Bill Memos

A.2872-A, Markey / S.63-A, Hoylman: In relation to civil claims regarding child sexual abuse

Memorandum of Opposition

The above-referenced bill would create a one-year window for the filing of decades-old claims of sexual abuse by a minor against businesses, not-for-profits and religious organizations. Sexual abuse is a crime and a detestable assault on the dignity of the human person, made even worse when the victim is a child. The Catholic Church in the United States has zero tolerance for sexual abuse of children, and the Bishops of New York State stand in unanimous and unwavering support of comprehensive public policy to prevent sexual abuse, punish offenders effectively and fairly, and ensure justice for survivors. Sexual abuse is a human tragedy, a major social problem, a serious crime and an egregious sin. Our entire community shares a moral obligation to expose and eradicate this evil wherever it exists.

We strongly disagree, however, with both the focus of this legislation and its selective application. For this reason, the New York State Catholic Conference opposes it. More


A.1142-A, Jaffee: In relation to reproductive health care decisions

Memorandum of Opposition

The above-referenced legislation aims to prevent employers – whether private, non-profit, for-profit or religious – from exercising their religious freedom in the businesses they operate. For the reasons outlined below, the New York State Catholic Conference opposes this bill.

The fundamental purpose of this legislation is to remove any possibility of an employer making employment-related decisions based upon their religious beliefs. In the area of “reproductive health decisions,” the bill could therefore have the effect of repealing current protections in New York law (e.g., Executive Law Section 296[11]) that permit religious employers to take employment-related actions based on the religious principles upon which they are established or maintained. More


A.1248-A, Fahy / S.4920-A, Farley: In relation to authorizing religious cemetery corporations to reacquire abandoned lots

Memorandum of Support

The above-referenced legislation would allow religious cemetery corporations to reacquire abandoned lots, plots, and parts thereof after an extensive title search and approval by a Supreme Court. This legislation also includes protections that would prohibit corporations from reacquiring abandoned lots if such action would violate any burial requirements of that cemetery sponsor’s religious faith.

The New York State Catholic Conference supports this legislation. More


A.219, Abinanti: In relation to establishing the Direct Support Professional Credential Pilot Program

Memorandum of Support

The above-referenced legislation would establish the direct support professional credential pilot program to be administered by the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities for a period of three years. We support this proposed legislation as an important step in the right direction.

The intent of the legislation is to promote workforce recruitment and retention efforts, and enhance competency of direct support professionals in the developmental disabilities field. There is a growing demand for well-trained direct support professionals across a wide range of human service sectors. The job of a direct support professional is a difficult one, but it can also be a satisfying and rewarding one. This requires a workforce that is adequately trained, properly supervised, and appropriately compensated.

The New York State Catholic Conference supports the Direct Support Professional Credential Pilot, and urges enactment of this legislation as a first step in recognizing the importance of this “pillar” of quality service. More


S.24, DeFrancisco / A.1131, Perry: In Relation to establishing the Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct

Memorandum of Support

The above-referenced legislation would establish the Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct. This Commission would be modeled after the State Commission on Judicial Conduct and would establish acceptable standards and reasonable accountability for prosecutors as they carry out their duties and responsibilities.

The New York State Catholic Conference supports the establishment of the State Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct, and strongly urges enactment of this legislation. More


S.4615, Lanza / A.4725, Colton: In relation to teacher tax deduction for school supplies

Memorandum of Support

The above-referenced bill provides a personal income tax deduction up to $500 a year for school supplies paid for out of-pocket by elementary and secondary school teachers, principals and other personnel in public and non-public schools.

The New York State Catholic Conference supports this legislation. More


A.3838-A, Aubry / S.979-A, Montgomery: In relation to providing inmates with the opportunity to obtain a General Equivalency Diploma

Memorandum of Support

The above-referenced legislation would require the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) to establish academic programs to prepare inmates to complete the General Equivalency Diploma (GED) and allow them the opportunity to complete a GED prior to release.

The New York State Catholic Conference supports this legislation.

Obtaining a GED while at DOCCS has a particularly positive impact on return rates to DOCCS’ facilities. Inmates who earned a GED while at DOCCS returned to custody at a rate of 32% compared to 37% of inmates with no degree. More


A.1826, Gunther / S.1372, Bonacic: In relation to real property tax exemptions for not-for-profits and annual requirements

Memorandum of Opposition

The above-referenced bill would force the thousands of not-for-profit institutions across New York to annually re-establish their claims to real property tax exempt status.

The New York State Catholic Conference opposes this legislation.

The New York State Constitution establishes that religious, charitable and educational exemptions from real property taxes shall not be altered or repealed. Yet this legislation seeks to compel these not-for-profits to annually justify their continued exemption at the risk of losing it. On this point we believe the bill to be unconstitutional. More


A.2230, Gottfried: In relation to provision of pain relieving medications

Memorandum of Support

The above-referenced bill would authorize health care professionals to provide pain-relieving medication to those who are suffering, while maintaining important safeguards against homicide and assisted suicide.
The New York State Catholic Conference supports this bill.

Catholic teaching strongly supports the concept of sound pain management, and numerous health care institutions under church sponsorship throughout New York State incorporate pain management within their palliative care programs. Pain management, as an integral component of such programs, addresses the urgent need of patients to relieve the symptoms of disease even as therapeutic care gives way to comfort care designed to assist patients and their families to face the challenge of a terminal or incurable disease. More


Re: A.6976, Markey / S.4801, Marcellino: In relation to extending provisions for resale of tickets

Memorandum of Support

The New York State Catholic Conference supports the above-mentioned legislation which seeks to extend the existing statute on the resale of tickets.

Catholic schools, as well as other independent and religious schools and countless not-for-profit organizations, regularly engage in fund-raising events for what is often a significant part of their operating budgets. One very popular source of income is the raffling of tickets to athletic and entertainment events. These tickets, which have been donated by benefactors, have always been a popular item sought by parents, family members, and other supporters of the non-profit. More