Bill Memos

Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act

Memorandum of Support

S.6578 Ramos / A.8419 Nolan
In relation to the Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act

The Farmworker Fair Labor Practices Act would address a number of the exemptions in New York’s labor, public health and workers compensation laws that currently prevent farmworkers from accessing rights and privileges available to other workers. The New York State Catholic Conference supports this compromise bill and strongly urges its long-overdue enactment by the legislature.

“For years, the Catholic Church has advocated for equal rights and fair treatment for farmworkers,” Timothy Cardinal Dolan, archbishop of New York, has said. “It is a human rights issue.”

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Erin’s Law

Memorandum of Support

A.2577-B Dinowitz / S.4070-B Biaggi
In Relation to Erin’s Law

The above-referenced legislation, known as Erin’s Law, would require the instruction of curriculum on the prevention of child sexual exploitation and abuse in grades kindergarten through eight. The New York State Catholic Conference strongly supports this legislation.

Sexual exploitation and abuse of children is a societal scourge. Victim-survivors face a lifetime of negative consequences, including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, difficulty maintaining relationships and employment, and more. In recent decades, our nation has come to a greater understanding of the impacts of such trauma on young lives, and we have also come to recognize that abuse is much more likely to occur at the hands of a trusted adult – family member, friend, teacher, coach, clergy member – than a stranger.

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Sale of Cemetery Monuments

Memorandum of Opposition

 Re: S.4610 Savino / A.7350 Woerner
In relation to the sale of monuments by religious cemeteries 

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 opposes this legislation. 

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Gestational Surrogacy

Re: A.1071-C Paulin / S.2071-B Hoylman
In relation to Gestational Surrogacy Agreements

Memorandum of Opposition

The above-referenced bill would undo New York’s longstanding prohibition of compensated surrogate parenting contracts, legalizing such arrangements at precisely the time when other nations are reversing course and outlawing the procedure due to the horrific consequences of such policies.

The international commercial surrogacy trade has been exposed, and several countries such as India, Nepal, Thailand and Cambodia, where brokers found access to impoverished women willing to serve as surrogates, have banned the practice. The European Parliament has asked its member states “to acknowledge the serious problem of surrogacy, which constitutes an exploitation of the female body and her reproductive organs,” and the practice has now been almost entirely banned in the European Union nations, where it has been declared to be a human rights issue involving the exploitation of women as well as being vulnerable to human trafficking.

For this and other reasons, the New York State Catholic Conference opposes this legislation.

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Diaper allowance

Memorandum of Support

 Re: A.2567-B Solages / S.1086-B Persaud
In relation to allowances for the costs of diapers 

The above-reference bill would amend the Social Services Law to provide eligible parents with an allowance for the purchase of diapers for their infants and toddlers. The New York State Catholic Conference supports this legislation and urges its approval before the close of the 2019 legislative session. 

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Transporting children with special education needs

Memorandum of Support

 Re: A.1686 Pheffer Amato / S.4168 Addabbo
In relation to providing transportation for children with handicapping conditions 

The above-referenced legislation amends paragraph d of subdivision 4 of section 4402 of the Education Law to clarify that transportation up to 50 miles is to be provided for children with special education needs based on the program / services / setting available to such children at the private school they attend as opposed to the more limited range of services and/or inappropriate program or setting that would otherwise be provided them. 

The New York State Catholic Conference supports this legislation. 

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Real Property Tax Exemption

Memorandum of Opposition

Re: A.3692-B Gunther / S.1662-B Skoufis
In relation to Real Property Tax Exemption 

The above-referenced bill seeks to impose a seven-year deadline on the time in which a non-profit organization in the mandatory exempt class (religious, charitable, hospital, educational or moral or mental improvement of men, women or children) must build or make improvements on acquired property in order to retain the property tax exemption on that land. The Catholic Conference opposes this legislation.

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Real Property Tax Exemption

Memorandum of Opposition

Re: S.1662-A Skoufis / A.3692-A, Gunther
In relation to Real Property Tax Exemption 

The above-referenced bill seeks to impose a seven-year deadline on the time in which a non-profit organization in the mandatory exempt class (religious, charitable, hospital, educational or moral or mental improvement of men, women or children) must build or make improvements on acquired property in order to retain the property tax exemption on that land.

The Catholic Conference opposes this legislation 

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Health Care Decision Making

Memorandum of Opposition

 Re: S.5939 Rivera / A.730 Rosenthal
In relation to health care decision-making 

The above-referenced bill would remove an important safeguard currently in the Public Health Law that sets a reasonable and prudent standard that physicians and hospitals must observe when making decisions for individuals who lack capacity. This bill proposes to lower a decision-making standard currently found in our state’s Health Care Proxy Law (Article 29-C Public Health Law). 

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School Energy Efficiency Collaboration Programs

Memorandum of Support

Re: S.4480 Ranzenhofer / A.6820 Crespo
In relation to including private and religious schools in school energy efficiency collaboration programs 

The above-referenced legislation amends Chapter 403 of the laws of 2016, in relation to including private and religious schools in school energy efficiency collaboration programs. 

The New York State Catholic Conference supports this legislation. 

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