(Long Island, NY) Assemblyman Michael Montesano (R,I,C-Glen Head) joined many of his Assembly colleagues in voting for legislation that would protect the legal rights of vulnerable or underage New Yorkers, specifically those who have been victims of abuse, by providing them counsel throughout the investigation process.
This bill would ensure that those who receive services through the Office of Mental Health (OMH) or Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) are provided with counsel in the event that they are interviewed by the Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs. The bill would also require notice to the parent or guardian prior to the interview.
“By implementing this legislation we are ensuring fair representation and guidance for those who require assistance and are involved in an investigation process through the Justice Center,” said Montesano. “As representatives, it is only right that we stand up for those whose voices may otherwise go unheard. I believe it is essential to provide such support and counsel to these vulnerable or underage members of our community, especially as they experience a difficult or overwhelming time.”
Montesano said he is hopeful that the Senate will recognize the importance of this legislation and take action during the remaining days of session.