CPC Statement on the Close of 2021 NYS Legislative Session
**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**
Press Contacts: Wayne Ho, President & CEO | (212) 941-0920 x 143 | firstname.lastname@example.org
CPC STATEMENT ON THE CLOSE OF THE 2021 NYS LEGISLATIVE SESSION
New York, NY – The New York State legislative session ended early in the morning on Friday, June 11th. While some critical pieces of legislation were passed, the Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC) is disappointed that key pieces of legislation aimed at improving the lives of essential workers and community members went unaddressed. Not enough has been done at the State level to address the deep-rooted inequalities that communities in New York have been facing for years, which have only been exacerbated during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We are committed to continuing our advocacy work with State legislators and community partners to ensure that every New Yorker lives a dignified, more equitable life.
“This legislative session was a critical moment for the future of the State, as it dictated the recovery of marginalized New Yorkers. There were several missed opportunities to provide much needed support: landmark legislation like the New York Health Act, the home care bill ending the 24-hour rule, and the parole justice package all being left on the table, rather than approved and pushed forward. We have once again seen our State legislature deprioritize basic human rights, putting into question how just New York’s pandemic recovery really will be. We encourage the State legislature to reconvene this Summer and pass legislation to ensure our communities are protected and empowered,” said Wayne Ho, President and CEO of CPC.
Below is a short summary of the wins and shortcomings for Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders (AAPI), communities of color, immigrants, and low-income New Yorkers from the 2021 legislative session.
● The State Agency Website Translation Access bill and the NYS Data Disaggregation for Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders was passed, meaning that all State agencies must be language-accessible and must collect disaggregated data on AAPI communities. This is a significant win, given that we have seen firsthand the harm language barriers and lack of data have caused during the COVID-19 pandemic in accessing fact-based resources and care. We urge the Governor to sign this bill as soon as possible.
● The State legislature passed the Housing Our Neighbors with Dignity Act (HONDA) which would allow the State to convert distressed hotels and commercial spaces to create sorely needed permanently affordable housing.
● New York State has finally decriminalized syringe possession with the passage of the Syringe Decriminalization and Access Bill, which would encourage individuals to enroll in syringe exchange programs and obtain sterile syringes.
● We are disappointed that the New York Health Act (NYHA) was not brought to a floor vote this legislative session, despite having a majority of co-sponsors in the Senate and in the Assembly. This is an urgent issue for a million New Yorkers without insurance, and so many millions more who have insurance that still does not allow them needed healthcare. We are grateful to everyone who fought for universal guaranteed healthcare for all New Yorkers.
● We are disappointed that the bill to end 24-hour shifts for home care workers and replace those live-in shifts with 12-hour split shifts, A3145 (Epstein), did not pass. It is an urgent priority to end this practice, and we are grateful to the seven new co-sponsors that signed in support of the Epstein bill this session. We will continue building momentum around this important issue by advocating for change ahead of the next legislative session.
● The Clean Slate Act which would expunge certain convictions to provide a path of opportunities for our marginalized communities to meaningfully rejoin society. The failure to pass this leaves 2.3 million New Yorkers in limbo.
● Parole justice bills like Fair & Timely which would ensure that people have a fair and meaningful opportunity to demonstrate their rehabilitation and be released as well as the Elder Parole which would make people in prison aged 55 or older who have served at least 15 years eligible for individualized parole consideration both failed to pass the State legislature.
● The Adult Survivors Act passed the Senate but not the Assembly. This law would create a one-year window for the revival of time-barred civil lawsuits based on sex crimes committed against individuals who were 18 years of age or older.
The Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC) is a social services organization that creates positive social change. Founded in 1965, CPC is the nation's largest Asian American social services organization and aims to promote the social and economic empowerment of Chinese American, immigrant, and low-income communities of New York City. CPC is the trusted partner to individuals and families striving to achieve goals in their education, family, community, and career.