Legislative Report from Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz - Summer 2011

Assemblyman Cymbrowitz Once Again Votes Against Same Sex Marriage

Assemblyman Cymbrowitz has once again voted against same sex marriage, as he has consistently each time it came up for a vote in the Assembly since 2007. Despite his efforts, the bill passed the Assembly by a vote of 80 to 63, followed by the State Senate’s vote of 33 to 29. The Governor quickly signed this legislation into law. It goes into effect July 24th. As an elected official Assemblyman Cymbrowitz believes strongly that he is entrusted to vote the way the majority of his constituents want him to vote, since they elected him to office. A large percentage of his constituents—given the number of phone calls, letters, emails, and comments made to him at community meetings—were against same sex marriage.

Assemblyman Cymbrowitz on the floor of the Assembly engaging in debate over an issue of importance to our community.

Assemblyman Cymbrowitz’ Legislation to Amend the Dignity for All Students Act Passes the Assembly

Yeshivas & Religious Schools Should Not Have to Teach Lessons Contrary to the Torah & Bible

The Dignity for All Students Act, which will go into effect July 1, 2012, was intended to apply only to public schools, but its language did not differentiate between yeshivas and public schools. Such topics as being tolerant and respectful to people of different ‘religions, religious practices, races, weights, national origins, ethnic groups, mental or physical abilities, sexual orientations, genders and sexes’ were detailed in the law. So Assemblyman Cymbrowitz cosponsored A.8310 which makes an important distinction excluding yeshivas and other religious schools from having to comply with the Dignity for All Students Act. Assemblyman Cymbrowitz’ legislation would not require yeshivas and religious schools to teach their students about lifestyles that are contrary to the teachings of the Torah and the Bible. It passed the Assembly in mid-June. However, the Senate refused to introduce this important piece of legislation.

Assemblyman Cymbrowitz meets with Israeli Deputy Consul General

At a meeting at the Israeli Consulate, Deputy Consul General Shlomi Kofman briefed Assemblyman Cymbrowitz on the devastation caused by a forest fire that burned over 12,000 acres near Haifa last December. Assemblyman Cymbrowitz informed the Deputy Consul General that he was able to secure a $10,000 donation from the Helping Hands Relief Foundation to help Israel with the reforestation.

Assemblyman Cymbrowitz
Tours Our Place

Assemblyman Cymbrowitz recently toured Our Place, a program dedicated to providing troubled youth with a positive environment and the counseling and therapy they require. Here, he is pictured with Our Place’s Yossie Yurowitz and Chaim Glancz who explained the program’s successful approach to reaching our community’s troubled young people.

Assemblyman Cymbrowitz’ Bill Aimed at Reversing the Rising Use of Drugs by Children Awaits Governor’s Signature

Assemblyman Cymbrowitz, Chairman of the Assembly’s Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Committee, concerned that the use of illegal drugs by young people is on the rise, introduced legislation to expand the responsibilities of the State’s Advisory Council on Underage Alcohol Consumption to include the use of illegal drugs. A recent Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Association study revealed that illegal drug use by young people rose by 9 percent. These findings are consistent with those of other studies. “Not seeing a problem doesn’t mean that there isn’t one. While drug abuse might not be obvious when we walk down our local streets, young people, even in our community, are using illegal drugs,” Assemblyman Cymbrowitz said. Cymbrowitz’ bill (A.6815) passed both the Assembly and State Senate and is awaiting the Governor’s signature.

TAP – Tuition Assistance Program to include Rabbinical Students

I am happy to report that this year the Legislature was able to undo an inequity with our State’s higher education benefits that had prevented rabbinical students from receiving the State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) grants that students enrolled in other institutions of higher education have always received. Beginning in January of 2012, for the next spring semester, income-eligible rabbinical students will be able to apply for TAP grants of up to $5,000 per academic year. The new TAP benefits will be open to students enrolled in all non-profit, federal aid eligible institutions in New York State offering programs of at least three years. These are outright grants that do not have to be paid back and are the same amount as those provided to students who are enrolled in colleges and universities. For more information, either call 1-888-NYSHESC (1-888-697-4372) or, email www.hesc.com/content.nsf/SFC/Questions_or_Comments.

Bill Allows Local Purchase of Infertility Drugs

What good is a drug if you can’t get it when you need it? Legislation, that Assemblyman Cymbrowitz co-sponsored with Speaker Sheldon Silver, to allow the local purchase of infertility drugs, has been passed by both the Assembly and State Senate and is on the way to the Governor’s office for his signature. This legislation ensures couples with prescription drug coverage an equal opportunity to purchase fertility drugs from either a mail order or local pharmacy. This is particularly important with fertility drugs because treatment regimens often call for medication changes that need to occur immediately. Currently, many insurance companies either require the use of mail order pharmacies or offer significant financial incentives for the use of these pharmacies. While this might save the corporations money, it is jeopardizing the success of fertility treatments. I am encouraged that every couple who desires to start or expand a family will be afforded an opportunity to do so.

Assemblyman Cymbrowitz’ Office is Easy to Contact


Monday to Thursday:9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Friday: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

1800 Sheepshead Bay Road • Brooklyn, NY 11235