Queens Lawmakers on the Move Move May 26, 2020

Queens County City Council News

Cuomo Announces State To Provide Death Benefits For Frontline CVID-19 Workers

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo yesterday announced that state and local governments will provide death benefits for frontline workers who died from COVID-19 during this emergency.

Cuomo also renewed his call for the federal government to provide hazard pay for essential public workers on the front lines.

“During these troubling times there have been so many New Yorkers who have really risen to the challenge and done more than anyone could ask for or expect, and we want to make sure that we remember them and we thank those heroes for all that they’ve done,” said Cum.

“I personally feel a grave responsibility to our frontline and essential workers who understood the dangers of this virus, but went to work anyway because we needed them to. And we’re going to make sure that every government in the State of New York provides death benefits to those public heroes who died from COVID-19 during this emergency,” he added.

Queens US. Reps Urge Cuomo to Release More Inmates 

U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries
U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks

The Queens House delegation including U.S. Reps. Hakeem Jeffries, Nydia Velázquez, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Grace Meng, Gregory Meeks, Thomas Suozzi and Carolyn Maloney this weekend signed on to a letter to Gov. Cuomo urging him to release more inmates, making available widespread, accessible testing, providing PPE and health supplies, and rigorously enforcing social distancing for the inmate and staff populations.

“Tragically, New York is the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States and prisons are undeniably among the locations at greatest risk for COVID-19 outbreaks,” they wrote. “If we hope to stem the spread of COVID-19 behind bars and throughout New York’s local communities, we must create space for social distancing by releasing vulnerable people and reducing the prison population. We urge New York State to exercise leadership and compassion to protect people living and working in jails and prisons. Releasing a significant number of incarcerated people and ensuring compliance with public health standards will surely save lives, both of those who are incarcerated and of others living in the community.”

The letter was was also enjoined with a coalition of organizations, which wrote: “For months, public health experts, elected officials, incarcerated people and their loved ones, correctional officers, and advocates have said loud and clear that the only way to mitigate the imminent danger people in jails and prisons face from the spread of COVID-19 is to release those most vulnerable and to significantly reduce the overall population.

Addabbo Holds Virtual Meeting DOL Over Unemployment Claims Snafu

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, the Rockaways) recently participated in a Zoom meeting with other state legislators and the NYS Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon to discuss how the department is handling the influx of unemployment claims due to the Coronavirus.

According to Commissioner Reardon, between March 8 and May 9, the NYS Department of Labor has taken in approximately 2 million unemployment claims — that is more than 2.5 years’ worth of claims in a two-month period.

Addabbo explained that a number of factors could delay an individual’s unemployment claim, such as incorrect information given to the Department of Labor, the complexity of an individual’s work history, or the federal requirements of properly identifying the individual and certifying the benefits. More information is available at www.dol.ny.gov.

“While great strides have been made at the Department of Labor to clear the backlog of claims, more still needs to be done,” Addabbo said. “I appreciate the hard work and dedication of the Department of Labor employees, and I want to thank Commissioner Reardon for keeping us legislators updated on this situation, as many of our constituents are concerned about their benefits. We need to continue to work together to ensure that all New Yorkers are able to financially survive this pandemic. I look forward to assisting my constituents with their unemployment claims.”

Addabbo’s Howard Beach and Middle Village offices are open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and a team member can be reached at 718-738-1111 or 718-497-1630. After 2 p.m., a 24/7 live operator is available. The building where the Senator’s Rockaway office is located is currently undergoing renovations and is therefore closed, but constituents on the peninsula can still call 718-318-0702 to reach a team member.

Kim Joins Flushing Biz Leaders To Distribute PPEs

Assemblymember Ron Kim/Facebook

Assemblymember Ron Kim (D-Whitestone, Flushing, College Point, Murray Hill), will be joined by Senior Advisor Ellen Young, to hand out 60,000 pieces of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to Flushing small businesses and not-for-profit-organizations. 

These large quantities of PPE are being donated by GuangXi Overseas Chinese Kind Foundation (广西华侨爱心基金会), Chinese American Guanxi Federal Association (美国广西侨胞联合总会), and the American Chinese Asean Chamber of Commerce Inc. (美中东盟总商会)

The handout is slated for 11 a.m., today, May 26 at the Flushing Library, 41-17 Main Street in Flushing.