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News & Press Releases

Feb
4
2016
NYCLU Praises Budget for Funding Public Defense in Five Counties, Calls for Statewide Reform

The New York Civil Liberties Union, testifying at a Joint Legislative Hearing on Governor Cuomo’s 2016-17 Public Protection Budget, will commend the governor for allocating funds for public defense reform. The funding will be provided to five counties in accordance with the terms of a settlement in Hurrell-Harring v. State of New York, brought by the NYCLU and Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP.

Jan
21
2016
Now With Bipartisan Support, Statewide Public Defense Bill is NY’s 2016 Priority

In a joint press conference today with State Assemblymember Patricia A. Fahy, State Senator and Deputy Majority leader John A. DeFrancisco announced his support of legislation that would reform public defense services across the state. This historic bill was first introduced by Assemblymember Fahy in 2014, after the New York Civil Liberties Union and New York State entered into a settlement agreement requiring the state to improve public defense for people too poor to hire an attorney in five counties named in the lawsuit.

Jan
20
2016
NYCLU: Assemblyman Dinowitz Commits to Introducing a Statewide Digital Privacy Bill

The New York Civil Liberties Union announced today that New York Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz will introduce the New York State Electronic Communication Privacy Act, a bill that will require police to get a warrant before seizing or accessing sensitive information from people’s phones, emails and text messages. The NYCLU’s announcement is one of 17 taking place simultaneously throughout the country, as a bipartisan collection of elected officials introduce digital privacy legislation in states including Illinois, Hawaii, Alabama and New Hampshire.

Jan
14
2016
Victory: Wedding Venue Cannot Discriminate Against Same-Sex Couples

The Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court today affirmed that it is illegal for businesses to discriminate based on sexual orientation. The New York Civil Liberties Union victory came in the case of Melisa and Jennifer McCarthy, who were turned away by the Albany wedding venue they chose after the venue owners found out that they were a same-sex couple.

Jan
13
2016
Governor’s Progressive Agenda Deserves Support but Must Include Statewide Public Defense

In response to Governor Cuomo’s State of the State address, the New York Civil Liberties Union released the following statement, attributable to Executive Director Donna Lieberman:

Dec
22
2015
NYCLU Warns of Serious Privacy Concerns in Proposed Electronic Health Records Regulation

The New York Civil Liberties Union yesterday submitted comments to the New York State Department of Health warning the department that its current proposed regulation for electronic health records poses significant privacy concerns for patients. The regulation fails to guarantee patients adequate control over who accesses what information in their medical records.

Dec
16
2015
Historic Settlement Overhauls Solitary Confinement in New York

The New York Civil Liberties Union and New York State today announced a settlement agreement that will comprehensively overhaul solitary confinement in New York State -- one of the largest prison systems in the country -- and provide a framework for ending the state’s overreliance on extreme isolation. The agreement will result in the end of traditional solitary confinement for more than 1,100 people -- one-quarter of the current solitary population -- who will either be placed in alternative units or provided with less isolating, more rehabilitative conditions.

Nov
23
2015
Wedding Venue’s Ongoing Battle to Discriminate Against Same-Sex Couples Must End

Commercial wedding venues cannot discriminate against same-sex couples, the New York Civil Liberties Union and the American Civil Liberties Union will argue today, asking the Appellate Division to affirm the State Division of Human Rights holding that Albany’s Liberty Ridge Farm illegally rejected Melisa and Jennifer McCarthy because of their sexual orientation.

Nov
10
2015
NYCLU Commends Plan to Increase Minimum Wage to $15 for State Workers

New York State will gradually increase the minimum hourly wage for state workers to $15 an hour, Governor Cuomo announced on Tuesday through news reports, placing New York’s public employees far ahead of other states on minimum wage. Using executive authority, the governor will gradually increase the hourly rate: State workers in New York City are set to earn $15 an hour by the end of 2018, and state workers outside of New York City will see wages rise to $15 by an hour by the end of 2021.

Oct
22
2015
NYCLU Applauds New Discrimination Protections for Transgender New Yorkers

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced tonight an executive action directing the State Division of Human Rights to issue regulations that would interpret existing protections against discrimination on the basis of sex and disability to cover gender identity, transgender status and gender dysphoria.

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