Queens Lawmakers On The Move April 4, 2018

Queens County City Council News

Crowley Wants More Fed Funds Towards College for Low-Income Students

U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley

U.S. Rep. and House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (D-Sunnyside, Astoria, College Point, East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Corona, Woodside, parts of the Bronx) announced yesterday his request for additional funding for federal aid programs that benefit low-income college students in the upcoming 2019 government funding bill.

The three campus-based aid programs, the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Work Study, and Perkins Loans, work together with Pell Grants and Direct Student Loans to provide low-income students with a manageable balance of grants, loans, and work to help pay for college. In the most recent academic year, more than 188,000 awards totaling $280 million in tuition assistance were granted through these programs in New York State.

Funding for work study programs and opportunity grants were slashed in recent years as congressional Republicans pushed forward budgets that dramatically lessened domestic spending on education. And, earlier this year, Congress failed to reauthorize the Perkins Loan program, which helps fill the gap for students with unmet financial needs.

More than 80 members joined Congressman Crowley’s push to increase funding for these programs by $67 million.

“With higher spending allocations for FY 2019, the campus-based aid programs can be reinvigorated to become the strong institutional partnership programs to the Pell Grant program they are intended to be,” the lawmakers wrote to the House Committee on Appropriations. “The aid these programs provide to low-income students and families is indispensable in allowing them to attend college without having to borrow or work more to pay for college, which results in increased rates of degree completion.”

Addabbo Praises Education & Transportation Funding In State Budget

Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr.

State Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth and parts of South Ozone Park, Ridgewood, Woodside and The Rockaways) yesterday praised the recently passed $168.3 FY’19 state budget for its attention to both education and transportation.

As the ranking member of the Senate Education Committee, Addabbo said he is  pleased to see an increase of approximately $1 billion for education aid, which amounts to a record total of $26.7 billion for the 2018-2019 school year — a 36 percent increase since 2012.

“Education funding is vitally important in keeping our schools open and running well. This nearly $1 billion in Education Aid in the FY 2019 budget is a boon to New York schools, along with $25 million for pre-K and afterschool programs which will not only help children and students, but parents as well,” Addabbo said. “However, it isn’t just the young students that enjoyed increases in education funding. The state has invested $118 million to continue the higher education Excelsior Scholarship program, and $1.2 billion for strategic programs that aim to make college more affordable for all New Yorkers.”

Addabbo said the budget also address the city’s major transportation needs by fully funding the Subway Action Plan with state funds for half of the $836 million plan — while New York City foots the remainder of the funds — to make immediate repairs to improve subway performance and maintenance. It also creates a $2.75 surcharge south of 96th Street in Manhattan on for-hire vehicles including both yellow and green cabs and rideshare companies like Uber to help ease vehicular congestion in the city.

“Although it is paramount that we make efforts to reduce the congestion in the city, I’m concerned that a for-hire vehicle surcharge could push the cost onto customers which will have a negative impact on low- and middle-income New Yorkers,” Addabbo said. “One way to get more cars off the roads is to provide residents with reliable public transportation, and the City and State fully funding the Subway Action Plan will go a long way in doing just that.”

Maloney Nabs State AFL-CIO Endorsement 

U.S. Rep Carolyn Maloney

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Western Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn) yesterday welcomed an endorsement in her re-election campaign from the New York State AFL-CIO, which champions rights and protections far beyond their 3,000 affiliated union locals and their 2.5 million members, retirees and families.

“I am proud to stand with the working men and women of this city and their leaders in the New York State AFL-CIO as we fight to take back Democratic control of the Congress and reverse the false promises and destructive actions of the Trump Administration,” said Maloney. “Whether private or public sector, or the building trades, unions have been, and continue to be, the key to expanding economic justice in this city and this country. Together we can build a better America.”

NYS AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento pointed to Maloney’s effectiveness in advancing progressive legislation to benefit working families as he announced the federation’s endorsement.

“Carolyn has proven to be a powerful advocate for working men and women and has demonstrated a clear commitment to issues important to the labor movement,” said Cilento. “She helped lead the way on the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, and has fought hard for infrastructure funding and job creation in New York City and the rest of the country. We look forward to working just as hard to get our members to the polls to re-elect Carolyn Maloney to Congress.”