In the New York State 2020-21 budget passed today and signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, the legislature included a key piece of legislation proposed by Governor Cuomo and strongly supported by Agudath Israel of America.
This bill, entitled the “No Hate in Our State Act” was originally introduced by the governor in his State of the State Address back in January which was attended by representatives of Agudath Israel. Coming just over a week after the heinous Chanukah stabbing in Monsey which came on the heels of the horrific murders in Jersey City, it was hailed as the toughest anti-hate law in the nation. Key pieces of the legislation are:
· Josef Neumann Hate Crimes Domestic Terrorism Act – Named in memory of Josef Neumann ob”m hy”d, who tragically succumbed just this week from injuries sustained in the attack, this legislation is the first in the nation to define hate-fueled murder as an act of domestic terrorism
· Securing Communities Against Hate – Expands the landmark $25 Million grant program to all vulnerable not-for-profits, including houses of worship
· Extra Support for State Police Hate Crimes Task Force – to the tune of $2 million
Just last week in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Agudath Israel publicly called on the legislature to enact this act as part of the budget package and is gratified to see its passage.
Shlomo Werdiger, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Agudah, thanked Governor Cuomo for “again demonstrating zero tolerance for anti-Semitism. You have consistently spoken out against hate, and with this legislation you have taken an extraordinary concrete step to back up your words with real action. Our community is deeply indebted to you.”
Rabbi David Zwiebel, Agudah’s executive vice president, said, “That the legislature and the Governor came together at a time like this to enact this landmark anti-hate legislation while everyone is preoccupied with the coronavirus is an eloquent testimonial to our government leaders’ appreciation of the critical importance of combating anti-Semitism. Haters are on notice: you are not welcome in New York State!”