Weekend News Brief
Written by Tom Tharp on May 21, 2022
A large police presence responded to Scottsville Road near the Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport Friday morning to investigate the report of a “possible active shooter.” Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter said there were no injuries reported, no evidence of an active shooter, and there is no threat to the community. Sheriff Baxter also said that the threat originated from messages sent by RG&E employees after a colleague was let go, causing rumors to circulate. The police presence was significant; responding agencies included the FBI, New York State Police, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, and the Rochester Police Department. Police said multiple buildings were searched and occupants evacuated. A K9 sweep was also conducted. The area of Scottsville Road near the airport reopened to traffic shortly before 2 p.m.
Assemblyman Hawley called on the governor and state Criminal Justice Commissioner to have the state Domestic Terrorism Task Force to meet for the first time since it was established. Despite the fact that the DTTF was established in 2020, the task force has never met, commissioned any studies or issued a single report, even though the legislation convening the task force had specified they were required to meet on a quarterly basis. The task force was created to collect and disseminate information about how to identify potential mass shooters, protect vulnerable areas they could target and prevent mass shootings, among other responsibilities. Hawley said “It is frustrating to think that even as our state has faced a significant increase in violent crime in the last several years, the governor has allowed this task force to sit on their hands and leave us unprepared for tragedies like the one that took place in Buffalo less than a week ago.”
A bill to help victims of sexual assault is set to pass the state Assembly. The Adult Survivors Act will give sexual assault survivors a one-year look back window in which they can file a civil suit against their attacker for abuse that occurred after they were 18-years old despite existing statutes of limitations. While the bill was passed unanimously in the state Senate two years in a row, it hasn’t moved forward in the Assembly, until now. The bill was modeled after the Child Victims Act. Signed into law in 2019, CVA helps survivors of childhood sexual abuse get justice as adults by providing them a one-year window in which they can file civil action against their abuser even if the statute of limitations expired.
Friday, Governor Hochul announced an increase in child care subsidies. The State will pay 2 billion dollars to increase the number of families receiving child care financial assistance and the amount child care providers are paid. The $2 billion includes $894 million in New York State Child Care Block Grant new funding passed in the recent State Budget, more than $500 million in funds previously allocated to local departments of social services districts that remains unspent, and more than $600 million in existing COVID-19 pandemic funding. This is part of 7 billion dollars promised over the next 4 years.