Issues: Violations

Brooklyn lawmakers push to criminalize ‘rent sabotage’

By Ryan Hutchins

Capital New York

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.

April 14, 2014
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Senator Dilan Introduces Measure to Make Sabotage of Regulated Rentals a Criminal Act

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.

April 14, 2014
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Despite lower penalties, fines are set to rise

As reported by Crain's New York Business: 

Mayor Bill de Blasio campaigned on a promise to lower fines against small businesses, criticizing what he deemed the punitive, "revenue-focused" enforcement of city laws.

But his preliminary budget indicates that his administration plans to collect even more in levies than city agencies did under Michael Bloomberg last year.

Revenue from fines soared 72% during the Bloomberg administration, to $799 million in 2013 from $467 million in 2002. The initial de Blasio budget unveiled last month indicates that fine revenue will grow to $807.5 million this year. That's just $5 million less than the Bloomberg administration had projected for 2014.

"There was a sigh of relief among small business owners when this mayor was elected," said Queens state Sen. Jose Peralta. "There hasn't been much to show so far, though, and a lot of business owners are getting nervous. You have to give the mayor time to breathe and soak it all in, but it's now time to tackle this in a positive way."

A day after Mr. de Blasio signed the legislation, the City Council issued rules putting into effect a law signed by Mr. Bloomberg to reduce fines against restaurants. Those changes are part of a wider overhaul of the city's letter-grading system for eateries and the suspected quota system that has led to an outcry from inspectors and restaurateurs. 

In the meantime, Mr. Peralta has called on the mayor to adopt an amnesty program under which proprietors can seek to have fines incurred during the Bloomberg administration dismissed by the new mayor.

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April 9, 2014
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Felder and Weinstein Pass Legislation Granting Common-Sense Extension for Vehicle Repairs

Senator Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn) and Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein are pleased to announce the passage of legislation that excludes Saturdays from being considered a business day for purposes of responding to violations for defective motor vehicle equipment. Bill number A5470A/S5730 increases the amount of time a motorist can repair a defective vehicle without facing a costly fine. 

June 19, 2013
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Senator Valesky Introduces Legislative Reform Package Including Legislation Prohibiting Lobbyists from Engaging in Political Consulting

ALBANY—State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) has introduced a package of legislation aimed at preventing corruption. 

May 6, 2013
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SENATOR GALLIVAN REACTS TO DEC CONSENT ORDER WITH HILLCREST INDUSTRIES

Applauds Funding Of Attica Community Environmental Benefit Project

Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R,C,I – Elma) welcomed news this week that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has finalized its consent order with Hillcrest Industries of Attica.

“The DEC consent order hopefully marks the beginning of the end of this long and arduous process that has tested the patience of the Attica community. I am especially pleased to see that the financial penalty levied against Hillcrest Industries will be used to fund an Environmental Benefit Project within the community, rather than merely transfer to the DEC’s bank account in Albany,” Senator Gallivan said.

April 12, 2013
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Department of Financial Services to Speek Resolution of Insurance Claims in Areas Affected by 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.

February 27, 2013
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Governor Cuomo Outlines 2013-2014 Executive Budget to Maintain Fiscal Responsibility and Continue to Invest in Economic Growth

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.

January 23, 2013
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Explainer: What Good Is It to be the Toughest State on Gun Control?

WNYC wrote about the six bills introduced by Senator Gianaris who is spearheading the movement to help reduce gun violence in our city.

A New York State Senator plans to introduce six new pieces of gun control legislation this week, which if passed would make New York the state with the toughest gun laws in the nation. But gun control advocates caution that lax laws in other states would still pose a threat.

 

Senator Michael Gianaris, a Democrat from Queens, is proposing a series of restrictive measures that go above and beyond the state’s already relatively strong gun laws. Gianaris’s bills would:

 

August 9, 2012
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Pol Aims to Make New York's Gun Laws Toughest in the Country

DNAinfo wrote about the recent gun control package proposed by Senator Gianaris.  This package of bills plans to decrease the amount of gun related crimes in New York and across the country. 

ASTORIA — Amid the latest spike in crime around New York and following the mass shootings in Colorado and Wisconsin, Astoria state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) is introducing a series of bills to strengthen the state’s gun control laws, aiming to make New York the toughest state on guns.

 

The number of shootings in the city has increased by 12 percent from the beginning of this year through early July, compared to the same time last year, according to Gianaris.

 

August 9, 2012
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After Shootings, Push in Albany for Tougher Gun Laws

New York Times wrote about Senator Gianaris' initatives that aim to improve public safety by enforcing stricter laws that limit gun trafficing and stockpiling of ammunition.

In the wake of mass shootings in Colorado and Wisconsin and an uptick in gun violence in New York City, lawmakers are planning a new push in Albany to win approval of tighter gun laws in New York State.

 

August 9, 2012
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SENATOR GIANARIS AIMS TO MAKE NEW YORK TOUGHEST STATE ON GUNS

Introduces proposals strengthening state’s gun control laws

Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris is working to improve public safety and better protect New Yorkers from gun violence by introducing a series of bills to strengthen the state’s gun control laws. His package of bills are based on criteria established by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence which ranks each state according to the strength of its gun control laws. Currently, New York ranks fourth in the country. The passage of Senator Gianaris’s package of bills, however, would make New York first in the nation for having the toughest gun control laws.

August 6, 2012
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