New state Sen. Kathy Marchione, R-Halfmoon, said she is abiding by her campaign pledge to oppose unfunded mandates.
When she was approached about legislation to require adult homes and assisted-living facilities to conduct background checks on job applicants, she was concerned about the cost to businesses.
“I said, ‘I can’t support a background check on a small business because that’s a $100 or $105 charge (per report). Can we look at accomplishing the same goal and still protect people?’ ” Marchione said in a telephone interview on Monday.
So, instead, Marchione is introducing legislation to require adult homes and assisted-living facilities to check state and national sex-offender registries for the names of all job applicants.
There is no cost to check the registries.
“The legislation will be out, probably by the end of next week,” said Marchione, referring to her first bill, which she is sponsoring along with Assemblyman James Tedisco, R-Glenville.
The bill is in reaction to the recent arrest of a Level 3 sex offender who allegedly sexually abused a 91-year-old woman at an adult home in Loudonville, Tedisco said in a press release.
The bill does not yet have any Democratic co-sponsors.
“Certainly, we’ll be looking for sponsors on both sides of the aisle for both the Senate and the Assembly,” said Marchione, who begins her first legislative session on Wednesday.
Marchione said she also will be co-sponsoring legislation with Sen. Mark Grisanti, R-Buffalo, to return payments to municipalities that host video lottery terminal operations to fiscal year 2008-’09 levels.
She and her staff began work last week.
“We’re doing our very best to hit the ground running as my staff is still learning how to use the computer system,” she said.
Marchione, the former Saratoga County clerk, won election in November, after defeating incumbent Roy McDonald, R-Saratoga, in a September primary.
She represents the new 43rd Senate District, which includes Columbia County and parts of Saratoga, Rensselaer and Washington counties.
Marchione said her goal is to make New York a state where it is easier for business to create jobs.
“I think it’s really a back-to-basics approach to reduce the size and burden and crushing costs of state government,” she said.
Marchione said her entire staff is working temporarily out of her Albany office at the state Capitol to get oriented.
“At this point, all staff has been brought to Albany just because there is much to do and there was little time to do it before session started,” she said.
Later this month, she will open satellite offices in Halfmoon and at the Columbia County government office building.
Eventually, she will open a main district office at a new private office building that is expected to be constructed on Route 146 in Halfmoon, she said.