Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Dec. 29, 2016

News Site Brooklyn

Golden Decries UN & Its Resolution Against Israel

State Sen. Marty Golden

State Senator Martin J. Golden (Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, Gravesend) yesterday decried the United Nations resolution condemning Israeli settlement activity, which the United States declined to stop at the U.N. Security Council meeting last week:

“A lame duck President and his administration should not be negotiating peace agreements and must refrain from fanning the flames of hostilities across the globe. The Obama Administration has made a
significant mistake in failing to block the United Nations Security Council resolution concerning Israel. Under Obama’s leadership the United States’ foreign policy has greatly destabilized the middle east and this failure of our Nation to protect Israeli interests is another example.

“Additionally, the United Nations has proven once again that it is incompetent and unable to deal with international conflicts. I have been a long time critic of the United Nations as I find the institution to be a
failure and continue to advocate for the United Nations to leave New York City. In the past, I strongly opposed the rewarding of the United Nations with taxpayer dollars and the privilege of expanding in New York because it is such a mismanaged organization. In 2005, even President-Elect Donald Trump estimated that the world body stood to waste hundreds of millions of dollars due to incompetence and theft.

“Today, the United Nations continues to be a financial, logistical and security burden to New York.  The UN has failed in its mission to create an international forum to air grievances and an institution that strives for peaceful resolutions. In the end, lasting peace can be achieved through open and honest negotiations between Israel and Palestine. It’s is important, however, to support and defend our greatest ally Israel in that geopolitically important region. I am confident that President-Elect Trump and his administration will help orchestrate peace in the Middle East by ensuring the safety of Israel while providing acceptable terms for Palestine.”

Hikind Slams Kerry’s Vision For Peace in The Middle East

NY State Assemblyman Dov Hikind

Assemblyman Dov Hikind (Boro Park) yesterday slammed U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech saying that Israel’s continuance of building settlements is all but shutting the door to a two state solution between Israel and Palestine.

Hikind is a long time supporter of Israeli settlements, who went so far as protesting the Israeli government when they attempted to disband an illegal settlement a few years ago.

“Secretary Kerry and President Obama are living in a fantasy land. The world is in worse shape than it has ever been thanks to this administration, which is not respected anywhere in the world. This very administration continues to betray its allies while rewarding terrorist groups like Hezbollah and Hamas,” said Hikind.

“What was the point of this address? Why did the Obama administration wait until the bottom of the 9th inning to do something about these relations? Where was President Obama for almost eight years? This stems from personal animosity from President Obama toward Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Never before have I seen an administration make Jimmy Carter look good. I’m so embarrassed that Obama represents my country.”

Golden Hails New State Laws Strengthening Public Health

State Senator Martin J. Golden (Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, Gravesend) yesterday announced numerous pieces of legislation he supported this past session to improve public health will go into effect in January.

The laws involve tackling the heroin and opioid addiction crisis, improving women’s health, providing better insurance protections for children, and encouraging organ donations.

“I am proud to have supported important pieces of legislation this session that will become law next week that will surely benefit the public health of New Yorkers. This year, we have worked to improve opportunities available to care for our citizens at many levels, and our families are better for these efforts,” said Golden, a member of the Senate’s Health Committee.

The laws include:

Addressing Heroin and Opioid Addiction: *S. 8139 (Chapter 74) will end the need for prior insurance
authorization for immediate access to inpatient treatment services. *S. 8137 (Chapter 69) will require insurance coverage, without prior authorization, to allow for an emergency five-day supply of medication for treating a substance use disorder when emergency conditions exist. The legislation expands access to Naloxone by requiring insurance coverage for the overdose reversal medication, whether it is prescribed to a person who is addicted to opioids, or their family member covered under the same insurance plan.

Access to Breast Cancer Screenings: *S. 8903 (Chapter 74) to take effect in January further encourages
access to regular screenings and early detection, by allowing New York City public employees to take up to four hours of excused leave for a breast cancer screening.

Children’s Health Insurance Coverage: S. 6241A (Chapter 72) to take effect in January a new law that
updates the state’s Public Health Law to ensure newborns are covered retroactively under the Child Health Plus program. Currently, Newborns are not eligible for the CHP program for up to 30 days after enrollment. This law will allow newborns to be covered from their day of birth.

Encouraging Organ Donations: S. 6952A (Chapter 40) to take effect on January 1st, will offer all
applicants for health insurance offered through the State health benefit exchange an opportunity during the application process to register for the Donate Life Registry for organ, eye, and tissue donations.

HUD Gives NYCHA “A” For Administering Section 8 Program

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) announced yesterday that it received the highest designation from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for outstanding performance administering the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program.

Section 8 is a federal housing program, in which families living below the poverty line pay a third of their income towards rent and the government pays the rest. Local municipalities administer the program and in the City, NYCHA administers the nation’s largest Section 8 program in the country, providing housing assistance to 85,000 households or 203,000 people.

NYCHA Chair & CEO Shola Olatoye

“This designation demonstrates how we are succeeding in fundamentally changing how we do business and becoming more efficient,” said NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye. “NYCHA’s Section 8 program provides housing and opportunity for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who otherwise could not afford to call this city home. By effectively administering this program, we can better serve families who rely on this invaluable resource.”

“Running the largest Section 8 program in the nation’s tightest rental market is no easy task,” said Holly Leicht, HUD Regional Administrator for New York and New Jersey. “The major improvements that won NYCHA a ‘High Performer’ designation this year are a testament to the vision, competence and hard work of Chair Olatoye and Executive Vice-President for Leased Housing Cathy Pennington and her team.”

Cuomo Announces State DHS Completes Counter Terrorism Exercises

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo yesterday announced the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Office of Counter Terrorism completed more than 600 “Operation Safeguard” counter terrorism exercises this year at businesses and organizations across the state to test their suspicious activity reporting programs and counter terrorism plans.

In response to the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Cuomo directed the state’s Office of Counter Terrorism during the 2016 State of the State to increase the number of exercises across New York to determine if various businesses detected unannounced suspicious exercise activity and promptly reported it to law enforcement.

“Protecting New Yorkers is our number one priority, and we must do everything in our power to ensure safety and security in the face of 21st century terrorism threats,” Cuomo said. “We need the public to take an active role in helping to protect all New Yorkers by reporting any suspicious activity to law enforcement, and these exercises are critical to ensuring that businesses stay vigilant and report unusual behavior.”

Throughout 2016, members of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, New York State Police, county sheriffs, and police departments partnered with the state’s Office of Counter Terrorism personnel to plan and execute this unprecedented statewide initiative. In total, nearly 100 law enforcement agencies and 300 personnel across the State supported this effort. As a result of the Governor’s direction, exercises that were previously held in only a few of New York’s 16 Counter Terrorism Zones each year will now take place in all zones across the state every year.