On October 23, 2017, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed Bill S.3867-A-Hannon/A.6044-A-Simotas, the Baby Box Bill, into law. The bill was enacted as Chapter 401 of the Laws of 2017. The purpose of the Baby Box Law is to lower infant mortality rates by establishing a newborn health and safe sleep pilot program in the State of New York.
While Gov. Cuomo did sign the Baby Box Bill into law, he added an Approval Memorandum (Approval Memo No. 9) to it. In the Memorandum, the Governor asserted that “there is currently insufficient evidence-based research to determine [the] efficacy” of the “baby boxes” called for in the law. The Approval Memorandum adds that “[to] address this concern, the Executive has secured a three-way agreement with the Assembly and the Senate for the Department [of Health] to conduct a study on the effectiveness of existing safe sleep practices and to identify additional safe sleep practices that reduce infant mortality rates, and then conduct a pilot program aimed at improving caregiver education and safe sleep practices.”
New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms is pleased that the Baby Box Law has passed. In addition, we agree with the cautious approach taken in the Approval Memorandum, and we approve of the agreement reached regarding this legislation. NYCF looks forward to the completion of the study called for in the new law. Every baby deserves a safe place to sleep.