Monday, August 20, 2012

New law protects New York social workers

New York State has enacted legislation to enhance the penalties for assaulting employees of a county social services district while in performance of their duties.

On Friday (August 17, 2012), Governor Cuomo signed A.4672-S.7720 and it became Chap. 434 of the Laws of 2012.

The new law extends the penalties provided for assaults against other public employees (such as police offers and school employees) to cover the safety of government workers who deliver social services. This law makes assaulting an employee of any local social services district while performing duties directly related to his or her job, a Class D felony, punishable by up to seven years in prison

Supporters of the law hope that elevating the current penalty from a misdemeanor to a felony will help serve as a deterrent to those that would use physical force against those who work to protect children and seniors.

The law goes into effect on Nov. 1, 2012. For more on the new law, click here.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

State designates first Seneca Lake Scenic Byway

Finger Lakes Media:
An 18 mile stretch of Route 414, between Watkins Glen and Lodi, was made an official scenic byway, Thursday, Aug. 2.

The New York State Senate approved the legislation in late March. It was given final legislative approval in early June by the assembly and was signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo last Thursday. A group of residents from around Hector, Lodi, and Trumansburg started the campaign to make it a scenic highway 10 years ago....

Steven Getman, scenic byway group member, thanked the state senators and assembly members who sponsored the bill.

He said, “Their dedication and sponsorship of this bill will no doubt enhance tourism and local business. It will assist our region in promoting and maintaining the quality of life along Route 414.”

For more on the Seneca Lake Scenic Byway, click here.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

New York’s DNA databank expansion now in effect

On Wednesday (August 1), New York State’s all-crimes DNA bill went into effect.

This law makes New York the first state in the nation to require collection of DNA samples from anyone convicted of a felony or misdemeanor. Previously, less than half of all defendants convicted of a Penal Law offense were required to provide a DNA sample.

Even with its limited information, the DNA databank provided leads in nearly over two thousand convictions. DNA evidence has also led to the exoneration of nearly thirty New Yorkers who were wrongly convicted.

It is believed that a complete DNA databank will be even more effective in helping to convict the guilty, exonerating the innocent, and giving attorneys and court officials more reliable evidence to better protect the rights of all New Yorkers.

For more information on the new DNA law click here.