Senator Liz Krueger is the new ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee. She joined Liz Benjamin to discuss the progress being made toward reaching a budget deal – possibly ahead of schedule and how rent control could cause Democrats to vote against any budget, if the issue is not included.
The following is an opinion piece penned by Senator Liz Krueger for Huffington Post:
Albany and City Hall are engaged in a high-stakes game of chicken, and thousands of homeless families are trapped in the middle.
Every spring, as we debate the tough choices that inevitably must be made to balance our budget, we hear from thousands of New Yorkers, non-profits and mayors -- from cities big and small -- who warn of the consequences of cutting the State programs they rely on.
(Albany, NY) – With rent regulation laws that protect affordable housing for over 2.5 million tenants in New York City and the surrounding counties set to expire in less than two months, Senate Democrats joined with tenants to release a powerful new video highlighting the critical need to extend and strengthen rent regulation laws before time runs out.
With the power of a new state law behind him, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is cracking down on the city's illegal hotels.
The Office of Special Enforcement has shuttered or given citations to 15 of the illegal inns, defined as any residence with a "transient occupant" whose stay is less than 30 days. Under the previous law, a majority of the building's occupants had to be transient for the building to be illegal.
"Owners of illegal hotels put profits above safety, allowing renters to stay in extremely dangerous conditions and it’s disgraceful," Bloomberg said.
All of the buildings busted so far under the new law, which went effect on May, are in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
While the Senate was in session, a group of New York City senators joined a few dozen protesters outside of the Senate chamber, calling on the majority party to extend and strengthen the state’s rent stabilization laws, which are set to expire tomorrow.
The protesters have been heard throughout the Capitol much of the past two days, with some organizing a sit-in outside of the governor’s office yesterday that led to a dozen arrests.
Democrats in both houses of the Legislature, mostly from the affected downstate area, have pushed for a bolstering of the rent laws, while Senate Republicans has signified repeatedly—as recently as this morning—that they are only in favor of an extension.
“To every tenant in a rent regulated apartment and to every New Yorker concerned about the protection of affordable housing in our State, I say this: do not panic. While the rent regulations laws have technically expired, this lapse will surely be short-lived and will likely have no real effect on tenants. In fact, the Commissioner of the HCRC has pointed out that tenants will remain protected until the expiration of their leases.
Last Friday, the New York State Senate voted on a package of bills that included issues ranging from rent regulation renewal to a property tax cap (for areas outside of NYC) to mandate relief. While Senator Krueger ultimately voted in favor of the bill, she had – and continues to have – many concerns about the legislation. She detailed some of my concerns while explaining my vote on the floor.