Decision Maker

New York State Senate

Does New York State Senate have the power to decide or influence something you want to change? Start a petition to this decision maker.Start a petition
Petitioning Andrew Cuomo, New York State Senate, New York State House, John Flanagan, Carl Marcellino, Terrence Murphy, Thomas O'Mara, Simcha Felder, Ruben Diaz, Neil Breslin, James Tedisco, Jeffrey Klein, Lin...

43,000 New York kids will be sexually abused in 2017. Help Governor Cuomo protect them.

When we read about a man admitting to sex with a 13-year-old, we expect to read details of his arrest next. We don’t expect to read that he is still on the streets. But that’s what has happened with Marc Gafni. He admits to having a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old. That should be enough to have him arrested. But since the crime happened in New York, where the Statute of Limitations keeps victims from pressing charges from their 23rd birthday, his victims can’t have their day in court. While this unremorseful sex offender is free to attack his victims in the press, his victims are serving life sentences. The same Statutes of Limitations protect predators across New York State.  Here are the facts: Currently 1 in 5 (22%) children are sexually abused (Source CDC) [1] It takes survivors an average of 21 years before they can disclose their abuse [2]Only 1 in 10 (10%) of people who sexually abuse children will see a day behind bars [3]Because they are protected by NY State laws called statutes of limitations.This all adds up to 43,000 sexually abused children in New York each year. But it doesn’t need to be this way. The Child Victims Act (S 809) will eliminate the Statute of Limitations for child sexual abuse. The act has the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senate and Assembly Democrats and the Independent Democrats, but is being blocked in the Senate on a party line split with Republicans who have always prevented the bill to come to the floor for a vote. Please stand with us, protect NY’s children and not the predators that prey on them. sign the petition, and support Governor Cuomo, Senator Hoylman, and Assemblymember Rosenthal in passing this bill. Tell our leaders to pass the Child Victims Act this year. Protect our children from sexual abuse. Because one child is too many.   Click this link to protect children in Pennsylvania too. Citations: Relationship of Childhood Abuse and Household Dysfunction to Many of the Leading Causes of Death in Adults: The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) StudyVincent J Felitti MD, FACPA, , Robert F Anda MD, MSB, Dale Nordenberg MDC, David F Williamson MS, PhDB, Alison M Spitz MS, MPHB, Valerie Edwards BAB, Mary P Koss PhDD, James S Marks MD, MPHB Disclosure of Child Sexual Abuse Among Male Survivors” by Scott D. Easton, December of 2013 Clinical Social Work Journal Robert Baker of the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board, Massachusetts Office of Public Safety. 2008.  

Stop Abuse Campaign
69,820 supporters
Petitioning New York State Assembly

Pass legislation for stricter penalties for hit-and-run drivers in New York State.

LIFE CAN CHANGE IN AN INSTANT. On December 5, 2014, our team member Jawana Richardson’s husband Sherman was killed by a hit-and-run driver. She received the call while at work.  Had the driver stayed and called the police or an ambulance, Jawana's husband of more than twenty years might have lived.  Instead the driver fled – perhaps to avoid DWI charges (we may never know.)   The suspect also attempted to destroy evidence by setting the car he was driving on fire.  The suspect never took responsibility for his actions; he left an innocent person to die on the side of the road.  It took law enforcement more than nine months to find the alleged perpetrator that killed our friend’s husband.   Our team member’s life has changed forever because of this heinous act.   See Jawana’s story here: A HIT AND RUN CAN HAPPEN TO ANY ONE OF US. Please help us seek increased penalties for drivers who flee the scene of a crash without reporting, leaving helpless pedestrians and motorists severely injured or dead on our streets and roadways. You can help by signing and sharing this petition to help us raise awareness of this serious crime. Your signature will show support for passage of hit-and-run legislation by the New York State Assembly, and ultimately by Governor Andrew Cuomo. As the law stands now, the penalties for a driver leaving the scene of an incident he/she has caused are too lenient.  It is actually to the driver’s benefit to leave in an effort to cover up reckless driving or DWI.  Some who leave are never caught, leaving a family with no justice and no closure and if they are caught they are likely to face lower charges.  So the current law actually encourages people to leave. We are ‘Team Make-It-Happen’ — and we are part of SUNY Empire State College’s Student Leadership Institute. We are advocating for change for the safety of all pedestrians and motorists in the state of New York.  Our goal is to bring awareness of these heinous crimes to the public and to collect 10,000 signatures to show our politicians we are concerned about our safety and to urge our legislators to pass this bill. There are thousands of cases just like Jawana’s husband's, where lives have been shattered or families torn apart due to serious injuries and fatalities caused by hit and run drivers.  We are fighting for those who suffer in silence.  PLEASE SHARE YOUR OWN STORY at our Facebook page Project Sherman. Passage of this legislation is the only way for the law to stop giving drivers who leave the scene of a crash a benefit for leaving.   This revised bill will elevate the crime of leaving the scene of an incident with serious injury from an E felony to a D felony. In the case of a fatal DWI or leaving the scene, the charge will be raised from a D felony to a C felony. Last year the legislature tried to pass a bill that required more than one person to die (and other restrictions) before a C felony could apply. The C felony also needs to apply to fatal hit-and-runs where only one person is killed (not only multiple deaths.  A single life matters as much as multiple lives).  If this legislation does not pass, reckless drivers will continue to evade the law and not face the consequences of their actions.  This is a serious crime and can happen to any one of us, our family members, friends, coworkers, neighbors as we travel through our streets and roadways in the State of New York.  WE NEED YOU!  Let’s show our politicians we want action now by signing the petition and sharing it with everyone you know.  By doing so you are using your power to support the passage of legislative bill S2136/A7785: This bill will move us a step closer in protecting all motorists and pedestrians on our streets and roadways in the state of New York.    If you would like to share thoughts or personal stories, please write us at  Thank you for your support!  

Project Sherman
57,145 supporters

Pass the New York Safe Staffing Law!

Nurses do so much for their patients. So, why are hospitals making it hard for them to do their jobs? Some New York hospitals force nurses to take on as many as 12 patients at once. When that happens, patient care suffers. The number of patients assigned to a nurse has a direct impact on his/her ability to appropriately assess, monitor, care for and safely discharge patients. Studies show that inadequate staffing levels contribute to increased risk of patient falls, bedsores, hospital-acquired infections, medication errors, and even mortality. Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has shown that the odds of patient death increased by 7% for each additional patient a nurse must care for at one time Yet New York hospitals STILL refuse to adopt safe nurse-patient staffing levels. When the number of Registered Nurses on duty is increased by just a small amount patient risks are reduced! The fact is, more nurses with fewer patients saves lives. Not only does safe staffing save lives, but it’s cost-effective! When patients get better care, they heal quicker and stay healthy longer. After California passed a safe staffing law in 2004, patient outcomes improved dramatically, and hospitals have been saving money over the long term. That’s why the Campaign for Patient Safety is fighting for New Yorkers to get the quality of care they need and deserve. Sign the petition to tell your lawmakers to vote for the Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act (S.782/A.8580-A) and make sure a nurse is there when you need one.

New York Campaign for Patient Safety
19,074 supporters
Petitioning New York State Senate, Kemp Hannon, John Flanagan, Andrew Cuomo

Pass the "Nickolas Bill" so our tiniest newborns don't die.

On to the Governor's desk. Our bill is now before New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. We are hopeful that the governor will sign the bill into law and on Jan. 1, Medicaid will pay for pasteurized donor breast milk for premature infants in New York State whose moms are unable to nurse them. Thank you, state Sen. Kemp Hannon for getting this bill out of committee and on to the senate floor for a 61-0 unanimous vote, and for graciously accepting our petition with 11,000 names. Thank you Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages, and the bill's many co-sponsors in the state Assembly, who rallied with such conviction around this measure. Here at the New York Milk Bank we're also so grateful to Emily Bell, who took time off from work to travel to Albany last week and share her very powerful and heartbreaking experience with state lawmakers. She shares our conviction that every premature infant should have access to pasteurized donor breast milk when their mother is not yet able to nurse. We will continue to ask for your signatures until Gov. Cuomo signs this important bill into law, and we thank you for sharing our link on Facebook.  Every additional signature supports our efforts to make pasteurized donor breast milk available to every premature infant in our state. If you are not from New York, we still ask you to sign. The strength of our support can only bolster efforts in other states to make donor milk available to infants whose mothers are unable to nurse. Nickolas Bell (above, with his mom) weighed just two pounds when he was born 14 weeks premature last year, but both infants were thriving in the care of Dr. Boriana Parvez, a neonatologist at Westchester Medical Center who prescribes donated human milk to preemies whose mothers are unable to nurse. The tiny twin brothers had to be switched to formula so they could be moved to a NICU near the family's home and they didn't have a way to cover the cost of donor milk. Almost immediately after he was given formula, Nickolas developed a devastating intestinal disease called necrotizing enterocolitis or NEC, which strikes one out of six preemies who are given infant formula. Nickolas died June 30, 2015. He was five weeks old. "A huge part of my heart was lost that night," Emily Bell said. "My husband and I lost a son we wanted for so long and our surviving son lost a brother he will never get to know." The New York State legislature only has until June 16 to pass a bill that would direct Medicaid to reimburse hospitals that give donated pasteurized human breast milk to premature babies who are struggling to survive.  The milk costs just $4.50 an ounce, but it's an overwhelming cost for many young families. Our non-profit organization, The New York Milk Bank, is currently developing a statewide network of donors and recipients to fill a growing demand. Most hospitals can't prescribe donor milk because Medicaid won't cover the cost -- although it will cover the cost of a $300,000 operation and countless dollars in after care for infants who are struck by the disease. With passage of a law to enable Medicaid coverage for donor milk, all NICUs could prescribe it for their endangered preemies. We're calling this pending bill the Nickolas Bill, after Emily's firstborn twin, Nickolas Bell, and we're asking state Sen. Kemp Hannon, who has shepherded this bill out of the Health committee he chairs, and the temporary Senate President John J. Flanagan, from Long Island, to make it a priority to pass this bill before June 16th, 2016.  We are so grateful to Sen. Hannon for taking the bill this far. But these are hectic final days in Albany, and we're very concerned that if we don't get immediate senate approval the bill could languish until fall.  Please don't let that happen. A delay means more of our babies will needlessly die this year -- NINE premature infants die from this intestinal disease every month in New York State. Many more survive and require surgery that can cost Medicaid $300,000, and countless additional dollars and suffering in ongoing healthcare costs.  A delay means we could have dozens of newly bereaved young mothers, who will needlessly lose their newborns to this deadly intestinal disease, joining in with us at the New York State Capitol in the fall to ask again for the passage of this bill.  Passing this bill will save the taxpayers of New York money, but more importantly, it will immediately save lives, and it will prevent other parents from suffering a devastating loss. "The passing of the Nickolas bill is so important! It can help prevent so many babies from suffering the way Nickolas did," Emily said. "The Nickolas bill means everything to me. It is unfortunately too late for my son but it's not too late for other babies."

The New York Milk Bank, Inc.
14,240 supporters
Petitioning United States Coast Guard

Continue the Search of the SS El Faro Crew

The SS El Faro was a 791 foot cargo ship charged with bringing commercial goods to Puerto Rico. Early on Thursday, October 1, while near the center of Category 4 Hurricane Joaquin, the El Faro reported that it had lost propulsion, was taking on water and listing. No reason was given for the loss of power, and no further communication was received. Because of the hurricane conditions, the Coast Guard could only do limited search and rescue until Sunday, October 4, and even then visibility was limited. On October 5, one lifeboat and less than a handful of survival suits (of approx. 46) were found. One survival suit contained human remains. Two debris fields were found, one near the El Faro’s final position and another one located 69 miles northeast of the first debris filed, evidence that there was substantial movement of debris and potentially any lifeboats or survivors. On Wednesday, October 7, the Coast Guard called off the search. The US Coast Guard has done a fantastic job searching for the crew, but we are asking that they give it more time. Six days is well within the survival window for any trained mariner in a lifeboat and or life raft. These lifeboats and rafts are provided with food and water. Only one lifeboat was recovered and only one lift raft; there are 4 more remaining. The body found in the survival suit is evidence that the crew was trying to abandon ship. Survival suits would not have been donned until the crew was actively abandoning ship. These twenty-eight Americans deserve our best efforts in locating them as long as they have a possibility of survival. We are well within the survival window for this tragedy. There are hundreds of islands in the Bahamas, many are uninhabited.  The crew of the El Faro is 28 American and 5 Polish men and women who are parents, husbands, wives, children, and friends. They are experienced mariners who are well-trained. The crew of the El Faro deserves a chance to be found. Please help by signing this petition to ask the US Coast Guard and all other able agencies to please continue the search.

Amy Parker
11,418 supporters
Petitioning New York State Senate, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), International Animal Rescue, President of the United States

Do not separate Nandi the baby elephant from her mother to gift to New Zealand!

Dear Nations of Facebook, Tiwtter, Pinterest, Instagram, Redditt and Whatsapp : Sri Lanka has been gifting very young elephants, babies in fact to other nations. The babies are very traumatized when they are removed from their mothers. They remain with the herd all their lives, they never forget a face and are very loyal. Removing them from their mothers amounts to barbaric kidnapping. Please stop this! Please don't visit Auckland zoo. Don't rip this baby from its mother. Please help by sharing this petition at least once a day and Signing it.  Please bring to the attention of as many animal advocates as you can. Keep this angel child with her mom.

Mary Jo Lester
9,197 supporters
Petitioning City Of New York, New York State Senate, New York State House, New York Governor, Michael Gianaris, Charles Rangel, Steve Israel, Elise Stefanik, Hakeem Jeffries, Lee Zeldin, Carolyn Maloney, Chris...

Reduced Unlimited Metrocards for College Students

New York State Students heading to community colleges, state universities, and Ivy leagues face challenging financial burdens when it comes to transportation. Living in New York City is not as affordable as many might believe and not being apart of the wealthy 1% is a daily struggle. With the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) fares reaching an all time high and increasing each year, students heading off to their higher education institutions cannot afford the rising prices. The MTA has many options when purchasing metro cards but the most beneficial metrocard option would be the 30-day unlimited. Unfortunately, the prices have raised year after year. In 2010, the unlimited metrocard was $104, in 2014 $112, and it is currently at $116.50. College institution start in the fall term throughout the spring term but many decide to continue their education during the summer term. Estimated on average, the New York State tuition ranges from $35,000-$75,000 a year not including books and other fees. A reduced 30-day unlimited metro card for college students should be implemented in the MTA system to help release the financial burden of college students trying to work towards their higher education.

Denise Batista
8,582 supporters
Petitioning New York State Senate

Naturopaths are not doctors: stop legitimizing pseudoscience

The purpose of this petition is to voice opposition to legitimizing naturopathy through state licensure and mandated insurance reimbursement. Naturopaths are attempting to become legally recognized as "primary care physicians" in all U.S. 50 states and become Medicare providers. This is a dangerous future. UPDATE: This petition has expanded to include Canada, where naturopaths are also aggressively lobbying for licensure in all provinces and inclusion in healthcare programs. In Canada and the U.S., naturopathic education is shared across the border via a common accrediting agency, the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (see below). Thus, a naturopath who graduates from Bastyr in Washington state can then become licensed in Ontatio. It is only natural that opposition to NDs should be applied to all of North America. Naturopaths are not trained similar to physicians, nurse practitioners, or physician assistants. Naturopaths are trained in a hodgepodge of antiquated methods, mystical theories, and bare-bone fundamentals of medicine. Naturopathic students are required to master homeopathy, energy modalities, herbalism, chiropractic-like manipulations, and therapies involving heat and water. There is a strong emphasis on anti-vaccine promotion and alternative cancer treatments. This petition concerns naturopaths who graduated from programs approved by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education. These programs are attempting to circumvent comprehensive medical training by misrepresenting their academic rigor to lawmakers and the public. This is our chance to make a stand against pseudoscience masquerading as legitimate medicine. Please sign this petition to show your support for blocking naturopathic licensure, scope of practice expansion, and inclusion in federal and state health care programs. Naturopaths are not doctors, and they should not be treated as such. Below is a list of references with data and expert opinion on naturopathic education and practice: Atwood, Kimball C., IV (2003). "Naturopathy: A critical appraisal". Medscape General Medicine 5 (4): 39. Atwood IV, Kimball. C. (2004). "Naturopathy, pseudoscience, and medicine: Myths and fallacies vs truth". Medscape General Medicine 6 (1): 33. Barrett, Stephen (2013). "A close look at naturopathy". QuackWatch. Wilson, K. (2005). "Characteristics of Pediatric and Adolescent Patients Attending a Naturopathic College Clinic in Canada". Pediatrics 115 (3): e338–e343. Busse, Jason W.; Wilson, Kumanan; Campbell, James B. (2008). "Attitudes towards vaccination among chiropractic and naturopathic students". Vaccine 26 (49): 6237–6243. Wilson, Kumanan; Mills, Ed; Boon, Heather; Tomlinson, George; Ritvo, Paul (2004). "A survey of attitudes towards pediatric vaccinations amongst Canadian naturopathic students". Vaccine 22 (3-4): 329–334. Mielczarek, Eugenie V.; Engler, Brian D. (2014). "Selling Pseudoscience: A Rent in the Fabric of American Medicine". Skeptical Inquirer 38.3. Boon, Heather S.; Cherkin, Daniel C.; Erro, Janet; Sherman, Karen J.; et al. (2004). "Practice patterns of naturopathic physicians: Results from a random survey of licensed practitioners in two U.S. States". BMC Complementary & Alternative Medicine 20 (4): 14. "Testimony in Opposition to H. 1992 and S. 1205, An Act to Create a Board of Registration in Naturopathy". Massachusetts Medical Society. Massachusetts Medical Society. Downey L, et al. (2010). "Pediatric vaccination and vaccine-preventable disease acquisition: associations with care by complementary and alternative medicine providers.". Matern Child Health J. 14 (6): 922–30. Lipson, Peter. (2016). Naturopaths: Fake Doctors in White Coats? Forbes. Caulfeild, Timothy. (2013). Don't legitimize the witch doctors. National Post. Palmer, Brian. (2014). Quacking All the Way to the Bank: Naturopaths are winning insurance coverage for medical nonsense. Slate. Various authors. Naturopathy vs Science. Bellamy, Jann. (2015). 2014: Chiropractors, naturopaths and acupuncturists lose in state legislatures. Hermes, Britt. (2015). ND Confession, Part 1: Clinical training inside and out. Hermes, Britt (2015). ND Confession, Part II: The Accreditation of Naturopathic “Medical” Education. Hermes, Britt. Naturopathic Diaries.      

Britt Marie Hermes
8,060 supporters
Petitioning Blane Workie

Make Air Travel Safer For People With Autism And Service Animals

Airlines are not required to honor special seating requests for autistic passengers. I think this is wrong. Many autistic passengers require special seating while flying that should be respected. Currently, airlines are “encouraged” to make the accommodations, but not required. Join me and tell the Department of Transportation that autistic people should be given special seating accommodations just like other disabled passengers. Tell them to amend the ACAA to require specific accommodations for autistic spectrum passengers. My name is Beth Joy. I have an autistic daughter. Last April, we took a trip from New York to Hawaii. Flying, for someone with sensory and auditory processing disorders, can be quite difficult. Her neurologist recommended she sit in the bulkhead and by the window. The seat placement would help ease her symptoms and allow for easier care during the flight. We got a doctor’s note requesting the appropriate seating arrangements and called 6 months ahead of time to make sure she would have the accommodations she needed to have a stress free flight. The airline honored our request on the way to Hawaii, but denied us on the way home. The problem is the Air Carrier Access Act, the law that requires air carriers to accommodate the needs of passengers with disabilities, doesn’t specifically require airlines to provide special accommodations for people with autism. While others with disabilities are guaranteed certain seating accommodations, airlines can use discretion when providing seating for the autistic passengers. This needs to be fixed. The ACAA needs to be amended to specifically require airlines to provide those with autism the same seating privileges as others with disabilities. The CDC found that one in 68 children lie somewhere within the autism spectrum. It is important to ensure that their flying experience provides for their medical needs. The Department of Transportation can ensure this by amending the ACAA to require airlines to afford autistic passengers special seating if requested.   Join me and ask the DOT to do the right thing and help make air travel as comfortable as possible for those on the autism spectrum. Tell them to amend the ACAA. AMEND THE ACAA FOR AUTISM: AIR TRAVEL FOR ALL EQUALLY We ask that you amend the Air Carrier Access Act to accommodate the developmentally disabled of whom have doctor prescribed seats. It must be a federal mandate just as you have for the physically disabled. We as parents are asking for not only the safety and well-being of our children but for the comfort of other passengers flying as we know our children's sensory issues best. It takes a simple presidential signature for all airlines to conform to the modernized policy. We are different, not less. We ask for equal treatment to fly like everyone else around the country. No more discrimination. Mahalo, Vivie, Vivie's Mommy & the entire spectrum community #1in68 Our full story: UPDATE APRIL 2015:  Scroll down to number 84, that is our proposal: Here is the DOT link to the proposed rule change. Ours is the last line in the paragraph. Again, please tell everyone to email their disability discrimination stories whether they be physical or developmental to them. Or just why you believe it is important. No more injustice. ‪#‎ausomerainbow‬  

Beth Joy
6,702 supporters
Petitioning New York State Senate


WE THE PEOPLE OF SUFFOLK COUNTY ON BEHALF OF THE ANIMALS WHO ARE ABUSED, NEGLECTED, AND NOT PROTECTED BY THOSE VERY PEOPLE WHO PROMISED TO PROTECT THEM SINCE 1984 ,DEMAND THE REMOVAL OF ROY AND LOIS GROSS, AND A TOTAL REVAMPING, AND NEW BOARD OF THE SUFFOLK COUNTY SPCA IN ORDER TO PROTECT THE ANIMALS. 2013 vs. 2012 comparison in the photo 91.48% of all donation for 2013 were from the PUBLIC. half of expenses were for PAYROLL and INSURANCE $15,222 spent on spay/neuter clinics and program expenses. NOTHING compared to the costs of what it REALLY takes to care for animals. $86 for training? THAT would explain a lot THEY ARE COMMITTING THE VERY CRIMES IN ARTICLE 26 THEY ARE CHARGED TO ENFORCE TO PROTECT THE ANIMALS. Suffolk County's Animal Abuse problem is being ignored daily by Roy Gross and his Suffolk County SPCA.  Mr. Gross is NOT fulfilling his mission statement, which was recently removed and changed on their new website.  Mr. Gross spends NO "PUBLICLY DONATED MONEY" to help animals, shelters, or the people of Suffolk County.  SCSPCA boasts on their website that 3,000 cases of abuse were reported last year in Suffolk County, yet there were only a handful of arrests. Reports are not followed up, and if anyone is arrested, they are only arrested between May and October when Mr. & Mrs. Gross are not in Sunny Florida snow birding. NO low cost Spay/Neuter program NO TNR Program ONE rabies vaccine event is funded by the Board of Healthy Stock piling of PUBLICLY DONATED money Investments in the stock market Selling any and all property donated to them $260,000+ in bequeathed real estate They pay NO rent A whopping $1.3 million in the bank and only $15,222 spent on the animals.  They are a mockery to this county and if they are not protecting the animals they are part of and contribute to their abuse. ACCORDING TO THE ASPCA GUIDELINES WHICH INSTALLED THE SCSPCA IN 1984: EVERY SPCA IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK IS TO HAVE A SHELTER. THEY DO NOT.  THEY DUMP THE ANIMALS INTO MUNICIPAL SHELTERS, RESCUE GROUPS, AND DO NOT PAY ANY BILLS OR OFFER ANY MONIES TO ASSIST. STEP DOWN ROY AND STOP CONTRIBUTING THE THE NEGLECT AND ABUSE OF THE ANIMALS YOU PROMISED TO PROTECT!!!!  YOU ARE AS GUILTY AS THE ANIMAL ABUSERS YOU FAIL TO ARREST AND BRING TO JUSTICE.  

Replace the Suffolk County SPCA
6,228 supporters