Keep Up to Date with Legislation
Help pass the Tobacco to 21 Act: The Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) has a current advocacy alert for legislation (H.R. 3656/S.2100) to prohibit the sale or distribution of tobacco products to individuals under the age of 21. According to CADCA, "this would notably reduce tobacco initiation among high school aged youth (15-17 years old), among many other public health benefits, and CADCA is proud to endorse it". For more information and to sign onto this letter, go to Help Pass The Tobacco to 21 Act.
Federal heroin and opioid floor votes occurring this week: This week we will be watching for the passage of House Bill HR953, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) and other addiction related bills in the House of Representatives. As details become available, NYS PTA will bring the information to you. To learn more about the bill, go to Make CARA Count.
Current Advocacy Efforts
NYS PTA has signed onto a statewide "Raise The Age" Campaign Letter sent to Governor Cuomo and the Senate and Assembly Leadership.
The letter states, "with the passage of the 2016-17 budget, you dedicated $110 million in funding toward raising the age and developing age-appropriate justice solutions for 16 and 17-year-olds. We thank you for this commitment and we urge you to pass legislation implementing the necessary reforms this year." To read the NYS PTA position paper on Juvenile Justice, click here.
This past week, President Bonnie Russell, Vice President Jane Harsha and Legislation Coordinator Susanne Smoller had a conference call with Deputy Secretary for Education Jere Hochman, Deputy Policy Director at the Office of Governor Cuomo Barbara Williams, and Assistant Secretary for Education Jamie Frank.
The focus was on the heroin/prescription opiate epidemic. We discussed the current position NYS PTA has on Heroin (read the Issues Briefs and Talking Points here) and the need for comprehensive evidence based environmental prevention, treatment, overdose prevention medication (Narcan) and physician education. We also discussed the need to address issues early and often, specifically youth development and early identification of mental health issues. NYS PTA welcomes working with the governor's office on this important issue.