Queens Chronicle: Gianaris reflects on ‘most successful’ ’19

Originally published in Queens Chronicle

So just where does state Senate Deputy Majority Leader Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria) buy his books?

“Not at Amazon,” he said. “I deleted the Amazon Prime app from my phone. I do it the old-fashioned way — at a small bookstore around the corner in Astoria.”

The senator spoke at length about the Amazon debacle, the impact of a Democrat-controlled state Senate and other matters last Thursday during a sitdown with the Chronicle’s editorial board.

Gianaris considers the 2019 session of the Legislature one of “the most successful we’ve ever had,” with Democrats holding the Senate for the first time in a decade, along with control of the Assembly and governor’s mansion.

He cited gun control and environmental legislation that he considers to be leading the nation, and an ambitious plan to move toward renewable power generation.

He cited one of his own bills that created a new “red flag “ law as an example.

“It gives background checks enough time to occur,” he said. “Under the old law, if your background check wasn’t completed in three days, it was automatically approved. But the only reason it wouldn’t be completed in three days is if they saw a problem.”

The state now allows up to 30 days before a purchase is approved.

He offered a similar assessment of new tenant protection rules which cap application fees and the amount a landlord can charge up front, taking as an example a $1,200-per-month apartment which used to require first and last month’s rent, plus security and other fees up front.

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