In wake of the tragic events in Buffalo and Uvalde, Senate Republicans propose multi-pronged plan to prevent acts of targeted violence on New York communities
ALBANY, NY – The New York State Senate Republican Conference today unveiled the ‘Safer NY Plan,’ an extensive legislative package equipped to prevent targeted violence against New Yorkers. The plan comes in the wake of the tragic events in the City of Buffalo and Uvalde, Texas. The Senate Republican plan involves re-investing in the mental health system, deterring and fighting violent crime, supporting communities with violence prevention Task Forces, and additional measures.
“The shooting in Buffalo has rocked our community and less than two weeks later the horrific attack on the kids attending school in Uvalde, Texas has our nation in mourning. These despicable acts of evil must never happen again. It’s time our state gets serious about enacting real initiatives that can stop violence in its tracks. Our ‘Safer NY Plan’ does just that. The Legislature must act now,” said Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt.
Senate Republicans’ ‘Safer NY Plan’ is laser-focused on preventing targeted violence. The package includes:
Improving Detection and Mental Health Supports in our Schools:
Investing in a state-funded School Resource Officers (SRO) in every school building; and
Expanding access to Mental Health services in our schools by establishing a Mental Health Services Coordinator Program.
Re-Investing in our Mental Health System:
Increasing the availability of Mental Health treatment options, by increasing support for inpatient and outpatient treatment through legislation (S.8508/Savino, Borrello and S.8856/Palumbo) and by funding both juvenile and adult mental health beds;
Appropriately funding our Mental Health system by increasing state mental health funding levels with a focus on funding services for children and young people;
Advocating for federal action to increase Mental Health treatment options–specifically eliminating the Medicaid IMD exclusion;
Stopping any further reduction of Mental Health beds by placing a 5-year moratorium on bed reductions at state hospitals; and
Opening 24/7 Crisis Stabilization Centers throughout New York by supporting local efforts to establish centers and/or opening state-operated centers.
Deterring and Fighting Violent Crime:
Reinstating the Death Penalty in cases of mass murder, murders motivated by hate or racism, murders related to terrorism, murders of law enforcement and first reponders (S.9326/Ortt);
Curtailing gun crimes by making any misdemeanor or felony offense involving the use or possession of a firearm, shotgun, or rifle bail eligible (S.7300/Weik);
Amending Raise the Age to allow sixteen and seventeen year olds who threaten or engage in violence in schools to be prosecuted as adults in criminal court; and
Creating the SAFER Communities Grant Program to provide funding to local law enforcement to invest in critical investigatory and prosecutorial resources to increase case clearance rates for homicides and gun crimes.
Supporting an Integrated Community-wide Approach to Ending Targeted Violence:
Creating County-wide Targeted Violence Prevention Task Forces that integrate social services, mental and behavioral health, law enforcement, school districts, higher education, human rights, non-profit organizations, non-profits, faith communities, and local government leaders/personnel to focus on preventing and managing targeted violence threats;
Supporting Integration of Behavioral and Mental Health Services into 911 Call Centers;
Providing Targeted Violence Threat Assessment training to Law Enforcement, First Responders, School Officials, Social Services and Mental Health Providers, 911 Call Center Staff, College/University Staff, and others; and
Supporting Local Efforts Through State Coordination.