Elected Officials hold a “Know your Rights” meeting with frustrated residents of Goldfarb Properties Apartment Complexes located on Pelham Parkway
BRONX, NY - State Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester), Public Advocate Letitia James and Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj (D-Bronx) held a “Know your Rights” meeting with residents of the Goldfarb Properties owned apartment complexes located on Pelham Parkway and neighboring Matthews Avenue, Tuesday evening. More than 50 residents joined the elected officials to share their ongoing grievances over building conditions, rent stabilization rights, rent increases and evictions.
Here is a partial listing of bills I have supported this session to aid New York’s former servicemen and servicewomen. These initiatives will now go to Governor Cuomo for final action.
-- Legislation I co-sponsored was passed by both houses (S.7839, first introduced as S.4714)) to extend the Military Service Credit Law of 2000 to all veterans who have served in the military. Right now, public employees who served in the armed forces may purchase up to three years of pension credit only if their military service occurred during specified conflicts. This measure will expand this opportunity to public employee veterans who also served their country in peacetime.
Measure Proposed by Local Mandate Relief Working Group
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced her bill to provide mandate relief to local school districts by eliminating the duplicative requirement for annual visual inspections of school buildings has passed the State Senate.
The measure was first suggested by Senator Ritchie’s local Mandate Relief Working Group. Established in 2011, the group—which includes local leaders from Jefferson, Oswego and St. Lawrence Counties—aims to find ways to provide relief to hardworking New York taxpayers by slashing mandates. Since its founding, they have proposed two dozen recommendations for cutting government spending and eliminating costly, unfunded mandates, several of which have been enacted into law.
ALBANY--Yesterday, the State Senate passed legislation (S.6731) sponsored by Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) increasing the maximum number of land banks in the state to 20.
Land banks, entities that take control of problem properties and then redevelop or dispose of them in a manner consistent with the public’s interest, are a proven strategic tool for cities and counties where the number of vacant properties outpaces the private market’s ability to deal with them. Land banks are proving to be effective tools to reduce blight and advance community revitalization.
Governor Cuomo announced that the state’s Tenant Protection Unit (TPU) has served a subpoena on JBI Management to investigate allegations of intentionally sabotaging rent regulated apartments to drive tenants out.
Senator Dilan introduced legislation to bolster the state’s Tenant Protection Unit’s ability to root out unscrupulous landlords. The measure would make sabotage of a rent regulated unit a felony. Harassment of tenants is currently a felony under existing law.
A bill in the state legislature would criminalize the act of “rent sabotage,” making it a felony for landlords to destroy their own buildings in the hopes of forcing out tenants living in rent-controlled units.
The measure was introduced this month following continued reports of hostilities between renters and property owners in increasingly gentrified Brooklyn neighborhoods. Tenants who've spent many years in the same apartments without problems have accused landlords of sending in men with sledgehammers and power saws to make the properties unliveable.
In response to the recent spate of rent regulated building owners intentionally destroying units in attempts to drive tenants out, Senator Martin Malavé Dilan (D-Bushwick) and Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol (D-North Brooklyn) have introduced new legislation making the practice a criminal act.
S. 6941 would expand tenant protections by establishing the crime of Sabotage of Rent Regulated Accommodations, a class D felony. Existing tenant protections prohibit the harassment of rent regulated tenants in an attempt to drive them out. However, the recent rise in intentional destruction of regulated units, and the severity of the damage, are well beyond the scope of current law.
BRONX, NY– Standing on the steps of the Bronx County Supreme Court, Senator Klein, joined by dozens of Bronx homeowners and Assemblyman Marcos Crespo (D-Bronx), announced that a lawsuit charging fraud, conspiracy, breach of contract and negligence had been filed against members of an elaborate scheme targeting first time, minority homeowners. Homeowners allege that the defendants, working in concert, (referenced to as the “Tota-Kash Group” in the complaint), bilked them for millions of dollars by inducing them to purchase homes in the Bronx without valid certificates of occupancy and with shoddy workmanship.
CITY ISLAND, NY – Standing at the far end of City Island, elected officials, members of the City Island business community and the owners of Tony’s Pier, came together to celebrate its re-opening a year after a fire consumed the entire restaurant during the height of Superstorm Sandy.
At the press conference, Senator Jeff Klein, joined by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Assemblyman Mike Benedetto and members of the City Island Chamber of Commerce highlighted the progress made following Superstorm Sandy, while noting there is more work to be done.
New York State Senator Mark Grisanti (R,I- Buffalo) and New York State Assemblyman Sean Ryan (D,WF- Buffalo) announced that legislation they sponsored in the Senate and Assembly to improve Erie County's Land Bank, has been signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The legislation (S5167, A7245) makes corrections to the statewide land bank legislation that was passed in 2011. To combat the continuing problem of vacant homes, New York State passed the land bank legislation, which empowered counties and municipalities to create land banks to purchase vacant and abandoned properties.
(Utica)- State Senator Joseph A. Griffo (R-C-IP, Rome) today confirmed that he will be participating in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s New York Rising Storm Recovery Conference this Thursday in Albany. Last week, Griffo was joined by fellow Senators James Seward, Hugh Farley and David Valesky in asking President Obama, FEMA, and federal officials for greater consideration in helping the residents of central New York and the Mohawk Valley who had been devastated by the catastrophic flooding.
The New York State Senate today passed a comprehensive legislative package that provides relief to people and communities impacted by Hurricane Sandy, aids rebuilding efforts, and increases disaster preparedness.
The Associated General Contractors of New York State (AGC NYS) today announced that the AGC NYS Scholarship Committee is now accepting applications for their undergraduate, graduate and diesel technology scholarship programs.
Since 1998 the program has awarded 448 scholarships nearing $1 million to students pursuing degrees in Civil Engineering, Construction Technology, Construction Management and Diesel Technology.
Senator Velmanette Montgomery today released a new brochure that informs constituents in flood zone areas such as Red Hook, Sunset Park, and Gowanus about new flood maps being prepared by FEMA, their implications for future insurance coverage, and what it might mean to property owners rebuilding from super storm SANDY.
The NYS Department of Financial Services (DFS) is setting new rules to speed the processing of insurance claims in areas affected by Storm Sandy. The new regulation reduces the amount of time an insurer can delay its decision on a claim, and requires insurers to report to the Department on how many claims it is delaying and the reasons for the delays.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo unveiled the proposed 2013-14Executive Budget and Management Plan that builds on two years of balanced, fiscally responsible budgeting and invests in economic development, education reform, rebuilding after Superstorm Sandy, provides support to local governments and school districts, and includes no new taxes or fees.
Highlights of the Executive Budget:
· Eliminates $1.3 billion budget gap with no new taxes or fees. The expected gap for 2013-14 was projected to be $17.4 billion prior to the last two responsible budgets.
· Holds spending increases below 2 percent for third consecutive year.