2017-08-09 / Political Page

I On Politics

DE BLASIO SAYS TAX WEALTHY FOR SUBWAY NEEDS: The city’s subway riders will be getting a free ride, thanks to Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is set to announce plans for a so-called “millionaires’ tax”: to be levied on wealthy New York City taxpayers to cover the costs of extensive subway improvements.

The announcement by the mayor will cover needed subway and bus improvements at reduced fares for riders. He was reported as saying, “Rather than sending the bill to working families and subway and bus riders already feeling the pressure of rising fares and bad services, we are asking the wealthiest in our city to chip in a little extra to help move our transit system into the 21st century.”

The mayor’s proposals will need approval from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and from legislators in Albany, but statements from those sources show that support would be forthcoming.

Recently State Senator Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) had proposed taxing the wealthy to meet the crucial subway needs, and transit supporters also offered their backing, calling for reduced fares for poor residents. Gianaris also called for quick action, urging lawmakers to act now rather than wait to do something during a future session.

Gianaris was quoted in a New York Times story as saying; “I would argue that the MTA is in a full-blown crisis, and that would justify our return to Albany to enact measure in an emergency session.”

CROWLEY HITS TRUMP TEAM EFFORTS TO END AFFIRMATIVE ACTION IN COLLEGES: House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (D-NY) issued the following statement after President Trump’s Justice Department said it would divert resources from its civil rights division to investigate and sue universities over their admissions processes.

“The Trump administration is creating a problem where none exists. Redirecting attention from critical projects within the division tasked with combating actual rights abuses in order to threaten universities and colleges is a tremendous waste of taxpayers’ money. I would hope the Trump White House could instead embrace efforts that have helped level the playing field for women and minorities. Unfortunately, this is part of Republicans’ nonstop focus on reducing opportunity instead of expanding it for all Americans.”

CROWLEY OPPOSES GOP ‘ANTI-IMMIGRANT, ANTI-FAMILY’ PLAN: House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (D-NY) released the following statement after congressional Republicans and President Trump endorsed an immigration plan that would drastically limit opportunities for immigrants to come to the U.S. legally.

“There is no avoiding it – our country’s immigration system needs to be fixed through comprehensive reform. This so-called ‘merit-based’ proposal from congressional Republicans and President Trump falls far short of that goal. It will shut out immigrants who are seeking a better life in America, without considering their history, their familial ties to the U.S., or their potential to contribute to our nation. This is nothing short of an anti-immigrant and anti-family proposal from the GOP. I will work hard to ensure it is dead on arrival.”

MALLIOTAKIS ON RIKERS ESCAPE ATTEMPT: Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis said, “Last night’s escape attempt is a perfect example of why Bill de Blasio’s ill-conceived plan to shut down Rikers Island is dangerous and wrong. Common sense tells most New Yorkers that an island surrounded by high fences, razor wire, swift currents and a nearly mile-long bridge to the mainland is the perfect location for a jail. Last night NYC Correction Officers were able to lockdown access to the island until the escapee was apprehended.

“If this escape attempt had happened in one of Bill de Blasio’s proposed neighborhood jails, we could have had an escapee running through the streets of our city, putting New Yorkers at risk. Instead, the escapee was contained on Rikers Island until he was apprehended. As mayor, I will keep Rikers Island open while creating a comprehensive plan to upgrade and improve conditions at the facility. A decentralized jail system, spread out over five boroughs, simply doesn’t make sense on an economic, management or public safety basis. Rikers Island is the perfect place for New York’s jails; let’s keep them there.”

CROWLEY DERIDES FAILURE OF REPUBCIANS’ LATEST VERSION OF TRUMPCARE: House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (D-NY) issued the following statement after Senate Republicans failed to advance their “Skinny” health care repeal bill:

“Health care is a right, not a privilege – a message that the American people have delivered forcefully over the past weeks as Republicans have tried and tried again to strip access to affordable and quality care from millions of Americans. Democrats will remain vigilant against any further attacks that destabilize health care coverage for seniors, Americans with pre-existing conditions, or working families. It is time for Republicans to abandon partisan efforts on health care, join Democrats to improve the Affordable Care Act, and help expand care in this country.”

CROWLEY LABELS TRUMP, CONGRESS’ PLAN ‘HOLLOW TAX REFORM’: House Democratic Caucus Chairman Crowley (D-NY) issued the following statement after Congressional Republicans and President Trump released a tax reform statement Thursday devoid of any tangible solutions to help lift up American families:

“This empty tax reform statement confirms that Republicans are only fighting for the super-rich and their corporate friends – not hardworking families, nor the middle class. There is no question that overhauling our nation’s tax system would greatly benefit our economy, but any reform must make the tax code fairer, simpler, and more efficient in order to promote growth. This is how tax reform can benefit all Americans and expand opportunities for the hardest-working men and women in our country. As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, I hope Republicans will abandon their plans for a corporate giveaway and instead focus on truly bipartisan tax reform that encourages economic growth, spurs innovation, and lifts up hardworking American families.”

MTA CHAIR LHOTA TO DE BLASIO: ‘MTA NEEDS FUNDS NOW’: MTA Chair Joseph Lhota released a statement in response to Mayor de Blasio’s announced plan to propose a tax on the rich to help fund MTA overhaul: “After saying the MTA doesn’t need money, we’re glad the mayor reversed himself. However, we need short-term emergency financing now. The mayor should partner with us and match state funding now so we can turn the trains around. There’s no question we need a long-term funding stream, but emergency train repairs can’t wait on what the State Legislature may or may not do next year.”

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