NEWSLETTER: Policy Matters, March 2017

Policy Central March 31, 2017

Policy Matters February 2017
So here we are, the last day of March and the last official day of budget season.  We’ve been pounding the pavement and haunting the halls of the Capital, and will have the results of our budget advocacy out for you in the coming weeks.  Fingers and toes crossed, we will have more good news to brighten your day, in addition to the good news about foreclosure prevention funding in the consumer section below.

Until then, here are the happenings from March.  As you’ll see, it’s been a little busy…

Public Benefits
Home Stability Support continues to march on in its progress towards inclusion in the state budget.  HSS has gotten several key endorsements and mentions:

And that’s just for March.
HSS 1.jpg
Child Care
Child care is in crisis.  There simply isn’t enough funding to provide subsidies for all families that are eligible, and that needs to change.  Advocates from all over the state were trending, urging legislators to #FundChildCare.

We were proud to stand next to colleagues and supporters at an event hosted by the New York Immigration Coalition to call for increased funding for immigrant legal services.  Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow Nabila Taj, of our Westchester office, spoke at the rally, calling for greater resources for immigrants outside New York City.

Immigrants in New York State contribute more than $1.1 billion in state and local taxes.  They pay their fair share!

The National Council of La Raza created a know your rights page with information on what to do if ICE comes do your door.

Suffolk County launched a hotline for homeowners at risk of foreclosure.  We’re happy to be included on the list of local organizations to help Long Islanders avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes.

GOOD NEWS!  The Protect New York Homes funding campaign scored a major victory with the announcement that Attorney General Eric Schneiderman will continue funding foreclosure prevention services through the end of March 2018.

PNYH pic with slogan
It was a crazy month in the health world.  We joined with our national and state partners on the #BecauseOfMedicaid and #ProtectOurCare campaigns, aimed at stopping the AHCA.  In the end, as we all know, the bill fell apart, perhaps under its own weight.  Now we’re ready to fight the next battle.

Our Health Law Attorney, Liz Siegel, was at a rally for funding for direct care workers.

Funding for Community Health Advocates is not yet settled in the budget, and advocacy will likely go on until the last minute.

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Domestic Violence
No victim of domestic violence or any other crime should be afraid to call 911 because doing so would risk the loss of their housing- but this is what some communities’ nuisance ordinances do inadvertently.  There is legislation that would rectify this, and the joint memo of support that we prepared with the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project has been updated.

Language Access
The New York State Unified Court System announced it will keep expanding access to courts for limited English proficient and hard of hearing New Yorkers.

Wage Justice
Advocates urged legislative leaders to keep SWEAT legislation in the mix at budget negotiations.  The Securing Wages Earned Against Threat legislation would help New Yorkers secure the pay they’ve earned and help honest businesses compete fairly.

Remember, you are not alone.  We are with you, fighting right by your side.

The Policy Team at Empire Justice Center