Today, Capital New York reported that the Senate and Assembly passed bills that would make pregnancy a qualifying event triggering a special enrollment period for the state health insurance exchange, allowing pregnant women to enroll in a health plan at any time. The bills, sponsored in the Senate by Senators Seward and Hannon, and in the Assembly by Assembly Member Simotas, was the result of efforts by Sen. Krueger, Assm. Simotas, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, and advocates to close this loophole in the federal Affordable Care Act.
Today, the Wall Street Journal reported on the state's maternal depression law, the result of a bill that Sen. Krueger sponsored, along with Assembly Member Dick Gottfried. The law increased education and access to information and screening about maternal depression for new mothers:
On Friday, amNY reported the story of an Upper East Side resident who went through a nearly two-year ordeal of eviction before regaining her apartment. Particular praise goes to MFY Legal Services and all those who helped Ms. Morisada through the process of challenging her eviction and subsequent actions by the landlord.
On Friday, the Times Union reported that Governor Cuomo vetoed a bill to make police disciplinary procedures subject to collective bargaining. The article quoted Senator Krueger, who opposed the bill, which would deny municipalities, counties, and the state the flexibility they need to protect the public by acting as they feel is necessary and appropriate in police disciplinary proceedings:
New York's first press conference on a gay rights bill took place in 1971, said Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, who attended as a freshman legislator. It was held in the legislative library in Albanyand there were so few attendees that “nobody had to tell us to shush,” he recalled.
On December 17th, Sen. Krueger held a today held a public forum in New York on their Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA; S. 6005 / A. 8341) and the need for marijuana law reform in New York State. The forum featured testimony from advocates, policy experts, and government officials representing community, law enforcement, health, economic and budgetary perspectives.
New York finds itself at a crossroads. We know that, with the technology and engineering methods currently in use, fracking is inherently dangerous and would result in irreversible harm to New Yorkers; health, our natural resources and our billion-dollar agricultural industry.
Yet the Cuomo administration is still officially reviewing how fracking impacts people’s health.
The state’s highest court recently upheld the rights of cities and towns to ban fracking within their borders. This is a step in the right direction, but pollutants caused by fracking will not conform to municipal boundaries. As elected officials, it is our job to weigh the facts and science, and then act to protect New Yorkers.
It is time for both houses of the state Legislature to pass a bill banning fracking — and for Gov. Cuomo to sign it.
The Daily Newsreports on a press conference Sen. Krueger attended with fellow East Side and Manhattan elected officials and Pledge 2 Protect:
Advocates and elected officials called on the Department of Environmental Conservation to conduct a full review of the controversial E. 91st St. marine transfer site and hold public hearings on changes in the area's environmental conditions. Since the permit to build the transfer site was issued in 2009, there have been changes in air quality and flood elevations, the activists and politicians argued at City Hall Thursday.
The editorial board of the Albany Times Union agreed with Sen. Krueger and recommended that legislation to increase the allowable size of recreational ATVs to 1,500 pounds be put on hold. The editorial was reprinted in at least two other upstate papers, the Times Herald-Record (Hudson Valley) and the Recorder (Montgomery County).
Last week, Sen. Krueger spoke with Next City's Nancy Scola for an in-depth interview on Airbnb, New York's short-term rental laws, and the fight to protect residential housing. Read the full interview at Next City.
After the Landmarks Preservation Commission failed to designate the exterior or interior of the Rizzoli Bookstore, the store has finally been forced to close and make way for new development, resulting in the probable loss of another important cultural and historic resource on West 57th Street. DNA Info's Mathew Katz reported on a rally held by Community Board 5 outside the bookstore, which Sen. Krueger attended.
The "Boss Bill" would close a loophole in New York's current workplace anti-discrimination laws to ensure women are not discriminated against for their personal reproductive health choices and to protect their privacy. Krueger and Jaffee drafted it in response to the over 100 federal lawsuits by employers trying to avoid the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) contraception mandate, which requires employers to provide coverage for FDA-approved contraceptives, including the pill and IUDs, without co-pays or deductibles.
Sen. Krueger was quoted in Michael Powell's New York Times column, which assesses the Senate's "one-house" budget.
None of this fun is remotely real. The governor and the Legislature are weeks away from a final budget. Most senators had not even seen the underlying budget documents when they voted at 3 a.m. (It’s a reliable rule of thumb that early-morning votes bear a close relationship to hallucinogenic results.) State Senator Liz Krueger, a Democrat, played spoilsport.
“At best, this is a shopping list with no budgetary legitimacy,” she wrote in her official statement. “More realistically, it is a classic Albany scam designed to make everyone think they should be happy, without answering any of the important questions, like ‘How will we pay for this?’ ” I called her the next day.
“There was Monopoly money available for anything and everything you could imagine,” she noted with the bemused tone of a liberal Democrat who keeps finding herself dressed in conservative sack cloth in Albany. “No one even pretends the numbers add up.”
Since Sen. Krueger and her colleague Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk introduced their bill to protect communities' home-rule rights and prevent casinos from being forced on towns that don't want them, mutliple editorial boards from around the state -- and representing a diverse range of viewpoints -- have weighed in, cheering the bill.
WABC 7's Nina Pineda reports on the continuing problems Empire Blue Cross / Blue Shield enrollees have been experiencing with actually receiving their proof of insurance and getting covered. Our office has been trying to assist constituents with the same problems and has gotten the State Attorney General's office involved.
New York state attorney general Eric Schneiderman is investigating insurer Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield after complaints from customers who paid for the company’s plans on the state's health exchange, but never received proof they enrolled.
State Sen. Liz Krueger, a Democrat, said she alerted the attorney general’s office to a potential systemic problem with Empire’s plans after fielding complaints from her constituents and attempting to resolve them through direct talks with the company. “We realized that this had to be much bigger than the individual complaints we were getting,” Krueger said. “Nobody was answering the phones at Blue Cross/Blue Shield,” she said.
Nicole Gelinas cuts through the Airbnb talking points with this thoughtful column on short-term rentals from Monday's New York Post:
Airbnb’s other argument is that its “hosts” need cash. We all need money, but we can’t break the law. Plus, by enabling rent-stabilized tenants to violate their leases as well as the law, Airbnb puts its “hosts” in danger of eviction...
Airbnb also says the money its hosts make helps them keep New York affordable. “This income is actually helping them to stay in their homes,” Airbnb policy director Molly Turner said last month.
But a landlord can get $3,000 a month for a one-bedroom legally, or $9,000 illegally. After he eventually cuts out the middleman — the tenant who thinks she’s smart in making a few extra bucks — that’s an apartment that someone can’t live in, pushing up rents for everyone.
You don’t have to believe in rent control to realize that the city should enforce laws to keep apartments as apartments.