Michael Gianaris's News items

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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Mayor Bloomberg says census figures shortchange New York City

The Daily News wrote about the results of the census and the inaccurate numbers released by the Census Bureau. The Queens population has greatly increased in the last 10 years and the numbers need to reflect that.

We wuz robbed!

New census figures claim there are fewer than 8.2 million New Yorkers in the city - but critics say the Census Bureau flubbed the count and missed hundreds of thousands more.

"It just doesn't make any sense at all," Mayor Bloomberg said Thursday. "When three boroughs go up dramatically, and the two most populous boroughs don't, something's wrong."

The Census Bureau claims 8,175,133 people were living in New York when it counted heads last spring.

March 25, 2011
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Gianaris Calls For Census Probe

State of Politics blogged about my statement regarding the Census results. We need to investigate these numbers as they cannot accurately reflect the population growth in western Queens and the rest of New York City.

Sen. Mike Gianaris, a Queens Democrat, is one of many NYC officials questioning today’s Census numbers, which show significantly less population growth – particularly in the outer boroughs – than was predicted, potentially due to an undercount of the burgeoning immigrant community.

March 24, 2011
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Little consensus on redistricting

The Legislative Gazette writes about the various redistricting reform proposals that have been introduced in recent weeks and months, including my redistricting reform bill.

There are legislative redistricting proposals emanating from both parties in both houses, and from the executive branch, with little consensus on how reform should be accomplished.

March 24, 2011
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Our view: Don’t delay commission on redistricting

The Utica Observer-Dispatch editorialized on redistricting reform and the importance of passing Governor Cuomo's redistricting reform bill  as opposed to introducing the issue as a constitutional amendment, which requires a much lengthier process and would not get the much-needed reform done now.

A plan by state Senate Republicans to create an independent commission to redraw district lines through a constitutional amendment is little more than an attempt to derail real reform.

Contact state legislators and tell them to reject it.

March 24, 2011
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Senator Gianaris Rallies to Keep Senior Centers Open

Seniors rally to keep centers open

Van Bramer, Gianaris say facilities at Queensbridge, Ravenswood should stay

By Howard Koplowitz

City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) and state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) joined senior citizens at the Jacob Riis Settlement House Friday in Queensbridge to rally against Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to shutter the senior center and a similar facility in Ravenswood....

“I know how important the Queensbridge and Ravenswood center is to this community and we’re not going to let it close,”Senator Gianris said.

March 18, 2011
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Queens Pols Push Reform Agenda In Busy Start To Legislative Session --PATCH

Newly elected Sens. Tony Avella, D-Bayside, and Michael Gianaris, D-Astoria, hope to mix things up in Albany

By Paul Leonard

It's been an active three months for two newly elected Queens state senators.

Whether it was term limits, ethics reform or the push for non-partisan legislative redistricting, every week seemed to bring another bill introduced by Sens. Tony Avella, D-Bayside, and Michael Gianaris, D-Astoria — both elected last November as part of an injection of new blood into a chamber known as being resistant to change....

...Both Avella and Gianaris agreed that it was the Republican majority in the state Senate that was responsible for a lack of results on the reformist agenda that helped propel both of them into office.

March 16, 2011
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Critics: Senate Redistricting Bill Inadequate --WXXI March 14, 2011

Critics: Senate Redistricting Bill Inadequate

By Karen Dewitt 

ALBANY, NY (WXXI) - Senate Republicans and Democrats argued over the issue of redrawing new district lines Monday, as pressure mounts on the Senate GOP to adopt a plan for an independent commission soon.

Senate Republicans approved a plan that would change the state's constitution to require that new district lines be drawn by a non -partisan commission. Senate sponsor John Bonacic says he picked up the bill from previous sponsors in earlier decades because it's the most comprehensive solution.

March 15, 2011
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Bill Would Push MTA On Security

Queens Tribune wrote an article on my MTA Security Act that I have introduced in the Senate.

A bill introduced by State Sen. Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria) would give the state more authority over security on subways, buses, bridges and tunnels.

The legislation, which Gianaris first introduced in the Assembly in 2005, would grant the New York State Director of Homeland Security oversight of the security measures utilized by the MTA at its facilities. DHS would examine the security measures being used by the MTA, and then issue findings and recommendations regarding necessary enhancements.

March 10, 2011
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