Newsroom

Senate Bill Guaranteeing Protections for Tenants of Foreclosed Buildings Signed into Law

Prior Law Allowed Tenants to be Forced from Homes without Notice

Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (35th District – D/WF) announced that a new law guaranteeing greater protections (S7139) for tenants of buildings in foreclosure has been signed into law. Under the new law, rent-regulated tenants are now required to receive a notice of their housing rights, along with a notice of the building owner’s foreclosure. The bill takes effect 30 days from the date of signing.

A review of the state’s prior notification requirement for renters revealed that existing law failed to effectively communicate to rent-controlled and rent-stabilized tenants that their housing rights are unaffected by a foreclosure proceeding.

August 19, 2010
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Bicycle Safety Bill Sponsored by Senator Stewart-Cousins Signed into Law

Today, legislation (S7897) Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins introduced and passed in the Senate to protect bicyclists was signed into law. The new law requires motorists to pass bicyclists proceeding in the same direction at a safe distance. Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins introduced the legislation after Merrill Cassell, an avid cyclist and safety advocate, was fatally struck by a vehicle last year, while cycling in Greenburgh, NY.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the State of New York had 42 bicycle-related traffic fatalities in 2008 alone. Requiring motorists to pass at "a safe distance," this legislation will serve to educate the public about the need for motor vehicles and bicyclists to share our roads safely.

August 15, 2010
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Protecting New York's Drinking Water

(35th District – NY) Today, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins announced the Senate Democratic Majority has passed legislation mandating a temporary moratorium on gas drilling (“hydro-fracking”) to ensure adequate time to research safety measures and regulations. Gas drilling in New York could contaminate the drinking water of more than 12 million NYC-area residents.

The Senate, on August 3, 2010, overwhelmingly passed S8129B/Thompson by a vote of 48-9. This bill provides for a suspension, until May 15, 2011, of the issuance of new permits for the drilling of a well which utilizes the practice of hydraulic fracturing. The legislation is now awaiting action by the Assembly before it can be sent to the Governor for his support.

August 11, 2010
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Rising Times: COUNCIL PASSES CITY BUDGET THAT PROVIDES RESOURCES FOR MAYOR TO RESTORE JOBS & SERVICES

Bi-Partisanship Effort Amongst Members is Key to Approval

The Yonkers City Council tonight voted 6-1 to approve the City’s FY 2010-11 Budget and provide the mayor with the necessary financial resources to restore essential services and jobs. Councilmember Joan Gronowski voted against its adoption.

The budget’s passage follows an announcement earlier today by NYS Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, NYS Senator Jeff Klein, NYS Assemblyman Mike Spano and NYS Assemblyman Gary Pretlow that $36.4 million in educational aid was being returned to Yonkers for school funding.

July 16, 2010
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Agreement to Restore Yonkers Education Funding

Today, we are happy to announce that working with Senator Sampson, Assembly Speaker Silver, State Comptroller DiNapoli, and Governor Paterson, an agreement has been reached which enables the City of Yonkers to adopt and certify its budget to include the $36.4 million in education funding that had been vetoed.

July 14, 2010
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Capitol: Utility Companies Clear-Cutting Of Trees Threatens Community Landscape

Since late last year, residents across Westchester County have witnessed, with disbelief, the disappearance of the natural landscape that has shielded homes and properties from exposure for decades. In the days following the removal of broad swaths of vegetation with chainsaws, the lush greenery that had always been there was gone and left behind were areas littered with debris and the stumps of trees.

July 7, 2010
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WGRZ: Bicycle Safety Legislation Passes New York Legislature

Following the death of a 66-year-old bicyclist in Westchester County last November, the New York Senate and Assembly have passed legislation that would require vehicles to pass cyclists at a safe distance to prevent accidents.

Westchester Putnam Bike Walk Alliance member Merrill Cassell was biking on Route 119 at the Greenburgh/White Plains border Nov. 6 when he was sideswiped by a Bee-Line public bus and killed. The bus driver didn't receive a ticket.

July 7, 2010
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Additional Funding to Yonkers School District Approved by the Senate

Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D/WF – 35th District) announced that two pieces of legislation (S7190 and S7189) she introduced to provide additional aid to the Yonkers City School District passed in the Senate.

Senate bill 7190, if enacted into law, would provide $4.8 million in additional aid to the District for its successful full day Universal Pre-Kindergarten program. Senate bill 7189 would provide a one-time payment of $3.9 million to address the dramatic increase in enrollment from 2008-09 to 2009-2010.

June 30, 2010
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Senate Passes Legislation to Protect Cyclists

On Friday, June 25, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins announced the Senate passed legislation (S7897) requiring motorists to pass bicyclists proceeding in the same direction at a safe distance. Once the bill has passed in both houses it will be sent to the Governor for his signature. Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins introduced the legislation after Merrill Cassell, an avid cyclist and safety advocate, was fatally struck by a vehicle last year, while cycling in Greenburgh, NY.

June 25, 2010
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Legislation to Audit Local Government Subsidiary Organizations

Today, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (35th District – D/WF), Chair of the Senate Local Government Committee, announced that the Senate has approved legislation (S7909) to empower the State Comptroller to conduct audits of local government subsidiary organizations. State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli drafted the legislation, which Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins introduced and passed in the Senate with an overwhelming 53-7 majority.

June 24, 2010
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HV Press: New act fights voter intimidation tactics

In an effort to end voter coercion and intimidation practices, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (35th District –D/WF) announced passage of legislation in the Senate (S2554-B) making voter suppression punishable as a misdemeanor. If signed into law, the legislation will amend New York State election laws to address issues pertaining to voter coercion and intimidation that are not currently covered.

June 24, 2010
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Providing All Students With A Safe Learning Environment

Senate Passes Landmark ‘Dignity For All Students Act’

June 23, 2010
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Lowering Energy Costs for Small Businesses

Senate Passes Small Business Energy Assistance & Advocacy Services Program

Legislation to reduce energy costs on small businesses in New York State, introduced by Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, passed unanimously in the Senate. The bill is part of a Senate Democratic Majority legislative package that will significantly reduce the costs of energy for homeowners and businesses statewide, putting money back into the pockets of families and making businesses more competitive.

June 23, 2010
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June 22, 2010
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Protecting Our Children’s Health & Nutrition

Senate Passes Child Health Plus and School Meals Enrollment Coordination Act

Today, the Senate passed legislation (S4057B) introduced by Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, to preserve good health and nutrition as part of early childhood development and establish the Child Health Plus and School Meals Enrollment Coordination Act of 2011.

Health and nutrition are directly correlated to a child’s success in school, and later achievement as an adult.

June 21, 2010
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Senate Moves to Protect Schools From Cyber-thieves

The Senate Democratic Majority has passed legislation (S7323/Foley) establishing the “School District Financial Security Task Force” charged with helping school districts fortify protections for funds in bank and other financial accounts.

June 21, 2010
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Channel 34 Binghamton: Reforming Presidential Elections, NYS Senate Passes National Popular Vote Legislation

The New York State Senate has passed legislation (S2286A) to enter an interstate agreement to elect the U.S. President by national popular vote, striking away an arcane system in which candidates work for votes in a handful of states while reducing voters in more progressive or conservative states to little more than bystanders in the democratic process.

June 21, 2010
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Budget Agreement Provides Critical Aid to Yonkers

This year has been very difficult for the City of Yonkers and for the State of New York. In the wake of a multi-million dollar deficit crisis, Mayor Amicone has proposed layoffs and drastic cuts in services in order to close the City's budget gap. We have made a commitment to the residents of Yonkers that we would fight to try to avoid his doomsday scenario. Today we have reached a budget agreement that will make this a reality.

June 18, 2010
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No Rent Increases Will Keep Tenants in their Homes

Earlier this week, the Westchester Rent Guidelines Board voted against the proposal to increases rents on regulated apartments where tenants have one- and two-year leases. As a consistent and persistent advocate for tenants, I have worked with hundreds of constituents on housing issues, sponsored and attended community forums on tenants' rights, introduced major tenant protection legislation in the Senate, and, most recently, provided testimony to the Westchester Rent Guidelines Board urging them to avoid rent increases in Westchester County in 2010-11.

June 18, 2010
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