NYS Legislature’s Black, Hispanic, Puerto Rican and Asian Caucus Recommendations

March 26, 2022 (Excerpt from NYAPRS eNews Letter by Harvey Rosenthal)

The newly released position paper from NYS Legislature’s Black, Hispanic, Puerto Rican and Asian caucus makes no reference to expanding Kendra’s Law as part of this year’s state budget and a newly posted article about it (see below) quotes Senator Julia Salazar:

“I don’t think expanding Kendra’s Law would directly address these underlying causes of public safety issues and wouldn’t provide the comprehensive mental health services we want to see in our communities and communities that have been really most impacted by violence, as well as communities that have had the least access to mental health services in our state.”

Senator Julia Salazar

(Quoted within the NYAPRS ENews Article) Caucus lawmakers propose their own 10-point public safety plan for NY By Nick Reisman City Of Albany  Spectrum News  March 26, 2022

Lawmakers in the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus on Saturday proposed a 10-point plan for public safety in the state rooted in funding mental health, youth counseling and housing needs as well as diversion and educational programs.

The 65-member caucus carries power within both houses of the Democratic-controlled Legislature during the ongoing budget negotiations.

“These are initiatives we’ve been championing as a caucus, as individuals, for a long time because we know that for too long our communities have been enduring physical and psychological consequences of living with a consent presence of fear,” said Assembly Member Michaelle Solages, the caucus chair, in an interview on Saturday with Spectrum News 1.

The plan, she said, is meant to look “at the root causes of violence, the root causes of poverty, and tackling those issues in a holistic way” in order to end the “perpetual punishment of our communities.”

Broadly, caucus lawmakers are calling for a range of measures meant to aid communities and reduce violent crime.  

The proposed measures include:

  • More funding mental health services and boosting wages for frontline mental health workers.
  • More investment in youth programs like My Brother’s Keeper and YouthBuild as well as after school programs with the goal of building communities and reducing recidivism
  • Reduce wait times for mass transit both for the MTA as well as upstate transit programs
  • Fund anti-gun violence programs in vulnerable communities
  • Expand educational access through child care as well as at the public college and university level
  • Provide public schools with psychologists and social workers
  • Lawmakers are also calling for ways of reducing recidivism through diversion programs, boosting efforts for housing stability and spend more money for community centers.

The full plan can be found here.

For the complete article posted on NYAPRS ENews, click here.

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