NY Lawmakers on the Move May 20, 2022

Lawmakers on the Move

Schumer, Meng announce Senate passage of Asian American History & Culture Museum Commission

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer
U.S. Rep. Grace Meng

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Congress Member Grace Meng (D-Queens) yesterday announced the Senate passage of H.R.3525, legislation establishing a commission to study the potential creation of a National Museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture. 

Meng championed the bill during several sessions of Congress, testified about the legislation before two Committees, and led it to passage in the House of Representatives last month.  

“I am elated to support and to have fought for this long-overdue step on the road to establish a great national museum dedicated solely to telling the story of Asian Americans throughout history,” said Schumer. “From the beginning of our founding, Asian Americans have played a great role in shaping the country. They have worked hard, grown families, established businesses, made America better, and they continue to do so. Too much of their history is unknown and many students never come across these stories and lessons in school. That is disappointing, but it is also why this Asian Pacific American History and Culture Museum is so important, to show the greatness of the Asian American community—past, present and future. An Asian Pacific American History and Culture Museum would celebrate those achievements with all Americans and exalt our wonderful, growing, strong, beautiful Asian American community.”

“I am overjoyed that the Senate has unanimously passed my AAPI Museum Study bill,” said Meng. “Last month, my House colleagues voted to unanimously pass the legislation, and I am thrilled it now heads to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law. AAPI’s have been a part of America’s fabric and growth for generations, and this bill brings us one step closer to a physical museum where AAPI history, culture, and contributions to this nation would be displayed and preserved for future generations.”

The measure in the Senate passed unanimously.

Brooklyn DA Gonzalez, NYPD to Host Second Gun Buyback Event

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, together with New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell, yesterday announced the borough’s second gun Buyback event for the year will take place tomorrow.

The DA’s Office, along with the NYPD, will offer money in the form of a $200 bank card and an iPad for each operable gun or assault rifle turned in (iPads are subject to availability on a first-come, first-served basis). All transactions will be anonymous, no questions asked. Guns should be unloaded and packaged in a paper or plastic bag or a box when brought to the event. If transported by car, the guns must be kept in the trunk. Both working and inoperable weapons will be accepted.

“Our close collaboration with law enforcement, strong commitment to holding offenders accountable, and constant engagement with communities to prevent violence is bearing fruit, with shootings in Brooklyn decreasing by nearly 25% so far this year following a 20% drop in 2021. As we redouble our efforts to keep our communities safe, we will be hosting another Gun Buyback event this Saturday – just one part of a comprehensive strategy to get firearms off the streets. I encourage anyone who has a gun at home to take advantage of this opportunity, safely turn it in, and get some cash and an iPad in return,” said Gonzalez.

The event is slated for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., tomorrow, May 21 at Emmanuel Baptist Church, 279 Lafayette Avenue, in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. 

Brisport hosts community meeting on mayoral control of schools

Senator Jabari Brisport

State Senator Jabari Brisport (D-Brooklyn) on Sunday is hosting a community conversation about who has (and who should have) control over our public schools. 

The conversation comes as a provision that temporarily gives the mayor control over public schools in New York City is about to expire unless the New York State legislature renews it. 

Brisport will share information about mayoral control and he’d like to hear from you about your experiences with schools in the community, and your thoughts about their future. 

The conversation will take place over zoom from 6-7:30 p.m., Sunday, May 22. You can register at bit.ly/SCHOOLTALK (case sensitive).

QBP Richards, council members announce resolution to advance climate change legislation 

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. yesterday joined with City Council Members Lincoln Restler, James Gennaro, Shahana Hanif, Carmen De La Rosa, Jennifer Gutiérrez, and Kevin Riley to introduce a city council resolution in support of the draft Climate Action Council Scoping Plan, calling on the Climate Action Council (CAC) and Governor Hochul to fully implement the clean energy and zero greenhouse gas emissions reduction standards of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA).

Three years after the historic passage of the CLCPA, which is nationally regarded for having the strongest greenhouse gas reduction requirements in the country, including a commitment for New York to achieve a net-zero carbon economy by 2050 and a 100 percent zero emission electric sector by 2040, the CAC is now holding statewide hearings at it prepares to develop a final scoping plan that will guide the regulatory, legislative, and budgetary actions the state will take in order to reach these goals. 

However, with powerful fossil fuel companies spending millions to undermine the state’s climate and environmental justice mandates, the future of the CLCPA and our state’s clean energy agenda is in jeopardy.

The purpose of this legislative resolution, called “Climate Plan to Protect New York” is to demonstrate that the authoritative voice of the council — as representatives of over 8 million city residents — is behind the full implementation of the CLCPA and to call on the CAC and Governor Hochul to ensure that its clean energy, climate justice and climate change policy targets are met.  

In recent years the Council has passed bold new climate laws including Local Law 97 and a ban on gas hookups in new buildings. This resolution calls for similarly forceful actions statewide.

Lee introduces resolution to address excessive rate increases by utility companies

City Council Member Linda Lee

City Council Member Linda Lee (D-Queens) yesterday introduced Resolution 162 calling on the New York State Legislature to amend Article 4 of the Public Service Law to prevent utility companies from implementing excessive rate increases on consumers. 

“At a time of rampant inflation and supply chain shortages, New Yorkers are facing additional strains from abrupt and exorbitant increases in their utility bills,” said Lee. “ConEd holds a virtual monopoly over the energy market in our city, which leaves New Yorkers at the mercy of their rate increases. As our city continues to recover from the economic hardships of the pandemic, we must keep these utility companies responsible for providing energy at reasonable costs and investing in their infrastructure and service provision before corporate profits, buybacks, and dividends.”

Resolution 162 calls upon the New York State Legislature to pass amendments to Article 4 of the Public Service Law to prevent utility companies from proposing excessive rate increases. This will require these companies to invest more of their own revenue to pay taxes or for public improvement projects, instead of passing these costs on to City residents through annual rate increases. 

The New York Public Service Commission (PSC) regulates the State’s electric, gas, steam, telecommunications and water utilities, approves rate increases proposed by the various utility companies, and ensures that New Yorkers are receiving adequate service. 

Meeks lauds House passage of Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act

U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks

Congress Member Gregory W. Meeks (D-Queens) yesterday lauded the House for passing the bipartisan Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act.

The measure creates offices at the departments of Homeland Security and Justice and the FBI specifically focusing on investigating and tracking domestic terror threats. It also directs these offices to share potential risks and take steps to prevent future attacks.

“Just in the last few months we’ve witnessed bomb threats to dozens of our beloved Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), a mass shooting in Buffalo, NY conducted by a white supremist targeting Black Americans, and another shooting at a Taiwanese church in Laguna Woods, CA. At a time where we are witnessing increased threats to our communities, I am beyond pleased that the House passed the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act,” said Meeks.

“White supremacy is a threat to our democracy, and we must do everything we can to stop these acts of hatred. This long overdue legislation will provide law enforcement and our communities the resources and tools needed to combat threats from domestic violent extremists.  Americans should feel safe going to the grocery store, school, or church. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to swiftly bring this bill to the floor. A threat to Black, Asian, Latin, and Indigenous communities is a threat to all Americans.”

AM Rosenthal hails assembly’s announcement to pass the Adult Survivors Act 

Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal

Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal (D-Manhattan),chair of the Committee on Social Services, yesterday hailed the announcement that her bill A.648, the Adult Survivors Act (ASA) has enough votes to pass the New York State Assembly and will be taken up before the end of the 2022 Legislative Session ends on June 2.

The ASA, like the Child Victims Act, will open a one-year window within which adult survivors of sexual assault can to sue their abusers, and the institutions that harbored them, in civil court.

“Today is a watershed moment for survivors of sexual assault in New York and across the country. Today, New York State recognizes that ensuring justice for survivors of sexual assault is more important than maintaining arbitrary statutes of limitations that have for years shielded predators from justice,” said Rosenthal.