Assemblyman Stirpe: Success for CNY as Legislative Session Comes to a Close

As this year’s legislative session came to a close, we accomplished a great deal for Central New York families. From tackling the heroin and opioid epidemic to safeguarding drinking water in our schools and cracking down on government corruption, I believe we took important steps in the right direction for our state.

Heroin and opioid abuse are devastating our communities, but by investing in vital treatment and prevention services we can help those in need beat their addiction once and for all. This year, I helped pass a new law to do just that by expanding access to treatment, limiting the opioids initially prescribed for pain management and requiring insurance coverage for necessary inpatient care.

The law also requires the state to issue quarterly reports on the number of opioid-related overdoses as well as the number of instances in which Narcan — a lifesaving antidote — was used. And, to ensure patients always receive proper treatment, health care professionals will receive additional training on pain management and palliative care and will be required to have a discharge plan that puts patients on the road to recovery.

Contaminated drinking water poses another significant threat to families’ health and safety, and a recent test at nearby Syracuse schools showed that high lead levels may be present. Our kids always come first and we must do everything we can to protect them, so I co-sponsored legislation requiring the state to create guidelines for testing school water supplies for lead. With more frequent testing and stricter safety standards, we can help protect the health of every child in New York State so they can succeed.

As your representative in Albany, I’ve always made it a priority to address the issues that matter most and get things done for the people of Central New York. Unfortunately, there have been some who serve in government who have forgotten what public service is all about and help themselves instead of their constituents. Any legislator who uses their office to line their own pockets shouldn’t be rewarded with a taxpayer-funded pension. That’s why I co-sponsored a resolution to amend the New York State Constitution to strip the pensions of public officials convicted of a felony related to their official duties. Another new law I co-sponsored will further improve accountability and transparency in government by reducing dark money in politics, strengthening lobbying laws and requiring more disclosure for political consultants.

While these are strong steps forward, there’s still more work to be done and I won’t stop fighting to improve quality of life here in Central New York. If you have questions or concerns about these or any other community issues, please don’t hesitate to contact me at or by calling 452-1115.