Assemblymember Millman and Senator Golden Introduce Legislation to Outlaw State Funding for Electroshock Therapy

March 17, 2006
Albany N.Y. - This past week Assemblymember Joan Millman (D-WFP, 52nd District) and Senator Marty Golden (R-C-I, 22nd District) introduced legislation that would prohibit using State funds to place children in facilities that use electroshock therapy and other aversive interventions. The bill builds upon “Billy’s Law” that Assemblymember Millman and Senator Golden passed last year, which requires the inspection and approval of all out-of-state residential facilities housing New York State children.

The new legislation comes at a time when a teenager from Freeport, NY recently experienced emotional and physical trauma as a result of being repeatedly shocked at the Judge Rotenberg Center in Canton, Massachusetts.

“This bill is the latest in our efforts to protect the children of New York State,” said Millman. “No child should ever be subjected to electroshock therapy, and especially not children that the State has placed far from their homes. With our legislation I hope that we can prevent the tragic mistreatment of children,” she added.

Senator Marty Golden stated, “We must do everything in our power to protect our children and therefore, I am proud to work with my colleague, Assemblywoman Joan Millman, in developing from Billy’s Law a new law that will ensure that every protection is available to our most precious children. New York’s children should not be subjected to such horrific treatment now or ever.”

Due to a lack of facilities in New York, nearly 1,400 children are sent to out-of-state treatment centers every year. Each child costs the State as much as $250,000. As a result of Billy’s Law, the Office of Children and Family services is currently inspecting all out-of-state facilities to ensure the safety of New York children.

Senator Golden and Assemblywoman Joan Millman are also planning on introducing legislation to build more in-state treatment facilities.