Bill Memos

A.5418, Cusick / S.3933, Lanza: In Relation to timeliness of prosecutions for certain sex offenses

Memorandum of Support

The above referenced bill extends the statute of limitations for certain sex crimes committed against minors and amends the law to provide an equal opportunity for all survivors to bring a claim within the extended statute of limitations period against businesses, not-for-profits and religious organizations as well as municipal entities. Sexual abuse is a crime and an assault on the dignity of the human person, made even worse when the victim is a child. Child sexual abuse is a pervasive social problem and the Catholic Conference fully supports legislative efforts to strengthen criminal and prospective civil penalties for sexual abuse of children to ensure children are protected from predators now and in the future.

This bill helps to ensure such protection, and the Catholic Conference strongly supports it. More

Re: A.5489, Nojay / S.1432, O’Mara: In relation to restoration of the death penalty for the murder of a police or corrections officer, or a victim killed in an act of terrorism

Memorandum of Opposition

The above-referenced bill would reverse the 2004 New York State Court of Appeals decision which invalidated capital punishment (People v. LaValle), by changing the “jury deadlock” instruction to jurors. This legislation would, therefore, restore the death penalty in New York State.

The New York State Catholic Conference strongly urges you to oppose this legislation. More

S.700, Rivera / A.1616, Gottfried: In relation to establishing a sex education grant program

Memorandum of Opposition

The above-referenced legislation would establish a new dedicated funding stream for comprehensive contraceptive sex education programs for all age levels in New York State.

The New York State Catholic Conference opposes this bill.

This legislation would create a new funding mechanism to direct taxpayer dollars toward select organizations such as Planned Parenthood to ensure “comprehensive” sex education programs, promoting all contraceptive methods at undefined “age appropriate” grade levels. These programs would be in schools and other settings. More

A.3122, Morelle / S.4701, Savino: In relation to the sale of monuments

Memorandum of Opposition

The above-referenced bill applies to cemeteries organized and operated under the Religious Corporations Law and would prohibit those cemeteries from selling monuments and memorials. The Catholic Conference continues to object to governmental encroachment on the operation of Church-affiliated cemeteries. These cemeteries perform burial services according to the rites and rituals of the Church and, as such, are and should remain outside the purview of governmental intrusion.

The New York State Catholic Conference strongly opposes this legislation. More

A.1248, Fahy: In relation to authorizing Catholic religious cemetery corporations to reacquire abandoned lots

Memorandum of Support

The above-referenced legislation would allow Catholic religious cemetery corporations to reacquisition abandoned lots, plots, and parts thereof after an extensive title search and approval by a Supreme Court.

The New York State Catholic Conference supports this legislation. More

A.6221 Glick / S.4432 Stewart-Cousins: In relation to abortion expansion

Memorandum of Opposition

The above-referenced legislation would embed the US Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade into New York statute, freezing New York law in 1973. It would repeal New York’s current law which allows abortion through 24 weeks of pregnancy (Article 125 Penal Law), but outlaws abortion after that unless necessary to save a woman’s life. In its place, A.6221 / S.4432 would insert a broad health exception, interpreted by the courts not to mean serious physical health impairment, but rather, to include age, economic, social or other emotional factors. It is an exception that will permit unlimited late-term abortion on demand in New York State. More

S.2159, Griffo / A.2604, Morelle: Authorizing Mixed Martial Arts contests in New York State

Memorandum of Opposition

The above-referenced bill would authorize and regulate the combative sport of mixed martial arts (MMA), which is currently prohibited in New York State. The New York State Catholic Conference strongly opposes this bill.

The Legislature has rightly taken action to try to reduce gun violence and other forms of violence in our state. Why, then, would we be looking to bring extreme violence as sport here? What kind of message does it send to our citizens, particularly children, when we glorify violence in this way? Should it surprise us when children act out violently after watching state-sanctioned mixed martial arts events? More

S.2060, DeFrancisco / A.5814, Lentol: In relation to public and private umbilical cord blood banking

Memorandum of Support

The above-referenced legislation would raise public awareness about the donation, collection, preservation, storage and benefits of umbilical cord blood for research and treatment.

The New York State Catholic Conference supports this bill. More

S.639, Valesky / A.5336-A, Cymbrowitz: In Relation to authorizing banks to protect vulnerable adults from financial exploitation

Memorandum of Support

The above-referenced legislation would authorize banking organizations to refuse to disburse moneys in circumstances where there is reason to believe that a vulnerable adult may be being financially exploited.

This legislation would allow, but not require, a banking institution to act to protect the financial assets of a vulnerable adult from theft or conversion by relatives or other caregivers. The elderly, those age 65 and older, are the fastest growing segment in this country. They are vulnerable to varying types of abuse, including physical, psychological and financial. The proposed amendment to the Social Services Law would add a provision to the Adult Protective Services section to cover financial abuse. If a bank reasonably believes that financial abuse of a vulnerable person is occurring, they may refuse to honor the transaction and provide law enforcement or social service officials with documents relevant to the suspected financial exploitation. More

S.3685 Savino / A.2129 Rosenthal / A.5261 Paulin: In relation to legalizing physician-assisted suicide

Take action on this legislation HERE.

Memorandum of Opposition

The above-referenced bills would add a new section of the Public Health Law to allow physicians to prescribe lethal doses of medication for the express purpose of ending a patient’s life.

The New York State Catholic Conference opposes these bills for the reasons outlined below.

Legalizing physician-assisted suicide would:

  • Blur longstanding medical, moral and legal distinctions between withdrawing extraordinary medical assistance and taking active steps to destroy human life. One lets people die a natural death; the other is the deliberate and direct act of hastening death.
  • Undermine the physician’s role as healer, forever alter the doctor-patient relationship, and lessen the quality of care provided to patients at the end of life. Patients are best served when medical professionals, together with families and loved ones, provide support and care with dignity and respect, not lethal doses of drugs. The American Medical Association holds a policy position against physician-assisted suicide, which they say is “fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role” and would be “difficult or impossible to control.”
  • Lead to psychological, financial and other pressures for vulnerable persons to end their lives. In today’s era of health care rationing and cost-cutting, physician-assisted suicide could easily rise to the level of the most acceptable, and even expected, “treatment” for terminal illness. In 1994, Governor Mario Cuomo’s Task Force on Life & the Law released a report unanimously rejecting assisted suicide, and cautioned: “No matter how carefully and guidelines are framed, assisted suicide and euthanasia will be practiced through the prism of social inequality and bias that characterizes the delivery of services in all segments of society, including health care. The practices will pose the greatest risks to those who are poor, elderly, members of a minority group or without access to good medical care. The growing concern about health care costs increases the risks. This cost consciousness will not be diminished, and may well be exacerbated, by health care reform.”

Rather than assisting suicide, government should be consistent in its efforts to prevent suicide. It is illogical for the state to promote/facilitate suicide for one group of persons — calling the suicides of those with a terminal illness and a specific prognosis “dignified and humane,” while recognizing suicide as a serious statewide public health concern in all other circumstances, and spending enormous resources to combat it. More