Issues: Ethics

Assemblyman Karim Camara, Chair of the NYS Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus Makes a Statement on Newly Released Marijuana Arrest Report

The report’s findings further prove the need for standardization of marijuana offenses. One million hours, over 440,000 arrests, at a cost over $75 million a year for taxpayers in the last decade is unconscionable. We cannot continue to let minor offenses like these ruin the future of innocent New Yorkers, particularly Black and Latino youth. The NYPD’s aggressive stop and frisk policies have led to a weakening of the relationship between the police department and communities of color. It is time to stop wasting millions of dollars in law enforcement resources on a failed policy, while detracting from the prosecution of serious crimes.

File: 
Marijuana Report.pdf

March 19, 2013
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New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus Join Community Groups to Call for an End to the Marijuana Possession Law

Marijuana possession is the number one arrest is New York City and a top arrest in New York State, leading to racial discrepancies, while costing taxpayers $600 million over last decade

March 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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The People’s Budget Equity XXI Report

Click on the link below to view the full Equity XXI Report.....

File: 
The People’s Budget Equity XXI Report

February 15, 2013
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NYS Black, Puerto-Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus Members Call for Passage of Minimum Wage Increase

Citing overwhelming support and outsize need for higher wages in communities of color, lawmakers seek hike to $8.75, plus indexing to inflation

ALBANY — Members of the Black, Puerto-Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus called Tuesday for the state Legislature to raise the minimum wage to $8.75 and allow for annual increases to keep up with the rising cost of living. Workers of color are the majority of minimum-wage workers in New York State. More than half of the 1.5 million New Yorkers who would benefit from an increase in the minimum wage are Black, Latino or Asian. 

February 12, 2013
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BPHA Caucus 30-Day Letter To Honorable Andrew Cuomo

Honorable Andrew Cuomo Executive Chamber State Capital Albany, NY 12224

Dear Governor Cuomo:

We write to request changes to your state budget and also to highlight specific changes that would support education, the justice system, MWBE, ELL, minimum wage, and school age children. However, we begin by acknowledging our support for a number of your proposals. We appreciate that your budget reflects an increase in minimum wages, as well as a 4.4% growth in education aid. 

February 7, 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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Senator Kennedy Applauds AG Schneiderman’s New Requirements to Combat ‘Dark Money,’ Boost Transparency in Political Campaigns

New regulations from AG Schneiderman will shed light on the influence of “dark money” in NY government and politics. 

Kennedy says Schneiderman’s new regulations partnered with real campaign finance reform will boost transparency, combat corruption and eliminate undue corporate influence over the will of the people

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Senator Tim Kennedy, D-Buffalo, applauded the efforts of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman today as he announced new regulations and reporting requirements that will combat “dark money” and increase transparency in state government and politics.

December 12, 2012
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New York Times Editorial: A Freebie Too Far

Most tennis fans can only dream about receiving the kind of thick, cream-colored invitation that State Senator Tony Avella of Queens got recently in the mail. The United States Tennis Association was pleased to invite him and a guest to view this year’s tennis championships, which begin Aug. 27. They could sit in the President’s Suite. They could pick “one session of your choice” during the first week. This is tennis at its best, viewed from the best seats in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

September 28, 2012
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Griffo Says Scandal Points to Need to Limit Legislative Leadership Tenure

Griffo Says Lopez Scandal Points to Need to Limit Legislative Leadership Tenure

September 25, 2012
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SQUADRON CALLS ON POLS TO DISCLOSE WHETHER ALEC WRITES THEIR BILLS

As GOP Convenes in Tampa, Squadron Petition Urges State Legislators and Candidates to Take Pledge to Disclose Involvement of ALEC

Squadron: Undisclosed Lobbying By Any Other Name Still Stinks

NEW YORK – As Republican state legislators descend on Tampa for the Republican National Convention, State Senator Daniel Squadron is urging legislators to pledge to disclose whether the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) helps shape the bills they introduce.

ALEC's activities seem to qualify as lobbying, but it is not registered as a lobby in New York and many other states, and doesn't file the required disclosures. Squadron’s petition urges state legislators and candidates for state legislature around the country to pledge to do the disclosing for ALEC and make clear whether the group is involved with the drafting of their bills. 

The petition and related pledge are available here.

August 28, 2012
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State Legislators: Disclose Whether ALEC Helps Write Your Legislation

"If [ALEC] spends more than $5000 to advocate for passage of legislation in the state, they are a lobbyist and should be registered." - David Grandeau, Former Executive Director, NY State Lobby Commission, June 13, 2012.

But ALEC's not registered.

Since ALEC won't comply with lobbying laws, we're asking legislators to do it for them. If you're a state legislator or candidate for state legislature, sign this pledge to disclose whether ALEC helps shape any legislation that you introduce.

August 27, 2012
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Petition to State Legislators: We urge you to disclose bills on which you work with ALEC

"If [ALEC] spends more than $5000 to advocate for passage of legislation in the state, they are a lobbyist and should be registered." - David Grandeau, Former Executive Director, NY State Lobby Commission, June 13, 2012.

But ALEC's not registered.

Since ALEC won't comply with lobbying laws, we're asking legislators to do it for them. Sign this petition to ask your state legislators and candidates for state legislature in your district to pledge to disclose if ALEC helps shape their legislation.

Are you a legislator or candidate for state legislature? Sign the pledge here.

August 27, 2012
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Smart Power For Astoria

The Queens Gazette wrote about the press conference held by Smart Power NY, a growing coalition that is focused on improving energy generation in the Queens community.

Smart Power NY, a coalition of business, labor and environmental groups along with local and state elected officials, announced that City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has joined the group, which is advocating for access to safe and reliable sources of power, a reduction in carbon emissions, job creation and policies that will help New Yorkers save on their power bills.

 

July 27, 2012
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State Rep: Unblock Sunscreen Ban In Schools

NY1 did a story on Senator Gianaris' sunscreen in school bill. 

Watch the video here.

July 2, 2012
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Little known policy bans sunscreen in schools

Senator Gianaris appeared on Channel 7's segment on sunscreen in schools and talked about his bill that would make it easier for children to use sunscreen while in school.

Watch the video here.

July 2, 2012
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Sen. Michael Gianaris' bill would change New York's restrictive policy that lets students apply sunscreen

New York Daily News wrote about Senator Gianaris' proposed legislation, which would reverse the New York State Department of Eduaction's ban on students bringing sunscreen to school.

State officials are looking to change regulations that give New York school kids a sunburn.

Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Queens) said New York has the same restrictive sunscreen policy that led two Washington state sisters to be hospitalized last week with severe sunburns — and he’s proposed legislation to change it.

Gianaris said his bill would rewrite state Education Department guidelines that prevent students from applying sunscreen unless they have a note from their doctor. Instead, Gianaris’ bill would permit sunscreen application with a note from a parent.

 

July 2, 2012
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Senator Gianaris Speaks Against S.7789

Watch this YouTube video of Senator Gianaris' remarks opposing a bill that would make it easier for power plants that were supposed to be placed here on a temporary basis to become permanent.

June 25, 2012
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Senator Gianaris Speaks on S.7517 Regarding Queens Parkland

Watch this YouTube video of Senator Gianaris speaking on the Senate floor about S7517, regarding Hallet's Point land. The Senate GOP tried to keep Gianaris from sponsoring this bill, despite his work on the issue and the fact that it's in his district.

June 25, 2012
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