New York Higher Education Cares Act Becomes Law

In March, Assemblywoman Joan Millman's New York Higher Education Cares Act was signed into law. The Higher Education Cares Act allows public and private college and university administrations to develop and implement programs that would distribute consumer goods left behind by students to local not-for-profits. This law not only benefits community not-for-profits, it also will reduce the amount of waste going to the landfill.

"It is about time for this common sense bill to become law," exclaimed Millman. "I am pleased that both the Assembly and Senate voted to pass The New York Higher Education Cares Act. This is a rare opportunity to reduce waste on college campuses while simultaneously supporting local not-for-profit organizations. One local institution, New York University, is a shining example of how well such a program can work."

New York University (NYU) has been a leader in successfully reducing campus wide waste of unwanted items and nonperishable foods at the end of the school year. Two years ago, NYU began a pilot program in three of its dorms to collect and donate unwanted consumer items and food to homeless services groups and other New York City non-profits. The program has been expanded and is estimated to collect nearly 25,000 pounds of unwanted consumer goods and nonperishable food.

At the YAI National Institute for People with Disabilities Network residence in Cobble Hill, Assemblywoman Millman met staff and residents. YAI is devoted to helping people with developmental and learning disabilities achieve independence, individuality, productivity and inclusion in their communities.

Assemblywoman Joan Millman again is coordinating free shuttles to Fairway Market departing from two local senior centers and Concord Village. All are welcome!

WHAT: Free shuttle to Fairway Market

WHEN: Every Thursday from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM from alternating locations

WHERE: Pick-ups at the Eileen Dugan Senior Center (380 Court Street) and the St. Charles Jubilee Senior Center (55 Pierrepont Street) OR Concord Village (215 Adams Street).

For more information or to reserve a spot on the shuttle bus, please contact Assemblywoman Millman's office at 718-246-4889.

Assembly Passes Millman's Small Business Legislation

Two bills introduced by Assemblywoman Millman, A.4092 and A.4097, were included in a legislative package passed by the Assembly to aid small businesses in New York State. Millman's bills aim to bring transparency to the bidding process and provide assistance to minority and women owned business enterprises (MWBEs). According to federal census data, small businesses are the source of up to 80 percent of all new jobs in the U.S.

"In these tough economic times, we need to ensure small businesses can continue to thrive and create jobs in our communities," said Millman. "I am pleased that the small business package included two of my bills designed specifically to support minority and women owned businesses. My bills were created thanks to feedback provided by minority and women business owners across New York State."

Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce members visited Assemblywoman Millman in her Albany office. The Brooklyn Chamber has the largest membership in New York City-with over 1,500 members.

In 2002, Assembly hearings in Buffalo, Syracuse, Utica, Albany and New York City revealed that although New York State law requires bids to include MWBEs, often when a contractor's bid includes MWBE subcontractors, the job does not materialize for the MWBE. To bring more transparency to the bidding process, Millman's A.4092 requires state agencies to post these contract submissions on their Web sites. When successful in the bidding process, A.4092 then requires the contractor to submit periodic compliance reports to the contracting state agency as to the operation and implementation of the utilization plan.

The package also incorporated another Millman bill, A.4097, that seeks to improve outreach efforts of the Department of Economic Development's divisions for Small Business and Minority and Women's Business Development. This bill creates an advisory board to guide MWBEs through the bidding process as well as offer assistance in a variety of fields -- from general business assistance to technology assistance to bond and insurance education assistance.

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