Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move April 29, 2016

News Site Brooklyn

Donovan Flood Insurance Mitigation Act Passes House

Congressman Dan Donovan
Congressman Dan Donovan

The U.S. House of Representatives this week passed legislation Congressman Dan Donovan (Southern Brooklyn, Staten Island) introduced to address altered post-Sandy damage inspection reports and how it relates to insurance claims.

Damage reports were the focus of post-Sandy investigations after 60 Minutes revealed some reports were fraudulently altered to minimize damage claims. During the claims adjustment process, an engineering report may pass through multiple reviewers before final approval or rejection. The policyholder has no visibility into this process or into any of the changes that might be made to the original report.

Donovan’s bill requires engineers and adjustors to provide copies of their reports to the policyholder before providing copies to anybody else. This would eliminate the opportunity to fraudulently alter an engineering report without the policyholder’s knowledge.

The bill also addresses the process through which flood insurance policyholders may appeal their claim decision. Right now, those who wish to contest a claim denial may appeal to FEMA or file a lawsuit within one year of the original denial. Once a lawsuit is filed, though, the FEMA appeal ends without decision. This flawed procedure forces policyholders to file lawsuits if FEMA does not resolve the appeal within a year, costing taxpayers money and placing added burdens on flood victims. Donovan’s bill extends the deadline for filing suit to allow claimants time to first pursue their FEMA appeal in full.

“Two of the biggest reasons I went to Washington were to secure health treatment for heroes who worked at Ground Zero after 9/11, and to help those affected by Superstorm Sandy going through the ‘storm after the storm.’ I accomplished the first, and I’m so proud to take this step toward accomplishing the second,” Donovan said.

Clarke Participates In Forum Promoting Public Health

Congresswoman Yvette Clarke
Congresswoman Yvette Clarke

Flatbush Congresswoman Yvette Clarke will join fellow House Democrats on the Committee on Energy and Commerce along with the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus for a forum on “Achieving Health Equity: The Path Forward”- a discussion on health disparities and how to eliminate them.

Last year, minority members on the House Energy and Commerce sent a letter to Chairman Upton and Ranking Member Pallone urging the committee to spotlight health disparities and the innovative approaches to eventually eliminating them. This forum is the Committee’s response to the letter.

“Health disparities affect all aspects of life. This National Minority Health Month, we are reminded of the racial inequality and the socio-economic differences that have adversely impacted minority health outcomes for decades. Through this forum, I hope to encourage others to take additional steps to close the gaps in health care outcomes that persist,” said Clarke.

The forum on “Achieving Health Equity: The Path Forward” will focus on eliminating the health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities. A variety of stakeholders who represent a diverse and inclusive array of experts on this topic have been asked to contribute to the conversation.

The forum is slated for between 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., today in the U.S. Capitol, Room HVC 215 in Washington DC.

Gilibrand, Colleagues Request Meeting To Address Sexual Assault In The Military

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S Senator Kirtsen Gillibrand (D-NY) joined a bipartisan list of senators including Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Rand Paul (R-KY), Dean Heller (R-NV) and Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) in writing a letter to Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter requesting a meeting to discuss new reports that allege the U.S. Department of Defense deliberately misled members of Congress as they were considering policy to address sexual assault in the military.

The letter follows a report compiled by the advocacy organization Protect Our Defenders (POD), and follow-up reporting by theAssociated Press, found that Department of Defense officials provided inaccurate information in order to affect the policy debate in Congress over sexual assault in the military. The reports found that cases cited by Department of Defense officials were inaccurately characterized, and that relevant information was omitted.

“We are deeply disturbed by the allegations in the two reports that the Department deliberately misled members as they were debating an issue of policy and oversight,” the Senators wrote in the letter. “We are sure that you share our concerns and request a meeting with you to discuss these allegations as soon as possible.”

Parker, Persaud Take Stand Against Cyberbullying

Sen. Kevin Parker
Sen. Kevin Parker

Brooklyn State Senators Kevin Parker (Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Ditmas Park, Kensington, Windsor Terrace, and Park Slope) and Roxanne Persaud ( Canarsie, Mill Basin, Bergen Beach, East New York) Monday will join a coalition of anti-cyberbullying and community organizations for a press conference  calling for the passage of New York State Senate Bill S5871-A, the E-Impersonation Prevention Act.

Parker, Persaud along with Central Brooklyn Sen. Jesse Hamilton and Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Queens) sponsored new landmark legislation that will change a cyberbullying charge from a misdemeanor to a felony and can impose a much stiffer prison sentence for perpetrators.

Assemblywoman Roxanne Persaud
Assemblywoman Roxanne Persaud

Assemblywoman Linda B. Rosenthal (D-Manhattan) is also introducing a companion bill in the Assembly.  If this legislation is passed, New York will be one of very few states in the nation where convicted cyberbullies can receive meaningful jail time for their crimes.

Cyberstalking, on-line harassment and cyberbullying can happen to anyone including high-profile people from actress Jennifer Lawrence to elected officials such as New York City Councilman Ritchie Torres.  However, while people in the public eye have the resources and the notoriety to defend themselves from virtual harassment, and the means to fight back against false postings on the Internet, many New Yorkers lack viable options for legal redress when they fall victim to cyberbullying.

Victims often suffer from embarrassment, shame, and a loss of control over their lives and a sense of who they are. In this age of advanced technology, twenty-four hour connectivity and social networking, women and girls are especially subjected to sexual taunts and shaming through verbal assaults on-line. According to, girls are almost twice as likely as boys to be both victims and perpetrators of cyberbullying.

The press conference is slated for 11 a.m., Monday, May 2 on the steps of City Hall.

Condolences To Assemblyman Cymbrowitz

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz
Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz

KCP sends condolences to Sheepshead Bay Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz on the passing of his mother, Sonia Cymbrowitz.

Funeral services will take place on Sunday, May 1st at 11:30 a.m. at Sinai Chapels, 162-05 Horace Harding Expressway (L.I. Expressway Service Road) in Fresh Meadows, Queens.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Mrs. Cymbrowitz’ memory may be made to the Holocaust Memorial Committee, 60 West End Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11235.

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