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MAHN Lawmakers On The Move June 12, 2019

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MAHN Lawmakers, Senate Majority Stand Up To Protect LGBTQ Rights

State Senator Brad Hoylman
State Senator Brad Hoylman
State Senator Robert Jackson
State Senator Robert Jackson
State Senator Brian Benjamin
State Senator Brian Benjamin
State Senator Jose Serrano
State Senator Jose Serrano

State Senators Brad Hoylman (D/WF-Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen, Chelsea, Greenwich Village, UWS, Midtown/East Midtown, Columbus Circle, Times Square, Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village, the East Village, LES), Robert Jackson (DD-Upper Manhattan), and Brian Benjamin (D-Harlem, East Harlem (El Barrio), Upper West Side, Washington Heights, Hamilton Heights, Morningside Heights) and José Serrano (D-Mott Haven, Melrose, Highbridge, Morris Heights, Spanish Harlem, Yorkville, Roosevelt Island and part of the Upper West Side)  alongside the Senate Majority yesterday passed legislation providing greater protections and services for New York’s LGBTQ community.

The bills advanced by the Senate Democratic Majority will establish the Modern Family Act, abolish the use of “Gay Panic or Trans Panic” defense, and create the transgender youth and young adult suicide prevention task force.

The Senate Majority will also pass the New York State Restoration of Honor Act that will correct the records of veterans discharged from the military because of their sexual orientation.

“While only a year ago, bills that were specifically directed to help LGBTQ people couldn’t even get a hearing, today thanks to Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and my colleagues, we’re passing legislation to help LGBTQ New Yorkers build families, ban a vestige of homophobia in the criminal statute, allow LGBTQ vets get the benefits they deserve, track important data about LGBTQ New Yorkers to improve services to them, and address the disturbing trend of suicide among LGBTQ youth,” said Hoylman, sponsor of the Modern Family Act.

“This legislation comes at an important time for queer and trans visibility. As many of us—including myself—are learning to make space for our trans and gender non-binary siblings in our everyday lives, trans woman of color are still facing alarming rates of violence simply for who they are and too many of our queer youth continue to find no option but to take their own lives. I feel that this legislation sets us on the right path forward,” said Jackson.

“Fifty years ago at Stonewall, brave New Yorkers, led by a group of trans women of color, started something that embodies the spirit of pride: they stood up for themselves and their community, and they made it clear they weren’t going anywhere. I am proud that the State Senate Democrats are continuing that legacy today with this legislation, which will make New York even more equal for LGBTQ families and individuals,” said Benjamin.

“While we sent a strong message after passing Marriage Equality and GENDA, we will continue to address any remaining laws in our books that discriminate against the LGBTQ community. LGBTQ New Yorkers deserve nothing less than equal rights, and today’s actions ensure that LGBTQ youth, veterans, and families are valued and treated with dignity and respect under New York’s laws,” said Serrano.

Nadler Throws Support Behind Resolution To Enforce Committee Subpoenas In Federal Court

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler
U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler

Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-Western Manhattan, Western Brooklyn) yesterday delivered a floor statement in support of H.Res. 430, a resolution authorizing the Committee on the Judiciary to initiate or intervene in judicial proceedings to enforce certain subpoenas and for other purposes.

On Tuesday, The House  considered the federal measure which would give the Judiciary Committee the authority to initiate proceedings in federal court to enforce their subpoenas. This would include the authority to enforce the subpoena against former White House Counsel Donald McGahn, according to initial reports. The consideration of the measure comes just days after Nadler announced on Monday that he reached an agreement with the Department of Justice (DOJ) to obtain more evidence from the Mueller investigation relating to President Donald Trump’s possible obstruction of justice.

Nadler stated that both Democrats and Republicans on the Committee are to receive the evidence that Special Counsel Robert Mueller used to determine whether Trump and others obstructed justice. This agreement is in compliance with the subpoena for these documents that was issued by the Committee in April.

In May the Committee had voted to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt for refusing to provide the requested documents. Barr argued that the document release would jeopardize ongoing investigations and violate rules pertaining to grand jury materials. Nadler stated Monday that he will “hold the criminal contempt process in abeyance for now,” as long as the DOJ acts in good faith.

“Mr. Speaker, when a congressional committee issues a subpoena, compliance is not optional.  We expect witnesses to testify when summoned. We expect the Administration to comply with subpoenas and to provide us with the materials we require to do our jobs.”

“This unprecedented stonewalling by the Administration is completely unacceptable.  The committees have a constitutional responsibility to conduct oversight, to make recommendations to the House as necessary, and to craft legislation that will curb the waste, fraud, and abuse on full display in the Trump Administration.  This is why it is important that the Judiciary Committee be able to act in such matters using all of our Article 1 powers, as contemplated in this Resolution and described in both the Rules Committee Report and the House Judiciary Committee’s Contempt Report,” said Nadler.

Velazquez Calls On FAA To Ban Tourist Helicopter Service Following Fatal Crash

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez (D-LES Brooklyn, Queens) this week call on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to prohibit tourist helicopter service following the fatal crash at a Midtown skyscraper Monday.

Earlier this week, Tim McCormack was killed when he flew his commercial helicopter into a building at West 30th Street after he told air traffic controllers he was having problems as he flew through heavy fog and rain, according to the New York Post.

McCormack had just dropped off his boss at the 34th Street heliport on the east side prior to the crash-landing, sources said. Police have said they believe his chopper was headed back to an airport in Linden, New Jersey, while conducting executive travel.

“I’ve said many times that helicopter tourism is a bad fit for a dense urban area like New York City.  While we’re still getting details, it appears that today’s crash and the crash in the Hudson from May further underscore the danger of non-essential helicopter flights over Manhattan and Brooklyn,” said Velazquez.

“I again call on the FAA to prohibit tourist flights and I will be watching with great scrutiny proposed helicopter service from Manhattan to New York’s airports. Reducing crowding in New York’s airspace is vital to keep our communities on the ground safe,” added Velazquez.  

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