The NYS Session has wrapped up and we're happy to report substantial progress in many areas. Here's a quick recap.
CPR in Schools bill passes both houses: Thanks to the help of our dedicated advocates and the bill sponsors, Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg and Senator Mark Grisanti, we took a major step to ensure NYS students learn CPR before graduation. The CPR in Schools bill will now be sent to the Governor. The new proposal specifically calls for the following:
- The Commissioner of the State Education Department would have 180 days to make recommendations to the Board of Regents regarding the adoption of CPR/AED instruction in the curriculum.
- The Commissioner would need to seek input from interested parties – teachers, administrators, parents, students and other interested parties; and consider time and financial impacts.
- The Board of Regents would then have 60 days to accept or reject recommendations.
CPR “So Many Reasons” Campaign launched: This May, the American Heart Association launched a heartwarming campaign entitled “So Many Reasons. Starting in May and until the CPR bill passed both houses, we sent a “reason” to our state lawmakers about why the CPR in Schools bill should pass. The reasons were real stories about real New Yorkers - people alive because of CPR and/or AED use; or people who are not alive because CPR wasn’t started, or not started soon enough.
Brianna’s Law passes NYS Assembly: Legislation to ensure all police officers are certified in CPR every two years passed the NYS Assembly.
Our first ever CPR Rally: On June 3rd the Capitol was a sea of red at our first ever CPR rally! Approximately 100 volunteers traveled to the Capitol to show lawmakers how to keep the beat. Following a press conference, volunteers from throughout the state all performed CPR together to the beat of Stayin’ Alive. Volunteers then spoke directly with lawmakers.
Physical Fitness and Activity Bill to be sent to the Governor: We know how important physical activity is for our heart health. The American Heart Association supported legislation to create a New York State Physical Fitness and Activity Education Campaign. This campaign would encourage physical activity which will improve the fitness of the people of NYS and will complement existing programs administered by the department of health that develop and promote nutrition and wellness activities.
E-cigarettes: The American Heart Association is supportive of legislation to include e-cigarettes in the state’s Clean Indoor Air Act (CIAA). Why? Electronic cigarettes didn’t exist when we enacted the CIAA and we don’t know the impact that long term exposure has on cardiovascular health. Bills moved in both houses this session however it did not come up for a full vote by the Senate or the Assembly.
Trans Fat: Legislation to eliminate the use of sneaky trans fat in restaurants moved in both houses however the bill couldn’t compete with the many other priorities of legislators and didn’t pass this session. We will continue to push to take this dangerous fat off the menu.
Protecting your health - Funding maintained for Obesity prevention and Tobacco Control: Despite attempts to consolidate funding for chronic disease programs, we were able to garner support to reject this approach and maintain transparency. And funding for programs designed to prevent heart disease and stroke was maintained.
Not one, but two successful Lobby Days! For the first time ever, we held two NYS State Lobby Days. And the results speak for themselves. Our volunteers are just the best! We maintained funding for heart/stroke prevention and passed a CPR in Schools bill!
Thanks for all that you do!