The Supreme Court and The Individual Healthcare Mandate

By Beth Ensell, Albany Government Law Review

On March 23, 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordability Care Act (PPACA) into law.  The law added a provision to the U.S. Tax Code, which requires every citizen, national, or alien lawfully in the United States, to maintain “minimum essential coverage” for themselves and their dependents, subject to penalty.[1]  This has been dubbed the “individual mandate” and touted by PPACA naysayers as “socialized medicine.”[2]  The provision also remains the focus of several ongoing lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of PPACA.[3] Continue reading “The Supreme Court and The Individual Healthcare Mandate”

Dissolution of Out-of-State Civil Unions in New York: Dickerson v. Thompson

By Rebekah Addy, Albany Government Law Review

    Introduction        

On July 24, 2011, the New York Legislature enacted the Marriage Equality Act, which permits marriage between persons of the same-sex and provides that valid same-sex marriages entered into outside of New York will be recognized and treated the same as in-state marriages.[1]  The New York State Bar Association (“NYSBA”) “has long supported the new law” stating that it is a “triumph for equality” granting “important protections and legal rights” to same-sex couples.[2]  However, NYSBA president Vincent E. Doyle III also noted that “many areas of the law are unclear” and “there are many open issues about how the law will be applied.”[3]  In light of that recognition, NYSBA produced a Marriage Equality FAQ brochure developed by a panel of legal experts, dated July 18, 2011, seeking to help “couples, attorneys and others navigate the new legal landscape.”[4] Continue reading “Dissolution of Out-of-State Civil Unions in New York: Dickerson v. Thompson”

Keeping it in the Family: The New York State Kinship Caregiver Program

By Matthea Ross, Albany Government Law Review

Background

Many programs in New York State are in danger of being cut due to budget cuts.  One example is the Kinship Caregiver Program.[1]  However, this program should be maintained because it provides children with the stability of family during times when their lives are being greatly disrupted. [2]

Kinship Care is defined as “the full time care, nurturing and protection of children by relatives, . . . godparents, stepparents, or any adult who has a kinship bond with a child,”[3] including close family friends depending on the jurisdiction.[4]  Often considered a way of preserving the family, placing children with relatives helps children maintain those familial connections.[5]  Continue reading “Keeping it in the Family: The New York State Kinship Caregiver Program”