Legislation would increase protections for vulnerable New Yorkers
With only about a week of scheduled session left for 2011, Assemblyman John Ceretto, R-I-Lewiston, is urging the Assembly to pass the Senate version of Laura Cummings' Law. The legislation would help prevent child and adult abuse by expanding the authority of county protective service workers to enable full investigations into allegations of abuse. Under the Senate's version, the bill makes preventing access to a home were abuse is suspected a crime.
"As lawmakers, our top priority is to enact legislation that will increase protections for the most vulnerable in our society," Ceretto said. "I implore the Assembly leadership to come to an agreement on passing this important public safety measure before the conclusion of this year's session to help ensure that future tragedies are avoided."
The bill, which Ceretto sponsors, was drafted in response to the murder and abuse of Laura Cummings, a mentally and physically challenged young adult from Western New York. The 23-year-old Cummings was murdered last year by her mother after suffering a lifetime of physical, mental and sexual abuse by her mother and half-brother.
Ceretto noted the bill will improve government response and crucial access to children and impaired adults who may be victims of abuse by enhancing the investigative authority of Child and Adult Protective Services.
"This legislation will ensure that reports of serious abuse of the most vulnerable in our society are fully investigated by giving officials the tools they need to properly investigate people and facilities where abuse is reported," Ceretto said.