Lawmakers on the Move, Jan. 18, 2022

Lawmakers, prescription drugs

Gillibrand, Torres to Write Legislation requiring heat sensors in Fed-funded housing

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
City Councilman Ritchie Torres
U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-Bronx) yesterday announced their intent to spearhead new federal legislation to hold federally funded or regulated multi-family housing developments accountable for heating violations. 

In light of the recent fire tragedy caused by a space heater that took the lives of 17 New Yorkers, including 8 children, Gillibrand announced that she will work with Torres and lead the Senate bill that will require the installation of heat sensors in certain federally funded buildings so that federal, state, and local housing administrators can assess heat levels in real-time, prevent future fire tragedies, and improve fire safety and housing quality. 

“We cannot let a tragedy like this happen in our communities ever again. My heart is with the Twin Parks North West community and the families and friends who lost a loved one in the fire,” said Gillibrand. “This is a matter of grave urgency, and I’m proud to be working with Congressman Torres to introduce a bill that will ensure buildings are in compliance with all heating requirements during cold-weather months to prevent future tragedies. While we can’t change the events of the past, we will do everything in our power as your leaders to prevent these tragic events from ever occurring in the future.” 

Torres said it is no accident that the four worst fires in New York City’s history in the last 30 years have all been in the Bronx. 

“The tragedy at Twin Parks North West only underscores that we must take federal action to ensure tenants have safe and affordable homes no matter their zip code. Currently what the law requires often falls short of what tenants need to remain warm in their homes. The feeling of freezing in apartments causes tenants to resort to space heaters out of sheer desperation. The introduction of federal legislation to require heat sensors in federally funded buildings will improve standards of living, especially in places like the Bronx where we see the effects of an aging housing market,” said Torres.

Oyster Bay Town Leaders Urge Tax Payment Deadline Extension as Thousands Face Foreclosure

Town of Oyster Bay Receiver of Taxes Jeff Pravato (center) joins with Supervisor Joseph Saladino and Hempstead Town Receiver of Taxes Jeannine Driscoll in calling on New York State to extend the deadline for the collection of the first half of General Taxes by 30 days.

Oyster Bay Town Receiver of Taxes Jeffrey Pravato, Supervisor Joseph Saladino and Hempstead Town Receiver of Taxes Jeanine Driscoll on Friday urged New York State Governor Kathy Hochul to extend the deadline for the collection of the first half of general taxes from February 10 until March 10 without the imposition of a penalty.  

The call for an extension comes as 14,500 Long Islanders were behind on mortgages as the State foreclosure moratorium ended this past Saturday, 

“Earlier today, we sent a letter to the Governor requesting a deadline extension for payment of the first half of General taxes until March 10, without imposition of a penalty. This 30-day extension gives families in a crunch the extra time to line up their finances, consult with their attorney and make a decision that’s best for their household,” said Pravato.

Saladino said many people know how hard it is to afford property taxes on Long Island, and now adding to that is the struggle to pay your mortgage, and the increasing price of food and home heating oil. 

“That’s why this extension is so important. The Governor can allow local governments to extend the deadline for property taxes for 30 days. Why not do it? This 30-day window gives homeowners facing foreclosure an opportunity to get their finances in order and have a little extra time to get their property taxes paid. Let’s face it; those facing foreclosure shouldn’t be forced to come up with additional money for late fees and penalties at a time when they’re catching up on their bills – especially when a 30-day extension costs us nothing. Governor, let’s get it done,” said Saladino.

Prior to the collection of both General and School taxes in 2020 and 2021, Receiver Pravato and Supervisor Saladino lobbied New York State for an extension to the collection date, without the imposition of a penalty. 

When taxes are due, residents can make their payments online via eCheck or credit card, where a third-party vendor charges a processing fee, or mail their payments to the Receiver’s Office.  Additionally, residents can also pay in person via cash, check, money order or credit/debit card at either office or walkup windows at both Town Hall North in Oyster Bay and Town Hall South in Massapequa from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

CM Lee Announces Discretionary Expense Application is open

City Council Member Linda Lee

City Council Member Linda Lee (D-Queens) announced yesterday in her e-newsletter that the City Council’s Fiscal Year 2023 Discretionary Expense Application is now open. 

Non-profit organizations that wish to be eligible to receive such funding from the City Council must complete this application no later than Tuesday, February 22, 2022. Additionally, non-City organizations that wish to apply for Capital funding must apply using the CapGrants portal.

Lee, who just took office a few weeks ago, used to run the non-profit KCS in Bayside that provides a wide array of social services including job training, senior care, healthcare, mental health, immigration, and other services to the community. 

“During the pandemic, I helped KCS pivot to become one of the first COVID-19 testing and vaccine sites in Eastern Queens. I received my Master’s in Social Work from Columbia University and my Bachelor’s degree from Barnard College. A lifelong New Yorker, I live in Oakland Gardens with my husband and two young sons. You can reach me on my Council email at: [email protected],” the lawmaker wrote.

More from Around New York