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14 Feb
0

State Senate Democrats Push for a Debate on Ethics Package

By Meghan Keneally

State Senate Democrats unveiled a comprehensive ethics package today and called on it to pass quickly in order to reinsure voters that an election season promise is being honored.

Minority leader John Sampson said that the Democrats’ six-part bill that will cover a variety of ethically-dubious areas including client disclosure requirements, proper use of campaign funds, the need to eliminate the existing ‘pay to play’ attitude, and the creation of an independent redistricting commission…

…Sen. Liz Krueger’s bill would insure that public officials and candidates only use campaign contributions for the campaign, citing college tuition fees, foreign trips and swimming pool maintenance fees (taking a jab at former Republican State Sen. Joe Bruno) as examples of misuse. Her bill would also stipulate that all funds have to be either returned or given to other causes within four years of an official leaving office. She said that political donations, charitable giving, or prorated return to the donors would all qualify as proper ways to get rid of the money in a campaign fund…

Full Article

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14 Feb
0

Liz’s Helps Crack Down on Identity Theft With Passage of New Legislation

(Albany, NY) – Last week, the Senate passed Legislation introduced by Senator Krueger, which will help crack down on illegal activity linked to identity theft. Under the new law, if a crime is committed in connection with identity theft, the courts will have the jurisdiction to hear the crimes together.  The bill passed the Senate with overwhelming support and is now being sent to the Assembly where it is sponsored by Joe Lentol (D-Brooklyn), Chair of the Codes Committee.

A likely example in which this law would be applied is if someone were to break into a house, steals a credit card from within the house and then goes on a shopping spree throughout the State.  Currently, if these separate infractions are within different jurisdictions then they would require different trials in separate courts, however this Legislation consolidates the process and allows the charges to be heard in one court.  Other examples of charges that would be interrelated to identity theft are larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, criminal solicitation and schemes to defraud and forgery.

“This is a perfect example of logical Legislation. It will allow for the prosecution of several related cases based on one set of facts which will promote efficiency, without sacrificing fairness to the defendant,” Senator Krueger said.

The new system will allow for multiple convictions before the same court, which will allow courts to be fully aware of all related infractions when determining sentencing.  This coordination will also better serve the economy of resources for the parties and courts involved.

As of 2007, New York ranked ninth in the nation in identity thefts, according to the Bureau of Justice, with over 16,000 people falling victim to the crime.

“Identity theft has become a tremendous problem, not only here in New York but all around the world. It’s not just a matter of theft.  It’s also a crime that emotionally violates someone’s sense of control over their own life.  By streamlining the prosecution of those individuals who steal the identity and security of others, I hope we will move one step closer toward ending the spread of this despicable crime.”

Contact: Katie Kincaid | kincaid.nysenate@gmail.com | 646-784-0485

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03 Feb
0

Liz on the “Bike Wars” of the East Side

Bike Wars

By Allen Houston
Simmering Bike Resentment

East Siders may have grown used to delivery guys on bicycles hopping sidewalks and dangerously whizzing in and out of pedestrians as they rush to drop off Chinese food or pizza. But they seem to have finally reached a breaking point. The debate over whether to restrict bicyclists may not only be about these riders and alleged misdemeanors; rather, it could be part of a growing hostility toward the increasingly bike-friendly city that New York is becoming…

Delivery Drivers Drive Anger, Pols Respond

East Side Council Member Jessica Lappin and State Senator Liz Krueger said the issue of delivery drivers is one of the top constituent concerns in their districts.

Lappin introduced a bill in January 2006 that called for business owners to be fined for reckless driving instead of delivery drivers, because drivers weren’t paying the fines and the tickets weren’t detouring local business owner’s behavior.

“This issue is consistently one of the biggest quality of life issues on the Upper East Side,” she said.

Krueger and Assemblyman Brian Kavanaugh recently reintroduced a bill in the State Senate that passed last session before faltering in the assembly that would require business owners and drivers to share responsibility for reckless riding.

“The system that we have isn’t working,” Krueger said. “I believe this law would have a significant impact on all delivery drivers and the businesses that they work for.”

Krueger also believes that electric bikes need to be regulated.

“They are an evolving technology,” she said. “When you electrify a bike it acts differently. They put pedestrians and other bike riders in danger because they go three times the speed.”

As to the animosity between pedestrians and bike riders, she chalks that up to fitting a huge number of people “on the head of a pin.”

“You name a topic of importance in Manhattan and at its heart it’s an issue of land use,” Krueger said. “We have an incredibly dense population who live on top of each other and uses the sidewalks and roads. How that space is used is always going to engender heated discussion.”

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02 Feb
0

Liz Argues Rules Resolution is in Violation of Constitution

On Monday, January 31st, Senator Liz Krueger spoke on the Senate’s Chamber Floor and expressed her concern that a Rules Resolution proposed by Senate Republicans was in violation of the State’s Constitution.

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01 Feb
0

Liz Explains Why Elected Officials Should be Held to Higher Standard in NYT Article

Retiring Nicely After Betraying Public’s Trust

By Clyde Haberman

Guy J. Velella, a former state senator from the Bronx who died last week, was bidden farewell at a funeral service on Monday. His legacy, however, lives on. Among other things, Mr. Velella will be remembered for having turned a career of public service into one of public shame by taking bribes and going to jail for his corruption.

He will also be remembered as someone who pocketed public money even after pleading guilty in 2004. Every year, his conscience unburdened, Mr. Velella collected a state pension of more than $75,000. “The law says I’ve earned it,” he told The Daily News a few months ago. “I’m entitled to it. I take it.”

Mr. Velella was not the only corrupt public official with a sense of entitlement. That is why new calls have arisen to change the law so that bribe takers, kickback schemers, pay-to-play chiselers and other finaglers holding public office do not enjoy the same retirement privileges as their honest colleagues…

…SOME other states have comparable pension-stripping laws, and Mr. DiNapoli’s aides said he was confident that New York would enact its own this year. Others are not so sure. They include State Senator Liz Krueger of Manhattan, who has sponsored bills along those lines since the Velella scandal burst open seven years ago. She has gotten nowhere.

One argument she often hears, Ms. Krueger said Monday, is that to take away pensions would unfairly penalize family members who may depend on that money, and who did nothing wrong themselves. At least, she said, “that’s the argument that people can make to me with a straight face.”…

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31 Jan
0

Liz & Comptroller DiNapoli Seek Law to Strip Convicted Lawmakers of Pension

By Cara Matthews

ALBANY — Public officials convicted of corruption would be stripped of their pension benefit under legislation introduced Friday by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

New York has long been criticized for allowing convicted lawmakers — even those sentenced to prison — to collect their public pensions. But the state constitution prohibits reducing or taking away benefits from any current official or public servant.

DiNapoli’s proposal would skirt the constitutional issue in that it would apply only to future members of the New York State and Local Retirement System who are state or local elected officials, officers and appointees…

…Under a bill sponsored by Sen. Liz Krueger, D-Manhattan, a district attorney could bring a state Supreme Court action against a current or retired elected official convicted of felony corruption. The basis for the lawsuit would be that the pension amounted to “ill-gotten gains.”

The district attorney could seek full or partial forfeiture of the pension, and officials would get back any money they contributed to their pensions…

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31 Jan
0

Senator Krueger Hosts Forum Aimed at Helping Visual and Performing Arts Institutions

On Friday, January 28th, Senators Liz Krueger and Jose Serrano hosted a free event that explored innovative systems to maximize the connections between visual and performing arts institutions and their audiences.

Specifically, attendees saw presentations given by a panel of leaders in the fields of branding, social networking and event planning.  Moderated by Senator Krueger, the panel of experts presented cutting edge techniques, tips and case studies that have concrete applications to day-to-day work for most visual and performing arts institutions.

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28 Jan
0

Summer and Semester Internships

Internship Description:

In Senator Krueger’s office, summer and semester interns are an important part of the Krueger Team. From everyday functions, such as answering phones, responding to constituent emails and computer data entry, to larger projects such as policy research and event planning, interns will gain an in depth understanding of how a government office functions.  We encourage attendance at community meetings and welcome participation in staff meetings, providing interns exposure to the intellectual debates which shape governmental decisions.

Requirements:

No prior government work necessary, just a good attitude and an eagerness to learn. Should have a certain level of comfort working with computers and learning new programs. Individuals who are enthusiastic, hardworking, and interested in gaining hands-on experience in government are a good fit.

For more information about our unpaid summer and semester internships, please contact our office at liz@lizkrueger.com. Space is limited.

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27 Jan
0

Liz Joins The Arts And Business Council of New York to Discuss Nonprofits & Government

Last Friday, the 21st, Senator Liz Krueger joined Assemblymember Deborah Glick and City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer as speakers at the workshop “Working with Government: How Nonprofit Organizations Get Their Voices Heard,” an event hosted by the Arts and Business Council of New York and the Foundation Center.

At the event, the speakers offered suggestions on how to effectively target and educate local elected officials on the importance of arts programs in the community and how to then work with these elected officials to expand these programs.

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26 Jan
0

Liz Calls for Stop to Regional Regulations That Could Weeken State Laws Against Hydrofracking

Today, Senator Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan) sent a letter to the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) requesting they rescind the draft Natural Gas Development Regulations, a proposed set of guidelines for natural gas drilling in the Delaware River Basin.  While an Executive Order currently prohibits all horizontal gas drilling in the State, the actions of the DRBC have raised concerns that regional entities will undercut the strength of State laws even as New York works to set the highest environmental and safety standards.

The letter, which was co-signed by many of Senator Krueger’s colleagues, urges the DRBC to halt all action that would set plans for natural gas drilling into motion until the State’s Environmental Impact Statement is complete and a full cumulative review has been conducted.  The Delaware River Basin, which spans across New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware, provides New York City with much of its drinking water.

“We are talking about a practice that has raised so many red flags that the New York State Senate, Assembly and eventually the Governor, felt it should be temporarily banned until more research has been done,” said Senator Krueger. “And yet despite the fact that New York does not allow hydrofracking in the Marcellus Shale, the DRBC has set into motion a process which would allow this very type of drilling within the river’s basin, a basin that runs through New York. This sets a terrible precedent of establishing standards and regulations before all the facts are in.”

Hydro-fracking is a process of gas drilling by which millions of water mixed with chemicals are blasted into the earth to break up shale rock, releasing natural gas embedded inside the rock. However, the exact make up of the chemical “cocktail” used in the fracking process is not known because drilling companies closely guard these ingredients, claiming that information about specific mixtures needs to be kept secret from competitors. Therefore there is no way of monitoring or tracking which chemicals are seeping into the Earth, and thus into New York’s water supply, because the exact chemicals are unknown.

Senate colleagues who joined Senator Krueger include:

Senator Eric Adams (D-Brooklyn)

Joseph Addabbo (D-Queens)

Tony Avella (D-Queens)

Ruth Hassell-Thompson (D-Westchester)

Kevin Parker (D-Brooklyn)

Gustavo Rivera (D-Bronx)

Diane Savino (D-Staten Island)

Toby Stavisky (D-Queens)

Daniel Squadron (D-Brooklyn)

Letter to DRBC

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