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Posts Tagged ‘Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’

Story and photos by Carol Montana

MONTICELLO, NY – Governor Cuomo came to the Rutherford Elementary School in Monticello on Thursday, November 16, where an overflow crowd was assembled to greet him.

Over 200 students were in the audience, alongside Sullivan County Legislators, county, town, village and school officials. Cuomo was there to announce an expansion of after-school programs in the Mid-Hudson Valley, part of a statewide push to give students productive things to do after 3:00 p.m.

Introduced by Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, who Cuomo called “a superstar in Albany and great friend of mine,” Cuomo stated that he was very “proud to be able to say that New York State invests more money per pupil in education than any state in the United States.”

Speaking directly to the students, Cuomo explained that competition for jobs was going to be fierce. “So, one of the things we’re doing is changing the idea that school is over at 3:00, because there are more and better things we can do after 3:00 then you just go home and hang out at home. That means your parents have to be there or somebody has to be there to watch you, and there are things that you can do after 3:00 that help you grow and make you better. There’s exercise things you can do, more education that you can do, and going home at 3:00 and just playing with video games doesn’t really help you.”

The Governor mentioned that his father used to say, “video games melt your brain,” and then joked that he listened to his father, but his brother did not, and “now, one side of his head is a little flatter than the other side. I think that was from the melting of the brain from the video games.”

Cuomo then announced funding for services and programs that go on after 3:00 “so you can get more help, more assistance, more growth. And we’re spending $35 million all across the state and we asked schools to come up with the best ideas and we are funding the best ideas. And here are the results in the mid-Hudson district.

“Monticello Central School District, which is where we are, is receiving funding for 885 more slots. … Fallsburg Central School District, 400 new slots.” Mentioning Poughkeepsie and Ramapo, among others, Cuomo said that there will be 4,800 new slots in the mid-Hudson Valley.

As a result of previous funding, Cuomo announced that “… these programs are working. The State now has the highest graduation rate we’ve ever had at 79 percent.”

The Governor talked about New York’s free college tuition plan, and then asked the assembled students why they thought the state was “investing all this time all this money all this energy. The first reason is because it’s smart. Because when you get smart you get talented it helps all of us because it helps businesses want to come here because we have the best educated work force.” He asked the students for the second reason and gave the hint that the answer was a four-letter word, offering a very special state gold coin to the student who had the correct answer.

The winner, a young lady named Xyaira, gave the answer “love.” “Let’s give Xyaira a big round of applause,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo. “It is because we love you and there’s nothing more important. Congratulations.”
Cuomo left the stage then to rousing applause.

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NEW YORK STATE (October 2, 2013) – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently signed two bills that will further shield children from sexual offenders and protect victims of domestic violence.

The first bill restricts the parental rights of convicted sexual offenders when a child is born as a result of sexual assault. The second bill gives certain employees of local and state correctional facilities access to the State Order of Protection Registry so that they can track which inmates should not come into contact with the victims of their crime.

“I am proud to sign these two bills that will strengthen New York State’s ability to protect our children and families from individuals who break the law,” Governor Cuomo said. “By restricting the parental rights of sexual offenders whose crimes have resulted in the birth of a child, we are providing protection for the mother and child from being harassed, intimidated or frightened by the perpetrator, and ensuring that these criminals are held accountable and penalized for their actions. Additionally, we are equipping New York’s correctional facilities employees with the tools and knowledge they need for a complete understanding of the inmates and parolees under their supervision. Both of these laws will help make our communities safer and give the victims of terrible crimes the justice and peace they need. I thank the bill sponsors for their hard work.”

Current law regarding the custody and visitation rights of sexual offenders does not explicitly restrict rights when the child is conceived as a result of the perpetrator’s assault. Only a person convicted of rape in the first degree with forcible compulsion, where the child who is the subject of the proceeding was conceived as a result, has no right to be notified of an adoption or social services proceeding. Consequently, these perpetrators may file or threaten to file petitions of visitation and custody in order to dissuade their victims from seeking criminal charges against them.

The new law expands protections under existing law for children who were conceived as a result of rape in the first or second degree, course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree, predatory sexual assault, or predatory sexual assault against a child. The measure amends the Domestic Relations Law and Social Services Law to protect both a mother and child from a convicted sexual offender. Specifically, this legislation:

    · Restricts children who were conceived as a result of sexual assault from being placed in the custody of or visiting the convicted sexual offender by providing a rebuttable presumption that such placement or visitation is not in the best interests of the child.
    · Denies the sex offender the right to receive notice of adoption proceedings for children conceived as a result of the offender’s sexual assault.
    · Excludes the sex offender from the right to receive notice of social services proceedings (foster care, guardianship, custody) for a child conceived as a result of the offender’s sexual assault.

Governor Cuomo additionally signed legislation that expands access to the State Order of Protection Registry to include employees of local correctional facilities and the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) who are responsible for monitoring, supervising or classifying inmates or parolees.

Current law regarding the registry requires the Superintendent of State Police to create and maintain the registry, including all orders of protection and warrants issued in domestic violence cases. Access to this registry, however, is limited to courts and law enforcement officers. Access to the registry will allow officials to better protect the victims involved in domestic violence cases, and the community at large, when considering programming and release plans of inmates.

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