E-Mail Newsletter – June 18, 2014

Session is winding down, with a flurry of legislation in both the Assembly and the Senate. Since there will be quite a bit more information once the dust settles, I wanted to inform you of some of the progress that we have been making so far. Bethlehem conservation easement legislation passes both houses. I had introduced legislation with Senator Breslin to allow the Town of Bethlehem to provide for property tax exemption for landowners who agree to conserve open space, either for a period of years or in perpetuity. This is new legislation and I could not be more pleased to report the bill has passed in both houses and now awaits for the Governor’s signature. Combating Heroin, Opioid, and Prescription Drug Abuse. An encouraging note from today is that this legislative session will not end without including legislation aimed at combating the alarming growth of heroin, opioid, and prescription drug abuse. Today, Governor Cuomo, along with legislative leaders, announced the agreement and a package of bills to address the issue this afternoon. This series of legislation includes improved measures to support addiction treatment, new penalties to help crack down on illegal drug distribution, informational cards in Naloxone anti-overdose kits to help save lives, and expanded public education to prevent opioid and heroin use. Earlier this year, Attorney General Schneiderman, Albany County officials, and I had spoken out about this issue in Guilderland, where their police department was the first in the state to receive funding to obtain Naloxone kits through the Attorney General's office. I remain committed in supporting these efforts to fight the growth of drug abuse in our community. Military sexual trauma. The Assembly has passed legislation that I’ve sponsored to require the further dissemination of information to veterans who have been tramatized by military sexual abuse. The bill requires these documents to be available on the Office of Mental Health and the Division of Veterans Affairs websites where they can seek treatment and counseling for Military Sexual Trauma. This bill will be an important step forward in providing the services and treatment for those who have suffered from military sexual trauma. Petroleum Storage Surety. This week, the Assembly also passed my Petroleum Storage Surety bill which ensures that the storage of crude oil must meet certain financial requirements to prevent taxpayers from being responsible in instances of inadvertent crude oil shipment accidents. A business may achieve this by indicating evidence of insurance, a letter of credit, or a bond from a corporate surety licensed to do business in New York State. I am continuing to advocate that the Senate move this piece of critical environmental safety legislation. Public lewdness legislation passes both houses. The New York State Legislature passed legislation last week that I introduced earlier this year to increase penalties and charges for those who commit acts of public lewdness in front of minors and repeat offenders. With this legislation, penalties will be elevated for indecent exposure to a Class A misdemeanor for those who commit these heinous acts in front of minors or are repeated offenders. With the bill now in Governor Cuomo’s hands, my hope is that this legislation – once enacted – will serve as a deterrent for the reoccurrence of this kind of depravity. The legislation came as a result of recent incidents by a repeat offender in September 2013 who had been arrested for committing multiple acts of public lewdness, including the final incident in the presence of two Albany middle school children. The individual was repeatedly arrested for re-offending and released on his own recognizance – only to recommit lewd acts upon release. Assembly passes child identity protection bill. Currently, New York State law only allows a parent to freeze a child’s credit if a credit file already exists in the child’s name. More times than not, a file may exist because the child has already fallen victim to identity theft. I am pleased to report this legislation would allow a freeze to be placed without an existing credit report on file for a child, likely avoiding the risk of child identity theft altogether. This measure – expected to be taken up by the Senate before the legislative session ends – has become increasingly necessary as a 2011 report by ID Analytics, an identity theft protection firm, noted that an estimated 140,000 minors are at risk of falling victim to identity theft annually. Highlights from the 109th: Star-Spangled Sing Along. It was an honor to conduct the Guilderland Public Library's participation in the Smithsonian-sponsored celebration of the 200th anniversary of "The Star Spangled Banner" the flag that inspired our national anthem. Thank you so much to all who came out to celebrate this important milestone and to the Guilderland Public Library for putting together this fun event. Check this video from the event. Events in and around the 109th: Movie Nights under the Stars. In partnership with the Pine Hills and Helderberg Neighborhood Associations, these movie nights will offer family-friendly features and activities, along with free popcorn. Here are the dates for films: + June 27 at Sage College of Albany
+ July 25 at Ridgefield Park
+ August 29 at Sage College of Albany
+ September 26 at Ridgefield Park For more information, visit their Web site. Free Fishing Days. Each year, the last full weekend in June is designated as Free Fishing Days in New York State. During those two days, anyone can fish New York State waters, and no fishing license is required. This event started in 1991 to allow all people the opportunity to sample the incredible fishing the state has to offer. This year, New York State´s Free Fishing Days are Saturday, June 28 and Sunday, June 29. Here are additional details. Free performances outside of the Egg. The Egg will be hosting free performances outside of the main entrance to its facility each Wednesday at noon throughout the summer. For more information, visit their Web site. Job Opportunities: I’ve set up a page on my Assembly website for job announcements and listings that we’ll update periodically. If you know of any job listings, send my office a note. Capital District Assembly Update: Tune in every Tuesday at 5 p.m. on Channel 17 (for Time Warner Cable subscribers) for the next episode of Capital District Assembly Update, co-hosted by Assemblymember McDonald and me. You can also previous episodes and clips on my Assembly website. As always, for the latest about my office’s happenings or for upcoming events, please visit my office online, on Facebook, on Twitter, or my Times Union blog. If you would like to reach my office, please feel free to send us a note. Sincerely --- Pat