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
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JOAN L. MILLMAN
52nd ASSEMBLY DISTRICT

March 2007 Community Report

Assemblywoman Millman Announces Passage of Ethics Reform Package

Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman announced that the Assembly has passed Assembly Bill A.3736-A, a landmark package of ethics reform legislation that will curtail gifts from lobbyists to legislators and create a comprehensive agency to ensure the integrity of state government.

The package of legislation, a product of bipartisan cooperation among the governor, the Assembly and the Senate, would crack down on gifts from lobbyists to legislators, toughen penalties for ethics and lobbying law violations, and create a permanent watchdog by merging the Temporary State Commission on Lobbying and the State Ethics Commission into a new entity, the Commission on Public Integrity. Under the measure, both the Commission on Public Integrity and the Joint Legislative Ethics Commission would be required to maintain Web sites and make publicly available notices of reasonable cause, disposition agreements, settlement agreements and summaries of advice.

"It's vitally important that we strengthen New York's ethics laws and limit the influence of special interest money in state government," Assemblywoman Millman said. "The passage of these reforms will close loopholes, reduce the influence of lobbyists on our democratic process and help restore public confidence in state government."


Assemblywoman Millman Calls for Optical Scan Use for Voting Machines

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On February 13, 2007 Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman announced her support for an optical scan based voting system at a press conference for Assembly Bill A.5170, which would mandate the Board of Elections to implement a paper based voting process.

Optical scan ballots leave a paper trail that provides transparency in elections. Since a paper ballot would be available to back up electronic voting records, the chance of mistaken and distorted records will be significantly reduced, as opposed to the alternative Direct Recording Electronic voting machines (DREs), which provide no verifiable paper trail.

Many good government organizations promote this safer voting process, including New Yorkers for Verified Voters, the NYS League of Women Voters, NYPIRG and the Sierra Club.

"I am sponsoring this important legislation because all New York voters have the right to participate in elections without the risk of complicated and unreliable voting systems that may misrepresent their votes," said Assemblywoman Millman. "I fully support the idea of voting machines that produce paper receipts so that all voters can be assured that their ballot has been accurately recorded, just as banks issue receipts so that customers can verify their transactions."


Assemblywoman Millman Introduces Legislation to Reduce the Tax Burden on NYC Property Owners

Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman introduced Assembly Bill A.5823, which would include owner occupied properties with up to four units in the same tax bracket as properties with up to three units. This legislation would allow owners who live in a four unit building to rent the other three units without their property being considered an "income producing property" which is taxed at a substantially higher rate.

Assemblywoman Millman said that the new bill would correct an inadequacy in the tax law by changing the classification of owner occupied buildings with up to four units to "private family homes with rental units" rather than "income producing properties". Under the current law, there is a significant difference in tax rates between an owner occupied property with three units and one with four units. This discrepancy creates an incentive for property owners to consolidate their buildings from four units to three, thus reducing the number of rental units available.

"This legislation will ease an undue financial burden on property owners who wish to rent out the other units in their building," said Assemblywoman Millman. "We need to make this change in order to eliminate the incentive for owners to consolidate rental units in their buildings to save money on their taxes. Homeownership is hard enough in this city, we should not discourage homeowners with an antiquated tax policy."


Assemblywoman Millman Hosts Fifth Annual Women's History Month Essay Contest

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New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM) Commissioner Joseph Bruno hosted Assemblywoman Millman at the brand new OEM headquarters in Downtown Brooklyn for a meeting in February.
In honor of Women's History Month, Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman is sponsoring her fifth annual Women's History Month Essay Contest. Once again, Assemblywoman Millman has inviting students from every school in the district to participate in this year's theme, "Generations of Women Moving History Forward."

With this theme in mind, students in grades 3-8 can participate by writing an essay, no longer then 500 words in length. Students must include the reason for their selection and an explanation of how his or her selection's accomplishments helped to make progress for future generations.

The essays will be divided into three categories (Category 1: 3rd and 4th grades; Category 2: 5th and 6th grades; Category 3: 7th and 8th grades) and will be judged by a panel of female community leaders. First, second, and third place winners in each categories will receive a $50 U.S. savings bond. Last year, nearly 200 students from ten public, private, and parochial schools participated in Assemblywoman Millman's Essay Contest.

Students and their families, teachers, and principals are invited to attend the awards ceremony where all participants will be honored with a New York State Assembly certificate. The awards ceremony will be held on Saturday, March 24 at the Dodge YMCA at 225 Atlantic Avenue from 10AM - 12PM.


Office of Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman
341 Smith Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231
(718) 246-4889
millmaj@assembly.state.ny.us

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