Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Oct. 26, 2016

News Site Brooklyn

Clarke Gives Heads Up On Immigration Applications Fee Increase

Congresswoman Yvette Clarke
Congresswoman Yvette Clarke

Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (Flatbush, Crown Heights, Sheepshead Bay) yesterday urged individuals who want to file immigration applications and petitions to submit them before December 23, 2016, when several fees will increase.

“Citizenship confers enormous benefits, such as the right to vote, that allow people an opportunity to enjoy the full blessings of American life. It relieves and protects those lacking citizenship status, resident foreign nationals, from the fear that any interaction with the law enforcement officials or the court system could result in deportation proceedings and a forced separation from loved ones. Citizenship makes it possible to fully enjoy the fruits of one’s labor. As the daughter of parents who came to the United States from the Nation of Jamaica and the representative of a community that includes immigrants from around the world, I am hopeful that individuals who are eligible to apply for citizenship will complete the required paperwork and submit their forms before fees increase on December 23,” said Clarke.

Clarke said the staff at her district office in Brooklyn stand ready to assist interested individuals by inquiring about the status of pending applications as well as provide references to local organizations that assist in completing the application process and paperwork.

The new fees are listed on Form G-1055, Fee Schedule. Applications and petitions postmarked or filed on or after December 23 must include the new fees or USCIS will not be able to accept them.

Changes in the new fee schedule can be found here. Highlights follow:

  • An increase of $45, or 8 percent, from $595 to $640 for Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. USCIS will offer a reduced filing fee of $320 for naturalization applicants with family incomes greater than 150 percent and not more than 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. For 2016, this means, for example, that a household of four with an income between $36,000 and $48,600 per year could pay the reduced fee. Those eligible may apply for this option using the new Form I-942, Request for Reduced Fee.
  • The fee for Form N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship, and N-600K, Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate Under Section 322, will increase from $550 or 600 to $1,170.
  • A new fee of $3,035 will be required for Form I-924A, Annual Certification of Regional Center.

Gonzalez Launches Internship Program

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez
Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez yesterday announced the launch of a competitive mid-winter and spring internship program for current high school juniors and seniors who live and attend school in Brooklyn.

Students with a strong interest in criminal justice or the public interest sector and who meet the requisite eligibility criteria are encouraged to apply and participate in one of two intensive one-week programs.

“This expanded program builds upon our summer high school internship program and will offer participants unique and valuable exposure to the inner workings of the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office. We are committed to providing meaningful opportunities for our youth and I look forward to creating additional youth-focused programs in the upcoming year,” said Gonzalez.

Selected students will be assigned to a unit within the DA’s office and will support the work of Assistant District Attorneys and other members of the DA’s staff. They can expect to assist with legal research and analysis using the Internet, news articles and legal periodicals; assist attorneys on pretrial matters; work on case preparation, discovery, file maintenance and organizing court documents; participate in trial zone workshops; participate in judicial, legal and law enforcement-related field trips; and observe criminal proceedings including trials, guilty pleas and sentencings.

The program is open to qualifying juniors and seniors who must be able to commit to the entire duration of either of two internship cycles. Cycle 1 will run from February 21, 2017 to February 24, 2017; Cycle 2 will run from April 10, 2017 to April 14, 2017. Each cycle runs from Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Fridayfrom 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

This is an unpaid internship but students will receive a MetroCard to assist with transportation. Applicants are required to supply their most recent school transcripts, a one-page resume, two letters of recommendation including one from either a teacher, coach, or mentor, and must submit a 300 word typed essay (12 pt. font and double-spaced) on why they are interested in interning with the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office and what impact they think it will have on their future personal and academic endeavors.

All applications must be submitted with the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office Application Cover Sheet available on the Brooklyn District Attorney’s website ( beginning November 1, 2016

Richardson Holds Education Meet & Greet

Assembly Member Diana Richardson
Assembly Member Diana Richardson

Assembly Member Diana Richardson (Crown Heights, Lefferts Gardens) has launched a new coalition, The 43rd AD Education Council, and is having a meet and greet tonight.

“Education is an important form of empowerment, participation and development. Because of this medium our youth have the ability to shape their dreams, enhance character and become an integral part of the community,” said Richardson in an email.

“This initiative will bring together educators, parents, students, leaders and  serve as an interdisciplinary team of individuals who will discuss and disseminate the defacto’s of our educational system and its impact on the children in (K-12). Through this coalition, we will remain committed to good practices and programs for quality education.”

The Meet & Greet is slated for between 6-7:45 p.m., tonight at 330 Empire Boulevard on the Crown Heights/Lefferts Gardens border.

Williams Calls For Stricter Fed Gun Laws

City Councilman Jumaane Williams
City Councilman Jumaane Williams

City Council Member Council Member Jumaane D. Williams (Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood) yesterday called for stricter federal gun laws in response to State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s recent report that found 90% of guns used in crimes in New York come from out of state – mainly Florida, Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania,  and South Carolina.

“The need for stricter federal gun laws is evidenced by Attorney General Schneirderman’s report.  It fully explains away the unfounded  equation that says since areas with high amounts of gun violence, often have tighter gun restrictions, then restrictions therefore have no meaning,” said Williams.

“Quite the contrary, as this report points out, what is needed is stricter federal guidelines, not weaker ones, and a focus on the gun trafficking that is made so much easier by inconsistent laws.

“Take an area like Chicago, Illinois that has some of the toughest gun laws in the country; but at the same time, deals with some of the nation’s highest incidents of gun violence. A closer look shows that local restrictions are working, since most of the guns used come from outside of Chicago, with a high percentage coming from two counties near Chicago with lax gun selling processes.

“We need a combined approach to this pandemic; tougher gun laws that respect the Second Amendment and can deal with the supply of guns into our communities, as well as, resources to address the demand of violence that are too often a response to conditions many are forced to live in.”

Cymbrowitz Commends New Insurance Guidelines For Opioid Addiction

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz
Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach), who earlier this year joined Governor Cuomo for the signing of groundbreaking legislation to combat the continuing heroin and opioid crisis, said the announcement of new requirements for health insurers in the treatment of substance abuse will go a long way toward breaking the addiction cycle and ensuring that more people receive the lifesaving help they need.

The new guidelines alert health insurers that they must provide inpatient and outpatient coverage for detoxification and maintenance treatment medication, including Naloxone, for large group policies. Most individual and small group policies already include this coverage.

Health insurers will also be required to eliminate prior authorization requirements for a five-day emergency supply of prescribed medications for the treatment of substance use disorder when an emergency arises, and will be barred from requiring prior authorization for inpatient substance abuse treatment for in-network facilities.

“Opioid addiction is a tragedy that has destroyed too many lives and bankrupted too many families seeking life-or-death help for their loved ones,” said Cymbrowitz, former Chair of the Assembly’s Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Committee. “These requirements obligate insurers to give people suffering from opioid abuse the kinds of treatment, such as Naloxone and inpatient/outpatient coverage for detoxification, that are essential for recovery in order to turn their lives around.”

Schneiderman To Introduce Bill To Curb Non-Compete Agreement Misuse

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman

State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman yesterday announced that he will introduce legislation in Albany next year to curb the rampant misuse of non-compete agreements, which depress wages and limit economic mobility by banning workers from employment at a competitor for a mandated period after leaving a job.

Schneiderman’s announcement follows a Call to Action on Non-Compete Agreements issued Tuesday by the White House as part of the President’s initiative to increase economic competition. While growing numbers of states have moved to curtail the misuse of non-competes in recent years, Schneiderman’s bill marks the most comprehensive proposal yet to protect workers from these harmful constraints.

The proposal includes a ban on all non-competes for low-wage workers; a requirement that employers offer extra compensation to employees who sign non-competes; and a first-of-its-kind provision granting employees the right to seek liquidated damages when subjected to unlawful non-competes.

“Workers should be able to get a new job and improve their lives without being afraid of being sued by their current or former employer,” said Schneiderman. “My proposed bill will protect workers’ rights to seek new and better opportunities, particularly low-wage workers who have been locked into minimum wage jobs due to non-competes. It will also ensure that businesses can hire the best worker for the job.”

Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP Obtain $12.085 Million Settlement (Sponsored)

Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin attorney Kathleen Kettles recently obtained a court order approving the settlement of $12,085,000.

This is a case involving the failure to timely deliver an infant to a first-time mother and resulting in severe brain damage to the child who is now six-years-old.  This child cannot speak, walk or talk and must be tube fed. Her parents are completely devoted, but their day to day existence is filled with dealing doctor’s appointments, emergency visits, outside therapies and managing or providing her child’s need for extensive nursing services.

“I am truly in awe of this family and despite the heartache of having a child this disabled, it has been a joy to work for them. This settlement will lessen the burden on this incredible family,” said Kettles, who heads the firm’s Medical Malpractice team. Though a practicing attorney for almost 28 years, she was an RN for ten years prior to going to law school.

During the litigation, Kathy worked extensively with well known, respected experts in the fields of obstetrics, maternal fetal medicine, neonatology, pediatric neurology, pediatric neuroradiology and a life care planner to prepare the case for trial.  It is this attention to detail which results in an extremely favorable settlement for her clients.

“When I was a nurse, I often felt powerless to really help my patients, but as a nurse attorney, I get to help secure a child’s future and there is no greater feeling of satisfaction,” she said.

The law firm of Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP is one of the city’s top accident and medical malpractice firms in the city and is there to represent you. To get a free consultation click Here.