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August 7th, 2013

Newborn screening bill has been signed into law

Senator Bill Larkin

Three pieces of legislation were signed into law by Governor Cuomo announced the bills’ sponsor, Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson). Of the three bills, two were local legislation dealing with Orange County’s one percent sales tax extension and conveying land in the Thiells-Roseville Fire District. The other piece of legislation dealt with requiring hospitals to screen newborns for congenital heart defects.

Senate bill 270-B/Assembly bill 2316-B (Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther), Chapter 184 of the Laws of 2013, requires birthing facilities to perform pulse oximetry screenings on newborns. In newborns, pulse oximetry screening involves taping a small sensor to the baby’s foot while the sensor beams a light through the foot to measure the amount of oxygen in the blood. This type of screening is effective at finding congenital heart defects that may otherwise go undetected by current screening methods.

Senate bill 4646/Assembly bill 6739 (Assemblywoman Annie Rabbitt), Chapter 209 of the Laws of 2013, extends the authority of Orange County to impose an additional rate of sales and compensating use tax until November 30, 2015. This legislation extends the three-quarters of one percent sales tax rate for Orange County and was passed at the County’s request.

Senate bill 4647/Assembly bill 1291 (Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski), Chapter 269 of the Laws of 2013, authorizes the Commissioner of the Office of General Services to transfer and convey certain land to the Thiells-Roseville fire district. The hamlet of Thiells, in the Town of Haverstraw, has seen a tremendous increase in their population since the fire district was first established. To accommodate the town’s growing need for expanded fire service, this legislation will allow the NYS Office of General Services to transfer and convey 1.2 acres of land currently owned by the NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities. With this acquisition, the construction of a substation for the Thiells-Roseville Fire District will allow for expanded fire coverage in the hamlet for the next 25-50 years.

"I applaud the Governor for signing these bills into law," said Senator Larkin. "He has taken the needs of Hudson Valley residents into consideration with these two new local laws and the health concerns of newborns statewide with the pulse oximetry legislation. I was honored to be able to sponsor these bills with my Assembly colleagues and look forward to their implementation."

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