MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Dec. 10, 2020

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Nadler, Warren Introduce Consumer Bankruptcy Reform Act

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (Photo Credit: U.S. House Office of Photography)
U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler

Yesterday, U.S. Rep Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn) and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) introduced legislation to reform and modernize the consumer bankruptcy system.

The Consumer Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2020 seeks to simplify the system to make it easier for families faced with bankruptcy to get back on their feet. Its provisions include:

  • Replacing the two separate bankruptcy chapters with one unified system to streamline the filing process;
  • Making student loan debt dischargeable in bankruptcy;
  • and closing loopholes allowing the wealthy to exploit the bankrupcy system, including the “Millionaire’s loophole”.

“Bankruptcy is an option of last resort, but it also promises a fresh start so that people can get back up and keep working and providing for their families,” said Nadler.  “Today that promise rings hollow for many people because the bankruptcy system has become complex, unfair, and even punitive for ordinary consumers. The Consumer Bankruptcy Reform Act ensures that the bankruptcy system works for the American people and not just big corporate creditors. Senator Warren and I have worked on this issue for many years, and I look forward to continuing our fight for consumers with this new legislation.”

Stringer Applauds DiNapoli for Fossil Fuel Divestment

NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer (Photo credit: Thomas Good, CC BY-SA 4.0)
NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer

City Comptroller Scott Stringer (D) released a statement yesterday after State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli (D) announced a massive statewide divestment from fossil fuel companies.

DiNapoli announced that New York will divest its $226 billion pension fund from fossil fuel companies by the end of the 2020s. He also announced that the State will achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040.

“Climate change is the most pressing challenge of our time, and we need to take on the climate emergency to protect our people, our planet, and our pensioners,” said Stringer. “Since we announced a first-in-the-nation divestment goal, the urgent financial risks of climate change have only become more severe, and other states and cities have joined the fight. The future is on the side of clean energy, not big oil, and I applaud Comptroller DiNapoli for taking this major step toward a sustainable economy and all those who have worked tirelessly on these efforts. We proudly stand side by side in our commitments to a greener future for our children.”

Jackson Urges Cuomo to Uphold Promise of Rent Relief Reform

State Senator Robert Jackson (Photo Credit:
State Senator Robert Jackson

Yesterday, State Senator Robert Jackson (D-Washington Heights, Inwood) wrote a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo (D), calling on him to release the executive order he promised last week to amend the Rent Relief Program (RRP).

The legislature had allocated $100 million for the RRP when it was enacted last summer; by October, however, Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) reported that they had only disbursed $23 million. On Dec. 3, Cuomo announced that he would enact an executive order to loosen the act’s eligibility requirements and extend the application window. As of this writing, he has not yet followed through on this promise.

“To begin with, the $100 million was inadequate to address the need statewide,” said Jackson. “We all agree that to leave over half of it on the table is unconscionable.

“I entreat you to issue the language of your Executive Order immediately. We need language that extends the months the program covers through December because the sluggish rollout by HCR has left eligible tenants waiting months for funds that only cover March through August; meanwhile, additional unpaid rent bills continue to pile up. We also need you to implement stronger eviction protections until we can pass legislation to keep tenants in their homes and stave off an even greater homelessness crisis than the one we already face.”