December 29, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Schuylerville) recently introduced the VA Safe Holidays Act.

According to a press release, the bill would aim to protect veterans from identity theft and fraud by designating Nov. 1 through Jan. 15 as the period in which the Department of Veterans Affairs enhances its promotion of identity theft prevention resources.

The legislation would also direct the VA to submit a plan to Congress detailing its efforts to promote awareness and assist veterans who experience identity theft within 90 days of enactment.

Veterans reported more than 201,000 cases of fraud and identity theft in 2019 and 2020 alone, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

“Our veterans have selflessly worked to protect our country, and now it is our turn to protect them from senseless crimes of fraud that can have detrimental impacts on their future,” Stefanik said in a statement.

“I am proud to introduce this legislation that will bring resources and awareness to our veterans to protect them from the crimes of identity theft and fraud.”

Schumer calls for mobile COVID testing sites

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) recently called on top Federal Emergency Management Agency officials to deploy 200 mobile COVID testing sites in New York State.

He urged FEMA Assistant Administrator Keith Turi and Acting FEMA Region 2 Administrator Chad Gorman to send 100 across the state and 100 to New York City, according to a press release.

“Upstate New York is seeing record high COVID cases, and with variants like omicron already here, we must stop the spread in its tracks and that means testing, testing, testing,” Schumer said in a statement.

“That is why I am calling on FEMA to immediately deploy mobile testing sites across Upstate New York, to give struggling communities the support they need to keep their residents safe. Especially as people travel over the winter holidays, easy access to testing is critical to ensure the safety of themselves and loved ones.”

Hochul signs bills to help long-term care facilities, residents

ALBANY — Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-N.Y.) recently signed a package of bills to help long-term care facilities and provide assistance to the long-term care system.

According to a press release, the four bills:

• Direct the commissioner of health to implement an infection inspection audit and checklist on nursing homes.

• Enact a series of reforms to the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program and related programs to increase accessibility for residents of nursing homes and residential care facilities.

• Establish the “reimagining long-term care task force” to study the state of long-term care services in the state.

• Direct the commissioner of economic development, in consultation with the commissioners of health, labor and the Office of Children and Family Services to study, develop and implement a long-term strategy to support the growth of the caregiving industry in New York State.

“As New Yorkers, we have a moral obligation to protect the most vulnerable among us,” Hochul said in a statement.

“People living in long-term care facilities deserve the best possible treatment, and their loved ones deserve to know these facilities are providing compassionate care and protection. These bills will help build the long-term care system back stronger and ensure quality care and support is available for the New Yorkers who need it most.”

Read the full article here.