Legislative Priorities

Diana’s legislative priorities focus on putting people first by keeping people safe at home, safe at work and safe on the street.

Workers Safety

New York Health & Essential Rights Act (NY HERO ACT) – this will implement minimum health standards and penalize corporations that don’t protect their workers during COVID-19.

Carlos’s Law (S621)— Diana helped draft this legislation after winning a historic victory against Harco Construction in the death of Carlos Moncayo —  a 22 year-old construction worker who was buried alive at a construction site. The law raises the maximum fine for corporations who kill or injure a person from ten thousand dollars to one million dollars.

Wage Theft (S4405/A6795) — Diana helped draft this bill with Assemblymember Catalina Cruz (D-Queens) to reclassify wage theft as the more serious crime of larceny.

Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act — Diana supports improving patient and worker safety by establishing staff-to-patient ratios for nurses in hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities based on the type of care provided and number of patients.

EMPIRE Worker Protection Act — This bill would empower workers to file claims against their employers if and when they endanger their workers and violate State law.

Criminal Justice Reform

Proposed Legislation: Prosecutorial Misconduct Crime— Diana takes prosecutorial misconduct seriously, especially if that misconduct is used to purposefully convict, prosecute, and/or incarcerate an individual. Diana is proposing that a prosecutor who knowingly and intentionally withholds information proving the innocence of an individual convicted of or charged with a crime, he or she shall be guilty of a felony and investigated by the state Attorney General.

Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (S1527B)— Introduced by State Senator Liz Krueger, this bill would legalize growing and the use of cannabis by persons twenty-one years of age or older and exempts certain persons from prosecution for the use, consumption, display, production or distribution of cannabis. Florence believes our current laws on marijuana prohibition disproportionately targets communities of color and used as a crime of poverty.

Exonerees Right to Re-entry (S477/A34)— Exonerees should be entitled to the same re-entry services— public housing, claims court, and other benefits— as other formerly incarcerated persons, as well as additional benefits to ameliorate their wrongful conviction.

Releasing Grand Jury For Historical Importance (S316)— Any person should be able to petition for the release of records of grand jury proceedings on the ground of enduring historical importance. As Diana wrote in a CNN op-ed with Joey Jackson, “The grand jury system has endured because its intent was to prioritize the rights of the innocent….But what the [Breonna] Taylor case makes clear is that secrecy can also be used to subvert justice.”

Less is More NY Act (S1343C/A5493) — This bill ensures that The Department of Corrections and Community Supervision focuses resources on helping people successfully complete community supervision and avoid any future return to DOCCS custody or supervision.

Race Based, False Reporting Calls— In light of this summer when Amy Cooper falsely called 911 on Christian Cooper (no relation) in Central Park, State Senator Brian Benjamin and Assemblymember Felix Ortiz planned to introduce a bill that would classify racially motivated false reporting calls as a hate crime. Diana and co-author Joey Jackson welcomed the legislation in a joint CNN op-ed.

Gun Violence

Prohibiting Firearms For Those Convicted of Hate Crimes (S2361A/A6262)— From 2010-2015, roughly 46,500 hate crimes involved a gun nationwide. This bill would both protect our city’s diverse populations and prevent gun violence that would target vulnerable communities.

Transportation Safety

Sammy’s Law, which is named after Samuel Cohen-Eckstein, a 12-year-old boy killed by a speeding driver in 2013, which seeks to repeal the long-standing state limitation that prevents NYC from lowering the speed limits on streets without state approval.

Gender Based Justice

Adult Survivors Act (S66/A648)— The Adult Survivors Act would allow survivors of sexual abuse — who were over 18 at the time of their abuse — a one year lookback window to file a civil claim no matter how long ago the abuse happened. The ASA is modeled on the Child Victims Act, and is especially necessary to afford survivors a chance at civil justice when the criminal system has failed them. DA Vance failed to prosecute Harvey Weinstein, Jeffrey Epstein, and Dr. Robert Hadden to the fullest extent of the law leaving many survivors beyond the criminal statute of limitations. The next DA must not only aggressively prosecute the powerful, but advocate vociferously for the people— particularly women— Vance failed.

Rape is Rape (A749/S8279)— The rape statute is currently defined as vaginal penetration and treats oral and anal sexual conduct as separate crimes not included in rape. The “rape is rape” bill would remove the penetration requirement to prove rape and define it as either vaginal, anal, or oral “contact.” Expanding the definition to include anal or oral contact would also codify into law the reality that men and trans people can be raped. The current statute is based on the model penal code, drafted in 1962, which relied on outdated notions of sex, including the idea that sex between men was deviant, and therefore confined to the lesser count of sexual assault. The NYS District Attorney’s Association needlessly opposed this bill. DA Vance claimed it would create an insurmountable hindrance to consecutive sentencing. In fact, a simple clarification in the bill language would have allowed prosecutors across New York to more easily hold rapists accountable.

CCTV Testimony for Domestic Violence Victims (S609)— This bill would authorize closed-circuit television testimony for the survivors of domestic violence when testifying in court. Florence began her career prosecuting domestic violence cases, and was the first to prosecute a domestic violence case without the witness in open court.

Environmental Justice

NY State Fossil Fuel Divestment Act (A.1536-A/S.2126-A), requiring the NY State Comptroller to divest the state pension fund from fossil fuel holdings.

The Climate and Community investment act (S.7645), an act seeks to slowly transition NY to 100% renewable energy, create hundreds of thousands of jobs, protect workers currently in the fossil fuel industry and support the communities most impacted by climate change and pollution.

Support any and all legislative efforts that are associated with the New Green Deal, the Green New Deal for NYCHA or relatively similar to said bill in citywide, statewide or federal.

Same As No Same As (A.11149),relates to establishing the New York city public housing preservation trust for properties owned or operated by the New York city housing authority and providing for the issuance of certain bonds of the New York city housing development corporation.