Advocates push for Erin’s Law passage

NY Capitol News

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Advocates of a bill aimed to be proactive in preventing child sex abuse are pushing to get Erin’s Law passed by the end of the session.

In school, children are taught about “stranger danger.” Supporters of Erin’s Law say it’s also important for children to know what signs of abuse are even if it’s from someone they know.

“Kids today have to be educated on what is appropriate touch and what isn’t appropriate touch and in a lot of schools they’re not being taught that and teachers need training,” Gary Greenberg, Fighting for Children PAC Founder, said.

The bill would require the New York State Education Commissioner to make recommendations to the board of regents when it comes to instruction on child sex abuse and exploitation.

“This is our opportunity to close a gap simply that would protect young children from abuse at all, from future abuse, and most importantly from trauma,” Senator Alessandra Biaggi (D-District 34) said.

Assemblyman Michael Benedetto (D-District 82), who chairs the Assembly Committee on Education, says while it’s difficult to say if the issue will go to vote in committee this session, the fast answer is “no.”

While he called it a “very good, worthy bill,” he says there are other bills addressing similar issues that could be combined into a more “comprehensive bill.”

Supporters want a stand-alone bill.

If we care about children, if we care about our children, if we care about one of the most vulnerable populations, this is putting money where our mouth is,” Biaggi said.

Thirty-six other states have passed versions of Erin’s Law.

Benedetto says Erin’s Law would cost taxpayers an estimated $600,000 for staff, expertise and developing curriculum.

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