2017-07-19 / Political Page

I On Politics

HUGE DEM-GOP BATTLE FOR 2018 FORMING: According to the latest reports, the coming elections in 2018 will feature a huge battle between Republicans and Democrats not only for the governor’s chair, but also for control of the legislature.

Topping the list is Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is seeking reelection to his present job, but is also likely mapping advancement to higher office in the future. Supplementing his personal goals, Cuomo has plans to help win a half dozen congressional seats for Democrats in Congress.

Toward that end, Cuomo and House Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi are plotting the defeat of six GOP upstate congress members, and would thereby gain Democratic seats in Congress. Democrats are hoping to take control of the state senate from the Republicans also.

Both sides are raising millions in campaign funds to fuel those battles, so we can look forward to torrid campaigns throughout the state next year.

TRUMP’S POLL NUMBERS STILL TUMBLING: According to Sunday’s Washington Post, its poll conducted with ABC News showed a decline in President Trump’s approval ratings, which came after stories of Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting in June 2016 with a “Kremlin-linked lawyer.” The story said Trump’s approval ratings in the poll had “eroded further in recent weeks, dropping to a level never before seen for a president during his first six months in office.”

The poll said President Trump’s overall approval rating was “36%, down from 42% in April; his “disapproval rating rose to 58%”; and 48% of those polled said they “disapprove strongly” of his performance.…”

The story said Trump responded in a tweet that the poll, “even though almost 40% is not bad at this time, was just about the most inaccurate poll around election time.”

MENG URGES OFFICIAL PROBE OF TRUMP CAMPAIGN: U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) sent a letter on July 11 to the U.S. Federal Election Commission urging that it perform an official investigation into the actions of the Trump campaign to determine whether they violated federal election and criminal law. The letter follows two stories from The New York Times, “Trump Jr. Was Told in Email of Russian Effort to Aid Campaign” (July 10), and “Russian Dirt on Clinton? ‘I Love It,’ Donald Trump Jr. Said” (July 11), which reported that the Trump campaign was eager to accept assistance from the Russian government.

“It is now undeniably clear that the Trump campaign willingly and eagerly met with an agent of the Russian government in an attempt to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election,” said Meng. “What transpired was not only wholly un-American, against the very core of who we are as a nation and the values we hold dear, but also very likely illegal and a gross violation of the Federal Election Campaign Act. No person can accept contributions of any kind from a foreign national in connection with an election, period.

“Donald Trump, Jr. published his email correspondence cited by The New York Times, but what else is being kept in the dark?” added Meng. “What other meetings and exchanges do we not know about? It is imperative that the FEC perform an investigation into the actions of the Trump campaign with all due haste. The American people deserve no less. It is the very integrity of our government at stake.”

Meng’s letter noted that according to The New York Times “the meeting was also attended by President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as well as then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and occurred in Trump Tower – the headquarters of Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.”

Meng reminded the FEC of the law:

“Pursuant to 52 U.S.C. 30109, I ask that you perform an official investigation into the alleged violations of federal election and criminal laws.

“51 U.S.C. 30121(a) states:

“‘It shall be unlawful for a foreign national, directly or indirectly, to make a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation in connection with a Federal, State, or local election.’

“Further:

“‘[It shall be unlawful for] a person to solicit, accept, or receive a contribution or donation described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (1) from a foreign national.’

“Additionally, further reinforcing the claims of attempts to illegally contribute to a federal campaign (as well as attempts by the Trump campaign to receive such illegal contributions), just this afternoon Donald Trump, Jr. – via his personal Twitter account – released the full e-mail exchange referenced in the New York Times reports. In that e-mail exchange with Mr. Kushner and Mr. Manafort entitled ‘FW: Russia - Clinton - private and confidential,’ the following appears:

“‘Emin just called and asked me to contact you with something very interesting. The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that… would be very useful to your father. This is very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.’

“Clearly, unacceptable encroachments upon the integrity of an American presidential election were not only offered by a foreign national, but were sought to be received by the Trump campaign. These acts are punishable under federal law, and they have been brought to your attention. Public reporting on this meeting is clear, as is the newly released e-mail exchange by Donald Trump, Jr. Respectfully, I urge you to perform the investigation into this matter required by federal law as quickly as possible.”

Meng’s letter was addressed to FEC Chair Steven Walther, and was copied to the FEC vice chair, FEC commissioners, and also U.S. Attorney General Jefferson B. Sessions, Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, U.S. Department of Justice Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, and Andrew G. McCabe, Acting Director of the FBI.

CROWLEY ON TRUMP JR.’S MEETING WITH RUSSIAN-CONNECTED LAWYER: House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (D-NY) issued the following statement after The New York Times reported that Donald Trump Jr. agreed to meet with a Kremlinconnected lawyer after learning that the individual had potentially damaging information designed by the Russian government to bolster President Trump’s campaign and damage then-opponent Hillary Clinton:

“These reports are beyond troubling. With a steady drip of new information seemingly coming forward each day, this administration is [mired] in controversy. The best thing the Trump administration can do is to come clean and allow this country to move forward. We need to focus on expanding opportunities for the hardest-working Americans – not the endless scandals coming from the White House.”

CROWLEY ON REPUBLICAN PROPOSAL TO FUND BORDER WALL: House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (D-NY) issued the following statement after reports indicated that Republicans will include funding in a forthcoming appropriations bill for a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border:

“An expensive, ineffective wall along our southern border wasn’t sound policy when President Trump first proposed it, and House Republicans will make this campaign promise even worse by risking a government shutdown to fund it. Including allocations for this misguided wall in the appropriations process shows just how much Republicans are willing to risk our economic stability to give in to the worst proposals from this president. Our border is more secure than ever, and we shouldn’t push forward a border wall that will cost American taxpayers billions. Democrats have long said we will not support funding for a wall, so this proposal is setting the stage for a GOP-driven government shutdown.”

DOT USES STAVISKY’S REC’S FOR HANDICAP PARKING TAGS: In response to a suggestion made by NYS Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, the New York City Department of Transportation has agreed to issue reminders prior to the expiration of New York State parking Permits for Persons with Severe Disabilities.

The department announced to permit holders that it would no longer send out renewal notices for permits set to expire. Holders received a notice in the mail that informed them of the change and suggested permit holders write their expiration date down in a safe place.

Under this process, the senator – who was approached by a constituent on the matter - believes senior citizens will forget to apply for renewal without adequate notice, resulting in a lost permit.

Stavisky wrote DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg requesting the agency continue to send renewal notices for individuals over 65. In response, the commissioner responded by agreeing to continue sending out a reminder to all permit holders beginning three months prior to their expiration date.

“Senior citizens are some of the most vulnerable people in our society. The city should be trying to make senior lives easier, not more difficult,” Senator Stavisky said. “When one of my constituents brought my attention to the potential change, I felt it was absolutely necessary to draw DOT’s attention to the possible consequences. My constituent, senior citizens around the city and myself appreciate Commissioner Trottenberg’s swift correction of the matter.”

CROWLEY CALLS FOR EXPANDED OUTREACH ON SAFE SLEEPING EFFORT AFTER INFANT DEATHS: Following a series of infant deaths in New York City, House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (D-NY) and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) sent a letter on July 12 to U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Chair Ann Marie Buerkle and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Acting Director Anne Schuchat calling on the agencies to renew their outreach and education efforts on safe infant sleeping.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Centers for Disease Control have previously carried out research and education regarding safe sleeping conditions for infants, including a CPSC study from 1999 and the ban on the sale of traditional drop-side cribs in 2010, as well as the CDC’s work on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). But following three recent infant deaths in New York City, new outreach and education is needed so parents can make informed decisions for their families, explained Crowley.

“Given these recent tragic deaths, we urge you to renew your outreach efforts. We also urge you to consider working with state and local officials nationwide on efforts to provide families with safe sleeping arrangements such as cribs and play yards, if affordability is the issue,” the letter states. “There are few things more devastating than losing a child, and we must do everything possible to give families the tools and information to prevent future tragedies.”

The letter follows Crowley and Schakowsky’s previous initiatives on infant safety. Crowley and Schakowsky led Congressional efforts advocating for an end to the use of dangerous drop-side cribs, as well as pushing for adequate warnings on crib monitors subject to hacking.

GIANARIS FILES BILL TO PROTECT MTA FUNDS: NYS Senator Michael Gianaris introduced legislation which would exempt the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) from a provision in the New York Public Authorities Law known as the State Governmental Cost Recovery System. Under this law, the MTA can be required to reimburse the state of New York for expenses incurred on the agency’s behalf. The bill will be introduced in the Assembly by Assemblyman Danny O’Donnell.

The legislation comes after the revelation that the state directed the MTA to send $4.9 million to fund another authority that operates three state-run ski areas. The MTA is currently in an officially declared state of emergency, and is suffering from years of underfunding and mismanagement.

“With misplaced priorities like these, it’s no surprise the MTA is in such a serious crisis,” said Gianaris (D-Astoria). “The state should fight to secure more funds for the MTA, not divert precious MTA resources to unrelated causes.”

O’Donnell said, “As the Chair of the New York State Assembly’s Tourism Committee, I understand the many economic drivers for our state – including our wonderful ski areas and New York City’s public transportation system. However, it’s clear that prioritizing reimbursements over repairs is what has driven us to this transportation crisis. With the MTA infrastructure in a steady decline well before this year, the logic of requests to divert funds this way comes into question. I hope this legislation is the first step in eliminating some of the many bureaucratic obstacles hindering a fix to our badly ailing system.”

Gianaris recently unveiled his Better Trains, Better Cities proposal, which would impose a temporary three-year surcharge on those in the MTA region earning more than $1 million annually. The surcharge would be graduated starting with those earning between $1 million-$5 million and increasing for those earning between $5 million$ 10 million and those earning over $10 million. It is estimated that this surcharge would raise between $6 billion and $7 billion over the three years of its existence, which would be dedicated exclusively to maintaining and upgrading the MTA system at the discretion of an emergency manager.

DC 37 LOCAL 983 ENDORSES MONSERRATE FOR CITY COUNCIL: Former NYC Councilman Hiram Monserrate, announcing his campaign for the 21st City Council district, has been endorsed by DC 37 Local 983. This is Monserate’s second endorsement to date.

“This endorsement is an acknowledgement of Monserrate’s strong dedication to his community and his ability to deliver real results,” said Monserrate.

“I am honored to receive this important endorsement. The hard-working members of DC 37 Local 983 are the people who truly keep New York City running and I’m proud to have their support. I thank the membership for their confidence in me and for providing me a second opportunity to work tirelessly in representing these good men and women in the City Council,” said Monserrate.

President Joseph Puleo stated, “Hiram has always been a staunch supporter of our union members. He has a grasp of the issues that our membership faces. He has championed workers’ rights and safety in our parks, and he is an tenacious advocate on the issue of affordable housing. Our members didn’t forget the many good things he did for us and our city. We stand with him.”

Marlena Giga, the Local Secretary-Treasurer and board member, stated, “Our vote was unanimous for Hiram Monserrate. He is an experienced legislator that got things done. We have never forgot how hard he worked at passing legislation for free Sunday parking at meters in New York City. Hiram deserves a second opportunity to represents us in the City Council and that’s why our local is supporting him.”

The 3,000-plus membership of DC 37 Local 983 work in a variety of important city agencies such as: NYPD, Department of Transportation, Health and Hospitals Corporation, Fire Department, Department of Parks and Recreation, Administration for Children’s Services, Department of Social Services and the Department of Homeless Services.

‘EAST ELMHURST CORONA COMMUNITY OVER-SATURATED WITH HOMELESS SHELTERS’: The East Elmhurst Corona Alliance, a community based grass roots organization, and former Councilman Hiram Monserrate have voiced opposition to the siting of additional shelters in their neighborhood. In October of 2016 the Alliance and Monserrate held a rally against the siting of a shelter at the Marriot Courtyard on Ditmars Blvd.

“Now the hotel has lost its franchise to operate as a Marriot Courtyard and according to sources is to become a homeless shelter. The greater East Elmhurst Corona Community is already home to at least seven homeless shelters which have negatively impacted the quality of life of our community. The city has continually engaged in secrecy, and opened shelters in our community with no community notice or input.”

The East Elmhurst Corona Alliance demonstration was held on Thursday, July 13 at 12 noon in front of the Marriot Courtyard, 9-10 Ditmars Blvd., in East Elmhurst.

CHAIRMAN CROWLEY ON GOP’S ‘ANTI-TRANSGENDER’ AMENDMENT: House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (D-NY) issued the following statement after Republican leaders announced they will allow a vote on an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act “that would deny medically necessary health care to transgender service members. The amendment, authored by Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), will serve as an effective ban on these brave men and women from serving their country”:

This amendment is a direct attack on the courageous transgender men and women who want to serve and protect America. If this hateful initiative is enacted, it will undo many of the advancements Democrats have championed to expand opportunities within the military to qualified, capable, and willing individuals – efforts that have strengthened our military and made our country more secure. Republicans should be ashamed that they are advancing a measure that will ban necessary medical treatment for transgender individuals, effectively denying them the opportunity to serve their country. I urge my Republican colleagues to reject this misguided effort.”

CROWLEY ON CBO ANALYSIS OF TRUMP’S BUDGET: House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (D-NY) issued the following statement on the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of President Trump’s budget:

“The Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) score of President Trump’s ill-conceived budget highlights just how deeply the Trump administration wants to cut programs that help millions of hard-working Americans. It stands beyond reason that President Trump, who claimed his sole focus would be to lift up working Americans, would author a budget that makes sweeping cuts to critical areas such as early education, skills training programs, and medical research – programs that do the most to expand opportunities for American families.

“The CBO score also shows how Republicans rely on faulty math to claim they are cutting deficits and boosting the economy when, in fact, this budget hurts our nation’s bottom line. President Trump pledged to run the country like he ran his business – but this time, instead of sinking his businesses into bankruptcy, he’s sinking American families. The American people deserve a budget that grows our economy, creates jobs, and makes the kinds of investments that will strengthen our country and lift up hardworking families. I urge my Republican colleagues to join us in developing a budget that works for the American people.”

MONSERRATE FILES PETITION IN BID FOR 21st CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT: Former City Councilman Hiram Monserrate and a dedicated group of community volunteers have collected over 5,000 signatures in order to place Monserrate on the ballot for September 12 Democratic primary for the 21st City Council district The over 5,000 signatures greatly exceed the minimum amount needed to qualify Monserrate to run.

“Our community faces difficult challenges and these challenges require strong and proven leadership. I know I am the candidate in this race that will provide this needed leadership,” said Monserrate. “One thing separates me from the rest of the field: experience. During my tenure as city councilman and state senator, I passed several bills into law, I helped secure millions of dollars for our schools and park space. I helped secure monies for our senior centers, after school programs, daycare centers, food pantries, our public libraries in Corona, East Elmhurst and Jackson Heights and much more. I am a true advocate for affordable housing and on the issue of the redevelopment of Willets Point I am the only candidate dedicated to building 5,500 [units] – 100% affordable. The results I achieved impacted thousands of families. I know how to get things done, and I will deliver for our working families once again.”

Hiram Monserrate, the first Latino elected in the borough of Queens, has served as a member of the New York City Council and as a New York State Senator.

CROWLEY ON NEWEST VERSION OF TRUMPCARE FROM SENATE REPUBLICANS: House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (D-NY) issued the following statement after Senate Republicans unveiled their latest version of Trumpcare:

“Trumpcare has been a disaster since day one, and the latest version released today by Senate Republicans is no different. President Trump and the Republicans campaigned on the promise of repealing Obamacare. Now, they can’t deliver on that pledge, and are flailing in the wind. Their lack of ability to provide any substantive ways to improve our healthcare system continues to jeopardize Americans’ access to quality care. It’s time for Republicans to look past their obsession with political games and focus on actually trying to help hard-working American families.”

MALONEY, WAGNER CALL ON U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE TO INVESTIGATE BACKPAGE.COM: Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) and Ann Wagner (R-MO) sent a joint letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions calling on the Department of Justice to open an immediate criminal investigation into Backpage.com’s knowing advertisement and facilitation of online sex trafficking.

“New revelations reported by The Washington Post show that Backpage.com has employed Avion, a contractor in the Philippines, to solicit and create sex ads,” states the Congresswomen’s letter. “In Congress, we have introduced the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017, which would amend Section 230 to clarify that the law does not provide protection to websites that facilitate sex trafficking. Despite this, we believe that the U.S. Department of Justice already has the tools it needs to bring a strong criminal case against Backpage.com.”

The full text of the Congresswomen’s letter is
below:
July 13, 2017
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions
Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

Dear Attorney General Sessions,

We write to urge the U.S. Department of Justice to immediately investigate Backpage.com and bring the website to justice under 18 U.S. Code § 1591 for knowingly advertising and financially benefiting from participation in sex trafficking. We call your attention to new revelations, first reported by The Washington Post, that Backpage.com has employed Avion, a contractor in the Philippines, to solicit and create sex ads. Among other activities, the contractor’s employees created fake sex ads that indicated the sale of child sex trafficking victims in order to lure potential customers to Backpage.com to purchase illegal sex. According to The Washington Post story, when a potential customer expressed interest in a phony sex ad, “an email directed that person to Backpage.com, where they would find authentic ads.” Backpage.com pushed Avion to “get as many new listings as possible,” a task that involved Avion drafting free ads for users.

Backpage.com has long argued that it is a mere third-party platform with no responsibility for the sex trafficking ads that are posted on its website. This is an utter lie, as has been made clear by both the new revelations from The Washington Post and a January 2017 Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations report on Backpage.com that exposed the website for actively facilitating illegal ads. Despite this evidence, Backpage.com continues to hide behind a misinterpretation of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 in state cases and civil suits, as it has done for years in response to these complaints about its criminal content.

In Congress, we have introduced the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017, which would amend Section 230 to clarify that the law does not provide protection to websites that facilitate sex trafficking. Despite this, we believe that the U.S. Department of Justice already has the tools it needs to bring a strong criminal case against Backpage.com. If there are additional legal tools or support required for this investigation, we request that you make these clear so we may work quickly to provide them to the Justice Department. Otherwise, we see no reason why a criminal case should not be brought against Backpage.com for its criminal role in sex trafficking in America.

We appreciate your leadership in combatting human trafficking, and we eagerly wait for this overdue investigation to begin. We stand ready to assist your efforts.

Sincerely, Carolyn B. Maloney and Ann Wagner Members of Congress, Co-Chairs of the Human Trafficking Task Force.

AVELLA GETS CRUCIAL AMENDMENT TO SPEED CAMERA BILL: NYS Senator Tony Avella announced that he was able to secure a major amendment to the School Zone Speed Camera Bill (S6046B) introduced in the State Senate by NYS Senator Jose Peralta.

While the bill did not pass the Senate before the end of session in June, the Avella amendment requires the City of New York to install additional speed camera advance warning signs, marked “Speed Camera Ahead” within or approaching such school speed zone, provided that such signs shall be no more than 300 feet from said speed camera.

As deliberation over school zone cameras persisted during the legislative session, Senator Avella continued to push for the inclusion of this specific language to better protect pedestrians by ensuring that the cameras are actually used as deterrents and not revenue-generating speed traps.

“This amendment, when the bill is passed and enacted into law, will make sure that motorists are aware that a school speed zone is approaching and that there is a camera there that will be catching them if they violate the speed limit. Knowledge that a speed camera is ahead will have a greater impact on driver responsibility, thus resulting in reduced vehicle speeds, and in turn better protect pedestrians and make our streets safer,” said Avella.

Following the successful inclusion of this amendment in the legislation, Avella signed onto the speed camera bill as a co-sponsor.

MENG BILL PASSES AUTHORIZING JET NOISE REDUCTION PROGRAM WITHIN THE NAVY: The House of Representatives passed legislation sponsored by U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens) to authorize the Jet Noise Reduction Program within the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research. Discoveries made through this program will contribute to the production of aircraft that produce less noise than current models, possibly resulting in future reductions of airplane noise over communities like Queens.

Meng’s measure passed as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The Jet Noise Reduction Program will study and decrease noise produced by high-performance military aircrafts, and Meng’s provision would direct the Secretary of the Navy to share relevant noise reduction discoveries with the civilian aviation community.

“I thank my colleagues for supporting this important legislation,” said Meng, a founding member and former co-Chair of the Congressional Quiet Skies Caucus. “Many discoveries and advancements made by the military have been adopted for civilian use and there is no reason why the same can’t be done for mitigating aircraft noise. Noise mitigation discoveries made by the Navy could go a long way in helping to reduce the barrage of airplane noise that continues to negatively affect my constituents, and those in other parts of the country. I look forward to my measure now moving through the Senate. If we are going to do all we can to combat excessive aircraft noise, we must use every tool at our disposal and that includes out of the box ideas like this legislation.”

“This amendment is a step forward in securing investments in new technologies that will reduce excessive aircraft noise over our communities in Queens, the Bronx and throughout the country,” said Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens/Bronx), Chair of the House Democratic Caucus and a member of the Quiet Skies Caucus. “I applaud Congresswoman Meng for her leadership on this important issue, and I’m proud to join my colleagues in co-sponsoring this amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act. The more we invest in developing new technologies, the better placed we’ll be to find solutions that improve the quality of life for communities heavily impacted by aircraft noise pollution.”

“The military has always been a driving force of innovation in America, and Rep. Meng’s amendment will ensure that communities in our districts can share the benefits of any noise mitigation breakthroughs that military researchers make in the course of this project,” said Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Nassau County), a member of the Quiet Skies Caucus. “This is a creative approach that has the potential to bring real longterm relief to residents who live with excessive levels of airplane noise.”

The NDAA is the annual legislation that sets funding levels and policies for the U.S. Department of Defense. The $696.5 billion bill would take effect at the beginning of fiscal year 2018 which starts on October 1.

PERALTA, DINOWITZ URGE CUOMO SIGN BILL TO EXAMINE LEAD LEVELS UNDER EL: NYS Senator Jose Peralta and Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz urged Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign into law their legislation (S.5754-A/A.7562-A), requiring the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the New York Transit Authority to undertake a study to determine the amount of lead paint in the elevated subway stations, tracks and trestles throughout the city. The Senate and the Assembly passed the bill last month.

“This is about protecting New Yorkers and ensuring their safety. High levels of lead paint in chips falling onto the streets and sidewalk endanger the lives of neighbors, visitors, shoppers, and commuters,” said Senator Peralta. “It is imperative that we remove hazardous lead paint from aboveground subway lines throughout the city. It is my hope the Governor signs this bill into law in order to solve these dangerous situations.”

Peralta added, “By eliminating and evaluating this dangerous problem, the MTA can take a good first step in making sure our subway system is safe for everyone. In the heart of my district, the 7 train runs above Roosevelt Avenue, a crowded area full of shops, restaurants and street vendors, so it is important we protect everyone from these falling paint chips containing high levels of lead. It is my hope that the MTA acts and remedies this situation and prevents anyone from getting sick from lead paint exposure, which can be poisonous.”

“I am pleased that both houses of the legislature passed this important public safety measure. This bill requires the MTA and the NYCTA determine and report which areas of the aboveground transit infrastructure are plagued with hazardous levels of lead paint and which parts of New York City’s aging transit system must be immediately remediated before the thousands of New Yorkers who rely upon city transit become sickened or poisoned. We cannot expect people to live and work while being forced to use subway platforms coated in flaking lead paint chips that may increase their risk of lead poisoning,” said Assemblyman Dinowitz. “It is almost inconceivable in this day and age that people must put up with any lead-poisoning related dangers, yet this legislation will go some way toward ending this problem. Now we are counting on the Governor to sign this bill into law to protect New Yorkers.”

According to published reports, District 9 International Union of Painters and Allied Trades found that in some samples of paint chips falling onto the streets from the elevated 7 subway line structure contained 224,000 parts per million of lead paint, more than 40 times the 5,000 parts per million legal threshold.

In light of this situation, Peralta and Dinowitz called on the MTA to resolve the problem created by the falling lead paint chips onto the streets underneath elevated train stations, elevated tracks and trestles. Additionally, the study by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will establish the degree to which the state agency complies with federal and state laws and regulations, such as the Federal Clean Air Act.

The study will be conducted in cooperation with the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Health. The proposal also calls for the MTA to submit a report containing recommendations to eliminate possible exposure to lead paint by these falling chips and to “review past renovations to stations to determine the amount of lead paint abatement.”

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