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MAHN Lawmakers On The Move May 30, 2019

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Speaker Johnson, Levine, Rodriguez To Hold Oversight Hearing on Hart Island, City’s Burial Process

Council Member Corey Johnson (Credit: Jeff Reed)
Council Member Mark D. Levine
Council Member Mark D. Levine
Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez
Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen) alongside Council members Mark Levine (D-Manhattan Valley, Manhattanville, Morningside Heights, Hamilton Heights), Chair of the Committee on Health, and Ydanis Rodriguez (D-Washington Heights, Inwood, and Marble Hill), Chair of  the Committee on Transportation, will hold a joint oversight hearing on Hart Island and a package of legislation to examine the City’s burial process.

Hart Island, located in the Bronx, is the only location the City currently uses to bury the bodies of unclaimed or unidentified. The island is approximately 1 mile long by ¹⁄₃ mile wide and is located at the western end of Long Island Sound.

The meeting is slated for 10 a.m., today, May 30, at City Hall, Committee Room in Lower Manhattan.

Rosenthal’s Legislation To Increase Accessible Physical Education in NYC Schools Passes Council

Council Member Helen Rosenthal
Council Member Helen Rosenthal

City Council member Helen Rosenthal’s (D-Central Park, Lincoln Square) legislation to hold New York City public schools more accountable for ensuring that students with disabilities receive adaptive physical education was passed unanimously by the City Council yesterday.

According to the NYS Department of Education, adaptive PE consists of specially designed activities, games, sports, and rhythms suited to the interests and capabilities of students with disabilities who cannot fully engage in some PE programs.

Accurate and comprehensive data on adaptive PE has been difficult to obtain. According to a 2017 analysis of DOE data by NY Lawyers for the Public Interest: A majority of school districts did not provide any data on adaptive PE, despite LL102’s current requirement that the DOE report on the number and percentage of students with IEPs who need adaptive PE.

In District 75, a citywide district which educates students with the most severe physical and behavioral disabilities, less than one third of K-3rd grade students are receiving the required amount of PE, a rate similar to other city school districts.Rosenthal’s bill also requires the DOE to report publicly as to whether they are in compliance with state physical education requirements, and provide a summary of key findings on adaptive PE in New York City schools.

“This lack of data means that resources aren’t well placed and students with disabilities are slipping through the cracks. Our school system has a fundamental obligation to ensure that every child, including those with disabilities, receives the required amount of physical education instruction. Right now we are failing our children — PE is critical for every child’s overall health and well-being,” said Rosenthal.

Stringer, Krueger, AM Rosenthal Intro Legislation Raising Awareness of Rent Freeze Program for Senior, Disabled

NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer
NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer
State Senator Liz Krueger
State Senator Liz Krueger
Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal
Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal

City Comptroller Scott Stringer, State Senator Liz Krueger (D-Upper East Side, Lenox Hill) and Assembly member Linda Rosenthal (D-Central Park, Lincoln Square) yesterday  announced the introduction of new legislation (S.6210/A.7730) to raise awareness of the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) and Disabled Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE) programs that assist seniors and New Yorkers with disabilities who are living on limited incomes in making rent payments.

The legislation would require that seniors and tenants with disabilities be given formal notice of potential eligibility for the program at the same time as they receive routine communications from landlords or government agencies regarding such issues as an application for a rent adjustment due to a major capital improvement, a rent increase, or notice of a new lease or renewal of a lease.

The programs enable income eligible tenants to have their rents frozen at one-third of their incomes, or the rent paid on the lease before they applied, whichever is greater. Both SCRIE and DRIE are under-enrolled, with less than half of all potential beneficiaries registered in the program. The legislation introduced on Wednesday aims to bolster enrollment in these programs and ensure the appropriate individuals are receiving assistance. The new bill could help up to 26,000 seniors and people with disabilities access rental assistance.

“We need to help the New Yorkers who built up our communities and ensure they can afford to stay here, with access to affordable housing that will allow them to age in place and thrive in their golden years,” said Stringer.

”The SCRIE and DRIE programs have allowed thousands of older New Yorkers and people with disabilities to stay in their homes and age in place with dignity. But thousands more are struggling to pay the rent without even knowing these programs exist. This bill ensures that some of our most vulnerable neighbors will get the vital information they need to ease their rent burden,” said Krueger.

“The Rent Freeze Program is a critical lifeline for this city’s senior and disabled tenants, but only if senior and disabled tenants know it exists. This bill will help promote awareness of the existence of the Rent Freeze program, and provide so many vulnerable tenants with desperately needed rent relief,” said Rosenthal.

Brewer Applauds NYC Schools Chancellor Outreach For Annual Free Summer Meals Program

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer applauded NYC Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza’s announcement yesterday launching the 2019 Summer Meals program, providing free, nutritious breakfast and lunch options at approximately 1,200 sites across the City from June 27 to August 30.

The New York City Department of Education (DOE) will expand outreach efforts at every public school to ensure families are aware of their closest Summer Meals sites before school ends on June 26. The education agency will also be providing every public school principal with specific information on Summer Meals sites before the end of the school year.

All children ages 18 and under are eligible to receive free breakfast and lunch at sites across the City, including schools, parks, pools, libraries and food trucks in all five boroughs. No identification or application is required, and meals are available Monday through Friday with breakfast served from 8:00 AM to 9:15 AM, and lunch served from 11:00AM to 1:15 PM. Select locations and trucks will also offer meals on Saturday and Sunday. Complete information is available on the DOE website.

Volunteers from Hunger Free America and the Office of Borough President Brewer will go door-to -door and hand out flyers in 10 languages to spread awareness of the program.

“As the school year comes to an end, many families worry about how they will provide their children with breakfast and lunch during the summer months – and their children cannot eat if they do not know where to go. Comprehensive and collaborative early outreach is imperative to this goal, and I thank the Chancellor and his staff for their efforts and initiative, and I look forward to collaborating on this,” said Brewer.

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