Jones cosponsors nursing home legislation

ALBANY — State Assemblyman D. Billy Jones (D-Chateaugay Lake) recently announced that he cosponsored and voted for legislation that would address making provider data in nursing homes and health care facilities public, and expand nursing home visitation rights.

“During these challenging times, I have heard heartbreaking stories from residents who have been dealing with misinformation and lack of transparency regarding the governor’s executive orders surrounding nursing homes," Jones said in a statement.

"I have worked with advocates to make the executive understand that all provider data should be made available to the public as well as reinstating visitation which helps maintain important lines of communication and caregiving support, both of which would provide families greater peace of mind.

"In the wake of COVID-19 restrictions, families deserve to know the practices surrounding the care of their loved ones, and they deserve to be able to see them in person to ensure their well-being.”

Stefanik cosponsors AIM Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Last week, U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Schuylerville) announced her cosponsorship of the Agriculture Intelligence Measures (AIM) Act.

According to a press release, the bill would ensure the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture is fully informed of all imminent domestic and foreign threats against American agriculture.

“In the North Country, we are especially fortunate to have safe and reliable access to an abundant food supply thanks to our farmers and agribusinesses, but the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly taught us that the supply chain is vulnerable and must be protected," Stefanik said in a statement.

"I am proud to cosponsor this legislation to encourage interagency coordination and protect our farms, food and industry from threats both foreign and domestic.”

Jones, Chamber call for prioritization of essential manufacturers

ALBANY — Last week, State Assemblyman D. Billy Jones (D-Chateaugay Lake) and North Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Department of Health to better prioritize vaccination of employees of essential manufacturers.

According to a press release, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has deemed essential manufacturing employees eligible for vaccination, but the state's expansion of vaccine eligibility to other groups has made it more difficult for these individuals to get vaccine appointments.

“These individuals provide an essential service to our communities, yet many are struggling to get a vaccine as more and more groups are added to the state’s eligibility criteria," Jones said in a statement.

"It’s absolutely crucial that we put these workers at the front of the line and ensure they can receive this vaccine sooner rather than later.”

Douglas noted expansion of the vaccination process through state, county and pharmacy clinics, and welcomed additions to eligible groups like restaurant and frontline hotel employees.

But manufacturers, he said, continue to deal with challenges caused by a majority of the workforce remaining unvaccinated, such as quarantines due to off-site contacts.

"They've been patient and understanding that the system needed to ramp up, but we share their belief that the time has come to open eligibility to their workers."

Stec calls for Lyme disease funding

ALBANY — State Sen. Dan Stec (R-Queensbury) recently joined fellow senators in a letter to Senate Maj. Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins to request $1.5 million to combat Lyme and other tick-borne diseases in the upcoming budget.

According to a press release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo's executive budget does not include any such funding and would cut both $250,000 in legislative additions that were part of the current year’s budget and $69,400 in annual Department of Health funding for research, prevention and detection efforts.

Stec, who sits on the Senate Health Committee and is an Adirondack 46er, noted the real concern over Lyme and tick-borne disease in the outdoors.

"Education is important, including knowing how to avoid being bitten, how to detect and properly remove a tick, and what to do with it," he said in a statement.

"So, too, is surveillance of tick prevalence and medical research into better diagnostics and treatments. On all of these fronts, our state should be doing a better job providing financial support.”

Stec said COVID-19 understandably pushed a lot of important health issues to the backburner.

“But we can’t lose sight of other diseases like Lyme, which if not detected early and successfully treated can have a devastating health impact.”

 

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