Michael Gianaris's News items

Gov. Cuomo plans legislative move to block power companies from raising electrcity rates 12 percent

The Post wrote an article about Governor Cuomo's proposed legislation to give permanent property tax cuts to power companies,  removing the option for the rate hikes that FERC passed, which are scheduled to start May 28. The Governor's bill is extremely similar to the bill that I have written on the issue.

ALBANY -- Gov. Cuomo is racing to the rescue of heavily burdened New York City electricity customers who face a massive and unexpected 12 percent rate hike next month, The Post has learned.

April 14, 2011
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Senator Gianaris and Community Rally to Protest Placement of Asphalt Plant in Long Island City

The Western Queens Gazette wrote about a rally to protest the placement of a dirty asphalt plant in Long Island City.The rally was hosted by Senator Gianaris along with Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer and Community Board 2 Chairman Joe Conley.

Elected officials and community leaders are asking the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to rescind a permit it issued to an asphalt plant in Long Island City until a proper Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is issued.

April 13, 2011
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Senator Gianaris Visited Local Businesses After Two Fatal Car Crashes

The Western Queens Gazette wrote about the Senator's visit to businesses near the site of two fatal car crashes off of the Queensboro Bridge. Senator Gianaris reassured the business owners that he would use all his power to make sure that the Department of Transportation improve safety along this dangerous stretch of road.

On April 7, state Senator Mike Gianaris visited the café that narrowly missed being hit by the cars that exited off the Queensboro Bridge off-ramp in Long Island City. He met with some of the employees of Tozt to assure them of his efforts toward making the area safe and accident free.

April 13, 2011
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Senator Gianaris Bill Protecting People From Hidden Dangers

The Western Queens Gazette wrote an article about Senator Gianaris' bill regarding the outlawing of concealed vehicular compartments These hidden spaces can be extremely dangerous and can aid drug, gun and human trafficking.

State Senator Michael Gianaris’ (D-Astoria) legislation making it illegal to install or possess a concealed compartment in a vehicle passed through the New York State Senate Codes Committee.

Law enforcement personnel nationwide as well as within New York state have witnessed a surge in the number of hidden compartments found in motor vehicles, which often aid drug and gun trafficking. With the advent of advanced electronics, concealed vehicular compartments have become even more difficult to find.

April 13, 2011
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Senator Gianaris Leads Fight for Traffic Safety Improvements Near Queensboro Bridge

The Western Queens Gazette wrote a front page story about Senator Gianaris' press conference at  the Queensboro Bridge following two major accidents in 10 days at one of the bridge's off-ramps. Senator Gianaris has helped lead the charge to improve safety along this dangerous stretch of road.

April 13, 2011
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Our view: State Senate GOP should keep promise

Utica Observer-Dispatch editorialized on redistricting reform and calls on constituents of Senate Republicans to remind them of their promise of reform. Redistricting reform should be passed without delay.

One would suppose that by now we should be used to politicians talking out of both sides of their mouth. Just once it’d be nice to see them actually keep a promise — especially when it’s good for the people.

But alas, redistricting in New York state by independent commission no longer is in the best interest of state Senate Republicans. Ergo, the promise made last year to create an impartial, independent panel on redistricting seems to be kaput.

April 13, 2011
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Koch: It’s ‘retribution day’ for pledge-jumpers

Capitol Confidential blogged about Ed Koch's robocalls to constituents of legislators who have reneged on their pledge for redistricting reform.

NYUprising’s Ed Koch said “retribution day” had arrived for the 42 lawmakers who signed a pledge to support independent redistricting but have subsequently backed off on that promise.

Out of the 138 elected officials or candidates now in office who signed NYUprising’s pledge before the fall elections, 31 senators and 11 Assembly members have changed their mind — “all are Republicans, save for one Democratic Assembly member,” said Koch, himself a Democrat.

April 12, 2011
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A legal way to fix New York

A Times Union editorial calls on Senator Skelos and Senate Republicans to stop stalling on redistricting reform and pass it now.

Nice try, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos. Real slick argument, trying to stop the more independent redistricting for the Legislature that you and the other Republicans promised during last year’s campaigns. Now you say that it is unconstitutional.

With a state budget in place, there should be nothing to stop the Legislature from making good on those pledges to change how state government works. That begins with changing the way district boundaries are drawn for the 2012 legislative elections.

April 12, 2011
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New York Times Calls for Reform, Commends Senator Gianaris

Over the weekend the New York Times called for substantial reforms to the way New York State Government funcitons. One of the reforms they highlighted was my  call for independent redistricting.

Check out the full article here

 

 

April 11, 2011
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Could electric rates double over 3 years?

Queens Chronicle wrote an article about the electricity rate increases and power companies' property tax cuts that will affect all New Yorkers. I am calling on the federal government to reverse this decision.

Federal regulators are reconsidering a decision that could hike electric rates in the city 16 percent this year for residential customers and 21.5 percent for businesses, though there’s no guarantee they’ll change their minds, a state senator from Queens said this week.

April 7, 2011
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Pol out to switch off rate hike

The New York Post wrote an article today on legislation Senator Gianaris has authored and will introduce to the Senate in response to the electricity rate increases. His bill is called the Ratepayer Protection Act.

A Queens lawmaker wants to pull the plug on the looming electricity rate hike.

The city's private power-plant operators would have to return every extra penny they collect from a rate increase approved by a recent federal ruling to households and businesses, according to state legislation being formulated by Democratic state Sen. Michael Gianaris.

Read the full article here.

April 7, 2011
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Gianaris Fights Electricity Rate Increase

Queens Gazette wrote an article on the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee's passage of drastic electricity rate increases. I am calling on the agency to reconsider and reverse this move since it will only cause New Yorkers to dig deeper into their pockets and further fill the pockets of power company executives.

April 6, 2011
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Groups say governor’s redistricting bill is constitutional

Politics on the Hudson posted an article about Governor Cuomo's redistricting reform bill and how good government groups are saying that it is constitutional, despite what Senate Republicans are saying. It is time to pass redistricting reform to ensure and a fair and nonpartisan process.

A coalition of good-government groups pushing for non-partisan redistricting is refuting claims by Senate Republicans that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s legislation to set up this process is unconstitutional. ReShapeNY released a legal memo written by the international law firm Weil, Gotshal and Manges LLP to back up its argument.

April 6, 2011
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Gianaris Demands that State Pull Permit for Long Island City Asphalt Plant--New York Daily News

Pull permit for Long Island City asphalt plant, Queens politician demands

By Lisa L. Colangelo

New York Daily New Staff Writer

Local leaders are calling on the state to revoke permits it issued to a new asphalt plant poised to open in Long Island City.

State Sen. Michael Gianaris and others said the community was never properly notified that Green Asphalt Co. LLC was applying for permits from the Department of Environmental Conservation to operate the plant on Railroad Ave.

"Not only is this plant ill-conceived based on its merits and location, but the process through which it came to fruition was utterly flawed," Gianaris (D-Astoria) wrote in a letter fired off to DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens on Friday.

April 6, 2011
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Mayor Koch Calls for Senate Republicans to Keep Their Word and Support Independent Redistricting

State of Politics wrote about the letter former Mayor Ed Koch sent to Senate Republicans who have gone back on their campaign promises for reform. He is calling on them to sign either my redistricting reform legislation or Senator Valesky's bill, otherwise they will be labeled "Enemies of Reform."

Senate Republicans should be receiving a letter this morning from former NYC Mayor Ed Koch. As you probably guessed, he is calling them out for failing to live up to the pledge they made to him to support a non-partisan redistricting commission.

April 5, 2011
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Bloomberg Rails Against Government’s Attempted ‘Power’ Play

CBS 2 posted on its website an article about the increased rates for electricty in New York City, which was passed by the federal government. The article includes my response to this hike.

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s an electric bill shocker for New York City residents.

In a stunning move, the federal government granted a windfall $1.5 billion increase to the companies that produce electricity, sending bills soaring for the next three summers.

A furious Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Friday the hefty hike is unwarranted and that he is trying to appeal, reports CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.

April 1, 2011
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Andrew Cuomo, the press and the war on redistricting

Capital New York wrote about redistricting reform and supports Governor Cuomo's promise to create an independent redistricting commission and to veto any legislation creating a partisan redistricting panel.

Fresh off reaching an agreement on his first budget, Andrew Cuomo, flanked by legislative leaders, said, with deliberate exaggeration, "I hope this is the template for a new era of cooperation and productivity between the executive and the legislature. I'm hoping that this spirit of love and euphoria that I feel is infectious and grows and continues. Do you feel it, Dean? Do you feel it, Shelly?"

April 1, 2011
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Where Did We Go? Despite Surge In Housing, Other Factors Census Claims Miniscule Gains In Boro

Queens Tribune included an article on the census numbers in this week's publication.

The U.S. Census Bureau released its results of the 2010 Census last week for New York State and the numbers left officials in Queens baffled. Mayor Mike Bloomberg said the city would challenge the results that he said not only undercounted Queens, but Brooklyn as well.

Flat Growth Since 2000

March 31, 2011
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Astorians vanish according to Census

Queens Chronicle wrote about the inaccurate census numbers. We deserve answers on how this under-count happened. I, along with my colleagues from Queens, have called for a federal investigation into the US Census Bureau.

“I guess I spent five years rezoning Astoria to stop the overdevelopment of empty buildings,” said Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria), upon learning that Census data released last week showed the area had lost 10,329 people — the sharpest decline reported in any New York city neighborhood.

March 31, 2011
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Bloomberg, Senate Democrats Team Up To Challenge Census Figures

City Hall News wrote an article on the inaccurate census numbers that were released last week. We are calling on federal officials to investigate these overly low results.

Surprisingly low census numbers in New York City won’t endanger redistricting or end Democrats’ chances at retaking the State Senate, but the numbers are prompting State Sen. Michael Gianaris to partner with the mayor’s office in hope of demanding an audit.

Late Sunday, Bloomberg announced plans to challenge the Census results under the “Count Question Resolution" after having reviewed the numbers since their release on Thursday.

March 28, 2011
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