FROM: Assemblywoman Margaret Markey
SUBJECT: February 2014 Update – Making CVA the Law in New York State
With a new year, we have put a busy new schedule in place to move the Child Victims Act of New York into law during the current session of the New York State Legislature. Here is an update on what is coming up in the next few months:
1. IN THE LEGISLATURE: Sponsorship by Members of the Assembly is the highest ever for the legislation (A1771A). I am reaching out to expand that base of sponsorship leading up to a vote in the Assembly to adopt the bill. Both the Assembly Judiciary and Codes Committees are currently reviewing the legislation and we expect the bill will come to the Assembly floor for adoption in May. More limited forms of CVA have been adopted by the Assembly four time. By calling for the total elimination of criminal and civil statutes of limitations on child sexual abuse, this new bill represents a significant expansion of previous legislation. Next stop: the State Senate where Senator Brad Hoylman has now introduced CVA in that house, as S6367. Everyone can help right now by contacting your own local Member of the Assembly and State Senate to ask them, as a constituent, to support A1771A and S6367.
2. GOVERNOR CUOMO: I have had productive conversations with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s senior staff about the legislation and am hopeful that he will give serious attention and support to CVA in the current session of the Legislature.
3. EXPANDING SUPPORT FOR CVA: The Legislative Committee of the Downstate Crime Victims Coalition and the Ms. Foundation for Women are working with me to expand the support for CVA. They are reaching out to child-advocacy and women’s organizations from around the state to organize a series of events and activities that would reflect broad support for CVA.
4. LOBBY DAY IN ALBANY ON MAY 6: We are planning to hold a Lobby Day for CVA in Albany on Tuesday, May 6. It will be a time when CVA supporters can make personal visits to the offices of Assemblymembers and Senators. There will also be a press conference and I am inviting supportive organizations to join us in mounting an educational display about child sexual abuse and related child protection and sexual assault issues to reach legislators and their staffs.
5. PRESS CONFERENCE IN NYC: At a date in late April (TBD) there will be a press conference in New York City where organizations who have been enlisted through the work of the Downstate Crime Victims Coalition and the Ms. Foundation will formally announce their support and report they have included CVA among their legislative priorities for current year.
6. PUBLIC OPINION SURVEY: We will soon have an important new tool available for friends of CVA and the huge network of survivors and supporters. Those who have worked so hard to convince legislators to support the bill will soon have the results of an independent public opinion poll that shows significant support for CVA in pivotal regions of New York State. Details about the results of this professional opinion poll will be available in March.
Every week we see new information in the media about childhood sexual abuse, new examples of the horrors that are suffered by children and the aftermath for them, plus fresh information about institutional cover-up that hides pedophiles who continue to abuse yet more children. Over the past year this news has included cover-ups at Horace Mann School, Yeshiva University High School, and we have also learned about the deliberations of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which just issued its report this week on the Vatican.
These reports continue to educate the general public as well as we elected representatives about this scourge. We now see active movements across the nation where states are modifying, extending or eliminating outmoded statutes of limitations. This is the year to make it happen in New York State with the adoption of the Child Victims Act.
I am deeply grateful for all the hard work by so many people and organizations over the recent years on behalf of CVA and I look forward to your continued support over the coming months to convince my colleagues in the Legislature to adopt it. Look for further updates over the next few weeks and please stay in touch with my office and let us know how you can help.
Margaret M. Markey
Advocacy organizations and non-profits who want to connect with the Downstate Coalition and the Ms. Foundation activities on behalf of CVA should contact: JKay@Ms.Foundation.org or firstname.lastname@example.org
For information about progress in changing statute of limitations in states across America, see Professor Marci Hamilton’s website, http:/sol-reform.org.
For Information about CVA developments in NY and updates about 2014 activities, see the CVA button on my Assembly website home page,http://assembly.state.ny.us/