Queens Lawmakers On The Move June 4, 2019

Queens County City Council News

Ramos Passes Bill Mandating Study On Number Of Emergency Beds

State Sen. Jessica Ramos

State Sen. Jessica Ramos (D-Corona, East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, parts of Astoria, Woodside) yesterday saw the Senate pass her bill, S4699, which directs the commissioner of health to study the number of emergency room beds in the state and establish the minimum number of beds required.

The study will also assess the distance patients need to travel to access emergency room services. From these findings, the commissioner shall make recommendations ranging from the number of emergency room beds required per capita to the maximum distance patients shall be expected to travel to access emergency services.

“All New Yorkers should have access to emergency care” said Ramos. “Senate District 13 does not have a hospital, and we have lost neighbors in ambulances due to traffic, because they were too far from a hospital to get care as fast as they needed. This study is essential to ensuring that we are providing neighbors in every zip code with emergency care.”

Many New Yorkers faced with a medical emergency find it difficult to receive adequate care. Overcrowded emergency departments resulting from too few beds may cause patients to wait far longer than what is appropriate. A hospital’s proximity can also be an issue for patients who must travel great lengths to access those services, Ramos said.

Gianaris Bill Mandating Consumer Advocate On Public Service Commission Passes Senate

State Senator Michael Gianaris

State Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside and parts of Woodside, Maspeth, Ridgewood, Woodhaven) announced yesterday the Senate passed his legislation (S.2155) mandating the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) include a consumer advocate as a voting member. The bill passed 44-16.

“The Public Service Commission must fairly weigh the interests of everyday New Yorkers when making regulatory decisions,” said Gianaris. “This is a significant reform for ratepayers and I am glad my proposal took a big step forward.”   

In May, Gianaris passed legislation that would require technical expertise for members of the PSC and create a panel to recommend qualified nominees to the governor.

The PSC is comprised of five members, with one seat currently vacant. The board regulates telecommunications, electricity, steam, natural gas, and water service delivery.

Constantinides Lauds City Water Being Rated #1

City Council Member Costa Constantinides

City Council Member Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria, East Elmhurst, part of Long Island City,), chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection, yesterday lauded the city recently being ranked #1 in customer satisfaction among water utilities in the Northeast Region.  

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) shared the J.D. Power 2019 Water Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study, which also found New York City

Nationally, DEP placed #6 in overall customer satisfaction.  

In the study, overall satisfaction was determined by closely examining 33 attributes within six factors: delivery, price, conservation, billing and payment, communications and customer service.

“Clean drinking water is a fundamental human right, and DEP should be commended for the quality service it provides New Yorkers,” said Constantinides. “I look forward to continuing to work with the men and women at DEP to give our citizens the best possible water service possible.”

The study measured satisfaction among residential customers of the 89 largest water utilities across the United States each delivering water to a population of at least 400,000 people in four geographic regions: midwest, northeast, south and west. The findings were based on approximately 33,000 online interviews, representing more than 87 million water utility residential customers.