Gov. Cuomo worked with legislative leaders to pass a number of laws — but nothing for child sex abuse victims. (JAMES KEIVOM/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)
BY KENNETH LOVETT
DAILY NEWS ALBANY BUREAU CHIEF
ALBANY — While state leaders turn their backs on child sex abuse victims again this year, they found time to shower love on female hunters, brunch-goers and pet lovers.
The state Legislature ended its session on Friday with no deal on a bill to make it easier for child sex abuse survivors to seek justice — something victims and advocates have pushed for a decade.
But lawmakers this year did manage to pass an array of apparently more pressing legislation.
Among them is a bill to allow the use of fluorescent pink, instead of just orange, hunting attire in order to attract more women and young people into the woods.
Sens. John DeFrancisco (l.) and John Flanagan (r.) were accused of “hypocritical deal-making” for not passing a bill to help child sex abuse victims. (ERIC JENKS/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)
Kathryn Robb, a child sex abuse survivor and advocate, was flabbergasted.
“It’s more important to fashionably dress female hunters than it is to protect children from sexual abuse and give victims of sexual abuse justice?” Robb said. “Wow. That is something much greater than outrageous.”
Meanwhile, Gov. Cuomo and legislative leaders, who couldn’t come to terms on a bill for sex abuse victims, did agree on legislation that would allow restaurants to begin serving alcohol on Sundays at 10 a.m., instead of the current noon requirement.
Always good to have a shot or two before church!
Daily News on May 10, 2016 Front page of the New York Daily News May 31, 2016
(NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)
The Daily News has pushed for the Child Victims Act to be passed.
The New York Times, on the other-hand, didn't even mention the failure to deal with child sex abuse legislation when they covered the wrap-up today. Pretty sad! They need to be educated.
The Legislature also passed a bill that would let the cremated remains of dogs and cats be buried with their owners.
Another bill that passed both houses would allow college students under 21 enrolled in programs involving the agriculture, hospitality and beverage industries to partake in tastings at off-campus wineries, distilleries and breweries as long as they are supervised by an instructor.
Gary Greenberg, an upstate investor who was sexually abused as a child, called it “depressing” and a “slap at all the victims” that the Legislature had no trouble passing more frivolous bills while leaving abuse survivors hanging.
“The reason the Legislature passes meaningless bills is to build up their voting records to cover the fact they do nothing on the real issues,” Greenberg said. “The feelings victims have is that by not passing the Child Victims (Act), they are being revictimized by the Legislature.”
In a bitter irony, even as some lawmakers were against the Child Victims Act because they oppose opening a window to revive old sex abuse cases, the state Senate Thursday gave final passage to a bill that leaves open a separate window that allows Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange to bring lawsuits even though the statute of limitations for such cases expired in 1985.
In explaining his support for the bill, Sen. Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan) pointed out the hypocrisy of the situation.
Kathryn Robb, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse by her brother, pushed legislators to pass the Child Victims Act. (JEFFERSON SIEGEL/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)
“Just as Vietnam veterans were exposed to Agent Orange through no fault of their own, we have kids who are exposed to predators at no fault of their own,” said Hoylman, the Senate sponsor of the Child Victims Act. “I hope this chamber takes up the Child Victims Act before it’s too late.”
Robb said while she supports the Vietnam vet bill, “what is astonishing is the flat-out hypocrisy, duplicity and convenient inconsistency around (statute of limitations) reform by the Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan and Deputy Majority Leader (John) DeFrancisco. Nothing short of pure hypocritical deal-making.”
Not to mention cowardly, unfeeling and inconsiderate.
An Assembly version of the Child Victims Act cleared a key committee Wednesday night, but it was unclear as of Thursday evening whether it would be taken up by the full house before the session ends. The Senate was not prepared to pass it.
New Yorkers, please make these cowards pay in November and elect people who care about children and child sex survivors more than the organizations that abused them.