Blog

12 Oct
0

Krueger, Fahy Introduce Bill Dramatically Expanding Future EV Infrastructure Build-Out to Help Meet Transportation-Sector Climate Goals

Albany – State Senator Liz Krueger and Assemblymember Patricia Fahy today announced the expansion of Assm. Fahy’s legislation (A.3179-A Fahy/S.7406 Krueger) to dramatically expand the growth of the state’s electric vehicle infrastructure. The legislation institutes requirements for EV-ready (equipped with a charging station) and EV-capable infrastructure in newly constructed or renovated commercial and residential buildings. New York lags far behind its goal of getting 850,000 zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) on the road by 2025; as of October 2020, only 56,000 ZEVs were registered in the state.

In 2021, Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation phasing out sales of gas-engine cars by 2035, requiring all new sales of passenger cars and trucks to be 100% zero-emission starting that year, in line with meeting ambitious emission targets under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) by cutting the impact of the state’s largest emissions contributor; the transportation sector. In order to meet its climate goals, New York must accelerate the electrification of its transportation sector.

The legislation applies only to newly constructed buildings and buildings undergoing major renovations. Covered one-to-three-family homes with off-street parking will be required to have one EV capable parking space, while multi-family homes with between two and ten parking spaces will be required to have at least 75% EV capable spaces and at least 20% of spaces equipped with a charging station. Multi-family homes with more than ten parking spaces will be required to have 100% of spaces be EV capable, with at least 40% of spaces equipped with a charging station.

Additionally, commercial buildings with between two and ten parking spaces must have 100% of spaces be EV capable, with at least 20% of spaces equipped with at least a Level 2 charging station, and those with more than ten parking spaces must have 100% of spaces be EV capable, with at least 40% of spaces equipped with at least a Level 2 charging station.

“In spite of all the actions New York State has taken to confront the climate crisis, we are still behind the curve,” said State Senator Liz Krueger. “The transportation sector is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in our state, and many parallel approaches will be required to transform it. Electrification of private vehicles is critical, but it can only be achieved with sufficient charging infrastructure in place. This bill will speed up the buildout of EV chargers across our state, and ensure that they will be more accessible to more New Yorkers across the income spectrum.”

“New York must accelerate the electrification of its transportation sector if we’re to meet our ambitious climate emission goals laid out in the CLCPA,” said Assemblymember Patricia Fahy. “It’s projected the state needs 73,000 Level 2 plugs and 2,600 fast-charging plugs by 2025 to support other transportation-sector targets, yet currently only about 600 fast-charging plugs and roughly 6,000 Level 2’s have been rolled out. By requiring more EV capable and ready charging stations across our building stock, we’re placing New York on a fast track to meeting its ambitious climate and emission goals.”

“We know that range anxiety is one of the biggest concerns when it comes to switching to electric vehicles. That’s why we need bold legislation to ensure we have the charging infrastructure necessary for a clean transportation future. We thank Assemblymember Fahy and Senator Krueger for expanding their legislation to require EV-ready and EV-capable infrastructure in newly constructed commercial and residential buildings. We’re looking forward to working together to pass this bill next session in order to encourage the switch to EVs and reduce transportation pollution across the state,” said Julie Tighe, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters (NYLCV).

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12 Oct
0

Know Before You Vote: The Five NYS Constitutional Amendments That Will Be On Your Ballot In November

A Virtual Town Hall recorded on Thursday, October 7th, 2021, with State Senator Liz Krueger; Patrick Berry, Counsel, Democracy Project, Brennan Center for Justice; Yurij Rudensky, Counsel, Democracy Project, Brennan Center for Justice; and Kate Kurera, Deputy Director, Environmental Advocates NY.

View the full video by clicking here.

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01 Oct
0

Supporting Your Child’s Emotional Wellness: Adolescent Mental Health During COVID-19

A Virtual Town Hall recorded on Thursday, September 30th, 2021, with State Senator Liz Krueger; Eliot Goldman, PhD, Manager, Curriculum Development, and Susannah Sanchez-Agosto, Training specialist, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; Erica Smith, PhD, LCSW, the Action Director of School Mental Health Programs for the Office of School Health DOHMH/DOE; Syra Madad, DHSc, MSc, MCP, Senior Director, System-wide Special Pathogens Program, H+H; and Benjamin Morden, Community Education Council President, District 2.

Full video of the event can be viewed by clicking here.

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23 Sep
0

COVID-19 Updates: Delta, Vaccinations, and Other Mitigations

A Virtual Town Hall recorded on Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021, with State Senator Liz Krueger and Dr. Celine Gounder, Infectious Disease Specialist and Epidemiologist at NYU Grossman School of Medicine and Bellevue Hospital.

Full video of the town hall can be viewed by clicking here.

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22 Sep
0

56 NYS Legislators Join Nearly 900 Around The Country Urging Supreme Court To Uphold Roe v. Wade

Albany and Washington, D.C. – On Monday, State Innovation Exchange’s Reproductive Freedom Leadership Council — a network of state legislators working to advance reproductive health, rights, and justice — organized an amicus brief in support of legal abortion in Dobbs v. Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court case likely to decide the future of reproductive freedom in the United States. The brief, signed by 897 state legislators, including 56 New York Assembly Members and Senators, all members of the New York State Bipartisan Pro-Choice Legislative Caucus, represents the strongest showing ever recorded of state legislators supporting legal abortion nationwide.

“For many years before we passed the Reproductive Health Act in New York, we were told by opponents of choice that it was unnecessary, because the Supreme Court would never consider overturning Roe v. Wade,” said Senator Liz Krueger, BPCLC Co-Chair. “Yet here we are, a mere two years after passing the RHA, and a Court packed with radical partisan extremists will decide whether or not 160 million Americans have the basic human right to control their own bodies. Overturning Roe would be the single most significant step backwards for American women in the history of our nation.”

“The Court’s recent decision to allow the clearly unconstitutional Texas anti-abortion law to take affect is truly appalling and goes against longstanding precedent” said Assembly Member Karines Reyes, R.N., BPCLC Co-Chair. “The judicial activism shown by the Court’s conservative majority is regressive and denies women in Texas equal protection under the law. I am heartened by the fact that New York State legislators, more than in any other state, have made the choice to join the legal fight in support of protecting a woman’s right to choose.”

The Mississippi law at the heart of the case banned abortion services after 15 weeks of pregnancy — well before the 24-week precedent established by Roe v. Wade. Despite multiple lower courts’ rulings that the law was blatantly unconstitutional, the Supreme Court agreed to hold oral arguments to determine whether all pre-viability abortion bans are constitutional. In their amicus brief, the state legislators argue that the Court’s failure to uphold the rule of law and precedent would result in disastrous consequences for women seeking abortions, as well as for their families.

Arguments in Dobbs v. Women’s Health Organization will come on the heels of Texas enacting a law that effectively bans all abortions in the state after six weeks of pregnancy and emboldens any citizen to surveil and harass virtually anyone under vigilante claims of noncompliance. The Texas law is just one of nearly 600 abortion restriction bills introduced in 2021—the worst year for state legislative attacks on abortion since the Roe decision. Many more restrictions are expected, as several state officials have indicated they are looking to mimic the Texas law in their own states.

Public sentiment is overwhelmingly in favor of keeping Roe, according to a recent Data for Progress poll, with 60% in favor and 23% against. By a 2–1 margin, voters also strongly disapprove of allowing citizens to sue individuals they suspect of helping someone get an abortion—the cornerstone of the Texas bill.

“The decision about whether to have an abortion is deeply personal,” said Senator Krueger. “It involves a complex weighing of a woman’s unique circumstances, her medical needs, her private morality, and her own body. That is why it is a decision that must be made by a woman and her healthcare provider alone – not by the government. This is the law of the land established under Roe, and the majority on the Court must now decide if they will uphold the law, or if they care so much about controlling women’s bodies that they are willing to destroy the reputation of the Court and turn back the march toward equality for half the population of this country.”

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12 Jul
0

Embracing our Multicultural City: What We Can Do to Combat Religious and Racial Hatred

A Virtual Town Hall recorded on Thursday, July 8th, 2021, with State Senator Liz Krueger; Rev. Dr. Chloe Breyer, Executive Director, Interfaith Center of New York; Rev. Mark E. Fowler, CEO, Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding; and Brittny-Jade E. Saunders, Deputy Commissioner for Strategic Initiatives, New York City Commission on Human Rights.

Full video of the event can be viewed by clicking here.

 

Links Mentioned:

Form to fill out for home vaccination https://forms.cityofnewyork.us/f/home

 

Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ) Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ) and NYC Against Hate, have been organizing to prevent and address hate violence for the last several years. JFREJ believe we need stronger, more effective solutions for hate violence and must invest in approaches that actually prevent violence through education and community-building.

You can learn more about NYC Against Hate https://www.jfrej.org/assets/uploads/NYCAH_Mission_C02.pdf

You can join JFREJ for their next canvass for community safety in Williamsburg on Tuesday, July 20th.  https://www.jfrej.org/events/2021/06/community-safety-canvass-3

 

Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding

https://tanenbaum.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Religious-and-Spiritual-Approaches-to-Anti-Racism.pdf

https://tanenbaum.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Anti-Semitism-What-Where-and-Why-2021.pdf

Five Ways to Combat Anti-Semitism https://tanenbaum.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Five-Ways-to-Combat-Anti-Semitism-NOW.pdf

Five Ways to Combat Extremists on Social Media https://tanenbaum.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Five-Ways-to-Counter-Extremists-on-Social-Media.pdf

Opposition to Places of Worship https://tanenbaum.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Opposition-to-Places-of-Worship-Fact-Sheet.pdf

Privilege, Race, and Religion in the U.S. with Dr. Khyati Y. Joshi – Webinar https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W24NxWCPVUw&list=PLVGHsrOw8RvOIEjhREbZ _tHmy1_vUZB16

Privilege, Race, and Religion in the U.S. with Robert P. Jones, Ph.D. – Webinar https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4IcwI0OmjI&list=PLVGHsrOw8RvOIEjhREbZ_tHmy1_vUZB16&index=3

 

New York City Commission on Human Rights Follow the Commission:

Twitter: @NYCCHR Facebook: @NYCCHR Instagram: @NYCCHR

Sign up for bystander intervention training visit https://www1.nyc.gov/site/cchr/community/bystander-intervention.page

Learn more about the Commission and its resources 2020 Annual Report (which discusses multiple efforts to combat hate) https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/cchr/downloads/pdf/publications/CCHR_Annual_Report_FY20.pdf Report on xenophobia, islamophobia and anti-Semitism https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/cchr/downloads/pdf/publications/MASAJS_Report.pdf Report on anti-Black racism  https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/cchr/downloads/pdf/publications/AntiBlackRacism_Report.pdf

View our campaigns https://www1.nyc.gov/site/cchr/media/i-am-muslim.page https://www1.nyc.gov/site/cchr/media/you-have-rights.page https://www1.nyc.gov/site/cchr/media/while-black-nyc.page https://www1.nyc.gov/site/cchr/media/jewish-new-yorkers.page https://www1.nyc.gov/site/cchr/media/covid19-campaign.page https://www1.nyc.gov/site/cchr/media/pair-believe.page

How to contact the commission: (212) 416-0197 https://www1.nyc.gov/site/cchr/about/report-discrimination.page

 

Interfaith Center of New York Website:  www.interfaithcenter.org    We the People https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=yCFTVhwNFGE

ICNY Religious Diversity Training Video for NYPD cadets  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FU_CaXDd1iM

Interfaith Civic Leadership Academy Video  https://interfaithcenter.org/icla-fellows-projects/

COVID-19 Mental Health Video for Diverse Faith Leaders: https://interfaithcenter.org/mental-health-toolkit/

 

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12 Jul
0

Senator Krueger Offers Testimony On The New York Blood Center Development Plans

Today, Senator Liz Krueger testified at the Manhattan Borough President’s Public Hearing on the New York Blood Center’s Application to Develop a Life Sciences Hub. The testimony can be viewed below, and can be downloaded as a PDF by clicking here.

 

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30 Jun
0

Statement From Senator Liz Krueger On Reforming The New York City Board Of Elections

New York City – State Senator Liz Krueger released the following statement today regarding the ongoing failure of the New York City Board of Elections to reliably administer elections:

“Yesterday’s fiasco over preliminary ranked choice voting results is one more demonstration – as if we needed it – of why there must be significant reform of the NYC Board of Elections. The number of screw-ups at every level of management that must have gone into the release of those incorrect numbers is mind boggling.

“We all know the fundamental reason for this ongoing incompetence – although there are noteworthy exceptions, the bulk of the BOE is staffed through political patronage rather than qualifications. My bill with Assm. Rozic would professionalize this vital civic body by requiring commissioners to have relevant qualifications, and create new co-executive directors with clearly delineated powers and responsibilities.

“It is absurd for New York City to continue down this path election after election. It’s time to enact the reforms we all know are so desperately needed to give New Yorkers full confidence in their elections.”

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Background on S.6226-A/A.5691-B (Krueger/Rozic)

In December of 2020, the Legislature held a roundtable on how to make the New York City Board of Elections more efficient and accountable to the people of New York City. A major theme of the day was a need to delineate responsibilities, increase training, and to create a process where employees of the board are capable of completing their responsibilities and accountable for their work.

S.6226 provides for clear delineation of the various responsibilities of the commissioners of the board of elections, and provides for clear powers, responsibilities, and duties for the co-executive directors. The bill develops a methodology where the co-executive directors can be held accountable through processes designed to remove and appoint co-execuive directors. Most importantly, the bill creates various training and continuing education requirements for commissioners, co-executive directors, and staff so that all employees and managers have the skills needed to administer elections in the City efficiently, accurately, and that the voting rights of New Yorkers are protected.

Summary of Specific Provisions:

Section one of the bill amends section 3-200 of the Election Law to require the State Board of Elections to prescribe certain qualifications that shall apply to the commissioners of election of the board of elections for the city of New York. These qualifications would ensure that commissioners have the skills and knowledge to exercise the responsibilities and duties of their position. Commissioners at the board of elections of the city of New York would be required to complete trainings conducted by the state board within 60 days after they commence their duties.

Section two of the bill amends section 3-212 of the Election Law to require additional budgetary responsibility at the board of elections. The director of the management and budget would be required to notify the co-executive directors, the mayor, the speaker of the city council, and the public advocate if it is expected that the city board of elections would exceed its appropriation. The co-executive directors of such board would be responsible for responding to such director a projection of the amount that they will exceed their appropriation, and relevant information justifying such excess expenditures.

Section three of the bill adds new subdivisions to section 3-300 of the election law delineating the powers and duties of the co-executive directors of the city board of elections, and the board of elections of the city of New York (The board). The board will be responsible for promulgating regulations, issuing orders and making decisions regarding general policies affecting the administration of elections of the city of New York. The bill expressly reserves certain powers and functions for the board, including but not limited to the designation of election districts and poll sites, approving procurement contracts valued at greater than one million dollars, choosing voting machines and systems, canvassing election results, making determinations regarding the nomi- nation and designation of candidates, and, the form and content of ballots and challenges to voter registration.

The co-executive directors, which must be of separate political party affiliation, would now be appointed by a majority vote of the mayor of the city of New York, the speaker of the city council and the public advocate, with the provision that the Mayor must be part of the majori- ty. The co-executive directors would be chosen for appointment from a list developed by the commissioners of election representing each political party. The co-executive directors would have the same powers and
duties delegated to local boards of elections under the Election Law, including but not limited to the appointment, salaries and removal of all staff, such as poll workers, inspectors and voter machine technicians and all matters relating to voter registration and enrollment, cancellation of voter registration, policies providing for appropriate ongoing training of employees, policies establishing employee evaluations, change of voter status and registration records, except where such powers are expressly reserved for the board. The co-executive directors must exercise their powers in a manner not inconsistent with the policies established by the Board.

Section four amends section 4-136 of the election law to include the purchase of goods, services, and technology to the list of items for which the city board of elections can procure from the city. The board shall comply with the rules and regulations of the city procurement policy board and applicable state law.

Section five allows the current executive director and deputy executive director to assume the roles of co-executive directors until the commissioners complete the required process for appointing co-executive directors.

Section six provides that the bill shall take effect sixty days after enactment.

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28 Jun
0

Krueger and Epstein Introduce Bill To Reform Gubernatorial Appointments

Albany – Today, State Senator Liz Krueger, Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, and Assemblymember Harvey Epstein introduced a bill (S.7264) to prevent anyone currently serving as an employee of the Executive Chamber, or a registered lobbyist from being appointed to serve in positions subject to Senate confirmation or on boards of industrial development agencies.

“If our state government is going to earn and retain the trust of New Yorkers, we must ensure that those individuals who are given positions of authority over public funds or other critical public decisions are fully independent,” said Senator Krueger. “That means there must be no question that appointees’ first loyalty will be to the body they are serving and the people of New York, not to their employer, whether that is a lobbying firm with interested clients, or a Governor with a political agenda.”

“The health of New York’s democracy relies on participation from its citizens, and for New Yorkers to get involved, they need to be assured of the integrity of their government,” said Assemblymember Epstein. “This legislation aims to eliminate the opportunity for both the perception and reality of pay-to-play politics with the goal of increasing New Yorkers’ confidence in their government and ensuring independence when it comes to spending public dollars.”

S.7264 amends the public officers law, public authorities law, general municipal law, and the Urban Development Corporation Act to prevent anyone currently serving as a state officer or employee of the Executive Chamber, or a registered lobbyist from being nominated by the Governor to serve on any boards or agencies that require Senate approval, the boards of any public authorities, the Empire State Development Corporation, or on an industrial development agency.

Individuals nominated or appointed to boards, authorities, or commissions have a responsibility to be independent, and to act in the best interest of the authority. Preventing those registered as lobbyists, or employees of the Executive Chamber, from serving on boards or authorities, would bolster public trust in government and increase government effectiveness. Doing so would also guarantee that individuals serving in these positions have a level of independence and freedom from conflicts of interest consistent with the law and an authority’s intended purpose.

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01 Jun
0

Emergency Rental Assistance Program Starts June 1

NY State’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) will start accepting applications for the COVID Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) starting on Tuesday, June 1, 2021 at https://otda.ny.gov/programs/emergency-rental-assistance/. Enacted through this year’s state budget, ERAP is expected to provide up to $2.7 billion in emergency assistance to low and moderate-income tenants impacted by the pandemic.

Below, you will find an overview of ERAP, how to apply, organizations that can provide application assistance, and who to contact with more questions. Please note that while the information is current as of this writing, some details may change over the coming weeks and months. Since most of the funding for ERAP has come from the federal government, it is possible that certain aspects of the program may need to be altered in response to new federal guidance. OTDA will also be operating a designated ERAP call center to answer questions and provide assistance that can be reached at 844-NY1-RENT (844-691-7468).

As a reminder, state eviction protections were extended through August 31, 2021 for tenants who lost income or had increased costs during the pandemic, or for whom moving would pose a significant health risk. In order to be protected, tenants must fill out a hardship declaration form and submit it to their landlord and/or the court. The hardship declaration form and more details are available online at http://housingcourtanswers.org/hardship-declaration/. Tenants with pending eviction cases are strongly urged to reach out to Housing Court Answers at 212-962-4795 for guidance and to be referred to free legal assistance.

 

Who is eligible for ERAP?

New York State tenants may be eligible for ERAP they meet all the following criteria:

·      Household income before taxes is at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI).  AMI levels for NYC by household size are available online at: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/hra/help/new-york-emergency-rental-assistance-program-erap.page.

·      A member of the household received unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs or experienced other financial hardship, directly or indirectly, due to the pandemic.

·      The applicant owes past due rent at their primary residence that was accumulated on or after March 13, 2020.

·      The applicant is at risk of housing instability or homelessness (this can be demonstrated by having rental arrears owed on or after March 13, 2020).

There are no immigration status requirements to qualify for the program.

 

What benefits will ERAP provide?

Households approved for ERAP may receive:

·      Up to 12 months of rental arrears payments for rents accrued on or after March 13, 2020.

·      Up to 3 months of additional rental assistance if the household is expected to spend 30 percent or more of their gross monthly income to pay for rent.

·      Up to 12 months of electric or gas utility arrears payments for arrears that have accrued on or after March 13, 2020.

Funds will be sent directly to building owners and utility companies; tenants will be notified by OTDA of payments made on their behalf.  If an owner is difficult to locate or does not otherwise provide information needed to complete the application, funds will be held for up to 180 days to allow sufficient time to locate the landlord and collect required information.

 

How can tenants apply for ERAP? 

Tenants will be able to apply online via OTDA’s website starting on June 1 at otda.ny.gov/erap.  While OTDA has not yet posted the application as of this writing, detailed information is currently available about eligibility criteria, the application process, and the documents that will be required to be submitted along with the application.

 

Is assistance available to help with applications?

New York City has contracted with community based organizations in all five boroughs to help tenants with the application process. A list of these organizations and their contact information is available online at https://www1.nyc.gov/site/hra/help/new-york-emergency-rental-assistance-program-erap.page (see ERAP Enroller Organizations). These organizations are the two organizations that have been contracted to help Manhattan residents apply:

Catholic Charities Community Services (serving residents in all of Manhattan except zip codes 10002, 10003, 10009, 10013)

https://cccsny.org/

888-744-7900

University Settlement (primary catchment area is zip codes 10002, 10003, 10009, 10013)

https://www.universitysettlement.org/

212-505-1995

 

How will applications be prioritized?

During the first 30 days after June 1, ERAP will prioritize applicants with incomes at or below 50% of AMI and who have been unemployed for at least 90 days, have eviction cases pending against them, are veterans or domestic violence survivors, live in buildings with 20 or fewer units and/or live in a community that was disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. After the first 30 days, applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis, as long as funds remain available. Funds are limited so all eligible households should apply as soon as possible regardless of whether they are in a priority group. More information on priority categories is available at https://otda.ny.gov/programs/emergency-rental-assistance/#eligibility.

 

Will tenants found eligible for ERAP receive any other protections?

In order to receive ERAP payments, landlords must agree to waive any late fees due on past-due rent and not increase tenants’ monthly rent or evict them for one year, except in limited circumstances. See https://otda.ny.gov/programs/emergency-rental-assistance/faq.asp for more details.

 

Can landlords apply on behalf of their tenants?

Building owners can start an ERAP application, but both the landlord and tenant must complete certain parts of the application. When a landlord starts the application, the tenant will receive an email or text from OTDA asking him or her to complete the required tenant information.  See https://otda.ny.gov/programs/emergency-rental-assistance/faq.asp for more details.

 

What if I have more questions?

OTDA has posted answers to many frequently asked questions about ERAP on its website at https://otda.ny.gov/programs/emergency-rental-assistance/faq.asp. The agency will also be operating a designated ERAP call center to answer questions and provide assistance that can be reached at 844-NY1-RENT (844-691-7468). Please note that the call center may not open until June 1.

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