NY Lawmakers on the Move, Feb. 14, 2022

Lawmakers on the Move

Adams Announces Opening of Wellness Rooms for Frontline Health Care Workers

Mayor Eric Adams

Mayor Eric Adams yesterday announced that the city will open wellness rooms at two NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health clinics, providing support and resources to city health care workers thanks to an anonymous $100,000 donation.

These essential wellness spaces will provide respite and support for health care workers at  NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health Belvis and Cumberland, who have served in some of the hardest-hit neighborhoods of New York City during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The new rooms, expected to open later this year, will provide a quiet place for frontline workers to recharge, de-stress, heal, and emphasize the importance of taking a break and taking care of themselves during the workday. 

“Our frontline health care workers and first responders have kept New York City safe for the past two years of this pandemic and this generous donation will ensure that these heroes have the support and resources they deserve to recharge and continue serving thousands of fellow New Yorkers,” said Adams. “I thank this anonymous donor for recognizing all that our health care heroes have done and our first responders for putting their lives on the line every day.”

Speaker Adams, Council Members Call on Mayor Adams to Baseline Fair Fares Funding at Original Level 

City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams
City Councilmember Justin Brannan

New York City Council Speaker Adrienne E. Adams (D-Queens), Council Finance Committee Chair Justin Brannan (D-Brooklyn), Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chair Selvena N. Brooks-Powers (D-Queens), General Welfare Committee Chair Diana Ayala (D-Bronx), Majority Leader Keith Powers (D-Manhattan), and other Council Members called on Mayor Eric Adams yesterday to baseline funding for the Fair Fares initiative at its previous full level in his Fiscal Year 2023 Preliminary Budget.

This would institutionalize funding in the city budget, so inclusion of the vital program that makes the public transit system accessible and affordable to low-income New Yorkers no longer is the subject of negotiation. Fair Fares, which provides half-price MetroCards to New Yorkers with incomes up to 100 percent of the federal poverty level, was originally funded at $106 million in Fiscal Year 2020 but had been reduced to $53 million in the most recent budget.

The Council also urged greater outreach efforts to connect eligible New Yorkers to Fair Fares, kicking off an effort to secure the funding and raise public awareness of the program. 

“Fair Fares, a signature achievement of the previous City Council, remains a priority of mine and this Council,” said Speaker Adams. “It is imperative that public transportation be accessible, affordable, and equitable for all New Yorkers, and baselining Fair Fares in the budget can help ensure low-income residents are prioritized in our city’s transit system as we seek to reinvigorate our ridership. We urge Mayor Adams to recognize this need to institutionalize Fair Fares funding at its original level in his upcoming preliminary budget,  while supporting a robust outreach effort to enroll more New Yorkers in the program that we can all partner in accomplishing.” 

Suozzi Lauds Largest Ever Federal Investment for Electric Vehicle Charging Stations is combining to NY

U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi

U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D–Long Island, Queens) will hold a press conference today at an electric vehicle charging station in Glen Cove to highlight the recently announced federal dollars from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Package.

As one of the lead negotiators in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Package, Suozzi will announce that New York is set to receive $26 million over five years in federal funds specifically targeted to help build a network of electric vehicle charging stations across the state.

This historic investment is part of the Biden administration’s broader agenda to combat human-caused climate change and advance the clean energy transition. As electric vehicles are becoming a practical option for more Americans, the need for convenient, reliable, affordable, and equitable charging increases —all while creating good-paying union jobs right here in New York.

Suozzi is slated to make the announcement at 11:15 a.m., today, Feb. 14 at the Municipal Parking Garage at 9 Glen St, Level 2, in Glen Cove, Long Island.

Gillibrand, AG James Fight for Victims of Human Trafficking 

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
Attorney General Letitia James

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and New York State Attorney General Letitia “Tish” James held a press conference today announcing their support of two bipartisan bills, the Trafficking Survivors Relief Act and the Put Trafficking Victims First Act, that would support victims and survivors of human trafficking. 

In 2020, the United States reported nearly 11,000 cases of human trafficking, and New York State is the fourth highest-ranked state in the nation for reported cases. The two bills would help to identify and rescue trafficking victims, support victims in recovery, and remove barriers to data collection on human trafficking.

“Human trafficking is a horrific form of slavery that affects thousands of people across this country and hundreds in New York. All too often, victims of human trafficking are forced by their captors to commit crimes with no freedom to refuse and face criminal charges,” said Gillibrand. “Congress has a responsibility to end these injustices and clear non-violent criminal convictions of trafficking survivors so they can rebuild their lives without a criminal record. These bipartisan bills would help accomplish this goal and would also improve data collection on human trafficking to better identify patterns and provide a trauma-informed, victim-centered approach to recovery.”

“The human trafficking crisis is largely unseen, but deeply felt in communities across New York,” said James. “The bills put forward by Senator Gillibrand will go a long way in putting much-needed attention and resources toward anti-trafficking efforts and supporting trafficking victims and survivors. I thank Senator Gillibrand for her willingness to use her power to help the powerless. My office will continue to do all that we can to address this pervasive issue, and protect women and girls throughout the country.”