30 Jun

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.”


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

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

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 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 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:

·      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  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 (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)


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



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


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 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 for more details.


What if I have more questions?

OTDA has posted answers to many frequently asked questions about ERAP on its website at 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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28 May

Costs and Benefits: Healthcare and Nutrition

A Virtual Town Hall recorded on Thursday, May 6th, 2021, with State Senator Liz Krueger, Michelle Berney, Director, and Leslie Bailey, Director of Training, Benefits Plus Learning Center, Community Service Society.

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

The PowerPoint presentation can be downloaded as a PDF by clicking here.

Links and Info Mentioned:

– New York Board of Elections

– Rent Relief Program

– Manhattan Enroller Assistance Organizations

Catholic Charities Community Services 888-744-7900

University Settlement – For individuals living below 59th Street Phone:212.505.1995 Email:

– COVID Vaccine Incentives

For a free lottery ticket: get vaccinated at the Javits Center by May 28 For a free 7-day MetroCard, get vaccinated at Grand Central Station or Penn Station by May 29. Vaccination incentives at City-Run sites: Full scholarship details:

– NYC is expanding eligibility for the in-home vaccination program. Constituents can sign up for in-home vaccination by filling out the form at, or by calling 877-VAX4NYC.


– Enroll in Health Insurance: Community Service Society Navigator Network 888-614-5400 call to schedule an appointment

– For a complete listing of Navigators in NYS go to

– CSS Benefits Plus Learning Center This is the main number for everything we are discussing. Benefit Counseling Assistance: Public Benefit and Housing Information Line 212-614-5552 (must leave a message with name and phone number)

– NYC Health and Hospitals 1-844-692-4692


– Benefits Plus Learning Center Website: (SNAP Calculator and more)

– Affordable Dental Services

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24 May

Senator Krueger’s Roundtable for Boomers and Seniors, Session VI – Reimagining Later Life Care Models

Session VI – Reimagining Later Life Care Models

Thursday, May 20th 10 am- 11:30 am

What kinds of services and supports do we need in order to live with comfort and dignity during the latter part of our lives? Many supports available for older adults today are not person centered. During the final Roundtable of the 2021 series, you will hear from the experts about what quality medical, home, and nursing home care could look like to support our older selves.



– Elana Kieffer, MBA, Acting Director, Center for Healthy Aging, New York Academy of Medicine

– Gilbert Oberfield, JD, MSJ, Lawyer / Healthcare Business and Policy Professional

– Carla Perissinotto, MD, MPH, Associate Chief of Geriatrics, University of California, San Francisco


Links Mentioned:

– Link to CDC guidance:

– Link to article that provides a breakdown of mask-wearing and social distancing for fully-vaccinated and unvaccinated people:


– Center for Healthy Aging:

– Image:NYC –

– KFF Study:

– Op-Ed by Dr. Perissinotto:


– To find a daily money manager that focuses on older adults, go here:

– Sen. Krueger’s Senior Resource Guide:







– OATS is an excellent organization that provides training on tech towards older adults

– New program in New York State to provide digital training for older adults: –

– LiveOn NY hosted a mayoral forum on aging where you can hear the candidates’ views

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14 May

Small Business Recovery Resources

A Virtual Town Hall recorded on Thursday, May 13th, 2021, co-hosted by State Senator Liz Krueger and the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce.

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



– Jessica Walker, President and CEO, Manhattan Chamber of Commerce

– Natalie Mendell, Director of Business Recovery, Manhattan Chamber of Commerce

– Senator Anna Kaplan, Chair, Commerce, Economic Development, and Small Business Committee, New York State Senate

– Sylvia Rivera, Economic Development Specialist Small Business Administration


Important Links:

Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, New York Small Business Assistance Network. The email for questions is:

Small Business Administration Website

SBA New York District Office (NYDO) Resource Guide

SBA Resource Partners Network – Local Assistance

COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) inquiries, please contact the Disaster Customer Service Center at or 1-800- 659-2955

Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) apply at:

RRF applications and Questions at:  (844) 279-8898


PowerPoint Presentations:

Manhattan Chamber of Commerce

Small Business Resource Network

Sen. Kaplan, NYS Small Business Assistance Programs

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10 May

Managing Debt

A Virtual Town Hall recorded on Thursday, May 6th, 2021, with State Senator Liz Krueger; Ellen Davidson, Staff Attorney, Civil Practice, Legal Aid Society; Sarah Ludwig, Founder and Co-Director, New Economy Project; and Raquel Villagra, Staff Attorney, New Economy Project.


Ellen Davidson’s Links

COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program (CEPAP) Fact Sheet:

Economic Hardship Declaration:​

Legal Aid Eviction Information:​

Ellen Davidson’s PowerPoint Slides:


New Economy Project Links NYC Financial Justice Hotline: Call: 212-925-4929

Contact New Economy Project online:



If you need individual credit counseling, the links below may be helpful. NYC’s Financial Empowerment Centers for financial counseling:

and more information is available through Neighborhood Trust’s website as well:

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30 Apr

Senator Krueger’s Roundtable for Boomers and Seniors, Session V – Advanced Care Planning Part 2: For Yourself and Your Finances

Session V – Advanced Care Planning Part 2: For Yourself and Your Finances Thursday, April 29th 10 am- 11:30 am

Learn about advanced care planning tools for yourself, including medical needs, Medicaid considerations, guardianship, and making funeral arrangements; and for your finances, including Powers of Attorney, trusts, and last wills and testaments. The discussion will emphasize that it is never too late to start planning, and will help you understand the basic procedures and documents you should consider when engaging in advanced care planning.

View the full video by clicking here.



– Wendy Handler, LMSW, Director, Onsite and Special Programs, DOROT

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


Important Links:

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

– Advanced Care Planning PowerPoint Presentation

– Sample Power of Attorney

– Which Service is Appropriate

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23 Apr

Senator Krueger’s Roundtable for Boomers and Seniors, Session IV – Living Well: What Do We Value Most?

Senator Krueger’s Roundtable for Boomers and Seniors, 2021
Being Mortal: Thinking about End of Life Decision Making
Session IV – Living Well: What Do We Value Most?
Thursday, April 22nd 10 am – 11:15 am

Thinking about our own mortality can make many of us uncomfortable and afraid, particularly as we age. Ironically, it is our mortality that makes life valuable. Join us in a life-affirming Roundtable discussion that will spur us to acknowledge that death is a part of life, and will help us to understand that life’s finite nature is what ultimately gives our lives meaning and brings us joy.


– Rabbi Angela Warnick Buchdahl, Senior Rabbi, Central Synagogue

– Jeannie Blaustein, PhD, D. Ministry, Founding Board Chair, Reimagine End of Life, Adjunct Faculty, Pace University, Psychology

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


Important Links:

Elder Abuse Resources

– In an emergency call 911

– Carter Burden Community Elder Abuse Mistreatment and Abuse Prevention Program

– NYC ElderAbuse Center Helpline for Family and Friends of someone who is being abused 212.746.6905

– Manhattan District Attorney’s Elder Abuse Hotline 212.335.9007

Online Programs:

– Reimagine End of Life: Link for entire program schedule to plan for end of life, grief support, build resilience and live fully and so much more!

– Free Advanced Care Planning Workshop on Saturday, 4/24:

– Free Grief Workshop on Thursday, 4/29:

– Free Community Vigil to mourn the lives of all lost to Covid-19, Sunday, 5/9:

Two Books to Read:

– Ira Byock: The Four Things That Matter Most:

– BJ Miller and Shoshana Berger: A Beginner’s Guide to the End:


– NYT Opinion – Thank God for the Poets, Margaret Renkl:

– NYT Opinion- My Second Phase of Adulthood, Charles Blow:

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16 Apr

New York City: What Can We Do After Getting a COVID-19 Vaccination?

A Virtual Town Hall recorded on Thursday, April 15th, 2021, with State Senator Liz Krueger and Dr. Celine Gounder, an Infectious Disease Specialist and Epidemiologist at NYU Grossman School of Medicine and Bellevue Hospital, a CNN Medical Analyst, and a former Biden Transition COVID advisor.
View full video of the event by clicking here.

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