At the beginning of the New York state legislative session in every odd-numbered year, New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms (NYCF) prepares its legislative agenda. This document is distributed to all 213 members of the New York State Legislature.
NYCF’s legislative agenda lays out a set of policy priorities driven by our mission to influence legislation and legislators for the Lord Jesus Christ and our belief in the Bible as the holy Word of God. Accordingly, as we influence New York law and policy, we have four specific objectives in mind: Protecting human life, promoting strong families, preserving religious liberty, and proclaiming justice and mercy. NYCF’s 2021-2022 legislative agenda identifies public policies that we wish to advance as well as public policies we wish to block. Some of the policies mentioned in our agenda are proposals that are already being considered in the legislature, while others are proposals generated by NYCF that we believe should be considered. NYCF supporters will recognize some items that have appeared in our agenda in years past; others, however, are items included for the first time as NYCF adjusts to new needs and new political realities.
Protecting Human Life
Our Protecting Human Life agenda seeks to protect life at every stage. We call for the passage of the Infant Recovery Centers Act, which would lead to the opening of recovery centers for drug-addicted babies. We also call for the passage of the Liv Act, which would make it a crime to cause injury to a pregnant woman when the perpetrator is aware of her pregnancy. Other life-affirming proposals include a law to punish criminals for harming unborn children, a requirement of parental notification for any abortion performed on a minor, and the repeal of the 2019 late-term abortion expansion law known as the Reproductive Health Act. Our agenda steadfastly opposes physician-assisted suicide, and also opposes state interference with crisis pregnancy centers.
Promoting Strong Families
NYCF’s Promoting Strong Families agenda is child-centered. It recommends the creation of a statewide strategic plan to place all adoption-eligible foster children in adoptive homes. We also call for statewide action to combat fatherlessness, provide tax relief for parents, and offer additional tax relief for some adoptive parents. Our agenda expresses opposition to measures that would damage families, including mandatory COVID-19 vaccination; mandatory HPV vaccination for young people; legalized prostitution; recreational marijuana; mobile sports betting; and online poker.
Preserving Religious Liberty
Our Preserving Religious Liberty agenda focuses on state attempts to substitute the judgment of Albany politicians for the judgment of churches, nonprofits, nonpublic schools, and individuals as to how to conduct their affairs. Accordingly, we call for legislation allowing adoption and foster care charities to place children only in families with a married mother and father, as well as a law protecting individuals, nonprofit organizations, and small businesses that object to participation in same-sex ceremonies from being held liable for discrimination.
Proclaiming Justice and Mercy
Our Proclaiming Justice and Mercy agenda takes a holistic Christian approach to justice. We call for a commission to investigate the impact of COVID-19 mandates upon nursing homes. In regard to criminal justice, we call for increased discretion for judges regarding pretrial detention; we also support grand jury transparency regarding officer-involved deaths. We oppose the New York Health Act, which would provide for a state government takeover of health insurance and bar law-abiding citizens from making their own health insurance decisions. We also oppose unjust efforts to investigate, penalize, or close nonpublic schools under the guise of “substantial equivalency,” as well as the creation of new “rights” or legal protections based upon chosen behaviors not mentioned in the First Amendment. Our mercy agenda includes the creation of tax incentives for grocery stores and restaurants to donate food to charity, as well as attempts to combat human trafficking through the creation of stricter criminal penalties for those who traffic in children or other vulnerable persons.
Please pray that our 2021-2022 legislative agenda would influence Albany policymakers in a godly direction and cause them to reconsider their support for bills that would damage our already troubled state.