Jaffee Marks Eventful First Year as Women’s Issues Task Force Chair

August 31, 2010

In her first year as Chairperson of the Assembly Task Force on Women’s Issues, Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee tackled numerous concerns for New York families, including equal pay, women and addiction, homelessness among women veterans, childcare reimbursements, and protection against HIV/AIDs for sexual assault survivors.

“Women’s issues are community issues,” said Assemblywoman Jaffee. “During economic recessions, women suffer the most as they already earn less than their male counterparts. Childcare, healthcare, and pay equity affect the entire community, now more than ever.”

A major concern for women is access to addiction treatment. As a result of the wave of DWI related accidents over the past two years, the Assemblywoman convened an Assembly roundtable at Nathan Kline Institute, with experts from throughout the state. Based on their recommendations, Ms. Jaffee introduced legislation A10083A that requires healthcare providers to receive training in how to identify people struggling with addiction disorders.

Given the increase in DWIs, Assemblywoman Jaffee cosponsored Leandra’s Law, which creates some of the strictest penalties for DWI in the nation. Starting August 15th, courts must now order all drivers convicted of a misdemeanor or felony DWI to install and maintain an ignition interlock on any vehicle owned or operated by the driver, at his or her own expense. This device prevents intoxicated individuals from starting their cars. Rockland County law enforcement was the first to receive training on this part of the Child Passenger Protection Act, known as Leandra’s Law.