LEGISLATIVE AGENDA

Dinowitz wants to remove mental health question

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Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz has joined forces with state Sen. Brad Hoylman to correct some of the questions the state asks to new attorneys looking to practice law in New York when it comes to gender and mental health.

A report released last August by the New York State Bar Association revealed that more than half the law students surveyed by the bar would prefer mental health issues to be kept private, and not considered as part of an application to practice law, according to an Assembly staff analysis of the bill.

Currently, the New York Supreme Court’s Appellate Division asks would-be lawyers whether they have myriad conditions including mental, emotional, psychiatric, or even substance abuse.

The bar not only frowned upon the question over privacy reasons, but also believed it could violate the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

If passed, the Dinowitz/Hoylman bill would eliminate questions that would reveal such medical issues, or gender. It would allow New York to join 10 other states that already bar mental health questions to those looking to practice law in those states.

 

Should domestic violence pay spouse attorney fees?

State Sen. Alessandra Biaggi has introduced a senate version of a bill first introduced in the Assembly that would prevent domestic abuse victims from paying the attorney fees of their spouses in a divorce.

Assemblywoman Karines Reyes, who represents the greater Parkchester section of the Bronx, first introduced her bill last September that would prevent judges from awarding attorney fees to any spouse convicted of domestic violence or any supplemental charges from the relationship.

A senate staff analysis uses Theresa Havell as an example, who was ordered to pay her ex-husband $215,000 in attorney fees even after he plead guilty to assault for beating her with a steel barbell.

 

Espaillat wants the Earth to be cool

U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat has introduced a bill that, if passed, is designed to provide financing that would reduce global warming while promoting environmental justice and human rights.

The Green Climate Fund Authorization Act of 2019 would feed money into the Green Climate Fund, intended to help developing countries limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions while adapting to climate change.

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