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Senator Jose Peralta: No Dream Act, no on Education Budget Bill

There were many unrelated items thrown into the Education Budget Bill that Senator Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) disagrees with, but his main reason for voting no on the Senate floor was because of the exclusion of the Dream Act, a measure that would make thousands of undocumented immigrant college students eligible for the state’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP).   

“Today is the birthday of the great labor leader César Chávez, and how appropriate, but yet sad, we have to talk about how decades later after his struggle, we still have to talk about the lack of dignity and the lack of respect for immigrants who came to this country to work hard and live the American Dream,” Senator Peralta said. “Here we go again. Another year, another budget that does not include the DREAM Act. This is beginning to look and sound like the movie Groundhog Day, in which the same day gets repeated over and over and over again. Another year of false fear mongering propaganda lead by the majority perpetuating an intolerant ideology that the sky will fall if we allow these undocumented kids to receive money from the Tuition Assistance program.”

“César Chávez would have turned 88, and to mark this day, dozens of CUNY and SUNY students ended the hunger strike they went on last week in an effort to have the DREAM Act included in this year’s budget. The DREAM Act is excluded from it, and for that reason, I am voting no on the education bill,” Senator Peralta said.

“I am sick and tired about being sick and tired of having my vote taken for granted, so therefore, I vote Nay,” said Senator Peralta on the Senate floor Wednesday night. “New York State and the DREAMers lost out here.”   

Senator Peralta noted he lost the battle but not the war. “I call upon governor Andrew Cuomo to make the DREAM Act a priority as he said throughout this entire budget process. I call upon the Governor to keep his promise and use his political capital to ensure the DREAM Act is passed before the end of this session. When he put the DREAM Act in his executive budget it lit a spark in the eyes of every DREAMer. He sent an infusion of hope and inspiration, but yet much to the dismay of all those DREAMers, the DREAM Act was taken out of the budget. I was disappointed, infuriated and devastated by this move.”

“We rather give tax credits to the rich so they can buy a yacht or a plane, or both, and keep thousands of hard-working undocumented immigrants from receiving financial aid to help them pay for their college tuition costs and obtain their degree as a path to a better life,” Senator Peralta added. “We are just trying to help our kids go to college, work and pay taxes. In other words, we must pave the way so they too can live the American Dream.”

Senator Peralta said, “I anxiously anticipate the day when I open a newspaper or click on a link to an article with a headline that reads: New York Dream Act, after years of broken promises, is now a Reality. CUNY and SUNY DREAMers wake up from their long-lasting nightmare.” 

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April 1, 2015
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Dreamers: "Cuomo nos abandonó cuando más lo necesitábamos"

As reported by El Diario:

En tanto, el senador estatal José Peralta, uno de los promotores del Dream Act en Albany, dijo que esta postergación de la norma es un “deja vú”. De acuerdo al político demócrata, el Dream Act habría costado 27 millones de dólares y calificó a los republicanos como “ilógicos”. “Se pagaría en unos pocos años. Ayudar a estos estudiantes indocumentados costaría 87 centavos al año a los contribuyentes”, comentó Peralta

To view full article, click here.

April 1, 2015
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With New Budget, Key Issues Championed by City Officials Left for Later

As reported by the Gotham Gazette:

As state budget negotiations delivered a new deal, Gov. Andrew Cuomo was willing to drop many priorities from his spending plan, several of which are of great importance to New York City officials, including his sometime friend Mayor Bill de Blasio.

With adoption of the state's fiscal year 2016 budget, a host of progressive issues de Blasio and his allies touted were abandoned. Both Cuomo and the Democratic Assembly Majority headed by new Speaker Carl Heastie listed a host of major progressive touchstones in their budget proposals this year, such as paid family leave, a minimum wage increase, the DREAM Act, and more. Cuomo draped himself in several of these issues while campaigning in the city in 2014 and they were key parts to the budget plan he labeled the "2015 Opportunity Agenda."

To view full article, click here.

April 1, 2015
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March 31, 2015: Sen. Jose Peralta, Asm. Brian Kolb, Renate Hartman and Byrgen Finkelman, Dick Dadey

As reported by WCNY,

Sen. Jose Peralta (D – Queens) discusses the budget’s exclusion of the DREAM Act.

Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb (R – Canandaigua) shares his thoughts on what is and is not included in the budget.

Today is International Transgender Day of Visibility. Renate Hartman and Byrgen Finkelman, members of Affirming Transgender Rights, discuss the launch of stage one of a transgender discrimination campaign.

To view full article, click here.

April 1, 2015
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Immigration Reform News Update: New York DREAM Act Sponsors Respond Latest Setback in State Budget Debate

As reported by Latin Post,

Democratic New York State Sen. Jose Peralta, representing Queens' East Elmhurst, is the lead sponsor of the Senate DREAM Act legislation, and expressed he was "extremely disappointed and infuriated" with the DREAM Act's removal from the state budget's negotiations. In a statement sent to Latin Post, Peralta's office stated the DREAM Act's exclusion from the 2015-2016 New York State budget agreement is an "unfair and unjust action" for the Empire State and the DREAMer community.

To view full article, click here

April 1, 2015
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Senator Peralta: Disappointed and Infuriated DREAM Act was taken out of the budget. “New York State and DREAMers lost out today”

State Senator Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst), the lead sponsor of the Senate Dream Act bill in the Senate, said he was extremely disappointed and infuriated because the DREAM Act was taken out of the State’s budget. “It’s déjà vu all over again,” he said.

But Senator Peralta noted that who really lost today with this unfair and unjust action were New York State and the DREAMers. “New York State and the DREAMers have really lost out today, again. New York State because we had an opportunity to really live up to our distinction of being a state of innovators and progressive thinkers, and the DREAMers because they had hoped to attend and graduate college and pave the way for the next generation.”

Senator Peralta added, “I, as well as many others, were extremely disappointed, infuriated and devastated by this move.”

Senator Peralta blamed the Republicans for the exclusion of the DREAM Act from the budget. “Another year of false fear mongering propaganda led by the Senate majority, perpetuating an intolerant and xenophobic ideology that the sky will fall if we allow these undocumented kids to receive money from the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). Republicans are just promoting lies,” Senator Peralta said.

The DREAM Act will cost up to $27 millions in an almost $142 billion budget. “To understand how illogical Republicans are on this issue, the Dream Act will pay for itself in a few years. And to translate into what it would cost to help undocumented college students for taxpayers, it amounts to 87 cents a year. You cannot even buy a cup of coffee with 87 cents,” Senator Peralta said.

Senator Peralta called on Governor Andrew Cuomo to use his political clout, just like he did with Marriage Equality, the Safe Act and even ethics reform. “I call upon the Governor to keep his promise and use his political capital to ensure that the DREAM Act is passed before the end of this session,” Senator Peralta said. “I will do anything in my power to help Governor Cuomo make the DREAM Act a reality and right a wrong for our DREAMers.”       

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March 30, 2015
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Senator Jose Peralta calls for a Street Vendor Policy Commission

Coexistence between street vendors and brick-and-mortar retailers is critical to the social and economic development of our neighborhoods and communities. This is why State Senator Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) introduced a bill in the Senate calling for the creation of a street vendor policy commission to modernize the regulation that govern street vending.

“Street vendors and mom-and-pop stores sustain families and are a established fixture and essential parts of our communities,” Senator Peralta said. “I strongly believe street vendors and brick-and-mortar businesses can peacefully coexist. My bill calls for a revamped Street Vendor Review Panel that includes all stakeholders to study the problems and provide recommendations.”

Senator Peralta noted, “Nobody is happy with the current system. Local residents complain, street vendors complain, small retailers complain. The system is in disarray. A decade of inaction on issues surrounding street vendors has highlighted the urgent need for reform.”

Senator Peralta said the commission to regulate street vending would be composed of nine members: five representing relevant city agencies (director of the Department of City Planning or designee; commissioner of the Department of Consumer Affairs or designee; commissioner Department of Transportation or designee; commissioner of the Department of Small Business services or designee; and the commissioner of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene or designee), two members representing street vendors’ interests, and two members representing the interests of small business owners.

The street vendor policy commission would evaluate and make recommendations, among other subjects, on the following:

Lifting the caps on street vendor permits;

Establishing a mechanism to rescind licenses of those who illegally rent out credentials;

Creating zoning regulations and structures to reduce sidewalk and street congestion;

Create a letter grading system for the street vendors similar to that of the restaurants;

Reducing fines for minor violations and focus on serious health, safety, traffic and sanitation violations; and

Establishing a mediation process in which street vendors and business owners can resolve conflicts.

“Leaving the system as is will only lead to more frustration. Inaction is not an option, and establishing a street vendor policy commission with a clear mandate would go a long way to regulate the system,” Senator Peralta said. The Senator’s district includes Roosevelt Avenue from 75th to 114th streets, a stretch filled with mom-and-pop operations, streets vendors, and vehicle and foot traffic.

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March 30, 2015
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Advocates for tax credit, Dream Act plot next moves

As reported by Capital:

ALBANY—Advocates for the Dream Act and the education tax credit regrouped on Tuesday after lawmakers said the proposals had been dropped from the state budget, pressuring Governor Andrew Cuomo to reintroduce the policies during ongoing negotiations and strategizing about what to do next if he doesn’t.

A coalition of religious, business and labor groups that supports the tax credit, which would incentivize donations to private school scholarship funds as well as public schools, changed course on an advertising campaign they had begun on Monday to push the credit.

To view full article, click here.

March 24, 2015
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Senator Jose Peralta regarding Governor Cuomo’s consideration to remove the DREAM Act from the budget: “Unacceptable”

State Senator Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) said today it was unacceptable that Governor Andrew Cuomo is considering removing the DREAM Act from the State’s $141 billion budget. Senator Peralta said he was extremely disappointed about this possibility, especially after the Governor argued in favor of making the Dream Act a reality during the Somos El Futuro Conference that took place in Albany this past weekend.

“Majority leader Dean Skelos has turned his back on addressing the current injustice in our state’s student aid financial assistance program,” Senator Peralta said. “It’s déjà vu all over again. Another year and the same outcome thanks to the intolerant views perpetuated by the Senate majority. They rather promote fear mongering propaganda that the sky will fall if we, as a State, help the children of undocumented immigrants to obtain a higher education.”

Senator Peralta continued, “it seems to me that New York is no longer the land of opportunity for these hard-working college students because instead of enabling them to succeed, we just added more hurdles to their paths.”

Senator Peralta noted, “The DREAM Act would have leveled the playing field for all of our college students regardless of their immigration status. Extending TAP (Tuition Assistance Program) to our DREAMers would not only provide an opportunity to thousands of hard-working young new Yorkers, but also create jobs, boost future tax revenue, and give our state the kind of diverse, educated, multi-talented workforce we will need to compete in tomorrow’s economy.”

“With this potential action, I understand New York does not want to follow in the footsteps of California,  Minnesota, New Mexico, Texas and Washington State,” Senator Peralta said. “These states already provide state college aid to undocumented immigrants, but New York does not want to right a wrong by offering all of our immigrant college students basic financial aid. “I will not give up the fight until we ensure that our DREAM becomes the reality it should be. This is unacceptable.”

Senator Peralta added, “I call on the Governor to reconsider the possibility of dropping the DREAM Act from the budget and help our DREAMers.”

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March 24, 2015
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State Senator Backs Congestion Pricing Plan for New York City

As reported by Observer News:

A day after a Bronx city councilman, James Vacca, lent his support to a new congestion pricing plan, a Democratic state senator is coming out in favor of placing tolls on the East River bridges.

State Senator Jose Peralta, a Queens lawmaker, said in a statement today he supports the proposal, known as the “Move NY Fair Plan.” He is the first state senator to outright endorse the plan, which requires the approval of state lawmakers.

“I believe this plan makes sense and is reasonable and fair,” Mr. Peralta said. “I urge Queens residents and all New Yorkers to review the details of the Move NY plan and the many benefits it would provide our city with. In evaluating the plan, other options for additional revenue are unacceptable.”

To view full article, click here.

March 24, 2015
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Officials call for reform after crossing guard injury

As reported by the Queens Chronicle:

After reports surfaced Thursday morning that a crossing guard at PS 212 in Jackson Heights was hit by a parked car that was flung into motion by a passing vehicle, area leaders called for reform.

According to the NYPD, the 75-year-old woman was sitting on a stationary 2009 Honda Accord near the intersection of 82nd Street and 34th Avenue a little before 10:40 a.m.

The driver, 44, of a 2007 Honda Odyssey traveling southbound on 82nd Avenue, hit the parked Accord, sending the crossing guard to the ground, the NYPD said. The victim sustained a head injury. The driver remained on the scene.

Emergency Medical Services arrived on the scene and brought the woman, who was conscious, to Elmhurst Hospital. She is in stable condition, police said, adding that the NYPD's Collision Investigation Squad is still looking into the case.

“We have to work together to protect our schools' crossing guards. We have a duty to protect them and this kind of incident highlights the need for urgent reform," state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) said in a statement. "I have repeatedly called upon the NYPD to fill crossing guard vacancies at schools to protect pedestrians. I believe we should evaluate current procedure and create new ways to safeguard their well-being."

Shaun Francois, president of Local 372, New York City Board of Education Employees, said in a statement that the injury "highlights the dangers that our school crossing guards face on a daily basis while protecting our 1.2 million children."

To view full article, click here.

March 24, 2015
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Miss Universe honored in Woodside

As reported by the Times Ledger:

Several hundred people packed La Boom New York in Woodside last Friday for a chance to meet Miss Universe, Paulina Vega, who was being honored for her work with organizations fighting HIV/AIDS. Vega was part of state Sen. Jose Peralta’s celebration of Women’s History Month.

To view full article, click here.

March 24, 2015
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State Senator Jose Peralta, Who Opposed Congestion Pricing, Backs Move NY

As reported by Streets Blog, NYC:

State Senator Jose Peralta, who opposed congestion pricing and East River bridge tolls as an Assembly member, is the first state legislator to publicly endorse the Move NY toll reform plan. The proposal would create a consistent toll cordon for Manhattan south of 60th Street while lowering tolls on outlying bridges to raise funds for transit and roads (mostly transit).

To view full article, click here.

March 24, 2015
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March 2015 Newsletter – Women’s History Month

Please click the file below to view the Women’s History Month Newsletter.

File: 
2015 Women’s History Month

March 11, 2015
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Sen. Jose Peralta to wear t-shirt to Senate sessions to push for DREAM Act passage

As reported by the Daily News:

Here is an item that was cut for space from my "Albany Insider" column on Monday:

Sen. Jose Peralta will stretch Senate rules starting Monday by wearing a t-shirt to session calling for the passage of a state DREAM Act.

For full article, click here.

March 11, 2015
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Man hit by 7 train in critical condition: NYPD

As reported by the Times Ledger:

A man who was hit by a No. 7 train in Corona Thursday morning is in critical condition, the NYPD said.

He was lying across a track bed when a Manhattan-bound 7 train struck him near 103rd Street and Roosevelt Avenue at about 4 a.m., according to an NYPD spokeswoman.

The man was taken to Elmhurst Hospital, where officials said he remained in critical condition Thursday afternoon.

State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) called on the MTA to revise the proposals he has made in the past to improve security measures in the transit system, including installing sliding doors on subway platforms and more security cameras.

For full article, click here.

March 11, 2015
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A Delta plane skidded off the runway at a New York airport as the snow came down

As reported by Bloomberg via BizzNews.com:

Henry Goldman and Katherine Chiglinsky (Bloomberg) — A Delta Air Lines Inc. plane skidded off a LaGuardia Airport runway Thursday as ice and windblown snow shut businesses and government offices from New York to Washington.

The MD-88, which carried 125 passengers and five crew members from Atlanta, was evacuated after the 11 a.m. incident, according to a Delta news release. Television images showed passengers piling into the swirling snow as the aircraft’s nose sat lodged in a fence, hanging over Flushing Bay. The airport was closed until about 2 p.m.

For full article, click here.

March 11, 2015
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More honored during Black History Month

As reported by the Queens Chronicle:

Before February ended, area elected officials hosted more Black History Month events acknowledging Queens residents.

State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst), top, united with the Corona-East Elmhurst branch of the NAACP last Thursday in Corona to recognize five community members, including Giovanna Reid, Community Board 3’s district manager. The Black Institute’s Bertha Lewis, top right, earned a Lifetime Achievement Award.

For full article, click here.

March 11, 2015
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Awarded Stolen Wages, Workers Struggle to Collect

As reported by the New York Times:

After due consideration of records and testimony, the State of New York found that Marco Lino, who chopped vegetables and mopped floors and hoisted crates six days a week in a Bayside, Queens, greenmarket, was owed $51,025.20 in unpaid wages. For Gregoria Geronomina Jimenez and 34 other workers at three restaurants in Upper Manhattan run by the same owners, the Industrial Board of Appeals ruled that $385,364.34 in earnings had not been paid over four years. Jin Ming Cao, a waiter at a Chinese restaurant in Midtown Manhattan, was underpaid by $142,812.05, part of $1.8 million that a federal judge decided was due to 26 employees of that restaurant and two others run by the same people.

No one has collected.

For full article, click here.

February 20, 2015
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Forum pushes end to solitary confinement

As reported by Queens Chronicle:

After the recent passing of two policies aimed toward improving quality of life on Rikers Island — one that removed trailers for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and another that prohibited solitary confinement for detainees 21 and younger — a forum last week at the Jackson Heights Jewish Center called for doing away with solitary confinement altogether.

The talk, hosted by the New Visions Democratics Club, including state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) and City Councilman Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights), invited speakers from Incarcerated Nation, an organization advocating for more humane inmate treatment.

Dromm said following the event that one speaker reinforced how solitary confinement beyond 15 days has been declared torture by the United Nations.

For full article, click here.

February 20, 2015
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