Assemblyman Oaks calls for vote on Brittany’s Law

At the end of March, Senator Michael Nozzolio (R-Fayette) had harsh words for the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence after they released a memo outlining opposition to Brittany’s Law. The law formally known as the Domestic Violence Prevention Act has yet again received the vocal support of another legislator from the Finger Lakes.Today Assemblyman Bob Oaks (R-C Macedon) joined other lawmakers in New York State calling for a vote on the Domestic Violence Prevention Act – otherwise known as Brittany’s Law. His support comes during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, a move that he believes will “better protect New Yorkers.”Assemblyman Oaks statement read in part:“It is concerning to me that the Assembly Majority is not addressing crime prevention in order to better protect New Yorkers. While I support measures to ensure crime victims have the protection and resources needed, I would like to see fewer New Yorkers become the victim of crime, particularly the violent crimes that Brittany’s Law could prevent if enacted.”In 2015, after years of the measure passing in the state Senate but being blocked from a vote in the Assembly, Oaks and other legislators initiated petition efforts calling on the Assembly Majority to bring Brittany’s Law up for a vote. New Yorkers from Long Island to Buffalo have now signed on to support Brittany’s Law and call on the Assembly Majority to allow a vote on the bill.The Domestic Violence Prevention Act – Brittany’s Law is currently sponsored by Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther (D,I,WF-Forestburgh). The bill’s original lead sponsor was Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb (R,C,I-Canandaigua), who represents Geneva, the location of a brutal 2009 murder of Brittany Passalacqua and her mother Helen by a felon with a history of violence. Brittany’s grandmother, Dale Driscoll, of Macedon and formerly of Geneva, has advocated for such a law for many years on behalf of her loved ones. Brittany was just 12-years-old at the time of her death. Their murderer had recently been paroled after serving a sentence for violently assaulting his own infant daughter in 2003. Had this information been known, perhaps the lives of Brittany and her mother, Helen, could have been saved.Oaks’ statement concluded, “The bill has bi-partisan support and has overwhelmingly passed the Senate year after year. I’m sure it would easily pass the Assembly, as well, if the majority would only bring it up for a vote to the full assembly.”The petition can be viewed and signed here. Assemblyman Oaks urges the public to consider signing the petition.Driscoll told FingerLakes1.com that she remains hopeful and optimistic that this will be the year Brittany’s Law passes. Following the Assemblyman’s press release, she elaborated on her feelings thus far – going through the process. “I think it’s a shame that politics in New York often gets in the way of safety for women and children,” she explained.She believes firmly that Brittany’s Law has enough votes to pass, which makes her wonder what is happening behind the scenes. “I wish Governor Andrew Cuomo would get involved.” She says that Governor Cuomo has recently been helpful to groups who have been advocating with Driscoll over the last several months.

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