believe it is imperative that we understand the false choice we are faced with regarding involuntarily locking up people with untreated mental illness, and homeless individuals who may or may not have a psychiatric disability.

First, these individuals are untreated and/or unsheltered because we in state government have failed them for decades, especially the remarkably stupid austerity from the last administration that has been shrinking our capacity to provide mental health care, underfunding shelters, and refusing to support rent subsidies
for 12 straight years.

Second, even if we bow to this press release push to lock up people, we still lack funding for 600 mental health beds and outpatient treatment for those who want to get help, let alone those that we will be locking up against their will.

Finally, the historical context must not be ignored. Giving any government the right to lock up people with diagnosed or presumed mental illness, is one of the most dangerous red flags in human history.

I implore all of my colleagues and Governor Hochul to not endanger who we are as Americans and New Yorkers by adopting this dangerous and functionally useless proposal. We are better than this.

Andrew Hevesi
Member of the Assembly 28th District
The Kendra’s law expansion passed as part of the FY2023 state budget bill – Ed.