Landmark Legislation Passes In The State Assembly

Civil confinement and workers’ comp receive overwhelming bipartisan approval
March 6, 2007

Assemblyman Andrew Raia (R,C,I,WF-East Northport) today announced that the state Assembly has passed two major pieces of legislation that have been at the cornerstone of his legislative agenda for years. Civil confinement and workers’ compensation reform received overwhelming bipartisan support during the legislative session.

Raia noted passage of both measures comes on the heels of an announcement last week that a five-way legislative agreement had been reached.

“For years, my Assembly minority colleagues and I have championed civil confinement as one of our top legislative priorities,” Raia said. “With today’s overwhelming passage of this long-overdue measure, we have secured a major victory in keeping our families safe from sex offenders in our neighborhoods. I am grateful for the years of support from families throughout the community who never gave up the fight.”

Under the civil confinement legislation, a screening panel made up of mental health officials would determine whether a sex offender should be confined to a secure mental health facility for treatment following their prison sentence. The bill also includes additional provisions, including the creation of a state Office of Sex Offender Management, fixed prison sentences for sex offenders and increased criminal penalties for sex offenses.

During the momentous legislative session, the Assembly also passed legislation that would make sweeping changes to New York’s broken Workers’ Compensation System. The bill increases benefits for injured workers while significantly reducing costs for overburdened businesses. The bill also stiffens penalties for workers’ compensation fraud and empowers state agencies to undertake additional reforms aimed at streamlining the system.

“The reforms enacted with this legislation will provide the needed changes to a system that was broken for far too long,” Raia said. “The persistence and unwavering dedication by the Assembly minority kept this issue at the forefront, making today’s victory possible. I am hopeful that today marks a significant turning point in this year’s legislative session and serves to foreshadow additional bipartisan cooperation on issues challenging our state.”