Lander Lobbies Cuomo To Veto 5-Cent Moratorium
City Council Member Brad Lander (D-Park Slope/Windsor Terrace/Kensington) today will hold a rally outside of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Manhattan office to lobby for a veto of the non-partisan State Assembly and Senate legislation that would put a moratorium on the City’s controversial bill, in which consumers would pay a 5-cent fee to shop owners for every plastic bag they need.
The moratorium will last until the next City Council takes office in January 2018, where they must again take up the issue. A fairly long list of Brooklyn State lawmakers voted for this moratorium on the City measure, which Lander sponsored. Many called the fee another tax on often cash-strapped City residents.
One exception of those State lawmakers that vocally supports the fee is Assembly Member Robert Carroll (D-Park Slope/Windsor Terrace/Kensington).
The rally is slated for 6:30 p.m., today, Feb.9 outside Cuomo’s office, 633 Third Avenue in Manhattan.
Adams lauds MTA Decison Freedom Ticket Pilot Program
Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams yesterday lauded the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) decision of a pilot program which would allow commuters to pay a single reduced fare for travel within New York City on MTA buses and subways and on Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) trains, on the LIRR’s Atlantic Branch in Brooklyn as well as a number of southeast Queens-based stations.
Dubbed Freedom Ticket, Adams and the New York City Transit Riders Council (NYCTRC) have championed this proposal since the organization released a citing on its impact on reducing costs and travel times while expanding transit options for commuters in east Brooklyn and southeast Queens.
The Freedom Ticket pilot will allow riders to purchase a single one-way ticket or a weekly or monthly pass valid for travel on both the subway and railroad trains for less than the price of an LIRR ticket and MetroCard pass for both. Participating LIRR stations in Brooklyn will include Atlantic Terminal Brooklyn, East New York, and Nostrand Avenue. Participating LIRR stations in Queens will include Laurelton, Locust Manor, Rosedale, and St. Albans.
“I thank the MTA for stepping up their commitment to underserved riders in central and eastern Brooklyn,” said Adams. “The Freedom Ticket promises a greater freedom of movement and a more intelligent use of our transit system, prioritizing the needs of commuters in need of a break. I look forward to seeing the results of this pilot program.”ter would be a minimum of 20 minutes.”
Adams noted the Freedom Ticket pilot program presents an opportunity to support neighborhood development and growth, especially as the City is now into the implementation phase of the East New York Community Plan. Furthermore, he believes it will be a significant asset in mitigating strain on the existing subway system, especially with the upcoming two-year closure of the L train’s Canarsie Tube and the temporary shutdown of the M train from the Myrtle-Wyckoff Avenues station to the Middle Village-Metropolitan Avenue station.
Dilan Urges Support For ‘Millionaires Tax’ Renewal
Senator Martin Malavé Dilan (D-Bushwick) yesterday urged fellow legislators to support a three-year extension of the Personal Income Tax Surcharge as proposed in the $152 Billion 2017-18 Executive Budget.
A three-year extension of the surcharge, or Millionaires’ Tax, would increase state revenue by $4.5 billion annually when fully implemented. The extension would not only help close a $3.5 billion deficit this year due to a decrease in overall tax revenue collections, it would also protect New Yorkers against additional costs in excess of $3.7 Billion through Federal political gamesmanship, said Dilan.
“I think it’s safe to assume that Washington could cost New York all of the revenue the millionaires’ tax generates, and then some. We have yet to meet education-spending mandates, infrastructure needs remain, and year after year we have failed to increase funding to key social services—affordable housing and homelessness for example—despite both an increase in need and cost to deliver. We can’t afford to lose that revenue,” said Dilan.
Both Governor Cuomo and the Senate Democratic Conference estimate that the Trump administration’s repeal or replacement of the Affordable Care Act, would leave almost 3.4 million New Yorkers without health insurance and cost the state $3.7 billion; an amount nearly identical to the revenue generated from the Personal Income Tax Surcharge.
Golden Offers Property Values Assistance
State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C-I-Bay Ridge/Dyker Heights/Bensonhurst/Marine Park/Gerritsen Beach/Gravesend ) yesterday announced that the office will be offering assistance to homeowners who have questions about their Notice of Property Values (NOPV).
“I am pleased to offer this assistance to the homeowners of my district who may have a number of questions regarding the recent notice they received, and the method used to calculate it,” said Golden.
“Many homeowners do not know that you can appeal these determinations, and this opportunity at my office will offer useful information and guidance.”
A volunteer with experience with the City’s Department of Finance (DOF) will be available on Sunday, February 19, at Golden’s District Office, 7408 5th Avenue in Bay Ridge to answer questions related to the Notice of Property Value that homeowners receive each year from NYC Finance. These notices determine real estate taxes for the coming year.If you have questions about the Notice of Property Value you received, please call Senator Golden’s district office at (718) 238-6044.
Gillibrand Demands Answers To Pharmaceutical Company Price Hikes
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and a partisan group of 31 Senators yesterday demanded answers from a leading pharmaceutical company about the dramatic price hike for a life-saving medication used to respond to opioid overdoses.
Recent reports unveiled that drug maker Kaléo Pharmaceuticals, which manufactures an easy-to-use injector device containing the overdose-reversing drug naloxone, raised its price from $690 in 2014 to $4,500 currently.
“At a time when Congress has worked to expand access to naloxone products and to assist state and local communities to equip first responders with this life-saving drug, this startling price hike is very concerning,” the Senators wrote Wednesday to Kaléo Pharmaceuticals CEO Spencer Williamson.
De Blasio Expands Mental Health Initiative
The Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence (OCDV), in collaboration with NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray’s ThriveNYC initiative, NYC Health + Hospitals (Health + Hospitals), the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) have expanded mental health services to the NYC Family Justice Centers (FJCs) in Brooklyn and Queens.
This is an expansion of a 2014 innovative pilot program that brought on-site clinical psychiatric services to the FJC in the Bronx. The program provides psychiatric support to domestic violence survivors through psychiatric evaluations, psychopharmalogical treatment and psychotherapy, regardless of health insurance status.
Mental health services at the FJCs address a compelling need and a critical piece of trauma-informed care. One in five survivors experiences a new-onset mental health illness after experiencing intimate partner violence. However, obtaining mental health care is a need that has historically gone unmet for this population, as life-threatening risks and taking care of other basic needs such as seeking shelter take priority.
“When victims of intimate partner violence reach out for help, support from the City should be there for them. The Family Justice Centers provide aid onsite that is easy-to-navigate. Expanded mental health services will improve the well-being of clients and increase their ability to take advantage of employment, education and other opportunities,” said McCray.
The Brooklyn Family Justice Center walk-in hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday. It is located at 350 Jay Street in Downtown Brooklyn.
Late DA Thompson’s Suits Donated
Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez yesterday joined Mrs. Lu-Shawn Thompson—widow of District Attorney Ken Thompson—as she donated 20 of the late District Attorney’s suits, as well as dress shirts, shoes and ties in support of the “Suited for Success” men’s suit drive spearheaded by the Metropolitan Black Bar Association.
The clothing will assist men recently released from the Rikers Island Prison Complex as they search for and secure employment.
“The late District Attorney Ken Thompson firmly believed in fairness and second chances. With today’s generous donation of his personal professional wardrobe, DA Thompson’s legacy continues on and ex-offenders are given an opportunity to present their best self as they seek gainful employment,” said Gonzalez.
“My husband, the late and great Ken Thompson, would be happy to know that 20 of his suits and related clothing have been passed on to individuals seeking a better life. It is my hope and prayer that this clothing helps someone land their first significant job, obtain independence, or even improve their self-esteem. The legacy of my husband will live on through the men who will ultimately adorn his clothes and make their own marks on the world,” said Mrs. Thompson.
For those interested in donating to the suit drive, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office is accepting final suit donations on Friday, February 10, 2017 at 350 Jay Street, Brooklyn. Donations may be left in the lobby between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2p.m. All other times contact:[email protected]
Bichotte speech canceled
Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte‘s State of the District Speech, schedule tonight at Brooklyn College has been canceled due to inclement weather. A rescheduled date has not been set yet.