Breastfeeding jury exemption passes


Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign a bill that would provide an excuse for women to avoid jury duty while they’re still breastfeeding their infants.

The bill — introduced by Soundview Assemblyman Marcos Crespo and Brooklyn state Sen. Velmanette Montgomery — passed both chambers last week. It would allow women choosing to breastfeed their infant the ability to postpone their call to jury service by up to two years.

Breastfeeding is a critical time in the development of a child’s cognitive and cerebral formation, according to Crespo’s office. The bill, when signed into law, will provide an excuse to miss jury duty, with a doctor’s note.


New York cats ready to keep their claws

Another bill awaiting the governor’s signature is designed to end the practice of declawing cats in the state.

Introduced by Manhattan Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal — and co-sponsored by Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz — the potential law would impose a $1,000 fine on veterinarians who declawed cats for no valid reason.

“After years of advocacy, New York State is poised to become the first state in the nation to ban the cruel and unnecessary practice of cat declawing,” Rosenthal said, in a release. “Cat declawing is a horrific, yet often-practiced surgery that leads to a lifetime of pain and discomfort for thousands of cats.

“Today, though, every cat and kitten in New York State lands on its feet as we prepare to make New York the best state for cats to live in the United States.”

The procedure used to declaw cats involves removing bones and severing tendons, nerves and ligaments that allow for normal paw function, according to the Assembly.

Declawing already has been banned in 10 California cities.