May-June Advocacy Report/By Roberty Spolzino, AIA Legislative Counsel

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Posted by on May 17, 19100 at 07:04:10:

May-June Advocacy Report

by Robert A. Spolzino, AIA Legislative Counsel

Empty Stroller Rally a Great Success

Our second Empty Stroller Rally on May 9th on the steps of the State Capitol in Albany was an overwhelming success! With marching, chanting and speeches from our legislative supporters, we drove home the message that one house bills are not acceptable - we need a law that is passed by both houses and signed by the Governor!

We were joined at the rally by the principal sponsor of our bill in the Senate, Senator Kenneth LaValle, from Long Island, and by co-sponsors Senator Nick Spano, from Westchester, and Senator Seymour Lachman, from Brooklyn. On the Assembly side, we were joined by Assemblywoman Lena Cymbrowitz, from Brooklyn, Assemblywoman Donna Ferrara, from Long Island, and Assemblyman Jack McAneny, from Albany.

The biggest hits of the day, however, were the Pam Madsen-designed buttons, with tiny baby booties attached, that said "One House Bills Won't Fill These Shoes!" Pam delivered sets to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Assembly Majority Leader Michael Bragman and Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno.

We Need Your Help to Finish the Job

It is not an overstatement to say that the next few weeks will decide the fate of infertility insurance legislation in New York. The Senate and the Assembly are both planning to finish the legislative session by around June 15th. If identical bills are not enacted in both houses by the end of the session, the issue will be dead.

Pam, Shmuel Lefkowitz, John Wilson and I are working constantly in Albany to try to break the legislative logjam and get both houses to agree on one bill and pass it. No matter how hard we work, however, our efforts will not be able to achieve anything unless the members of the legislature understand that this issue is important to their constituents. Your letters, phone calls, faxes and e-mails are the only thing that can do that.

Between now and the end of the legislative session, we need all of AIA's members, and all of their friends and family members, to write, phone, fax and e-mail their Senator, Assembly Member and Governor Pataki to let them know that there is a serious need for infertility insurance legislation and a large constituency that expects them to iron out the differences between the two bills quickly so that the many working New Yorkers who have health insurance coverage and suffer from infertility can have the same access to care as they do for any other disease.

Even if your Senator and Assembly Member have voted for the bill that passed their house, it is vitally important that you let them know that you expect them to work out a compromise that will become law. Make sure they understand that "One House Bills Won't Fill These Shoes!"

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