MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Nov. 12, 2020

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Williams Recognizes Veterans Day

New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams (Photo credit:
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams (D) released a statement yesterday in recognition of Veterans Day.

Williams emphasized that to truly honor our veterans, it’s not enough to merely thank them for their service. We have to support legislation and policies that protect their access to shelter, healthcare and food security.

“Too many veterans see their service met by a government not fulfilling their end of the contract,” said Williams. “This is an injustice not confined to any one party or administration, and one we must correct moving forward as we transition into new national leadership. I stand in appreciation of all, past and present, who have chosen to serve our nation in uniform, including within my own family and staff.”

Hoylman Hails New Protections for LGBTQ Veterans Under New Law

State Senator Brad Hoylman (photo provided by Avi Small)
State Senator Brad Hoylman

Yesterday, State Senator Brad Hoylman (D-Chelsea, Midtown) commemorated the enactment of his bill, the Restoration of Honor Act.

The bill opens state veterans benefit applications for New Yorkers who were dishonorably discharged because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, sexual trauma or post-traumatic stress. The New York State Division of Veterans Services (NYS DVS) began accepting applications from veterans last June, and will start evaluating them today, as the bill formally goes into effect.

“If you serve our country, our country should take care of you–period,” said Hoylman. “The legacy of discriminatory prohibitions on military service means generations of LGBTQIA+ Americans are still unable to access many veterans’ benefits due to the status of their military discharge. We are taking a major step forward tomorrow to correct that grave injustice with the implementation of the Restoration of Honor Act. I am proud to have helped pass the Restoration of Honor Act, thanks to the leadership of Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and with the partnership of Assembly Member Didi Barrett.

“While much work lies ahead to reverse the Trump administration’s attacks on transgender service members, this is an important advance in New York State.”

Cuomo Signs Anti-SLAPP Legislation

Governor Andrew Cuomo (Photo Credit:
Governor Andrew Cuomo

Last Tuesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) signed legislation to protect New Yorkers’ First Amendment rights by deterring strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs).

SLAPPs are frivolous lawsuits that wealthy plaintiffs use to intimidate and stifle their critics. The purpose of a SLAPP is not to win, but tp lock the defendant into expensive, time-consuming litigation; this deters them from speaking out again. The bill will discourage SLAPP usage by allowing courts to reimburse SLAPP defendants for legal fees and other expenses.

“For too long, powerful and wealthy interests have used frivolous lawsuits to harass and intimidate critics by burdening them with exorbitant legal fees and time consuming legal processes. That ends now,” Cuomo said. “I am proud to sign this legislation, which protects New Yorkers’ fundamental right to free speech without fear of harassment or bullying by those who happen to have more money than they do.”

Levine Warns That “The Second Wave is Here”

Council Member Mark D. Levine (Photo source: Wikipediting, CC BY-SA 3.0)
Council Member Mark D. Levine

Last Tuesday, Councilmember Mark Levine (D-Manhattan Valley, Manhattanville) warned New Yorkers that we’re entering a tougher new phase in the COVID-19 crisis, in an interview with Inside City Hall anchor Errol Louis.

New York, he said, is worse than it has been in months by multiple metrics, including infections, hospitalizations and fatalities. Going forward, we may have to be even more cautious than we were over the summer.

“Every single metric we have, from cases to positivity to hospitalizations and I’m even sorry to say, most painfully, fatalities — every one of those measures is up sharply, in some cases by four or five times since September,” said Levine. “And the number of cases just in the last seven days is up 50% in New York City. So the second wave is here, and we need New Yorkers to adjust to that and start working again to flatten the curve.”

Krueger to Host Virtual Medicare Townhall

State Senator Liz Krueger (Photo provided by Krueger's Communications Office)
State Senator Liz Krueger

Today, State Senator Liz Krueger (D-Upper East Side, Lenox Hill) will be hosting a virtual townhall on Medicare Parts A-D.

She and Eric Hausman from the Department for the Aging will be taking questions on Medicare Advantage, supplemental Medigap plans, incoming changes to premiums and deductibles, and other issues.

The event will take place today from 2-3:30 p.m. To register, click here.

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