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Gov. Paterson signs into law: Health Research Science Board; corporate blood drives legislation

March 17, 2008, Governor David A. Paterson has signed five bills into law as part of his first day of activities as New York State's 55th Governor. (1) These bills aim to enhance subway track safety, boost the Green Thumb Environmental Program, encourage corporate blood drives, and improve the Health Research Science Board. The five bills that Governor Paterson signed into law covered a range of issues important to New York State residents.
Encouraging corporate blood drives: legislation eliminated a statutory provision that could create a disincentive for employers to hold blood drives for their employees (2).

Section 1 amends subdivisions 2 and 5 of section 202-j of the Labor law to add an option for employers to allow employees hours of time twice a year to donate blood at a convenient time and place established by the employer and clarifies what guidelines the commissioner of labor will develop. This law will guarantee employees sufficient time to donate blood while providing employers with options on how to most conveniently meet its requirements.

Improve the Health Research Science board: legislation changed/clarified the composition of the Health Research Science Board, including with regard to the appointment of cancer survivors as voting members.
Section 1 amends subdivisions 1 and 2 of section 2410 of the public health law by clarifying that the number of members of the health research science board will be 17 voting, 3 non-voting regional members and 3 non-voting ex-officio members... also increases the number of scientific members by one, for a total of 12, and authorizes the Governor to appoint six new regional members (3 voting members and 3 non-voting members). Two of these regional member appointments will made upon the recommendation of the Temporary President of the Senate and two will be made upon the recommendation of the Speaker of the Assembly...further reiterates the regional rotation of appointments and clarifies that the Governor will appoint one voting breast cancer survivor and one voting prostate or testicular cancer survivor.

(1) http://www.state.ny.us/governor/press/press_0317081.html
(2)S.6490/A.9429
(3) S. 6552/A.9464
see below for powers/duties of the Health Research Sciences Board

Powers and duties of the board include surveying state agencies, boards, programs and other state governmental entities to assess what, if any, relevant data has been/ is being collected which may be of use to researchers engaged in breast, prostate or testicular cancer research; consult with the CDC, the NIH, the Federal Agency For Health Care Policy and Research, the NAS and other organizations/entities which may be involved in cancer research to solicit both information regarding breast, prostate and testicular cancer research projects that are currently being conducted and recommendations for future research projects and solicit, receive, and review applications from public and private
agencies and organizations and qualified research institutions for grants from the breast cancer research and education fund in addition to other powers and duties.

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