Legislature Passes Several Laws to Protect New Yorkers

August 10, 2010

Assemblywoman Jaffee (D-Suffern) and Assemblyman Zebrowski (D-New City) supported strong new laws to protect the public. This year’s legislative session has resulted in a number of important laws that will go far to protect the residents of New York State. The following bills have either been signed into law or have passed both houses and are awaiting the Governor’s signature.

Assemblywoman Jaffee said, “The safety of all New Yorkers is vital, and all these laws will ensure a better quality of life throughout our community.” Assemblyman Zebrowski said, “These laws will make our State safer by protecting New Yorkers from dangerous criminals, unsafe products and unscrupulous business practices.”

Following is a list of some of the most notable laws awaiting the Governor’s signature:

  • Stricter penalties for all sex offenders who fail to properly register. The legislation holds offenders accountable for failure to register by adding the length of time they did not register to the duration of the required registration period (A2132).
  • Consumers Bill of Rights for Energy Services Companies (ESCO). Several years ago, deregulation of the energy industry allowed for more competitive pricing. However, some companies resorted to predatory practices, requiring greater government oversight. This bill would require ESCOs to provide customers with a consumer’s bill of rights, prohibit ESCOs from predatory sales pitches, protect consumers from excessive termination fees and assist small businesses by alerting them to dishonest door-to-door sales scams (A1558-C).

The following laws have been signed into law:

  • Protection for the victims of domestic violence. Allows victims of domestic violence to vote by absentee ballot so that the abuser cannot stalk victims at polling places (A3910-A).
  • Right to sue for hate crime victims. Now anyone who has been the target of a hate crime will have the right to sue for monetary damages for crimes that result in physical injury, death, or damage to their property because of a belief or perception regarding the victim’s race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, age, disability or sexual orientation (A529).
  • Unsafe cribs outlawed. The drop-side crib is a dangerous product that has been the subject of several recent investigations and recalls. Frequently, parents are unaware that their drop-side crib has become unsafe because the crib's hardware fails in a way that is not easily detected. Legislation that passed the Legislature would ban these hazardous products and not allow their sale in New York State (A9223-C).

All these laws take effect immediately and the ones awaiting the Governor’s signature will take effect once signed. Questions on these or any other laws can be answered by either Assemblywoman Jaffee’s office at 845-624-4601 or Assemblyman Zebrowski’s office at 845-634-9791.