Budget Update: On December 16th, the legislature will return to Albany to receive the Governorís Fiscal 2009-2010 budget. The Governor is submitting the budget over a month before required, in hopes of stimulating budget negotiations. While recognizing the need for budget cuts, Assemblymember Kavanagh will continue to work to minimize the impact of cuts on vital services in areas such as education, housing, and healthcare. Kavanagh will also continue to push for a transparent and inclusive budget process, believing that open government is especially important in times when critical decisions are being made.
Kavanagh Tours Con Edison East River Generating Station: On Thursday, November 12th, Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh joined Councilmember Mendezís office in a tour of the Con Edison East River Generating Station located at 701-827 East 14th Street by the FDR Drive. The large East River Complex consists of a steam distribution system, electric generators, and a fuel oil storage facility. The tour occurred six days before the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation hosted a hearing to discuss Con Edisonís Title V permit renewal request for the East River Plant. Kavanaghís office, joined other elected officials and community organizations in requesting the hearing to discuss the plantís impact on the community and explore the possibility of switching the plant exclusively to natural gas. Assemblymember Kavanagh submitted testimony to the DEC requesting that as a condition of permit renewal they require Con Edison to use natural gas when their infrastructure and supply allow them to.
Kavanagh Reviews Housing and Environment Budgets: On December 4th, Assemblymember Kavanagh participated in two budget oversight hearings. The first dealt with the budget implementation and its affects on affordable housing in New York. The hearing included testimony from Commissioner Deborah VanAmerongen of the Division of Housing and Community Renewal, as well as Commissioner Shaun Donovan of the Housing Preservation Development. The State allocated $300 million for affordable housing in the 2008-09 budget. The second addressed the impact of the 2008-09 State Budget on Department of Environmental Conservation programs. The 2008-09 State budget provides almost $1.2 billion for environmental programs. This hearing was the second part of a series of budget hearings sponsored by the Assemblyís Environmental Conservation committee. In November, the committee held a hearing to oversee the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservationís multi-year Parks Capital Plan of repair and enhancement.
Kavanagh Attends Holiday Benefit: On December 1st, Assemblymember Kavanagh joined local residents and neighbors at the Annual Holiday Benefit hosted by the Gramercy Park Block Association. The benefit helped raise money for the Gramercy Park Block Associationís annual neighborhood clean-up, planting, graffiti removal, painting and power washing.