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Affairs and Appointments – Week of December 14 – 20, 2008

Affairs and Appointments – Printable pdf
Week of December 14 – 20, 2008

New York State

New York City

City Council Hearings

Appointments
  • Lilliam Barrios-Paoli – as Commissioner of the New York City Department for the Aging
Special Section: Fiscal Crisis

12-14-2008: Bloomberg Discusses What The City Is Doing To Prevent Foreclosures And Keep New Yorkers In Their Homes In Weekly Radio Address Read Comments

12-15-2008: Bloomberg Launches Public Helpline To Connect New Yorkers To Free Financial Information And Resources They Need During The Economic Downturn Full Story

12-15-2008: Dinapoli: State Financial Picture Dismal, Revenue Growth Continues To Decline Full Story

12-16-2008: Governor Paterson’s Executive Budget Eliminates
Largest Deficit In State History, Reins In Spending
Full Story

12-16-2008: State Comptroller Statement On Governor Paterson’s Proposed 2009-10 State Budget Full Statement

12-16-2008: Thompson Statement On Governor’s Budget
Announcement
Full Statement

12-18-2008: Thompson Statement On Nyc Unemployment Full Statement

12-18-2008: Council Votes On Revenue Enhancement Package Full Story

12-18-2008: Statement By Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg On
Agreement With City Council On Updated Financial Plan
Full Story

Paterson Signs Cigarette Tax Legislation

December 15, 2008
GOVERNOR PATERSON SIGNS CIGARETTE TAX LEGISLATION

Governor David A. Paterson today signed a bill to curb the sale of untaxed cigarettes to Indian retailers in violation of the cigarette tax laws of New York State. The New York State Department of Taxation will have 60 days to issue a certification form and prepare to receive the certifications that will be submitted. Governor Paterson signed bill A11258A/ S 8146-B at a ceremony in Utica. Full Story

School Aid Reductions Balanced by Long-term Commitment to Increased Education Funding

December 16, 2008
SCHOOL AID REDUCTIONS BALANCED BY LONG-TERM COMMITMENT TO INCREASED EDUCATION FUNDING ALLOCATED BASED ON STUDENT NEED

The Executive Budget reduces education aid in 2009-10 by $698 million or 3.3 percent from 2008-09 while maintaining a commitment to both long-term increases in educational investments and the formulas created to equitably allocate these funds. Even after these reductions, funding for School Aid would still total $20.7 billion in 2009-10, a 42 percent or $6.2 billion increase compared to 2003-04. Full Story

Paterson Proposes First increase to Welfare grant in 18 Years

December 16, 2008
GOVERNOR PATERSON PROPOSES FIRST INCREASE TO WELFARE GRANT IN 18 YEARS

As part of his 2009-10 Executive Budget, Governor David A. Paterson today proposed the first increase to the basic welfare grant since 1990 to help assist those struggling in poverty during a time of unprecedented economic turmoil. Nearly 284,000 New York children receive Welfare benefits, which represents 57 percent of total recipients. Full Story

New Affordable Student Loan Program will Help increase Access to Higher Education

December 16, 2008
NEW AFFORDABLE STUDENT LOAN PROGRAM WILL HELP INCREASE ACCESS TO HIGHER EDUCATION IN NEW YORK

Governor David A. Paterson today announced that his Executive Budget proposal will establish a new program that will provide approximately 45,000 New Yorkers with at least $350 million in student loans annually. Additionally, for the first time in at least thirty years, the Executive Budget includes a tuition increase that would provide increased investment in the SUNY and CUNY systems of more than $62 million over the next two years. Full Story

Executive Budget reins in Unaffordable Medicaid Spending; Reforms Reimbursement Systems to Deliver Quality HealthCare at an Affordable Cost

December 16, 2008
GOVERNOR PATERSON’S EXECUTIVE BUDGET REINS IN UNAFFORDABLE MEDICAID SPENDING; REFORMS REIMBURSEMENT SYSTEMS TO DELIVER QUALITY HEALTH CARE AT AN AFFORDABLE COST

Governor David A. Paterson today announced that his Executive Budget includes a comprehensive $3.5 billion health care savings package that will help rein in unaffordable growth in the New York’s Medicaid program. Additionally, these proposals will continue the process of reforming our State’s reimbursement system to invest in more effective and cost-efficient primary care settings and incentivize higher quality care. Full Story

Executive Budget Fundamentally Reforms Empire Zone Program

December 16, 2008
GOVERNOR PATERSON’S EXECUTIVE BUDGET FUNDAMENTALLY REFORMS EMPIRE ZONE PROGRAM

Governor David A. Paterson’s Executive Budget fundamentally reforms the Empire Zone program, putting in place rigorous standards to ensure that the State’s investment of tax incentives produces results and spurs economic development. Full Story

Executive Budget lays Foundation for Streamlining, Right-Sizing, Reforming State Government

December 16, 2008
GOVERNOR PATERSON’S EXECUTIVE BUDGET LAYS FOUNDATION FOR STREAMLINING, RIGHT-SIZING, AND REFORMING STATE GOVERNMENT

Governor David A. Paterson’s Executive Budget includes a number of proposals to streamline State government by eliminating duplicative services, consolidating overlapping State agencies, lowering the cost and size of the State workforce, and closing underutilized State facilities. Full Story

Executive Budget Eliminates Largest Deficit in State History Reins in Spending

December 16, 2008
GOVERNOR PATERSON’S EXECUTIVE BUDGET ELIMINATES LARGEST DEFICIT IN STATE HISTORY, REINS IN SPENDING

Governor Paterson today delivered a balanced Executive Budget, more than one month prior to the State constitutional deadline, which would eliminate the largest budget deficit in State history a $1.7 billion current-year shortfall and a $13.7 billion 2009-10 deficit. This proposal includes a series of difficult decisions across every area of State spending, as well as targeted increases in revenue, to address an unprecedented fiscal and economic crisis. The Budget also includes several reforms that will increase government efficiency and lower taxpayer costs in the future. Full Story

NYS Commission on Asset Maximization Delivers Preliminary Report to Governor

December 18, 2008
NEW YORK STATE COMMISSION ON ASSET MAXIMIZATION DELIVERS PRELIMINARY REPORT TO GOVERNOR PATERSON

Governor David A. Paterson accepted the preliminary report from the New York State Commission on Asset Maximization. The Commission is charged with broadly examining whether asset maximization can benefit New York State, as well as whether any specific New York assets are suitable candidates for public-private partnerships. The Commission’s final report is due to the Governor on April 2, 2009. Full Story

Statement from Governor Paterson on Hate Crimes in New York State

December 18, 2008
STATEMENT FROM GOVERNOR DAVID A. PATERSON ON HATE CRIMES IN NEW YORK STATE

Today I met with the family of Jose Sucuzhanay, a hardworking father of two with a bright future and close family who was fatally beaten in Brooklyn earlier this month. This violent attack took place just weeks after we mourned the deaths of Marcello Lucero, the Long Island resident of Ecuadorian descent beaten to death last month in Suffolk County, and Lateisha Green, the transgendered Syracuse woman who police believe was murdered because of her sexual orientation. Mr. Sucuzhanay was walking with his brother when he was attacked by strangers without provocation because he was Hispanic, and because his attackers mistakenly believed he was gay. New Yorkers cannot and will not tolerate this. Full Story

College Students Paying Too Much For Textbooks

December 18, 2008
College Students Paying Too Much For Textbooks

New York college students in the state university (SUNY) and city university (CUNY) systems could save nearly 40 percent on their textbook costs if they made the purchases online instead of at their campus bookstores, according to a report issued today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. Full Story

Paterson Hails New York’s First Sale of Carbon Dioxide Pollution Allowances as a Success

December 19, 2008
GOVERNOR PATERSON HAILS NEW YORK’S FIRST SALE OF CARBON DIOXIDE POLLUTION ALLOWANCES AS A SUCCESS

Governor David A. Paterson today heralded New York’s participation in the sale of carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution allowances as a success. The sale occurred as part of a ten-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) auction held on Wednesday, and generated $106.5 million for investment in energy efficiency, clean and renewable energy technologies, and strategies to reduce CO2. New York’s share of the auction proceeds will be approximately $42 million. Full Story

Bloomberg Encourages New Yorkers to Answer “Dear Santa” Letters this Holiday Season

December 14, 2008
MAYOR BLOOMBERG ENCOURAGES NEW YORKERS TO ANSWER “DEAR SANTA” LETTERS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today encouraged all New Yorkers who can to answer a “Dear Santa” letter from a child from a family in need. Yesterday, the Mayor visited the Queens Center Mall in Elmhurst, purchasing gifts to answer a “Dear Santa” letter from a seven-year old boy and a three-year old girl from a family in Washington Heights. Full Story

Bloomberg Speaks about the Death of Ecuadorian Immigrant José Suchuzañay

December 14, 2008
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG SPEAKS ABOUT THE DEATH OF ECUADORIAN IMMIGRANT JOSÉ SUCUZHAÑAY

“We are going to have a great future in this city, and we are going to have some tough times, but I did want to talk about something different today. I wanted to say something that came out of my visits to the city’s houses of worship – a strong reminder of New York’s incredible diversity. And different religious groups, immigrant groups, people of every race, creed and color live and worship together in this city in an atmosphere of tolerance that we see every single day. Full Statement

Bloomberg Presides over Graduation Ceremony for 286 Probationary Firefighters

December 15, 2008
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND FIRE COMMISSIONER SCOPPETTA PRESIDE OVER GRADUATION CEREMONY FOR 286 PROBATIONARY FIREFIGHTERS

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta today presided over a graduation ceremony for 286 Probationary Firefighters. The new firefighters, known as “probies,” graduated after completing a rigorous training program at the Department’s Fire Academy located on Randall’s Island. Today’s class is also the most diverse in the department’s history; 35 percent of the graduates are minorities. Among today’s graduates, 72 were also members of the U.S. military – one of the highest number of veterans ever in a graduating class. Of that number, 60 served overseas, including 40 who served in either Iraq or Afghanistan. Full Story

Mayor Bloomberg, US Transportation Secretary Peters and Representatives Maloney, Mica, and Castle Announce Next Step in High-Speed Rail

December 15, 2008
Mayor Bloomberg, US Transportation Secretary Peters and Representatives Maloney, Mica, and Castle Announce Next Step in High-Speed Rail

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Mary E. Peters and Representative John L. Mica of Florida, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Republican Leader, today announced that the DOT has for the first time requested private sector participation in the design, finance, construction, operation and maintenance of high-speed rail service between New York and Washington, DC and ten other corridors around the country. Full Story

Thompson Issues Analysis of FY 2009 Budget Modification and Four-Year Financial Plan

December 15, 2008
THOMPSON ISSUES ANALYSIS OF FY 2009 BUDGET MODIFICATION AND FOUR-YEAR FINANCIAL PLAN

New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr. today released his analysis of the Mayor’s modification to the Fiscal Year 2009 Budget and four-year Financial Plan. The Comptroller’s report predicts that the turmoil that had gripped the financial markets and sent the country into a recession will have a greater impact on City finances than the Mayor is projecting. Full Story

Thompson Raises Concerns About Drilling Process That Could Taint NYC Drinking Water

December 15, 2008
THOMPSON RAISES CONCERNS ABOUT DRILLING PROCESS THAT COULD TAINT NYC DRINKING WATER

New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr. today submitted comments to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation expressing his concerns about the issuance of natural gas drilling permits within or near the City’s watershed. Full Story

Thompson, Stringer Urge MTA and City to Put Beaks on ParaTransit Fares Increase

December 16, 2008
THOMPSON, STRINGER URGE MTA AND CITY TO PUT THE BRAKES ON PARATRANSIT FARE INCREASE

Citing a 1993 measure that requires City approval, New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson Jr. today called on City Hall to reject a Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) proposal to drastically increase Access-A-Ride fares.

Under the MTA’s proposal, the Access-A-Ride fare would likely jump from $2 to $5 – a 150 percent increase. Currently, the paratransit fare is pegged to the base price for a subway or bus ride. But Thompson cited a 1993 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City and MTA requiring the Mayor’s approval before any increase can occur. Full Story

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg Announces Successful Effort to Stop Disproportionate Fare Increase for Express Bus Riders

December 17, 2008
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg Announces Successful Effort to Stop Disproportionate Fare Increase for Express Bus Riders

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced the defeat of a proposed disproportionate fare increase on Express Bus riders. The Mayor vigorously opposed the unequal increase on Express Bus riders and worked to remove the Express Bus fare increase from the overall Metropolitan Transportation Authority budget proposal, which will be voted on by the MTA’s board today. Full Story

Bloomberg Names New Aging Commissioner

December 17, 2008
MAYOR BLOOMBERG NAMES NEW AGING COMMISSIONER: Lilliam Barrios-Paoli to Head Department

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today appointed Lilliam Barrios-Paoli as Commissioner of the New York City Department for the Aging (DFTA). Ms. Barrios-Paoli will oversee an agency with more than 300 employees and a budget of $300 million per year and be responsible for working for the empowerment, independence, dignity and quality of life of the City’s diverse older adults through advocacy, education and the coordination and delivery of services. Ms. Barrios-Paoli will officially assume her post on February 2nd, 2009. Full Story

Gotbaum: Lifesaving HPV Vaccination Still Not Offered at City STD Clinics

December 17, 2008
Gotbaum: Lifesaving HPV Vaccination Still Not Offered at City STD Clinics

A follow-up report from Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum’s office released today shows that the city-run clinics that diagnose and treat sexually transmitted diseases (STD) still do not offer vaccinations against the human papillomavirus (HPV), the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States. HPV is responsible for 70 percent of the country’s cervical cancer cases. Full Story

City Council Votes To Change Residency Requirements For Dc-37 Members and to modify alternate side parking rules during heavy winter conditions

December 18, 2008
City Council Votes To Change Residency Requirements For Dc-37 Members and to modify alternate side parking rules during heavy winter conditions

Today’s Stated Council meeting, the members of the New York City Council will vote to allow members of District Council 37, the city’s largest municipal union, to reside outside of New York City if they have completed more than two years of city service. Additionally the Council will vote on legislation to:

  • Require the Department of Transportation to suspend alternate side of the street parking regulations if the Department of Sanitation suspends street sweeping operations in the event of inclement weather;
  • Co-name 48 thoroughfares and public spaces across the five boroughs; and
  • Authorize the designation of Remains Lighting, a Brooklyn-based lighting fixture company, as a Regionally Significant Project under the State Empire Zones Program.

The City Council will also vote on resolutions urging the Department of Education to ensure they comply with state curriculum regulations and calling on Congress to include $5 billion in funding for the Public Housing Capital Fund in the event a second economic stimulus package is proposed. Full story

Council Votes on Revenue Enhancement Package

December 18, 2008
Council Votes on Revenue Enhancement Package

The City Council announced that they will vote on a revenue enhancement package that will include rescinding the 7% property tax reduction and enacting a temporary 0.875% hotel tax increase.

Combined, the two bills will bring in an over $650 million in additional revenue at a time when the City faces a $4 billon shortfall.

The Council also announced that the Administration has agreed to send to homeowners the $400 property tax rebate checks, a longstanding Council priority, in addition to restoring $20 million to projects that were slated for cuts in the Mayor’s November financial plan. These programs will be maintained thanks to the Council’s alternative spending reductions.Full story

Mayor and Council Restore Funding

December 18, 2008
Mayor and Council Restore Funding

CUNY & Community Colleges – This restoration protects local community colleges and the CUNY system, both of which faced cuts of $2.5 million dollars to student services and research, among other areas.

Protecting Child Protective Services – The Mayor’s plan would have cut $3.7 million in the Administration for Children’s Services child protective services unit, eliminating 127 caseworkers. The Council’s move protects the staffing in this critical area.

Elder Abuse Prevention – Preserves full funding for all elder abuse prevention contracts.

Employment Services – The November Plan proposed a reduction of $2 million for adult basic education, literacy services, and training vouchers. Programs that would have been affected include the Begin Program and the Welfare to Work Program. Full Story

Public Advocate Gotbaum Releases 2008 Annual Report

December 19, 2008
Public Advocate Gotbaum Releases 2008 Annual Report

Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum today released her office’s Fiscal Year 2008 annual report, which shows a sixty percent increase in the number of constituent complaints regarding the Department of Education. The calls regarding problems with the New York City Housing Authority also increased by 31 percent, and calls with Section 8 specific complaints increased by 88 percent. Full Story

Thompson Statement on Withdrawal of proposal to Massively Reorganize Senior Centers and Services

December 19, 2008
THOMPSON STATEMENT ON WITHDRAWAL OF PROPOSAL TO MASSIVELY REORGANIZE SENIOR CENTERS AND SERVICES

New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr. issued the following statement today concerning the announcement that City Hall and the Department for the Aging (DFTA) plan to withdraw their Request for Proposal (RFP) for Congregate Programs for Older Adults. Full Story

Public hearings for Week of December 22nd 2008

No hearings Scheduled