Governor Cuomo Signs Child Victims Act
Governor Cuomo signed off on the Child Victims Act this week as he promised to do within the first 100 days of the new legislative session. The law aims to hold child abusers criminally and civilly accountable while providing abuse survivors more opportunities for justice. The Child Victims Act amends New York's laws to extend the statute of limitations for sexual abuse crimes to be prosecuted regardless of when the crime occurred. This reforms the old law where criminal sex offenses cannot be prosecuted after five years and civil lawsuits filed within the three years following the victim's 18th birthday.
Senator O’Mara Urges Citizens to “Join The Fight”
State Senator Tom O’Mara has launched an online “Join The Fight” petition giving area residents the chance to express their opposition to legislation proposing to triple the minimum wage for state prison inmates. The senator calls it’s an unbelievable proposal. O’Mara is encouraging Southern Tier and Finger Lakes residents who oppose the legislation to sign his online petition, which can be found on his Senate website
Steuben Receives $180K in 9-11 Surcharge Grant
Steuben County has received $180,000 in grant money for 9-1-1 cellular surcharges, part of $60 million worth of grants given to counties across the state. Every cellular device in New York state is charged $1.25 a month and this year, changes have been made to include prepaid phone surcharges. New York State keeps some of the $200 million worth of total revenue for upgrades, maintenance and repairs to cell service. Steuben County plans to use some of the funding to support software maintenance for computer-aided software and phone systems but County Manager Jack Wheeler says some of the funds will be set aside for possible capital projects or emergencies.
Official State Election Law Changes Announced
Changes to New York State’s election law signed last month by the Governor were announced officially yesterday. Effective immediately, all Primary Elections (except for president) will be held on the fourth Tuesday in June before each general election and will be held on June 25th this year in New York State. Next month on March 25, Boards of Elections in counties across the state will transfer registration and party enrollments for voters wherever they move within the state instead of re-registering. Effective during the 2019 General Election on November 5th, registered voters can vote up to ten days in advance of any election at designated early polling locations. By the beginning of 2020, 16-year-olds can pre-register to vote so they are eligible to participate in elections as soon as they turn 18 years old. Designated petition signing for those interested in appearing as candidates on the ballot begins later this month on February 26th.
Howard & Canisteo Libraries Awarded Grants
Employees of Citizens & Northern of Wellsboro, Pennsylvania raised over $65,000 supporting 23 public libraries through Giving Back, Giving Together, its community program. Howard Public Library in Howard received a grant worth $2,713.46 while Canisteo’s Wimdoaughian Free Library received $1,562.12. The company’s employees voted in 2018 to take on the cause of libraries and literacy for the Giving Back, Giving Together Group project and next year employees will be supporting veterans of the military.
Cuomo Wants 3 State Prisons Closed by September
Governor Andrew Cuomo said yesterday he aims to close three state prisons by Labor Day due to a drop in the state’s prison population and crime rate. Cuomo says the Department of Correction and Community Supervision should recommend which of the 54 state correctional facilities should close and how to transfer staff and inmates to other facilities. State lawmakers and correctional guards have criticized the plan out of concern for the economic impact on our communities and compromising prison safety. Since Cuomo took office in 2011, New York has closed 24 correctional facilities.