MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Jan. 8, 2020

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Tish James Seeks Supreme Court Review of ACA Case

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

Last week, New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) filed a petition asking the Supreme Court to review their recent decision on Texas v. U.S.

The decision affirmed that the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is unconstitutional. However, the Court refused to rule on the validity of the rest of the ACA, making it ambiguous whether the rest of the provisions could still stand.

“The Affordable Care Act has been the law of the land for a decade now and despite efforts by President Trump, his Administration, and Congressional Republicans to take us backwards, we will not strip health coverage away from millions of Americans,” said James. “Our coalition will continue to fight any effort to kick children off their parents’ health care plans, to rip health coverage away from those with pre-existing conditions, to charge women more for no other reason than being a woman, or to deprive millions of Americans access to quality, affordable health care. In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled the ACA was legal, so we will not allow President Trump and his Republican allies to dismantle the ACA, piece-by-piece, after failing to get Congress to do its dirty work.”

Levine Releases Borough President Campaign Ad

Council Member Mark D. Levine
Council Member Mark D. Levine

Yesterday, Council Member Mark Levine (D-Manhattan Valley, Manhattanville) kicked off his campaign for Manhattan Borough President with the release of his first campaign ad.

The ad focuses on the gentrification of Manhattan, marked by the rise in rent and the proliferation of luxurious supertalls throughout the borough. Levine argued that the borough is changing to cater to its wealthiest residents at the expense of the working class.

This, he said, is a problem he plans to tackle head-on as borough president.

“I’ve taken on the inequalities in my city my entire adult life,” said Levine. “I’ve created hundreds of units of truly affordable housing in my district. And in the face of landlords using housing court as a weapon, I’ve passed legislation making New York City the first place in America to guarantee the right to an attorney for those facing eviction. Manhattan needs a leader ready to confront the shadows looming over us.”

Hoylman Seeks to Expand Terms of Child Victims Act

State Senator Brad Hoylman
State Senator Brad Hoylman

Last Friday, State Senator Brad Hoylman (D-Chelsea, Midtown) introduced a bill to expand the terms of the Child Victims Act (CVA).

The CVA, passed last August, provided child sexual abuse victims with a one-year window to come forward and press charges against their abusers. This provision is currently set to expire on Aug. 13; Hoylman, however, thinks that the window should be expanded by another year.

“Other states, including California and New Jersey, have instituted multi-year revival windows for civil lawsuits because it can take decades for adult survivors of child sexual abuse to come forward,” said Hoylman. “To ensure the maximum number of survivors have time to seek justice and further protect the public, New York should extend the Child Victims Act’s revival window for another year before it expires in August.”

Velázquez Calls on White House to Declare State of Emergency in Puerto Rico

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

Representative Nydia Velázquez (D-LES, Brooklyn, Queens) released a statement yesterday calling on the White House to declare a state of emergency in Puerto Rico, following a devastating earthquake.

Yesterday morning, a 6.4-magnitude earthquake rocked Puerto Rico, causing one fatality and shutting down power lines across the island. It was the worst earthquake Puerto Rico endured in over a century.

“All the people of Puerto Rico, our fellow American citizens, should know that Americans everywhere are praying for them,” said Velázquez. “We must ensure the federal government learns from the mistakes of the past and and responds competently, compassionately and swiftly. It is wholly inexcusable that this Administration continues delaying assistance that Congress previously approved to rebuild after the 2017 hurricanes and now, the Island has been struck by another natural disaster, causing loss of life, significant property damage and, at least temporarily, another Island-wide power outage.”