Category Archives: Kemp Hannon

Senator Hannon Honors Marcee Rubinstein as 6th District 2018 Woman of Distinction

Marcee RubinsteinSixth Senatorial District residents were asked to nominate an accomplished woman whose outstanding work on behalf of her community makes her deserving of special recognition by the New York State Senate. The Senate’s Women of Distinction Program honors the remarkable efforts of local residents who contribute to making our communities better, making our families stronger and serve as special examples to others.

 

Marcee Rubinstein was selected as the 6th District 2018 Woman of Distinction. Chosen from a pool of excellent nominees, Mrs. Rubinstein has earned this honor through commitment to her community, especially young children.

 

Mrs. Rubinstein’s commitment to educating children has spanned over 40 years, with 14 years as a Speech-Language Pathologist in New York City and over 25 years devoted to BOCES. Even in retirement, she continues to work with people with special needs and gives her time as a speech consultant. She is a remarkable woman who is active in many local organizations such as the East Meadow Kiwanis Club, the East Meadow Chamber of Commerce, the Council of East Meadow Community Organizations, the Carmen Avenue Civic Association, the Community Association of Stewart Avenue and the East Meadow Aktion Club, to name a few.

 

As the winner from my district, Mrs. Rubinstein recently participated in a ceremony at the State’s capital, where she joined other distinguished women from across the State at a special reception and ceremony in the Legislative Office Building.

 

Senator Hannon congratulates Marcee and thanks her for the instrumental role she has played in her community. Her work and dedication is an inspiration to all, and Senator Hannon was proud to present her with this recognition. Strong women like Marcee make our community what it is.

 

Visit Senator Hannon’s webpage

Roundtable on Heroin and Opioid Addiction Brings Experts to the State Capitol

A roundtable discussion convened in Albany by State Senators Kemp Hannon, Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Health, James Seward, Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Insurance, Fred Akshar, George Amedore and Chris Jacobs, Chairs of the Senate Joint Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction, highlighted the need for a comprehensive statewide plan to increase access to naloxone as well as educate those suffering with heroin or opioid addiction of the services available to them. The Senators heard from the State Department of Health, pharmacies, insurers, manufacturers, physicians, addiction treatment providers, emergency medical professionals and first responders, on the complications of naloxone availability.

 

 

“Despite laws that have been on the books for years, reports about the inability to access naloxone continue,” stated Senator Hannon. “This drug crisis continues to plague many communities, which is why it is more important than ever that we ensure drug abusers, family and friends have easier access to be able to save loved ones from a tragic accidental overdose. Overdose deaths due to naloxone inaccessibility and cost impediments is unacceptable.”

 

The State Senate has worked tirelessly to secure funding to support prevention, treatment and recovery programs. The 2018-19 State Budget saw a major investment of $247 million to support services including more residential treatment beds, new methods of outreach and expanded peer support activities. In addition, numerous laws have been passed to fight abuse and provide recovery.

 

However, this week’s roundtable made clear that much more needs to be done to expand access and education initiatives to both those directly affected by the opioid epidemic and medical professionals. Some suggestions from the roundtable included ensuring comprehensive reporting regarding administration of naloxone, exploring availability of naloxone in schools and prisons, providing continued education for physicians and pharmacists regarding prescribing and distributing naloxone, and expanding peer-to-peer counseling services to encourage treatment.

 

A report and further recommendations will be developed and released in the coming weeks in response to the day’s proceedings.

 

Participants at the roundtable included the following:

  • Valerie White, Deputy Director, NYS Department of Health, AIDS Institute
  • Robert A. Kent, Esq., Chief Counsel, NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services
  • Thomas Fusco, Esq., Senior Attorney, NYS Department of Financial Services, Behavioral Health Bureau
  • Robert Delagi, Director, Suffolk County EMS/SEMSCO member
  • Peter Volkmann, MSW, Chief, Chatham Police Department
  • Michael Dailey, M.D., Albany Medical Center/ Regional EMS Medical Director
  • Frank Dowling, M.D., Psychiatrist/ Member, AMA Task Force on Opioid Abuse
  • Silas Smith, M.D., Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, NYU Langone
  • Jeffrey Reynolds, Ph.D., CEO, Family and Children’s Assoc.
  • Mike Duteau, R.Ph., President, Chain Pharmacy Association of NYS
  • Kasey Lynn Gaeta, Esq., CVS Caremark Corp.
  • Michael Vitali, Senior Director, Gov’t. Affairs, ADAPT Pharma
  • Eric Linzer, CEO, New York Health Plan Association
  • Sean Doolan, Esq., Hinman Straub. NYS Conference of BC/BS Plans

 

Visit Senator Hannon’s website

Senator Hannon Introduces Legislation to Protect Minors from Harmful Electronic Cigarettes

Senator Kemp Hannon, Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Health, introduced legislation to combat the ever-increasing use of electronic cigarettes among minors. This legislation (S8609) and (S8610) will curb use among minors through prevention and education, establish sale to minor compliance checks, and eliminate enticing flavors that lure young people.

 

Senator Hannon stated, “Use of electronic cigarettes among minors has risen exponentially and is unacceptable. Something must be done to stave off the temptation so that we can reduce the number of people who become addicted to nicotine and become regular tobacco users. Eliminating the availability of flavored e-liquids like cotton candy and bubble gum intentionally marketed to attract minors, in addition to expanding current state efforts on prevention and education, and addressing the loophole in enforcement will do just this. Requiring retailers to register as electronic cigarette sellers will ensure that they are adhering to the law and not selling to minors.”

 

The CDC reported use of electronic cigarettes among middle school and high school students more than doubled from 2011 to 2012. New York State lead the way in 2012 by banning the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors under the age of 18. However, according to recent reports by the FDA, electronic cigarette use among minors is still on the rise. A recent study found that 19 percent of 12th graders, 16 percent of 10th graders and 8 percent of 8th graders have in fact used an electronic cigarette in the past year. Schools across the country continue to report their struggle with the number of “Juuls” being used by students. The FDA has sought to combat this issue through undercover sting operations targeting retailers of the new trendy “Juul” devices.

 

Senator Hannon stated, “It is imperative that action be taken not only at the federal level, but at the state and local level as well. New York must remain a leader in curbing use of electronic cigarettes by minors. We must ensure our current laws are being adhered to and more is done to protect minors from what could lead to a lifelong addiction. Discouraging use and availability of cigarettes to minors is crucial.”

 

Town of Hempstead Councilman Dennis Dunne stated, “I, the Hempstead Town Board and a coalition of community organizations have been working diligently to fight the scourge of e-cigarette use, particularly among children. We are very fortunate to have a partner like Senator Kemp Hannon to assist us on the State level. The surge of the legal prescription and illegal drugs has been destroying local families, as well as negatively impacting the town, the state and our country. I am grateful that our New York State Senate is helping us to fight this battle for our children and grandchildren. E-cigarette use and vaping is a gateway into the horrors of drugs. Whether it be opioids, fentanyl, heroin or prescription drugs, we need to have a unified front in fighting this problem. Our local community organizations have joined with us in the Town to form a coalition to try to loosen the restrictions that exist in the state, these pieces of legislation will go a long way to help us reach that goal. I thank Senator Kemp Hannon for carrying our banner, taking off some of the restrictions so we can fight a fair fight in an attempt to stop the destruction of so many in our community. Thank you Kemp Hannon, the New York State Senate and all that have come to your assistance to help us get this legislation passed.”

 

This legislation is currently in the Health Committee.

 

Visit Senator Hannon’s webpage

Senator Hannon Introduces Legislation Ensuring Safety of Charter Bus Passengers

Bill Would Require Charter Buses to Use Commercial GPS Technology

 

Senator Kemp Hannon (R-Nassau) and Assemblyman Michael DenDekker (D-East Elmhurst) introduced legislation (S8207) requiring charter buses to use commercial global positioning system technology to avoid future tragedies such as the one that recently occurred on the Southern State Parkway. This legislation would apply to any charter bus transporting, for compensation, a group of passengers having acquired exclusive use of the bus for travel to a specific destination.

 

“Ensuring that every charter bus has a commercial global positioning system is of the utmost importance,” stated Senator Hannon. “There have been too many instances, such as the one that recently occurred in Long Island, where charter buses have hit an overpass due to the lack of using a GPS made for commercial use, which divert drivers to safe routes. The tragic accident that occurred on Southern State Parkway could have been prevented if this bus had utilized commercial GPS technology. Passing this legislation will guarantee the safety of passengers on charter buses, which is our top priority.”

 

“In light of the recent horrendous accident that took place in Lakeview, Long Island, I am proud to work with Senator Hannon on this important public safety issue,” stated Assemblyman DenDekker. “I am extremely concerned for the safety of all passengers on charter buses while operating on our roads in New York State. As such, we need to ensure that drivers are not relying on traditional GPS navigation systems or applications that are designed for personal cars, and require them to use a commercial or truck GPS navigation systems, which would make the drivers aware of what roads they can and cannot take safely because of their unique height and weight restrictions. By requiring charter buses to use commercial GPS systems or applications, we can be sure that accidents like this will be prevented in the future.”

 

Commercial global positioning systems were specifically created for commercial vehicles and will only suggest a route that a commercial vehicle can take. The height and weight of the bus is taken into account and only routes, which meet the minimum height and weight requirement, will be suggested.

 

If passed, this legislation would go into effect immediately.

 

Visit Senator Hannon’s website

Senator Hannon Hosting ‘Best In Town Photo Contest’ Ceremony

High school students throughout Senator Hannon’s Senatorial District participated in the annual photo contest, which sought to capture the spirit of the district and surrounding areas via photography. Students were eligible to submit one photograph for one of the following four categories: People, Places, Pets and Nature. Please see below for a listing of all the finalists.

 

Senator Hannon extends congratulations to all our participants. Almost 300 photos were received this year and it certainly makes the selection process very hard as all the photos submitted came from very talented young students.

 

Finalists, their families and teachers are invited to join him at his awards ceremony to be held on Thursday, April 26, promptly at 7:00 PM at the Levittown Library. Invitations have been mailed to each finalist and all participants in the contest will receive a souvenir photo of their submission. For further information, please call his community office at 516-739-1700.

 

Photos of our winners will be posted after the ceremony so please visit us again to see their submissions.

 

List of Winners by High School

 

Division Avenue

  • Olivia Barreto
  • Kayla Connolly
  • Kaitlyn Cronin
  • Ashley Mamys
  • Madyson Nuzzi
  • Amy Rzemieniewski

 

East Meadow

  • Elisabeth Carter
  • Natalie Insinna
  • Emily Lam
  • Jan Samson

 

Garden City

  • Emily Butler
  • Abigail Cox
  • Tara Fenty
  • Mary Haggerty
  • Ella Heaney
  • Hope Mauceri
  • Anna Paisley

 

W. Tresper Clarke

  • Brianne Courtney
  • Cecelia Jimenez
  • Michelle Lambiaso
  • Natalia Reyes
  • Rebecca Shin


Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy

  • Brooke Zindman

 

Bethpage

  • Anna Hughes
  • Bridget Michie
  • Megan Russo

 

H. Frank Carey

  • Christina Callovi

 

Gen Douglas Macarthur

  • Christopher Atias
  • Emily Scalice
  • MacKenzie Tierney

 

Plainedge

  • Allison Hough
  • Isabella Picicci
  • Julia Spagnuolo

 

Island Trees

  • Destini Craven


Uniondale

  • Jackson Baez
  • Yunior Guevara
  • Alexander Hernandez
  • Elaine Ly
  • Edwin Moreno-Murillo
  • Jorge Parra
  • Steven Sookramnauth
  • Emily Sorto

 

Hempstead

  • Jasmine Martinez
  • Kevin Pereira

 

Visit Senator Hannon’s webpage

Hannon Announces Rape Kit Legislation Passed in the Budget

Senator Kemp Hannon, Chair of the State Senate Health Committee,announced the passage of legislation in the FY 2019 Budget aimed at further addressing how rape kits are handled. The legislation builds upon new laws Senator Hannon has championed over the last few years to advance the rights of sexual assault victims.

 

“This legislation ensures that sexual assault survivors have the time they need to heal and decide if they want to pursue justice through the criminal justice system,” explained Senator Kemp Hannon. “In 2016, I passed legislation to ensure that New York State is testing all rape kits, no matter how old. This year’s budget builds on that legislation and includes other important protections. I will continue to advocate for sexual assault survivors to ensure that they get the best treatment possible and are not re-victimized by the system.”

 

The legislation extends the length of time unreported rape kits are maintained from 30 days to 20 years to allow victims more time to decide to have their kits tested. It also ensures hospitals are not inappropriately charging victims for sexual assault forensic examinations. In addition, funding was provided to create a Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) telehealth program, allowing hospitals without SAFE certified staff to access them during sexual assault examinations and evidence collection.

 

Assemblymember Aravella Simotas said, “I am deeply gratified that this year’s state budget included provisions we fought for to preserve rape kits for 20 years and to create a tracking system so sexual assault survivors are notified where their kits are stored and when the 20-year storage period is about to expire. Compassion must always be paramount in the law enforcement response to sexual assault victims. No sexual assault survivor should ever be told that a prosecution is not possible because a rape kit was disposed of prematurely. Preserving rape kits is the right thing to do and it will help lock up dangerous criminals.”

 

Ilse Knecht, Policy & Advocacy Director for the Joyful Heart Foundation, stated, “We applaud Senator Hannon, Assemblywoman Simotas, and Governor Cuomo for their commitment to extending access to justice to all sexual assault survivors. By ensuring that all sexual offense evidence will be maintained for 20 years, and survivors are given advance notice before their kit is destroyed, survivors can now take the time they need to decide whether or not to have their kits tested and participate in the criminal justice process. This move takes New York from having one of the shortest evidence retention statutes in the country to full compliance with federal best practices for handling sexual offense evidence. We look forward to continuing our work with Senator Hannon and Assemblywoman Simotas to enact meaningful changes in the way rape kits are handled and processed and to strengthen survivors’ rights in New York.”

 

Abby Haglage, a sexual assault survivor and member of Rise, stated, “My right to pursue justice was stolen the day my rape kit was destroyed. In New York—thanks to Senator Hannon’s thoughtful leadership—that narrative ends today. No survivor should have to endure the fate I did; now, they will not have to. In February, I said New York could do better. Today, it has. On behalf of the 6.8 million sexual assault survivors in New York, I want to thank Senator Hannon for refusing to tolerate injustice, and working to ensure our rights are protected. It is rare that survivors’ voices are heard, but when they are, we all get one step closer to justice. In a tumultuous time like this one, it’s comforting to know that democracy still works.”

 

This legislation is effective immediately.

 

Visit Senator Hannon’s webpage

Hannon Passes Bill Holding Drug Dealers Accountable for Overdose Deaths

The New York State Senate took another step towards combating the ever-growing heroin and opioid epidemic by passing “Laree’s Law.” The bill (S2761), would allow law enforcement officials to charge a drug dealer with homicide if the sale of heroin or an opioid-controlled substance results in death.

 

“My Senate colleagues and I continue to build on our record of tackling the heroin and opioid epidemic head-on, but there is still more work to be done,” stated Senator Kemp Hannon, Senate Health Committee Chairman. “We need to continue efforts to curtail the alarming rise in the use of heroin and other opioids, and the devastating overdoses that result from this abuse. Diminishing the availability of these dangerous drugs on our streets is crucial and holding drug dealers accountable for their actions is a major step in the right direction. I commend Senator Amedore, Co-Chair of the Senate’s Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction, and his leadership on this important legislation.”

 

Laree’s Law sends a strong message to mid-and high-level dealers that they can no longer thrive on others’ maladies. The state’s “Good Samaritan Law” will continue to provide safeguards to those who attempt to help individuals suffering from a drug overdose.

 

This legislation in only part of the ongoing commitment to combat this public health crisis. The expansion of prevention, treatment, recovery and education will continue to be a priority of the New York State Senate.

 

The bill has been sent to the Assembly.

 

Visit Senator Hannon’s webpage

Senate Gives Final Passage to Measure Protecting New Yorkers from Overpaying for Prescription Medications

The New York State Senate this week gave final passage to a bill that helps fight the high cost of prescriptions by preventing consumers from overpaying for medications. This new measure (S6940) sponsored by Senator Kemp Hannon (R-Nassau), helps consumers become better informed about the price of drugs and prohibits two costly practices – gag clauses and clawbacks – used by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). Each have come into question recently as prescription drug prices continue to rise.

 

Senator Kemp Hannon, Chair of the Health Committee, said, “With prescription drug costs skyrocketing, this legislation is necessary to ensure people are being afforded the opportunity to pay lower drug prices when possible. Co-pays should not exceed the cost of a drug and pharmacists should be allowed to tell a consumer when the cost of a drug is in fact cheaper if they pay out of pocket. Clawbacks and pharmacy gag practices are unacceptable and not a good status quo.”

 

The measure prohibits PBMs from imposing “gag clauses” in their contracts with pharmacies. Gag clauses prohibit pharmacists from telling consumers information regarding the price of medication, the availability of alternative medications, or that the drug may actually cost less if they pay out of pocket. According to the National Community Pharmacists Association, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, and North Dakota have already passed laws banning these types of gag clauses.

 

This bill will also prohibit the practice of clawbacks in PBM contracts, which often result in profits generated for pharmacy benefit managers at the expense of unsuspecting customers. These clawbacks occur when a patient pays the pharmacy a copayment that is more than the actual cost of the drug. The PBM then recoups or “claws back” the excess cost collected by the pharmacy and actually makes money on the transaction. The legislation prohibits PBMs from charging a co-pay higher than the cost of the drug and prohibits them from taking additional discounts and fees from the pharmacy after the prescription has been dispensed and the claim adjudicated.

 

The bill has passed the Assembly and will be sent to the Governor.

 

Visit Senator Hannon’s webpage

 

Senator Hannon Leads Bipartisan Push to Protect Sexual Assault Victims

Legislators Are Joined by Advocates to Ensure Rights for Sexual Assault Survivors are Strengthened

 

New York State Senate Health Committee Chairman Kemp Hannon recently led a bipartisan push of key measures that would help expand the rights of sexual assault survivors. Senator Hannon, Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas, and other legislators were joined by advocates to discuss the importance of these measures, which will ensure all sexual assault survivors are afforded a greater opportunity to seek justice.

 

Senator Hannon said, “This package of legislation aimed at helping survivors of sexual assault builds upon new laws the Senate championed over the last few years to provide funding and make sure New York State is testing all rape kits. This package of bills makes sure survivors rights are clearly spelled out, unreported kits are maintained according to federal best practices, all victims have access to specially trained sexual assault providers, and that hospitals are not inappropriately charging survivors.”

 

Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas said, “Compassion must always be paramount in the law enforcement response to sexual assault victims; it’s the right thing to do and it will help to lock up dangerous criminals. Mandating the quick processing of rape kits, which we did in 2016, was just the first step and helping sexual assault victims through the difficult process of evidence collection is the necessary second step. Legislation that I’ve sponsored – A8401 – would do just that. Victims must be informed of their rights, they must have access to information about the status of evidence analysis and untested rape kits must never be destroyed prematurely. This is common decency and common sense.”

 

Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried said, “Victims of sexual assault, dealing with the trauma of a violent crime, should never face the additional burden of a hospital billing for forensic exams. Some hospitals have been billing victims despite Federal law designed to prevent this. Our legislation will ensure that no victim will be burdened by a hospital bill for a rape kit.”

 

The bills, (S6428A), (S6947A) and (S6964A), focus on creating a Survivor’s Bill of Rights, maintaining unreported rape kits for 20 years, creating a rape kit tracking system, establishing a sexual assault forensic examination (S.A.F.E.) telemedicine pilot program and ensuring victims are never billed for exams.

 

Amanda Nguyen, CEO and Founder of Rise, said, “Currently in New York State, rape kits can be destroyed after 30 days. The DNA evidence in a rape kit is both crucial for survivors seeking justice and exonerating the innocent. We are hopeful the state of New York will pass this legation to meet the federal standard – ensuring rape kits will be preserved for 20 years for the 6.6 million survivors in New York.”

 

Nancy Harris, Nurse Practitioner and Manager Forensic Nurse Program for St. Peter’s Health Partners, said, “All patients/victims of a sexual assault deserve to be provided comprehensive care and appropriate treatment, but many facilities lack the professional training of a sexual assault provider. With a S.A.F.E. pilot program, we can assist the provider through the process and allow the patient timely care, treatment, and follow up while following the national standards.”

 

These measures currently before the houses are necessary to ensure sexual assault survivors in New York get the best treatment possible and are not re-victimized by the system.

 

Visit Senator Hannon’s webpage

Senator Hannon Leads Bipartisan Push to Protect Sexual Assault Victims

New York State Senate Health Committee Chairman Kemp Hannon recently led a bipartisan push of key measures that would help expand the rights of sexual assault survivors. Senator Hannon, Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas, and other legislators were joined by advocates to discuss the importance of these measures, which will ensure all sexual assault survivors are afforded a greater opportunity to seek justice.

 

Senator Hannon said, “This package of legislation aimed at helping survivors of sexual assault builds upon new laws the Senate championed over the last few years to provide funding and make sure New York State is testing all rape kits. This package of bills makes sure survivors rights are clearly spelled out, unreported kits are maintained according to federal best practices, all victims have access to specially trained sexual assault providers, and that hospitals are not inappropriately charging survivors.”

 

Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas said, “Compassion must always be paramount in the law enforcement response to sexual assault victims; it’s the right thing to do and it will help to lock up dangerous criminals. Mandating the quick processing of rape kits, which we did in 2016, was just the first step and helping sexual assault victims through the difficult process of evidence collection is the necessary second step. Legislation that I’ve sponsored – A8401 – would do just that. Victims must be informed of their rights, they must have access to information about the status of evidence analysis and untested rape kits must never be destroyed prematurely. This is common decency and common sense.”

 

Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried said, “Victims of sexual assault, dealing with the trauma of a violent crime, should never face the additional burden of a hospital billing for forensic exams. Some hospitals have been billing victims despite Federal law designed to prevent this. Our legislation will ensure that no victim will be burdened by a hospital bill for a rape kit.”

 

The bills, (S6428A), (S6947A) and (S6964A), focus on creating a Survivor’s Bill of Rights, maintaining unreported rape kits for 20 years, creating a rape kit tracking system, establishing a sexual assault forensic examination (S.A.F.E.) telemedicine pilot program and ensuring victims are never billed for exams.

 

Amanda Nguyen, CEO and Founder of Rise, said, “Currently in New York State, rape kits can be destroyed after 30 days. The DNA evidence in a rape kit is both crucial for survivors seeking justice and exonerating the innocent. We are hopeful the state of New York will pass this legation to meet the federal standard – ensuring rape kits will be preserved for 20 years for the 6.6 million survivors in New York.”

 

Nancy Harris, Nurse Practitioner and Manager Forensic Nurse Program for St. Peter’s Health Partners, said, “All patients/victims of a sexual assault deserve to be provided comprehensive care and appropriate treatment, but many facilities lack the professional training of a sexual assault provider. With a S.A.F.E. pilot program, we can assist the provider through the process and allow the patient timely care, treatment, and follow up while following the national standards.”

 

These measures currently before the houses are necessary to ensure sexual assault survivors in New York get the best treatment possible and are not re-victimized by the system.

 

Visit Senator Hannon’s webpage