Political Odds & Ends, Dec. 14, 2021


Hochul Signs Mayer, Rozic Bill Protecting Credit Card Rewards Points 

State Sen. Shelley Mayer
Assemblywoman Nily Rozic

State Sen. Shelley B. Mayer (D-Westchester) and Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Queens) announced yesterday that Gov. Kathy Hochul signed their legislation (S133B/A5698) to protect consumers’ credit card rewards points by establishing a set grace period for their use.

Consumers have listed rewards programs as among the most important factors when selecting a credit card, but too often companies cancel accounts without providing consumers the opportunity to redeem their rewards points. This law will prohibit such surprise cancellation, which, depending on consumer preference, can amount to a loss of hundreds or even thousands of dollars, and ensures consumers have a grace period during which they can redeem accumulated rewards points. 

Credit card companies will be required to inform credit cardholders within 45 days if their account or rewards program is modified, cancelled, closed or terminated. Unless the customer has engaged in fraud or misuse of the account, holders will then have 90 days to redeem or exchange their rewards points. 

“When consumers save their credit card rewards points for long periods of time, a sudden and unexpected cancellation constitutes a significant loss of money. I am pleased the notification and grace period required by this new law will increase transparency and provide important consumer protections to New Yorkers,” said Mayer.

“New York consumers deserve access to the credit card rewards points they earned and transparency about how they are governed. Thank you to Governor Hochul for signing this common-sense legislation to protect consumers,” said Rozic.

This law will take effect on Dec. 10, 2022.

Colton Call on City Council to Pass Bill Limiting Classroom Capacity

Assemblymember William Colton

Assemblyman William Colton (D-Brooklyn) said yesterday that with the City Council has been rushing through many controversial bills, it is about time they pass a bill (Int. 2374) before them limiting classroom capacity in public schools.

Forty-one council members sponsored the measure, which would require each classroom in a school of the city school district of the city of New York to provide 35 square feet of net floor area per child. On Oct. 27, the Committee on Education hearing was held on the bill and it was laid over the same day

“The smaller class size will allow teachers to better focus on the individual needs and weaknesses of each child and in the days of COVID, this will help protect our children with more social distancing. There are billions of federal dollars from the federal COVID assistance that can be used to create more classrooms to make this happen,” said Colton.

“Ironically early this month City Council passed a bill allowing nearly 800,000 non-citizens to vote in local elections and Mayor de Blasio chose not to veto this bill. The 39 out of 49 council members have signed onto Int. 2374 which is an overwhelming majority and is preventing the mayor from blocking it, but for an unknown reason, Mayor de Blasio is preventing bill 2374, classroom capacity, from getting to vote which would help the education of all children by lowering class size. I am urging the City Council Speaker to schedule a vote on this bill immediately. Our children are our future and they deserve the best,” the lawmaker added.

Vernikov Holds Rally Against Vaccine Mandates

City Councilmember Inna Vernikov

City Council Member Inna Vernikov (D-Brooklyn) will hold a rally today against Mayor Bill de Blasio’s COVID vaccine mandate.

The rally comes as de Blasio in recent weeks has announced a series of vaccine mandates impacting private schools, private businesses, and children aged 5-11 who wish to participate in extracurricular activities. 

“I believe these mandates are a significant government overreach and infringe on the right of New Yorkers to make their own healthcare choices. I believe that everyone who would like to be vaccinated should have access to the vaccine, but not be compelled by the government,” said Vernikov in an email.

The rally is slated for 12 noon, today, Dec. 14 outside of Gracie Mansion (East End Avenue & East 87 Street) in Manhattan.

QBP Richards Sponsors Scholarship Competition Recognizing Black History Month

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. yesterday announced he is inviting talented Queens high school seniors interested in pursuing a post-secondary education to apply for the African American Heritage Scholarships. 

The Borough President’s African American Heritage Committee will award the scholarships during Black History Month early next year.

“Our borough’s high school seniors are bright, talented, and ready to take on the world,” said Richards. “It is great that our African American Heritage Scholarships allow us to help several graduating seniors afford to attend college. There is no better way to celebrate African American history than by working to give the youth of today a better chance to get ahead.”

All of the scholarship winners will receive monetary awards they can use to cover expenses related to their post-secondary studies. Eight students won scholarships during last year’s edition of this competition, with each student receiving a $1,000 scholarship.

Only Queens residents are eligible for the scholarships.

Any high school senior seeking to apply for an African American Heritage Scholarship must submit a completed application and an official high school transcript by 5 p.m. EST on Monday, January 10, 2022. Those who win the scholarships will be notified by Tuesday, February 1, 2022 and will be recognized during Borough President Richards’ Black History Month Celebration on Wednesday, February 23, 2022.

Students interested in applying for a scholarship can do so by completing the application form at www.queensbp.org/AAHCScholarshipApp and also sending their transcripts by email to sanderson@queensbp.org or by fax to 718-286-3134.