Assemblyman Sam Roberts (D,W - Syracuse) announced two measures designed to further protect military funerals from disruptive demonstrations have been signed into law by the governor (Ch. 527 and 528 of 2011). Roberts is sponsor of one of the new laws and supported the other.
“I applaud Governor Cuomo and his decision to sign these laws to protect not only the dignity of our military men and women, but also the safety of their families and friends who attend the services,” Roberts said. “The new laws are designed to ensure that military funerals are not disrupted by violent protestors or disrespectful behavior. The soldiers of our state and our country who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our safety deserve the utmost respect, and ensuring their funerals are dignified helps do just that.”
One of the bills passed into law was sponsored by Roberts (Ch. 528 of 2011) and will expand the 100-foot protective radius of religious services, funerals, burials and memorial services to 300 feet. Violators will be guilty of disruption or disturbance of a religious service, funeral, burial or memorial service, a class A misdemeanor.
The second measure passed into law (Ch. 527 of 2011) that was supported by Roberts will authorize communities to require demonstrators to obtain permits from the locality for any demonstrations organized within 1,000 feet of a wake, funeral, burial or memorial service. Protestors who violate a permit requirement will face civil penalties, the terms of which would be left up to the individual communities. Violators on state property will face civil fines of up to $500 upon a first violation, up to $1,000 for a second violation and up to $2,000 for a third violation.