NY Lawmakers on the Move Feb. 24, 2022

Lawmakers on the Move

Clarke applauds new efforts to Improve New York’s Cybersecurity

U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke

U.S. Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (D-Brooklyn), chairwoman of the House Homeland Security Committee’s Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Innovation Subcommittee, yesterday applauded the announcement by Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams of new efforts to improve New York’s cybersecurity. 

“I am glad to see Governor Hochul and Mayor Adams are prioritizing addressing cyber threats by increasing investments in cybersecurity, launching a new Joint Security Operations Center in Brooklyn, and prioritizing the development of the cyber talent pipeline. Enhancing the cybersecurity of state and local governments has been a focus of mine in Congress, and as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, I secured $1 billion in new state and local cybersecurity grant fundin,” said Clarke. 

“This new grant program will ensure New York can continue to build on the important efforts announced today. State and local governments have seen an onslaught of ransomware attacks in recent years and need to strengthen their cyber defenses. These threats are a national security issue, and the Federal government must be a supportive partner through additional resources and enhanced information sharing. As Chairwoman of Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Innovation Subcommittee, I will continue to work with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to ensure state and local governments have the assistance they need to protect against cyberattacks,” the lawmaker added.

In May of last year, Clarke introduced H.R. 3138, the State and Local Cybersecurity Improvement Act, which passed the House in July. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law signed by President Biden in November included this bill and $1 billion in funding to state and local governments for strengthening cyber defenses over the next four years.

AM Gibbs Co-Sponsors Bill Allowing Incarcerated People to Receive Student Financial Aid

Assembly Member Edward Gibbs

Assemblymember Eddie Gibbs (D-Manhattan) co-sponsored Assembly Bill A2322 which repeals the ban preventing incarcerated persons from receiving Tuition Assistance Program funding from New York State to pursue higher education. 

Gibbs served time in prison where he earned a degree from Cayuga Community College. 

“Receiving a college degree in prison was a turning point in my life. It made me realize that a better path was available for me and gave me the knowledge and skills to take that path. The goal of prison should be rehabilitation, and New York State must ensure incarcerated people today have access to financial assistance to pursue a college education like I did,” said Gibbs.

Gibbs is working with members of the Democratic conference in both the Assembly and the Senate to ensure $5 million is passed to restore Tuition Assistance Program funding for incarcerated individuals, as was proposed by Governor Hochul in her FY23 executive budget. 

Gibbs said the 1995 law banning incarcerated New Yorkers from receiving student State financial aid has been devastating to them and the communities they return to upon their release.

Colton Calls on PSC to Reject Con Ed’s Recent Rate Hikes

Assemblymember William Colton

Assemblyman William Colton (D-Brooklyn) said yesterday that recent Con Edison delivery rate hikes will drive New Yorkers to move out of their homes and leave NYC for good.  

“The New Yorkers are already paying the highest prices for electricity and gas in the country. When the pandemic hit our country, many people were facing and still are facing massive financial hardships paying their bills. In 2020, the Public Service Commission had approved a rate increase for Con Edison. The increase would take effect over three years. Customers would be paying about 13% more each month for electricity in 2022 than they did in 2019,” Colton stated. 

“The Public Service Commission controls changes to the rates and must notify customers when changes will be made to the rates. But the recent electricity rate hike caused Con Edison bills to be two to three times more within a few months for some individuals. If these rate hikes will continue, then it will be impossible for residents to afford their rent and utilities,” he added.

Colton said Con Edison already put a great burden on people by raising their rates without the approval of the Public Service Commission, but it didn’t stop them in January of 2022 to file a plan with the Public Service Commission asking for $1.2 billion more for their projects, which would result in an estimated 11% bill increase for electric and gas customers.

AG James Delivers Over $640,000 to New York Breast Cancer Organizations

Attorney General Letitia James

New York Attorney General Letitia James yesterday delivered more than $640,000 to five nonprofit organizations that are leading the fight against breast cancer. 

The funds were recovered by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) from organizations and individuals who defrauded New Yorkers into making donations that went into the pockets of telemarketers. The OAG recovered the funds from the Breast Cancer Survivors Foundation, Inc. (BCSF), a sham organization, and Garrett Morgan, a telemarketer who misled donors into contributing to a sham breast cancer organization on Long Island. 

The $644,054.79 in restitution was distributed to the American Cancer Society, Living Beyond Breast Cancer, West Islip Breast Cancer Coalition, Babylon Breast Cancer Coalition, and Manhasset Women’s Coalition Against Breast Cancer.

“It is unconscionable that organizations and telemarketers preyed on the public’s generosity and deprived breast cancer patients of vital support during a time of tremendous physical, mental, and emotional distress,” said James. “Today, I am honored to return these funds to the people and organizations that need them most. My office is proud to be a partner to these five incredible organizations and help them in supporting breast cancer patients and survivors throughout their journey.”