Queens Lawmakers On The Move Dec. 27, 2019

Queens County City Council News

Cuomo Vetos Bill Legalizing E-BBikes & E-Scooters

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo yesterday vetoed a bill to legalize electric bikes and scooters he called “fatally flawed,” Patch reported.

Cuomo objected to safety measures left out the bill lifting restrictions on e-bikes and e-scooter passed by state Legislature houses passed in June, he said in a statement.

“The Legislature’s proposal inexplicably omitted several safety measures included in the budget proposal,” Cuomo said.

Those safety measures include lower speed limits, a helmet requirement, mandatory lights and bells, and a demand that New Yorkers not drink and e-bike ride.

State Sen. Jessica Ramos (D-Corona, East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, parts of Astoria, Woodside) and Assembly Member Nily Rozic (D-Flushing, Queensboro Hill, Hillcrest, Fresh Meadows, Oakland Gardens, Bayside, Douglaston) sponsored the bill in their respective houses.

In a statement, Rozic called the veto a “missed opportunity” to “deliver economic justice for thousands of delivery workers across New York City.”

Suozzi Bipartisan Legislation To Restore SALT Deduction Passes House

U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi

U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Eastern Queens, Long Island) this month saw the House pass his legislation to fully restore the state and local tax (SALT) deduction for 2020 and 2021.

The final vote of 218 – 206 received bipartisan support, including Republican members voting yes. The bill now moves to the Senate. 

This legislation would also eliminate the marriage penalty by doubling the cap to $20,000 for joint filers for 2019. The cost of this plan would be fully offset by returning the top individual tax rate from 37 percent, back to 39.6 percent, prior to the GOP tax bill of 2017.

“Amid all the turmoil in DC, I am thrilled that the House, with bipartisan support, has passed my legislation to restore tax fairness for my constituents on Long Island. The 2017 cap on SALT broke a century-old agreement. A covenant to protect state and local government and my bill restores that protection, it restores that covenant, and it restores fairness, as well,” said Suozzi.

The bill, which had more than 50 bipartisan cosponsors in the House, is a concrete step in repealing a provision of the 2017 GOP tax law that placed a devastating cap on state and local tax deductions. The limitation of this critical deduction has resulted in a tax increase for families across Long Island.

“Even before the GOP tax bill capped the SALT deduction, New Yorkers already paid more than their fair share of taxes. This bill would do justice for New York taxpayers by restoring the SALT deduction and providing additional assistance to teachers who spend money out-of-pocket on school supplies for their students. I thank Congressman Suozzi for his leadership in bringing Members across the aisle, including my Long Island colleagues, together in passing this legislation through the House,” said U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D- Jamaica, Laurelton, Rosedale, Cambria Heights, Saint Albans, Springfield Gardens, The Rockaways, JFK Airport).

PA Williams Wishes Constituents Happy Kwanza

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams yesterday wished a joyous Kwanzaa to all who begin celebrating the holiday.

This holiday honors the richness of African American culture and heritage, each day uplifting one of the seven principles of Kwanzaa – the values of unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.

“As the leader of our country displays his hatred and derision for African nations and launches attacks on many in the Diaspora, it is critical that we take inspiration from Umoja, unity, to move forward with purpose. On the strength of our great blessings, we can overcome great obstacles. 

“Embracing the seven principles in our lives and our communities, let us look to the future with hope and expectation. Habari Gani. 

“I would like to extend my warmest thoughts and wishes to those observing the holiday of Kwanzaa, a celebration of family, community and culture,” said Williams.