Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move May 26, 2017

News Site Brooklyn

Jeffries Leads Bipartisan Effort to Give Ex-Youth Offenders a Fresh Start

Congressman Hakeem Jeffries

Congressmember Hakeem Jeffries (D-Central Brooklyn, Coney Island), a member of the Judiciary Committee, along with U.S. Representative Trey Gowdy (R-SC) also a Judiciary Committee member, introduced the “Renew Act,” a bipartisan measure to reduce corrections costs and help young ex-offenders become productive citizens.

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan signed into law 18 U.S.C. § 3607, which allows a young person convicted of misdemeanor possession to expunge that conviction if she meets the following criteria: she committed the offense while under age 21; she is a low-level, first-time state or federal drug offender; the court uses its discretion to order her to probation; and she successfully completes probation.

If those conditions are met, then the misdemeanor possession is expunged and “shall not be considered a conviction for the purpose of a disqualification or disability imposed by law.” The Renew Act would increase the expungement eligibility age from 21 to 25.  This will allow judges to use their discretion under Section 3607 to help more young people earn probation needed to expunge a misdemeanor possession.

“This is a common-sense measure that will improve the lives of millions of people across New York City and this great nation. It serves as a ripple of hope that will allow hardworking people to get back to work and provide for their families. Representative Gowdy should be applauded for his leadership in this regard,” said Jeffries.

The bill has widespread bipartisan support from groups including: Americans for Tax Reform, American Conservative Union, American Legislative Exchange Council, Faith and Freedom Coalition, Justice Action Network, Prison Fellowship and Right on Crime.

AM Williams Helps Pass Extender Of Ticket Resale Law

Assembly Member Jaime Williams

Assembly Member Jaime Williams (D-Canarsie, Mill Basin, Gerritsen Beach, Georgetown) this week brought to fruition and voted to extend the current bill monitoring the ticket resale practice under (A.7701) allowing accommodations for the market as it evolves; ensuring the protection of consumers and their rights.

This legislation allows for additional time to fully understand the effects that new technologies and other developments, with respect to ticket sales, will have on the industry and consumers alike.

“The Assembly took a stand for the residents of this great state. We acted to ensure that a proper evaluation and study could be made to understand the various platforms offering tickets for resale. On the turn of a dime the technology utilized to sell tickets for entertainment venues changes. Without proper safety protocols in place the average consumer becomes a target and a victim, a practice I will not allow on my watch,” said Williams.

“With this safety protocol put in place a proper evaluation can be made regarding the practices of various companies offering tickets for resale. Our goals are simple. To protect the consumer,” she added.

Cymbrowitz Blasts Housing Cuts In Federal Budget Proposal

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz

Assemblymember Steve Cymbrowitz (D-Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach) yesterday blasted the newly released federal budget proposal as threatening to put tens of thousands of New Yorkers out on the street and making it difficult for struggling families across the state to afford both rent and day-to-day living expenses,

“These cuts represent nothing less than an abandonment of families living paycheck to paycheck, the unemployed and poor, and other vulnerable constituencies that our country has a long and proud history of protecting,” said Cymbrowitz, chair of the Assembly Housing Committee.

Cymbrowitz said the federal proposal – titled, ironically, A New Foundation for American Greatness — would cut $7.7 billion in Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funding compared to the current 2017 levels.

For New York State, this would put 26,530 households receiving Section 8 at risk of homelessness; cut $409,387,940 to public housing authorities throughout the state, including the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA); cut $286,644,708 in Community Development Block Grant funds; and cut $91,483,440 in HOME funds, which are used to help provide rental housing to low- and very low-income families.

The proposal also would give HUD the authority to increase a tenant’s rent contributions from the current standard of 30% of their income to 35% (the first time HUD has proposed this since 1981), which for residents of NYCHA could result in an average monthly rent increase of over $100; increase the minimum monthly rent for very low- and low-income tenants currently receiving federal housing assistance or who live in public housing to $50; and prohibit tenants from receiving utility reimbursements used to cover the cost of heat and water.

“This is a return to the bad old days when humanity and compassion received less consideration than the bottom line. You would have thought as a nation that we’d evolved beyond trying to balance the budget on the backs of the poor. But I guess we haven’t,” said Cymbrowitz.

“Imperiling people’s ability to remain in their homes, apartments and communities does more than rob them of stability. It robs them of dignity and hope and compromises their future. I urge the federal government in the strongest terms to reconsider these draconian cuts,” the lawmaker added. 

Golden Announces MTA Board Makes X-28 Weekend Service Permanent

State Sen. Marty Golden

State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C-I, Bay Ridge, Dykwer Heights, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach) rooklyn) yesterday applauded the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) for their decision at their board meeting this week that permanently reinstates weekend service on the X-28 express bus.

Golden is calling the decision “good for the community, good for the environment, and good for the economy.” The X-28 weekend service was discontinued as part of the MTA’s 2010 service reduction plan.

Golden’s position on the service is based on countless requests from area residents who asserted that the
weekend service provided them with the opportunity to shop, visit entertainment venues and go to work on the weekends without using personal vehicles

“The X-28 is a lifeline for our communities to Manhattan on the weekend. I thank the MTA Board for making a decision in the best interest of our community,” Golden said. “The X-28 is an essential part of our mass transit system, and weekend service is warranted by the ridership that
we’ve seen during the trial period.”

The service operates between West 37th Street/Surf Avenue, Brooklyn, and Madison Avenue/East 57th Street, Manhattan. Saturday service operates to Manhattan from 6 a.m. to 8:15 p.m., and Brooklyn-bound service, 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. On Sundays, the X-28 operates to Manhattan from 7 a.m. to 7:15 p.m., with Brooklyn-bound buses running between 8:30 a.m. and 9 p.m. On Saturdays, buses run every 30-40 minutes, and on Sundays, every 30-60 minutes.

Mosley Blasts GOP Passed American Health Care Act

Assemblyman Walter Mosley

Assemblymember Walter Mosley (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights) this week blasted the American Health Care Act, which the House recently passed as a replacement to former President Obama’s signature legislation, the Affordable Healthcare Act.

“It was no secret that the American Health Care Act was going to be a bad deal for Americans. But the recent Congressional Budget Office report confirmed our worst suspicions. Premiums are already rising, and the CBO report estimates that they will jump even more under the President’s proposed bill. Seniors could see their premiums rise by over 800%. Any bill that makes it harder for senior citizens to access life-saving care is not a bill that any of our elected representatives should stand behind. Even worse, this bill offers no reassurance for people with pre-existing conditions. People with pre-existing conditions, which can range from cancer to sleep apnea, could be forced to pay more for their insurance and may not be able to access it at all,” said Mosley.

“This bill does nothing to make healthcare a reality for Americans and the proposed bill is going to hurt anyone that isn’t already a millionaire. I promise to do what I can in New York State to ensure that no one loses their healthcare, and I ask that my colleagues at the federal level do the same,” he added.

Espinal Reiterates Call For NYC Baseball Teams To Extend Netting

City Councilman Rafael Espinal Jr.

City Council Member Rafael Espinal (D-Bushwick, East New York, Ocean Hill-Brownsville) yesterday reiterated his call for City baseball teams to extend protective netting in the wake of young boy getting injured by a broken bat during a recent game at Yankee Stadium.

The boy was struck on the head by a broken bat during the New York Yankees’ game against the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday night. The boy was carried out of the stands and required medical attention at the ballpark and after the game.

Espinal has introduced legislation requiring New York baseball teams to extend protective netting around the grandstands. Currently netting is up only behind home plate.

“No one should ever have to worry about going to a baseball game and leaving severely injured. The young boy hit by a shattered bat at last night’s Yankee game is a prime example of why it is important that our teams extend their netting ASAP. It becomes clearer and clearer that the seats immediately behind home plate are not the only seats that must be protected by netting,” said Espinal.

“My legislation to require our NY teams to extend protective netting, would have shielded this boy who was sitting seven rows back on the third base side. A handful of teams across the country have already taken similar measures, it’s time for our hometown heroes step up. My thoughts are with this boy and his family and I wish him a speedy recovery,” the lawmaker added.

Williams ‘Raising The Heat’ Bill Passes City Council

City Councilmember Jumaane Williams

The City Council this week passed Council Member Jumaane Williams‘ (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood) bill, Intro 0722, which amends the minimum temperature to be maintained in residential dwellings overnight.

The measure, which Williams sponsored at the request of Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, would also remove the outside day time and night-time temperature trigger, which normally prompt when inside heating should kick in.

“Sufficient heat is a quality of life issue that cannot be ignored in the larger conversation of tenants’ rights. Currently, outdoor temperatures have to be 40 Degrees to require a landlord to turn on the heat, and even then the minimum indoor temperature mandates is only 55 Degrees,” said Williams. “I don’t think many people realize just how cold that is. There are a lot of seniors and young people who cannot deal with 55 Degrees, which ends up exposing them to health risks. I’m pleased that I was able to work with the Administration and my colleagues to get this bill passed that will impact thousands of New Yorkers during this next winter season.”

During the winter season, thousands of New Yorkers struggle to stay warm. Tenants have a right to adequate heat from October 1 to May 31; yet the current heat mandates are not sufficient enough for a number of residents, who still complain they grapple to keep warm.

Intro 0722 is essential to remedying this problem by raising the inside temperature to 62 degrees (up from 55) between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Under this bill, the outside temperature trigger of 40 Degrees would be removed, thus allowing for a minimum temperature of 62 degrees at all times, regardless of outside temperature.

During the last winter season, there were 65,000 heat complaints. Owners who fail to maintain heat at the current 55 Degrees overnight are subject to civil penalties ranging from $250 – $1,000 per day for heat violations.