NY Lawmakers on the Move, July 20, 2022

Lawmakers on the Move

Meeks announces funding for NY-05 included in House bills

U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks

U.S. Rep. Gregory W. Meeks (D-Queens) announced yesterday the inclusion of his Community Project Funding Requests in the Appropriations Subcommittee Fiscal Year 2023 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, and Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee bills.

Members of congress were limited to submitting 15 total Community Project Funding requests, and all 15 of Meeks’ requests were included in the bills, totaling $16.3m towards crucial community programs and organizations in New York’s 5th Congressional District.

“It is my honor to fight for New York’s Fifth district in Congress for projects that will improve the socioeconomic conditions in Southeast Queens, the Rockaways, and Nassau County. These 15 projects strengthen our community by addressing health disparities, supporting youth engagement initiatives, providing services for seniors, assisting small businesses, and more,” said Meeks.

The inclusion of this funding in the Appropriations Committee’s bills is the first step in the funding process. Meeks said he will continue to fight for this funding as the bill moves to consideration on the House Floor this month and through negotiations with the Senate.

Braunstein Announces 10th Annual Bayside Urgent Need Blood Drive

Assembly Member Edward Braunstein

Assemblyman Edward C. Braunstein (D-Queens) is sponsoring his 10th Annual Summer Blood Drive, organized in conjunction with the New York Blood Center. All donors will receive a free limited edition New York Mets t-shirt and will be entered into a sweepstakes to win a 6-pack of Mets tickets, provided by the New York Blood Center.

“A single blood donation can save up to three lives,” said Assemblyman Edward Braunstein. “I’m proud to sponsor this annual event with the New York Blood Center, and I hope that you will take the time to donate this lifesaving gift by visiting our drive on August 11th.” 


  • Must be 14 days symptom free if recovered from COVID-19
  • May NOT donate if they have had a positive diagnostic test or experienced symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 14 days
  • May NOT donate if they are currently on self-quarantine restrictions

This blood drive is slated for 1-7 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 11 at the Bay Terrace Shopping Center at 212-51 26th Avenue (formerly American Eagle Outfitters) in Queens. 

Advanced appointments are encouraged. To sign up, visit: www.tinyurl.com/BraunsteinDrive2022, or contact Assemblyman Braunstein’s office by phone at 718-357-3588 or by email at [email protected] For medical questions concerning blood donations, call 1-800-688-0900.

Malliotakis statement on Respect for Marriage Act

U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis

U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-Staten Island, Brooklyn) released the following statement regarding her intent to vote for H.R.8404, the Respect for Marriage Act, that would protect same-sex marriage nationwide.

“In 2017, I expressed my deep regret for voting against a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in New York State while in the State Assembly six years prior. Every legislator has votes they regret, and to this day, that vote was one of the most difficult I’ve had to take,” said Malliotakis.

“Over the past decade, I have attended two weddings of couples who deserve equal recognition and protection under the law. Today, I will vote to codify same-sex marriage to ensure our fellow Americans continue to have the right to equal marriage and benefits under federal law,” she added.

Jeffries, bipartisan coalitions secures amendment eliminating federal crack and powder cocaine sentencing disparity

U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries

U.S. Reps. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn, Queens) and Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) as well as a bipartisan coalition of representatives successfully secured the Eliminating a Quantifiably Unjust Application of the Law (EQUAL) Act as an amendment to the House-passed version of the FY2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). 

This bipartisan amendment will eliminate the federal crack and powder cocaine sentencing disparity and allow judges to make adjustments for those convicted under the prior sentencing guidelines. 

“The EQUAL Act will help reverse engineer the tragic legacy of the failed war on drugs which has devastated lives, families and communities,” said Jeffries. “There is no justification for treating powder cocaine differently than crack cocaine offenses. There is no pharmacological difference and no significant chemical difference between crack cocaine and powder cocaine, and they both cause identical effects. I appreciate Rep. Mikie Sherrill’s leadership in getting this important bipartisan legislation included in the FY 2023 NDAA and thank the Members from both sides of the aisle for their overwhelming support.”

In 1986, Congress passed the Anti-Drug Abuse Act, which created a disparity between federal penalties for crack cocaine and powder cocaine offenses. The law required the same harsh penalties for the possession of one amount of crack cocaine and 100 times the same amount of powder cocaine. 

The Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 reduced that disparity from 100:1 to 18:1, and that reform was made retroactive in the First Step Act signed in 2018. Despite this correction, individuals continue to face longer sentences for offenses involving crack cocaine than for offenses involving the same amount of powder cocaine.

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