Millman Speaks on MTA Budget

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In December, Assemblywoman Millman questioned members of Governor Paterson’s Commission on Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Financing Richard Ravitch and MTA CEO Lee Sander at a hearing of the Assembly Standing Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions. The report proposes such measures as a regional mobility tax on businesses and organizations, tolls on East and Harlem River bridges, a regular cycle of predictable fare and toll increases, and greater transparency and accountability of MTA finances. The committee, chaired by Assemblyman Richard L. Brodsky, met to review the short and long term fiscal and budgetary issues facing the MTA.

"We cannot deny that these are difficult economic times," stated Millman. "However, there is no reason public transportation riders should bear the brunt by paying more money for less service. Next week I will join my colleagues in Albany to hear Governor Paterson’s 2009 Budget proposal. The financial state of the MTA will be one of the major issues we work with the Governor to address."

Assemblywoman Millman has been a longtime advocate for reinstating the commuter tax. In addition, she plans to reintroduce residential permit parking legislation when the new Assembly session begins in January 2009. She also has joined numerous elected officials to demand greater fiscal accountability for the MTA. For example, it is believed that the MTA could have sold the Atlantic Yards property for a greater profit.

MTA Fare Increase Hearings

The MTA will be holding hearings this month throughout New York City regarding its proposed increases in tolls and bus and subway fares and proposed changes in service. Among the most drastic changes proposed by the MTA are the elimination of the B37, B51 and B75 bus lines and severe reduction in service on the B45, B65, B69, and B71 bus lines that run through the district.

The hearing in Brooklyn will be on Wednesday, January 28, 2009 at 6pm at the NY Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge, 333 Adams Street.

For more information on the proposed changes, visit the MTA website at www.mta.info.

Millman and Montgomery Host Energy Workshop

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In spite of the torrential rain, residents filled the Belarusian Church in Boerum Hill to learn more about energy efficiency and green building at a workshop on December 11th hosted by Assemblywoman Millman and State Senator Velmanette Montgomery. Sharon Griffith of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, Paul Kerzner of Con Edison, Damon Strub of Nomad Architecture, Naomi Fatt of the NYC Apollo Alliance, and Maria Buckmire of the Neighborhood Housing Services of NYC were on hand to provide information about making homes and businesses energy efficient. Attendees also received free environmentally-friendly items such as long-lasting light bulbs.

"I thank Senator Montgomery and her staff, the panelists and all of the community members who attended this event," said Millman. "Many people have the desire to be more energy efficient, but are not aware of the simple measures they can take to green their homes and businesses. I hope that everyone who attended the workshop passes on this information to their friends and neighbors."

Increasing energy efficiency not only benefits the environment, but can significantly lower utilities costs. Some energy efficient tips include: installing ceiling fans to circulate air; using energy efficient light bulbs, especially in the refrigerator and freezer; and plugging gaps around air conditioner units. In addition, the panelists provided information about grants available for larger scale improvements, such as installation of solar panels. However, the panelists stressed the importance of ensuring homes and businesses adopt all energy conservation measures before incorporating any type of alternative energy source.

Millman and State Lawmakers Analyze New Laws Regulating Subprime Mortgages

Assemblywoman Millman, Chair of the Assembly Standing Committee on Oversight, Analysis and Investigation, led a hearing to assess the effectiveness of the Foreclosure Prevention and Responsible Lending Act of 2008. The hearing was a joint effort, which included Assemblyman Darryl Towns, Chair of the Assembly Standing Committee on Banking and Assemblyman Michael Benjamin, Chair of the Assembly Subcommittee on Regulated Mortgage Lenders. Representatives from the banking community, consumer advocates, and mortgage brokers offered testimony and answered inquiries.

"Due to the gravity of this issue and the devastating impact it has had on families in New York State, we need to stay one step ahead," said Millman. "I am glad that my Assembly colleagues and I were able to hear from those directly involved in this crisis and re-evaluate what is working, what isn’t working, and what we may need to do legislatively to improve our response."

Little Room to Remain at Current Location for Additional Year

The Little Room, a program for preschool-aged children with speech and language delays, will be able to remain at its location at the Brooklyn Heights Montessori School until August 2010. Assemblywoman Millman advocated on behalf of the families when the school’s Board of Directors decided to discontinue the Little Room.

"There is an unbelievable need for programs with language and other developmental hurdles," said Millman. "While this is not a permanent solution for the Little Room, it will buy more time to find a suitable location. I will continue to work to save this program."


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