Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Jan. 31, 2017

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Schumer Announces Opposition to Trump Cabinet Picks

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) yesterday announced he will vote against confirming President Donald Trump’s picks for cabinet positions including Rep. Mick Mulvaney for Budget Director, Rep. Tom Price for Health and Human Services, Steve Mnuchin for Treasury, Scott Pruitt for EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and Andy Puzder for Labor.

“After the first week of the Trump presidency it’s clear our country is at a cross roads. In his first week in office the president has stomped over our proud American tradition of welcoming immigrants and refugees, trafficked in alternative facts, and is attempting to fill his cabinet with billionaires and bankers. What kind of country do we want to be: one that helps the middle class and those struggling to get there or one that further rigs the system in favor of the special interests?” said Schumer in an emailed statement.

“The people that the president has nominated to serve in his cabinet will have incredible power over millions of Americans and in shaping what kind of country we are going to be. I’ve made it very clear I will vote NO on nominees DeVos (education), Tillerson (state) and Sessions (attorney general). Nothing will change that, and while I will continue to demand that each nominee issue a public statement on his or her views of President Trump’s Muslim Ban, I will vote against nominees who will be the very worst of this anti-immigrant, anti-middle-class, billionaires’ club cabinet.”


Golden, Abbate Tag Team On Community Heroes Protection Act

State Sen. Marty Golden
Assemblyman Peter Abbate Jr.

State Senator Marty Golden (R-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, Gravesend) and Assemblyman Peter Abbate Jr. (D-Dyker Heights, Bath Beach, Bensonhurst, Borough Park) yesterday tag teamed in their respectful legislative branches in co-sponsoring the Community Heroes Protection Act (S1114A/A2962A), which would designate crimes that specifically  target police, firefighters and other emergency service workers punishable as hate crimes.

The measure was inspired by the many brave men and women in uniform who have lost their lives, were injured or targeted simply because of their jobs as protectors of the community. Researchers have found that between 2015 and 2016, there was a 68% increase in firearms related fatalities among law enforcement. This brings the total number of officers who were fatally shot in 2016 to sixty-four.

“Each day, our brave and dedicated law enforcement officers, firefighters, corrections officers, and medical service personnel put their lives on the line for our safety. Sadly, these same individuals are being targeted with violence simply because they wear a uniform and are an officer or a first responder,” said Golden, a former NYPD officer.

“The Community Heroes Protection Act will classify these bias attacks against our law enforcement officers and first responders as hate crimes. This will allow our prosecutors and judges to ensure that an offender receives a punishment that fits this heinous crime. As legislators, it is our obligation to help protect our law enforcement officers, firefighters, corrections officers, and medical service personnel as they perform their critical duties protecting the citizens of New York State. Although there will always be danger, I am confident that Community Heroes Protection Act will help protect New York State,” he added.

“I’m honored to sponsor the Community Heroes Protection Act in the Assembly – it’s common sense to protect those who keep us safe every day. We need to be clear – violence against our police officers, firefighters, and first responders will not be tolerated and those who commit these vicious acts will be held accountable,” said Abbate.

Harris Announces Second Passage Of Ethics Reform Measure

Assembly Member Pamela Harris

Assemblymember Pamela Harris (D-Coney Island, Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights) yesterday announced the passage of two critical measures that will increase transparency and hold elected officials accountable.

For a second time, the Assembly passed a measure that would take away pension benefits from public officials found guilty of corruption (A.1749). The other piece of legislation is a joint resolution with the Senate requiring lawmakers who earn outside income to seek a ruling from the Legislative Ethics Commission to ensure there are no conflicts of interest (B.404/C.25).

“New Yorkers deserve a government that is transparent, accountable and works for them,” said Harris. “Today’s vote ensures that the people we entrust to represent us are held to the highest standards.”

The pension forfeiture bill received strong bipartisan support during the last legislative session (A.10739-A of 2016). Second passage by the Legislature is required so it can be placed on the ballot in November. If approved by the voters, it will become a part of the state constitution.

The joint resolution, which will take effect immediately, stipulates that legislators earning more than $5,000 per year outside of their state salary must seek a ruling by the LEC. New and current members are required to submit information to the LEC within 30 daysif they plan to continue earning outside income.

“As lawmakers, our communities and the people who put their trust in us must always come first,” said Harris. “By making sure there aren’t any conflicts of interest – and cracking down on any politicians who look to make themselves rich at the expense of hardworking New Yorkers – we can make government work for us.”

Malliotakis Slams Assembly For Lack Of Broadcasts

Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis

Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-Bay Ridge, Staten Island) yesterday slammed the Assembly majority for failing to implement a previously adopted rules reform that would publicly broadcast committee meetings on the Assembly website (Assembly Rule 4 Section 2 Subdivision G).

The proposal, approved overwhelmingly by the Assembly last March, has still not been implemented.

“The committee process is a vital portion of assembly operations that our constituents should be able to watch. It is disappointing that the assembly majority is still dragging its feet nearly one year after its adoption last March,” said Malliotakis. “The senate has been broadcasting its meetings for years so there is no excuse. Our constituents deserve to see what occurs behind the scenes, and this measure is necessary to bring much-needed transparency to the committee process, in which bills are rubber stamped with little or no discussion.”

Last year, Malliotakis and members of the Assembly Minority Conference introduced a package of Assembly Rules Reform proposals that were voted down on the floor by the Majority. However, in March, two of Malliotakis’ proposals, one to broadcast committee meetings and another to make all committee votes accessible online, were adopted. The latter proposal is already in effect.

Hikind Appalled At White House Omission Of Jews On Holocaust Remembrance Day

NY State Assemblyman Dov Hikind

Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Boro Park) yesterday expressed shock and was utterly appalled after the White House released a statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, omitting Jews from the text of the statement Friday afternoon.

“It is utterly horrendous and unconscionable for President Trump and his administration to omit Jews from the text of his statement when talking about International Holocaust Remembrance Day,” Hikind said. “The Holocaust was undoubtedly a systematic attempt to annihilate the Jewish people, and the failure to acknowledge that is a desecration of their memory.”

Hikind suggested that while President Trump and his administration has been a good friend to Israel, the White House should issue a formal apology for excluding Jews when talking about Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“This sets a terrible precedent and is so utterly disrespectful to the millions affected. It is my hope that President Trump acknowledges this horrible mistake and issues an apology to the Jewish community,” he said.

Dilan, Dem Conference Float “Resistance Agenda,” GOP Rejects It

Sen. Martin Dilan

State Sen. Martin Malavé Dilan (D-Bushwick, Williamsburg, Greenpoint) and the Senate Democratic Conference yesterday introduced a “Resistance Agenda” that includes several measures to protect refugees, immigrants and foreign students from the Trump Administration’s recent executive order.

The “Resistance Agenda” includes:

Port Authority Resistance Bill

·        The legislation would prohibit the Port Authority from supporting federal efforts in any way, including supporting personnel, the use of airport facilities or providing electricity and climate control in areas of the airport being used for the detentions;

·        Port Authority police and employees would be prohibited from providing any assistance to the federal government to enforce Trump’s executive actions on Muslims and refugees;

·        No officer of the NYPD or State Police is authorized to assist federal officers.

SUNY/CUNY Resistance Bill

·        Employees of SUNY and CUNY will not inquire or offer a student’s immigration status to assist in the federal government’s removal of immigrant students;

·        SUNY and CUNY are prohibited from determining if a student is from a Muslim-majority nation, whether the student has proper immigration status, or is undocumented.

·        Together, these measures neutralize Senate Republican efforts to require universities to compile data detailing the number of foreign students, country of origin and program enrollment.

“President Trump’s policies and executive actions are now doing more than just embarrassing our state and nation. He is sweeping away centuries of American freedoms and traditions with the stroke of a pen and a smirk. It’s time to resist his agenda, before this gaffe in American history does lasting damage to our cause and way of life,” said Senator Martin Malavé Dilan.

At yesterday’s session, the Democratic Conference forced a vote on these initiatives to ensure that state government stands up for American values and blocks President Trump’s attack on religious freedoms. The measure was blocked by the Senate Majority Coalition.

Eugene Leads Rally for Haitian Refugees

City Council Member Mathieu Eugene

City Councilman Mathieu Eugene (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush) will hold a rally Thursday calling on the federal government extend the temporary protected Status (TPS) to Haitian refugees affected from recent storms.

“In the wake of numerous natural disasters, we will come together and demand that the federal government does more to protect Haiti,” said Eugene.

The rally is slated for 12 noon, Thursday, Feb. 2 on the steps of City Hall in Lower Manhattan.

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