Assembly poised to act on New York City housing

The Assembly appears ready to weigh in on the scandal plagued New York City’s public housing agency.

Late Friday night, Speaker Carl Heastie introduced legislation that  would authorize NYCHA to use design-build procurement processes to quickly respond to its critical infrastructure needs.

“Currently, there are a large number of tenants living in New York City Housing Authority developments requiring a significant amount of work. Given the substantial scope of repairs needed to NYCHA’s heating systems and other critical facilities, a new, more efficient approach needs to be taken by NYCHA to address its capital needs; otherwise, tenants will continue experiencing disruptions,” reads the bill memorandum.

The bill also requires NYCHA to provide annual reports on their response to lead paint health risks. The goal of the requirement, according to the memorandum, is to empower residents and ensure compliance with inspection laws. Continue reading “Assembly poised to act on New York City housing”

Sharing is Caring

Municipal leaders are taking a second look at how their governments operate following the adoption of a pet program by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in this year’s budget.

The County-Wide Shared Services Property Tax Savings Plan (or CWSSPTSP as no one calls it) requires counties outside of New York City to draft plans for sharing services in order to cut costs and find efficiencies. A new report from the Rockefeller Institute, in conjunction with the Benjamin Center and  the Center for Technology in Government, reviewed the 34 plans submitted this fall and analyzed the potential savings.

Jim Malatras, president of the Rockefeller Institute, joined Poozer Politics to explain the mechanics of the program, highlighted interesting proposals and identified the potential benefits (large and small) for taxpayers.

The conversation also addressed the criticism that this process fails to address major cost drivers, like pensions, and whether the analysis has been too political.

Continue reading “Sharing is Caring”

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”