Bills Will Increase Access to Health Care for Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Workers, Establish a Women’s Equality Day and Protect Records of Victims of Domestic Violence
Governor Vetoes One Bill
Governor David A. Paterson this week signed five bills into law, including a bill to increase access to health care for volunteer fire and ambulance workers, a bill to establish Women's Equality Day and a bill to protect certain records of victims of domestic violence.
The Governor signed S.5111/A.8215 into law, which clarifies that municipal corporations are permitted, but not required, to offer health insurance coverage to volunteer fire and ambulance workers, and would allow such volunteers to buy into the New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP).
"It is an honor to sign this bill into law," Governor Paterson said. "Our brave volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers give of themselves to protect their neighbors, and deserve not only our respect and admiration, but also our assistance in guaranteeing them affordable health insurance coverage."
Governor Paterson also signed S.5481-A/A.2231-B, which designates August 26 of each year as Women's Equality Day in New York State.
"I am proud to designate a day to honor those who tirelessly advocate for equal rights and justice for women," Governor Paterson said. "The Women's Rights Movement began right here in New York State, so it is especially fitting that we honor the movement and the women who paved the way for future generations of women."
Additionally, Governor Paterson signed S.5945-A/A.9368-A into law, which authorizes courts to order that the voter registration records of victims of domestic violence be kept confidential in certain cases, to protect the victim.
"It is our responsibility in government to protect the rights of all New Yorkers," Governor Paterson said. "This bill will ensure that those who have endured domestic violence never have to worry that their participation in our democracy could lead to continued distress or provide information to those who seek to cause them harm."
The following bills were also signed into law:
A.4217/S.2516: Permits municipal corporations to provide municipal services or funding to financially struggling public cemetery corporations in order to prevent the abandonment of cemeteries.
A.5985-A/S.3070-A: Eliminates the 21-year duration of trusts established for pets and provides that the length of such trust would last for the duration of the pet's existence.
Governor Paterson vetoed A.5497/S.5924, which would have commissioned a study regarding the quality of health care services received by foster children in New York State. This bill would have required the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) to contract with an external entity to study the quality of health and behavioral health services provided to children in the care, custody or guardianship of OCFS or a local department of social services and issue a report outlining the results of this study on or before June 30, 2011. The purpose of the report is to determine the best means of providing Medicaid coverage to children in foster care.
Governor Paterson said: "While the intent of this legislation is noble, there are several problems with the bill that led to a veto, including a $1 million fiscal estimate with no provision made for funding; the requirement of extensive staff time for the compilation of data; and no role for the Department of Health, the agency responsible for the State's Medicaid program."