MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Feb. 28, 2020

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Nadler Voices Support for Emmett Till Antilynching Act

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

Last Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn) voiced his support for H.R. 35, the Emmett Till Antilynching Act, on the House floor.

The bill makes lynching a hate crime under federal law. It was named after Emmett Till, an African-American boy who was kidnapped and lynched in 1955 after he was accused of flirting with a white woman.

“The first federal antilynching legislation was introduced in 1900—almost 120 years ago—by Congressman George Henry White, the only African American Member of Congress at that time,” said Nadler. “Unfortunately, neither his bill, nor any other antilynching bills that were introduced in the decades that followed managed to pass Congress.

“Today, we act to correct this historical injustice that should rest heavily on the conscience of this Congress. I thank the Gentleman from Illinois, Mr. Rush, for his leadership on this important issue and for his attention to history. I also want to thank the Gentleman from Nebraska, Mr. Bacon, for his support of this legislation, and the many cosponsors of this bill who helped pave the way for its passage today. I urge my colleagues to support the bill, and I reserve the balance of my time.”

The bill passed with a vote of 410-4.

AG James Announces Conviction of Niagara Falls Taxi Company

Attorney General of NY Letitia James
Attorney General of NY Letitia James

Last Wednesday, New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) announced the conviction of Wego Taxi Tours, Inc., for defrauding Medicaid.

Company owner Sadat Khan and corporate secretary Kashif Pervez were found guilty of billing Medicaid for thousands of dollars worth of taxi rides that they never provided. The court ordered Khan to pay off more than $1.2 million in restitution.

“These fraudsters’ free-riding days have come to a screeching halt,” said James. “Ghost rides hurt the Medicaid program, cost taxpayers money, and undermine needed transportation services that New Yorkers depend on every single day. My Office will continue to stamp out fraud schemes and bring to justice those who violate the law.”

Maloney Demands Documents on Trump Administration’s Title X Family Planning Prohibitions

Last Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens) wrote a letter to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) reiterating her demand for documents related to the Trump Administration’s gag rule on Title X.

Last year, the Trump Administration enacted a gag rule barring family planning providers from using federal funds to offer patients information about birth control or abortion. Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, has repeatedly requested documents related to the review process for the gag rule. In the letter, she warns that she will have no choice but to use force if if the Trump Administration continues to stonewall her investigation into the rule.

“When I became Chairwoman of the Committee, I asked Committee staff to seek an update from OMB on its plans to respond to the Committee’s requests.  To date, OMB has neither acknowledged nor responded to this request,” reads the letter.  “I am now formally reiterating the Committee’s requests for documents and information related to this matter.  OMB’s ongoing obstruction of this investigation reflects a failure of respect for Congress’ legitimate oversight responsibilities.”

Senate Passes Hoylman’s Bill to Help New Yorkers Easily Cancel Gym Memberships

State Senator Brad Hoylman
State Senator Brad Hoylman

Yesterday, the State Senate passed a bill sponsored by State Sen. Brad Hoylman (D-Chelsea, Midtown) intended to protect New Yorkers who sign up for gym memberships.

The bill will require gyms to disclose details about pricing, and provide easy ways to cancel service. Hoylman wrote the bill to crack down on gyms that mislead consumers through complicated automatic renewal policies.

“Exercising regularly is tiring enough,” said Hoylman. “New Yorkers shouldn’t have to jump through hoops simply to quit their gym and join another. Too many gyms, subscription boxes and other companies use misleading offers and promotions to lock unwitting customers into long-term contracts that are ridiculously difficult to get out of. I’m grateful to Leader Andrea-Stewart Cousins for passing this strong consumer protection legislation that will help save New Yorkers money through the Senate, and I look forward to working with Assembly Member Dinowitz to pass it through the Assembly as well.”

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