NY Lawmakers on the Move March 16, 2022

Lawmakers on the Move

Gillibrand Announces Unanimous Senate Passage to Make Daylight Saving Time Permanent

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) yesterday announced the Senate’s unanimous passage of the Sunshine Protection Act. 

This bill would make daylight saving time permanent and is now headed for a vote in the House of Representatives. While Congress is following several states’ lead – over the past four years, 18 states have enacted legislation or passed resolutions to provide for permanent daylight saving time – it must act before the states can adopt the change.

“Americans changed their clocks at 2 AM this Sunday, and hopefully the sun is setting on this dated practice. There should be no daylight between the House and Senate on this issue,” said Gillibrand. “Times have changed, and this commonsense legislation will end a disorienting and tired tradition. Making daylight saving time permanent could help reduce energy costs and seasonal depression, and I encourage the House to pass this bill before the clock runs out.”

Felder Fights To Keep Family Court Open Until Midnight Included In Budget 

State Sen. Simcha Felder

State Sen. Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn) yesterday lauded the Senate One-House Budget resolution for including his measure of establishing a nighttime Family Court program, requiring New York City Family Court to remain open until midnight at least one day a week.

This has been a priority for Felder and is seen as a major step in helping address Family Court’s history of dysfunction and delays. 

“I am delighted to see my legislation included in the Senate budget resolution and I thank my colleagues for their support of this important initiative,” said Felder. “Offering a nighttime Family Court would help remove a significant burden for many children and families who are already navigating a process that can be prolonged and terrifying.” 

Family Court specializes in handling cases involving children and families, such as child custody, juvenile delinquency, domestic violence, child abuse and neglect. Sadly, Family Courts are often overburdened and under-resourced, despite handling some of the most vulnerable people who enter the justice system. 

While many courts in New York City remain open in the evenings and some are open until 1:00 a.m., Family Courts close at 5:00 p.m., making it difficult for many working families, Felder said.

Bichotte Hermelyn Statement on Equal Pay Day

Rodneyse Bichotte
Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn

Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn (D-Brooklyn), chair of the Assembly Task Force on Women’s Issues, and head of the Brooklyn Democratic Party released the following statement on Equal Pay Day:

“As long as we don’t have equal pay, we don’t have equal justice. Today signifies the day of the year that women’s wages catch up with men’s. For AAPI women, that day is May 3, for Black women, September 21, and for Latina women that day does not come until December 8.

“We are still living in a ‘broken rung’ system, where women do not progress to promotions at the same rate as men – and the pandemic has further rolled back women’s rights in the workplace – and pushed many out of the workforce altogether. Indeed, we have a long way to go to achieving true equality. 

“Let us use the momentum of this day to continue to demand equal pay for equal work. To achieve that we have to prioritize women all year round. We have to pass national paid parental leave policies, increase pay transparency, make childcare affordable for all, and expand opportunities and mentorship programs for female entrepreneurs.”

Velázquez introduces Bill to Amend IRS Code to increase the Educator Expense Deduction

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez (Photo Credit: ballotpedia.org)
U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez

U.S. Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens) yesterday announced the Expand Education Deduction for Teachers Act, which is a bill that would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to increase the Educator Expense Deduction to $2,000 and allow early childhood educators to take advantage of the tax benefit.

“Our country’s teachers are tasked with the crucial job of educating the future generation of the United States, said Velázquez. “It’s no surprise that teachers often take on the financial burden of using their paychecks to purchase necessary supplies for their students and classrooms every school year. That’s why I’m proud to introduce this bill and put money back into the pockets of our educators and ensure they feel supported in the classroom.”

The average starting salary for teachers in the United States during the 2019-2020 school year was $41,163, a modest 2.5% increase from the previous school year. Teacher salaries vary state by state; however, nearly all teachers use portions of their salary to purchase supplies for their classrooms.

A June 2021 survey of 5,400 PreK-12 teachers found that educators spend more money on school supplies for students, classrooms, and their homes than in any previous school year. The average amount spent was $750, with 30% of teachers spending $1,000 or more each year. Despite the 25% increase in teacher spending on supplies, the Educator Expense Deduction has remained stagnant at $250 and $500 if married filing jointly and both spouses are eligible.

Gibbs Demands City Add Security Measures to Protect NYCHA Seniors in Harlem

Assembly Member Eddie Gibbs

Assemblymember Eddie Gibbs (D-Manhattan) today will join NYCHA tenant association presidents as he calls on NYCHA to address a safety crisis developing in Harlem. 

In numerous NYCHA developments throughout the City, non-residents are taking advantage of the broken locks to trespass, use illegal drugs, urinate, defecate and generally create an unsafe environment in public areas including stairwells and lobbies, said Gibbs.

The rally to make the demands is slated for 10:30 a.m., today, March 16 at the Corsi Houses, 306 E 117th Street in Manhattan.

AM Solages Announces Legislation to Expand the Nassau County Senior Tax Exemption 

Assembly Member Michaelle Solages

State Assembly Member Michaelle Solages (D-Long Island) today will hold a press conference to announce bipartisan legislation to increase the allowable income for the county Senior Property Tax Exemption (S.8388/A.5100). 

This piece of legislation will provide a 50% property tax assessment reduction for seniors and people with disabilities who earn less than $50k per year. Additionally, the bill would  provide relief to over 8,000 households in Nassau County who are paying ever-increasing property taxes while living on social security benefits or disability insurance. 

The event is slated for 11 a.m., today, March 16 in front of the Nassau County Department of Assessment, 240 Old Country Road in Mineola.