Brooklyn Lawmakers on the Move April 6, 2020

News Site Brooklyn

Adams Statement on the FY21 State Budget

Borough President Eric Adams
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams this weekend released his views on the $177 billion FY21 State Budget that passed last week in Albany.  

“This was unquestionably one of the most difficult state budgets in memory. I commend all of my colleagues in the assembly and state senate, as well as Governor Cuomo, for their hard work and tough choices amid unprecedented circumstances.

“As my office continues an initial budgetary review, we recognize some clear victories that will advance the lives of all Brooklynites. The cap on insulin co-pays, the ban on flavored e-cigarettes, the legalization of e-bikes and e-scooters, and the expansion of paid sick leave will help protect and improve the health of our entire community. The legalization of gestational surrogacy and banning of gender-based pricing discrimination are long-awaited efforts to make us a more just and equal state.

“I commend the passage of the Josef Neumann Hate Crimes Domestic Terrorism Act to take a strong stand against a rise in bias-based violence, and I appreciate that sensible adjustments have been made to bail reform. I will continue to personally watchdog these issues going forward. Additionally, if allowed to go before the voters in November, the $3 billion Restore Mother Nature Bond Act would include essential funding for infrastructure and resiliency improvements so we are better prepared for the effects of climate change. As the chief executive of a borough surrounded on three sides by water, coastal resiliency is a key component of our livelihoods and must be a greater priority.

“The process to approve renewable energy projects will not only make the grid greener, but also create needed jobs for New Yorkers. The Act’s $350 million allocations for green buildings would also be welcomed, as New York City has an aging building stock that must be addressed if we are to reach our energy efficiency goals.

“There were certainly mixed results as well in this budget. While I am happy that there were no direct cuts to the education budget, the possibility of mid-year cuts looms large over all school districts and we must stay vigilant to protect students and teachers; we cannot afford to drop the ball on education and further widen the achievement gap, even during times of crisis. I am dismayed that NYCHA received no funding at a time when public housing has never faced greater threat. The new prevailing wage measure, while an important step forward, must include diversity reporting on all qualifying projects.

“An incredible amount of work lies ahead of us. We must engage in a serious conversation on revenue-raising options, an issue my office will prioritize in the weeks ahead. We must ensure our emergency food assistance programs get the vital funds they need and have been promised from the C.A.R.E.S. Act. We must re-focus on legalizing marijuana in a responsible manner that prioritizes social justice, and we must institute better protections for New Yorkers working in the gig economy. I will continue to work to make government at all levels more responsive to Brooklyn’s ever-changing needs amid the COVID-19 pandemic. While the current crisis is a blow to the economy of New York, we must continue to work to create the world we want to live in post-crisis.”

Ortiz Pushes Sunset Park Waterfront for COVID-19 Mobilization

Assembly Member Feliz Ortiz

Assistant Assembly Speaker Felix W. Ortiz (Sunset Park, Red Hook) late last week sent letters to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio asking them to use their executive powers to locate and use all suitable and available buildings along the Sunset Park waterfront for the manufacture of needed medical supplies as soon as possible.

Ortiz noted that Sunset Park was a major hub during World War II when the waterfront served as a major economic development hub.

“The community is perfectly situated to undertake this role again during this time of world crisis. Sunset Park residents should receive priority preference for hiring since they can walk to work and avoid use of mass transit,” Ortiz wrote.

“Space in these buildings might also be used for badly needed hospital beds. The waterfront is a short distance from the NYU Langone Brooklyn Hospital. We need to move on these efforts now,” he added.


Bichotte Coronavirus Updates

Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte

Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte (D-Flatbush, Ditmas Park) released the following updates regarding the coronavirus yesterday. 

New York State: 

  • Governor Cuomo announced the generous donations:

1000 ventilators from the Joseph and Clara Tsai Foundation and the Chinese Government and 140 ventilators from Oregon Governor Kate Brown

1 million surgical masks from the NBA in collaboration with the Nets and the Knicks

  • Javits Center shifted to now be use as a facility to accept COVID patients

Executive Orders:

  • Executive Order that will allow the redistribution of ventilators and PPE in NYS to hospitals with the greatest need
  • Executive Order announcing medical students slated to graduate to be able to begin practicing to assist with COVID crisis
  • President Trump announced the deployment of 1000 military medical personnel to New York in preparation for the apex of cases. They will staff and equip the Javits Center’s 2500 bed makeshift hospitals.


  • Mayor De Blasio yesterday announced a deal with JetBlue and United Airlines to fly healthcare workers who are assisting with the coronavirus into New York for free

New York City:

  • Borough President Eric Adams put out a call for grocery stores to support the first responders by providing an express service shopping experience to accommodate them during their dedication to the coronavirus crisis. Foodtown and Pathmark are on board.

Cymbrowitz: New Budget Helps Preserve Communities Across NYS

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach) acknowledged that the recently enacted state budget he and his colleagues passed includes initiatives to increase access to safe and affordable housing, support homeowners and preserve communities across the state.

“Despite the COVID-19 crisis and its steep economic impact, my colleagues and I passed a budget that is consistent with our mission to help stabilize communities and protect our most vulnerable residents,” Cymbrowitz said.

The SFY 2020-21 budget continues funding the state’s $2.5 billion commitment to affordable housing and anti-homelessness initiatives. The funding will continue to support the creation or maintenance of the program’s 100,000 units of affordable housing and 6,000 units of supportive housing. The spending plan allocates $10 million from the Mortgage Insurance Fund to support the Homeowner Protection Program (HOPP), which helps homeowners avoid foreclosure by connecting them to free, qualified foreclosure relief services, counseling and information.

“Families facing the threat of foreclosure cannot navigate this process on their own, nor should they be expected to. Fortunately, the Homeowner Protection Program has made New York a leader in foreclosure prevention,” said Cymbrowitz. “Safe and secure housing, and the ability to remain in that housing, is very much tied to workforce availability, vibrancy of our communities, and is an essential step in the path to the American dream.”

Myrie Hosting “Immigrant Resource Townhall”

State Senator Zellnor Myrie
State Senator Zellnor Myrie

State Senator Zellnor Myrie’s (D-Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Gowanus, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, South Slope, Sunset Park) office is hosting a virtual “Immigrant Resource Townhall” with community-based organizations in his district.

Joining with City Council Member Carlos Menchaca (D-Red Hook, Sunset Park), the New York Immigration Coalition, and other community groups with loads of useful information that can help serve the community.

The virtual Town Hall is slated for this Facebook Page on at 6 p.m., Tuesday, April 7. 

Coronavirus Updates: 

Domestic Violence:

  • The governor’s office has announced that they will help relocate anyone who is in a domestic violence situation and in danger due to the coronavirus. The state hotline is 1-800-942-6906.

Face Coverings:

  • The city is recommending people wear face coverings when in public, such as a scarf, bandana, or mask, worn once per day and washed daily. The use of a face covering such as these is to help prevent the spread of the virus from those who are asymptomatic.

Frontus Slams Feds for Blocking Uninsured from Obamacare

Mathylde Frontus
Assembly Member Mathylde Frontus

Assemblymember Mathylde Frontus (D-Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Bay Ridge) last week slammed the Trump administration for refusing to reopen the Obamacare exchanges, blocking millions of uninsured Americans from purchasing coverage amid the coronavirus crisis.

“At a time when we should be united in confronting a public health threat, it is unconscionable to block access to healthcare coverage,” Frontus said.

Administration officials and President Donald Trump had reportedly told insurers they were considering reopening, the insurance exchange created by the Affordable Care Act, to allow for a special enrollment period during the coronavirus crisis.

The enrollment period for the 38 states that use the federal exchange runs from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15. Eleven states, including New York, operate their own insurance exchanges.

Frontus called on the state and federal governments to prioritize public health.

“Not only is it cruel to deny our neighbors health care during a pandemic, it is bad policy,” Frontus said.

More from Around New York