Bronx Political Round-Up — Bronx Pols Land on Power 100 List

Governor’s HIV/AIDS Epidemic Blueprint Improves HIV Testing, Prevents the Spread of Disease, and Provides Better Treatment

On Wednesday, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo received the final “Blueprint to End the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in New York State 2020.” The Blueprint supports the Governor’s goal of reducing the annual number of new HIV infections to just 750 (from an estimated 3,000) by the end of 2020 and achieve New York’s first ever decrease in HIV prevalence. This would mark the first time there is a reduction in the pervasiveness of AIDS due to a drop in new cases. The Governor’s goal puts New York State in a leadership position in the national and global effort to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

In 2015-16 budget, Governor Cuomo included $10 million to support End of the Epidemic in New York State. The budget also removed the requirement for individuals in correctional facilities to give written consent for HIV testing, encouraged high-risk populations to use condoms by prohibiting prosecutors from using them as evidence in prostitution cases, and made it legal to possess syringes obtained through a syringe access program.

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Senators Klein & Savino Expose Predatory Subprime Auto Lending Practices in New York

On Thursday morning, State Senator Jeff Klein and State Senator Diane Savino will release, “Road to Credit Danger: Predatory Subprime Auto Lending in New York,” an investigative report exposing the top deceptive subprime auto lending and advertising practices presently occurring in New York City. Findings in the report illustrate ways financially fragile consumers — who have no credit, bad credit or live on fixed incomes— are often taken for a ride when they apply for car loans. Without proper state oversight, these deceptive practices could potentially lead to another financial meltdown, similar to the subprime mortgage crisis in 2008. Also, a package of eleven bills will be introduced to combat predatory auto lending practices in the state.

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Anti-inducement” regulations and broader reforms expected to cut title insurance closing costs for homeowners

Governor Cuomo announced new regulations cracking down on kickbacks and other improper expenditures (such as excessive meal and entertainment expenses) in the title insurance industry. A Department of Financial Services investigation uncovered the schemes which significantly inflate title insurance premiums for consumers. These new regulations, together with broader reform measures, are expected to reduce title insurance closing costs by up to 20 percent for new home purchases and up to 60 percent for refinancing transactions.

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 DV Protections Improved

Assemblywoman Latoya Joyner’s Assembly Bill A. 6262, protecting victims of domestic violence by making it easier to obtain orders of protection, was voted out of the Assembly’s Judiciary Committee earlier this year and passed the Assembly on Tuesday afternoon. “Victims of domestic violence will now be able to electronically file temporary orders of protection,” said Joyner. The bill is expected to be repassed by the State Senate and delivered to the Governor’s Office for enactment.

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Bronx Councilman Hit With Sex Harassment Suit

Local news outlets report that a former New York City Council staffer plans to file a lawsuit against Bronx Councilman Andy King alleging that he fired her after she turned down his sexual advances. A notice of intent was filed with the Office of the City Comptroller and papers have been served on either CM King or the City Council.

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Bronx Pols Make Power 100 List

Speaker Carl Heastie (5), Senator Jeff Klein (20), Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. (65), Assemblyman Marcos Crespo (66), and Stanley Schlein (91) are Bronxites landing spots on City and State NY’s Power 100 list.  Patrick Jenkins is an adviser and college pal to Speaker Heastie ranked #85. Mr. Jenkins, a seasoned political operative and registered lobbyist, is a Queens resident.

 

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