Feedback: Differing Views On A New 'Mark's Law'

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It has been a long road for Mark's Law. 

The bill is named for Mark Davis (pictured), a Cape Vincent emergency medical technician who was shot and killed when responding to a call in 2009. 

The bill passed the state Senate twice last year, but got caught up both times in the Assembly. 

now, north country Assemblywoman Addie Russell (D. 115th District) is offering a new twist on the bill.

"We have the opportunity, being a new session, to do a better job and I think there was room for improvement in Senator (Patty) Ritchie's bill and I think this piece of legislation is an improvement," 

Russell calls it an enhanced Mark's Law. 

Like the first version of the bill, it elevates the murder of a first responder to murder in the first-degree with life without parole. 

The new version would also toughen penalties for people who help criminals get guns and limit the public disclosure of pistol permit holder information.

Senator Ritchie (R. - 48th District) says the new legislation comes as a surprise. 

She was under the impression that Russell was no longer supporting Mark's Law.

"I have to admit it's pretty frustrating as the sponsor of the bill not to have the assemblywoman reach out and clarify considering what came out of that office yesterday that she wasn't supportive at all," said Ritchie.

That said, Ritchie says she would like to take a look at Russell's enhanced version of Mark's Law. 

"If she has another version of the bill with different caveats, it's very important for me to get Mark's Law passed, so I would certainly be interested in taking a look at it," said Ritchie.

Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush (R. - 117th District) says he's concerned the new enhanced Mark's Law might be too complicated. 

However, he says he's willing to consider anything that would make the bill become a law. 

 

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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