials and the feasibility of using them to reduce the spread of viruses. When someone washes or disinfects a countertop, for example, there is a requirement that the disinfecting agent be used in a proper way in order for it to be effective. The use of antimicrobial touch surfaces, however, is a passive measure that requires no human intervention and its action is continuous rather than episodic,” Buttenschon explained. "I want to thank Revere Copper Products for initiating this great legislation as they are a leading world manufacturer of cooper products, and their expertise dates back over centuries. Revere Copper continues to provide new technology and take pride in sustainability and premium community and customer service.”

The second bill directs the commissioner of the DOH, in consultation with the commissioner of the Office of General Services, to conduct a study on the use of solid antimicrobial materials for touch surfaces in the construction of public buildings in New York. The study would identify copper’s rate of transmission prevention when used to coat frequently touched surfaces that present infection risks as well as give recommendations for the types of antimicrobial materials to be used. Upon completion of the study, the DOH would identify the beneficial effects of different types of antimicrobial materials while also showcasing their potential cost (A.998-A). This preventive measure will work in concert with other proven strategies, such as handwashing and disinfection, that rely solely on mass human cooperation, Buttenschon noted.