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From the desk of NY State Senator Jack Martins: March 21, 2012

Senate Passes Package of Sex Crimes Bills

Legislation will keep children safer, increase penalties for criminals

The New York State Senate passed a series of bills, with the support of Senator Jack M. Martins, increasing penalties for people convicted of sex crimes against children.

The Senate passed legislation (S.1541A) that would increase criminal penalties for sexual contact between a child and a person in a position of trust, which includes any adult responsible for supervision of children when they are not with their parents. Currently, there are no additional penalties for sexual contact with a minor by persons in a position of trust.

The Senate also passed a bill (S.746B) that creates a new crime of promoting and possessing a sex offense with a child. This bill cracks down on pedophiles who use the Internet to prey on children. It directly addresses the solicitation and/or participation in such acts via a computer network.

A third bill (S.1991) establishes the crime of promotion of child prostitution by a parent or guardian.  

Currently, there is no law that specifically addresses the prostitution of a child by a parent. This legislation adequately addresses this crime and ensures that parents convicted of such crimes are unable to have access to the children they exploited.

“The safety of our children is paramount and we should do anything we can do to protect them from sex offenders. These bills strengthen the penalties for those who establish trust with children in order to prey on them. If one child is abused, that’s one too many,” Senator Martins said.

The bills have been sent to the Assembly.

Senate Passes Bill to Repeal Massive Mandate on Business

Wage Theft Prevention Act is a Mountain of Costly, Useless Paper

The New York State Senate passed legislation (S.6063A), to repeal the notification provisions of the Wage Theft Prevention Act, a massive, costly mandate on every employer in the state.

“We have to continue to be vigilant in examining mandates that are placed on our businesses, local governments and school districts. Providing relief for those mandates that serve no purpose is one of the ways we can grow our economy,” said Senator Jack M. Martins, who serves on the state mandate relief council.

The Wage Theft Prevention Act of 2010 included a requirement that each year, a written notice on wages be provided by all private sector employers to all employees. There are seven different forms depending on the type of pay (hourly, salary, etc). The forms must be provided in the primary language of each employee. A written acknowledgement of the receipt of this notice must be obtained from every employee and maintained for six years.

Businesses face stiff fines for failure to comply with the wage, notice and record keeping requirements. The penalty of $50 per employee could cost large employers thousands of dollars.

One employee benefit firm calculated that, with 7.3 million people employed in New York State, more than 51 million pages of paper are needed to comply with this law, or about 600 trees.  

Heather Briccetti, President and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc. said: “ Fixing the Wage Theft Prevention Act will alleviate an unnecessary burden on employers and help counter the state’s reputation for baseless, costly mandates.”

Mike Durant, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, said: “NFIB now calls on the Assembly to act on this legislation to help small businesses across the state lower their significant costs and to repair New York’s reputation as being “anti-business”.

The bill was sent to the Assembly.