Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Aug. 16, 2016

News Site Brooklyn

Malliotakis:  New York’s Olympic Medalists Should Not Be Taxed 

Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis
Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis

Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (Bay Ridge, Staten Island) announced yesterday she plans to introduce legislation next session to eliminate the state tax on income earned as an award for Olympic medal recipients.

The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) awards American athletes with $25,000 for each gold medal, $15,000 for silver, and $10,000 for bronze. Tax collectors at the federal and state level treat these awards as income and subject to taxation.  Furthermore, gold and silver medalists are taxed for the value of the medals themselves – $564 and $305, respectively.

“These Olympians bring much pride to our state and nation and they should be celebrated not taxed for their achievements. Most of them do not get endorsement deals but, instead, survive on small stipends and sacrifice much to compete in the games. The State of New York should allow them to keep their hard-earned award money and exempt Olympic awards from income tax,” said Malliotakis. 

As of today, five New Yorkers have won medals at the 2016 Games: Meghan Musnicki in Rowing (gold), Emily Regan in Rowing (gold), Daryl Homer in Fencing (silver), Lia Neal in Swimming (silver), and Miles Chamley-Watson in Fencing (bronze).  Competitions have yet to conclude for 17 other Olympians from New York.

The USOC is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that receives no direct government funding except for select Paralympic military programs, and is sustained primarily through private donations, broadcast rights, merchandise sales, and corporate sponsorship.

Williams, James, De Blasio Introduce Legislation Helping Veterans

City Councilman Jumaane Williams
City Councilman Jumaane Williams

The Mayor Bill de Blasio Administration,  City Council Member Jumaane D. Williams (Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood) and Public Advocate Letitia James today will announce the introduction of new legislation that would amend the NYC Human Rights Law to include current or prior service in the uniformed services as a protected class in housing, employment and public accommodations.

The joint proposal bill will require the city’s Department of Veterans’ Services and the Commission on Human Rights to create a new and viable venue where veterans and service members can bring claims of discrimination and receive fair and equal treatment under the law. It is the City’s latest effort to support and protect active service members and veterans reentering civilian life.

New York State is home to nearly 900,000 veterans, 225,000 of whom call New York City home, and nearly 30,000 active duty military personnel and 30,000 National Guard and Reserve personnel statewide.

According to the US Department of Labor, nearly 14,000 veterans are unemployed across New York State, according to the Bureau of Labor Statics. At last count, there were approximately 2,500 homeless veterans across the state.

The bill will be introduced at today’s Council Stated Meeting.

 Levin Introduces Bill Banning Fracking Waste

City Councilman Stephen Levin
City Councilman Stephen Levin

City Council Member Stephen Levin (Downtown Brooklyn, Williamsburg, Boerum Hill) is holding a rally today in support of bill Intro 446-A,  that he introduced that bans fracking and oil waste from city water and streets.

The first of its kind legislation in the nation would:

•    Prohibit the discharge of any oil or natural gas waste to any surface water bodies located within the City or to any wastewater treatment plant located within the City.
•    Ban the application of any oil or natural gas waste upon any road, real property or landfill located within the City.
•    Require all City bids or contracts for the construction or maintenance of a City road to include a provision stating that no materials containing or manufactured from oil or natural gas waste shall be utilized in providing the service.

Though New York banned fracking, it is still legal to dispose of and use the leftover byproducts to de-ice roads or reduce construction dust.

The rally is slated for 11 a.m. on the steps of City Hall in Lower Manhattan.

Treyger, Mark-Viverito Tour Brooklyn Senior Centers    

City Councilman Mark Treyger
City Councilman Mark Treyger

City Council Member Mark Treyger (Coney Island, Bensonhurst) and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito recently toured local senior centers, health facilities, and community hubs throughout Brooklyn to bring attention to the over $6.7 million in funding to these invaluable City institutions.

Among the visited locations were the Brooklyn Chinese-American Association (BCA) Senior Center, Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island Seaside Innovative Senior Center, New York Cancer Center, and Il Centro (FIAO).

The FY 2017 budget includes a $30.85 million investment from the Council to support the city’s growing senior population, including $4.2 million to support outreach, rent subsidies, food and transportation services at the City’s FTA centers and $2.5 million to support the Holocaust survivors living at or below the federal poverty line.

“As the number of seniors in New York City continues to rise, we must work to ensure that the resources needed to care for our aged population are readily available,” said Treyger. “Seniors have worked hard to take care of their families. Now it is our time to take care of them. It is our responsibility to provide for the health, safety, and recreational needs of our seniors. I would like to thank Speaker Mark-Viverito for her leadership, and my colleagues in the City Council for their partnership in continuing to allocate funding to a necessary cause.”

Adams Kicks Off Smart Gun Design Competition

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams
Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams today will kick off the Smart Gun Design Competition, calling on teams from colleges and universities in New York City to create the technology that will prevent unauthorized users from firing a gun.

At the conclusion of the competition — held in collaboration with the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, the New York City Police Department (NYPD), and the Smart Tech Challenge Foundation — Adams will award a $1 million prize to the institution that has designed the best smart gun.

Adams, a former police officer as well as a gun owner, will outline the details of the competition as part of his ongoing effort to end gun violence in Brooklyn. Among those who will join him at the kickoff will be NYPD First Deputy Commissioner Benjamin B. Tucker as well as students and professors from the New York City College of Technology and New York University Tandon School of Engineering who will participate in the competition.

The kickoff is slated for 11 a.m., today at Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon Street.

Greenfield Officially Re-Opens Renovated 18th Avenue Park

City Councilman David Greenfield
City Councilman David Greenfield

City Councilman David G. Greenfield (Boro Park, Bensonhurst, Midwood) today will hold an official re-opening ceremony for the newly-renovated 18th Avenue Park, commemorating the completion of $7.25 million in major improvements to the park.

Greenfield broke ground on construction at the park in May 2015, commencing the first major improvements to this portion of the 18th Avenue Park in over 30 years. On Tuesday, after 15 months of work, the gates will finally open for the public to enjoy the new amenities, which include:

  • 3 new playgrounds
  • 2 new swingset areas
  • 2 new basketball courts
  • 2 new baseball fields
  • 4 new handball courts
  • 50 new benches
  • 7 new water fountains
  • New and improved walkways and safety surfaces
  • Hundreds of new trees and plants

In addition to these improvements, a new comfort station is nearly complete and is expected to open to the public later this week.

“I used to play in this park when I was growing up — and even then, it was in need of improvements. I’m thrilled that we’ve finally gotten this done so the families in this area will have a clean, beautiful, inviting place to play and rest,” said Greenfield.

The park’s official re-opening is slated for 11 a.m. today at the 18th Avenue Park inside gates at 19th Avenue between 55th Street and 58th Street.