Legislators, Advocates Rally for Paid Family Leave; Medicare 50th Anniversary Event Planned for Albany

Over a dozen state legislators including nine Senators attended a press conference and rally to push paid family leave outside the Senate Chamber this morning.  The bill has passed the Assembly with Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan as sponsor but time is running out in the Senate where the bill is sponsored by Senator Joseph Addabbo, a Democrat. Addabbo spoke at the press event along with Senator Liz Krueger who spoke about the importance of the bill for persons in middle age taking care of aging parents and family members.  Other Senators in attendance and speaking were Senators Neil Breslin, George Latimer, Daniel Squadron, Tim Kennedy, Brad Hoylman, Marc Panipento, and James Sanders.  Assemblywoman Shelly Mayer also spoke along with Assemblywoman Michelle Solanges who is in her ninth month of pregnancy and spoke about the benefits of paid family leave for expectant parents.

No Senate Republican senator is the sponsor but Senator Jack Martins, a Long Island Republican who is chair of the Labor Committee has held hearings on the issue.  I spoke with him today and he said he is interested in holding more hearings and  considering it for passage next year.  The Paid Family Leave Coalition is prepared for another year of advocacy to build support in an election year where the future of the State Senate hangs in the balance.

Medicare 50th Birthday Celebration Coming to Downtown Albany July 30th

A  committee is meeting to plan a major public event in Albany celebrating the 50th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid. The event is planned for July 30, the day in 1965 when President Lyndon Johnson signed the bill into law in Independence Missouri, with former President Harry Truman at his side.  Johnson was honoring Truman who had tried to enact national health care during his administration.  The Albany event is being planned for downtown near the State Capitol and will include a celebration including music by a well known singer for social causes.  More details will be announced in the next week or so.   Please let us know of similar events planned around the state.

July is also the 50th anniversary of the Older Americans Act which was also passed in 1965.  August 14 is the 80th anniversary of the passage of the Social Security Act signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  And we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act signed by President George H. W. Bush in 1990.

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I have been a senior advocate for most of my career. I was Executive Director of the New York StateWide Senior Action Council and the New York State Alliance for Retired Americans. In 2007-2010 I was the Director of the New York State Office for the Aging

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