By Assemblyman Karl Brabenec
This has been an eventful week in Albany and I am proud to report that we have made several major strides toward pushing important and meaningful legislation here at the state Capitol. As I’ve stated before, budget negotiations can be a tumultuous time in the Legislature, but my nose will be to the grindstone fighting for increased funding for our schools, better protections for our men and women in blue and a reduction in business and property taxes to keep residents here in the Hudson Valley.
The Assembly Judiciary Committee advanced a pension forfeiture bill, which I support, that would strip pensions from corrupt public officials. I am pleased to see that we are making headway on this anti-corruption bill, but this has been an issue that originated with the Assembly Republican Conference and was repeatedly blocked by New York City Democrats for the past several years. We need to end Albany’s swamp of corruption and make passing this bill a reality this year.
I am proud to announce that the Assembly Health Committee passed the “Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act,” which I co-sponsor, to raise healthcare standards across the industry and protect our dedicated nurses from discrimination. These professionals are on the frontlines of providing care and the understaffing and lack of resources they face on a daily basis needs to end.
In a weak and misguided approach to our criminal justice standards, Assembly Democrats passed several bills in committee this week that ease restrictions on use of solitary confinement for offenders and make it illegal for employers to inquire about an inmate’s criminal convictions unless a conditional offer of employment is made first. In these dangerous times, we must remain vigilant on who we incorporate back into society and protect our devoted correction officers from violence inside our prison system.