Calendar of Events
Policy Matters March 2017
So here we are, the last day of March and the last official day of budget season. We’ve been pounding the pavement and haunting the halls of the Capital, and will have the results of our budget advocacy out for you in the coming weeks. Fingers and toes crossed, we will have more good news to brighten your day, in addition to the good news about foreclosure prevention funding in the consumer section below.
Until then, here are the happenings from March. As you’ll see, it’s been a little busy…
Home Stability Support continues to march on in its progress towards inclusion in the state budget. HSS has gotten several key endorsements and mentions:
- New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio endorsed the proposal.
- The New York City Comptroller did an analysis that found HSS will reduce the NYC shelter population by 80% for families with children and 40% for single adults over 10 years.
- The New York Times editorial board talked about HSS, calling it “promising.”
- The Rent Stabilization Association, a group representing a large number of NYC landlords, endorsed HSS.
- The Bronx Free Press published an op-ed from Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi, who has been tireless on the front lines, pushing for HSS.
- Assemblymember Hevesi appeared on Capital Tonight to talk about HSS.
- The Legal Aid Society in NYC won a critical case for some New York City residents, but we still need HSS for the rest of the state and families without minor children in NYC.
- Four of NYC’s five Borough Presidents endorsed HSS.
- The Economist mentioned HSS while talking about homelessness in NYC.
- In a letter to Governor Cuomo, 95 faith leaders from around the state endorsed HSS.
- The Public News Service published a story about the endorsement from faith leaders.
- Syracuse.com published an op-ed by Rev. Peter Cook, ED of the NYS Council of Churches, one of the groups that signed on to a letter of support for HSS.
- City Lab mentioned HSS while talking about other issues related to homelessness in NYC.
- The United Federation of Teachers announced their endorsement of HSS.
- The New York City Bar threw their support behind HSS in a letter to Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders.
- And, finally, the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus endorsed HSS in a letter to Governor Cuomo.
And that’s just for March.
Child care is in crisis. There simply isn’t enough funding to provide subsidies for all families that are eligible, and that needs to change. Advocates from all over the state were trending, urging legislators to #FundChildCare.
We were proud to stand next to colleagues and supporters at an event hosted by the New York Immigration Coalition to call for increased funding for immigrant legal services. Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow Nabila Taj, of our Westchester office, spoke at the rally, calling for greater resources for immigrants outside New York City.
Immigrants in New York State contribute more than $1.1 billion in state and local taxes. They pay their fair share!
The National Council of La Raza created a know your rights page with information on what to do if ICE comes do your door.
Suffolk County launched a hotline for homeowners at risk of foreclosure. We’re happy to be included on the list of local organizations to help Long Islanders avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes.
GOOD NEWS! The Protect New York Homes funding campaign scored a major victory with the announcement that Attorney General Eric Schneiderman will continue funding foreclosure prevention services through the end of March 2018.
It was a crazy month in the health world. We joined with our national and state partners on the #BecauseOfMedicaid and #ProtectOurCare campaigns, aimed at stopping the AHCA. In the end, as we all know, the bill fell apart, perhaps under its own weight. Now we’re ready to fight the next battle.
Our Health Law Attorney, Liz Siegel, was at a rally for funding for direct care workers.
Funding for Community Health Advocates is not yet settled in the budget, and advocacy will likely go on until the last minute.
No victim of domestic violence or any other crime should be afraid to call 911 because doing so would risk the loss of their housing- but this is what some communities’ nuisance ordinances do inadvertently. There is legislation that would rectify this, and the joint memo of support that we prepared with the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project has been updated.
The New York State Unified Court System announced it will keep expanding access to courts for limited English proficient and hard of hearing New Yorkers.
Advocates urged legislative leaders to keep SWEAT legislation in the mix at budget negotiations. The Securing Wages Earned Against Threat legislation would help New Yorkers secure the pay they’ve earned and help honest businesses compete fairly.
Remember, you are not alone. We are with you, fighting right by your side.
The Policy Team at Empire Justice Center
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