In response to numerous reports of abuse by so-called shaimos truck vendors who take money to bury religious books and articles but fail to do so, Senator Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn) will introduce legislation in the Senate imposing a civil penalty on shaimos truck operators who fail to properly bury the religious items. The bill will require those wishing to operate a shaimos truck to obtain a permit from the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, and to provide advanced proof of access to a proper burial ground. Civil penalties range from a minimum of $1,000 up to $5,000.
In keeping with his commitment to increase funding and access to music and arts programs in New York City’s schools, Senator Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn) welcomed the Edward R. Murrow High School Concert Band during their performance this week in Albany. The Edward R. Murrow High School is located in Senator Felder’s district, and is ranked as one of the top high schools in New York City.
“I was disheartened to learn that this absurd plastic bag tax legislation requiring consumers to pay 10 cents for paper and plastic bags at retail and grocery stores has once again reared its ugly head in the City Council.
A group of approximately 200 students from the Bobover Yeshiva Bnei Zion had an opportunity to see their government in action yesterday during a tour of the State Capitol hosted by Senator Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn).
A State Capitol tour guide accompanied the 8th and 9th grade boys and their chaperones through the Capitol’s museum, the Senate Chamber, the Executive Chamber (also known as the Red Room), the Hall of Governors, and the Flag Room, which displays over 1,000 different flags from various wars. The students also had a chance to pose for pictures with Senator Felder on the Million Dollar Staircase, which is made up of 444 steps.
In the wake of recently published reports that the de Blasio administration does not intend to restore millions of dollars for certain after-school programs, Senator Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn), Chair of the New York State Children and Families Committee, is calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio to reinstate funding to the Priority 5, 6 and 7 voucher programs, noting that cuts initiated under the Bloomberg administration disproportionately impacted the Orthodox Jewish community. Joining Senator Felder in his efforts to restore funding is Councilman David Greenfield (D-Brooklyn), who has taken a proactive stance in the City Council to reverse the earlier funding cuts.
On Tuesday, February 25, Senator Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn) hosted a “Claim Your Unclaimed Funds” event at his district office in conjunction with the Office of the New York State Comptroller. Personnel from Comptroller DiNapoli’s office were available to assist constituents in searching the Unclaimed Funds database and to help them file claims. A record crowd of over 200 people attended, prompting the Senator to plan a future unclaimed funds event in order to accommodate everyone.
Senator Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn), Chair of the New York City Education Subcommittee, and Senator Martin Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn) have sponsored legislation which will create an education investment tax credit in New York State.
Bill number S4099-A will generate increased funding for education by enhancing existing tax benefits for charitable donations. The goal of the bill is to help public schools, non-profit organizations supporting public schools, and Pre-K programs. The bill also provides a tax credit to public and non-public school teachers for out-of-pocket school supply expenses, and assists many low- and middle-income families whose children attend private or religious schools and require scholarships.
Senator Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn) is pleased to announce that over $11,000 in HeartShare grants have been allocated to date in the 17th Senate District through the Senator’s office to help low-income families and individuals with their high heating bills. HeartShare Human Services of New Yorkadministers the Neighborhood Heating Fund founded by National Grid. During a typical heating season, National Grid and HeartShare assist more than 1,200 families.
“It has been such a privilege to partner with National Grid and HeartShare to bring real financial relief to those who are struggling to pay their heating bills,” said Senator Felder. “People are just overjoyed when we notify them that they have been approved for financial assistance.”
Senator Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn) and Assemblyman Joseph Lentol (D-Brooklyn) introduced a Legislative Resolution in Albany yesterday -- which was passed unanimously -- honoring the memory of Rabbi Michoel Ber Weissmandl, who is credited with saving countless European Jews, especially Jewish prisoners in Auschwitz, during the Holocaust. The ceremony took place in the Senate Chamber in Albany and was attended by members of Rabbi Weissmandl’s family and the Jewish community.
According to some accounts, Rabbi Weissmandl is credited with rescuing approximately two-thirds of the Holocaust survivors living in Brooklyn today. Senator Felder spoke about Rabbi Weissmandl’s valiant efforts saying,
"וכל המקיים נפש אחת, מעלין עליו כאילו קיים עולם מלא
“It is with profound sadness and a heavy heart that I learned of the Medical Examiner’s findings confirming that the remains discovered in Queens were those belonging to 14-year-old Avonte Oquendo,” said Senator Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn). “While no words can adequately comfort Avonte’s family at this time, I am hopeful today’s DNA confirmation brings some modicum of closure to his parents and siblings as they begin the journey toward healing. I join with all New Yorkers in expressing my deepest sympathy to the Oquendo family.”
“I am encouraged by today’s New York Daily News report that the NYPD has found the van used in connection with the kidnapping and murder of Menachem Stark.
The NYPD and other law enforcement personnel are to be commended for their tireless efforts in this case. The police and federal authorities have made solving this murder a top priority from the beginning. While Mr. Stark’s murderer(s) remain at large, the recent developments seem very promising. I am cautiously optimistic that the discovery of the van will prove to be a turning point in the case, and will ultimately lead police to the perpetrator(s) responsible for this vile and heinous act.
"It is nothing short of miraculous that this 10-year-old child was rescued virtually unharmed from a manhole on the corner of 49th Street and 13th Avenue,” said Senator Simcha Felder. “It is my understanding that this young man suffered minor lacerations on his right leg, was treated at Lutheran Hospital, and was released.
As a community, we all owe a great debt of gratitude to the brave heroes who risk life and limb each day to save others. I am immensely thankful to the NYPD, the FDNY, and Boro Park Hatzoloh for their swift and lifesaving responses today and every day. I also want to commend Verizon for providing the ladder which allowed this young man to be safely retrieved from the manhole.
"I strongly support Governor Cuomo’s plan to reduce taxes across New York State," said Senator Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn), who was selected to deliver the message to the Governor today that the Senate had convened.
“New York is one of the highest taxed states in the nation. People have been fleeing our great state because of the unbelievable tax burden. Governor Cuomo recognizes that we needs to stop this hemorrhaging and get serious about providing real tax relief if New York is to remain competitive and maintain its status as a financial leader. This year, I look forward to working with Senate Majority Coalition Leader Dean Skelos and the rest of my colleagues to continue creating new jobs; boosting the State’s economy; and putting money back into the pockets of hard-working New Yorkers.
With Atlantic Express Bus Company expected to close its doors on December 31, Senator Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn), Chair of both the New York City Education Subcommittee and the Children and Families Committee, is working with his colleagues, Assemblyman Dov Hikind and Councilman David Greenfield, to ensure a smooth transition for the more than 40,000 affected public and private school students. Atlantic Express, which declared bankruptcy in November, was responsible for over 1,600 bus routes, leaving children on those routes without a means of transportation as of January 2, 2014.
Senator Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn) is pleased to announce that HEAP and HeartShare applications are now available at his office for those who meet income guidelines.
“Sadly, so many New Yorkers have trouble paying the high heating costs during the winter months,” said Senator Felder. “Each year, there are tragic stories of home fires and deaths as a result of people using candles or stoves as a substitute for heat. These tragedies can be avoided thanks to programs like HEAP and HeartShare, and I encourage anyone who needs help to call my office.”
Close to 200 people, including prominent community leaders and elected officials, gathered at the Canal Jeans Building in Flatbush today to join Senator Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn) and Councilman-elect Chaim Deutsch (D-Brooklyn) in paying tribute to outgoing Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly at an Appreciation Breakfast held in his honor.
“Today is all about gratitude, about saying thank you to an individual that I consider to be the quintessential public servant,” Senator Felder said of Commissioner Kelly. “And the best police commissioner New York City has ever had,” he added.
Thank you for your wonderful contribution to the Thanksgiving Day Creative Celebration. We received outstanding poems, essays, and artwork that exemplify the creativity of New York State’s young people.
The submissions received are remarkable in what they represent – showing gratitude and respect for family, friends, our troops fighting overseas, and many other important subjects and activities. I am humbled and honored to see such inspiring contributions in response to what is a deceptively difficult question: “What are you thankful for?”
On behalf of the New York State Senate, I would like to offer my wholehearted congratulations to all of the participants in this year’s Thanksgiving Day Creative Celebration.