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From the Desk of Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel: August 6, 2010

Sponsors Overhaul of Divorce Laws

Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel is pleased to announce that the Assembly passed legislation that will reform the state’s antiquated divorce laws, allowing the state to offer no-fault divorce if a relationship has broken down irretrievably for a period of six months (A. 9753-A).  Currently, New York is the only state that mandates a divorce be obtained by alleging fault.

“Presently, the law is written that someone must be at fault for a marriage to fail. But family relationships are complicated, and government doesn’t need to be in the middle of it,” said Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel. “Sometimes it is best for both parties to end the relationship in an amicable way. There is no benefit in keeping two people locked in a marriage when they both want to move on with their lives separately.”

As a proponent of women’s rights, Assemblywoman Schimel hopes that this legislation will help decrease the rate of domestic violence for both men and women, female suicides, and reduce the number of women murdered by their partners. The bill has been passed by both houses of the State Legislature and currently awaits the Governor’s approval.

Strengthens Ban of Texting While Driving

Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel is pleased to announce the Assembly passed a measure she supported to increase roadway safety by making the statewide ban on using portable electronic devices (PEDs) while driving a primary offense (A.10063).

Last year, New York created the first step by banning this activity and allowing drivers to be cited for it when they were found to be in violation of a state law (Ch. 403 of 2009).

“While many people rely on PEDs in their daily lives, texting while driving is a serious distraction and it poses a serious threat to everyone’s safety on our roads,” said Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel. “It’s simply too great a risk to allow drivers to fiddle around with electronic gadgets that take their concentration away from the road. This bill will help prevent a host of driver errors, including swerving, lane drifting, and tailgating, which often lead to serious accidents.”