2.1.15

…and this month in Albany

December 11, 2013

 

Assemblyman Farrell Reports to Community Board 10

Don’t Forget the Earned Income Tax Credit

Lately, in Albany, there has been a lot of discussion of Governor Cuomo’s intention to cut additional taxes during 2014. One part of that discussion has been the possibility of increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit, which is a joint State and Federal tax program that has been responsible for keeping many low-income workers off of public assistance.

New York State already pays a set portion of the Federal EITC benefit, 30 percent, and it may come to pass that the State will pay a larger percentage, which could help low-income families.

All Who Receive Federal EITC Eligible for State Tax Credit

Everyone who is qualified under the Federal program is qualified under its State counterpart. Generally, to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit, workers must have a valid Social Security number, must have earned income from working or running a business, and cannot file their taxes as married filing separately. These workers also cannot be claimed as the dependent of another qualifying worker, cannot have declared foreign income that year, and must also meet certain income criteria. For instance, a married couple with three children who earn below $51,567 can claim the Earned Income Tax Credit. Special rules with respect to earnings apply for members of the military or the clergy.

As noted above, this program can be especially helpful to workers with children. In 2013, the maximum Federal credit for a family with three or more qualifying children is $6,044; $5,372 with two qualifying children; $3,250 with one qualified child and $487 with no qualifying children. Again, New York’s credit is 30 percent of the Federal credit, meaning that a family with three qualifying children will receive a maximum combined State and Federal tax credit of over $8,000.

Program Can Provide Real Help to Low-Income Workers

A qualifying child is a child who lives in your household for at least half the year, is not older than age 19 or is a full-time student up to age 24, or who is permanently disabled. Siblings, stepchildren, nieces and nephews who live with you and adopted or foster children also qualify. This program can provide real help for low-income workers. In the 2009 tax year, almost 1.6 million New Yorkers filed for the Earned Income Tax Credit. On average, families with no qualifying children received a credit from the State of $94 while families with two or more qualifying children received a credit of $1,068. A household with no children and earnings of between $4,000 and $8,000 in 2009 received an average Earned Income Tax Credit of $121. In the same year, a household with two children who fell in the same tax bracket received a credit of $724 and a household with three children received a credit of $815.

Middle-income filers generally receive a larger credit, up to a certain point, after which the benefits of the Earned Income Tax Credit begin to flatten out and fall off. In 2009, households reporting an income between $12,000 and $16,000 generally received the greatest benefit of this program. In that year, the State gave an average credit of $1,625 to a household in that tax bracket that claimed three or more qualifying children. And remember that these are only New York State’s numbers, and do not include the significantly larger Federal tax credits.

Tax Help From IRS Volunteers Available

When you file your taxes, and the figures are calculated by the tax preparer, the sums above are deducted from your income, therefore much of the time, the effect is a larger tax return than families would have seen without this program. Free help from IRS volunteers is available for low-income workers who need help filing their tax returns. AARP also offers assistance to tax filers. You will need to bring photo ID, Social Security cards for yourself, your spouse and your dependents, your W-2 or other earnings statements, tax forms from your bank if you have a bank account, a statement from your child’s day care showing payments made over the last year, and a copy of your tax forms from last year if available. If you are filing your taxes electronically, both spouses will need to be available to sign the forms, and filers requesting direct deposit of their tax return should bring a blank check so their tax preparer has their account and routing numbers.

For more information, please visit www.irs.gov on the Internet or call the local IRS office, located at 2283 Third Ave. near 125th Street, at (718) 536-3699. You may also visit the IRS office at 110 West 44th Street near Sixth Ave. Tax forms, tax law assistance, Federal tax return preparation for filers eligible for the EITC and other services are available at these locations.

Historically Black Colleges Fair Held at Riverbank State Park

Every November, the New York Urban League hosts a gathering of prospective students and historically African-American colleges and universities at Riverbank State Park. Every year, I make it a point to attend this event and offer my encouragement to these young people as I have always believed that education is the key to unlocking the possibilities of life.

photo

STREET NAMING CEREMONY

20131127Assemblyman Farrell joined Congressman Rangel and other community leaders who spoke during a recent Street Naming Ceremony. The sign was unveiled at 152nd Street and Broadway honoring Mildred Williams Sutherland.

A Year After Superstorm Sandy, New York City Continues to Rebuild

Senator Schumer Promises $6 Billion in Federal Aid Next Year

 

One year ago today, on October 29, 2012, Superstorm Sandy changed course at a critical moment and slammed directly into New York City, pushing before it a record-high 14-foot storm surge that swamped the Financial District in Lower Manhattan and other low-lying areas.

 

Flood Waters Crippled NYC Transit

Life as we knew it ground to a halt. No one was left untouched, including the people of our District. Subway workers watched helplessly as the 148th Street subway station filled with water to the level of the subway platform. Water from the Harlem River rushed over the platform, flooding the nearby rail yards and the EsplanadeGardens parking lot, destroying many cars.

 

Sandy for Posting

The 148th Street Station after the storm. Photo by Amber Binion.

 

The City had moved all subway cars to high ground, saving them from saltwater damage, but the subways were unusable even after the water was pumped out days later. Crews scrambled to repair or replace subway electrical components that had been damaged by the salt water.

 

Citywide, 44 Deaths Attributed to Storm

We were lucky. 44 died citywide. Lower Manhattan was dark for days. Entire neighborhoods, especially in the outer boroughs, were underwater. Most of the neighborhood of Breezy Point, Queens, burned to the ground. Homes were pushed off their foundations by the storm surge.

 

A year later, many are still waiting for relief. The State has begun a program to buy out the owners of hundreds of homes in low-lying, flood-prone areas. As Governor Cuomo said, Mother Nature has claimed ownership of some property. Many have enrolled in this buyout program and will receive the pre-storm market value of their homes; others have chosen to stay and rebuild.

 

In the coming months, according to Sen. Charles E. Schumer, $6 billion in Federal aid will be disbursed to struggling New Yorkers, with $1.4 billion of that amount to be sent directly.

Former Assembly Member Stephen S. Gottlieb Has Died

Gottleib

Former Assembly Member Gottlieb speaks on the Assembly floor, 1969.

 

I must report with deep sadness that my dear friend, the former Judge and Assembly Member Stephen S. Gottlieb has died. He was 77. Memorial services were held today in Manhattan.

 

Stephen and I grew up in the same neighborhood. I first met him in the late 1940′s through our shared love of baseball and crossed paths several times during the 1950′s. It was through Stephen that I became involved in my first campaign, during the election of 1958.

 

He was elected to the Assembly in 1968. In 1970, after our former District Leader Angelo Simonetti died, Stephen was elected District Leader.

 

Stephen served in the Assembly until 1972, when he began a run for the State Senate. In the middle of that campaign, former Governor Rockefeller offered Stephen the opportunity to run the State Liquor Authority, which he accepted, and quit the Senate campaign.

 

Stephen later served on the State Crime Victims’ Board. From 1981 to 1986 he worked as my counsel while I was Chair of the Assembly Banking Committee. He was elected to the bench in Manhattan in 1993. Though elected in Manhattan he spent the majority of his time in the Queens Civil Courts, and served for nearly 20 years.

 

He was a close and cherished friend, who fought for the people of this City and State with great character and conviction. He taught me a lot about life, and about public service. I shall miss him very much.

Assemblyman Farrell Reports to Community Board 9

PAPERS

Farrell’s Pedestrian Bridge Funded by Capital Projects Plan

Since the 1980s, I have been speaking out about the fact that not all of our public parks are fully accessible. As you may remember, I obtained State funding to build a handicapped-accessible ramp at 158th Street in 1998. In 1996, I unveiled a plan to construct a $10 million pedestrian bridge at 165th Street and Riverside Drive over the highway and rail lines into Fort Washington Park. My plan met with resistance from the Art Council and Amtrak, and unfortunately the project never moved forward. As I noted above, a project that I have been working on for many years may come to fruition as early as 2015 under the terms of this larger capital project.

Groundbreaking Could Occur in 2015

Now, I can announce that under the terms of the capital project described above, $20 million has been allocated to pay for a handicapped-accessible pedestrian bridge over the rail lines and Henry Hudson Parkway into Riverside Park at 153rd Street. If the reconstituted Art Council under the new mayoral administration approves, it is anticipated that construction on this long-awaited and important project could go out to bid as early as March of 2015. When this project is complete, it will open up the Park to people whose mobility is compromised, bicyclists, skaters, and parents pushing baby carriages and anyone else who is in need of accessibility. I eagerly await the opportunity to report future developments on this exciting and much-needed project.

Update on State Transportation Capital Program

Yesterday, my Assembly Ways and Means Committee staff delivered a report on the status of the State’s two-year capital program for roads, bridges, highways and mass transit. We moved away from the traditional, five-year cycle several years ago to match the Federal funding cycle. As you may know, we are currently in the first year of a two-year cycle for road and bridge improvements. Earlier this year, representatives of the Assembly and Senate along with the Governor formalized the terms of a two-year agreement, which provides $7.1 billion for road and bridge work and other capital projects.

Specific to road and bridge work, $3.3 billion is provided over two years under the terms of our agreement. $1.26 billion of this amount has been allocated for projects within the five boroughs of New York City. $400 million has been set aside for projects that must be completed quickly, with these projects having been identified as time-sensitive by members of the Legislature. It is from this source of funding that a project I have worked on since the 1990s will be funded.

More Funding for Road and Bridge Projects

Also included in this funding source is $100 million for projects that fall outside the normal Highway and Bridge Program. In State Fiscal Year 2013-2014, this includes a $75 million increase to the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement (CHIPS) program, $10 million for airports, $10 million for freight rail capital projects, and $5 million for mass transit projects that fall outside the MTA’s purview.

In Fiscal Year 2014-2015 the $75 million increase in CHIPS funding is preserved, but greater flexibility will be allowed for aviation, rail and transit projects. Under the terms of the agreement covering this two-year cycle, quarterly reports will be generated to update the Legislature and the public on the progress that is being made. Cost and time overruns will be explained and progress on the projects will be detailed in an end-of-year report. It is anticipated that, when the current two-year cycle of capital funding for transportation projects is complete, the State will return to a five-year funding cycle for capital projects.

Enrollment for Affordable Care Act in New York State Started October 1

As you know, a key component of President Obama’s top legislative achievement, the Affordable Care Act of 2010, went into effect several weeks ago with the roll-out of health exchanges nationwide including in New York State. Major components of the President’s health care reforms were already in place: young people can remain on their parents’ health care plan until the age of 26, and insurers are no longer allowed to deny coverage to an applicant who has had pre-existing conditions. With these important reforms already in place, we now move forward toward the next phase of the President’s health care plan. The open enrollment period for “Obamacare” began on October 1, 2013 for coverage beginning on January 1, 2014.

Learn More about the ACA On-Line or by Toll-Free Telephone Call

Valuable information about the Affordable Care Act is available on the Internet or by toll-free telephone call. This information includes the average number of plans available to New Yorkers, plan premium costs for your family, the lowest-cost plans available to healthy 27-year-olds (who are ineligible to be covered by their parents’ plans) and overall plan costs after tax credits. This wealth of information will be available to help you decide what is best for you.

New York State will administer ACA health coverage for its residents through the health exchange during the Federal shutdown. Please visit nystateofhealth.ny.gov for information tailored to your household, your income and your family’s unique health care needs. For help, please call NY State of Health at (877) 355-5777. Community groups are also available to help.

Washington Gridlock Sought to Block Reform

As enrollment under the Affordable Care Act opened, the President’s political opponents, who have staked their careers on stopping him and whose efforts to stop health reform have been unsuccessful for more than four years, became desperate.

Because of the actions of a few members of the majority party in the House of Representatives, we saw the first shutdown of the Federal government in 17 years in an effort to block implementation of the Affordable Care Act. It may be too soon to feel the full effects of this action, but lost confidence in Congress and lost wages could negatively affect our fragile economy. Reports in the press have estimated that the shutdown cost $160 million per day.

Thousands of Federal Workers Sent Home Without Pay

Locally, more than 150,000 Federal employees in New York City and New Jersey were furloughed. In the near term, people receiving Medicaid, Medicare, unemployment and food stamp (SNAP) benefits were not threatened but if the shutdown had continued, these vitally important checks may not have gone out on time or at all. Federal landmarks including Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty were closed during the Federal government shutdown until State government re-opened the Statue of Liberty after a 12-day closure at a cost to the State of $61,000 per day, which was paid to the National Park Service. It is unclear if we will be reimbursed against the cost of this unanticipated and thoroughly unnecessary expense.

Estimate: Shutdown Cost US Economy $24 billion

Last night, literally at the 11th hour, the House passed legislation to re-open the Federal government and raise the debt ceiling, allowing the President to pay the bills for spending that Congress had authorized before extremists in the House attempted to default on the national debt.

These extremists, many of whom were elected on their promise to change or repeal Obamacare, got almost nothing for doing substantial harm to our country and its’ economy. The rating agency Standard and Poors estimated this week that the 16-day shutdown cost the US economy $24 billion. Hundreds of thousands of Federal employees and contractors had their pay withheld. Social Security and other vital programs were threatened, and world leaders made frightening public appeals to move away from American dominance of the world economy.

All the extremists won was an agreement to ensure that low-income people who wish to enroll in Obamacare are actually poor and not just pretending to be poor in order to receive a small handout from the government in the form of tax subsidies. And all of this is the good news.

The bad news is that we may be back in the same place over the winter, as last night’s agreement only funds the government until January 15, 2014 and extends borrowing authority until Feb. 7.

On October 9, in the middle of the shutdown and when it appeared likely that the Federal government could default on the national debt, Governor Cuomo issued a dire report on what might happen to New York State finances in the event of a Federal default.

According to the Governor, the State could lose as much as $2 billion in revenue and reverse the growth we have seen since the last economic crash five years ago. Borrowing costs to service new debt taken out this year could increase by $1 billion until 2033, the Governor warned, and catastrophe could occur if the Wall Street municipal bond markets shut down after a default.

Farrell’s Pay Bill for State Employees Vetoed

I report with regret that a project I have been concerned with for several years, passing a law to help a few thousand State workers win a long-withheld raise, did not come to fruition this year. I am hopeful that we may achieve success in the next Legislative Session.

Earlier this year the Assembly passed my bill, A.246, which would have created a commission on compensation for State employees designated management or confidential. These management/confidential (M/C for short) are employees whose job duties require that they have access to certain sensitive information. By law, they are not allowed to unionize like other State employees because this information would give them an unfair advantage during collective bargaining. Because of this, it was decided years ago that M/C employees cannot be allowed to form their own union, but they should receive many of the benefits unionized employees receive.

But because M/C workers do not negotiate labor contracts, there is no requirement that the State give these employees raises, which are part of unions’ contracts. Most have not received raises since 2009 or 2010. The Governor, in his September 27 veto message, said this action should take place within the context of the budget. I do not expect his veto will be overridden. Instead, we will take up this question as we negotiate the budget for State Fiscal Year 2014-2015.

Yours truly,
Herman D. Farrell, Jr.

 

Assemblyman Farrell Reports to Community Board 10

Assemblyman Farrell Reports to Community Board 10

Enrollment for Affordable Care Act in New York State Started October 1

As you know, a key component of President Obama’s top legislative achievement, the Affordable Care Act of 2010, went into effect yesterday with the roll-out of health exchanges nationwide. Major components of the President’s health care reforms were already in place: young people can remain on their parents’ health care plan until the age of 26, and insurers are no longer allowed to deny coverage to an applicant who has had pre-existing conditions. With these important reforms already in place, we now move forward toward the next phase of the President’s health care plan. The open enrollment period for “Obamacare” began on October 1, 2013 for coverage beginning on January 1, 2014.

Washington Gridlock Seeks to Block Reform

However, the President’s political opponents, who have staked their careers on stopping him and whose efforts to stop health reform have been unsuccessful for more than four years, are now desperate. Because of the actions of a few members of the majority party in the House of Representatives, earlier this week we saw the first shutdown of the Federal government in 17 years in an effort to block implementation of the Affordable Care Act. It may be too soon to feel the effects of this action, but lost confidence in Congress and lost wages could negatively affect our fragile economy.

Thousands of Federal Workers Sent Home Without Pay

Locally, more than 150,000 Federal employees in New York City and New Jersey have been furloughed. In the near term, people receiving Medicaid, Medicare, unemployment and food stamp (SNAP) benefits can expect them to continue uninterrupted. Federal landmarks including Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty will be closed until this impasse ends but passports will be available. While the shutdown of the Federal government is ongoing, please call my staff in Manhattan, (212) 234-1430, or Albany, (518) 455-5491, with any questions you may have or problems you need assistance with.

Learn More about the ACA On-Line or by Toll-Free Telephone Call

When the current shutdown comes to an end, valuable information about the Affordable Care Act should again be available. This data includes the average number of plans available to New Yorkers, plan premium costs for your family, the lowest-cost plans available to healthy 27-year-olds (who are ineligible to be covered by their parents’ plans) and overall plan costs after tax credits. This wealth of information will be available to help you decide what is best for you.

New York State will administer ACA health coverage for its’ residents through the health exchange during the Federal shutdown. Please visitnystateofhealth.ny.gov for information tailored to your household, your income and your family’s unique health care needs. For help, please call NY State of Health at (877) 355-5777. Community groups are also available to help.

Farrell’s Pay Bill for State Employees Vetoed

I report with regret that a project I have been concerned with for several years, passing a law to help a few thousand State workers win a long-withheld raise, did not come to fruition this year. I am hopeful that we may achieve success in the next Legislative Session.

Earlier this year the Assembly passed my bill, A.246, which would have created a commission on compensation for State employees designated management or confidential. These management/confidential (M/C for short) are employees whose job duties require that they have access to certain sensitive information. By law, they are not allowed to unionize like other State employees because this information would give them an unfair advantage during collective bargaining. Because of this, it was decided years ago that M/C employees cannot be allowed to form their own union, but they should receive many of the benefits unionized employees receive.

But because M/C workers do not negotiate labor contracts, there is no requirement that the State give these employees raises, which are part of unions’ contracts. Most have not received raises since 2009 or 2010. The Governor, in his September 27 veto message, said this action should take place within the context of the budget. I do not expect his veto will be overridden. Instead, we will take up this question as we negotiate the budget for State Fiscal Year 2014-2015.

Farrell Appointed to Gov. Cuomo’s Municipal Finance Board

I was appointed during September to Governor Cuomo’s Financial Restructuring Board for Local Governments, which was created in June 2013 to help resolve municipalities’ financial structural problems, resolve labor disputes and consider establishing shared services. My appointment took place on the recommendation of Speaker Silver.

Other members of the Board include Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, Robert Megna, Director of the Governor’s Division of Budget and Secretary of State Cesar Perales. Also sitting on the Board are Senator Jack Martins and former Assembly Member RoAnn Destito, who is now Commissioner of the Office of General Services.

Help for Localities Struggling With Structural Imbalances

As you may know, local governments across the State have long struggled with their finances, especially after the financial crisis of 2008, and many have called for State assistance. Governor Cuomo has said that cash bailouts will not be possible, but promised help will be made available to local governments to correct structural imbalances in their finances. Immediate funding of up to $80 million, and a maximum award of $5 million per municipality, may be available if local governments agree to take certain steps.

Panel to Offer Solutions, Aiding Local Government

Within six months after a municipality requests assistance, the Board will discuss and agree upon a set of recommendations that will be offered to fiscally eligible local governments who are seeking a way out of their problems.

Resolving Disputes in Labor Contracts

The board will also be empowered to sit at the negotiating table with local government leaders and leaders of municipal labor unions who are attempting to resolve disputes. The Board would serve as a binding arbitration panel, handing down just and reasonable resolutions.

The Board held its first meeting on September 23, 2013 in Albany. Details of future meetings will be announced on my Assembly Web site. Please refer to frb.ny.gov for more details.

Update on State Transportation Capital Program

Yesterday, my Assembly Ways and Means Committee staff delivered a report on the status of the State’s two-year capital program for roads, bridges, highways and mass transit. We moved away from the traditional, five-year cycle several years ago to match the Federal funding cycle. As you may know, we are currently in the first year of a two-year cycle for road and bridge improvements. Earlier this year, representatives of the Assembly and Senate along with the Governor formalized the terms of a two-year agreement, which provides $7.1 billion for road and bridge work and other capital projects.

Specific to road and bridge work, $3.3 billion is provided over two years under the terms of our agreement. $1.26 billion of this amount has been allocated for projects within the five boroughs of New York City. $400 million has been set aside for projects that must be completed quickly, with these projects having been identified as time-sensitive by members of the Legislature. It is from this source of funding that a project I have worked on since the 1990s will be funded. I will explain more about this exciting and long-awaited $20 million project below.

More Funding for Road and Bridge Projects

Also included in this funding source is $100 million for projects that fall outside the normal Highway and Bridge Program. In State Fiscal Year 2013-2014, this includes a $75 million increase to the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement (CHIPS) program, $10 million for airports, $10 million for freight rail capital projects, and $5 million for mass transit projects that fall outside the MTA’s purview. In Fiscal Year 2014-2015 the $75 million increase in CHIPS funding is preserved, but greater flexibility will be allowed for aviation, rail and transit projects. Under the terms of the agreement covering this two-year cycle, quarterly reports will be generated to update the Legislature and the public on the progress that is being made. Cost and time overruns will be explained and progress on the projects will be detailed in an end-of-year report. It is anticipated that, when the current two-year cycle of capital funding for transportation projects is complete, the State will return to a five-year funding cycle for capital projects.

Farrell’s Pedestrian Bridge Funded by Capital Projects Plan

Since the 1980s, I have been speaking out about the fact that not all of our public parks are fully accessible. As you may remember, I obtained State funding to build a handicapped-accessible ramp at 158th Street in 1998. In 1996, I unveiled a plan to construct a $10 million pedestrian bridge at 165th Street and Riverside Drive over the highway and rail lines into Fort Washington Park. My plan met with resistance from the Art Council and Amtrak, and unfortunately the project never moved forward. As I noted above, a project that I have been working on for many years may come to fruition as early as 2015 under the terms of this larger capital project.

Groundbreaking Could Occur in 2015

Now, I can announce that under the terms of the capital project described above, $20 million has been allocated to pay for a handicapped-accessible pedestrian bridge over the rail lines and Henry Hudson Parkway into Riverside Park at 153rd Street. If the reconstituted Art Council under the new mayoral administration approves, it is anticipated that construction on this long-awaited and important project could go out to bid as early as March of 2015. When this project is complete, it will open up the Park to people whose mobility is compromised, bicyclists, skaters, and parents pushing baby carriages and anyone else who is in need of accessibility. I eagerly await the opportunity to report future developments on this exciting and much-needed project.

Yours truly,
Herman D. Farrell, Jr.

 


Office of People with Developmental Disabilities Budget Restorations Become Law

A $90 million restoration of funds for the State Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), which was negotiated by the Legislature in April and passed in June, was signed into law by Governor Cuomo on October 1. Assemblyman Farrell recently visited the United Cerebral Palsy of New York City day program at 251 West 154th Street to deliver the news the restoration had been made official.

photo
Assemblyman Farrell visits the United Cerebral Palsy of NYC Day Program on 154th Street.

Earlier in the year, after the Governor had already introduced his Executive Budget for State Fiscal Year 2013-2014, the Federal government dropped a budgetary bombshell on New York. Members of Congress claimed that New York State had over-billed the Federal government for years to fund OPWDD and other programs for New Yorkers with disabilities, to the tune of over $1 billion, which Federal officials wanted back.

Office for People with Developmental Disabilities Funded

Faced with this unexpected, massive hole in the then-unfinished budget, the Governor negotiated a smaller cut of about $500 million, which forced him to cut programs including OPWDD. Faced with a 6 percent cut to programs that help New Yorkers with disabilities, Assemblyman Farrell and colleagues including Assembly Member Harvey Weisenberg of Long Island (whose adult son is disabled) fought to reverse the cuts and restore funding to programs for the disabled.

Legislature Fighting for New Yorkers with Disabilities

In April, as the budget took shape, the Legislature and the Governor agreed to find a way around some of the cuts to these important programs. A work group was created to find savings that would stop the need for OPWDD cuts. Their plan includes recovery of $40 million through a series of audits, and additional savings in the amount of $50 million will be identified.

The bill signed into law by the Governor earlier this month, making the restoration plan official.

 

Farrell Appointed to Gov. Cuomo’s Municipal Finance Board

PAPERS

Assemblyman Farrell was appointed this week to Governor Cuomo’s Financial Restructuring Board for Local Governments, which was created in June 2013 to help resolve municipalities’ financial structural problems, resolve labor disputes and consider establishing shared services.

His appointment took place on the recommendation of Speaker Silver.

Other members of the Board include Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, Robert Megna, Director of the Governor’s Division of Budget and Secretary of State Cesar Perales. Also sitting on the Board are Senator Jack Martins and former Assembly Member Roann Destito, who is now Commissioner of the Office of General Services.

Help for Struggling Localities

As you may know, local governments across the State have long struggled with their finances, especially after the financial crash of 2008, and many have called out to the State for assistance.

Governor Cuomo has said that cash bailouts will not be possible, but promised help will be made available to local governments to correct structural imbalances in their finances.

Panel to Offer Solutions, Aiding Local Government

In the near future, the Board will discuss and agree upon a set of recommendations that will be offered to fiscally eligible local governments who are seeking a way out of their problems. In some cases, grants or other incentives may be offered to local governments who accept and act upon these long-term recommendations.

Resolving Disputes in Labor Contracts

The board will also be empowered to sit at the negotiating table with local government leaders and leaders of municipal labor unions who are attempting to resolve disputes. The Board would serve as a binding arbitration panel, handing down just and reasonable resolutions.

The Board is scheduled to convene its first meeting on September 23, 2013 in Albany. The exact time and location have yet to be determined. Please refer to frb.ny.gov for more details.

 

Assemblyman Farrell is shown here with Bill Thompson and Councilman Robert Jackson during the 44th African-American Day Parade, which was held Sunday, September 15, 2013.

HDF at Af-Am Day Parade 2013

CHILDHOOD FRIEND AND ASSEMBLY MEMBER SAMUEL BEA PASSES

Samuel D. Bea, Jr

I am sorry to bear the bad news that my old schoolmate, lifelong friend, and a former Member of the Assembly, Samuel D. Bea, Jr., has passed away.  Sam and I were schoolmates, attending the old PS 46 elementary school (on 156th Street between Amsterdam and St. Nicholas Avenues). He later joined me in the Assembly in 1995, when he was elected to serve the 83rd Assembly District in Bronx County.

 One of the things I will always remember that on top of being an outstanding representative for the people that Sam was able to help break a coup that would have removed myself and Speaker Silver from leadership. Prior to his election, Sam served as District Manager for Community Board 12 for nearly 12 years. He was a talented public servant, and will be missed. My sincerest condolences to his family.

Follow Denny

ENDORSEMENTS

We urge you to vote for DENNY FARRELL on Election Day, Tuesday, November 2, 2010
AFL-CIO
NARAL Pro-Choice NY
Assembly Member Adriano Espaillat
United Federation of Teachers
New York State United Teachers
Stonewall Democratic Club
Tioga Democratic Club
504 Democratic Club
Congressman Charles Rangel
Borough President Scott Stringer
New York Amsterdam News
CSEA Local 1000 AFCME, AFL-CIO
District Council 37
SEIU Local 32BJ
Senator Bill Perkins
Assemblyman Keith Wright
Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez
Council Member Robert Jackson
Council Member Inez Dickens
Mason Tenders' District Council of Greater NY & LI
National Assoc. of Social Workers- NYC
Tenants PAC
Planned Parenthood of NYC * Action Fund
State Committee Members:
Maria Luna
Alfred Taylor
Dr. Rafael Lantiqua
District Leader Carolyn Rowan
William Dunmyer - Pres. West Dyckman Neighborhood Association
Marjorie J. Clarke, Ph.D
Founding member DINaction
Dyckman-Inwood Noise Action Committee
Bradley Brookshire
Co-Founder
DINaction & West Dyckman Neighborhood Association
Michael Mowatt-Wynn, Ph.D
President, 835 Riverside Drive Tenants Association & President, Audubon Neighborhood Association
Renee-Danger James - Tenant
Police Conference of New York, Inc.
Partial List