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    Advocate

    The 2014 New York State Legislative Session has ended!

    Both the New York State Senate and Assembly held their last regularly scheduled day of session on Thursday, June 19. Legislators have returned to their districts and are now preparing for the general election in November - all seats in the New York Senate and Assembly are up for election this year.

    Highlights from the 2014 New York State Legislative Session include:

    • Passage of legislation that will improve education about and referrals for treatment of maternal depression
    • Passage of legislation that will ban the sale of liquid nicotine to minors

    March of Dimes also issued memoranda in support of several pieces of legislation that ultimately failed to be put to a vote in one or both houses. They included legislation:

    • Requiring employers to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnancy related conditions
    • Requiring school-age children be vaccinated against Meningococcal disease
    • Expanding the definition of "smoking" under the Clean Indoor Air Act to include electronic cigarettes

    Issue Highlight: Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act

    As you might recall, March of Dimes was on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. this past March to speak with our members in the House of Representatives about the importance of passing the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act. Although the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act was passed in the U.S. Senate in January, it has remained under consideration in the U.S. House of Representatives until yesterday (6/24) when the U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill by voice vote. The bill will now be returned to the U.S. Senate for a final vote! 

    The Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act is vitally important legislation will help ensure that newborn screening continues to reach each of the more than 4 million babies born in the U.S. every year. Screening detects conditions that, if left untreated, can cause disabilities, developmental delays, illnesses or even death. If diagnosed early, many of these disorders can be managed successfully.

    Many thanks to our volunteers who spoke with their elected officials about this legislation! 

    2014 - 2015 Budget Timeline:

    • Completed! - The Division of  the Budget sends Agency Call Letter to all agency heads. Agency heads submit budget requests that comply with instructions in the Agency Call Letter to the Division of the Budget.
    • Completed! - Governor Cuomo presents Executive Budget proposal to legislature. 
    • Completed!  - New York State Senate and Assembly finalize negotiations and pass budget bills. The 2014-2015 budget bills passed by both the New York Senate and Assembly include the following provisions:
      • $3 million in new funding for Nurse-Family Partnership
      • Elimination of 6-month waiting period for previously insured children to enroll in New York's Child Health Plus
      • Extension through 2017 of previously enacted income and benefit expansions to New York's Child Health Plus
      • Funding for municipalities to provide prenatal care to uninsured women
    • Completed! - Governor Cuomo reviews budget bills passed by the legislature – may use line item veto.
    • Completed! - Enacted Budget.
      • The enacted budget includes the four provisions discussed above!

    Stay Informed:

    Join the March of Dimes advocacy network to receive occasional emails about key legislation important to moms and babies. The advocacy network is made up of volunteers and staff who promote the March of Dimes mission by contacting the governor and state legislators in response to New York Chapter action alerts. We need your help - every voice makes a difference!

    Do you know who represents you in the U.S. Senate or the New York State Assembly?  Find out by joining the March of Dimes advocacy network!

    Visit http://www.marchofdimes.com/advocacy/actioncenter.html to register! 

    Did you know...

    • 658 bills were passed in both the New York State Senate and Assembly between January and July 2014.
    • Both the New York State Senate and Assembly spent more time in session in June than in any other month.
    • The United States Supreme Court will hear Peggy Young v. United Parcel Service in which Young alleges the company violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) when Young - a delivery driver - was required to go on unpaid maternity leave rather than get a position that was less strenuous as her doctors advised.

     

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