Key Lifton Bills Pass Assembly
June 23, 2009
Three key bills sponsored by Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (D/WF-Tompkins/Cortland) passed the Assembly yesterday. All three bills will now go to the Senate for their consideration. Several other Lifton bills passed earlier in the Assembly session. The first bill (A.5864) would establish a pilot program for the training of long-term care workers in conjunction with a college or university with a gerontology program. “According to the 2000 U.S. Census, there are about 6,056 residents in Cortland County age 65 and above and 9,257 in Tompkins. This type of training program would greatly enhance the quality of services provided to those seniors and all New York’s seniors. Improved education and training for social service employees and other providers of long-term care will help them to better provide patients with the quality care they deserve and improve their own professional well-being, leading to better retention rates,” Lifton said. Two bills focusing on child care also passed in the Assembly on the last day. The legislation arose from a 2005 roundtable discussion hosted by Assemblywoman Lifton, in her role as Chair of the Assembly Task Force on Women’s Issues. Child care providers expressed concerns about mandatory posting of personal information on the Office of Children and Family Services website. Her bill, A.2311-a gives child care providers the option not to have this information displayed. The second child care bill (A 2314) instructs the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) to establish an Advisory Council of child care providers to give providers a greater voice regarding state policies and programs, protection of children in child care settings, business and training requirements and issues around oversight by OCFS. There would be sixteen members of the advisory council and they would meet four times a year. “Quality child care is a critical resource for today’s working families. Child care providers would have a greater opportunity, if this bill becomes law, to identify and discuss day care provider issues directly with OCFS, their state regulating body, and help propose solutions to improve their working conditions and better provide the quality care for our children and working families that all New Yorkers expect,” said Lifton.