In a continued effort to encourage young adults to live on Long Island and build their future in Suffolk County, the Legislature’s presiding officer, DuWayne Gregory, took a page from states and communities throughout the country that have created programs to encourage homeownership. Last year, Presiding Officer Gregory introduced legislation that authorized Suffolk County’s Department of Economic Development and Planning to create a pilot program through which young adults can pay down student loans through creative financing while enjoying the benefits of home ownership.
“This generation of young adults is faced with a tight and expensive rental market, high home values, burgeoning property taxes and crushing student debt,” said Presiding Officer Gregory. “It is imperative that Suffolk County consider ideas and programs that can stem the flow of young residents off Long Island and present them with housing opportunities that will entice them to stay here.”
The Economic Development Department has been tasked with investigating ways in which to create the framework and eligibility requirements for a pilot program that may include – among other things – financial options for folding school debt into mortgage payments to encourage homeownership, to provide recommendations for ways in which to reduce student loans, and propose a budget and potential sources of revenue to fund the program.
Legislator Bill Lindsay III was joined by District Attorney Tim Sini, Sheriff Erroll Toulon, Laura Ahearn of the Crime Victims Center/Parents for Megan’s Law, and his colleagues in county government to announce new legislation to combat the heinous act of “revenge porn,” the malicious act of sharing images and videos without consent. The law establishes criminal and civil liability for individuals who disclose intimate images of another individual.
“Cell phones, photographs, and videos go hand-in-hand in this day and age,” said Legislator Lindsay. “It is easy for a person to snap a photo and send an intimate image to a partner on their cell phone; unfortunately, at a later time the recipient could decide to maliciously share the image without consent, with third parties. Sharing an intimate image that was not meant for distribution is a despicable form of retribution that we as legislators must work towards preventing. It is time for Suffolk County to protect our residents from becoming a potential victim of this crime. This malicious act ruins lives and haunts the victim throughout their endeavors.”
Violation of this law is an unclassified misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year’s imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory and Legislators Sarah Anker, Rob Calarco, Monica Martinez and William Spencer co-sponsored.
If you feel that you may be a victim of revenge porn, call the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office at 631-853-5602 or send an email to SCDAPhotoExtortion@suffolkcountyny.gov.