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New York State Drug Take Back Act (S.7354 / A.9576)

Reported overdose deaths in New York and Dutchess County have reached record highs. New York, like many states, is suffering the consequences of an opioid epidemic.  Both the state and the county have focused on prevention activities to build a coordinated approach to fight addictions and reduce deaths from overdose. One of the things that would be of tremendous help is the passage of the New York State Drug Take Back Act (S.7354 / A.9576).

 Given the number of lawsuits across the state and the country, the time is ripe for a manufacturer-funded drug take-back program in New York State. Mounting evidence demonstrates the need for safe and secure disposal options for pharmaceuticals that match the convenience of purchasing them. Drugs improperly stored in the home too often end up in the hands of children, teenagers, and potential abusers. A lack of safe disposal options contributes to the national drug abuse epidemic that is now the leading cause of injury death in the U.S., ahead of car accidents. More than 2,000 people in New York State die annually from opioid overdose, and most commonly from prescription pain relievers. Deaths from drug overdoses and chronic drug abuse in NYS increased at an alarming rate of 71 percent between 2010 and 2015.

The lack of safe disposal options is perpetuating the antiquated and harmful practices of flushing unwanted drugs or throwing them in the trash.  Sewage treatment plants and septic systems are not designed to remove these contaminants; therefore, every time we flush we are polluting our waters with trace amounts of drugs.  Drugs thrown in the trash are most often sent to landfills, with pharmaceuticals ending up in landfill leachate (water that passes through the landfill).  Both disposal practices threaten water quality and aquatic life.

While NYS has invested millions of dollars in expanding safe disposal, many New Yorkers still do not have convenient access. This legislation would provide a sustainable funding mechanism for a robust, statewide disposal program by holding drug companies accountable for managing their products throughout the entire product life cycle, instead of solely relying on taxpayers to fund management of these drugs at the products’ end-of-life.

In the U.S., 21 local governments (including Rockland County, NY) and 2 states (Massachusetts and Vermont) have already passed laws that require drug companies to establish collection programs for both controlled and non-controlled substances, providing residents with a convenient way to safely remove expired and unwanted medications from their homes. Many other jurisdictions around the country have introduced similar legislation, including Erie County and Westchester County in New York State.  Dutchess County is in the early stages of developing similar legislation.

Given the current opioid crisis, I encourage state lawmakers including State Senators Terrence Murphy and Sue Serino as well as Assemblymembers Didi Barrett, Kevin Cahill, and Kieran Michael Labor to support this legislation.

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Legislative Report for Feb. 25, 2016

Legislative Report for August 14, 2014

Activities:  Attended the Local Progress Conference in Albany. Conducting extensive research on the SEQR process for the DCJTC/jail construction.  Still reading and reviewing the Expanded Full Environmental Assessment Form.  Responded to various calls and emails regarding the county jail; FEMA; and local community events. Managed social media content.

Legislative Report for Feb. 4, 2015

Legislative Report for August 14, 2014

Activities: Attended the legislative leadership meeting; the democratic caucus meeting; and a Black History event. Met with 3 constituents. Responded to various calls and emails regarding the county airport; the county jail; community events; and Metro North. Conducted extensive research on the SEQR process for the jail construction and started reading the Expanded Full Environmental Assessment Form.

A hero for Puerto Rico: Congressman Luis Gutierrez

Rep. Gutierrez spoke from 1:29:45 till 1:35:30. In just under six minutes, he cut through a century of congressional ignorance and hypocrisy. Gutierrez made it clear that Puerto Rico is a U.S. colony, and that the U.S. government bears great responsibility for the economic chaos on the island.

WAR AGAINST ALL PUERTO RICANS

War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America’s Colony

The U.S. Congress is holding hearings this week, that will determine the future of Puerto Rico. Will it go bankrupt? Will the U.S. offer any help? Will a Financial Control Board take over the entire government, and create a new dictatorship in the Caribbean?

A gladiator stepped into the arena. Congressman Luis Gutierrez took the microphone and blew everyone away. His words cut through the entire hearing room – so sharply you could hear a pin drop. You can see his testimony right here:

Rep. Gutierrez spoke from 1:29:45 till 1:35:30, just under six minutes…but those six minutes cut through a century of congressional ignorance and hypocrisy. Gutierrez made it clear that Puerto Rico is a U.S. colony, and that the U.S. government bears great responsibility for the economic chaos on the island.

He talked about the Jones Act, economic development…and jobs, jobs, jobs.

Other voices were heard that…

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Countdown to Zero – End Veteran Homelessness

Veterans

Hudson River Housing’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families is proud to present “Countdown to Zero.”

May 28, 2015
4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Dutchess Community College, Drumlin Hall

Learn about how we can end Veteran homelessness in Dutchess County by the end of this year. Come and learn how you can be a part of the solution!

Presented by Hudson River Housing, Inc.  Cosponsored by DCC Veterans Club and DCC Human Services Club.

For more information, please contact (845) 232-5754