Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman
  Albany Office: Room 510 Capitol, Albany, NY 12248, (518) 455-5426
District Office: 341 Smith Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231, (718) 246-4889
news from

January 2005 Community Report

2005 Legislative Session Begins, Promises Change

With the opening of the 2005 legislative session on January 5th, the Assembly has already introduced specific rules for reform. As a member of the Assembly Steering Committee, Assemblywoman Millman has continually contributed to this debate about how to best improve the productivity, transparency and accountability of the New York State Legislature. She stood with Assembly Speaker Silver and colleagues to announce these changes at the Capitol on Monday, January 10th.

For the 2005 legislative session, the Assembly will adopt a series of internal rules changes that will dramatically improve the way the Assembly operates. The Assembly's rules changes cover a wide range of parliamentary and procedural reforms.

"I'm sponsoring reform measures to put an end 'business as usual' in Albany. The measures I have endorsed will increase our ability to serve New York by making our legislature significantly more open, accountable and responsive," said Assemblywoman Millman. Highlights of the new initiatives include plans to end empty seated voting, adding an additional day of session each week, instituting joint conference committees to achieve a more timely state budget, conducting annual budget hearings and working to implement a statewide public service cable TV channel to televise Assembly proceedings.

"I will continue to do everything I can to ensure that our reform plan is implemented. I strongly urge the Senate and governor to join us in making our state government more responsive to the public," stated Assemblywoman Millman.


Assemblywoman Millman Announces:
The Minimum Wage Has Gone Up
The new minimum wage of $6.00 per hour took effect
January 1st, 2005 in New York State

This December, the New York State Legislature voted to override the Governor's veto and raise the minimum wage for working New Yorkers. The minimum wage has increased from $5.15/ hour to $6.00/hour and will increase two more times in the next two years. This increase also applies to overtime pay. Employees must now receive a minimum of $9.00/hour when they work beyond 40 hours a week. Food service workers who receive tips also get an increase, from $3.30 to $3.85 per hour.

Employers who do not pay the new minimum wage are violating the law. Regardless of immigration status, employees who believe that they are not being paid the correct state minimum wage can file a complaint with the State Department of Labor or the State Attorney General's Labor Bureau:

New York State Department of Labor: 212-352-6700
State Attorney General, Labor Bureau: 212-416-8710

Millman Conducts Roundtable Discussion on the Future Elderly
Hosts forum at Brooklyn Borough Hall to discuss State's preparedness for increasing aging population

Assemblywoman Millman addresses participants at the most recent discussion in Brooklyn.

Assemblywoman Millman, Chair of the Legislative Commission on Government Administration, convened a second roundtable on the future elderly, December 10, 2004, at Brooklyn Borough Hall.

By 2015, the generation of baby-boomers will be retiring en masse. This meeting's discussion centered on aging-in-place: what are the elements that make an ideal program and what kinds of programs do we have in New York. In particular, participants provided details on naturally occurring retirement communities (NORC) programs, how they work, and how they can be strengthened.

In many parts of New York State, such as Brooklyn, an increasing proportion of the population is growing older and entering retirement. As these citizens age, they often choose to remain in their communities or age-in-place. This growing population of older people presents a challenge to health care and social service providers. In New York City, the vertical (apartment building) NORC model of care recognizes that seniors wish to remain in their homes and draws upon existing networks and the seniors themselves to help develop and manage services.

NORCs are also looking to adapt their vertical approach to a "horizontal" model, which would apply to the suburbs and would help seniors in maintaining their independence, remain in their homes and in the community

This informative discussion included representatives of community-based organizations, senior housing administrators, policy experts and government officials. The roundtable participants all agreed that the NORC model has proven itself, but several observed that the program requires more funding and needs to be replicated in more communities.

Assemblywoman Joan Millman Announces

Sales Tax-Free Shopping Week is Back
January 31st - February 6th

Sales Tax Exemption good only for clothing and footwear items (under $110). This includes clothing for adults and children, many types of footwear, hats, neckwear, scarves, diapers and fabric.

Office of Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman
341 Smith Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231
(718) 246-4889