Norris urges governor to sign legislation to help prevent drownings, leading cause of death for young children

Posted 16 December 2021 at 7:21 am

Press Release, Assemblyman Michael Norris

Assemblyman Mike Norris (R,C-Lockport) has written to Gov. Kathy Hochul encouraging her to sign bipartisan legislation (A.7734) into law. The bill would create a temporary commission to examine why childhood drownings are so prevalent in New York state, and take action to help protect children from drowning – including by increasing access to swimming lessons.

Michael Norris

“It is shocking to learn that drowning is the number one cause of death in young children still today. This is an issue that all of us care about, and that’s why I took the issue to a Democratic colleague from Queens, Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato, and we worked together to get legislation sponsored and passed in both houses in just one session,” said Norris. “I am so glad my colleagues came together on this bill, which passed unanimously. It’s now on Gov. Hochul’s desk awaiting her signature – but there are only a few more days left in the year for her to act to make this a law. I am calling on the Governor to signs this legislation so we can know we’ve all done everything we can to prevent childhood drownings.”

All legislation requires the signature of the governor before it can become law. If not signed into law, the bill would need to be repassed by both houses next year before it could be considered again. Norris said he is hopeful that Hochul will sign the bill before the year ends.

Norris originally introduced the legislation (A.6141) and worked cooperative with Assemblywoman Pheffer Amato on a revised bill (A.7734).

“Here in Western New York with the Great Lakes, the Erie Canal and so many opportunities for wonderful fishing and watersports, there are a lot of reasons to want New Yorkers to be educated about water safety and know how to swim,” Norris said. “It’s not just about going to the beach or a swimming pool – anyone can fall into a body of water at any time and need to know how to safely get back to shore. That’s why this legislation is so important, so vital to New Yorkers’ public safety. This Commission’s work will no doubt save many lives of New Yorkers for decades to come.”