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New York State Public Health Association

2014 Legislative Agenda

NYSPHA’s legislative agenda is informed by the Association’s priorities, member input, and the degree to which the Association can achieve the greatest public health impact in New York State.


The following legislation or potential legislation will be the primary focus of the Association this legislative session:

a. Maintain funding for chronic disease programs, especially the State’s tobacco control and obesity prevention programs.

As the two major drivers of chronic diseases, tobacco control and Obesity prevention are top priorities for NYSPHA. Tobacco control is currently funded at $39 million which is only 27% of the minimum of what CDC recommends for an effective comprehensive tobacco control program. Obesity and Diabetes share about a $7 million appropriation. Given that 2/3 of the NYS adult population is overweight or obese, spending on this public health problem is seriously inadequate.

b.Requires all SUNY campuses to be tobacco free on their property Click here to send memo of support

S4853B- Hannon/A7277B-Mosley

Tobacco free college campuses are a growing trend in NYS to protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke and reduce addiction among young adults. In June 2012, the SUNY Trustees voted to support legislation to make all of their campuses tobacco free.

c. Adds E-Cigs to the Clean indoor Air Law – A8178A-Rosenthal /S6562-Hannon

Makes the restrictions relating to smoking in public areas applicable to electronic cigarettes

d. Creates nutrition standards for children’s meals that are sold with toys – S937-Rivera/A5886 - Ortiz

Given the high rates of childhood obesity and the restaurant industry’s failure to address toy giveaways with children’s meals, this law would create nutrition standards for children’s meals that would need to be met in order to include a toy.

e. Requires the Commissioner of Education to issue a report on school physical education (PE) A8592 - Nolan

This law would help address dismal PE compliance and determine which schools have PE facilities, which have certified PE teachers or other designated instructors, and which schools are in compliance with current regulations. The report would be issued by July 2015.

Local (city ordinances or county laws)

If there are pending bills at the local level that fall under the following goal areas, NYSPHA members may choose to get involved to support them using the NYSPHA name. Please let the NYSPHA Policy and Advocacy Committee know in advance about planned local actions in our name for media and tracking purposes.

a. Reduce tobacco, alcohol, and junk food marketing, especially near schools.

-NYSPHA is supporting tobacco-free pharmacy legislation in Albany County

b. Reduce exposure to secondhand smoke through local smokefree ordinances

For more information or to join the Policy and Advocacy Committee please contact Michael Seserman at michael.seserman@cancer.org

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