Health and Safety Initiative
Fair Access to Fertility Treatment Act
Advance New York supports the Fair Access to Fertility Treatment Act that mandates New York State insurance companies expand coverage for infertility and fertility preservation. The act includes a mandate that insurance providers cover fertility preservation for people undergoing necessary medical treatments that may affect fertility (chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, etc.). Currently, fertility preservation is very costly, often prohibitively so. This bill is of particular importance for young people faced with serious illnesses, as diagnosis and treatment (and its associated costs) can be overwhelming. This bill would help alleviate some of that burden by removing the costs associated with fertility preservation, thereby assuring the loss of fertility is not an added emotional stress.
Stop Smoking In Cars With Children
Millions of children across the country are exposed to second-hand smoke every year. They are being exposed to unnecessary health risks causing an increase in respiratory diseases, childhood cancers, and medical expenses.
- Childhood asthma: According to the C.D.C., secondhand smoke causes more than 28,000 child hospitalizations for asthma each year. Some of these children die.
- Childhood cancer: Secondhand smoke contains numerous potent carcinogens and toxic substances including hydrogen cyanide.
Smoking in vehicles with children sends a message that smoking and secondhand smoke are not as unhealthy, lethal, and dangerous as they are. We have a responsibility to protect the health of all children in New York by helping make sure every child can grow up in a smoke-free environment.
Making Our State Parks Smoke Free
Our natural landscape is one of the most important resources that our State has to offer. Protecting these shared resources should be a major priority for New York State. A simple, effective way to do this is to ban smoking within publicly owned state park lands outside of designated areas. Cigarette butts contain many harmful chemicals which do not break down well in nature. More importantly, park visitors should be able to enjoy all New York State Parks have to offer without being exposed to dangerous and unpleasant second-hand smoke. This is a sensible and simple measure the state should embrace to improve both the quality of our parks and the health of our public.
Roundabouts: Promoting Safer Intersections
Advance New York seeks to reduce the number of traffic fatalities in New York State. Part of an intelligent, comprehensive approach to traffic safety is to improve the safety of intersections, where so many particularly dangerous collisions occur. Roundabouts are proven
to dramatically reduce the number of injuries and fatalities occurring at intersections. Roundabouts are also cheaper to maintain, improve traffic flow, and are more environmentally friendly than intersections with traffic signals part of this advocacy, Advance New York is reaching out to state and local officials across New York to encourage officials to adopt these best practices and make our highways safer, greener, and more affordable.
Voting Access & Civic Engagement Initiative
Early Voting for New York State
The current election administration in New York State (no early voting) makes it unnecessarily difficult for lower income and limited mobility New Yorkers to participate in our democracy and make their voices heard. New York should follow the lead of numerous other states and adopt early voting to include, at a minimum, one week (including Saturday and Sunday) of early voting. Adopting early voting for New York would help make sure as many New Yorkers as possible can participate in elections without undue hardship. No one should have to skip work to vote. Early voting would also help reduce lines on election day, which would encourage greater voter turnout.
Image: April Sikorski (Wikimedia Commons)
Move Absentee Voting Online
New York State's Boards of Elections devote a significant amount of time and resources to assembling, mailing and receiving absentee ballots. As New York State moves forward in the digital age, it is just a matter of time before absentee voting moves entirely online. In these tough economic New York should take advantage of the cost savings of reduced postage and time now. As a more secure and faster way of collecting absentee ballots, absentee ballots to voters has the potential to increase voter turnout for absentee voters. It should be a priority for any democracy to make participating in government easier, faster, and more secure. It’s time for New York to move absentee voting online.
Automatic Registration of Youth Holding Drivers Licenses
Thousands of 18 year-olds hold drivers licenses and identification cards in New York State and yet aren't registered to vote. Voting, a cornerstone of effective civic engagement, is critical to citizen involvement in the affairs of our government. Encouraging voting among our state's youth is particularly important in establishing lifelong citizen participation in government. Automatically registering those who have ID cards when they turn 18 is a simple, intelligent, and significant step forward in accomplishing this goal. Automatic registration would save the state time and resources avoiding the duplicative printing and collecting of voter registration cards.
Gift Matching for SUNY Colleges
The SUNY system continues to provide top-notch education at relatively low-cost to New Yorkers across the state. New York supports a gift matching program for SUNY colleges to promote public and private engagement. Gift-matching is utilized by many charities and nonprofits to promote broader involvement and has been proven to increase not only the number of donors but the amount they give. We believe this kind of program would help reinforce the importance of a strong, public higher education system while increasing funding, allowing the schools to continue their programs and services.
Raising Compulsory Age of Attendance to 18
Currently, in New York State, a student can stop attending high school after turning 16. Given the foundational importance of an educated public in a democracy, as well as the proven significant lifetime earnings differential between those who do and do not graduate high school, New York should require attendance in high school for students until age 18 (with an exception for those graduating early). This is an important step in attempting to end the multi-generational cycles of poverty and is likely to significantly improve graduation rates in schools across New York State. New York should follow the lead of numerous other states and raise the compulsory attendance age.