Erie County Legislature Urges NYS Governor to Sign Bill
When food allergies affect someone in your own family, it’s time to turn talk into action. Erie County legislator Peter Savage was in a great position to do just that, and has been a wonderful supporter of our efforts to have “student carry” laws passed. Read the full story here.
Member Peter Savage helps support Student Medications Carry Bill
By Kristen Stewart| September 15th, 2014
When Erie County Legislature member Peter Savage and his family signed up for the recent FARE Walk for Food Allergy in Buffalo, he was hoping to raise funds for the cause and awareness about food allergies. He was not looking to mix business and pleasure…it just worked out that way.
It all started when his youngest daughter was diagnosed with a severe food allergy a year ago at the age of one. “Certainly when you have children you become more aware of these and other issues,” he says. “Through that I’ve become very focused on working to try to advocate and increase awareness so that people understand the severity, especially with young people.”
While this is his greater goal, the Saturday walk in August was simply meant to be a family activity. That changed, however, after he began talking to other participants. He ran into a friend who he hadn’t realized was also dealing with allergy issues and met other families in similar circumstances. He also spoke with allergy awareness advocates.
His conversations quickly became a call to action. “They said you have a voice and they encouraged me to get involved,” remembers Peter. He and his staff did some research and then did just that.
Peter’s first focus became Senate Bill S7758-2013 and Assembly Bill A9334-2013 that among other things allow students to carry and use medical treatments and devices at school and at school events. These bills were both passed by the state Senate and Assembly last spring. All they need are Governor Andrew Cuomo’s signature to become law. Toward that end Peter sponsored a resolution strongly encouraging the Governor to act. His fellow legislators—all 10 of them—agreed.
“It’s rare for all of the members of a body, Republican, Democrat and Independent, to sign on to something for support regardless of party affiliation,” he says. “I think that sends a strong message and I hope the united front will be even more powerful for the Governor and others around the state to see that we’re one voice on this issue here in Erie County. Hopefully we can get this and other pieces of legislation passed that will not only raise awareness but will help assure our kids are safe.”
As to the reality of whether the bill will be signed into law, he’s keeping his fingers crossed. He hasn’t heard anything definitively one way or the other—and understands this is just one of many bills on a wide variety of topics needing to be reviewed. But he has spoken with the Governor’s staff that has given assurances they are going to discuss it with him.
In the meantime he will keep working on a variety of issues that affect the people of Erie County. He just took office this year when a vacancy came available and as that term closes out he is running again to hopefully attain a full 2-year term. With several more pieces of legislation related to allergies and asthma at varying stages in New York State, he has plenty of opportunity to continue making a difference in the allergy advocacy arena.
To learn more about Legislator Peter Savage visit his website.
To encourage Governor Cuomo to sign the bill, contact his office by phone at (518) 474-8390 or through the form on his website.