NY Lawmakers on the Move, Aug. 25, 2022

Lawmakers on the Move

Rozic applauds student loan debt cancellation  

Assemblymember Nily Rozic

Assemblymember Nily Rozic (D-Queens), chair of the Assembly Committee on Consumer Affairs, yesterday cheered President Biden announcing his plan to cancel student loan debt.

Under the plan, the federal government would cancel $10,000 in federal student loans for borrowers earning less than $125,000 or for couples earning less than $250,000. Students who received Pell grants, which are for low-income students, will be eligible for an additional $10,000 in debt forgiveness.

Biden also announced that those with undergraduate loans would be able to cap their payments at 5 percent of their monthly income under income driven repayment plans, down from 10 percent previously.

“The President’s announcement is a huge win for NY students and consumers. At a time when New Yorkers are struggling under high costs – from the grocery stores to the gas pumps – this debt forgiveness will provide significant relief for those in the most need,” said Rozic.

“This debt cancellation, along with the pause on federal student loan payments, interest, and collections will improve borrowers’ economic security, allow them to invest in their families, save for emergencies, and pay down other debt. Additionally, the President announced improvements to other programs like Income Driven Repayment, which will also allow millions more student loan borrowers to better access existing programs to reduce their student loan debts.”

Espaillat recognizes Ukrainian Independence Day

U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat

U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-Manhattan, Bronx) yesterday expressed support for the Ukraine  in recognition of Ukrainian Independence Day and following six months of turmoil during Russia’s unprovoked war.

“Today, we recognize Ukrainian Independence day as Ukrainians fight for their continued independence and to save their nation,” said Espaillat. “President Zelenskyy and the people of Ukraine have displayed incredible bravery over the past six months and are undaunted in their determination to defend their democracy. 

“Congress has led the effort to help Ukraine defend itself and must continue to do so until Russia finally ends this unprovoked war. In March 2022, I led a bipartisan effort to designate Temporary Protected Status for Ukrainians, which the Biden Administration implemented swiftly. In light of the grave atrocities reported, I introduced H.Res. 964 with Rep. David Cicilline, calling for Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian government to be held accountable for the ongoing violations of international law committed during the invasion of Ukraine – amounting to war crimes and crimes against humanity. 

“We must do all we can to end Russia’s reign of terror as we know the dire consequences for freedom and democracy around the world if we do not. America will not allow Ukraine to lose this fight. Today, we reaffirm our commitment to help the Ukrainian people preserve their independence and to stand up for democracy around the world,” he concluded.

QBP Richards holds Day 4 of “Borough Hall on your block” 

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr.’s inaugural “Borough Hall on Your Block” initiative continues today in Southeast Queens, with a pair of press conferences to announce critical funding in support of two Rockaway staples — St. John’s Episcopal Hospital and the Arverne Branch of the Queens Public Library – and concluding with a town hall.

The funding at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway includes $744,000 toward the purchase of 16 new critical care bed systems spread across the ICU Cardiac Care Unit, as well as the purchase of a new, state-of-the-art C-Arm. The new medical imaging device will replace the existing 19-year-old C-Arm being used in the hospital’s operating room.

Later in the day, Richards and Queens Public Library President and CEO Dennis Walcott, will announce nearly $2.4 million in funding to the Arverne Library. The allocation, spread across Fiscal Years 2022 and 2023, is earmarked toward the construction of a 4,600-square-foot addition that will be built atop a vacant lot adjacent to the library.

The town hall is co-sponsored by State Senator Leroy Comrie and Council Member Nantasha Williams; and held in partnership with the NYPD Borough Patrol and Commanding Officers of local precincts, the Department of Social Services, MTA/LIRR, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Department of Education.

The town hall is slated for 6 p.m., today, Aug. 25  at the St. Albans Congregational Church, 172-17 Linden Blvd. in St. Albans, Queens.