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Monday, January 31, 2022

4.6° at 6:15 am (3.5° at 7:45 am) Monday 1/31/22:
News Briefs

EDUCATORS MUST INVEST HISTORIC LEVELS  of state aid to bolster services and programs for elementary school students, including earlier, more efficient screenings for learning disabilities and mental health issues, education leaders said Wednesday. The majority of a child’s educational foundation occurs from pre-Kindergarten through fourth grade. However, NYS Education Department Commissioner Betty A. Rosa told lawmakers during a virtual budget hearing on education Wednesday that the state Education Department equally prioritizes all grade levels. But Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes, D-Buffalo, countered that approach, and said a growing number of students who graduate from New York schools lack the educational preparation when they begin collegiate programs at State University of New York and City University of New York campuses. (Source: Kate Lisa, Johnson Newspaper Corp.)

MEMBERS OF THE FARM LABORERS WAGE BOARD voted 2 to 1 on Friday to reduce the overtime threshold from 60 hours down to 40 over the next 10 years, reducing the threshold by four hours every two years. A member of the Assembly Committee on Agriculture, Assemblyman Steve Hawley, R-Batavia, said he fears the decision made on Friday to lower the overtime threshold for farmworkers will be significantly responsible for the end of many family farms.

LEGISLATIVE LEADERS WANT POLICYMAKERS TO STOP improperly linking all public safety issues to the state’s bail laws and pose other criminal justice solutions, they said Tuesday, hours after court officials said New York judges want greater discretion in deciding an offender’s release. Most judges who sit on criminal cases in the state’s Unified Court System would advocate for more discretion in deciding to detain or release a charged criminal offender, Court Administration Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks said. Recently released data from 2021 arraignments revealed about 2% of those out on bail were rearrested for a violent crime. GOP leaders continue to tie the state’s bail laws to rising violent crimes — a trend seen in cities across the nation since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In NYC, about 30%, or 906 of 2,986 people who posted bail were rearrested in 2020. In the rest of the state, about 32%, or 619 out of 1,963 people who posted bail, were rearrested, Division of Criminal Justice Services Commissioner Rossana Rosado said citing statewide 2020 arraignment data.

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