New York and North Carolina are the only two states that start the age of adult criminal responsibility at 16. This means teenagers wind up in adult correctional facilities like Riker’s Island and are tried in adult criminal court, often resulting in lifelong criminal records. Youth housed in adult facilities are also at considerably higher risk of being injured and/or sexually assaulted and are much more likely to commit suicide.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: The Democrats and Governor Cuomo want to increase the age of responsibility to 18 and move these trials to family court. The Democratic Assembly’s plan also calls for an additional $5 million to fund these changes and to improve facilities for youth. The IDC says they support it, but in actuality they outlined the exact same proposal as the Republicans and Simcha Felder.
Actions speak louder than words: the IDC is allowing the Party of Trump to water down Raise the Age, so that even if a bill with that name passes, it won’t protect 16 and 17 year olds from adult incarceration, abuse, and recidivism. Why not pass the Democratic version of Raise the Age that includes the strongest protections for kids?
What is the IDC?
The Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) – led by Bronx State Senator Jeff Klein – is a group of turncoat NY State Senators who were elected to office as Democrats but have a “majority coalition” with Republicans, giving them control of the Senate. They include: Marisol Alcantara (Manhattan), Tony Avella (Queens), David Carlucci (Rockland), Jesse Hamilton, (Brooklyn), Jeff Klein (Bronx), Jose Peralta (Queens), Diane Savino (Staten Island) and David Valesky (Syracuse area).
The IDC get personal perks in exchange for empowering the Republicans, like better office space, bigger staff budgets, and more computers. They also get allocations for their district, underfunding the rest of the state.
Who is Simcha Felder?
A Brooklyn State Senator who runs on the Democratic, Republican and Conservative Party lines, and caucuses with the Republicans to get more for his district.
The Senate Republicans love Donald Trump
They are 100% anti-choice and anti-LGBT. They promote anti-immigrant legislation that harms entire communities.
The IDC has NO real influence to push progressive legislation
As disgraced Republican former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said about the IDC: “[Jeff Klein] is going to be co-coalition leader, which means nothing. I’m going to be president of the senate, I’m going to be majority leader, I’m going to control everything. I’m going to control who is on what committees, what legislation comes to the floor, the budget—everything.” There’s no reason to think this arrangement has changed under current Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan.
By giving the Republicans control of the NY State Senate, the IDC and Simcha Felder have let them block:
- DREAM Act to provide tuition assistance to children of undocumented immigrants
- NYS Liberty Act to protect immigrants by making NY a Sanctuary State
- Reproductive Health Act to codify Roe v. Wade in New York law
- GENDA to protect LGBT New Yorkers from discrimination
- Voting Reform including early voting and automatic voter registration
- Criminal Justice Reform including “Raise the Age”
- Campaign Finance Reform and Ethics Reform to clean up Albany corruption
- New York Health Act to provide Single Payer Healthcare in New York State