Bill Memos

S.4016, Marcellino / A.1039, Nolan: In relation to continuing education requirements for certain individuals employed by nonpublic schools

Memorandum of Support

The New York State Coalition of Independent and Religious Schools SUPPORTS this legislation.

This measure seeks to ensure that continuing education requirements apply to all holders of professional certificates in the classroom teaching service, holders of level III teaching assistant certificates, and holders of profession certificates in the educational leadership or service regardless of whether they are employed by a school district, BOCES or nonpublic school. More


A7302, Cusick / S.5660, Lanza: In relation to the New York State Child Protection Act of 2017

Memorandum of Support

The above-referenced bill is an omnibus child protection initiative designed to protect children from sexual abuse, and to allow existing and future survivors of such abuse a longer opportunity to seek justice in both criminal and civil courts. The New York State Catholic Conference strongly supports this bill.

By eliminating the criminal statute of limitations for the prosecution of certain sex offenses, the bill enables prosecutors to hold abusers accountable for crimes committed now and in the future, bringing unprecedented new protections to victims of child sexual crimes. In addition, this bill extends the time for civil claims to be brought by survivors of child sexual abuse until they are 28 years old, thereby ensuring victims have sufficient time to hold abusers civilly accountable for their actions. Importantly, notice of claim requirements are amended under this bill to ensure that victims of child sexual abuse are able to bring civil claims against all abusers, including those employed by municipal entities. Unlike some other bills before the legislature, all victims are treated equally under this bill. More


A.2646-A, Simotas: In relation to an insurance mandate for in vitro fertilization

Memorandum of Opposition

The above-referenced legislation would require large group health insurance plans to cover the costs of in vitro fertilization (IVF), gamete and embryo transfers, and other assisted reproductive technologies.  The New York State Catholic Conference opposes this legislation.

While the Catholic Church empathizes with childless married couples yearning for the joys of parenthood, the Conference holds grave concerns with this insurance mandate.  These concerns include the legislation’s a) requirement for funding acts that destroy innocent human embryos, both inside and outside the womb; b) endorsement of technologies which promote the manufacture of human beings, contribute to the breakdown of family relationships, and interfere with the natural act of marital sexual intercourse; and c) lack of any conscience protection for religious employers and those with ethical objections to assisted reproductive technologies. More


A.5767, Errigo: 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 urges you to oppose this legislation.

The Catholic Bishops of New York State and the country believe that capital punishment is not justified in contemporary society.  They seek a society of justice and peace, and urge elected officials to send the message that we can break the horrific cycle of violence without taking life for life.  More


S.4795, Lanza / A.1610, Rozic: In relation to segregated confinement of pregnant inmates

Memorandum of Support

 

This legislation would prohibit pregnant women and new mothers incarcerated throughout New York State from being placed in segregated confinement, also known as solitary confinement. The New York State Catholic Conference supports this legislation.

Both the U.S. Department of Justice and New York State recognize the problematic effects that excessive use of solitary confinement can have on an inmate. The U.S. Department of Justice in its Report and Recommendations Concerning the Use of Restrictive Housing states, “Women who are pregnant, who are postpartum, who recently had a miscarriage, or who recently had a terminated pregnancy should not be placed in restrictive housing.” The U.S. Department of Justice further suggests that even in exceptional circumstances when segregated confinement is used due to a severe and immediate threat to the safety of others, that those placed in segregated confinement should be reassessed daily and moved from such confinement as soon as it safe to do so. New York State, in settling the class action case of Peoples v. Fischer, also recognized that the criminal justice system needed to reduce the frequency, duration, and severity of the utilization of solitary confinement for everyone incarcerated in the prison system. More


A.566, Jaffee / S.3791, Krueger: 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.

We believe this legislation represents an unconstitutional infringement on religious freedom. The legislation blatantly and unfairly targets only religious employers and private business owners with religious beliefs. The United States and New York State Constitutions protect the religious freedom of religious and other private employers, enabling them to believe as they choose and determine employee benefits based on those beliefs. More


S.4063, Lanza / A.4296, 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.

While the quality of our educational system depends largely on the quality of teachers, even a dedicated, highly qualified teacher will have difficulty if their classroom is not equipped with basic materials and supplies. Yet we realize that teachers typically spend hundreds of dollars of their own money to purchase basic and necessary educational supplies and materials for the students in their classrooms. More


S.4016, Marcellino / A.1039, Nolan: In relation to continuing education requirements for certain certified individuals employed by nonpublic schools

Memorandum of Support

The New York State Coalition of Independent and Religious Schools supports this legislation.

This measure seeks to ensure that continuing education requirements apply to all holders of professional certificates in the classroom teaching service, holders of level III teaching assistant certificates, and holders of profession certificates in the educational leadership or service regardless of whether they are employed by a school district, BOCES or nonpublic school.

In the 2015 State Budget, lawmakers enacted a new section 3006-A to the Education Law to revise the continuing education requirements for all holders of teaching certificates, teaching assistance certificates, and educational leadership certificates which are valid for life (Permanent, Professional and Teaching Assistant Level III) by requiring such individuals to register with the Department every five years and to complete 100 hours of continuing teacher and leader education during the five year registration period.  The section inadvertently omitted such individuals employed by nonpublic schools from the continuing education provisions. Such certified individuals employed by nonpublic schools had been subject to the previous continuing education requirements prior to this statutory change. More


S.1093, Valesky / A.6099, Lupardo: 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 aged 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


A.566 Jaffee / S.3791: Krueger: 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