Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Aug. 22, 2019

News Site Brooklyn

Kavanagh, Simon Red Flag Law Goes Into Effect

State Senator Brian Kavanagh
State Senator Brian Kavanagh
Jo Anne Simon
Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon

State Sen. Brian Kavanagh (D-Northern Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan) and Jo Anne Simon (D-Brooklyn Heights, Downtown Brooklyn, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Gowanus, Park Slope, Boerum Hill and DUMBO) will join other lawmakers, district attorneys and gun violence prevention advocates will gather today to announce the extreme risk protection order “Red Flag” law goes into effect this Saturday.

The measure, which Kavanagh and Simon sponsored in their allows law enforcement officials, family members or school officials to seek a petition to seize the guns of people that courts find are dangerous to themselves or others.

The officials will discuss the importance of public awareness, the readiness of the court system, and the creation of the interagency task force to ensure effective implementation of the law.

The gathering is slated for 11 a.m., today, Aug. 22 at Foley Square in Lower Manhattan (***Rain Location: 250 Broadway***).

Rose Explains Work On Social Security

Max Rose
U.S. Rep.-Elect Max Rose

U.S. Rep. Max Rose (D-Southern Brooklyn, Staten Island) yesterday explained his work in Washington regarding social security benefits for constituents to seniors at the St. Frances Cabrini Senior Club in Bay Ridge.

“I’m proud to have helped return nearly $200,000 in Social Security benefits for Staten Islanders and South Brooklynites—but to be honest, it shouldn’t take a Member of Congress to force the government to do the right thing,” Rose said. “Social Security isn’t a giveaway or free entitlement, it’s a promise that everyone has paid into and our senior citizens are counting on for retirement. But when the Social Security Administration is cut and short staffed it’s seniors who pay the price. That’s why I’m fighting back to make sure all of my constituents receive what they’re owed.”

Rose’s office has returned more than $735,000 in benefits to constituents, including $196,309 in Social Security benefits so far this year.

Rose joined a bipartisan group of colleagues in calling on Congress to fully fund the Social Security Administration (SSA) to better improve customer service and ensure that all Americans receive the benefits they have earned and are counting on. 

Additionally, Rose is a cosponsor the Social Security Administration Accountability Act. This legislation would give Congress the tools to evaluate and improve SSA’s effectiveness in serving our seniors by:

  • Requiring the SSA to submit to Congress an annual report with yearly statistics for each hearing office including the number of cases pending, the rate at which case backlogs are increasing or decreasing, the average length of time it takes for claims to be processed, and staffing levels;
  • Prohibiting the SSA from closing or limiting hours at field offices until 6 months after providing to Congress an in-depth analysis and justification for doing so; and
  • Requiring the SSA to hold public hearings in the impacted community.

 Over the past few decades, the Social Security Administration has consolidated or closed over 120 field offices—a 10 percent reduction—without providing local communities or Congress sufficient notification or justification.

Treyger, Deutsch School Bus GPS Tracking System Begins This School Year

City Councilman Chaim Deutsch
Council Member Mark Treyger

City Council Members Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island, Bensonhurst, Gravesend) and Chaim Deutsch (D-Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach, Homecrest, Midwood) yesterday hailed Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza announcement yesterday that the Department of Education will partner with Via to launch “Via for Schools,” a state-of-the-art integrated, automated school bus routing, tracking, and communication platform. 

Treyger and Deutsch were the co-sponsors of legislation to put GPS tracking systems on all school buses. GPS capabilities through GeoTab will be installed on every bus that does not currently have GPS by the first day of school.

The Via GPS system will build on steps the DOE has taken to improve bus transportation over the past year. The DOE has worked closely with the City Council throughout the last school year to ensure that bus service and communication with families improve for the 2019-20 school year. 

In January 2019, the city council passed the Student Transportation Oversight Package (STOP) relating to city school buses, including mandating GPS and an app for parents, as well as 15-days advance notification to families of their students’ bus routes for the upcoming school year.

 “The Council is proud to bring OPT to the 21st century. Reliable bus transportation is a key element to ensure our students are safely bussed to school every day. I’m proud to have been part of the Council team, led by Speaker Corey Johnson, that held an oversight hearing on school buses and sponsored the legislative package for increasing accountability in OPT and the bus service companies,” said Treyger, Chair of the Committee on Education. 

“We welcome fines for bad actors and I appreciate that the DOE will have GPS technology on the entire fleet by the beginning of the school year including active GPS on half the fleet. I’m looking forward to seeing the innovative partnership with Via improve real-time tracking information. Going forward it’s critical that we continue to engage our parent community. Ultimately, all efforts will be graded on OPT’s ability to safely and timely transport our students to school,” he added.

“I’m very pleased to announce that the Department of Education has confirmed that every NYC school bus will have a GPS tracker installed by the first day of the 2019-2020 school year. No parent should ever have to experience the fear of not knowing where their child is,” said Deutsch.

Weinstein, Montgomery, Persaud Laud Bill Increasing Protection For Crime Victims

Roxanne J. Persaud
State Senator Roxanne J. Persaud
Senator Velmanette Montgomery photographed by tracy collins
Senator Velmanette Montgomery
Helene Weinstein
Assemblymember Helene Weinstein

State Senators Roxanne Persaud (D-Canarsie, East New York, Brownsville, Mill Basin, Sheepshead Bay, Bergen Beach, Marine Park, Flatlands, Ocean Hill, Starrett City) and Velmanette Montgomery (D-Fort Greene, Boerum Hill, Red Hook, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Sunset Park, Gowanus, and Park Slope) and Assemblymember Helene Weinstein (D-Flatlands, Sheepshead Bay) yesterday lauded Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo for signing their package of legislation to increase protection for crime victims.

The package includes s allowing victims of domestic violence to seek damages against individuals who fail to obey or enforce an order of protection (S.1868/A.5614); expanding the eligibility for victim compensation to victims of unlawful surveillance crimes who did not suffer a physical injury (S.6167/A.7079); and expanding the definition of “child victim” to include children who witness a crime to ensure those children are eligible for victim compensation and assistance (S.6353/A.7051).

“This bill (S.1868/A.5614) eliminates a loophole in the law which had domestic violence victims being responsible for some of their own damages, instead of the parties found responsible in court. I thank the governor for – again – standing up for domestic violence victims,” said Weinstein.

“Victims of unlawful surveillance (S.6167/A.7079) should not have to be physically injured from an incident to receive financial assistance for the unwanted damages caused; it is not that simple. This kind of crime’s impact on a victim, especially their mental health, career, relationships and sense of security and safety, is often far-reaching and often long-lasting. I commend the Governor on signing this law that will get victims of these unnecessary, awful violations the support that they need and deserve,” said Persaud.

“It is extremely traumatic for children to witness crime (S.6353/ A.7051), especially violent crime in their homes and communities. These experiences negatively impact their safety, their health, their school performance and funnels them into the prison pipeline. I thank Governor Cuomo for signing my bill to provide child witnesses access to resources that can help them process what they experienced and reduce the risk of losing years of opportunity,” said Montgomery.

Gounardes Agrees With Charges for Driver who Killed Jose Alzorriz

State Senator Andrew Gounardes
State Senator Andrew Gounardes

State Sen. Andrew Gounardes (D-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend, Gerritsen Beach, Manhattan Beach, Marine Park) yesterday agreed with the criminal charges filed against Mizra Baig, who blew a red light last week causing the death of bicyclist Jose Alzorriz on Coney Island Avenue.

“It is right and just that Mirza Baig, who blew through a red light at a high speed, causing the death of Jose Alzorriz, should be charged with manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, vehicular assault and reckless endangerment. I want to recognize the Brooklyn D.A. for acting to ensure that Baig is charged for the needless death of Jose Alzorriz,” said Gounardes.

“Yet this should not be an exception to the rule. Our City’s unofficial policy for too long has been that no matter how reckless, dangerous and harmful a person’s driving, there will never be consequences and oftentimes the driver will remain on the road. That needs to change. I stand ready to work with community members and other elected officials to change the law so that drivers who kill or gravely injure others no longer enjoy impunity,” he added.

Colton Exposes How National Grid Moratorium Impacts Community

Assembly Member William Colton

Assemblyman William Colton (D-Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, and Dyker Heights) will be exposing how National Grids moratorium impacts on the community by refusing to provide gas service in Brooklyn.

“National Grid is violating the public trust by refusing to provide gas service which is a necessity for people and this must be fully investigated by the NYS Public Service Commissioner to determine whether there is any justification to their demand for an additional pipeline and a steep increase in gas pricing,” said Coltin.

“National Grid has put all new applications for service on hold and is holding residential and business customers hostages. They are claiming that due to the NYS DEC’s denial of a water quality permit for the Northeast Supply Enhancement project there is not enough gas supply for the new customers. It is absolutely outrageous that our community has to suffer of course of the actions of a company that is entrusted with supplying an essential service. 

“National Grid has to stop denying new service orders until there is a public hearing to determine whether there is sufficient gas supply or a deficit that would justify not opening new accounts. Their actions are causing irreparable harm to many individuals, businesses and organizations who have expended monies in the reasonable expectation of gas service from National Grid. I am calling a press conference where individuals, community groups, businesses and other organization leaders will reveal how this National Grid action is impacting the community. I will continue to fight against irresponsible corporate greed,” he added.

Coltin will hold a press conference on the matter at 12:30 pm., tomorrow, Aug. 23 in front of his district office, 155 Kings Highway between West 12th and West 13th Streets in Bensonhurst.