With the legislative session winding down in Albany at the end of the month, state Senator James Jr. had three pieces of key legislation passed in the Senate in a single day on Tuesday. The three bills make important strides toward protecting seniors, the disabled, teachers and victims of tech crimes.
His bill, known as S.2475. Pertains to computer-related crimes and would update the computer-related provisions of the law. The bill would add more detailed definitions to cover a modern range of circumstances, and would include the definitions for computer system, government computer system, public safety infrastructure computer system, supporting documentation, injury, victim expenditure, computer containment, internet domain name, electronic mail and profile.
“In today’s world of cyber terrorism and technological warfare, it is essential to modernize the state’s computer-related crimes law,” Sanders said. “This includes establishing definitions of terms, expanding provisions, establishing more specific offenses and providing civil remedies.”
The second piece of legislation, S.3224, is the SCRIE Rollback Act. This measure provides retroactively to the original date of eligibility in certain cases for the senior citizens rent increase exemption (SCRIE) and disability rent increase exemption (DRIE).
If a senior did not apply for SCRIE until they reached age 70, but they had been eligible at age 62, this legislation would provide them with a rent increase exemption based on their rent when they became eligible, but only back to when they were age 68.
“Many seniors and disabled people are living on a fixed income and rents are very high in New York City and around the state,” Sanders said. “This bill, which extends SCRIE and DRIE, will be enormously helpful to many people struggling to keep a roof over their heads.”
The final piece of legislation, S.5410, relates to the cumulative grade point average admission requirement for graduate-level teacher and educational leader programs. The bill would remove the requirement that applicants admitted into a graduate-level teacher and leader education programs have achieved a 3.0 minimum cumulative grade point average in the candidate’s undergraduate program.
Advocates agree that whether or not an applicant obtained a 3.0 undergraduate GPA does not serve as a good indicator or an applicant’s ability or potential to be a great teacher or principal.
Under the current law, students with these issues would be prevented from being admitted into a graduate-level teacher of leadership preparation program.
This bill would instead allow for the state’s teacher colleges to have the authority to accept students that fit their program, including those from minority and underrepresented groups in the profession.
“This legislation will open up more opportunities for those seeking to become teachers as well as increase the diversity of good quality educators that we have in our school system,” Sanders said.