Queens—State Senator Shirley Huntley (D-Queens) today said “a lot of great work was accomplished in the final days of this legislative session, but there is more to do.” The lawmaker pointed out that brownfields clean-up legislation, a bill to crack down on predatory lenders and help families facing foreclosure stay in their home, and “green” job growth initiatives all passed in the final days. Two bills sponsored by Senator Huntley also passed:
S.4104 which crack down on aggravated harassment over the internet by strengthening the
penal code, and
S.8224, which makes it illegal for drivers to force their way into a funeral procession.
Other notable bills passed in the final days of session include legislation to protect children from dangerous toys, enhanced protections for consumer to prevent identity theft, and protecting nurses from crippling mandatory overtime that often leaves them exhausted and unable to perform at the high standards they hold themselves to.
“To say that this was an extraordinary session would be an understatement,” said Senator Huntley. “The change of leadership within the Governor’s office and a downturn in the national economy were huge hurdles to overcome, but we worked closely with the Assembly and the Governor’s office to reach agreement on a number of very important issues.”
Despite victories pushed by Senator Huntley and her colleagues in the Democratic Conference, some of the biggest issues facing New Yorkers, including skyrocketing property taxes, were ignored by Senate Republicans. The Senate may be called back to Albany for a “special session” later this summer or fall.
Brownfields clean-up legislation, which Senate Democrats pushed all session, will be a big boost to the environment in many communities across the state, as well as a catalyst
to attract new jobs. Sites that once housed factories or gas stations are now contaminated, leaving them vacant, off the tax rolls, and without the facilities for new jobs or affordable housing.
“This legislation is the first step to getting blighted properties back online, putting people back to work and generating money for the state and local community to fund important public services,” Senator Huntley explained. “Similarly, more needs to be done to protect our communities from the mortgage foreclosure crisis gripping our economy, but we did pass legislation that moves us toward the goal of keeping families in their homes.”
The subprime mortgage foreclosure legislation will:
1) provide additional protections and foreclosure prevention opportunities for people at risk
of losing their homes;
2) strengthen and expand laws to crack down on predatory lenders;
3) establish standards for lenders and brokers to prevent borrowers from being placed in
4) register and regulate mortgage loan servicers; and
5) establish strict penalties for those convicted of residential mortgage fraud.
“I am pleased that we took big steps forward for our state this session. However, a lot more could have been done and I look forward to getting back to business as soon as possible. As productive as this session was, there is always room for improvement—particularly with the Senate Republicans choosing to leave town instead of working with us to pass the Healthy Teens Act, as well as legislation that would reform our government, combat global warming, and protect New Yorkers from Tier 4 drug prices. I look forward to working on these issues and so many more affecting the 10th Senatorial District in the weeks and months ahead,” concluded Senator Huntley.