Votes Against Bill Giving Windfall to Power-Generating Industry
Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris continues to stand up for electricity ratepayers by voting against legislation that expands existing tax abatements for electric-generating companies. The legislation, S5367, permits tax abatements for all power-generating plants and does not offer provisions to offset electricity rate increases for ratepayers, such as the increase passed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in January.
Votes Against Bill To Fast-Track New Plant Construction
Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris has voted against legislation that establishes a fast-track process for the siting of new electric generating facilities without providing enough safeguards for overburdened communities.
The bill, S191, allows for the placement of new power plants without properly considering the cumulative effect of new plant construction on neighborhoods that already house numerous power plants.
Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris is continuing his fight to improve western Queens’ quality of life by requesting that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) immediately cease the idling of Long Island Railroad (LIRR) trains at the Long Island City rail yard in Queens. These trains pollute the air with the excessive amount of fuel they waste while sitting idle and disturb the neighborhood with the loud noises of their running engines.
Queens, NY – As part of Senator Michael Gianaris’ continued commitment to improving western Queens’ quality of life, he sent a letter to Mayor Bloomberg requesting the planting of trees along various avenues in Sunnyside and Woodside. Senator Gianaris is requesting trees be planted along Queens Boulevard, 48th Avenue, 47th Avenue and 43rd Avenues between 38th Street and 48th Street.
“New trees would beautify our neighborhood and help rid the air of dangerous pollutants, allowing our community to breathe a little easier,” stated Senator Gianaris. "I am hopeful the Mayor will move swiftly to give Sunnyside and Woodside the benefits that scores of new trees would provide."
Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris celebrates Earth Day on April 22 by continuing his advocacy for stronger environmental laws to better protect and conserve our environment.
Senator Gianaris is a longtime leader in the effort to clean our environment. Recently, he introduced a series of legislative proposals to ensure better environmental policies in New York State.
“Earth Day serves as an important reminder of our responsibility to the planet,” Senator Gianaris said. “We cannot continue to take a reactive approach to environmental protection. My proposals would take proactive steps to safeguard our environment and prevent further damage.”
Targets Companies That Unfairly Raise Electric Rates
Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris announced that he will be introducing legislation to safeguard New Yorkers against unfair increases to electricity bills. The proposal, dubbed “The Ratepayer Protection Act” eliminates property tax exemptions and abatements for power-generating corporations that unfairly raise their rates. The legislation was introduced in response to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) decision to approve a rate hike by power generating companies in New York.
Recently, FERC approved the 12% increase in electricity rates for New York City residents and a 17.5% increase for New York City businesses, which would be implemented on May 28, 2011.
Gianaris Bill Outlawing Hidden Compartments in Vehicles Passes Through Committee
Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris’ legislation (S2510) 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.
Senator Michael Gianaris, Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan and Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, along with local businesses and residents, held a rally demanding that the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) investigate the layout and design of the street grid around Queens Plaza.
In the last 10 days two major accidents have occurred in this area.
In both incidents, vehicles failed to acknowledge and negotiate the sharp turn at the end of the Long Island City side of the Queensboro Bridge as they exited, causing them to jump the curb and crash. This horrific oversight resulted in not only serious injuries to the vehicles’ drivers and passengers, but also in the fatality of a pedestrian and considerable damage to local businesses.
Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris was proud to announce the restoration of state funds to keep senior centers open. The restoration of these funds allows for senior centers originally slated to close to remain open.
Senator Gianaris said, “Our seniors are important members of the community and have worked hard throughout their lives to ensure a pleasant and comfortable lifestyle later in life. They deserve to spend their days respectfully and in a place that they can enjoy.”
Sends letter to the federal government requesting reconsideration
Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris is fighting the passage of a drastic increase to electricity rates in New York City. He is calling for the federal government to reconsider its decision to increase electricity rates by 12 percent for residents and by 17.5 percent for businesses Such a rate hike would cause major increases to monthly electricity bills, which could hurt the ability of residents and businesses to pay their expenses. He has sent a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) requesting that they re-evaluate the necessity of this increase.
Senator Michael Gianaris (D-Queens) has introduced his MTA Security Act (S1968), an important proposal that would protect subway and bus riders. The legislation would grant the State Director of Homeland Security oversight of the security measures utilized by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) at its facilities. The State Department of Homeland Security would examine the security measures being used by the MTA and issue findings and recommendations regarding necessary enhancements. The Director would then be empowered to require the implementation of the recommendations.
Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris (D-Queens), applauded Governor Cuomo for introducing legislation to create an independent commission to redraw the boundaries for Congressional and state legislative districts, promising to end the longstanding Albany practice of protecting incumbent lawmakers through gerrymandered districts. Mr. Cuomo’s proposal hews closely to legislation introduced and championed by Senator Gianaris since 2005.
Senator Gianaris is the legislature’s leading advocate of redistricting reform.
Gianaris Pushes for Increased Notification and Education
QUEENS, NY – The number of confirmed cases of beg bugs in New York City public schools has severely increased in the first five months of the current academic year, according to recent statistics released by the New York City Department of Education. Public schools have reported 1,700 confirmed cases from September 2010 through January 2011, with 80% of the cases reported in November, December and January. Compared to last year’s total 1,019 cases, schools are on pace to triple the number of bed bug inflictions this academic year.
Astoria, Queens—State Senator Michael Gianaris (D-Queens) commended state utilities regulators for granting approval for the construction of a $1.4 billion power plant in Astoria along the East River. The new plant will reduce toxic emissions at the site by more than 85% by replacing an older, less-efficient and dirtier plant.
“Western Queens residents can breathe a little easier today,” stated Senator Michael Gianaris. “We bear more than our fair share of the burden for producing New York’s electricity. Anytime we replace an old, dirty generator with a newer, cleaner one is a significant step in the right direction.”
Queens, NY – Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Senator Michael Gianaris and Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas were sworn in to their respective legislative seats in front of hundreds of western Queens residents and citywide and statewide political and community leaders. during a special joint inauguration ceremony.
The Senate recognizes that veterans, whether from recent conflicts or great wars of the past, are responsible for safeguarding the freedoms we all enjoy today. Through the Senate Democratic Leader John Sampson and Senator Eric L. Adams, Chair of the Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee, the Senate is developing policies and programs that assist, support, promote, and honor New York’s heroes; below are stories and announcements concerning these efforts..
Mapping New York's FutureThe New York State Senate is committed to a fair, objective and transparent 2011-2012 legislative redistricting process. Procedures are being considered to advance the goals of a legislative redistricting plan incorporating clearly stated goals and criteria.