Queens Lawmakers On The Move Sept. 13, 2019

Queens County City Council News

Cuomo Educates New Yorkers On Dangers Of E-Cigarettes

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo yesterday took action to curb electronic cigarette and liquid nicotine use among minors, signing an executive order that directs state agencies to deploy education awareness program on vaping and legislation (S.301A/A.481A) to expand current school-based programs and marketing campaigns aimed at reducing tobacco use to include e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine.

“After raising the smoking age to 21 to protect young people from the costly and deadly addiction to nicotine, we are doubling down on our mission to protect the public health and keep our children safe from the dangers of e-cigarettes – which have unfortunately become common alternatives to regular cigarettes,” said Cuomo. “We are united and determined in our goal to protect an entire generation of New Yorkers from these harmful products and will use every tool at our disposal to accomplish this.”

The Governor’s executive order directs all State agencies, departments and public benefit organizations over which the Governor has executive authority to include vaping and e-cigarette prevention and cessation measures into their educational programs and employee trainings.

The order also directs the state Department of Health to work with the State Education Department to immediately develop and deploy such measures for school districts to incorporate into their curriculums. Nearly 40 percent of 12th-grade students and 27 percent of high school students in New York State use e-cigarettes. High school use last year was 160 percent higher compared to 2014.

Weprin Seniors Pet Pups Day A Rousing Success

Assembly Member David Weprin

Assemblyman David I. Weprin (D-Richmond Hill, Fresh Meadows) yesterday saw dozens of seniors enjoy the companionship of four trained therapy dogs as he partnered with New York Therapy Animals to bring the furry friends to the SNAP Innovative Senior Center in Queens Village.

Pet therapy is a relatively new practice that uses dogs or other animals to support healing and this was the first event of its kind that Weprin sponsored. Just a few minutes with a therapy animal can help seniors cope with mental and physical health issues including anxiety, isolation, and recovery from cardiac diseases and cancer treatments.

The dogs at the event included: Dylan the Maltipoo, Kibble the Labrador Retriever, Lilo the Rat Terrier mix, and Melodie the Toy Poodle.

“Each year I host an event to specifically honor our Senior Citizens, who have contributed a tremendous amount to our community. This year for the first time, I was able to bring pet therapy to our community and help provide for the growing mental and physical needs of our older adult population,” said Weprin. “I thank New York Therapy Animals and the SNAP Innovative Senior Center for partnering with me to provide a day of companionship and healing for our seniors.”

Gianaris Gun Control Law Takes Effect

State Senator Michael Gianaris

Senate Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside and parts of Woodside, Maspeth, Ridgewood, Woodhaven) yesterday saw his legislation to increase the time interval before a firearm, shotgun, or rifle may be sold to an individual whose background check requires additional scrutiny and follow up by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (A.2690 / S. 2374) take effect.

Gianaris drafted the measure with Assembly Member Amy Paulin (D-Scarsdale) in the face of repeated failure at the federal level to strengthen and make universal the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Although nearly 90% of background checks will be processed within hours or days, the new law extends the time limit up to 30 days to provide sufficient time for law enforcement to do a thorough investigation of the most difficult cases. 

The goal of the law is to keep guns out of the hands of potentially dangerous and prohibited purchasers, including some who may be on the FBI’s Terror Watch List.

“Common sense gun safety reform will save lives, period. Stronger background checks will keep guns away from dangerous people,” said Gianaris. “I am proud to have written some of America’s toughest gun safety laws and to be part of a new New York Senate which prioritizes the safety of our families and schools. I am glad this will take effect and spare people heartache and tragedy.”  

Vallone to Join Bayside High School PTA at Rally for Fair Funding

City Council Member Paul Vallone

City Council Member Paul Vallone (D-Alley Pond Park, Bay Terrace, Bayside, College Point, Douglaston, East Elmhurst, Flushing, Fresh Meadows, Little Neck, Whitestone) today will stand with the Bayside High School Parent Teacher Association and fellow elected officials to demand the Department of Education fund the school at 100% of the “Fair Student Funding” model. 

In this and previous school years, Bayside High School has only received 83%-90% of the funding amount expected based upon the Department of Education’s own formula. The school faces an over $3 million shortfall this year.

Vallone will make the stand at 10 a.m., today, Sept. 13 directly across the street from the entrance of Bayside High School, 32-24 Corporal Kennedy Street in Bayside.

Addabbo Spreads Word On QEDC’S Consumer Survey

State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.

State Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth and parts of South Ozone Park, Ridgewood, Woodside and The Rockaways) yesterday urged local business owners and consumers interested in helping revitalize and improve the commercial corridors along Liberty Avenue and 101st Avenue in Ozone Park and Richmond Hill to take the Queens Economic Development Corporation (QEDC) survey.

“Small and local businesses are critical to our local economy and are the bedrock for successful communities,” Addabbo said. “If I can help in any way to make the Liberty Avenue/101st Avenue commercial area even more vibrant and successful, I will do it because our business owners deserve it, our residents deserve it, and our communities deserve it.”

The New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) selected QEDC’s application for Liberty Avenue and 101st Avenue between Van Wyck Expressway and Woodhaven Boulevard to be part of its Avenue NYC Commercial Revitalization grant program. These grants provide multi-year commitments aimed at building the capacity of partner organizations to better understand neighborhood needs, develop impactful programs, and sustain their work in the community for at least three years.