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March of Dimes - Rhode Island Chapter

220 West Exchange St. #003

Providence, RI  02903

(401) 454-1911

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    The New York Chapter's 2015 Advocacy Agenda

      • Securing $4 million in new funds for Nurse-Family Partnership.
      • Mandating employers make reasonable accommodations for pregnancy related conditions.
      • Expanding the definition of "smoking" under New York's Indoor Clean Air Act to include electronic cigarettes.
      • Requiring children be vaccinated against Meningococcal Meningitis.

    Issues of interest to the March of Dimes outside of those identified in the 2015 advocacy agenda will likely develop during session. March of Dimes will modify its advocacy efforts as appropriate in light of these changes. Such issues currently include:

      • Opposing legislation that would allow for a philosophical exemption to the vaccination schedule. A.943(Abinanti)/S.1536(Dilan)

    Upcoming Events: 

    • June 2: Advocacy Day

    Issue Highlight: Philosophical Exemptions to the Vaccination Schedule are Bad Public Health Policy.

    Vaccines are highly effective in managing preventable communicable diseases.  In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared vaccines to be one of the top 10 public health achievements of the 20th century. Federal and professional guidelines recommend childhood and adolescent immunizations to protect against a wide range of viral and bacterial infections - including polio, measles, mumps, and rubella - whose consequences can include permanent disability or even death.

    Exemptions to the vaccination schedule put children at risk from preventable diseases.  As immunization levels have dropped in certain populations in recent decades, some preventable infectious diseases such as the measles have made dramatic comebacks.  Some of this trend can be traced back to non-medical vaccine exemptions. 

    2015 - 2016 Budget Timeline:

      • The Division of the Budget sends Agency Call Letter to all agency heads. Agency heads submit budget requests that comply with instructions in the Agency Call Letter to the Division of the Budget.

        • Director of the Budget Robert Megna issued his annual agency call letter to all agency heads on October 1. Agency heads were directed to submit budget requests for 2015-2016 State Operations and Aid to Localities that assume zero growth from 2014-2015 cash ceilings to the Division of the Budget by October 21.

        • March of Dimes submitted a letter to Governor Cuomo's staff requesting a $4 million line-item for Nurse-Family Partnership and continued funding in the OCFS budget for HFNY and COPS.

      • Governor presents Executive Budget proposal to legislature. 

        • Governor Cuomo gave his State of the State address and 2015-2016 Executive Budget proposal presentation on Wednesday, January 21. The 2015-2016 budget presentation was originally scheduled for Wednesday, January 7, but it was delayed after the passing of former Governor Mario Cuomo on January 1.

        • The New York State Senate and Assembly held a joint public hearing on the Health/Medicaid components of the budget bills on Monday, February 2.  The New York State Medicaid program held a subsequent webinar on the Medicaid only components of the budget bills on Friday, February 5.

        • March of Dimes is reviewing the budget language and will be speaking with legislators about issues important to the Foundation, including:

          • $4 million line-item for Nurse-Family Partnership

          • $100 million investment in universal Nurse-Family Partnership for Medicaid population

          • Continued funding of HFNY and COPS

          • Funding to municipalities to provide prenatal care to uninsured women

    Next Step - New York State Senate and Assembly finalize negotiations and pass budget bills.

    Next Step - Governor reviews budget bills passed by the New York State Legislature - may use line item veto.

    Next Step - Enacted Budget.

    Stay Informed:

    Join the March of Dimes advocacy network to receive occasional emails about key legislation important to moms and babies. The advocacy network is made up of volunteers and staff who promote the March of Dimes mission by contacting the governor and state legislators in response to New York Chapter action alerts. We need your help - every voice makes a difference!

    Do you know who represents you in the U.S. Senate or the New York State Assembly? Find out by joining the March of Dimes advocacy network!

    Visit http://www.marchofdimes.org/advocacy/actioncenter.html to register! 

    Did you know...

    • Measles was considered eliminated from the United States in 2000. In 2008, vaccination rates began to decline and by 2014, more than 600 cases of measles were reported in the United States.  
    • Assemblyman Carl Heastie has been elected to serve as Speaker of the Assembly. Speaker Heastie is a Democrat from the Bronx.
    • The New York State Legislature will take the week of February 16 off. 


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