Queens Lawmakers On The Move March 4, 2019

Queens County City Council News

Cuomo Administration Takes State Senate To Task For Lack Of Consensus On Revenue Estimates

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

State Budget Director Robert Mujica, of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration yesterday took the state senate to task for insisting that the state revenues were higher than they are.

“The Governor has said that the challenge for this budget is dealing with the fiscal realities of revenue shortfalls and an unstable economy. At our revenue forecasting conference, independent nationally recognized economists, including those invited by the Legislature, warned of a slowing economy. The Federal SALT tax changes are hurting our economy and limiting our revenue raising options in the result of a recession,” said Mujica.

“The revenue forecast is an essential starting point for the State budget, and the Senate, Assembly and Executive do not agree on a revenue estimate, with the Senate insisting on much higher revenues than the Assembly or Executive. By law, we now turn to the Comptroller for a binding revenue estimate.

“While the budget discussion always has differing political priorities and opinions, facts are still facts and numbers are still numbers and the numbers must govern a legitimate budget. The Governor has said getting the budget done on time is important but it is more important to get the budget right. Because of our record of prudent budgeting, we have never had to do a mid-year budget correction, and we are not about to start now.”

Addabbo, Amato Bill Would Have City Release Impact Study Before Citing A Homeless Shelter

Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr.
Assembly Member Stacey Pheffer Amato

State Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth, parts of South Ozone Park, Ridgewood, Woodside, the Rockaways) and Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-Broad Channel, Hamilton Beach, Howard Beach, Lindenwood, Ozone Park, the Rockaway Peninsula) announced last Friday they have introduced a bill that would require the city to release a neighborhood impact statement prior to creating a homeless shelter in a community.

Several communities within Addabbo’s district, most recently in Rockaway, have been selected for homeless shelters with little to no community outreach — with the public or local elected officials — or consideration to other factors such as infrastructure and public transportation in the area or community concerns.

“In order to deal with the city’s homelessness crisis, the mayor has decided to do away with cluster apartments create large-scale homeless shelters in local communities,” Addabbo said. “While each community wants to do their part to help with the crisis, there needs to be a practice where the community is involved in the early stages of the selection process and the concerns of residents can be address before a site is finalized.”

Bill S.3997 would require the city to conduct and release a neighborhood impact study for the area where a homeless shelter would be created. This study would document the number and locations of daycare centers, schools, parks, playgrounds, senior centers, infrastructure and other information that the City Council deems relevant.

Pheffer Amato introduced a similar bill in the State Assembly.

“The Mayor’s proposal to address homelessness is misguided and irresponsible — placing vulnerable individuals in an area with no resources to support them, without inclusion of community stakeholders, is a failed plan for everyone,” said Pheffer Amato. “I thank Senator Addabbo for introducing this vital piece of legislation, and I am proud to introduce this bill in the Assembly. The city must include us in the conversation — and this bill seeks to do just that.”

Ulrich Holds Event to Educate Homeowners About Appealing Assessments, Enrolling for Tax Exemptions

City Council Member Eric Ulrich

City Council Member Eric Ulrich (R-Belle Harbor, Breezy Point, Broad Channel, Hamilton Beach, Howard Beach, Lindenwood, Neponsit, Ozone Park, Rockaway Beach, Rockaway Park, South Ozone Park, Woodhaven ) announced he is hosting a property tax town hall in Rockaway next week. Representatives from the City’s Department of Finance (DOF) will be on-hand to educate homeowners about appealing assessments and enrolling in various property tax exemptions.

“I am thrilled to partner with the Dept. of Finance to host this town hall for my constituents. There are so many senior citizens and people with disabilities who are not aware that they qualify for significant tax reductions,” said Ulrich. “This is a great opportunity for homeowners to learn about the appeals process and apply for tax relief programs that could help them save thousands of dollars.”

The free event is slated for 6-8 p.m., Wednesday, March 6 at Knights of Columbus, 333 Beach 90th Street in Rockaway Beach.

Meng Introduces Resolution Seeking Congressional Recognition Of Chinese Railroad Workers

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Bayside, Flushing, Forest Hills, Fresh Meadows, Glendale, Kew Gardens, Maspeth, Middle Village, Rego Park) last week introduced a resolution that seeks the House of Representatives’ recognition of the nearly 12,000 Chinese railroad workers who helped build America’s Transcontinental Railroad from 1865 to 1869.

This year––May 10, 2019––will mark the 150th anniversary of the railroad’s completion.

Approximately 12,000 Chinese immigrant laborers worked under extremely dangerous and challenging conditions to help construct the railroad, which connected the nation from coast-to-coast. The workers are credited with playing an integral role in the growth of America, and being an important part of U.S. history.

“2019 will be an important year in the history of the Transcontinental Railroad,” said Meng. “In May, we will commemorate 150 years since the end of the railroad’s completion, and providing these laborers with the national recognition they deserve would be an outstanding way to commemorate this milestone. Honoring the sacrifices they made for our nation is long overdue. It is time to finally pay tribute to their legacy and contributions to the prosperity of our country and the Asian American community. I am proud to introduce this resolution and l urge all of my colleagues in the House to support it.”