NY Lawmakers on the Move March 11, 2022

Lawmakers on the Move

Clarke Gets 10 Community Projects Funded in Fed Omnibus Bill

U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke

U.S. Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (D-Brooklyn) yesterday voted to fund $17,700,000 in Community Projects that she championed for New York’s 9th Congressional District. 

This crucial funding for local projects, included in the FY22 Omnibus government funding package that passed the House of Representatives with bi-partisan support, responds directly to some of the most pressing needs throughout New York’s 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn.

“Brooklyn’s fight for progress and ability to overcome the incredible hurdles our communities too often face has never lacked resolve or spirit, but rather resources. Today, we take an important step to changing that. I am proud to announce that ten community projects dear to me and invaluable to our community will receive significant funding for their continued growth and development. Real, tangible progress is coming to Brooklyn, and I am both blessed and honored to have played a part in delivering it,” said Clarke. 

The projects include:

$3,000,000 for Crisis Management System (CMS)

$2,500,000 for GMDC Brownsville Industrial Center

$3,000,000 for Bringing Brooklyn Museum’s Arts of Africa Collections Back on View

$3,000,000 for Girls Club Community Center

$1,925,000 for SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, Brooklyn, NY for facilities and equipment

$975,000 for New York Community Hospital of Brooklyn, Inc., Brooklyn, NY for facilities and equipment

$425,000 for One Brooklyn Health System, Inc., Brooklyn, NY for facilities and equipment

$1,000,000 for Brownsville Community Development Corporation dba BMS Family Health and Wellness Centers, Brooklyn, NY for facilities and equipment

$875,000 for Brooklyn Communities Collaborative, Inc., Brooklyn, NY for a telehealth and electronic medical records initiative

$1,000,000 for West Indian American Day Carnival Association, Brooklyn, NY for Caribbean culture, arts, and history education programs

Kaplan, Fahy Urge Inclusion of Expanded Earned Income Tax Credit in Final Budget

State Sen. Anna Kaplan

Assemblymember Patricia Fahy (D-Albany) and Senator Anna Kaplan (D-Long Island) yesterday urged the inclusion of an expanded New York Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), proposed in A.2533/S.537, as part of New York’s final fiscal plan for FY2022-23. 

The federal EITC and its New York State counterpart have been among the most successful poverty alleviation programs in the nation. This proposal builds on the success of the New York EITC by increasing the value of the credit, expanding eligibility for the credit, and creating an option for recipients of the credit to receive advance payments quarterly.

In addition to expanding NY’s EITC eligibility by raising income phase-out limits, this bill also expands eligibility for the credit to those who do not have children, those aged 18-24, and those who file income taxes without a Social Security Number. 

“The earned income tax credit is one of our most proven social mobility tools in lifting individuals and families out of poverty,” said Fahy. “By expanding New York’s EITC eligibility, increasing credit amounts, and authorizing advance payments for filers, we’re ensuring that low-income New Yorkers aren’t left behind in our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. When we talk about jumpstarting an equitable and just economic recovery, improving New York’s EITC is one of the most effective ways to ensure that becomes a reality.”

“When we talk about ensuring that no New Yorker is left behind in our economic recovery from the pandemic—we need to act for those words to have meaning,” said Kaplan. “Expanding New York’s Earned Income Tax Credit is one of the most effective ways to lift families and individuals out of poverty, while encouraging more and more New Yorkers to enter and participate in the workforce. Given the temporary increase in the federal earned income tax credit was only for tax year 2021, it makes sense to continue that progress here in New York and ensure that hard-working families in our community aren’t forgotten amidst our economic recovery.”

Ung Calls for Better Signage Along Main Street Busway

City Council Member Sandra Ung

City Council Member Sandra Ung (D-Queens) this week sent a letter to Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez urging the agency to improve signage alerting motorists they are about to illegally enter the Flushing Main Street Busway.

The council member’s office was alerted that drivers have been receiving summonses, in some cases multiple times, for failing to turn off Main Street at 37th Avenue where the Busway begins. The intersection is patrolled by a traffic camera.

“While the drivers were violating traffic laws, many are doing so unintentionally because they are unaware of the busway’s existence,” wrote Ung. “I feel more can be done by the Department of Transportation (DOT) to ensure that drivers are aware of the changes, and that summonses are never issued in the first place.

“I believe the DOT can take some fair and simple steps to alert motorists to these changes without resorting to costly fines,” the council member added.

PA Williams Call for Non-Police Mental Health Crisis Response Funding

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams

New York City Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams this week continued his call to address mental health needs and crises more holistically and by funding non-police alternatives in the city’s upcoming budget. 

He also emphasized the need for greater investments in city services for disabled New Yorkers. In testimony submitted to a hearing of the Committees on Health and on Mental Health, Disabilities, and Addiction, the Public Advocate outlined several programs and initiatives that need expanded city funding to best serve the community. 

“New Yorkers have experienced an unprecedented crisis over the past two years, with many in our city experiencing heightened stress and trauma,” said Williams in his testimony. “Many have become newly disabled by the effects of long COVID. Combined with the high numbers of people who already needed mental health resources and treatment and accessibility services prior to the pandemic, it is critically important to prioritize accessible, affordable services for people with mental health needs and disabilities.”

Williams pointed to the need and opportunity to expand several successful city programs that serve New Yorkers struggling with mental illness. He cited the successes of Mobile Crisis Teams, which provide non-police alternatives for New Yorkers experiencing acute mental health crises; and NYC Well, which provides support to prevent those crises in the first place. 

QBP Richards Walks Jamaica Avenue to View Quality-of-Life Issues

Queens Borough President  Donovan Richards 

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. today will lead City officials and community leaders on a walking tour of Jamaica Avenue in downtown Jamaica In an effort to focus attention on sanitation and other quality-of-life issues in the area.

Representatives from the NYC Department of Small Business Services, the NYC Department of Sanitation and the NYC Economic Development Corporation will accompany Richards on the tour, during which they will meet with local business owners about their concerns regarding these issues. Information gleaned from the tour will bolster efforts to deliver solutions to these problems.

Representatives from the Jamaica Center Business Improvement District, the Sutphin Boulevard Business Improvement District and the 165th Street Mall will also participate in the tour.

The walk is slated to start at 11 a.m., today, March 11 at the corner of Jamaica Avenue and Parsons Boulevard in Queens.

González-Rojas, Rozic, Sillitti Call for Hurricane Ida Relief Fund in the State Budget

Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas
Assembly Member Nily Rozic

Assemblymembers Jessica González-Rojas (D-Queens), Nily Rozic (D-Queens) and Gina Sillitti (D-Long Island) today will call for a Hurricane Ida Relief Fund to be included in the New York State Budget. 

Months after the devastating storm, New Yorkers are still navigating the aftermath and need more financial resources as they rebuild their homes. This call follows a letter sent to New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie with the same request.

The call to action is slated for 10:30 a.m., today, March 11 at 153-14 Peck Avenue in Flushing Queens.