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  • Writer's pictureJess Marciano

This Weeks's NY DEMS Newsletter


  • Governor Kathy Hochul releases Op-Ed in Bloomberg: Biden is Right. Investing in Child Care Makes Business Sense.

  • Governor Hochul announces New York State Public Service Commission returned nearly $4.2 million to consumers in 2022.

  • Governor Hochul announces more than $2.7 million to support addiction services in New York City homeless shelters.

  • Senators Schumer and Gillibrand announce over $400,000 in federal funding to help the Cortland Fire Department recruit and train the next generation of firefighters.

  • Mayor Adams signs five pieces of legislation – strengthening criminal justice programs, ensuring mental health services are provided to families living in shelters, and saving low-and-moderate-income homeowners money.

  • President Biden takes executive action on background checks for guns.

  • Biden-Harris Administration released new data showing how President Biden’s prescription drug law is lowering health care costs.

  • Governor Hochul releases statement praising President Biden's new gun safety initiatives.

  • Federal and state investigators probe Santos’ role in luxury yacht sale. Welcome to New York! We've Been Waiting For You. The Mayor's office collaborated with Whoopi Goldberg on a video to highlight why NYC is the perfect backdrop to rally Democrats in for the 2024 Democratic National Convention. DELIVERING FOR YOU Biden is Right. Investing in Child Care Makes Business Sense: Thirty-four years ago, I never dreamed I’d have to quit my job due to a lack of affordable child care. But I did, and sadly, that’s still the reality for many working parents today. As the first mother to lead New York state as governor, this issue is personal for me. Over three decades ago, I had a job working for former US Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. But like so many young professionals wanting to start a family, I struggled to find child care and, eventually, made the tough decision to leave my job. My story is not the only one. For too long, child care has been relegated as the family’s—or usually the mother’s—concern. As the pandemic, inflation, and other factors drive up everyday costs like housing and gas prices, the rising cost of child care is putting an enormous strain on families in New York and across the country. Parents are leaving the workforce in droves due to a lack of affordable child care. Women are quitting their jobs at disproportionately high rates. The pandemic helped change the conversation, showing that child care is a smart investment for businesses that raises productivity, quality of life and retention among employees. Child care is now being seen as an essential service for employees. Here in New York, we are already working ahead of the curve to find creative solutions, bringing businesses to the table to expand child-care options for working families. We are also seeing welcome momentum at the federal level. Recently, President Joe Biden and the Department of Commerce announced that businesses receiving subsidies through the federal CHIPS and Science Act will need to provide quality, affordable child care to their workers. This is a welcome announcement, and will ensure that companies at the cutting-edge of technology and driving our economy will have a federal incentive to support working parents. In our state, we are making a four-year, $7 billion investment in child care access to help provide the neediest families with support. New York is already proactively taking steps to bring businesses to the table. As part of the landmark deal to bring Micron, a global semiconductor manufacturer, to central New York, we secured a commitment from them to invest $500,000 in the YMCA of Central New York to expand high-quality child care options and early learning to the local community. We’ve put forth innovative proposals to establish a New York State Employer-Supported Child Care pilot program to lower costs for families by splitting the cost of care between the employer, employee, and the state. We are also helping businesses better support their employees’ child-care needs, thanks to our one-of-a-kind Business Navigator proposal and plans to develop a statewide employer child-care guidebook. Additionally, with our proposal to establish a Child Care Creation and Expansion Tax Credit, we are going even further to help businesses extend a lifeline to their workers and treat child care like any other employee benefit. Under our plan, businesses that create new child-care seats or expand existing child care to add new seats would be eligible for state tax credits. That could mean building new child-care facilities near offices or job sites, working with existing child-care providers to add capacity at an affordable cost for workers, direct assistance to subsidize workers’ child-care costs or other measures to put this crucial benefit within reach for New Yorkers. Governor Hochul Announces New York State Public Service Commission Returned Nearly $4.2 Million to Consumers in 2022: As a part of National Consumer Protection Week, Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the Office of Consumer Services at the New York State Department of Public Service — the staff arm of the Public Service Commission — assisted 68,000 New York households with a variety of consumer protection matters in 2022, resulting in the Department returning nearly $4.2 million to consumers. This year, National Consumer Protection Week runs from March 5 to March 11. "Hard-working New Yorkers deserve compensation when they are overcharged or inaccurately billed by their utility," Governor Hochul said. "I'm proud of my administration's efforts to respond to thousands of utility complaints and return millions of dollars to New York households - holding companies accountable and bolstering consumer protections." The Department's Office of Consumer Services monitors the number and types of complaints received against all utilities operating in New York State to ensure that utilities fulfill their obligation to provide effective customer service in compliance with the laws, rules, regulations and policies. Each month, the Office of Consumer Services makes public a detailed overview of complaint activity and utility responsiveness that is informative to both consumers and utility companies. In terms of added consumer protections, the Department will begin regulating energy brokers in 2023. Legislation recently signed into law will require persons, firms, associations or corporations acting as an energy broker or consultant to register with the Department. Further, the Governor has proposed $200 million in relief for utility bills for up to 800,000 New York households earning under $75,000 a year to support expansion of the Commission's Energy Affordability Policy program in 2023-2024, after having implemented historic consumer and small business arrears relief in 2022. In addition, Governor Hochul proposed $200 million for the EmPower Plus program to help 20,000 low-income families retrofit their homes by adding insulation, installing energy efficient appliances, and where eligible, switching from inefficient fossil fuel heating systems to clean, efficient electric alternatives. Homes that qualify to be electrified through the EmPower Plus program will be eligible for the Energy Affordability Guarantee once they are fully electrified. This Energy Affordability Guarantee will ensure participating low-income New Yorkers will never pay more than six percent of their income on electricity. Together, the EmPower Plus and Energy Affordability Guarantee programs will combine weatherization and electrification measures as well as affordability protections that will drastically cut energy use, improve home comfort, and deliver significant greenhouse gas emissions reductions. (Source: Governor Kathy Hochul's Pressroom) Schumer, Gillibrand Announce Over $400,000 in Fed Funding to Help the Cortland Fire Department Recruit and Train the Next Generation of Firefighters: U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced $421,920 in federal funding for the City of Cortland to help recruit and train the next generation of firefighters. The funding was allocated through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Program. Schumer is currently leading the charge to save these federal firefighting programs that are set to expire at the end of this year which delivered this funding to Cortland. “From being on the frontline during Covid to fighting fires, our Cortland firefighters work non-stop keeping our communities safe. That is why when I heard our fire departments were struggling to keep up staffing, I promised to deliver the fed dollars to give our heroes the support they need. So I am proud to deliver this major over $400,000 federal boost so Cortland strengthen recruitment and give youth firsthand experience to help train the next generation of firefighters,” said Senator Schumer. “I’ve fought my whole career to bring more federal resources to support our brave firefighters and the funding will keep the Cortland Fire Department prepared to take on any emergency. I will not stop holding congressional feet to the fire until we pass the bill to save this federal lifeline for our New York fire departments and first responders so they can continue to tap this resource for years to come.” “New York’s firefighters work tirelessly every day to protect our communities,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This funding will provide Cortland’s fire department with the resources it needs to recruit and maintain adequate staffing levels as it responds to emergency situations. I will continue fighting to ensure that New York’s fire departments have what they need when they enter the line of duty.” “We appreciate Senator Schumer’s support and advocacy in securing this funding, as well as his work on the Assistance to Firefighters and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response programs. These programs have had a tremendous impact locally by allowing the Cortland Fire Department to increase critical fire protection services in our community. The funding secured will increase safety for firefighters and residents by putting more firefighters on first arriving equipment,” said City of Cortland Chief of Fire Wayne Friedman. (Source: Senator Gillibrand's Pressroom) Governor Hochul Announces More Than $2.7 Million to Support Addiction Services in New York City Homeless Shelters: Governor Kathy Hochul announced more than $2.7 million in federal funding that will allow five service providers to offer addiction treatment services at 22 homeless shelters in New York City. The funding through the federal Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant will allow these shelters to deliver clinical interventions, while also providing peer and harm reduction services to residents. "All New Yorkers should have access to treatment services when they are in need, including those individuals from marginalized populations," Governor Hochul said. "This funding will provide outreach and engagement services to high-need individuals experiencing homelessness in New York City, providing them the care and support they can rely on to overcome their addiction." The funding will allow providers to embed social workers, credentialed alcoholism and substance abuse counselors, and peer advocates at shelters. These workers will connect with shelter residents to provide clinical interventions and support; peer services; and harm reduction services, including counseling, behavioral strategies, and connections to other support services. Administered by the state Office of Addiction Supports and Services, the awards resulted from a collaboration with the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance and the New York City Department of Homeless Services. The five providers awarded funding include: Acacia Network (PROMESA) - $625,000 Bowery Residents Committee (BRC) - $500,000 Project Renewal - $749,980 Samaritan Daytop Village - $625,000 Services for the Underserved - $250,000 (Source: Governor Kathy Hochul's Pressroom) Mayor Adams Signs Five Bills Strengthening Criminal Justice Programs, Ensuring Mental Health Services are Provided to Families Living in Shelters, and Saving Low-and-Moderate-Income Homeowners Money: New York City Mayor Eric Adams signed five pieces of legislation – two that will provide support and accountability for criminal justice programs and Crisis Management System (CMS) providers that receive city funding, one that will create a juvenile justice board, one that will ensure mental health services are provided in shelters serving families with children, and one that will lower interest rates for property tax arrears owed by low- and moderate-income homeowners. Intros. 439 and 756 will ensure greater accountability of and support for CMS providers by requiring the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ) to evaluate the performance of criminal justice programs receiving city funding and to provide training and operational support to CMS providers. Intro. 436 will strengthen the juvenile justice system by establishing a juvenile justice board. Intro. 522 will ensure greater mental health resources for New Yorkers living in shelters by requiring mental health professionals to provide either onsite or telehealth support to families with children living in shelters. Intro. 524 will provide relief for low- and moderate-income homeowners by lowering interest rates for property tax arrears owed by properties assessed at $250,000 or less that have entered into a payment plan with the city. "The prerequisite to prosperity is public safety, and our administration has already made significant strides in making our city safer and more prosperous for all New Yorkers," said Mayor Adams. "The five bills we are signing help struggling homeowners, give young people a voice in juvenile detention, support our families and children living in shelters, and provide support for our gun violence interrupters. I thank Speaker Adams and the sponsors of these bills for their partnership." (Source: Mayor Eric Adams' Pressroom) Seniors Across the Country Are Saving Millions of Dollars in Health Care Costs Because of President Biden’s Prescription Drug Law: The Biden-Harris Administration released new data showing how President Biden’s prescription drug law is lowering health care costs and prescription drug prices for seniors across the country. Americans pay two to three times more for prescription drugs than citizens in other countries and the President and Congressional Democrats took on special interests to finally lower prices for Americans. Last August, President Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act, which for the first time allows Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices for seniors, caps the cost of insulin at $35, makes recommended vaccines free for Medicare beneficiaries, and requires prescription drug companies to pay rebates to Medicare if they raise their prices faster than inflation. Already, millions of seniors are saving hundreds of dollars each per year because of the Biden Administration’s actions, and President Biden is fighting to expand these cost savings to all Americans. Last week, he released his FY2024 budget which proposes expanding Medicare’s negotiation authority to increase the number of drugs selected for negotiation sooner after they launch, making manufacturers pay rebates if they raise drug prices faster than inflation in the commercial market, and capping the price of insulin at $35 per month for everyone– not just seniors. Already, two of the three largest producers of insulin in the country – Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk – announced they’re meeting President Biden’s call and lowering insulin costs. New data and actions released show that the Administration is delivering on its promise to lower health care costs for the American people: New Report Suggests 3.4 Million Seniors and People with Disabilities Could Save An Average of $70 Per Year Because of Free Recommended Vaccines The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a new report showing the savings people with Medicare will now enjoy because President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act makes recommended Part D vaccines free for beneficiaries. The report finds that 3.4 million people with Medicare would have saved $234 million in out-of-pocket costs in 2021 – an average of $70 per person – had the Inflation Reduction Act been in effect then. HHS expects the actual number of people who will benefit from these cost savings in 2023 will be larger than the 2021 figures because removing out-of-pocket costs will make the vaccines more affordable for the 51 million Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in a Part D plan. A state-by-state breakdown of cost-savings that Medicare beneficiaries would have experienced in 2021 can be found below. HHS released data earlier this year that show that 1.5 million seniors and others on Medicare with diabetes would have saved, on average, $500 each per year on insulin if the Inflation Reduction Act’s $35 cap on a month’s supply of insulin had been in effect in 2020. To view a state-by-state breakdown of number of Medicare enrollees who are benefitting from President Biden’s $35 cap on insulin visit HHS’s website. HHS Announces First Set of Prescription Drugs Subject to Inflation Rebates, Putting Money Back into Seniors’ Pockets Starting in April HHS also announced the first set of Part B prescription drugs that will be subject to Medicare inflation rebates because they raised their prices faster than inflation. President Biden’s prescription drug law includes critical checks to ensure that prescription drug companies have to pay back Medicare if they raise prices on seniors at a higher rate than inflation. Starting in April, some Medicare beneficiaries will have lower coinsurance for the 27 prescription drugs that raised prices faster than inflation in the last quarter of 2022. Seniors may see their out-of-pocket costs for these drugs decrease by $2 to as high as $390 per average dose starting April 1st. In addition to making drug companies pay Medicare back for increasing their prices faster than inflation, this provision of the Inflation Reduction Act discourages other companies from doing the same, with the goal of reining in excessive drug price hikes year-over-year. According to a recent report from HHS, 1,200 prescription drugs increased their prices faster than inflation in 2021 – the year before Congressional Democrats passed and President Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act. (Source: The White House) Biden takes executive action on background checks for guns: President Biden is signed a gun control executive order on Tuesday that the administration says will get the country “as close to universal background checks as possible without additional legislation.” Why it matters: It builds on the bipartisan legislation Biden signed into law last June, but requires the attorney general to get involved through a wonky process of redefining which firearms dealers are required to run background checks. The order relies on encouraging more accountability and safer practices by gun owners and dealers through public information campaigns and databases. “We need universal background checks legislation to finish the job,” said a senior administration official. The details: Biden will sign the executive order while visiting Monterey Park, California, where a mass shooting in January killed 11 and injured nine others. Between the lines: As the president gears up for re-election, this executive order will be another action he can sell to voters as a way he’s tried to deliver when Congress couldn’t pass federal legislation to require universal background checks. We’ve also seen this on police reform, when President Biden issued an executive order to address public safety after Congress failed to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. The backdrop: Last year's bipartisan gun safety legislation enhanced background checks for those under 21, but even President Biden said at the time of signing it that "this bill doesn't do everything that I want." Gun violence was a key issue that drove young voters to the polls in the 2022 midterms, ultimately helping Democratic candidates up and down the ticket. Voters are still indicating that they want Congress to address gun violence and mass shootings, according to a Brookings report. The bottom line: Gun safety leaders have wanted to see this move from the president, recognizing executive action is their best shot at moving closer to reform before the 2024 election — and ahead of a potential shift in power in Washington. John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, called Biden's move a "home run for public safety" in a statement and said "we’re proud to stand with him as he takes robust action to help close the gun seller loophole." (Source:Axios) March 17th, 11:00am: NYC St. Patricks Day Parade March 18th, 9:00am: Broome County Democratic Party 35th Annual Jefferson Breakfast March 27th, 5:30pm: Chairman Jeremy Zellner Birthday Celebration If you would like to share your event with us, email us at info@nydems.org Want to stay even more up to date? Follow our social pages for more frequent updates. Paid for by the New York State Democratic Committee, www.nydems.org, not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. New York State Democratic Committee 64 Beaver St New York, NY 10004 United States

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