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  • Writer's pictureJess Marciano

New York Democratic Committee Newsletter

AT A GLANCE







The beginning of March brings celebrations of Women's History


in New York and across the country.


DELIVERING FOR YOU

New York State Democratic Committee Executive Chair Christine Quinn Releases Op-ed Highlighting How Having the 2024 DNC in NYC Would Unlock Pro-choice Enthusiasm: According to recent reports, President Biden’s decision on the 2024 Democratic National Convention host city is imminent, with three finalists remaining in the running: Atlanta, Chicago, and my home, New York City. While there are arguments for each of these cities, only one of them is adequately prepared to send the Democratic base a strong message that women’s reproductive freedom — the issue that propelled Democrats to victory in the 2022 midterms — remains a top priority. That city is New York. Last year, after the conservative-majority Supreme Court struck down abortion rights, the reaction was immediate and intense. After nearly 50 years of life-saving precedent, the right to safe, legal abortion was no longer guaranteed — and in response, protests rightfully erupted throughout the United States and even internationally. This was a wakeup call for many women and activists who had been told for decades that Roe v. Wade was “settled law.” People were moved to action partly because this longstanding precedent was upended but also because without the right to safe, legal abortion, women — especially women of color, who are already facing a maternal health crisis — will die. Let me say that again: without abortion rights, more women will die. Women in the United States are already more likely to die during or after pregnancy than in any other developed country. One study estimated if a nationwide abortion ban was enacted — a clear goal of many in the GOP — our maternal death rate could increase by 24 percent. For Black women, the rate is predicted to rise by 39 percent. In the aftermath of this rollback to our rights and threat to our health, however, the DNC finalists took vastly different actions. New York responded instantly — even before the Dobbs v. Jackson Health Organization decision was officially handed down. Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a legislative package that secured the rights of patients and reproductive health care providers, while launching a multi-platform public education campaign in 12 languages that ensured people across the state and nation knew that New York was a haven for legal, accessible abortion. New York City Mayor Eric Adams doubled down by signing an additional slate of bills expanding access, protecting care, and fighting disinformation. Just last month, the state legislature passed an amendment enshrining abortion rights into the state constitution. When the Supreme Court’s conservative majority overturned Roe, they did not care they were putting women’s health at risk and had no clue they were uncorking decades of enthusiasm over reproductive freedom that would propel Democrats towards an expectations-defying result in the 2022 midterms. As we head in to the 2024 presidential campaign cycle, there’s no reason for Democrats to pull away from that message or waver in our commitment to protecting women’s health. Across the nation, voters want to know what Democrats stand for. They want to hear that we are not giving up the fight to ensure women can have the health care they deserve. With a DNC hosted in New York, they’ll know we’re taking that fight seriously. (Source: The Hill)


Governor Hochul Announces Significant Progress in the State’s Fight Against Gun Violence By Governor Kathy Hochul

Governor Hochul Announces Significant Progress in the State’s Fight Against Gun Violence: Governor Kathy Hochul announced significant progress in the state’s fight against gun violence, with New York City and communities participating in the state’s Gun Involved Violence Elimination initiative reporting the fewest shooting incidents with injury last month since the first half of 2020. The 20 police departments participating in GIVE reported 50 shooting incidents with injury in January 2023, the fewest since March 2020, while New York City reported 73 incidents, the fewest since May 2020. Governor Hochul outlined this progress at Northwell Health’s Fourth Annual Gun Violence Prevention Forum. “We are taking major steps in the right direction, but these numbers are still too high,” Governor Hochul said. “Each and every incident is tragic, and each shooting represents an unquantifiable amount of pain and harm to victims and their communities. We must continue treating gun violence as the public health crisis that it is, by identifying the source, interrupting its transmission, and treating it.” Preliminary 2022 CDC data show that New York had the lowest firearm homicide rate of the 10 largest states in the country in 2021: 3.1 deaths per 100,000 residents, which is less than half of the national average of 6.3 deaths per 100,000 residents. Similarly, New York City in 2022 recorded the third-lowest number of murders in the nation among the largest 20 cities, behind only San Jose and San Diego. Finally, communities participating in GIVE and New York City both experienced double-digit decreases in shooting incidents with injury in 2022 when compared to 2021: 17 percent in New York City and 15 percent in GIVE jurisdictions. Law enforcement agencies across the state seized 10,093 guns last year, an 11 percent increase from 2021, during which 9,088 guns were seized. Gun seizures by the New York State Police also increased 171 percent compared to pre-pandemic levels: 1,429 in 2022 compared to 528 seizures in 2019. State Police also seized 120 ghost guns in 2022, which is 85 percent more than in 2021. At the same time, the state has strengthened its Red Flag law, which keeps guns out of the hands of individuals who pose a risk to themselves or others. Courts had issued 1,308 extreme risk protection orders at the end of February 2022. In the 11 months since – through January 2023, courts had issued a total of 6,209 ERPOs. (Source: Governor Kathy Hochul's Pressroom)

Attorney General James Secures Over $7.1 Million from Former Saratoga County Nursing Home for Years of Fraud and Neglect: New York Attorney General Letitia James and the United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York (USAO-NDNY) Carla Freedman announced they have secured more than $7.1 million from the Saratoga Center for Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Care (Saratoga Center), a former nursing home in Ballston Spa, and its owners, unlicensed operator, and landlord for years of fraud and resident neglect. In 2017, following a financial dispute, Saratoga Center’s landlord pressured the owners, who were the licensed operators, to relinquish control of the nursing home to the unlicensed operator, and never reported the change to the New York State Department of Health (DOH). Under the control of this unlicensed operator and his associates, conditions at Saratoga Center rapidly declined. The facility failed to provide medication to residents, lacked hot water and clean linens, and residents suffered falls, pressure sores, and other significant lapses in care. As part of the settlements, the owners, unlicensed operator, and landlord have admitted wrongdoing, and together, will return $7.1 million to Medicaid, with $4.3 million going to New York. In addition, the owners, unlicensed operator, as well as the entities that owned the nursing home’s real property, are excluded from participating in Medicaid and Medicare for at least 10 years. This action is the fourth taken in as many months by Attorney General James to protect vulnerable New Yorkers in nursing homes. “We trust nursing homes to protect New Yorkers during their most vulnerable days, but the owners, unlicensed operator, and landlord of Saratoga Center repeatedly violated the law for their own benefit,” said Attorney General James. “Instead of providing the quality care and compassion that residents deserved, the owners of Saratoga Center deceived regulators and left residents to suffer deplorable conditions and neglect. I am grateful to U.S. Attorney Freedman and team for their partnership in holding Saratoga Center accountable for putting New Yorkers in harm’s way. My office will continue to ensure nursing home residents are protected, and I encourage anyone who has witnessed alarming conditions, resident neglect, or abuse at a nursing home to contact my office.” (Source: Attorney General Tish James's Pressroom)

IN THE WORKS

Governor Hochul Announces More Than $3.8 Million Awarded to Improve Seniors’ Access to Locally Grown Foods: Governor Kathy Hochul announced the Department of Agriculture and Markets has been awarded over $3.8 million from the USDA Food and Nutrition Service to help New York seniors better access locally grown food. The funding comes from the American Rescue Plan Act and is part of $50 million the FNS is awarding in grants to 47 states and tribes to modernize and expand the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program at farmers’ markets, roadside stands, and community supported agriculture programs. It is one of many programs Governor Hochul is facilitating to source more locally grown and produced foods. “One of our biggest strengths as a state is the wide scope of what we have to offer, and our farms’ bounty is at the top of that list,” Governor Hochul said. “With a fifth of our land used for farming for our 33,000 family farms, we’re bringing more of New York’s fresh produce and products not only to our seniors, but also to schools and State agencies -- supporting our farms and promoting healthier lifestyles.” In addition to the expansion of the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program, Governor Hochul will be issuing an Executive Order later this year to direct New York State agencies to source 30 percent of their food from New York producers while also inviting local governments and school districts to strive to meet this goal. The Governor’s proposed FY24 Executive Budget allocates $50 million to a grant program that will support scratch cooking facilities for schools using New York Farm products. The Budget also sets aside $10 million in funding for grants providing for expanded food access to farm markets, food co-ops, and other retail food stores in underserved communities, as well as over $2.2 million to expand urban agriculture infrastructure and community gardens across the state. (Source: Governor Kathy Hochul's Pressroom)

Governor Hochul Announces U.S. Small Business Administration to Offer Federal Assistance to Residents and Businesses in Western New York Impacted by Late December Blizzard: Governor Kathy Hochul announced the U.S. Small Business Administration will offer federal assistance to New Yorkers in Western New York affected by Winter Storm Elliott in late December. Residents and businesses in Erie, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Genesee, Niagara and Wyoming Counties are now eligible to apply for low-interest loans to aid in their recovery from this historic storm, which devastated the entire region over the Christmas holiday. "My heart breaks for the families who lost loved ones during this once in a generation blizzard that wreaked havoc on my hometown of Buffalo, and the lasting impacts of the storm have not gone away," Governor Hochul said. "New Yorkers who suffered infrastructure damages as a result of the storm will now be able to access services from the U.S. Small Business Administration. These critical resources, in addition to our request for President Biden's approval for a Major Disaster Declaration, will help provide necessary assistance for our local communities still recovering." SBA loans are often helpful when eligible homeowners, renters, businesses, and others need financial support following emergencies or weather-related disasters. Following the event, staff from the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) and Erie County conducted a thorough assessment of the damages related to this storm, which allowed for SBA assistance. The following groups may be eligible for SBA disaster loans:

  • Homeowners: up to $200,000 to repair their primary residence

  • Homeowners and renters: up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property

  • Business owners: up to $2,000,000 for the replacement of real property, inventories, machinery, equipment, and other physical losses

  • Businesses and non-profits: Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2,000,000 to provide necessary working capital until normal operations resume after a disaster

In-person disaster loan outreach centers will open in Erie County, loan applications also available online here. (Source: Governor Kathy Hochul's Pressroom)

NATIONAL


A monitor displays Eli Lilly signage on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Heeding Biden, Lilly Caps Out-of-Pocket Insulin Costs at $35: Eli Lilly & Co. is capping out-of-pocket costs for insulin at $35 a month, following a public plea from President Joe Biden for lower prices of the diabetes treatment for all Americans. Lilly announced the cap Wednesday along with other actions, including cutting the list price for non-branded Insulin Lispro Injection to $25 a vial in May, while some Humalog and Humulin doses will be slashed 70% in the fourth quarter. Newly-launched Rezvoglar will sell at a 78% discount to a biosimilar version — Sanofi’s Lantus — starting in April, the company said. The drugmaker is heeding Biden’s call just as it’s lobbying for a bill to allow obesity drugs to be covered by Medicare, including its popular Mounjaro diabetes treatment, which is under review for weight loss. In his State of the Union address last month, Biden said he’d seek to expand the Inflation Reduction Act’s $35 cap on insulin costs for seniors on Medicare to all patients. His administration has made lowering the cost of insulin a priority, but his proposal faces an uphill battle in a divided Congress. “For far too long, American families have been crushed by drug costs many times higher than what people in other countries are charged for the same prescriptions,” Biden said Wednesday in a statement. “Insulin costs less than $10 to make, but Americans are sometimes forced to pay over $300 for it.” Lilly’s move is “a big deal, and it’s time for other manufacturers to follow,” he said. Speaking to reporters briefly at the White House, Biden thanked Lilly for its action and said, “They’re all going to do that.” (Source Bloomberg Law)

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce Over $10 Million In Federal Funding To Support Auburn Community Hospital’s Covid Response: U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced a total of $10,319,814 for Auburn Community Hospital from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to cover costs associated with the hospital’s COVID responses. The funds reimburse the hospital for expenses related to temporary medical staffing to support a substantial increase in patient load, increased severity and length of stay, establishment of a separate COVID-19 unit, and backfill of employees moved to COVID-19 care units. This will help cover the cost of temporary staff hired at the height of the pandemic including registered nurses, license practical nurses, medical technicians, and respiratory therapists, and other personnel essential to combatting the spread of COVID-19. This funding is provided at a 100% federal cost share, which Schumer fought hard to include for NY since the pandemic began. “During a time of crisis, Auburn Community Hospital heroically stepped up to fight the pandemic on the front lines and provide lifesaving care to Covid-19 patients in and around Cayuga County,” said Senator Schumer. “As the only hospital in Cayuga County, ACH stepped up to hire the additional temporary medical staff needed to support the increased load of patients, ripping holes in their budget while experiencing significant revenue losses, and undoubtedly saving lives. That is why I am proud to deliver this over $10 million federal boost to help reimburse those expenses and ensure that Auburn Community Hospital has the resources it needs to bounce back from the pandemic and continue to provide critical care to CNY residents.” “New York’s health care workers are still working around the clock to meet the high demands of responding to COVID-19 and caring for their patients. This is especially true for the heroic workers at Auburn Community Hospital – the only hospital in Cayuga County,” said Senator Gillibrand. “I am proud to deliver more than $10 million to help the critical health care providers at ACH recover from the pandemic and continue providing life-saving care in Cayuga County. Thank you for all you do.” Schumer and Gillibrand have been steadfast advocates for delivering robust federal funding to Auburn Community Hospital. Most recently, the senators personally secured $2 million for ACH to purchase essential medical equipment for cancer diagnostics and boost the expansion of the hospital as it breaks ground on its new state-of-the-art cancer center. (Source Senator Gillibrand's Pressroom)

President Biden Signs National Security Memorandum to Counter Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism and Advance Nuclear and Radioactive Material Security: Today, President Biden signed National Security Memorandum (NSM) 19 to Counter Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Terrorism and Advance Nuclear and Radioactive Material Security worldwide. This comprehensive new strategy advances several of President Biden’s most enduring national security priorities: protecting our nation and the international community from the existential threats posed by WMD terrorism and preventing non-state actors from using chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons. Although significant progress has been made in the reduction and elimination of WMDs, and weapons usable materials around the world, we must remain vigilant and drive further progress to mitigate the range of challenges posed by WMD terrorism at home and abroad, including those posed by new and emerging technologies. Reducing, eliminating, and securing radioactive and nuclear materials are the most effective means to prevent their acquisition and use, and through the implementation of policies and priorities detailed in this NSM, the United States will advance efforts to prevent WMD terrorism. This NSM integrates, in a systematic way, U.S. policies to counter the use of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons by non-state actors, sets out unified priorities for Departments and Agencies across the Federal government, and affirms the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to work with state, local, tribal, international, and private sector partners on preventing, mitigating, and responding to WMD terrorism threats. It establishes the first comprehensive policy for securing radioactive materials, which present continuing domestic and global risk, along with new domestic guidelines for the management and security of nuclear material by prioritizing efforts to protect and permanently dispose of weapons-usable materials of greatest concern and transition from high-activity radioactive sources to alternative technologies when technically and economically feasible. In addition to addressing risks posed by existing weapons useable materials, the policies in this NSM anticipate and proactively address the emerging nature of threats and implications of on‑and-over-the-horizon technologies that could be used to develop, acquire, or employ WMD. The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to managing the benefits of emerging technology for future peaceful applications with the proliferation risks of these technologies, and has established forward-looking U.S. policies that support enduring clean energy and nuclear material security goals while aggressively seeking to reduce the future production and accumulation of weapons usable materials worldwide. (SourceThe White House)

EVENTS

March 3rd, 10:00am: Brookhaven and Islip Town Dems Womens Caucus' Power Brunch March 4th, 9:00am: Coffee with the Genesse County Democrats Pub Hub Coffee, 56 Harvester Ave, Batavia, NY March 4th, 12:15pm: Smithtown Democrats Campaign Kickoff Old Street Restaurant and Bar 92 E Main St, Smithtown, NY 11787 March 18th, 9:00am: Broome County Democratic Party 35th Annual Jefferson Breakfast If you would like to share your event with us, email us at info@nydems.org

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