Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman
Albany Office: Room 510 Capitol, Albany, NY 12248, (518) 455-5426
District Office: 341 Smith Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231, (718) 246-4889
news from

September 2005 Community Report

Billy's Law Finally Signed by Governor
Billy's Law Establishes a System of Accountability for Out-of-State Mental Health Facilities serving New York State Residents

Brooklyn N.Y. - Assemblywoman Joan L Millman announced that legislation designed to strengthen the oversight, control and accountability concerning the placement of more than 1,400 developmentally disabled New York State children in out-of-state programs and facilities, has become law.

"Billy’s Law," inspired by Vito "Billy" Albanese, a New York victim of abuse and neglect at a New Jersey facility for mentally disabled youth, passed overwhelmingly in the Assembly and Senate and was signed into law on August 2, 2005.

"The goal of Billy’s Law is to create a system of oversight for our most vulnerable children," said Assemblywoman Millman. "This law is going to ensure that we know where we are sending our children and that those places are safe. It is time to stop talking about protecting at-risk children, and to finally hold New York accountable for the nearly 1,400 out-of-state placements every year." She concluded, "While Billy’s Law will help the children we send away now, my ultimate goal is to have enough facilities here in New York so we can bring our children home."

The Golden and Millman legislation goes a long way to improve a system that is currently failing our children. This bill will ensure that the New York State Education Department (SED) conducts a thorough investigation before placing any facilities on the registry of "qualified facilities." Furthermore, approved facilities in an event of a reported incident will immediately be re-evaluated.

Joan Millman Speaks Out on LIRR/JFK Link in Brooklyn

Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman submitted testimony at the MTA’s public hearing on the Scope Environmental Impact Statement for the Lower Manhattan-Jamaica/JFK Transportation Project. In her testimony, Assemblywoman Millman highlighted that Lower Manhattan/JFK rail link will only benefit Brooklyn if the MTA creates a new tunnel under the East River.

Millman continued that although she supports the goals of the project she was concerned about two of the alternate proposals to producing a new tunnel. She said, "Two of the alternatives of particular concern to me are that the rail link will utilize tunnels under the East River that are currently used for the N/R and A/C lines. If theses lines are compromised in any way as transit options for Brooklyn subway riders, then what is already a severe overcrowding situation will become worse."

In her testimony Millman started off by stating the need for the Scope of the project to fully investigate the needs of all the communities involved and to ensure that the project adds to Brooklyn’s transit infrastructure. Millman went on to praise the goals of creating a rail link from Lower Manhattan to JFK by stating that, "The investment in improved rail service will lay the foundation for sound transportation infrastructure to a rapidly expanding business and residential district in Downtown Brooklyn. Furthermore I firmly believe it will assist the Lower Manhattan economic recovery effort following the September 11th World Trade Center Attacks. By improving Brooklyn’s transit infrastructure these districts will be better equipped to compete for high profile commercial tenants and provide relief for an already beleaguered transit system."

Additionally, she described the pending development between the Downtown Brooklyn re-zoning and the Atlantic Yards will add thousands of riders to the system. She concluded, "That is why I am calling on the MTA to specifically and comprehensively address the need to create a new tunnel to serve the growth of Downtown Brooklyn. Only with a new tunnel will Brooklynites truly benefit from the Lower Manhattan/JFK link."

Office of Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman
341 Smith Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231
(718) 246-4889