April 1, 2009

Assembly Majority Touts Funding for Crime Prevention Efforts in Urban Areas, Protection of Domestic Violence Victims
Agreement Helps New York Ensure Public Safety, Funds Important Drug Treatment Initiatives

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Assembly Ways and Means Committee Chair Herman D. Farrell, Assembly Codes Committee Chair Joseph R. Lentol, Assembly Judiciary Committee Chair Helene E. Weinstein and Assembly Corrections Committee Chair Jeffrion L. Aubry today announced that - in addition to Rockefeller Drug Law reforms - the SFY 2009-10 budget provides essential funding for initiatives that reduce crime in cities, provide addiction services and protect witnesses in criminal cases and victims of domestic violence, while also closing underutilized state prisons.

"Despite the impact of the economic downturn on New York, it is important that the budget reflects our commitment to public protection and crime reduction," said Silver (D-Manhattan). "In this challenging economy, law enforcement agencies will need the appropriate resources to fight crime. Therefore, it was essential to maintain funding for proven initiatives such as Operation IMPACT, which has helped reduce the gun and narcotics trade throughout New York. Additionally, this budget provides millions of dollars to fund drug treatment and prevention programs that in turn will help New York further reduce its crime rate."

"New York is among the safest states in America and we intend to keep it that way. We must adequately fund public protection programs that keep our communities safe during this economic recession," said Farrell (D-Manhattan). "This budget encourages witnesses in criminal cases to participate by maintaining protection programs while directing millions of dollars to assist domestic violence victims."

"Even in the grip of the worst economic crisis in decades, our budget prioritizes effective law enforcement programs that help to make New York a safer place," said Lentol (D-Brooklyn). "Increased funding for Operation IMPACT, legal services for domestic violence victims and drug prevention and treatment programs are smart investments in public protection."

"It was important that this year's budget reflect the needs of domestic violence victims, including access to legal services," said Weinstein (D-Brooklyn). "In spite of the economic challenges, our budget also makes important investments in alternative-to-incarceration programs for non-violent drug offenders, which in the long run will save taxpayer dollars."

Public protection items included in the SFY 2009-10 include: