Despite a concerted drive in recent weeks by advocates and elected officials, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Budget for the fiscal year beginning April 1 does not include appropriation of funds to ensure that New Yorkers living with AIDS and receiving government rental assistance will have the effective rent they pay capped at 30 percent of their monthly income.
In a public policy battle, dating back at least seven years, to close what State Senator Brad Holyman characterized as a loophole in New York law, AIDS advocates had hoped Cuomo would step up with funding of at least $5.8 million during his annual budget address in Albany on January 21.
On January 14, the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute released long-awaited clinical guidelines for the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV infection among those at high risk. PrEP is a relatively new intervention to prevent HIV transmission, in which people who do not have HIV take a daily pill (Truvada, manufactured by Gilead) to reduce their risk of becoming infected. A lack of awareness and understanding of PrEP among both providers and prospective patients has suppressed its use.
Next Thursday, I am co-sponsoring a screening hosted by Assembly Member Glick of Gasland 2. Other co-sponsors include Community Board 3, Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh, Councilmember Rosie Mendez, and State Senator Daniel Squadron. Gasland 2 is a documentary that details the harmful effects of hydraulic fracturing. The screening is free and open to the public, and will take place on Thursday, January 23 between 6:30-9:00 PM at Teatro Circulo, 64 E 4th Street (between the Bowery and 2nd Ave).
This week I reintroduced legislation that would bar licensed mental health providers from engaging patients under 18 in sexual orientation change efforts, which are sometimes known as conversion “therapy.” Since the legislature gaveled out last spring, New Jersey and California passed groundbreaking legislation banning this so-called “therapy” and now is the time for New York to do the same. This practice has been thoroughly discredited by experts, including the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Medical Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics and poses a serious threat to the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth.
I am deeply concerned about the emphasis on high-stakes testing as a measure of student learning, teacher effectiveness and school performance. We need to broaden our understanding of education, move away from “teaching to the test,” and relieve the pressure on our students. Toward that end, I am a co-sponsor of legislation (S.4764-A) prohibiting high-stakes, standardized testing for schoolchildren in pre-K through second grade and support other measures to reduce excessive testing. This year, the terms of 4 of the 17 members of the State Board of Regents will expire.
This past week, I joined Congresswoman Maloney, Assembly Member Dan Quart and brave Manhattan rape survivor Natasha Alexenko to call on the federal government to reduce the dangerous national rape-kit backlog and reauthorize the Justice for All Act. Natasha was forced to wait 15 years for the evidence she needed to convict her attacker due to the rape-kit processing backlog, currently estimated at 400,000. This act will increase funding for DNA evidence processing to ensure that medical examiners across the country have the tools to process evidence for criminal cases quickly and accurately.
ALBANY—Gay-rights advocates and their legislative allies are making a push this year to ban so-called gay conversion therapy in New York, in hopes that a similar move by New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie provides momentum.
"Gay conversion therapy" refers to efforts by mental-health professionals to change a person's sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual through psychological treatment sessions.
The practice is banned for minors in California and New Jersey and has been condemned by the American Psychiatric Association. Opposition to the bans has been strong in some evangelical Christian communities.
Today I joined the Alliance for Quality Education at a press conference calling on Governor Cuomo to increase school aid by $1.9 billion when he releases the Fiscal Year 2014-15 Executive Budget next week. I also joined 82 State Senate and Assembly colleagues in sending the Governor a letter to the same effect. Despite education funding increases in New York’s past two budgets, the state is still lagging in funding public schools. We must fully and equitably fund the New York City education system and school districts throughout the state, as mandated by the Court of Appeals’ order in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit.
Today, I participated in a press conference announcing MulchFest, an annual citywide event, sponsored by the New York City Parks Department, Department of Sanitation and GreeNYC, that allows New Yorkers to recycle their Christmas trees so they can be turned into eco-friendly compost. Mulching is a great reuse of trees that would otherwise end up in landfills and benefits parks and gardens throughout the City.
As you may have heard, on January 5 there was a fire in a high-rise in our district, in which one person died and another was critically injured. In response to this tragedy, I will be introducing statewide legislation along with my colleague Assembly Member Richard Gottfried, to require commercial and residential buildings in New York State over 125 feet tall to feature emergency stairwell public address systems.
“State Supreme Court Justice Donna Mills’ ruling is a great victory for our community,” said State Senator Brad Hoylman, who prior to his election in 2012 led Manhattan Community Board 2's resounding opposition to NYU's expansion plan.
Frigid temperatures like those we’ve had in New York City lately pose a real threat to people’s health and well-being. It may seem obvious, but dressing appropriately for the weather—including gloves, hats, insulated outerwear and waterproof footwear—while limiting your time outdoors is the only truly effective way to stay safe and healthy during a cold snap. Additionally, New Yorkers should make every effort to check in on elderly and vulnerable neighbors to ensure their safety. Also, remember, landlords are legally required to maintain an inside, daytime temperature of at least 68° F if the outside temperature falls below 55° F, and a nighttime, inside temperature of at least 55° F if the outside temperature outside falls below 40° F.
Today, State Senator Brad Hoylman announced the introduction of legislation (Bill S6196) prohibiting members of the state legislature from receiving outside earned income, making New York the first state in the country to have a truly full-time legislature. The legislation comes on the heels of the December 2, 2013 preliminary report released by the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption.
December 30, 2013 : By Kenneth Lovett ALBANY — A state senator wants to end moonlighting by legislators, making the Legislature a full-time job. Sen. Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan) has introduced a bill barring lawmakers from having outside employment, saying the idea would cut down on corruption by eliminating potential conflicts of interest. Though the job of state legislator carries an annual base salary of $79,500 — highest in the country after California — it is considered part-time.
In response to the Hudson River Park Trust’s recent request for proposals for several of the park’s public boathouses, I wrote to encourage the Trust to maintain free public kayaking programming at Piers 26 and 96. In a city with limited opportunities for people to interact with nature in a meaningful and healthy way, I urged the Trust to continue to make kayaking available to New Yorkers and visitors regardless of economic status. Please see my letter below.
“I’m dismayed there would be a call by a government official for a boycott of businesses in Times Square, which is in my Senate district, over a billboard message for which these businesses bear no responsibility,” said Senator Hoylman (D,WFP—Manhattan). “It’s a bedrock principle of our democracy that citizens have the right to espouse their beliefs, and for others to express their disagreement. However, to attempt to penalize hardworking New Yorkers over this flap simply because they work in Times Square is as nonsensical as it is abhorrent.”
New York, NY—Following dubious claims about the educational and developmental benefits of New York-based Fisher-Price’s Apptivity products, New York State Senator Brad Hoylman sent a letter today to parent company Mattel, calling on the toy manufacturer to review the product line and cease promoting passive screen use by infants and toddlers.