Senator Serrano's 2017 Priorities

José M. Serrano

February 06, 2017

As we gear up the 2017 Legislative Session, I look forward to fighting for the issues we care deeply about like the arts, the environment, education, housing and combating health disparities. This year it will also be very important to work on legislation that protects New York from some of the dangerous initiatives coming out of the Trump administration. I will stand side by side with my colleagues in leading the fight for our immigrant communities, a woman’s right to choose, LGBTQ rights and protecting our everyday freedoms. New York has always been a beacon of hope and we must continue to serve as that under the Trump Administration.

IMPORTANT BILLS

HOUSING

Senator Serrano’s bill, S1593 would protect tenants by repealing the ability of a landlord to obtain a twenty percent increase in rent pursuant to the statutory vacancy bonus provision of the Emergency Tenant Protection Act.

ARTS

Senator Serrano’s bill, S.6271-A would create state-certified "Arts and Cultural Districts" that will receive technical assistance in applying for grants, marketing, increasing tourism opportunities, and other economic development opportunities. Whether it's a concentration of museums or historic sites with artistic or cultural value, many areas throughout the state have untapped potential that can be further harnessed through this bill.

EDUCATION

Senator Serrano's bill S708, would direct the State Education Commissioner to conduct an audit and report on arts education in our schools - ensuring that our children are receiving that arts and music education they need to thrive academically.

PARKS AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Senator Serrano's bill, S705, would limit the ability of municipalities to alienate or sell-off parkland without replacing the lost green space with a park of equal or greater size.

Senator Serrano's bill, S959, would require the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to document areas and communities statewide hosting environmental hazards. By summarizing the highest environmental impact zones, a greater level of scrutiny will be used in the placement of any future placement of potentially harmful facilities.

Senator Serrano’s bill, S3052, would require New York City to collect discarded recyclable materials at city parks, playgrounds, historic sites and other facilities

Senator Serrano’s bill, S7141 would prohibit the use of glyphosate and products containing glyphosate in certain parks, playgrounds and picnic areas. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in many common weed killer products, such as roundup, and is used by government agencies in parks, playgrounds and picnic areas. The International Agency for Research on Cancer declared glyphosate a "probable human carcinogen." This bill would put an end to the use of this dangerous chemical in our parks, playgrounds and picnic areas.

Senator Serrano’s bill, S7391 would reduce children's exposure to harmful pesticides. This bill would prohibit the use of chemicals commonly used by mosquito control trucks around any school, daycare center, or park. There is growing evidence of increased susceptibility in infants and children from exposure to these chemicals which may adversely affect the nervous system and immune system. Despite this growing evidence, mosquito control trucks too often fog or spray in and around places where children are currently, or will be present, including schools, day care centers, and parks.

Senator Serrano’s bill, S7445 would prohibit the non-emergency application of pesticides within any municipal park lands. Parks are intended to be a preservation of nature, while providing safe and enjoyable educational and entertainment value for people of all ages. The use of chemical pesticides are inconsistent with these intentions. This bill will help ensure that parks remain as nature intended for today's generation and generations to come.

HEALTH

Senator Serrano's bill, S1165, mandates the New York State Department of Health to conduct an intensive study on the alarmingly high asthma rates in the Bronx and to use the findings to create a comprehensive remedial plan. Serrano's legislation demands that key components of the Bronx's asthma problem in order to find remedies and solutions.

Senator Serrano's bill, S3456, would create a system of cultural competency coursework and training that will help healthcare professionals have more meaningful interactions with patients of different cultural backgrounds. This bill aims to ensure that medical professionals that serve diverse or immigrant communities are able to provide culturally sensitive care and help close the gap in the quality of healthcare in high needs areas.