Brooklyn Lawmakers on the Move Dec. 28, 2020

News Site Brooklyn

Bichotte Expectant Mother Treatment Bill Signed Into Law

Rodneyse Bichotte
Kings County Democratic Party Chair and Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte

Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte (D-Flatbush, Ditmas Park) last week saw Governor Andrew M. Cuomo sign her Jonah Bichotte Cowan (A2770C/S8525A ) legislation establishing requirements for treatment when an expectant mother presents at a general hospital with concerns about being in pre-term labor. 

The law is named in memory of Jonah Bichotte Cowan, the late son of Bichotte.

“We must guarantee our healthcare system looks out for all expecting mothers and provides for their safety and the safety of their newborn. It’s no secret that disparities exist within the health care system and now New York is taking a real, meaningful step towards making it more fair, supportive and equitable,” said Cuomo.

“Thanks to the work of Assemblymember Bichotte, all expectant mothers in New York will have their medical concerns taken seriously and the hospital of their choice will be prepared to admit, diagnose, and treat expectant mothers in emergency situations,” he added.

Bichotte said the law addresses the standard of care for expectant mothers experiencing preterm labor and is a critical step towards reducing disparities in Black maternal care and Black infant care. 

“Black infants are more than twice as likely to die from premature birth than babies of other races. Unfortunately, I have experienced that disparity firsthand when I lost my own son, Jonah, after being turned away from a hospital in an incredibly high-risk situation. I also thank my colleagues in Albany, the doctors and advocates who shared their own stories and weighed in on this legislation and the many women who helped me champion this bill. Other mothers and infants, of all races and ethnicities, will now receive the standard medical care at hospitals they deserve because of this legislation in Jonah’s memory,” said Bichotte.

Schumer, PA Williams Push For Sunset Park Wind Turbines

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer
Jumaane Williams
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams today will push for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to support a multi-million dollar investment program to upgrade Sunset Park port infrastructure to support offshore wind development that would establish a local wind turbine assembly center.

The lawmakers contend that the assembly center would create thousands of jobs and generate more than 1,500 megawatts of clean energy. Schumer will detail the effort, make his case for investment and say it is high time for Brooklyn to be among the New York communities leading the way on environmentally-friendly industrial development to ensure wind technologies are made in New York, creating new jobs and opportunities across the state.

Schumer will argue that the Sunset Park Terminal can position the state to manufacture offshore wind tech and lead in clean energy.

Schumer and Williams will further elaborate on their plan at 11 a.m., today, Dec. 28 at the Marine Terminal at 39th Street and 2nd Avenue in Sunset Park.

Adams Distributes Toys for Holidays

Borough President Eric Adams
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams joined the Salvation Army of Greater New York on the day before Christmas to distribute a variety of toys donated to families who live in Howard Houses, a New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) development in Brownsville, for the holidays. 

The distribution event comes amid an unprecedented holiday season, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to devastate the city and make in-person gatherings more challenging. 

 “In the midst of an extremely challenging holiday season, we can still show up for each other while remaining physically apart. Brooklynites have shown their generosity throughout this pandemic, helping to deliver groceries, medicine, and other necessities to their neighbors in need. Now, we are proud to partner with the Salvation Army to spread holiday cheer to families in NYCHA. We thank them for their partnership, and all the good work they do on behalf of all residents of Brooklyn and New York City,” said Adams. 

Borough President Adams and the Salvation Army gave out 1,500 toys to spread holiday cheer, and reminded families to abide by all available public health guidelines, including wearing masks, getting tested regularly, and maintaining social distancing. 

Gillibrand Announces Expansion in SNAP Benefits

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced a vital 15% increase in SNAP benefits and her proposal to expand the Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) program is included in the latest coronavirus relief package. 

“As the country experiences another dangerous wave of coronavirus infections, and the economy continues to suffer, it’s critical that hard-working Americans have the resources to keep their families fed. For months I have fought to increase SNAP benefits and I’m proud that this vital increase is finally included in this current package,” said Senator Gillibrand. “In this time of uncertainty we must ensure that SNAP and P-EBT can respond to growing demand and reach as many Americans as possible. The investments in these programs will provide a vital lifeline and prevent more hungry children from slipping through the cracks. There’s more work to be done, and I will continue working across the aisle to help New Yorkers keep food on the table during this crisis and beyond.” 

Gillibrand also secured $175 million for Older Americans Act Nutrition Services to support efforts to deliver nutritious meals for older adults. Food banks across New York and the country have experienced growing and unprecedented demand since March. In New York 13% of rural families depend on SNAP while 15% of those in metro areas rely on the program.

Although the need for SNAP has drastically increased as many Americans have lost their jobs and are struggling to put food on the table due to the COVID-19 crisis, the 15% increase has not been included in previous coronavirus response packages. Senator Gillibrand’s proposals will not only increase SNAP benefits for each family, they will expand eligibility by removing harmful barriers to access, and will put healthy and nutritious food on the table for families in need.  

Jeffries: Pass the Cash Act

U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries

U.S. Reps. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn, Queens) spoke directly to his constituents in the 8th Congressional District and residents of New York City about House Democrats’ efforts to secure $2000 direct payment checks for the American people. 

House Republicans blocked a request by House Democrats to increase economic impact payments to $2,000, an amount the President has endorsed.

Today, Jeffries will return to Washington to reject the Republican’s cruel objection through passing a stand-alone bill, the CASH Act of 2020, to increase the direct payments and help ensure everyday Americans have the assistance they need during this pandemic.