Brooklyn lawmakers on th move may 23, 2018 database worksheet

The South Brooklyn lawmaker, who chairs the House Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications, has made it a priority during his time in Congress to improve local and national security defenses. Donovan recently held a hearing, which included witnesses from the Department of Homeland Security, FEMA, NYPD, and Port Authority, to highlight how anti-terrorist and homeland security grant programs are critical to securing high-risk urban areas. Testimony from the event was vital to increasing the grant funding allocated to New York for FY2018, as well as reversing more than $400 million in proposed cuts to these programs.

“I’ve heard firsthand from NYPD, FDNY, New York City Emergency Management, and Port Authority officials about how grant programs, like the State Homeland Security Grant Program and Urban Area Security Initiative, help them secure our community.

Threats are increasing in both number and sophistication, and today’s news ensures that those on our frontline of defense have the resources they need to defend New Yorkers,” said Donovan.

The city’s health officials reminded New Yorkers yesterday not to use synthetic cannabinoids – commonly referred to as “K2” or “synthetic marijuana” – after a significant increase in emergency department visits. Between May 19 and 21, the Health Department detected 84 emergency department visits related to K2.

This is the largest number of K2-related emergency department visits in a three-day period since July 2016. In 2018, there were approximately 600 K2-related emergency department visits citywide prior to yesterday, or fewer than 10 per day. New Yorkers can learn about K2 here.

The current cluster occurred in Brooklyn, centered in Bushwick-Williamsburg. Health officials have released a Health Advisory Notice to alert health care providers to the symptoms and adverse effects of K2 intoxication and have launched a Rapid Assessment and Response team as a result. Many people wrongly believe K2 to be safe and can develop extreme anxiety, confusion, sedation, paranoia and hallucinations, even heart attacks in some cases, amongst other side effects.

The harmful drug is illegal to sell in New York City, and as a result is sold under several names, including: Spice, Green Giant, Bizarro, Geeked Up, Smacked, and AK-47. Packages containing the drug often are labeled “not for human consumption” and sold as “incense” or “potpourri.” A City Council legislation pass after a peak in July 2015, increased the penalties for sellers and manufacturers of K2, making sales of the drug a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and fines of more than $100,000.

Individuals seeking support or treatment for substance use issues for themselves or their loved ones can contact NYC Well by calling 1-888-NYC-WELL, texting “WELL” to65173 or going to Free, confidential support is available at any hour of the day in over 200 languages. For more information about the dangers of K2, visit

After multiple refusals by Senate Republicans to consider this and other gun violence prevention measures on the Floor, the committee held a vote on the ERPO bill in response to Senator Kavanagh’s “motion for committee consideration,” as required by the Senate rules. On Tuesday, the committee voted 19-3 in favor of advancing the bill with 8 Republican and 11 Democratic votes in support, 3 GOP votes against and one was absent vote. The measure now heads to the Codes Committee for review.

The bill would create “Extreme Risk Protection Orders” (ERPO), a new type of court-issued civil order that would prohibit someone from purchasing guns, and require them to temporarily surrender any guns they possess, if a court finds they are likely to harm themselves or others.

“Today we took a big step forward in the fight to strengthen New York’s gun laws and save lives across our state.After months of Republican inaction on the issue of ERPOs, today’s vote of the Judiciary Committee was the first time Republican Senators have taken a public position on this bill — and the majority of Republican members made the right choice,” said Kavanagh.

“But our work is not finished. If we are serious about savings lives, we need the bill to advance from the Codes Committee to a vote of the full Senate. Today, I am calling on the Codes Committee — and the Senate Republican leadership — to bring this bill to the floor promptly for a vote. If they do, I am confident it will pass on the merits,” added Kavanagh.

At a hearing at City Hall yesterday, Treyger pushed for answers about the DOE’s failure to equip the city’s public schools with adequate staff and services to support the social and emotional needs of New York City students. The hearing was the first time testifying for Carranza, who was first appointed last month after the surprising retirement of Carmen Farina.

There are currently 1,293 social workers, 2,880 guidance counselors, and 583 school psychologists in the City’s school system. While the DOE’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget includes $191 million in new needs spending, only 10 new social workers will be hired. According to the DOE’s own estimates, it would cost the City just $5.2 million to add at least one full-time social worker or guidance counselor to the 41 schools that currently do not have one.

At the hearing, Treyger also continued his push for more investment into Fair Student Funding (FSF). The program provides a flexible stream of funding that affords school administrators the ability to meet the unique needs of their respective student populations, including opportunities to hire more social workers and provide additional social and emotional support services, as well as expansion of valuable art and music enrichment programs.

“We currently have over 5,500 school safety agents in our city’s schools. That’s more than the number of social workers, guidance counselors, and school psychologists combined. In a system of 1.1 million students, we have one social worker for every 850 students, one guidance counselor for every 382 students, and one psychologist for every 1,886 students. Our students are asking for help, and the City is ignoring them. That is unacceptable. With adequate funding, schools can make smart, targeted choices on how to best meet the individual needs of their students,” said Treyger.

The Legislature in a special joint session on Tuesday voted 190 to 1 to appoint Underwood New York’s 66th attorney general to fill out Schneiderman’s term. Underwood was already serving as acting state Attorney General in the wake of Eric Schneiderman’s departure earlier this month.

The move came on the eve of the Democratic and Republican state conventions, where each party will consider nominations for attorney general candidates to run for a full four-year term in November, according to the New York Daily News . Underwood is the first woman to serve in the role, marking a history making move.

“Barbara Underwood’s election represents a milestone in state .history. We have elected our first female attorney general. Barbara Underwood is superbly qualified to step in and serve as our state’s chief law enforcement officer. The legislature stepped in quickly to fulfill its mandate and selected the right candidate to serve as the People’s Lawyer,” said Ortiz.

“Today is a victory for New Yorkers and a fair political process, voters will decide on their next attorney general in November. Leaving Ms. Underwood, who is both competent and will not be a contender for the office this election year, in the role was the right thing to do. Now, the legislature should adopt my bills to amend the constitution and law so vacancies for Attorney General and Comptroller are always filled by the voters and not the legislature,” said Malliotakis.