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April 2, 2018 -- After reviewing the provisions in the 2018 New York State Budget, Westchester County District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr. commends Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature for funding special initiatives and passing legislation that will help strengthen law enforcement in our communities.

“More money to combat heroin and opioid use, sales and distribution, strengthening gun safety provisions, and helping our special prosecutions teams with better tools to prosecute sexual assault are important outcomes of the 2018 Budget,” noted District Attorney Scarpino. “We look forward to working with our Albany lawmakers to enact other legislation important to law enforcement, including the Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) bill, or so-called “red flag” law, to take more guns away from those who might harm themselves or others.”

Law Enforcement Budget Highlights

In the fight against the illegal opioid epidemic:

  • The Budget includes an increase of over $30 million (5 percent) in operating and capital support for NY State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) to continue to enhance prevention, treatment and recovery programs, residential service opportunities, and public awareness and education activities.
  • A first-in-the-nation opioid stewardship program with a $100 million fund to be used for the ongoing and growing costs of prevention, treatment, and recovery services for individuals with a substance abuse disorder. Language in the budget ensures the costs are borne by industry, not by consumers.

Strengthening New York's nation-leading gun laws:

  • The Budget includes the passage of legislation to remove guns from domestic abusers. In nine of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in United States history, including the Las Vegas concert and the Sutherland Springs church, the shooter had an existing record of committing violence against women, threatening violence against women, or harassing or disparaging women. Statistics show when an abusive partner is permitted access to firearms, the risk that the other partner will be killed increases fivefold. The legislation closes a loophole in state law that will ensure domestic abusers are required to surrender all firearms, not just handguns.
  • And prohibits anyone with an outstanding warrant for a felony or other serious offense from receiving or renewing a firearm license.

Strengthening tools in special prosecutions:

  • A law included in the budget will require law enforcement to store and maintain rape kits for 20 years, not the current 30 days. It also ensures that victims are not billed for rape kits.
  • Another law strengthens sexual abuse legislation by amending the sex offenses section of the penal law to establish that a person in law enforcement custody is unable to consent to sex.

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Media contact: Helen Jonsen
111 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
White Plains, NY 10601
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Fax: (914) 995-2116