Blog

16 Mar
0

Senator Krueger Speaking on the 2021 Senate One-House Budget Resolution

Today, Senator Krueger led the debate on the New York State Senate one-house budget resolution for the FY 2021-2022 budget.

To view video of Senator Krueger’s remarks, click here.

For more information on this year’s one-house budget, click here.

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12 Mar
0

Conspiracy Theories: How They Take Hold & How We Can Stop Them

A Virtual Town Hall recorded on Friday, March 11th, 2021, with State Senator Liz Krueger and Richard A. Friedman, MD, Professor of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell College of Medicine and New York Times Op-Ed Columnist.

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08 Mar
0

Telehealth Basics: What It Is, and How to Access the Service

A Virtual Town Hall recorded on Friday, March 5th, 2021, with State Senator Liz Krueger and Dr. Sarah Czaja, Director for the Center on Aging and Behavioral Research at Weill Cornell.

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25 Feb
0

Statement From Senator Liz Krueger On Allegations Of Sexual Harassment By Governor Cuomo

New York City – State Senator Liz Krueger released the following statement today regarding allegations made by Lindsey Boylan of sexual harassment by Governor Cuomo:

“All credible allegations of sexual harassment must be taken seriously and given a thorough, transparent, and independent investigation. Unfortunately, the most obvious body to undertake such an investigation — JCOPE — is compromised and ineffective. I have proposed what I believe to be the most effective, long-term solution: passage of my constitutional amendment to create an independent investigative body for these purposes. Absent that, we may be forced to depend on JCOPE, where the Governor’s appointees will need to be excluded from voting against an investigation.”

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19 Feb
0

Sen. Krueger’s Roundtable for Boomers and Seniors, Session II – Health Care Proxies and Living Wills

**INFORMATION IN THIS VIDEO IS SPECIFIC TO NEW YORK STATE, AND MAY NOT APPLY IN OTHER STATES**

This year’s Roundtable series will bring together experts to offer concrete tools to assist with end of life planning, and provide a forum to ignite our imagination about what we value and how we want to live as we age.

Session – II: Health Care Proxies and Living Wills Thursday, February 18th, 2021 10 am – 11:30 am

Learn about health care proxies and living wills, both key components of advanced care planning. The discussion will include information about how to choose a health care proxy, complete an advanced directive, who to share it with, and the importance of communicating your wishes and your values about life.

Video of the event can be viewed by clicking here.

Speakers:

–Sally Kaplan, Program Director, What Matters: Caring Conversations about the End of Life, Marlene Meyerson JCC

–Tina Janssen-Spinosa, Senior Staff Attorney, Total Life Choices Program Coordinator, NYLAG

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17 Feb
0

Senator Krueger Introduces Bill To Repeal Fossil Fuel Related Tax Expenditures

Albany – Today New York State Senator Liz Krueger, Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, introduced legislation (S.4816) to repeal over $300 million in annual state tax giveaways that encourage the use of fossil fuels. New York State annually forgoes a total of around $1.5 billion in revenue through fossil fuel related tax expenditures. S.4816, which builds on legislation that passed the Senate last year, would begin the process of aligning the state’s tax policy with the goals of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which passed in 2019.
“In the past few years, New York State has taken unprecedented action to mitigate the effects of climate change, but there are still areas where we are on the wrong track,” said Senator Krueger. “We spend $1.5 billion every year on tax subsidies that support the use of dirty fossil fuels. Some of these subsidies are needed to help hard-working New Yorkers, but many are just sops to an outdated industry, wasting taxpayer dollars and making our climate crisis worse. This bill represents a down payment, a first step we can take right now to begin aligning our tax policy with our climate goals, by repealing the most egregious subsidies. In the face of a significant revenue shortfall, now is the perfect time to get rid of these counterproductive subsidies.”

New York State spends over $1.5 billion every year on fossil fuel related tax breaks, credits, and refunds, distorting the market and subsidizing the use of climate-destabilizing fossil fuels. Some of these tax expenditures may serve a compelling public interest such as offering heating assistance to low-income New Yorkers. However, a significant proportion of the spending serves to prop-up outdated industries or reward energy inefficiencies leading to a double cost to taxpayers – once for the direct tax expenditure and again for the environmental damage resulting from the continued burning of fossil fuels.

S.4816 begins the process of aligning New York state tax policy with our statutory climate goals by repealing some of the more egregious fossil fuel related tax expenditures. Repeal of these expenditures would save the state roughly $334 million annually, an estimate based on information available in the Annual Report on New York State Tax Expenditures, produced by the Division of Budget.

Among the annual tax expenditures that would be repealed by S.4816 are:

  • $118 million for airline fuel
  • $11.3 million for bunker fuel used in container ships
  • $4 million for fracked gas infrastructure
  • $57.6 million for liquid petroleum gases
  • $4.8 million for diesel, and Nos. 4, 5, and 6 fuel oil used in manufacturing

Conor Bambrick, Director of Climate Policy for Environmental Advocates NY, said, “In order to successfully fight climate change, we have to stop playing for the other side. Repealing fossil fuel subsidies matches the intent of our climate law and will allow New York to realign its budget priorities elsewhere. This includes reversing the budget raid of community clean energy funds from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. These funds should go frontline communities to reduce energy costs, create jobs, cut pollution, and help us toward our energy goals.”

Rich Schrader, New York Policy Director at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), said: “The fossil fuel industry is responsible for the climate crisis, endangers public health, and contaminates our water and air. Eliminating fossil fuel subsidies would make more public spending available, which is especially important now given the depleted state resources during the current economic downturn, and is essential for an equitable transition toward a healthier, more sustainable, and just future for New Yorkers. We thank Senator Liz Krueger for championing this legislation and her continued leadership on climate issues.”Roger Downs, Conservation Director for the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter, said: “At a time when New York is facing both a fiscal crisis and a public health emergency, continuing to finance the degradation of our own air quality and the destabilization of the global climate makes little sense. Wiping the slate clean of New York State tax breaks, credits, refunds, and subsidies for corporations who continue to despoil the planet is a more than a reasonable fiscal policy during a pandemic. The Sierra Club thanks Senator Liz Krueger for her unwavering leadership in advancing New York’s climate commitments, protecting public health and removing the financial  barriers to achieving both those goals.”

Liz Moran, Environmental Policy Director for NYPIRG, said: “The fossil fuel industry spent billions of dollars over the course of decades lying about their role in causing the climate crisis – now they must be made to pay up. The worsening climate crisis and current fiscal downfall cannot be placed upon the shoulders of everyday New Yorkers. One very simple solution is ending nonessential fossil fuel subsidies. NYPIRG thanks Senator Krueger for her leadership on this issue and looks forward to working with the legislature to address fossil fuel subsidies this legislative session.”

Liam Smith, Co-Director of Government Affairs for New York Youth Climate Leaders (NY2CL), said: “At a time when New York faces an unprecedented $15 billion budget shortfall, we cannot afford to hand out hundreds of millions of dollars to the fossil fuel industry. Eliminating non-essential fossil fuel tax expenditures will generate funding for essential services like healthcare and education while protecting our environment from the threat of climate change. NY2CL commends Senator Krueger for her leadership on this issue and hopes to see this bill incorporated into the SFY 2021-22 budget.”

Jordan Dale, of 350NJ-Rockland said: “The New York state budget is under severe stress and the future of humanity is threatened by climate change. Eliminating subsidies for fossil fuels helps with both. It is a no-brainer, and we must demand that our leaders in Albany act on it immediately.”

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16 Feb
0

Senators Call For State Department Of Labor To Forgive Unemployment Overpayments

Albany – Today New York State Senator Liz Krueger and 11 other senators released a letter to state Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon, urging the Department to follow the example of other states by waiving or forgiving repayment obligations for New Yorkers who have received overpayments of unemployment benefits through no fault of their own. The letter from the senators can be viewed here and is reprinted below.

“Out of work New Yorkers have suffered enough in this pandemic – they don’t need the state pounding on their door to collect debts they never even knew they had incurred in the first place,” said Senator Krueger. “These overpayments were the result of mistakes made by the state, and the state should pay for them. Almost a year into the pandemic I still have constituents calling my office every day because they can’t get a response from DOL on their unemployment claims. Let’s use Department resources to help those people, instead of trying to collect from our neighbors in need.”

In 2020, the Department of Labor overpaid more than $114 million in benefits to New Yorkers, often as a result of errors made by their employers or by the Department itself. Recently, individuals who received overpayments through no fault of their own are being ordered to pay back thousands of dollars in benefits for which they believed they were eligible.

Under the terms of the federal CARES Act, states were required to recover overpayments, with no option to waive them. However, as a result of the federal COVID relief bill passed in December, states now have the option to waive or forgive overpayments, as New York State chose to do with federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation provided through the 2008 Economic Stimulus Act.

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February 12, 2021

Commissioner Roberta Reardon
New York State Department of Labor
Building 12
W.A. Harriman Campus
Albany, NY 12240

Dear Commissioner Reardon,

As New Yorkers continue to navigate the economic crisis brought on by COVID-19 and the resulting high levels of unemployment, we acknowledge the changes the Department of Labor has made to ensure that New Yorkers receive the benefits they are owed. Today, we write to urge the Department of Labor to address the issue of unemployment overpayments, and follow the example of other states that are waiving or forgiving repayment obligations.

We are hearing from many constituents who received letters from the Department of Labor notifying them that they owe back thousands of dollars of what they believed were legitimate benefits. The collection of unemployment overpayments is a particularly troublesome burden on individuals during the ongoing pandemic and economic crisis.

We understand that when the CARES Act expanded unemployment benefits to self-employed and other workers, it set a standard that the overpayment of federal dollars should be collected and did not provide a waiver, forcing states to recover the funds. However, with the recent passage of the December COVID Relief Bill, states now have the ability to waive or forgive these overpayments. Many states are opting in through forgiveness in instances of financial hardship for the recipient or due to error on the part of the employer or the unemployment agency.

At a time when it appears that the New York State Department of Labor is still overwhelmed by volume of current claims, prioritizing departmental resources on collecting overpayment could be reconsidered. Under the temporary federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08) program as part of the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, New York enacted relief for the collection of overpayment. The 2008 extended benefits were analogous to the 2020 extended benefits and there was a system put in place to mitigate the impact of overpayments.

Thank you for updating labor policy to account for the new realities during the pandemic. We urge the Department of Labor to consider methods to mitigate the impact overpayments and provide relief for those affected.

Thank you,

James Gaughran
Andrew Gounardes
Brad Hoylman
Liz Krueger
Rachel May
Shelley Mayer
Elijah Reichlin-Melnick
Zellnor Myrie
Jessica Ramos
Sean Ryan
James Skoufis
Kevin Thomas

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22 Jan
0

Sen. Krueger’s Roundtable for Boomers and Seniors, Session I – Palliative Care and Hospice

This year’s Roundtable series will bring together experts to offer concrete tools to assist with end of life planning, and provide a forum to ignite our imagination about what we value and how we want to live as we age.

Session I: Palliative Care and Hospice
Thursday, January 21st, 2021 10 am – 11:30 am

View full video of the even by clicking here.

Learn about palliative care and hospice services, and what those services can provide to people who are living with serious illness, and for those who decide disease directed treatment is no longer meeting your goals.

Speakers:
– R. Sean Morrison, MD, Ellen and Howard C. Katz Chair Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at Mount Sinai

– Brenda Green, LMSW, APHSW-C Social Worker for Palliative Care at Home Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at Mount Sinai

– Adrienne Rudden, DNP, AGACNP-BC, ACHPN Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner, Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at Mount Sinai

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20 Jan
0

Senator Krueger Urges Governor To Create Centralized Vaccine Appointment System

New York – Today, State Senator Liz Krueger released a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo, urging him to create a statewide, functional, centralized vaccine appointment system. The letter can be downloaded as a PDF here, and can be viewed below.

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15 Jan
0

COVID-19 and the Vaccines

A Virtual Town Hall recorded on Thursday, January 14th, 2021, with State Senator Liz Krueger, Dr. Torian Easterling, First Deputy Commissioner, and Dr. Dave A. Chokshi, Commissioner, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

View the full event by clicking here.

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