Menchaca Announces Major Victories For Immigrants In FY19 City Budget
City Council member Carlos Menchaca (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook) announced yesterday major budget victories for immigrant New Yorkers as part of the final multi-billion City budget for Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19).
On Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Cory Johnson announced the final budget agreement for the upcoming fiscal year during the traditional budget handshake ceremony in City Hall’s rotunda.
Some of the victories in the budget for immigrants include funding for a community bail fund to prevent unjust detentions of non-citizen New Yorkers, an increase in funding for District Attorney Immigration units and an expansion of health care access to the city’s immigrant population.
“We are excited that our negotiations resulted in trailblazing NYC programs being funded that will protect and serve our immigrant communities. Whether its funding the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund to ensure our immigrant neighbors no longer have to remain in detention because they can’t afford to pay thousands of dollars for bond or expanding health care access to immigrant communities, NYC is on the front lines fighting Trump’s deportation machine,” said Menchaca.
Golden Applauds Senate’s Passage of Tax Relief Bill
State Senator Marty Golden (R-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, Gravesend) applauded the Senate’s passage of a tax relief bill yesterday
The new measure (S4136C) aims to providing tax relief to property owners. The bill, sponsored by Senator Andrew Lanza (R-C-I, Staten Island), gives New York City government the authority to provide a rebate of a portion of the real property taxes for owners of occupied family residences that house up to six families, and includes condos and co-ops. The bill passed the Senate and now heads to the Assembly for approval.
Earlier this year, the Senate passed an extension of the statewide property tax cap to include New York City, as well as S1379C, sponsored by Senator Betty Little, to establish the New York City tax reform study commission. The latter measure would help provide the Governor and State Legislature with a blueprint of reforms to the real property taxation system in New York City. Combined, these actions build upon the Senate Majority 2018 Affordability Agenda unveiled earlier this year, designed to help individuals, families, and seniors continue to live, work, and succeed in all parts of New York State.
“It’s a valentine for New Yorkers to get a break from being overtaxed, overticketed, and overfined. Senator Lanza’s common-sense legislation would finally give New Yorkers the relief they deserve,” said Senator Simcha Felder (D-Midwood, Flatbush, Borough Park, Kensington, Sunset Park, Madison, Bensonhurst), co-sponsor of the bill.
“This refund will get money back into the pockets of hardworking New Yorkers and at the same time, help to boost the local economy. I call upon my colleagues in the State Assembly to make passage of this legislation a priority before the end of session, so this can be sent to the Governor for his signature,” said Golden.
Espinal Bill Aimed At Easing Burden of Awning Violations On Businesses Gets Hearing
City Council member Rafael Espinal’s (D-Bushwick, Cypress Hills, East New York) legislation related to awning violations on small businesses is set to receive a City Council hearing today.
On Tuesday, the Housing and Buildings Committee will hold a hearing on Intro No.728, a bill related to establishing a temporary program to resolve awning violations and provide an education campaign for small businesses.
The legislation aims to remedy an unfair hardship placed on small businesses with regard to their storefront awnings. Since 2015, over 80 businesses in Cypress Hills, particularly along the Fulton Street Corridor and Liberty Avenue, have received heavy fines for awning issues that were never a problem before.
In the past year the violations have only intensified. According to Espinal’s office, the vast majority of these local businesses are owned and run by immigrant New Yorkers who are already struggling to stay afloat. Some business have received unexpected fines related to awning violations in the range of $5,000- $20,000.
The new measure would: resolve awning judgements and repay money to business owners who cure their violations; institute a moratorium on penalties so more businesses have time to comply without getting fined and conduct education so these communities are clear on what is expected.
The hearing is slated for 10 a.m., today, June 12, at City Hall Chambers in Lower Manhattan.
AM Williams Hosts Build Day at Bay View Houses
Assembly member Jaime Williams (D-Canarsie, Georgetown, Mill Basin, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach) alongside State Senator Roxanne Persaud (D-Canarsie, East New York, Brownsville, Mill Basin, Sheepshead Bay, Bergen Beach, Marine Park, Flatlands, Mill Island, Georgetowne, Ocean Hill) and City Council Member Alan Maisel (D-Mill Basin, Canarsie, Flatlands, Bergen Beach, Floyd Bennett Field, Gerritsen Beach, Marine Park, Plum Beach) hosted a Build Day at the NYCHA Bay View Houses over the weekend.
The event brought together local residents and elected officials as they installed a new play space at the housing development. The updated playground includes a new ladder feature, slides, foot bridge and mini-rock wall among other fun activities for the children.
The renovation was part of a community effort through generous contributions from local lawmakers alongside KaBOOM, The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), Jet Blue, the Police Service Area serving the Bay View Houses and residents.
“The endeavor of Build Day is beyond imagination, to have so many sponsors and community
participants is a source of pride and joy and the best part is that for generations this playground
will allow the children who reside at Bay View to have the sheer enjoyment of the wonderful
pleasures that a new and invigorating play space brings,” said Williams.
Walker Demands Criminal Justice Reform, Passage of Cash Bail Bill
Assembly member Latrice Walker (D-Brownsville) will hold a rally today to to end cashless bail in New York state.
On Tuesday, Walker joined by the Katal Center for Health, Equity, and Justice and the New York State Council of churches, will rally support for bill A.10137A that would eliminate cash bail in most misdemeanors and non-violent felony cases.
The bail reform legislation currently has 33 Co-Sponsors in the Assembly and if passed will reduce wealth and race-based disparities in the criminal justice system.
The event is slated for 12-noon, today, June 12, at the Million Dollar Staircase in Albany.
Carroll’s “Powering Solar” Act Passes Assembly
Assembly member Robert Carroll’s (D-Windsor Terrace, Kensington, Park Slope) bill, the “Powering Solar Act”, passed the Assembly yesterday.
The legislation would extend the State’s tax abatement provided to New Yorkers who choose solar power for their homes. Carroll’s bill, A10150, extends the current tax abatement to include solar generating systems installed from the years 2019 to 2021. Currently, abatement expires at the end of 2018. The measure is in response to President Donald Trump’s recent decision to place tarrifs on imported solar panels.
In January, Trump announced tariffs of up to 30% on solar equipment produced abroad. Experts predict these tariffs will cost jobs in the solar sector, which employs 260,000 Americans.
“Solar power is efficient, clean, and green. Solar energy reduces the greenhouse gas emissions that are destroying our planet. But in the current economy, and under the current administration in Washington, solar power may be unaffordable for working families. And it is even more expensive to install solar energy projects in the five boroughs than in the rest of the state,” said Carroll.
“New Yorkers show their commitment every day to sustainable energy and a greener future. Albany must do the same. We have to Power Solar. This act will help New Yorkers power their homes with green energy, while keeping some more green in their wallets,” added Carroll.