May 28, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 28, 2021
Mariah McGough, firstname.lastname@example.org, 203 470 9979
THE CLOCK IS TICKING: VOCAL-NY CALLS ON SENATE AND ASSEMBLY LEADERSHIP TO PASS UNFINISHED BUSINESS IN LAST DAYS OF SESSION
Lawmakers Joined VOCAL-NY at Press Conference in April to Demand Legislation to Support New Yorkers Left Out of Final State Budget
ALBANY, N.Y. — With just 7 days left in the 2021 legislative session, VOCAL-NY is renewing calls for state lawmakers to take care of “unfinished business” and pass policies to help New Yorkers who were left out of the state budget. Several priorities bills still need to be called for floor votes, including legislation to decriminalize and expand access to syringes (S2523/A868), the House Our Neighbors With Dignity Act (S5257/A6593), Elder Parole (S15/A3475), Fair and Timely Parole (S1415/A4231).
“How much longer must overlooked New Yorkers have to wait to get the support they needed years ago?” said Paulette Soltani, Political Director at VOCAL-NY. “The budget session ended, but the State’s responsibility to New Yorkers in crisis has not. Speaker Heastie and Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins must hear the calls of New Yorkers impacted by homelessness, struggling with drug use, and those spending their final days in prison who demand they make good on their promises.
Our leaders must have the political will and courage to pass these bills and get them on the Governor’s desk. If New Yorkers who need support continue to be overlooked, the consequences are lives lost — and that will affect all our communities. Our message to leadership is clear: Stand with us, or stand with a failing Governor who would rather see us suffer.”
The New York state Legislature has unfinished business. The passage of the New York State budget saw major victories for New Yorkers, thanks to a weakened Governor Cuomo and a movement determined to win transformational change. But many people were left behind. The budget provided no meaningful relief to the over 92,000 New Yorkers living in shelters or on the streets across the state, nor did it make critical investments in interventions known to reverse record high overdose deaths.
As the legislative session nears an end, 92,000 New Yorkers are living in shelters or on the streets and our state had the worst year in history for overdose deaths. Meanwhile, the state has failed to adequately respond to the urgent needs of its incarcerated constituents during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the historic injustices of mass incarceration. The New York state legislature must stand up to Governor Cuomo, and acknowledge the humanity of the most vulnerable New Yorkers enacting critical policy solutions.