Assemblyman Dinowitz Outlines Legislative Agenda At United Jewish Appeal Federation of New York
March 28, 2005
Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz delivered remarks on legislation at the United Jewish Appeal Federation (UJAF) Legislative Luncheon in Albany. Dinowitz outlined to the audience the several pieces of legislation he has authored that is part of UJAF’s legislative agenda. He emphasized that one of his proudest achievements as a legislator was enacting into law legislation he wrote dealing with Familial Dysautonomia which UJAF enthusiastically supported. Assemblyman Dinowitz currently has legislation that would mandate insurance coverage for testing of Familial Dysautonomia and Tay-Sachs. Both are rare genetic diseases primarily affecting Jews from Eastern European descent. Another piece of legislation Assemblyman Dinowitz has authored would establish a program within the Department of Health for Familial Dysautonomia and Tay-Sachs disease screening and counseling and to provide grants to those agencies performing such services. "I believe we should do everything possible to ameliorate the suffering of those who are born with Familial Dysautonomia and Tay-Sachs and to reduce the chances of anyone being born with these diseases in the future," said Dinowitz. He is also the main sponsor of legislation that would prohibit primary elections or any other elections on Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur. While rare, this has happened in the past – and the primary date had to be changed – and will happen again in the future. Recently, Speaker Silver indicated his support of this legislation and agreed to put it into a larger bill that would ensure that elections do not occur on any holiday. Dinowitz stated, "There is no reason why an election should fall on Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah or other holidays. This legislation would mandate that this never would occur. So I am pleased that Speaker Silver is supportive of this concept by putting forth a bill to prevent elections on holidays." Dinowitz asserted to the audience that, "One of my proudest moments as a legislator was when legislation to designate Familial Dysautonomia as a developmental disability became law. While it only directly affects a very small number of people, the meaningful and positive impact on the lives of those people could be dramatic."