Michael Gianaris's posts related to Consumer Protection

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

Senator Gianaris Introduces Ratepayer Protection Act

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.

Read more...

Senator Gianaris Gets GSA To Improve Homeland Security

Procedures for Transporting U.S. License Plates Strengthened After Inquiry from Senator 

Queens, NY – Due to Senator Michael Gianaris’ concern for Americans’ safety following a serious mishandling of official United States Government license plates, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has revised and strengthened its procedures for transporting federal license plates. 

The procedure will require official government license plates to be hand-delivered after Senator Gianaris discovered a mishap where more than 30 license plates were mailed to a wrong location in Astoria rather than their intended destination of Montrose, New York. 

Read more...

Grand post office spared

The Queens Campaigner wrote on the recent saving of the Grand Station Post Office from the risk of being closed down. As the United States Postal Service veers on the danger of going postal, concerned residents voiced their need for this valuable community resource. Senator Gianaris and other elected officials played a critical part in responding to these concerns, and will continue to as four other post offices' state is still up in the air

A spokeswoman from the U.S. Postal Service said that while Astoria’s Grand station has been saved from the chopping block, four other post offices in Queens are still up for study.

Read more...

Queens Gazette: GIANARIS ENCOURAGES RESIDENTS: ‘APPLY FOR LIHEAP’

Queens Gazette wrote about Senator Gianaris' support for LIHEAP, a state-run assitance program to help New Yorkers pay their energy bills.

State Senator Michael Gianaris (D–Astoria) issued a reminder yesterday to Western Queens residents to sign up for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, (LIHEAP).

Read more...

NY State leasing space despite vacant buildings

Senator Gianaris was interviewed on ABC Channel 7 by Jim Hoffer. He discussed poorly managed state-owned property and the issue of New York State leasing space for its agencies despite several vacant properties.

Click here to watch the interview.

Read more...

Schumer, Gianaris Calling For TSA Passenger Advocates

The Queens Gazette wrote an article about the announcement made by Senator Gianaris and Senator Schumer, which called on the TSA to designate on-duty passenger advocates at airports in order to resolve disputes between passengers and agents over screening issues. 

“While the safety and security of our flights must be a top priority, we need to make sure that flying does not become a fear-inducing, degrading, and potentially humiliating experience,” Schumer said. “Right now, passengers who feel that their rights are about to be violated have nowhere to turn, but by training passenger advocates at each of our airports, the TSA can finally give passengers a voice.”

Read more...

Senator Gianaris discusses MTA issues at a Sunnyside town hall

Senator Gianaris speaking at a Sunnyside town hall, hosted by Councilmember Van Bramer, focusing on MTA issues affecting the neighborhood.