The Cyrus Vance Rules

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance’s campaign finance practices appears to have inspired new legislation.

Assemblyman Dan Quart

Assemblyman Dan Quart, a Manhattan Democrat, has introduced legislation that would impost special restrictions on campaign contributions for district attorney candidates. Candidates would be required to disclose any contributions from law firms that represents defendants in criminal proceedings and there will be limits on contributions from people or corporate entities that have “legal dealings” with a district attorney’s office. Continue reading “The Cyrus Vance Rules”

No Fees for Consumer Protection

An episode of Planet Money made me think about freezing my credit and the urging of Jon Oliver on Sunday motivated me to act. Now two state legislators have introduced a bill that would prohibit credit reporting companies from charging me for this safety measure.

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz and Sen. David Carcucci recently crafted legislation that requires hacked credit reporting agencies to provide lifetime identify theft prevention services and prohibits fees relating to the implementation of security freezes on consumer credit reports. If enacted, the companies would be required to tell affected consumers about these rights. Continue reading “No Fees for Consumer Protection”

The “No Dragging People From Planes” Legislation

Assemblyman Steve Englebright won’t let the United Airlines controversy die.

One month after a man was dragged off a plane, the Long Island Democrat introduced a bill on Friday prohibiting the involuntary removal of a passenger because the airline overbooked the flight. Anyone who violates this prohibition, under the proposed law, could be required to pay damages

“There is no excuse for an aircraft operator to forcible remove any person who has paid for an assigned seat on such aircraft,” read the bill memo, which goes on to note that people often make “specific arrangements” to travel and interruptions can be  “extremely inconvenient.”

The prohibition would only apply if a person paid for their fare and had an “assigned seat.”

Continue reading “The “No Dragging People From Planes” Legislation”

Trump and his Taxes

Could New York post President Donald Trump’s state tax returns online?

That’s what a bill from Sen. Brad Hoylman would require the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance to do.

Following up on his proposal to require presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns in order to qualify for New York’s votes in the Electoral College, Hoylman has introduced a bill that would require the state to post online the income tax returns for the president, vice president, the state’s senators in Congress and any other statewide elected officials, such as the governor.  The state income tax returns would be posted for every year the elected official remains in office, according to the legislation.

“New Yorkers deserve to know whether elected officials represented the state are paying their fair share of taxes or hold potential financial conflicts of interest,” reads the bill memo. Continue reading “Trump and his Taxes”

UPDATED: State considers loans for Hoosick Falls

Hoosick Falls may be allowed to borrow money to cover more than $1 million in unexpected expenses while the village continues to negotiate with two local polluters.

Legislation from Sen. Kathy Marchione and Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin would permit the village to issue serial bonds for “extraordinary expenses incurred by the village as a direct result of the discovery of the contamination of the village’s municipal water supply,” according to the bill memorandum. The unplanned expenses since 2014 include engineering, testing, legal services and public relations services.

At the behest of residents and outside advocates, the village has delayed agreeing to a settlement with the polluters, Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics and Honeywell International. The potential agreement would cover these unplanned costs, which are approximately more than $1.1 million at this point. The companies have already paid for water purification systems as part of an order of consent and administrative settlement.

UPDATE: Marchione’s bill was advanced from Senate Local Government Committee to Senate Finance Committee.

During the meeting, Marchione explained, “The reason for this bill is that currently with having to pay for some of their legal bills, Hoosick Falls can only borrow for a two-year period of time without having special legislation allowing them to borrow longer.”

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