Enacts the access for new Americans act; directs the office of temporary and disability assistance to implement an access for new Americans program; describes such program as including, civic and English classes, assistance with immigration requirements and related legal services, language translation services, employment referrals, and other related services; and provides such program shall be funded through grants distributed by the office of temporary and disability assistance as appropriated to such office for such program.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the social services law, in relation to enacting the access for new Americans act
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill would allow the Office of Temporary Disability Assistance to administer funds directly to community based organizations for the purpose of providing services to immigrants and new Americans including but not limited to pre-citizenship and citizenship services, English classes, legal services, and employment services.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: This bill would add a new section 140 to the social services law.
JUSTIFICATION: As the immigrant community continues to grow in New York State, services are required in order for them to become better adjusted in our country. Relatively simple issues such as how to apply for citizenship or how to get legal assistance can become daunting tasks for one who is new to our state and our nation.
Within the Office of Temporary Disability Assistance (OTDA) exists the Bureau of Refugee and Immigration Affairs (BRIA). BRIA's mission is to direct resources to assist refugees and their families in achieving economic and social self-sufficiency and to aid other legal immigrants with their transition to life in the United States.
While the services provided by OTDA and BRIA are successful in their family based approach, much more can be done. Currently, almost half of the funds allocated for these programs and services are being spent administratively and not for the intended purpose of immigrant and new American assistance. Community based organizations on the front lines of providing these services know how to implement effective programs and how to best carry 011t services immigrants and new Americans desire and need.
This legislation would authorize, on a more wide scale level, OTDA and BRIA to allocate funds to specific community based organizations in order to assist them in their efforts to help immigrants and new Americans integrate successfully. As provided for in this legislation, a steady stream of funding through the state budget for these services will allow the state to better assist community based organizations with the vital programs and services they provide.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2007-2010 - Referred to Social Services 2005-2006 - Referred to Social Services 2003-2004 - Referred to Social Services
Subject to state budget appropriations.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the 180th day after it has become law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3876 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE March 8, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. ESPAILLAT -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Social Services AN ACT to amend the social services law, in relation to enacting the access for new Americans act THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Short title. This act shall be known and may be cited as "the access for new Americans act". S 2. The social services law is amended by adding a new section 140 to read as follows: S 140. ACCESS FOR NEW AMERICANS PRE-CITIZENSHIP SERVICES. 1. THE OFFICE OF TEMPORARY AND DISABILITY ASSISTANCE SHALL IMPLEMENT AN ACCESS FOR NEW AMERICANS PROGRAM. SUCH PROGRAM SHALL PROVIDE PRE-CITIZENSHIP SERVICES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, CIVIC AND ENGLISH CLASSES, ASSISTANCE WITH IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS AND RELATED LEGAL SERVICES, LANGUAGE TRANSLATION SERVICES, EMPLOYMENT REFERRALS, AND OTHER RELATED SERVICES NECESSARY TO ASSIST IMMIGRANTS. 2. SUCH PROGRAM SHALL BE ADMINISTERED BY THE OFFICE OF TEMPORARY AND DISABILITY ASSISTANCE AND FUNDS SHALL BE MADE AVAILABLE TO LOCAL AND COMMUNITY-BASED ORGANIZATIONS THROUGH GRANTS DISTRIBUTED BY THE OFFICE OF TEMPORARY AND DISABILITY ASSISTANCE AS APPROPRIATED TO SUCH OFFICE FOR SUCH PROGRAM AND ITS PURPOSES. S 3. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become a law, provided however, that effective immediate- ly, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective date are authorized and directed to be made and completed on or before such effective date.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD04248-01-1