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Need-to-Know News: May 17-21, 2010

May 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Updates from Us

DVD Screening, 5-18-10
  • LAC’s video collaboration with the Organization for Visual Progression, “Your Rights, Your Future: Preparing for Reentry,” had a crowd-rousing premier at the Discharge Planning Collaboration’s bi-annual retreat, left, held May 19  in Manhattan.
  • We’ve had an Internet revolution!
    1. You can now find us on Facebook and Twitter; and don’t forget about our RSS feed.)
    2. We’ve overhauled our homepage to help you find what you’re looking for.
    3. We’ve expanded and renamed our blog: “Of Substance and Justice,” will cover all our issues, in New York and nationally.
    4. We’ve started this newsletter, “Need-to-Know News,” to keep you in the loop. Note: If you’re getting this as an e-mail from our blog, please sign up again here, so you continue to receive our updates.

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Need-to-Know News: May 10 – 14, 2010

May 14, 2010 1 comment

Updates from Us

HIRE Network Director Roberta Peeples-Myers speaking at University of Pittsburgh
  • The H.I.R.E. Network announced its Fifth Annual New York State Policy Conference, happening June 17 September 15, 2010.
  • H.I.R.E. director Roberta Meyers-Peeples’s presentation at the University of Pittsburgh on April 22, left, received a great writeup in the University Times.
  • WDFH-FM (90.3), a community radio station in the Hudson River Valley, has interviewed LAC’s Tracie M. Gardner for its Recovery Talk show, dedicated to resilience in recovery. The show will air May 18 and 22.

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LAC Applauds National Drug Strategy, Urges Sufficient Funding

May 12, 2010 1 comment

NEW YORK, May 12, 2010 – The Legal Action Center commends President Obama, Director Kerlikowske and the Office of National Drug Control Policy on its new strategy released yesterday. With an admirable goal of reducing illicit drug use by 15 percent in five years, the strategy wisely focuses on preventing and treating addiction and promoting recovery after decades of an ineffectual “war on drugs.”

“President Obama’s first national drug strategy charts a new and most welcome course that for the first time in decades places major emphasis on preventing and treating drug and alcohol problems and helping people with substance use disorders recover,” said Paul N. Samuels, director and president of LAC.

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“Heads Up!” Budget Delay Halts Construction Projects, School Funds

March 30, 2010 Leave a comment

As reported by the New York Post today:

Gov. David Paterson is suspending hundreds of current and new construction projects because of the state’s budget woes, including a highway to Fort Drum and a major interchange on Long Island.

Paterson administration officials told The Associated Press on Tuesday that all projects not paid for by federal economic stimulus funds will be delayed until the Legislature and the governor agree on a 2010-11 budget or emergency funding.

The extraordinary order also tells contractors on existing projects that the state won’t fund any work after the start of the new fiscal year on Thursday until there is a budget or emergency funds. The soonest that could happen is April 7, when the Legislature returns.

Other Budget-Related Developments

Paterson delays $2.1 billion payment to schools (Albany Times Union)

Governor’s Statement (NYS Office of the Governor)

U.S. Census and Health Care Updates

Pols, cons fight Census Bureau to include prisoners as residents of city, not upstate jails (Daily News)

The Last Piece in Place (The New York Times)

Consumers’ Big Question: What’s in It for Me? (The New York Times)


“Heads Up!” Legislators Pass Emergency Budget Before Recess

March 29, 2010 Leave a comment

As reported in The New York Times today:

The State Senate approved emergency legislation on Monday to keep essential government services functioning after the March 31 budget deadline, an indication that lawmakers do not expect to quickly reach a budget deal with Gov. David A. Paterson.

The Assembly passed the same legislation on Friday evening. Neither the Senate nor the Assembly is scheduled to be in session until next week, though staff members responsible for budget matters are likely to continue to negotiate privately in the days ahead.

More on the State Budget

Late? Bills Keep Tap On (Capitol Confidential)

Ravitch Predicting Budget in Place by June 1 (WNYC)

Why Senate Democrats Sound Like Republicans on the Budget (The New York Times)

Mental Health Parity in New Federal Law

Mental Health Experts Applaud Focus on Parity (The New York Times)

Fixes to Health Care Overhaul Pass Both Houses

March 26, 2010 Leave a comment

As reported by The New York Times:

Congress on Thursday gave final approval to a package of changes to the Democrats’ sweeping health care overhaul, capping a bitter partisan battle over the most far-reaching social legislation in nearly half a century.

In a fitting finale to the yearlong health care saga, the budget reconciliation measure that included the final changes was approved first by the Senate and then by the House on a tumultuous day at the Capitol, as lawmakers raced to complete their work ahead of a two-week recess.

The bill, which Democratic leaders hailed as a landmark achievement, now goes to President Obama for his signature.

See the Legal Action Center’s earlier post for details on the expanded coverage.

“Heads Up!” On-Time Budget Looks Unlikely

March 25, 2010 Leave a comment

From the Statehouse

Despite both the Assembly and Senate’s passage of budget resolutions this week, prospects for an on-time budget are slim to none. The governor has submitted a “bare bones” budget plan to keep vital state operations running past the State budget deadline, March 31. As of Thursday afternoon, Dan Weiller, a spokesman for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, said that the chamber would consider Paterson’s extender on Friday, according to the Albany Times Union’s Capitol Confidential blog.

For more news on budget proceedings, see these other articles:

Sampson not thinking about extenders yet (timesunion.com)

State budget will likely be late (WNYT.com)

Read more…