Queens Lawmakers On The Move Aug. 9, 2019

Queens County City Council News

Constantinides Want CNN Climate Show In Brooklyn Or Queens

City Council Member Costa Constantinides

City Council Members Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria), chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection, and Justin Brannan (D-Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights, Bath Beach), chair of the Committee on Resiliency, will join environmental advocates today to call on CNN to host its Sept. 4 climate town hall in either Queens or Brooklyn. 

The network last month announced it would host the forum in New York City to discuss how qualifying candidates for the 2020 Democratic nomination will address this existential threat. 

Together, the two boroughs account for roughly two-thirds of city’s population, many of whom are at risk of rising sea levels, toxic air from polluting power plants, and violent weather brought about by climate change. 

Each borough is also home to multiple appropriate venues for such a town hall, with access to mass transportation, highways, and both New York City airports (which could both be underwater by 2100 without federal mobilization against climate change).   

The lawmakers will further their argument at 11 a.m., today, Aug. 9 on the steps of City Hall in Lower Manhattan.

Koo Thanks DOT For Commuter Van Stop

City Council Member Peter Koo

City Councilmember Peter Koo (D-Bayside, College Point, Flushing, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Fresh Meadows, Whitestone) yesterday thanked the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) for returning the Downtown Flushing Commuter Van stop to its original location at 41st Avenue and Main Street following the completion of a residential construction project.

In 2017, DOT worked with Koo and local stakeholders to relocate the station to a temporary stop on Sanford Avenue due to the construction of the One Flushing development.

“Commuter vans offer a great alternative to the city’s more traditional modes of transportation, and offer competitive prices and convenience in the busy downtown Flushing transportation hub,” said Koo. “Thank you to the DOT for working with our community to make sure this transition period goes smoothly as we relocate the bus stops and coordinate with city agencies and local businesses.”

While the location at Sanford Avenue offered a viable temporary stop, DOT moved the stop back to 41st Avenue on August 5 after the development’s opening. DOT will continue to work with local stakeholders as the new curb space is updated.

Weprin’s Insurance Fraud Bill Enacted

Assemblymember David Weprin

Assemblyman David I. Weprin (D-Richmond Hill, Fresh Meadows) yesterday hailed Gov. Andrew Cuomo for signing his bill, A3985, also known as Alice’s law, which imposes criminal penalties on those who engage in staged accidents for the purposes of insurance fraud.

The legislation makes the staging of an accident to commit insurance fraud a class E Felony and in cases where a serious physical injury or death occurs, a class D felony punishable by up to seven years in prison. The measure aims to potentially save New Yorker’s billions of dollars in higher insurance premiums and protect innocent victims from harmful injury or death.

“Alice’s Law’ is named after a constituent of mine, Alice Ross, who was killed in a staged auto accident in an attempt to exploit New York’s no-fault insurance law. The signing of this legislation closes loopholes in the insurance law, adds higher penalties for those who stage auto accidents, and rightfully honors the memory of Alice Ross,” said Weprin. ”I thank Governor Andrew M. Cuomo for signing this important law and Senator Anna M. Kaplan for carrying this bill the Senate.”