Kathy Hochul

Reforms for vulnerable New Yorkers round out The Legal Aid Society‘s 2022 legislative agenda

Kathy Hochul

Kathy Hochul Darren McGee- Office of Governor Kathy Hochul

As the state legislative session kicked off Wednesday, The Legal Aid Society pressed Albany to enact what it called a “sweeping package of reforms” for vulnerable New Yorkers. 

Tenants, immigrants and consumers are the focus of Legal Aid’s agenda for the legislature. Among the measures being pushed for is good cause eviction, which provides basic protections for tenants in unregulated housing units from “unjust” evictions and rent increases, Legal Aid said in a prepared statement.

Also, Legal Aid is calling for increases to the state’s welfare cash assistance, the creation of a statewide Section 8 voucher program to get homeless individuals on track to permanent housing and reforming Medicaid’s overpayment recovery process.

Legal Aid additionally is asking for an increase in unemployment benefits, an end to forced labor at correctional facilities and to prohibit municipalities from the continued contracting of undocumented immigrant detention. 

“These reforms were needed before the pandemic, and now with omicron surging throughout New York state, it’s paramount that Albany prioritize measures that will truly serve our clients: tenants, immigrants, those grappling with poverty and other vulnerable New Yorkers,” said Adriene Holder, attorney-in-charge of the civil practice at The Legal Aid Society. 

“Lawmakers must build on the historic reforms enacted in recent years, and this agenda should serve as a guiding blueprint for achieving that goal. The Legal Aid Society looks forward to working with Gov. Kathy Hochul, Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Speaker Carl Heastie to usher these bills into law immediately next session.”