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BOE Member Travels to Albany in Support of Several Bills

In March, BOE member Brett Barnes traveled with a group of stakeholders to Albany in support of S.8531(Holyman-Sigal/A.9110(Rosenthal). The bills would eliminate a bunch of loopholes in our current flavored vape law that would allow for enforcement of the already passed ban. After gathering and entering the Capitol Building the group started with a press conference explaining the bills. The authors from each house spoke, along with a member of NYSSBA, Sidney Joyner, Trustee at South Huntington U.F. School District Board of Education. Our Assembly representative, Dr Anna Kelles, took the time to attend, and speak to the merits of the bill, and nicotine’s adverse effects on the teen brain.

After our press conference the group broke into 4 groups to speak with representatives from the Assembly and Senate. The group met with Elizabeth Reid, RMS and other group members from the American Heart Association, Association of County Health Officials, American Nurses Association, Tobacco-Free Communities, and NYSSBA. The group also visited Senator Gallivan, Assemblyman Steck, Assemblywoman Gunther, Assemblywoman Kelles, and Assemblyman Hevesi’s offices. During these visits the group was able to consolidate support for the bills. In the group’s time they succeeded in building support from all the offices, and gained 3 co-sponsors of the bills. Mr. Barnes and the group were able to do some good and open some eyes to the situation of what flavored vapes are doing to our kids. The group also exposed the parties that are hooking our kids on nicotine with flavored nicotine products.

Mr. Barnes and the group did their best to represent not just the school board, but the entirety of our district and our surrounding districts, who face these issues daily.