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From the Desk of Senator Charles Fuschillo - May 20, 2011

Fuschillo Votes for Tougher Penalties for Those Who Sell Drugs to Children

Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. recently voted in favor of legislation to raise penalties for drug dealers who sell drugs to children.

“Drug abuse destroys lives, which is why we must do everything we can to keep drugs out of children’s hands. Drug dealers who prey on kids need to face tougher penalties. This legislation will give prosecutors another tool to keep these drug dealers off the streets and away from our children,” said Senator Fuschillo.

The legislation (S3210A), which was passed by the State Senate, would create enhanced penalties for drug dealers who sell narcotics and other controlled substances, including heroin, to minors under the age of 14. Under the proposed law, the penalty would be raised to a class A-II felony, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Drug use, particularly heroin, is a growing epidemic among young people on Long Island. Heroin has become increasingly attractive among teens because of its low cost, in many cases less than one ticket to the movies. A 2010 Newsday story noted that the number of Long Islanders under the age of 26 in rehab for heroin addiction more than doubled from 2007 to 2009.

The legislation has been passed by the State Senate and sent to the Assembly for consideration.

 

Senate Passes Bill to Aid in Collection of Child Support

Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. announced that the New York State Senate recently passed legislation he sponsors to help ensure that parents make their child support payments.

The legislation (S4071) extends an existing law that allows the state to suspend the driver’s licenses of parents who have failed to pay child support. Under the driver’s license suspension process, the state identifies parents who failed to pay child support and have a driver’s license. These individuals are then notified that their license will be suspended unless they make their child support payments. The law authorizing the program is set to expire on June 30th of this year.

“Parents have a responsibility to support their children. The state’s driver license suspension program is an effective tool in ensuring that a parent pays their child support and lives up to their responsibilities. This legislation enables New York State to continue utilizing this program to collect child support payments,” said Senator Fuschillo.

Estimates are that the driver’s suspension process helps collect as much as $10 million in child support payments each year. In 2010, there were over 42,000 license suspension orders issued for failing to pay child support, according to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. Senator Fuschillo’s legislation is needed to allow the program to continue operating.