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New York Lawmakers Rally For VAWA Reauthorization

Desiree D'Iorio
U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer speaks alongside local officials, domestic violence survivors and their advocates at the Nassau County Courthouse in Mineola on Tuesday.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says millions of federal dollars for Long Island’s domestic violence programs have been held up by the Senate. 

The New York Democrat joined local elected officials and domestic violence survivors to urge a Senate vote on reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. 

The law expired in February. The reauthorization bill would extend it for five years, and provide new money for law enforcement, advocacy programs and shelters.

It passed the House in April, but the Senate has not voted on it. Schumer says the delay puts lives at risk.  

“The message today is simple: unlock Long Island’s access to these funds by reauthorizing this bipartisan law. It is very, very important. It’s been sitting there for six months.” 

The bill would also close the so-called “boyfriend loophole.” That would make it illegal for a victim’s dating partners to own a firearm if they’re convicted of abuse. 

The NRA opposes the bill. 

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office could not be reached for comment.

Desiree reports on the lives of military service members, veterans, and their families for WSHU as part of the American Homefront project. Born and raised in Connecticut, she now calls Long Island home.